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Virtual Reality Lab 2016 Projects

The VR Lab spring 2016 projects include a wide range of formats (multiplayer games, interactive books, 360 films, animations, etc.) and platforms (Cardboard, Gear VR, Oculus Rift and the Vive). Within a short period of 3 months, labbies are delivering immersive magic!

A Dream within Dream

A Dream Within a Dream

A Dream Within a Dream

This project’s aim is to create 2-minute-long VR experience of a storytelling-based CG animation. As per the title “Dream within a Dream,” the story attempts to indicate our understanding of dream and reality as inspired by Sigmund Freud’s “Interpretation of Dreams” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “A Dream Within A Dream.”

Team: Adam Miao, David Wang

Angry Jenga

Angry Jenga

Our game is a prototype mixed reality game in which we attempt to tackle some of the identified barriers to mass VR adoption. But actually, it’s mostly just a compelling and competitive social gaming experience.

The conventional wisdom is that VR is an isolating and inherently anti-social medium. Further, the cost of the VR hardware is, for many, prohibitive and creates further segregation between the haves and the have-nots. We address both of those concerns with a game that turns a single VR-capable machine into a social hub. By allowing up to three players at a time to use standard issue smartphones to compete against each other and against a fourth player immersed in VR, in a spectator-friendly contest, we are creating an inclusive social experience and amortizing the hardware investment.

The game is simple: one player, using an HTC Vive and represented in VR as a floating clown head and hands, attempts to build and defend a tower of virtual wooden blocks. Their exploits are projected on a large screen behind them, for all in the room to see. Meanwhile, the other three players (the “demo team”), stand in assigned positions with their smartphones and attempt to topple the tower by aiming and firing circus cannons. The clown is able to deflect the incoming projectiles, using objects in the enviornment.

After the allotted time, if the tower stands above a certain height, the clown wins. Meanwhile, the shooter with the most direct hits, gets to take their turn as clown and, if there are more than four people wishing to play, the demo team is rotated out.

Not only is this a very fun and competitive social game, but it also allows a potentially quite large group of people to share a single VR setup.

Team: Ollie Rankin, Will Wurtzebach, Sean Hyland, Zhen Cao

Boxed Out: a cinematic VR experience

Boxed Out: a cinematic VR experience


Peek inside the enchanted studio of a Brooklyn-based stop motion animator. She has built a cardboard world inside her studio from the pickle vendor, to the bakery, to the neighborhood bar. Explore her studio and go inside the cardboard neighborhood. As the Gowanus neighborhood is forced to change, the local shops are threatened by gentrification.

Enjoy your visit before Danielle and hundreds of her fellow artists are displaced from their studios in Gowanus.

Team: Kiira Benzing, Evan Harper, consultants REVRIE VR


Breach: a multiplayer game on Gear VR

“Breach” is a multiplayer VR experience, where two players must rely on each other to navigate a cyberpunk inspired maze-like environment.

The players have unique roles: Player 1 must walk through the environment, collect tokens and avoid being caught by enemies before time runs out, while Player 2 uses their birds-eye view of the environment to guide Player 1.

Team: Dorian Dargan, Christopher Hill, Rehmat Qadir, Matthew Cornelius

Cardboard City

Cardboard City

Description: Peek inside the enchanted studio of Brooklyn-based stop motion animator Danielle Ash

Director – Kiira Benzing
Writers – Kiira Benzing
Art Director – Danielle Ash
Narrative Designer – Eulani Labay
Producers – Danielle Ash, Kiira Benzing, Eulani Labay, Tarik Mohamed
Editor/Animator/Post Sound Designer – Danielle Ash
Post Producer – Stina Hamlin
Cinematographer – Tarik Mohamed
Gaffer – Mike Doyle
Technical Director – Jimmy Marerro
Colorist – Verne Mattson
CTO of East Coast Digital – Scott Kleinberger
Post Production Facility – East Coast Digital

Collage: an interactive VR experience

Collage: an interactive VR experience

An interactive model of the Hearst Tower in which the tower serves as an interface for creative expression using found media. Platform: Vive.

Team: Evan Harper

Dinner With Friends

“Dinner With Friends” featuring Victor Verhaege, Carla Briscoe, Kathleen Wallace, Dan Truman

A short scene in 360 video.  When Alan and Susan come over to dinner at Jon and Hannah’s apartment (their very close friends of 20 years) they expect it to be just another quiet, pleasant evening with friends. Instead, the evening turns awkward when a heated argument breaks out over who are the better parents of their college-aged kids…who have recently announced that they are dating.

