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Megaverse – Game Changers

Who is Megaverse?

Megaverse is a creative studio specialising in the convergence of media and technologies – blending theatre, film and gaming with experiences in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and emerging media production techniques such as Virtual Production (VP).  Creating new forms of interactive and immersive experiences, Megaverse took part in CreativeXR, Digital Catapult’s acceleration programme for immersive content creators in 2019 and was also featured in the Immersive Arcade in 2020, a collection of the best of British immersive content from the last 20 years.

Project overview: Game Changers

Megaverse initially designed a project named “Game Changers”, a live and interactive online experience centred around climate activism. Working with the University of York and Lancaster University on science communication, validation and assessment within the project, Megaverse won the tender for a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) commissioned project, to create new ways of communicating the science of climate change, particularly to younger and under-represented audiences, through gaming. Megaverse explored this concept through the convergence of film, theatre and interactive technologies to create a new type of immersive experience. 

When Megaverse was looking to design a new project and needed a large motion capture studio, they returned to Digital Catapult for assistance with their Game Changers Project.

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Choosing the right partner: Advanced Media Production at Gateshead 

Whilst searching for a production partner to support the project, Digital Catapult introduced Megaverse to a new initiative, the Advanced Media Production Network including a studio at Gateshead, within PROTO. 

The Advanced Media Production studio at Gateshead offers a range of capabilities.  In the case of Game Changers, this experimentation involved new formats and converging technologies and, importantly, support from experienced technicians and practitioners, allowing the project to be delivered successfully and in a short time frame.

Our project’s ambitions necessitated a studio with full performance capture capability and Advanced Media Production at Gateshead (PROTO) not only provided us with the essential space but also equipped us with the motion capture technology needed to track our three actors. This setup allowed them to navigate a virtual world and bring the world of ‘Game Changers’ to life. Working with PROTO has been an immensely positive experience. They were able to accommodate our needs for what was indeed a challenging production.”- John Ingle, Director at Megaverse

The impact of Game Changers

In a world of competing platforms, and confused narratives around the climate crisis, – including greenwashing and general misinformation – Game Changers’ purpose was to foster fact-based discussions and awareness surrounding this pressing issue, particularly with younger audiences. This immersive experience engaged the audience through real-time interactions using Amazon’s IVS platform, the technology which powers Twitch, prompting the audience to make crucial decisions affecting the storyline and environment.

From a development perspective, the project brought together a wide range of skills and capabilities such as game engine technology, motion capture, real-time live streaming and audience feedback to create a dynamic, participatory experience. This innovation is another step on Megaverse’s journey towards offering a fully developed, flexible and scalable solution for XR live broadcast productions.

The success of the project hasn’t gone unnoticed. Megaverse won a Broadcast Innovation Tech Award in the Best Use of Virtual Production/Studios category for the Game Changers project; a Game Republic Sustainability Award; and was featured on-stage at Dutch Media Week by NVIDIA. This ongoing recognition is a testament to Megaverse’s commitment to encouraging innovation, addressing impactful issues and pushing the boundaries in technology. 

Looking ahead

Megaverse’s Game Changers, facilitated by the Advanced Media Production studio at Gateshead (PROTO), demonstrates the power of immersive and creative technology convergence. Through this project, the Advanced Media Production Network has proven to be a powerful tool for enabling collaboration and encouraging the use of new workflows, formats and technology, making the UK a world leader in creative production research and development. 

 

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