With VR’s coming of age, its pioneers are exploring the frontiers, striving to push back the limits shaped by the mediums that have preceded those of VR. These are times of experimentation, of playing with conventions and research by grasping for the true possibilities of the medium. A radicalness naturally assumed by DRIFT, who by their formal novelty and approach entirely devoted to VR, represent an ideal case-study to tackle the specific language of VR.
Fabbula has spent many long hours discussing all this with DRIFT team Ferdinand Dervieux and Aby Batti, the two Paris based souls behind Sharpsense studio. During the upcoming weeks, Fabbula will be publishing DRIFT’s creative journal, offering the occasion to dive into their creative process and to note along the way the particularities of the fictional world of games, in the context of our theme on Narration.
In this first entry of the creative journal, we’ll be exploring Sharpsense’s very particular principals and the origins of DRIFT.
Permanent debate as creative efficiency
“I need to have someone opposite me who’ll question what I say and who won’t always agree. This brings me to ask the essential questions.” Ferdinand Dervieux
Constructing a fictional world is a titanic task, a job that can take writers and creators of graphic novels several years. Creating an interactive fictional universe in which the spectator has the active role, like a video game, is an almost impossible mission for a single creator to make. Not only there are so many necessary technical and creative skills to acquire, but creators also need to figure out the infinite viewer’s possible points of view – a task that may very well be impossible for a single creator.
At least that is a point of view Ferdinand and Aby have and aware of this difficulty, they decided to work on DRIFT according to a special method: permanent debate. Each decision is questioned, confronted and nourished by the other’s point of view. Questioning and working in groups means going beyond a certain traditional view of authorship.
In this manner, the quality of reflection and rapid circulation guarantees the best work. Rather than settling for a consensual solution, oppositions and contrasts co-exist.
This is also the chosen method for the games’ art direction: all in contrasts. Bullets in a museum, killers in Parisian buildings. The player’s rapid movements in stage props frozen in time, with music mixing classical and hip-hop, shade with brilliant light. All of the choices were established by apparent contrasts and give DRIFT such originality and a unique voice: essential components in their world of fiction.