Cast: Victor Verhaege, Carla Briscoe, Kathleen Wallace, Dan Truman

Team: Kristin Loeb, Mark Sternberg, Sarah Stevenson

For the Queen VR

For the Queen VR

“For the Queen VR” is a third person VR game created for the Sketchfab 2016 VRJAM.

Gameplay: The player guides the Ant Queen down stream while collecting her subjects and avoiding obstacles along the way.

The game is based on the idea that when it rains in the Amazon jungle and an ant colony is in danger of getting flooded out, the ants will band together to form a boat and carry their queen to a new, safer location.

Team: Jaye Moore

The Giftschrank

The Giftschrank (Poison Room)

The Giftschrank (Poison Room)

Save a masterpiece and solve puzzles from a famous art heist before you are caught by the culprit.

Team: Bracey Smith, Jacqueline Hurwitz, Matthew MacVey

Ghosts of Camp X

Ghosts of Camp X



In the late 2000s, the US detention centers in Iraq shut down. One center, Camp Bucca, funneled 100,000 detainees and represents an opening chapter in the Islamic State. Many ISIS leaders met at “Bucca.” While there, Iraqi detainees and US soldiers painted hundreds of murals on camp buildings and barriers, turning massive blocks of stone into art.
Some camps still exist as ghost camps. Desert, art and rubble remain.

Meet the Ghosts of Camp X

Users can click on a ghost of an Iraqi detainee or American GI to glimpse into their lives in the midst of the long war. Watch found video footage (embedded seven 360-film clips and 10 2D video clips) as well as view the artwork of Iraqis and Americans.

Team: J Dakota Powell

Humpty Dumpty and Other Goosy Tales

Humpty and Other Goosey Tales

A collection of children’s fairy tales for a picture-book app in Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality called ” Humpty and Other Goosey Tales”.

Team: Angelique Anderson



“Interplaying” is an interactive digital installation to encourage audience member’s live social interaction with one another in live music events – concerts/festivals. By allowing the audience to virtually mash up the music with the musician and other audience members, “interplaying” demo aims to show the potential of technology building people’s ‘social’ capital.

Media Creator: So Sun Park

Not You

Not You – VR experience exploring sexism in the workplace

Not You

Experience what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes in real life. This VR film is specifically directed to experience gender discrimination that females experience in professional workplaces.

Team: Maxwell Foxman, So Sun Park, Erika Scott, Rebecca Poulson, Bunmi Sijuwade




Stand up for your team and face the wrath of the Sentinels by releasing powerful optic concussive beams.

Team: Talal Choudhury, Erik Olsen

Outer Space Composer

Outer Space Composer

This project is a music-composing experience which happens in outer space. There are five planets, and each planet has a different soundtrack – the drum, melody, bass, special sound effect and ambience music. Using Leap Motion, the player can trigger a particular planet with his or her hand.

In this experience, players enjoy the “hands of God”; they can compose the cosmic electronic music in outer space.

Team: Zhen Cao, Wenbo Lan, Hao Jiang


rePLAY – VR narrative based on a graphic novel

rePlay is a hand drawn interactive novel for VR.

Team: John Benton

Endanger Elephant

Save the Endangered Elephant

Now you can take action by playing our Endanger! game series to end Endangered Species from extinction. Endanger! is the first 3D VR/mobile/PC game to virtually and socially find & save endangered species and their habitats. Experience Elephant and Panda habitat loss and poachers traps from the animal’s point of view, immersing in Savannas, Forests and Jungles, around the planet. Our mission is to engage young families in conservation and eco-branding while having fun with green planet issues.

Team: Lynn Rogoff

Unboxed: Chapter One

Unboxed: Chapter One

“Unboxed” is a VR experience about the early history of video game consoles. Rather than just displaying hardware behind glass, as most museums do, this project aims to tell the story of the hardware through immersive, historic environments.

This particular demo focuses on the first home video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, and its inventor Ralph Baer, whose basement lab is now enshrined at the Smithsonian. Future stories in this project will cover other hardware, from well-known consoles to forgotten ones.

Team: Jackson Tam