Toronto-based production house Cream Productions (Story of Late Night, Age of Samurai) announced that its VR sci-fi game Dark Threads, was awarded the 2021 FIVARS Festival Technical Achievement Award. Dark Threads, an interactive cinematic experience that allows gamers to embark on a fantastical journey of consciousness, was released on Steam for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in August 2021.
Dark Threads marks Cream’s foray into VR game production, fusing its emerging technologies with interactive, cinematic storytelling. With the avatar of Dominic Monaghan (Lost, Lord of the Rings trilogy, Call of Duty: Vanguard), players drop into a near-future environment to enact their personal narratives. Their memories are gone, so they must piece together the clues with the help of sometimes benevolent, sometimes dangerous AI played by Kandyse McClure.
“Dark Threads is a VR adventure that compels players to consider the essence of consciousness, altruism, cruelty and life itself,” says Johnny Kalangis, Vice President of Digital at Cream. “The narrative experience emerges from the player’s explorations and offers three distinctly mysterious endings; each choice a player makes affects the finale.”
“Getting a technical award is recognition we are grateful for. It is a testament to the exceptional efforts we’ve directed to our proprietary Dynamic Digital Human technology and the amazing work done by our production partner, Thought Café’, added Kalangis.
Dark Threads looks to keep the momentum going with award submissions to the Canadian Screen Awards, the Canadian Game Awards, and the Webby Awards.
“We feel Dark Threads is starting to pique the interest of a wider audience and we’re hoping to build upon its early success. We are currently in discussions with some interesting partners to make it available on other VR platforms like the Oculus Quest 2 and PlayStationVR. So far, we are encouraged by reactions to our innovative narrative approaches and technologies.”
Cream’s digital storytelling team and technologies are rapidly expanding with several VR and augmented reality (AR) projects in development and production with leading talent like actor/director/producer Eli Roth and adventurer Les Stroud.
“Dark Threads has paved the way for Cream to build out our VR game department and improve on our avatar technology as you’ll see in our latest production SurvivormanVR, a first-person survival game that is rooted in the harsh realities of wilderness survival. Our experience in non-fiction TV production gives us a special edge to create games that not only entertain, but have a real-world authenticity that’s rare in games” – says Irene Vandertop, Director of Business Development at Cream Digital.
TV’s renowned ‘Survivorman’ Les Stroud is featured in SurvivormanVR using Cream’s Dynamic Digital Humans technology. The survival game is scheduled for release this year on Oculus Quest 2. Dark Threads is funded by the Canada Media Fund, Ontario Creates and Cream Productions. Executive producers include David Brady, Kate Harrison Karman, Dominic Monaghan, Johnny Kalangis, Andrew MacDonald, Dan Magnus and Tristan Cezair.
Learn more at: http://darkthreadsgame.com/
Sean Earley is the Executive Editor of AR/VR Magazine & co-founder of RobotSpaceship Podcast Network. He is the Director of New Biz Development and Publishing at KEMWEB, a musician, producer & consultant. He loves guitars, VR and coffee.