ILMxLAb and Fable Studio will duke it out for ‘Outstanding Innovation in Interactive Media.’
Both ILMxLAB’s Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Story and Fable Studio’s Wolves in the Walls: It’s All over have both been selected as finalists in “Outstanding Innovation in Interactive Media” at this year’s 2019 Emmy Awards, joining a distinguished list of accomplished immersive experiences honored during the long-running American awards program.
The news came via announcements made by each studio on Twitter, much to the delight of passionate VR fans across the web. Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR story, is a narrative-driven interactive sci-fi experience that puts players in the shoes of a seemingly average smuggler who, after being captured by Darth Vader, discovers he/she is capable of harnessing The Force. Players then embark on a short, but exciting adventure during which they’ll explore the lost catacombs of Vader’s Mustafar base and engage in lightsaber battles against ancient droids and Stormtroopers, all in an attempt to escape the clutches of the nefarious Sith Lord.
ILMxLAB has been hesitant to call this a full game, instead referring to it as a type of interactive cinematic experience that focuses on the life and motivations behind one of the galaxies most feared villains as opposed to just combat. The result is a surprisingly emotional journey that gives us a rare behind-the-scenes look at Vader.
“I raised a question, ‘What does Vader do when he’s not Force-choking people?’” stated writer and executive producer David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, Man of Steel). “What does he do when he walks into his meditation chamber, and his shoulders slump, and he doesn’t have the weight of the Empire on him for that moment? What does he think about? We tried to start to get at that in that [spying] scene as well.”
Fable Studio’s Wolves in the Walls: It’s All Over, is a two-episode experience that takes users into the mind of Lucy, an imaginative 8-year-old girl who, despite the disinterest from her family, is convinced the walls of her home are filled with wolves. Stepping into the role of Lucy’s imaginary friend, users assist in searching for evidence that will help Lucy expose the howling-threat to her family, each of whom presented as “visual metaphors” based on how Lucy perceives them. For instance, Lucy’s mom, dismissive and skeptical, looks down upon Lucy from a great height as she ignores Lucy’s plea for attention. Meanwhile, Lucy’s father practices music in a massive concert hall, completely out-of-touch with his daughter.
It’s an emotional experience, one that explores the difficulties of coping with loneliness, isolation, and unhealthy family dynamics. Part one and two feature 20 minutes of story; part 3 would have introduced an additional 20 minutes of content.
Last year’s Emmy’s included seven nominations for various immersive content, with Oculus Studios’ Henry taking home the award for “Outstanding Original Interactive Program” and Scatter’s VR documentary Zero Days for “Outstanding New Approaches: Documentary.”
Featured Image Credit: ILMxLAB / Fable Studio