Saskatchewan

Made-in-Sask. VR game puts players in the eye of a Sharknado

A new virtual reality game developed entirely in Saskatchewan uses the premise of the 2013 movie Sharknado to take people into the eye of the titular disaster.

Sharknado VR offering created and developed by Sask. team of professionals

A new virtual reality game developed in Saskatchewan sees people battling through tornadoes and sharks.

When Regina's Dave Hansen needed inspiration for a virtual reality game, he found prime material in the 2013 flick Sharknado.

After all, virtual reality offers the chance to immerse yourself in faraway worlds or fantastical circumstances. Who wouldn't want to be in the middle of a shark-laden weather disaster?   

"You're basically in the eye of the storm, and you're caught up in it," said Hansen, co-owner and president of Autumn VR. 

"You win the game by actually getting to the mother shark and destroying that shark. It's a huge battle and there will be lots of carnage along the way."

Dwayne Melcher, president of Melcher Studios, talks to an audience in Regina about the release of a new virtual reality (VR) game inspired by the Sharknado movies. Autumn VR and Melcher Studios partnered in developing the game. (CBC News)

Autumn VR developed the game in partnership with Melcher Studios. The developers negotiated the rights for Sharknado from Universal, with the movie studio wanting to ensure the proper technicians were involved and the virtual reality looked appealing, Hansen said.

"We're really happy with the team we worked with in Regina," he said. "We've got some of the creative humans in the world here."

The game is available now on Steam and will be released later this year on PlayStation.

Life of Jesus is next VR release

Next up, Autumn VR is offering what Hansen calls "Jesus VR," an opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Jesus Christ. It was filmed in Italy, using multiple camera angles and shots, which Hansen said was then painstakingly stitched together to create a seamless, virtual reality experience.

"Put the headset on, and you are whisked away to 2,000 years ago," he said, explaining people will walk alongside Jesus through scenes like the Last Supper. "You're where you never thought you'd be. It's spectacular."

Hopefully we'll see a bigger uptake in consumers being able to explore that world, because it's pretty fascinating.- Dave Hansen, Autumn VR

As many strides as VR has made, people may not have had a chance to explore this newer technology, Hansen said.

"There's not a lot of studios that are working in VR yet. But it's certainly coming. More and more people are getting the technology to actually play," he said, noting that VR company Oculus Rift is also offering cheaper consumer models.

"Hopefully we'll see a bigger uptake in consumers being able to explore that world, because it's pretty fascinating."

About the Author

Janani Whitfield works on CBC Saskatchewan's Morning Edition. Contact her at janani.whitfield@cbc.ca or on Twitter, @WhitfieldJanani.

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