Earlier this year, SyFy and its parent company NBC Universal, announced plans for an ambitious new entertainment property known as Halcyon.
This 15 episode procedural cop series features a revolutionary two-pronged approach in which 10 of the show’s episodes will be broadcast in standard 2D format on SyFy’s television channels and web outlets; and the other five episodes will be presented as virtual reality experiences.
At a press-junket today in VR (seriously) representatives from NBC Universal shared further details surrounding the TV/VR experience.
Halcyon will take place in the year 2040 and will see viewers engaging with the narrative like never before to unravel the following mystery:
When the CEO of the world’s leading Virtual Reality company is murdered in VR, Detective Jules Dover is pulled down a rabbit hole that could threaten the very fabric of real life. Set in the year 2040, Halcyon is a dark vision of the future that feels closer to reality with each passing day.
There is an obvious meta-story being told here about the dangers of unrestrained technology, and the dangers facing an increasingly immersed mankind. This theme will also be further enhanced by the manner in which the VR portions of Halcyon are being conducted. During the press conference, which fittingly took place this morning in AltSpace VR, Halcyon’s director Benjamin Arfmann explained that these VR episodes would be completely “interactive” and are “built in 3D using Unity.”
This means that Halcyon’s VR experiences will be more than the standard 360 videos that many other immersive filmmakers utilize when crossing multiple mediums. Users will be able to “interact with clues” and take an active role in solving the mystery of the show while being guided by voiceover performances by the show’s principal actors, Lisa Marcos, Harveen Sandhu, and Cody Ray Thompson.
The 5 VR installments will be available on the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift — although Stefan Grambart, Halcyon’s creative director — stated that he was eager to bring the application to Oculus Touch and the HTC Vive as well in the future.
A representative for NBC Universal declined to comment on other VR projects may be in the pipeline. Halcyon was produced in partnership with Secret Location — an immersive content production house headquartered in Toronto and Los Angeles. The multi-media series will be officially launched on September 22.