|Benjamin Braun, Irene Herrero, Jakub Cichor, Nikolas Schneider|
|Supervisor:||Prof. Gudrun Klinker|
|Advisor:||Dipl.-Inf. Univ. David A. Plecher, M.A.|
In the age of social media and push notifications, fewer people take the time to appreciate sophisticated art. Our point-and-click adventure tries to change that by taking place in a digital art museum, where the people in the paintings come to life and pose different challenges to the player, who is trying to escape. By interacting with the pictures, the player can delve into the art's environments and try to solve the puzzles that have been created. In addition, some artwork will have a bonus VR/AR component to enhance the experience. The goal is to create new interest for art in players. Furthermore, the players are being educated on the historical and art-related context, in which the paintings have been created.
The (Un)fortunate (Anti)hero
In our game you are a scheming thief who broke in to a famous museum at night with the sole intention of stealing its precious art. However, due to unfortunate (or fortunate?) circumstances, the thief gets thrown into an alternate reality in which suddenly the paintings, and more importantly their inhabitants, come to life. Even worse, they have been scattered throughout the museum and they do not seem to know their way back. Because our anti-hero wants to get back home, the only imaginable way to escape this situation is to help these lost souls and bring the art world back from chaos into order.
Learning By Exploring
By making your way through the museum, you find various opportunities to interact with the paintings themselves by walking inside and examining them in detail. The art that can be explored originates both in the epochs of neoclassicism and romanticism, which provides a striking contrast between the different focal points. While neoclassical paintings focus mostly on rational logic and people, romantic art emphasizes emotions and feelings of the individual. Hence, as our adventure focuses specifically on the historical contexts and explanations of the included paintings, we also created additional game elements for increased immersion.
Emotions Through Immersion
Whereas the neoclassical facts and the historical context can be nicely represented in an adventure game, it can be tricky to deliver the emotions that romantic authors often portray in their paintings with such a game. We therefore developed a scene of two famous paintings by the German romanticist Caspar David Friedrich in Virtual Reality. The players start on a higher placed cliff overseeing a sea of fog. This is taken out of the painting "The Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog", but instead of seeing the scenery from behind the Wanderer, now the players can experience it directly from his viewpoint. Once the players turn around, they see the second part which is based on the painting "The Stages of Life", where a number of ships in the water at different sizes and distances are supposed to represent an allegorical perspective on the different stages of life. The immersion that VR is able to create by placing the player directly inside the situation creates the possibility of delivering the emotions even more effectively. This could especially be the case for people who do not usually show a pronounced interest in art, as it provides another avenue to experience what others are already experiencing just by the painting itself.
Furthermore, we implemented another bonus level where the players are able to use Augmented Reality to find additional information in a painting. Information that might otherwise only have been found by searching for additional historical context on the internet. In our example we took Jan Matejko's painting called "Stanczyk". Without knowing the historical context, the observers might not be aware why the Jester looks so sad in that painting, but with our implementation one can use a mobile device to scan the image for interesting points in AR, which will present the relevant knowledge in a more interactive way. All in all, our goal was to create a total experience that on one hand is capable of delivering an interesting narrative that explains the context of these paintings, but on the other hand, is able to take the players on an immersive journey to augment their interaction with art.