I was asked by UPER.Ground to build virtual reality scenes and visuals for a Frank Ocean’s Blonde tribute video. Tetris Dream is the first interactive scene I built for the song Nikes. I basically have hundred percent creative freedom for this project. The only creative direction I have to follow is a very loosely defined plot of the tribute video.
“A heart broken boy has to play through a game to plug his consciousness back into the matrix so that he can meet his ex artificial intelligence girlfriend again.”
Even though the story is set in the future, I still chose to use “Tetris” as the game the boy has to play through. As it is not only the most recognizable and timeless game, it also contains an emotional tone that I think fit for the project. As players of the Tetris, we are forced to constantly destroy things we built. There is no time for us to stop and look at what we’ve created cause there are always next waves coming. We stop to appreciate the uniqueness of our creations.
There was a phenomena called Tetris Effect. It occurs when people devote so much time and attention to an activity that it begins to pattern their thoughts, mental images, and their dreams. It is fascinating for me to think about what the boy would dream about when he plays Tetris day and night with a broken heart. Tetris Dream in a way, is my speculation about that.
An endless stream of tetriminos falls down from the sky. The boy(player) can either to choose to control either all or none of them. It’s a feeling of control we often experience in our lucid dreams. As the song goes on, a landscape of Tetris blocks that is unique to the boy(player) is formed. Wandering around in this landscape is like walking in parallel between your actions and memories.
As the song hits the ending, “We’ll let you guys prophecy. We gone see the future first …” All the blocks start to fly up toward the sky. A final clear before the boy wakes up from his Tetris Dream.
The project is developed in Unity with its lightweight render pipeline for easy VR portability.