Over the last few years, there have been several virtual reality (VR) projects nominated and even successfully taking home an Emmy Award. This week, creative studio Fable and its project Wolves in the Walls achieved the coveted award. In doing so, helping lead character Lucy become the first virtual being to win an Emmy.
Wolves in the Walls: It’s All Over (Part 1) won the primetime Emmy Award for ‘Outstanding Innovation in Interactive Media’, a project which was a VR adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean’s children’s book. Originally an Oculus Story Studio project, when it closed Edward Saatchi and Pete Billington co-founded virtual beings company Fable, taking on the project with support from Facebook.
The story follows Lucy, a young girl who has a seemingly vivid imagination until events prove that that isn’t the case. She hears noises within the walls convinced that wolves are making the eerie sounds, and the only way to keep them at bay is believing they’re real. As an interactive story, you accompany Lucy around the house helping fend the wolves off while none of her family believes her.
One of the main aspects of Lucy is the fact that she is one of the earliest examples of a virtual being, an AI-powered character with which viewers can build a two-way friendship. Thanks to machine learning Lucy will interact with viewers in natural ways, helping build a greater emotional connection. Fable also has plans to introduce memory, so that viewers actions will have consequences in later instalments.
“Sometimes when you are exploring in the dark it’s comforting to know that others are not too far away, hands outstretched, searching alongside you. It has been inspiring to be part of this juried award category. We are humbled and grateful for the encouragement and recognition,” said Pete Billington, Creative Director and co-founder of Fable Studio in a statement.
“This is the first Virtual Being project to receive an Emmy but it won’t be the last. Virtual Beings from Lil Miquela to Mica, from Alexa to Lucy are revolutionizing storytelling and beginning to harness machine learning to create meaningful relationships with us. Eventually, a Virtual Being will win an Oscar for their performance in a live-action movie, win a Grammy for best album of the year, be your favourite celebrity on Instagram, your favourite spiritual guide and, eventually … your OS,” adds Edward Saatchi, Executive Producer and co-founder of Fable Studio.
Virtual beings are going to become more and more prominent as developers strive for greater immersion within VR worlds. To check out the experience for yourself, Wolves in the Walls: It’s All Over can be downloaded for free for Oculus Rift/Rift S. For further updates on the project, keep reading VRFocus.