Wrestler has transformed Wellington into an interactive virtual reality experience called WellTown, that hopes to immerse people in the city’s atmosphere.
The project was commissioned by WREDA (Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency), the region’s tourism promoter to encourage holidaymakers with a sense of adventure and whimsy to visit, while also nudging expat talent to hurry up and return.
WellingtonNZ marketing and communications general manager Anna Calver says it lets users experience Wellington’s magic and showcases its creativity and lifestyle through new technologies that are being developed in the city itself.
When playing WellTown, users fire coffee shots at commuter zombies arriving at Wellington train station; stand on the seabed of Wellington harbour ad members of the region’s marine reserves swim by; enjoy dawn chorus amidst the lush native bush that surrounds the city; and busk with local alt-funk heroes The Orchestra of Spheres on Wellington’s iconic Cuba street.
As well as the VR game, Virtual Wellington also features Explore More made by Wellington-based agency Mixt.
The VR game has been built using city-wide data supplied by Wellington City Council and Jeff Jones, the lead VR developer, says it can add any number of games and experiences in the future to make sure it’s up to date with what the city has to offer.
As well as supplying data, Wellington City Council also gave just under $300,000 in funding according to Stuff.
Across the year, WREDA will get core funding worth about $5.6 million from the council, as well as $4.3 million from ratepayers across the city.
The game is free to download from the Steam and Oculus VR stores and can be viewed on YouTube. An android and iOS version are also in the works.
Kat Lintott – Head of VR/AR / Creative
Ray Gazley – GM / Account Director
Glen Puklowski – Creative Director / Script Writer
Jeff Jones – Lead Developer
Claire Barilla – Producer
Ben Forman – CEO