“Placeless” is an interactive VR experience is meant to educate players about personal safe spaces by allowing them to explore examples of them with testimonies and stories from the people these spaces belong to, as well as provide adults experiencing recovery efforts with positive recovery experiences to look at.
In Placeless you play as a documentarian that has the task of interviewing and researching a popular new program self titled program created by the Placeless Organization called Placeless. The program has is known for creating detailed and sometimes fantastical “safe spaces” for its clients. Being aware of your goal as a documentarian, Placeless has curated a selection of rooms for you to tour personally, with the direction of the owners of those rooms.
As the documentarian, you can walk around the facility entering safe spaces. Each space is created based on a real life interview about a person’s own interpretation of what they would want their safe space to be and how they would want them to function. In the game you are directed around safe spaces by a robot companion (voiced by the owner of that space) and interact with objects that trigger audio. Early audio recordings trigger as the placer enters specific areas of a space, while others would trigger after finding hidden objects in a room. The narrative was inspired by interviews administered by me with a volunteer about what their personal safe space would be like, and its relevance to their life.
As the Narrative Designer on this project, I gained experience not only building the world with the 3D environment artist to combine our collective goals for the tone of the project, as well as writing dialogue and directing voice over artists. One of the challenges I faced was designing around the disconnect that could happen when players in VR get distracted by the virtual playground in front of them instead of the story being presented to them. As a result, I designed the narrative to be presented to the players with every possible action they could take, instead of passively when specific actions where taken.
Producer: Jordan Jones-Brewster
Narrative Designer: Jordan Jones-Brewster
Programmer: Temitope Olujobi
3D Environment Artist: Temitope Olujobit