Irish virtual/ augmented reality (VR/AR) software firm, Immersive VR Education (IVRE), has launched its latest offering to the virtual reality gaming market in the form of its Titanic VR Game — an immersive experience, which allows users to see the events of the doomed ship through the eyes of a survivor and to virtually explore the wreck on the seabed. The game will be available for PC, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality from 2pm (IST) today and a PlayStation release is planned for September.

The Waterford-based firm has already made waves internationally after receiving global recognition for its award-winning Apollo 11 VR moon landing experience which has sold more than 130,000 units since its launch in 2016. The recreation of the 1969 moon landing has been a hit on various VR platforms, including Oculus and PlayStation. It also won the Time Warner Future of Storytelling Award in New York in October 2015.

The company’s latest initiative, Titanic VR, has been hotly anticipated on the back of both the success of the Apollo and of IVRE’s parent Company, VR Education Holdings plc, listing on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and on the Enterprise Securities Market, a market regulated by Euronext Dublin, earlier this year.

The Game

The latest experience from IVRE tells the fateful story of the Titanic from a first-person perspective of the survivors. The project began its life through a Kickstarter campaign in early 2017, which raised over €57,000, with the intention of bringing the game to market on PCs and PlayStation 4, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Its first phase test reviews in 2017 consolidated the company’s steadfast belief in the project’s direction, and its release to market now, after an exhaustive 2-year process, is a source of great pride for the entire team.

Speaking of the game’s release, David Whelan, CEO of VR Education Holdings PLC, commented:

“Titanic VR is a factually animated VR experience that tells the tragic story of the sinking of RMS Titanic as witnessed by survivors. As well as creating a realistic VR experience that tells the story of the tragedy in a compelling way, the game will also serve as a valuable resource for discovering more about the stricken ship, through a realistic exploration experience, using detailed maps and 3D models of the historic wreck site. We have used motion capture, face-scanning technology and professional voice actors to immerse users in the story and to enable them to relate to the people involved. In developing this, we wanted to create an accurate portrayal of events, so it is not only educational, but also emotional and very engaging.”

Pre-release reviews signal the excitement that surrounds this game: 

“I tried the release version of Titanic VR. The lifeboat experience is extremely immersive, you even get goose bumps when you see the Titanic sinking while you sit in the safe boat! You can also explore the Titanic wreck on your own and play a campaign where you have to solve quests. Very immersive graphics and controls. Pure Titanic atmosphere.”

VooDooDE (VR YouTuber)

”Titanic VR is an example of what the future of education is going to look like. Virtual Reality is the new textbook that lets you travel back in time and relive important moments in history.”

Nathie (VR YouTuber)

Tribute

A poignant tribute is also noted to the late Tony Meredith, Lead Environment Artist at Immersive VR Education. Tony was a much loved and now much missed member of the team, whose final creative and powerful artistry on Titanic VR will continue to serve as testament to a truly gifted master of VR art production.

All aboard the RMS Titanic…

The new release shares two different types of educational VR experience that bring history to life.

  • Six hours of educational gameplay, where players are tasked with navigating the wreck using their submersible and ROV.  It features eight dive missions and seven lab missions.
  • The second element is a fully immersive, historically accurate, animated experience which tells the story of the evacuation to lifeboats, based on the eye witness testimonies of survivors as the tragedy unfolded in 1912.

Players can:

  • Recover various artefacts and items from the seabed and complete missions based on their recovery.
  • Choose to undertake the missions or to simply explore, admire and learn about the sheer majesty and scale of the doomed vessel.
  • Check out all hidden passageways and areas inside the wreck.
  • Navigate around and inside the wreck using their submersible and ROV, completing missions such as rescuing a lost ROV, creating a photo mosaic, placing research equipment, and working with a world-famous Director.
  • Clean and preserve recovered artefacts, upgrade the ROV, and learn all there is to know about this awe-inspiring wreck.

IVRE has been praised for the game’s intricate and authentic build and design process. Some highlights from the project include:

  • It is the largest animated virtual cast of characters ever based on real people inside a single VR experience.
  • It took more than 8,800 working hours to create
  • The sinking animation is based on first-hand eye witness testimony.

Mr. Whelan spoke of the company’s vision:

“We wanted to create an authentic experience for users around a topic and setting in history that has long captivated people’s imagination.

While the technology is advanced, what we are really doing is bringing learning back to basics.

As children we learn to navigate the world through immersive experiences – think of learning a language or learning to cycle, or as we grow older going travelling and backpacking – the sights and sounds that often go unnoticed by our attention, are all taken in peripherally and form a whole context for our physical and mental learning. The experience of learning through VR/AR is similar, in that it’s an absorbing, sensory experience. Aside from being great fun, this project is a fantastic way to illustrate the effectiveness and potential of VR/AR technology for educational purposes.” 

What’s next for IVRE…

Chief Operating Officer, Sandra Whelan spoke of the plans for the future:

“After a tireless build project and funding campaign, we are delighted to be able to bring Titanic VR to the market. For us, these games and experiences are effective showcases for Immersive VR Education, but they only form a small part of our company plan, which is to use VR and augmented reality to revolutionise education globally.

As a company, we are dedicated to advancing how educational and enterprise training content is shared and consumed on a world-wide basis”.

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