VR experience selected for GoEast Film Festival

Hammam”, the VR project of CGL student Naz Akgül and her team was selected to participate in goEAST Film Festivals VR Hackaton to build an interactive world for their VRChat app. The Festival has invited four teams of independent VR artists to work on this collaborative project: An interactive online sauna experience where creators and the audience can meet! After more than two years of living in a pandemic, they say, it is now time to leave the isolation behind and return to where we can reconnect with our fellow human beings. And what could be more intimate than a public sauna? During the goEast festival week, April 19-25, 2022, the audience is invited to put on their best avatar bathing outfits and explore the virtual goEast Spa.

In their VR-project “Hammam”, the team around Naz Akgül intend to bring the Turkish Bath culture into the digital age by infusing its socializing essence and hypnotic architecture into the VR space. The team creates a virtual space “that breathes”, presenting the player with a rich novel experience wrapped within this centuries old cultural practice. A world of relaxation, fellowship, and cultural richness awaits, an environment that appeals to all the senses.

Naz Akgul, Lorenzo Carly, and George Dawson met each other during a seminar ran by former Atari game designer and GDC founder Chris Crawford. Each of them were interested in the lack of storytelling in almost every modern game. More general discussions on game design and storytelling eventually evolved into a working relationship. They share a goal of expanding modern game development to focus on more than just high scores and dopamine hits. Izat Abdraimov joined the team in order to provide artistic support and direction to make the project aesthetics more consistent and visually appealing.