Creators: HelloEnjoy, Carlos Ulloa, Libertad Aguilera
Year of Release: 2017
Platform: Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality
Fantasynth is an audio-reactive experience designed for Virtual Reality, where the user is able to glide through a futuristic environment that comes alight with the music. FantaSynth is released on April 20, 2017 by the creators HelloEnjoy. HelloEnjoy is comprised of the creative duo of Carlos Ulloa and Libertad Aguilera. The music that accompanies this piece is Chez Nous by French producer N’to. Fantasynth is developed on the Unreal Engine and it is currently available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality.
The experience starts off with the user in complete darkness. Then, the music starts as lights begin to flicker all around you. At this point, it’s slightly confusing whether if the user is supposed to simply stand there and look around or explore, and there was no instructions on what the user should do.
I attempted to move around with the Oculus Touch, but the attempts only caused me to accidentally pause the experience. It was a very soothing experience because the lights formed interesting shapes and moved with the beat of the music. Then, the experience slowly becomes brighter and a futuristic terrain begins to form. At about the two minute mark, the user begins automatically gliding forward. The movement mechanic is very smooth and the user is still able to look around with a 360 degree viewpoint. The surroundings slowly begin to add colors as well as different textures. The music also begins to increase in energy and the user is immersed in this mystical, geometric world.
My biggest problem with this project is that while the user is immersed in the experience, the user can’t move around and explore the world. I think that if there was a tutorial or description before the experience started, I would be less disappointed when I actually began trying to move around. The beginning part where the user was completely still was also two minutes long while the description clearly said “glide through the environment,” which made me confused and I wasn’t able to completely enjoy the first two minutes until I tried the experience again the second time. However, overall, I really enjoyed the the experience because I have always loved the vaporwave/cyberpunk vibe. I’m very excited about HelloEnjoy’s current project, Fantasynth Live. It seems to fix a lot of problems that the current experience has. According to the preview video, it seems that the user will be able to interact more with the music and lights with physical cues. I also wish that in Fantasynth Live, the user will be able to choose a song and the experience can automatically pair a visual performance with it.