Fundamentals of Immersion

Process JournalArchive

May 19

Process Journal Week 3: Early Layout


Inspired by my exploration with AR, I envision a short immersive experience hinging largely on simple AR interactions using EyeJack.

Briefly, the experience as I envision it involves a character who uncovered a dark secret about the nature of reality before disappearing mysteriously. Participants retrace her steps using her research, uncover an artefact I’m thinking of as “The Lens” (incorporating EyeJack) which reveals secret truths, and realize that they too are infected by the same organism that led the character to catastrophe.

Elements I’d like to experiment with and/or include:

  • AR on the body (through a sticker or temporary tattoo)
  • Non-gamified puzzle elements
  • Unclear start moment – metatext (including the “artist’s statement”) are part of the immersion
  • Utilizing EyeJack’s scan-to-unlock feature as a checkpoint mechanic
  • Out-of-room elements (for example, a dead drop or telephone call)

I mapped out the room’s flow above in order to help visualize the necessary pieces and begin to consider the writing and fabrication that it might require. Currently I conceive of it as being mostly paper (perhaps mountable on 2 or fewer walls or bulletin boards) plus a locked box and some light fabrication.

Any writing and my thoughts are being kept on a live working document, which you can access here.

May 12

Process Journal Week 2: Experiments with AR

This week I have been considering story world artifacts and the potential for using Augmented Reality (AR) for hiding additional information. The “lens” of AR serves as an additional perspective and, to my mind, begs to be included as a storyworld artifact itself. How and why does the act of viewing through an AR lens modify the nature of the information revealed? How can the mechanism of AR be activated to engage critically with itself?

This week, though, I have focused on learning how to use EyeJack.

I started by making an animation using the simplest components at hand: myself and my phone’s camera. I took a few photos to serve as frames in a simple animation.


Then I opened up Photoshop, applied a “Reticulation” filter to each image to give it a bit of a mysterious feeling, and created a simple GIF animation using Photoshop’s tools.


I imagined this image and animation being somewhat like the moving pictures in Harry Potter, so I printed out a simple document with the trigger image.

EyeJack proved simple to use: the desktop EyeJack Creator app is used to upload the trigger image and the animation. The potential for setting up a series of AR interactions using EyeJack in a gallery or immersive happening space is exciting, especially with its ease of use.

May 07

Wed May 8
Early Ideation

As an early concept I have envisioned a combination interactive installation/storyworld artefact immersive experience.

Expanding somewhat on the Synth concept from the Transmedia Storytelling class, this concept revolves around a digital assistant search engine called Cassi. Cassi is realized as an animated face projection mapped onto a bust in a gallery setting.


Participants enter and ask her questions or converse with her before receiving their conversation summarized in a printed receipt before moving on.

img_20190506_132005The second part of the experience takes place “behind the curtain” in an adjoining room themed as the control centre. Players move through this office space and can look through computers and documents for information on Cassi’s construction and programming. They can enter information from their receipt to read details from their own conversation.

The crux of the experience is that Cassi, the all-knowing search engine, is manipulating the responses and saving the details of the conversations for the benefit of the organization that created her.

img_20190506_132018Practically I envision the Cassi interaction as being a chatbot utilizing text to speech and Wolfram Alpha API connection.img_20190506_132021The “behind the curtain” room I envision as being a work of set-dec and worldmaking, along with a means of storing and playing back key data from each interaction – perhaps logged as a number referenced on each participant’s receipt.