Bringing under water gaming to life was the biggest challenge for Gear Prod. They wanted to invent innovative underwater entertainment. For this project, two surfaced submarines were to feel submerged deep within the ocean, giving the gamer a real-life experience and feeling of driving a submarine through the deep, dark ocean. So, the installation required a projection solution able to create an atmospheric and immersive experience to gaming enthusiasts.
The first challenge was to ensure an immersive and believable experience was conveyed to the end users through bold, clear vivid imagery. The second aspect was to ensure there was access for multiple player modes to encourage interaction between players during the adventure.
Three portholes were to be created, giving players visibility to what would seem like the real world of Scylla. In Greek mythology, Scylla was a legendary monster that lived on one side of a channel of water. Echo Squad wanted to create an experience for gamers where they truly felt immersed in the game itself. The biggest challenge was making the experience feel as true to life as possible meaning, bright, reliable and colorful projectors with loud, clear audio was essential to making the overall experience a success.
Adrien Vert, Creative Director at Gear Prod stated: "We wanted to create a game that combined demanding teamplay and maximum immersion, while maintaining a good dose of fun."
To create the illusion that the gamers were submerged within the real under water Scylla gaming experience, Gear Prod made a first attempt using conventional TV screens. However, the end result was far from realistic and there were many issues with reflection. A large image was required with true to life detail and fantastic colours that wouldn’t create any shadow effects.
Six Optoma Full HD ultra short throw EH330UST projectors were selected to resolve the issues fronted by conventional TV screens. The Optoma EH330UST projectors boast high brightness 3600 lumens providing great visibility which is necessary for the players. Additionally, the projectors needed to be capable of filling three projection screens which were over four metres wide and two metres high. The ultra-short throw EH330UST successfully stepped up to the challenge and created amazing images from less than a metre away.
In addition, the EH330UST projectors feature 24/7 operation meaning gamers can enjoy the fun for as long as they wish as well as superior contrast with brighter whites and ultra-rich blacks for more in-depth imagery.
The projectors versatility, unlike a TV screen meant they could be installed in the hull of the submarine under each window projecting upwards. They are integrated into the set and are not visible to the players.
Adrien Vert had an Optoma video projector before this installation and found it thoroughly enjoyable and reliable, he stated: "When I saw that Optoma were making ultra-short-throw projectors, I instantly thought it was the best solution. We did our research and found that it was also the best value for money on the market.”
Echo Squad is the very first underwater adventure where gamers can be truly immersed in the environment of all the action. Adrien Vert stated: "The result is very impressive, it certainly gives off the feeling that you are in the cabin of a moving submarine.”
Gilles Raymond, CEO of Gear Prod stated: "Without the Optoma EH330UST projectors, the creation of a four-metre image without reflection issues wouldn’t be possible.”
Adrien Vert concluded: "Our goal with Echo Squad was to create a totally new gaming experience, to go beyond all the immersive experiences available on the market.
"Today we are convinced that we have succeeded with what we have created with Echo Squad and Optoma. We have created a game that offers maximum immersion within the constraints of budget, accessibility to the general public and available technologies. The recognition of this product opens doors to lots of new possibilities such as space cruisers, control rooms and even cockpits of giant robots.”
Concept, Design and Production: GearProd; Gilles Raymond (CEO), Philippe Blandin (CFO), Adrien Vert (Creative director), Julien Lafont (Technical director), Laurent Kobel (Graphic design, decor and video), Arielle Marguerite (decorator), Alain Duverger (development), Yannick Fenouillet (Ébénisterie), Agathe Edmond (PR and Communication), Muriel Enault (Marketing), and our valiant interns: Arnaud Touchet, Edouard Breuillé, Inès Chouqui, David Fumet, Val Isautier, Pierre Farcot, Reda Arifi
Sound design: Aymeric Schwartz
Artistic Direction: Igor Alban Knight "Black Frog" www.artstation.com/theblackfrog
3D Realization: Midgar Studio