Little Menagerie - A VR Worldbuilding Experience

Looking down over the world, small people scurry about their day below you and all around. The world is new, and peaceful - whether it stays that way is up to you. Build the world up, you find you have the ultimate power, and the ultimate choice. To create? Or to destroy? Little Menagerie is a god simulator that plays with the notion of scale and fragility in a VR environment, and was created to flip the prompt of 'World Building' on its head.

This project was featured at the Digital Futures Open Show 2018!

Little Menagerie started with a simple concept; with a prompt of creating a virtual reality experience that embodied the concept of world-building, this project was created to take that as literally as possible. Making the player a giant in the world-space, it is up to the player themself to build (or destroy) the world around them.

The space itself has been created in a colourful, but simplistic style that wa inspired by paper-folding and kids building blocks both. The former inspiration was used to put for the fragility of the world - throwing objects too hard, r attempting to smush them in hand will crumple and flatten them, as if they are mere paper. To move anything without destruction, one must be gentle if that is their goal. The second inspiration brought forth the colourful worldspace, which allowed for a consistent, fun, and whimsical setting, reminiscent of building physically as a child.

This piece was created using C# in Unity as the engine. It had been initially created for the HTC Vive, and later modified to also work on an Oculus Rift.

The team responsible for bringing together this project are:

  • Alessia Ianni-Palarchio – Project Manager, Documentation, Troubleshooting, and Unity Programmer
  • Caroline Poon - Music and Sound effects
  • Jade Wu - 3D modelling and Level design
  • Luke Garwood - Unity programming and Troubleshooting
  • Sunny Ho - 3D modelling

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