One of the earliest virtual reality (VR) short films to make an impact was ABE VR by British studio Hammerhead. The award-winning short film by Rob McLellan was originally released way back in 2013, with Hammerhead giving it a VR twist in 2016. Today, the studio has revealed plans to expand the ABE universe in three parts.
ABE will be returning as a location-based VR experience (LBE), brought to life using advanced virtual humans filmed at the Dimension volumetric capture studio, as well as a continuation of the short film and as a videogame which will be VR compatible.
ABE VR tells the dark and twisted tale of ABE, a misguided robot seeking the unconditional love of humans in all the wrong places. While the original experience was merely a film where viewers found themselves strapped to a surgical table, unable to move, what Hammerhead VR has planned will be far more interactive by the sounds of it, and even more horrifying.
The new trailer gives a glimpse at the plans Hammmerhead has in store, with the player running through a rather grim looking mansion. All the windows and doors are being sealed with metal shutters apart from one, funnelling the player. At the end of a corridor the floor suddenly opens up and they fall into an abattoir, filled with pigs and human corpses. Standing in the middle is ABE.
“Hammerhead have been at the forefront of immersive storytelling for the past five years. With ABE VR we introduced genre-defining techniques, which led to the experience becoming the first VR film to be certified by the BBFA, and subsequently selected for the BAFTA VR showcase. Now ABE is back, more sinister than ever, with exciting and innovative creative ambitions,” says Simon Windsor, joint-MD of Hammerhead in a statement.
Hammerhead hasn’t stated when any of this planned content will be released, although the LBE project will be the lead experience. VRFocus will continue its coverage of ABE VR and Hammerhead VR, reporting back with the latest updates.