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Virtual Tourism

The First King - Viking House

Virtual Reality
Vikings from Stavanger
The First King - Viking House

Take Virtual Reality, a popular Norwegian tourist destination, add a touch of old-world history, and mix it with cutting edge technology and you find Viking House.

Working with historical archivists steeped in the Viking Sagas, Emagine created an experience where the viewer becomes the camera. No longer a participant in the story, you live the tale of King Harald Hairfair and his unification of Norway.

The Irish history of the Vikings is one of conquest and pillage. The Norwegian Vikings are a story of over-population with a fractured society of competing religions. It is a story of a time when Christianity overcame 'The Old Gods' of the Norsemen. Our narrative describes the unification of Norway by Harald LongHair, the first King of Norway. It brings in the customs of the time into a story of battles and one ruler's force of will.

Emagine worked on script writing with Sagabok, the world’s leading publisher of the Icelandic Viking Sagas. We developed the historical narrative required for a 15-minute showing. Our experience in user flow helped guide them in their internal layouts. They commissioned boat builders to construct a Viking boat inside the souvenir shop. This shell became the venue for our Virtual reality show.

We recommended the company engage with a Viking re-enactor to embellish the visitor experience. This actor leads the visitors in the history of Norway's Vikings, before donning the headsets.

To maximise the potential turnover inside the space, we developed a custom tablet app. The venue operators use this Android app to run the show for the entire room. The app allows the operator to choose from four languages and start all headsets at once. This ensures visitors all see the same movie in synch with their native language. The app collects anonymous metrics on the number of visitors per day, and languages used.

Emagine cast voice actors to produce the English version in Ireland. We travelled to Norway to produce the Norwegian, German, Spanish, recoding on-site.

The pivotal battle of the movie took place in the Hafrsfjord near the city. Using drone footage and LIDAR technologies, we recorded the physical environment of the battle site. Combined with google mesh data became the backdrop of our epic battle scene. Norwegians are proud of their history and are fierce defenders of its provenance. It was critical to get the scene information perfect, as even young Norwegians could correct us.

Even more critical was user movement. We collaborated with a Viking re-enactment group in Stavanger to recreate movements. Motion capture suits helped get the human motions of striking, blocking, and dying as realistic as possible.

We overlaid this data into our custom CGI characters. Each character wears traditional Norwegian dress and cloaks. We worked closely with local artists and historians to ensure authenticity.

Viking House has become one of the 'must-do' activities for those visiting the port. Our 15 minute Virtual Reality experience is an ideal activity for those on a day-trip excursion and conscious of how they spend their time in the city.