Baobab Studios’ Invasion! is one of VR’s cutesiest and more pleasant experiences, but that wasn’t always the case. Originally, the short film killed off its fluffy bunny protagonist.
Baobab CEO Maureen Fan revealed this interesting little factoid when speaking in a PlayStation VR (PSVR) panel on Sony’s E3 livestream yesterday. Talking about keeping audiences comfortable in VR, Fan explained that a mother had had an interesting reaction to the piece at its first showing at an event years ago.
You can watch Fan talk about it around the 5:47:30 mark.
“Our first version we killed off the bunny,” Fan said, “because we didn’t have enough time to animate it, so we just came up with this solution like “Oh it’ll be so funny with the dark humor”.”
In Invasion! audiences find themselves on a frozen lake. A bunny approaches the audience shortly before you’re visited by aliens from outer space. Though at first threatening, they turn out to be a little too clumsy for their own good.
When the mother took the headset off, she told Baobab she’d loved the experience, but she would never show her daughter because VR’s isolation makes it too traumatic. There wouldn’t be anyone to comfort her during the darker events in the story, and that made the mother cautious.
“The good thing is in the final version we don’t kill off the bunny but it shows how important it is to be careful,” Fan concluded.
Currently Baobab is working on two new experiences. Asteroids! continues the story of Invasion!, following the two aliens that visited Earth in that piece. The second piece is Rainbow Crow, which features narration from John Legend. It’s a little different from the team’s past work, but we’re fairly sure nothing’s going to die.