The WA Maritime Museum recently curated and assembled an interactive LEGO® focused Maritime archaeology showcase, the Brickwrecks Exhibition, which is on display at the WA Maritime Museum until January 2022.
“Featuring large-scale LEGO® models of ships, such as Western Australia’s famous Batavia, the “unsinkable” Titanic, the highly decorated Vasa and the ill-fated Terror, and Erebus. The stories in the exhibition focus on the voyages, life aboard the ships, their watery demise and the shipwreck detectives who locate and document the wrecks.”
The WA Maritime Museum approached Sentient to design, develop, and generate an interactive 3D ROV immersion game as part of the Brickwrecks Exhibition. The ROV Experience Project was designed to allow the intended audience, children 3-12 years, the ability to manoeuvre, pilot and explore a similar environment to that experienced by deep sea archaeologists in the field.
Remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, are submersible exploration robots equipped with cameras that allow people to explore the ocean without having to be in the ocean. ROV pilots’ manoeuvre and fly ROVs using joysticks and similar gaming control devices to explore underwater areas that would be hard or inaccessible for human divers to gain access to. Therefore, the ROV Experience Project Game needed to mimic and simulate how deep-sea archaeologists might use ROVs in the field to explore shipwrecks and other interesting maritime discoveries.
Users are given a time limit to drive the ROV down to the wreck of the Erebus and take photos of it from different angles to help them experience what it would be like to pilot an ROV. To help reflect the authenticity of the task and help the user feel what it might be like to discover a Maritime wreck, the model of the Erebus was based on a scan generated from the actual wreck of the Erebus, with schematics provided by the WA Maritime Museum.
Through close collaborative work with the WA Maritime Museum, Sentient produced a simulated game experience which uses authentic schematics and replicates in-field ROV use to engage and stimulate the imagination of the user. Users are given a first person view of the ROV and another 3rd person view of the wreck of the Erebus, bringing together the best of both the physical and simulated spheres to create a complementary experience for young and old alike.