Guide to Storytelling in VR

The journey into the world of VR storytelling should begin with the fundamentals. Everyone is trying to do it, whether it be games, movies, or even virtual reality porn. The fundamentals include, but are not limited to, presence, point of view (POV), set/setting, plot, character, and dialogue.

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Presence is the foundation and what forges VR into a captivating experience. Basically, presence in Virtual Reality Videos generates a feeling of existence shared with other characters. It is not possible to simply be an innocent bystander. This means the audience will feel a heightened sense of obligation. Therefore, prompting the viewer to question why they are there and what they are supposed to do. Thus, explaining why games and stories that center around the idea of responsibility are successful.

The viewer wants to participate. They want to rescue the victim, capture the villain, escape reality, and solve the mystery. Learning to work within the sense of presence is a unique and vital component of the job as a captivating storyteller. The core of VR/360 focuses on observers with the desire to take part. Thus, it becomes necessary for storytelling, to persuade the viewer to participate.

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The inner workings of presence are the point of view. Will the audience observe through a specific character’s eyes (first-person POV) or will they play the role of an outsider looking in (third-person POV)? Both have their own advantages and shortcomings. It is vital to remember that whichever POV is chosen, it must continue to achieve presence for the viewers. First-person POV can prove to be more problematic because of various obstacles. These hurdles include the lack of fully controlling the simulated body in a realistic way and the inability for characters to communicate with each other. However, to see the story unfold thru the character’s eyes enhances a sense of presence. Frequently, third-person POV is much easier to work with. This POV  provides that humans are designed to fulfill their suspected part in a virtual atmosphere. An illustration of this would be when participants attempt to crack the case at a crime scene, despite not portraying the character of the detective. 

What can one uncover simply by observing their surroundings? The setting or the space in VR contributes to how immersive a story can be. Locations are filled with numerous audiovisual details. The setting is crucial and could possibly be more significant than the other elements. While the story is being drafted, the artist must remember to discover ways the audience can build their surroundings. This simulated environment must persuade viewers to dream their own stories, despite the absence of any other participants. Understanding the assumptions made by people about the setting can allow the storyteller to successfully create an immersive climate.

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The plot is also a vital component in VR 360. The plot is defined as the behaviors and experiences observed personally by the audience. It is imperative that the plot continues to move the story forward. This can be accomplished by linking the actions, occurrences, and relationships of the characters.

Frequently, the viewers’ devotion to the story hinges on the details of these relationships. The character’s personal life and emotional well being must be thoroughly developed, as the audience values these traits.

Dialogue cannot be the primary method to accomplish this. It is imperative not to overwhelm the audience, as they are already immersed fully with sensory stimuli. After all, isn’t it difficult to concentrate on a conversation when there is a lot going on in the background?

            The overall goal is to create a captivating environment for both passive and active audiences. The audience should be able to be immobile, and still, appreciate the story by what is taking place and by simply being immersed in the space.