CREATING THE WORLD'S
FIRST VR BUNGEE JUMP
New tech releases always spark a wave of creative inspiration at the Happy Finish studio and the launch of the fully wireless Oculus Quest earlier this year was no exception. Seeking to push the consumer headset to its limits, our team came up with the idea of creating the world’s first VR bungee experience, tapping into our passion for crafting unique location-based experiences and pushing creative boundaries.
The first challenge we had to tackle was the new Guardian feature on the Oculus Quest, which allows users to create a fenced ‘safe zone’ around their position to avoid hitting walls and objects while playing at home. From the offset we were immediately fascinated by the idea of using the Quest to add a layer of impossibility to the real bungee experience - specifically, what would it feel like if we allowed users to crash through the virtual ground? So off the bat, we had to figure out a workaround. Add to that the difficulty of motion tracking while free falling at speeds of up to 50mph and we knew we had a puzzle on our hands.
First-round prototyping and testing were conducted at on outdoor site next to London’s iconic o2 Arena on a full-scale bungee crane and platform. From there we transferred to a controlled indoor rig using a cherry picker crane with the Quest safely strapped to a football. In parallel, and from the safety of the studio, our tech artists began to build out a fully realised Roman Colosseum using the Unreal game engine, the setting for the hair raising plunge into the unknown.
During development, the project caught the eye of the UK’s Gadget Show host, Georgie Barratt. Spurred on by the opportunity to have Happy Finish’s work showcased on TV in the runup to Christmas we went hell for leather refining visuals, tech and experiential elements, selecting The Abyss at Magna in the North of England as the sight for our grand reveal which was televised in December 2019. Catch up here.
Enough of the preamble though - check out the video below to see a teaser of the world’s first VR bungee jump using Oculus Quest.
Creative Technologist: Alesandra Miro-Quesada
Producer: Richard Wood
Developer: Jose Rodriguez
Unreal Artist: Bret Ware
CG Artist: Chris Gornall