Anamnesis was a student project done during my time in USC's Interactive Media & Games MFA program. The first Oculus Rift development kits had just shipped and with them came the kinds of experiences that felt obvious- Flight sims, FPS-conversions, wish fulfillment simulators.
When Alexa Kim and I sat down to think about VR mean to us, what we wanted to do was to try and explore what new and unique affordances the medium had in store. Anamnesis was the conclusion.
Anamnesis is a hybrid-VR, environmental storytelling experience. When playing it, a player utilizes both their standard 2D monitor and an Oculus Rift HMD. Inside of the game, players are told that Los Angeles has been under a 4 year quarantine following a super-flu outbreak. They're playing the role of a FEMA-like agent who is reentering the quarantine zone to help relocate survivors. However, they're equipped with a pair of 'Psychic Goggles' that allow them to pick up the 'emotional residue' of the apartment's previous occupants.
In essence, this allows players to experience both the narrative present- on their 2D screen- but also the emotional past - by peering into the HMD as if it were a pair of binoculars. Layering these stories became an essential part of our narrative as no one perspective can give you the whole tale.
I'd urge you to watch our "How-To" video or a 'Let's Play' linked below for a thorough demonstration of how it all works.
We began work on the project in September of 2013 and concluded in December of the same year.
Co-Designer / Lead Engineer
On Anamnesis, Alexa and I co-authored the stories, the in-game text and the world. In-engine Alexa handled most of the lighting, modeling and artwork while I handled the engineering, programming and implementation of our game systems.
Where to download it:
Google Drive (Currently only supports DK 1 + 2!)
Co-Narrative Designer / Lead Engineer
Co-Narrative Designer / Art Lead / Audio Lead
Ending & Trailer Music