Sisters is one of the first virtual reality horror experiences many early VR explorers discovered last year on Google Play and iOS. Created by LA VR studio Otherworld Interactive, the experience is now available for Gear VR and SteamVR, with additional episodes in the works. The team at Otherworld just announced that Sisters has just passed one million downloads across all of these platforms.
Otherworld Interactive created Sisters to explore the horror genre in VR and add a level of positional depth that film simply couldn’t provide. It is the first experience in a set of episodes allowing you to explore the rooms of a haunted house occupied by a pair of creepy dolls.
Where film make you jump by using the screen in front of you, VR experiences like these leave you in a constant state of unease as you never know what’s behind you. It’s a great take on narrative virtual reality, immersing you in a scary story and moving the storyline along as you trigger it.
A Million Scares
One of the reasons Sisters has been so popular is that people love watching their friends get scared out of their minds. There have been numerous YouTube videos to prove it. Otherworld compiled a few of them in a million download celebration video to thank everyone who helped get them where they are today.
Otherworld Interactive is led by Robyn Gray and Andy Goldstein, former graduate students of USC’s Interactive Media & Games program. They met at USC and worked on each other’s various projects over the three year graduate program.
While at school, they took jobs at different places that were experimenting with new technology. Robyn was a graduate fellow at USC MXR (mixed reality lab) run by Mark Bolas. Andy worked for a game studio called Naked Sky Entertainment that created multiple games and experiences using Intel’s perceptual computing technology.
When they graduated and were looking for jobs, they picked up a contract job doing virtual reality work and formed Otherworld Interactive to create our own games and experiences. The Otherworld team credits two people who have influenced their work tremendously.
The first is Bolas, who was their professor at USC for three years. Gray and Goldstein gush about his research and insights into VR, as well as his design sense for virtual reality. They still reach out to him when they get stuck and believe he’s the most knowledgeable person alive in virtual reality.
The other is the Dean of USC’s Interactive Media school, Tracy Fullerton. She taught their introduction to game design class, and has impacted their sense of design and user experience. They recommend her Game Design Workshop book for anyone seeking design tips and tricks.
We’re all about celebrating milestones, and this is a big one. Congratulations to the team at Otherworld. Stay tuned as they open up more rooms of the haunted house on your VR device of choice.