Wallace & Gromit, Britain’s iconic stop-motion duo, are getting their own interactive VR experience on Meta Quest 2 next year, developed by series creator Aardman, Meta, and VR pioneers Atlas V.
Called Wallace & Gromit: The Grand Getaway, the interactive, single player VR experience promises to take fans along with Wallace and Gromit on a summer holiday for what rightfully should be a relaxing beach trip and the chance to test out Wallace’s latest contraption, Auto-Caddy.
The rub: Wallace has his dates mixed up and the two (plus Auto-Caddy) have to rocket off to the other side of the country in just half an hour. And you guessed it: in patented Wallace & Gromit fashion, things probably won’t go to plan.
Launching on Quest 2 in 2023, The Grand Getaway is a co-production between Aardman and the team behind Spheres and Gloomy Eyes at Atlas V in association with No Ghost in London, England and Albyon in Lyon, France.
Finbar Hawkins and Bram Ttwheam are co-directing with the support of Nick Park, creator of Wallace & Gromit, and Merlin Crossingham, creative director of Wallace & Gromit. Ben Whitehead will reprise the voice Wallace following in the footsteps of the late Peter Sallis.
“The entire studio is so excited about this project, which provides us with a perfect opportunity to do what we love – combining memorable characters and engaging storytelling with emerging technologies to offer fans a totally immersive experience,” saod Sean Clarke, Managing Director of Aardman. “For loyal fans of Wallace & Gromit, this will be real wish-fulfilment territory – after watching the characters on screen for decades, they will now have an opportunity to step into their world and play an active role in this new story as it unfolds. For those new to the characters, it’s the ultimate way to get to know them, the humour, and the hijinks that have made them so popular.”
Wallace & Gromit: The Grand Getaway isn’t the duo’s first foray into immersive tech. Aardman launched The Big Fix Up in 2020 for AR-capable smartphones which lets you take part in a real-time story over several weeks.
Google Earth VR is a fun and useful way of seeing the world—it’s easy to lose yourself visiting your hometown, or mapping out new adventures thanks to the company’s extensive 3D building scans. Unfortunately Google Earth VR is a PC VR only app, meaning it doesn’t work natively on Quest. That’s not set to change anytime soon, although a third-party Quest app is looking to offer up much of the magic of Earth VR while also making it a multiplayer experience.
Wooorld (that’s three ‘o’s) isn’t being developed by Google, however it appears to be making good use of Google Maps APIs, giving it access to all the 2D and 3D data you’d find on Google Earth VR.
One of the biggest differences is that Wooorld offers up a more limited rendering of Earth 3D data, which was undoubtedly done to lighten the load on Quest’s more modest mobile chipset.
While that’s slightly disappointing from an immersion standpoint, it’s offering up the whole experience in multiplayer, which includes voice-chat, customizable avatars, and even a mixed reality passthrough. It also has access to Google’s Street View photospheres, which looks like a cool way of checking out the planet with a friend.
The eponymous team behind Wooorld say you’ll also be able to sketch an idea, import your own 3D models from the cloud, pin notes, take pictures, record videos and more.
Wooorld is aiming to support Quest first, however it’s also looking to eventually come to PC VR, mobile AR, and AR headsets such as HoloLens 2.
It’s not clear when Wooorld is coming to Quest—in the latest promo video the company says it will be here “soon.” In the meantime, the team has sign-ups for beta testing if you’re interested in getting your hands on the whole planet.