Introducing Gary the Gull on PlayStation VR

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Introducing Gary the Gull on PlayStation VR

Hello, my name is Tom. I’ve been playing games for almost all of my life, and I started writing my own when I was a kid. I spent 11 years at Pixar making characters for animated films (Finding Nemo, Cars, Up, and a few more), and then four years at Bungie making characters and cinematics for Destiny. And now I’ve started a Virtual Reality company to take two things that I love — movies and games — and blend them into something new.

At GDC this year we’re showing Gary the Gull — a Virtual Reality “interactive movie.” It tells a story like a movie, but it’s interactive like a game. You start on a beach with a cooler full of tasty food in front of you, and because it’s in Virtual Reality it looks and feels like you’re actually there.

Then a seagull lands next to you — and starts talking! You can respond to him — you can talk back, answer his questions by nodding or shaking your head, or just ignore him. He tries to distract you by making you look away, and if you lean in too close he’ll jump back. Because Virtual Reality makes him like he’s there in front of you, it feels natural and fun to be part of his story just like he is part of yours.

Gary the Gull was particularly fun for us to make because we didn’t do it alone! We partnered with our friends at Motional, a VR creative company founded by Mark Walsh — an ex-Pixar writer-director/animation supervisor who made movies for 18 years at Pixar and directed the Partysaurus Rex Pixar short film.

Gary the Gull on PlayStation VR

We want as many people building great Virtual Reality content for PS VR, so we’re making the interactive character technology used in Gary the Gull available to other game developers through our Limitless VR Creative Environment, built by a team of ex-Pixar and ex-Bungie devs.

We’d love for you to meet Gary in person! We’re showcasing for the very first time in the VR Lounge at GDC running on Playstation VR. And if you can’t make it to the conference, we’re excited to release it on PS VR later so you can enjoy it on your PS4 at home.

This is our first step in making characters in VR games feel engaging and real. We’re excited to hear what you think and what we can do to make the next set of games and interactive movies even better!

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17 Comments

  • Heh. Well looks amusing at least. Better start saving for that vr headset…

  • Looks good and interesting! Way to go, Tom!

  • Very charming! Do you anticipate folks should jump into this periodically, or try to experience it all in one sitting?

    I look forward to trying out this “Seagull Lesson” firsthand myself :-)

  • Finally, a “Seaman” sequel! ;)

  • Funny

  • Looks dumb. I’m not paying $300+ on a VR headset so I can watch a kids movie. I’m interested in GAMES, not “interactive movies.”

    • Not everything is made for you. Don’t worry, there will be games where you kill the same soldier over and over and over. Meanwhile, some of us enjoy creative endeavors like this. No reason you need to get upset about it.

  • A little bit of me wants a racist parrot DLC.

  • Do you notice strange reflections of seagull head at DISTANT sea? Looks wierd. :)

  • This is the sort of experience I can look forward to with VR, eh? Yikes…

    • There is a major difference between a AAA game and this. This isnt meant to be a blockbuster AAA multi million dollar game. Its suppose to be a fun little game by the looks of it an thats awesome. Cant judge VR based on this game as a whole

  • I shall call him…Seagull Natal ;).
    As long as Gary is a real thing an not a scripted no existent piece of software lol

    That little joke aside this actually looks funny an could be interesting. But still…Im a little worried on the VRs price point…A lot of people are assuming around the $400 mark which…isnt too terrible. Still, games like this make me excited for something fresh with VR

  • I like idea of talking to a digital seagull

  • Interesting, though the way the water behind his head has a shadow bugs me tremendously.

  • Love it. I’m all for traditional games on VR but I’m extremely grateful that some folks are getting a little weird with this tech. This looks delightful, Tom. Well done.

  • Very interesting…looking forward to see how this game will turn out.

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