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When Something Happens

Boom Clap Play

An inspirational adventure for the next generation of scientists, storytellers and astronauts.

When Something Happens is a short animated VR film about 13.4 billion years of the history of the universe. The short film has been written and narrated by poet Boston Williams.

Intended audience: This experience will be best suited to for children aged 12 and over, and parents or facilitators looking for new ways to engage with topics within STEM.

Creator’s Statement

When Something Happens is an epic journey that takes you from your bedroom to the outer reaches of the known universe. Combining animation, music and poetry, we hope this experience will inspire the next generation of scientists, storytellers and astronauts when next they look up at the night sky.

Technical summary

The project is assembled and deployed in Unity 3d using the Steam VR sdk. It is a mostly passive experience that stitches scenes and timeline playables together in real time with sparse gaze based touch points.
Maya and Cinema 4d are both used for 3d content creation, the latter being a slightly faster tool for generating and iterating motion graphic style animations. The project also uses Alembic animation tools for playback of vertex based motion.
For the audio authoring process we are using Audiokinetic Wwise along with the Google Resonance Audio spatialisation plugin. This audio engine is an excellent building and testing tool for many reasons, despite the project not having to deal with any complex interaction. It also allows for an additional layer of craft beyond the audio workstation.

Prototype platform: Oculus Rift

Final experience platform: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear, Google Daydream, Fulldome

Distribution method: In-home (online)

Primary production type: Real-time rendered (game-engine based) experience

Team profile

Boom Clap Play are a small team of  highly creative and pragmatic award-winning professionals that get inspired by ambition and talent.

In previous years Creative Director, Andrew  McHugh, has been key in a number of award-winning design projects before directing the multi-awarded children’s Google Cardboard app, Tara’s Locket.

Co-founder David Baxter, has produced and animated work on awarded children’s TV shows, worked as an audio technology educator, and continues to work in interactive audio design.

Project team details:

Andrew McHugh — Creative Director

David Baxter — Producer & Audio Lead

Boston Williams — Writer

Liam Ferris — Tech Lead

Aidan Scott — 3D Lead

Past work:

2017, “Tara’s Locket”

2016, “RETNE”

Contributing organisations

Other Funded Projects

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Traitor by Pilot Theatre

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Common Ground by VR City

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Fatherland by Limbik

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