20-minute partial build of highly anticipated immersive project debuts today as part of the Venice VR Expanded lineup for the Venice Film Festival.
Immersive entertainment studio Wevr has just announced that Gnomes & Goblins (G&G), an immersive VR experience created by filmmaker Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Lion King, The Jungle Book, The Mandalorian) in collaboration with VR Director Jake Rowell (Call of Duty, Superman Returns, theBlu), will be released for PCVR on Steam, Oculus and Viveport, available in the home beginning September 23, 2020.
Produced in partnership with MWM and Golem Creations, Gnomes & Goblins is the long-awaited follow-up to 2016’s Gnomes & Goblins Preview. The all-new VR experience is a high-fidelity multi-hour fantasy adventure simulation. G&G invites players to embark on a dream-like journey and explore an enchanted forest world where interactions with the realm’s denizens shape the story’s evolution. This hybrid form of worldbuilding combines agency with narrative elements, creating feelings of curiosity and wonder, companionship and belonging within a world where magic lurks in every nook and cranny.
According to Favreau, “I’m incredibly happy to see how Wevr has brought my original vision to life in virtual reality. From the earliest days of rough sketches and abstract concepts, Wevr’s entire team committed to fostering the kind of emotional connections that I believe will allow Gnomes & Goblins to occupy a special place in the hearts of players around the world. We worked hard to create the mood and feeling that Gnomes & Goblins is like a virtual theme-park ride, where magic and meaning are waiting around every corner.”
G&G director and executive producer Jake Rowell said, “When Jon first approached us with his early concept and sketches, I immediately knew we’d found a wonderful storyline populated with engaging characters to help us explore the VR medium. This project takes all the creative strides we made in developing theBlu and elevates the experience with unique AI-driven characters inhabiting an interactive world which invites players to create a connection with the forest and especially its adorable guide, Buddy the Goblin.”
Madison Wells Media CEO Gigi Prizker added, “We joined this project from its earliest inception because we knew that Jon Favreau’s concept would pair perfectly with Wevr’s proven track record of innovation within the VR industry. We’re very happy to have contributed to a project like Gnomes & Goblins that truly represents a new kind of immersive experience unlike any other in the space.”
Gnomes & Goblins pushes the boundaries of VR technology, introducing a new cast of characters in an expansive and richly detailed world. Expect the unexpected with magic artifacts, mini-stories and mini-games interweaving adventure and endless exploration as players discover the underlying myth and mysterious goings-on in the enchanted world of G&G.
Gnomes & Goblins was selected for the 2020 Venice International Film Festival’s online-only Venice VR Expanded event, which runs from September 2-12, where registered attendees can experience a small 20-minute portion of the full multi-hour G&G game.
Wevr Cofounder and CEO Neville Spiteri, who originally partnered with Favreau at the inception of the project, said, “I’m elated to finally announce the official release date of Gnomes & Goblins. After years of creative perseverance our team and partners can celebrate the monumental journey of bringing Jon’s vision of Gnomes & Goblins to life. As an indie studio we couldn’t be happier to share this experimental virtual world with fans around the globe. We hope that the love and care put into this product will resonate and enable us to continue on the journey and move the immersive medium forward for all.”
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.