The Director of Iron Man Is Making an Interactive VR Movie About Tiny, Adorable Gnomes

Friday, 16 September 2016 - 1:33PM
Artificial Intelligence
Virtual Reality
Friday, 16 September 2016 - 1:33PM
The Director of Iron Man Is Making an Interactive VR Movie About Tiny, Adorable Gnomes
Iron Man director Jon Favreau took the stage last night at TedX Hollywood, an independently organized Ted conference that specifically explored the relationship between humans and technology. To finish off the conference, Favreau announced that he's currently working on an interactive VR movie complete with artificial intelligence technology, which will allow you to make friends with the most adorable little gnomes you've ever seen.



Favreau began his talk by recalling his reluctance to use CGI before he worked on Iron Man, because he thought it looked cheesy and fake. Then, once he experimented more with it, he realized he "didn't hate CGI, [he] just hated bad CGI." Now, he's learned his lesson about taking advantage of burgeoning technologies, and is now venturing into the world of VR, AI, and gaming.

However, he insists that his project isn't actually a game. Gnomes and Goblins, as it's tentatively called now, will allow the user to explore a full fantasy world filled with cute little gnomes with humongous eyes, who look like crosses between the alien from Earth to Echo and house elves from Harry Potter (the book version, not the movie version). Favreau said it will feel like a Dungeons and Dragons game, but will actually be a piece of fiction that takes a clear progression.

Opening quote
"[It] feels like it's open world, but in reality it's curated for you, by the storytellers."
Closing quote


The game is dependent on your interactivity with the little creatures, and developing relationships with them. While it's a little unclear exactly how this is a movie rather than a game, since games require storytelling as well, Favreau did say that the developers were considering "how we could make [the gnome] react, not like a game, where you give him a nut and then you get to the next level, but actually react."

So the difference might be that the game contains very advanced AI technology. While I'm sure the creatures aren't actually sentient, they are able to imitate it very well, and the game/movie is a "progression based on your interaction with the creature" in which the most important goal is to "develop trust" with the gnome. Favreau made it sound like they actually do have feelings, emphasizing the need to build a relationship and claiming that the gnome's reactions will depend on "how the creature is feeling towards you based on what you've done."

Favreau says that he has completely gotten over his technophobia, and believes that VR will create storytelling opportunities that will not only be novel, but will create greater connectivity and community.

Opening quote
"Technology offers opportunities, and many people have talked about the dangers of AI, and I don't mean to discount that, but we should embrace opportunities [that could] lead to greater humanity, greater empathy, and greater community."
Closing quote
Science
Technology
Artificial Intelligence
Virtual Reality

Load Comments