This is one of the projects that I have really enjoyed working on. I love the potential of VR to make you experience what otherwise seems impossible. Especially when that can have a real positive impact in our life.
I worked for almost 3 years at AppliedVR conceptualizing and prototyping experiences to help people suffering from acute and chronic pain. We used VR to show patients the transformative power of breathing and mindfulness techniques in dealing with pain.
In the pond experience represented above, the environment is transformed from a stormy state to a calm peaceful as the patient is coached to use her breath to relax, mirroring the inner state of the patient and reinforcing a sense of relaxation and mindfulness.
In the experiences represented below, patients saw their own breath restoring devastated environments to full life, and transforming them into magical places.
Below are a couple more examples of the multiple other concepts I developed for breath training sessions, where the patient energizes and restores different environments through the power of their breath.
This virtual reality experiment developed by Enosis VR, Google Play, and Queen invites you to experience the monumental Queen track like never before. To watch a video recording of the experience, click the icon below.
I worked as the project Art Director, developing concept art, setting a consistent style across the experience and managing the art team at Enosis VR.
As you probably know, Bohemian Rhapsody is made up of multiple parts that greatly vary in style and tempo, and so does the VR experience, which also jumps between styles. The challenge as an art director was to unify these different styles into on cohesive powerful experience, which we achieved through setting a strong unifying Theme and through visual storytelling.
Strengthening the sense of presence and 3-dimensionality using a high number of 2D assets and meeting the technical restrictions of mobile VR were also big challenges.
One of my all time favorite projects, Toontown was the first massively multiplayer online game for kids and families, and one of the most successful ones, which lasted more than 10 years.
Toontown, for which I was first Art Director and then Creative Director, is the perfect example of a game that uses a mix of art, fun, story and community-building to create a great experience for both kids and parents.
Combining art, fun, story, and community to create a long lasting experience.
The art was humorous and drew you in, the fun game mechanics simple and addictive and kept you entertained, the story -the battle between play and work- was something that we can all relate to and started unfolding from the first moment and kept you coming back for a while, and finally the feeling of community that made big emphasis in making the players feel part of one big community that needed to work together to defend Toontown. A sense of being part of a larger community is what kept players coming back to Toontown for years.
Work vs Play: A Strong Theme Helps Everything.
The art made the game resonate and feel fun from the start.
Play at its essence is about fun. You can have goals, but fun trumps any other goal. This was reflected in all the environments: fun gags instead of weapons, buildings and props with personalities, hats and accessories, silly metaphors to represent business archetypes.
Complementing the art and fun with story.
We always found that adding story based on the main theme, gave a lot of ammunition to do better art and make things much more fun.
The picture below represents the place where Legal Eagles, one of the higher level cogs, lived. Legal Eagles tried to take all the fun out of the world by suing everybody and adding meaningless paperwork and documentation, so we designed their home as a canyon where everything is built out of cabinets, office supplies and piles of documents.
Below you can also see concepts for the Loan Shark.
Creative Direction by Felipe Lara
Art and Game Design by Toontown Online Creative Team.
All images are the property of the Walt Disney Company.
Wake Up is a game, still in development, to create awareness about consumerism and other social issues through humor and play.
In the game, the world is populated by consumer zombies who only care about buying more stuff, ignoring the the consequences of their mindless consumerism: pollution, deforestation, human right abuses, etc. Your goal is to wake up as many zombies as you can to the consequences of their acts without getting arrested for disrupting the public order.
The game is a 3D platformer, where you go through a multilevel mall waking up as many zombies as you can without getting arrested by the cops.
Below are some preliminary 3D character models, as well as their front and side views
3D Modeling by Richard Edwards and Felipe Lara. Texturing by Felipe Lara.
All Art by Felipe Lara.
Property of Insurgent Labs.