In a sea of innovations on display at Denver Comic Con, the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design still made waves with its cutting-edge developments in comics and video games.
The college’s Digital Art Forge debuted the first 30 seconds of its virtual reality comic book, “Rough Draftees,” and Fourth Axis games, an independent video game company comprised of RMCAD students, let attendees play an early level in the “Children of Uum” game they are developing.
“It’s been really fun and challenging working on this project,” said Sean Brown, chair of the college’s animation and game art department. “Once we’re done with this comic, I’d love to have our group keep working on other projects.”
Both the Digital Art Forge and Fourth Axis had full panels the morning of June 17, during which they talked about the projects and answered questions from interested comic fans and gamers.
In both panels, designers highlighted the artistic possibilities of using virtual reality technologies to enhance storytelling.
“As storytellers, virtual reality gives us a wonderful power,” said Ross Moreno, lead writer with Fourth Axis. “Virtual reality puts you in the character’s shoes so easily, but that doesn’t mean you should tell a story flippantly.”
There are some unique challenges when working in virtual reality, including what Fourth Axis calls “comfortability,” which means making sure movement and gameplay aren’t disorienting or cause motion sickness.
Fourth Axis hopes to have a demo of the game finished within a year, but this will depend on time constraints and fundraising.
“We want to create a space that feels alive,” said Daniel Burchinal, lead animator with Fourth Axis. “We’re using virtual reality to show you a world that is cohesive, immersive and unique.”
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