- Author: ChronoScape.Org
- Production year: 2013
- Executive producer(s): Mark Wiseman, Michael Sietz, Joy Webb
- Director: Mark Wiseman
- Cameraman/woman: Mark Wiseman
- Editor: Mark Wiseman
- Musical composer: Grieg
- Others: Concepting & Virtual World Modeling, costume designs and interactive characters by www.chronoscape.org
Historical referencing and fact checking by www.the-missinglink.nl
Virtual world platform and technical support by www.3rdrockgrid.com
Ironbridge 1837 is a virtual representation of the town of Coalbrookdale in the United Kingdom, the world heritage monument ‘The Ironbridge’ and its surrounding area’s. Slated to open its doors to the public on June 1st 2013, Ironbridge1837 represents an immersive 3D space allowing visitors to visually experience an existing location, learn about live during the industrial revolution and play games around various topics related to the industrial revolution.
A reconstruction implies creating something that once existed, and creating it as historically correct as possible. At ChronoScape we take this very, very seriously. Before one virtual stone is made, we have sat down with all involved parties and made an inventory of the intended site, collected available maps, photographs or remaining buildings and ruins, imagery of previous created physical models, terrain elevation maps and data from archeological digs.
Obviously, there is more than just the data needed to recreate the physical environment. We take stock of period correct clothing, furnitures, weaponry and day to day implements to be able to catch the visitors eye and present a period consistent and immersive environment.
The goal of a “Virtual Reconstruction” is to provide an environment that is wholely real and acceptable as such to its visitors. When visitors are ‘in’ the environment, we want them to feel a part of it. In technical terms we would say we want to immerse the visitors senses in the environment.
As with cartoons and fantasy movies the level of ‘reality’ and acceptance of it is not down to mimicking the physical, real world. Accepting a story as real comes from creating an environment that can entice all the senses and consciousness of a person, in an acceptable mix.
ChronoScape uses a variety of visual, sensory and storytelling elements combined with a rich landscaped enviroment to achieve a balanced ‘virtual reality’. A reality that is convincing due to the consistency among its elements instead of mimicking terrestrial reality.
Immersion, the sense of being part of a place, is not just about the things you see or hear in an environment. It is also about becoming part of that environment for a short time, interaction with it and developing personal investment, opinions & feelings towards the total immersive experience.
ChronoScapes can be extended beyond the immersive visual components to include access to online libraries, image galeries, and content best suited for the 2D web. Also gaming is easily written into the environments providing possibilities for treasure hunts, learning trails or question boards.
Generally we combine these educational options with reward schemes, allowing visitors to collect points for completing tasks set in the ChronoScape environment. Points can subsequently be used to purchase virtual items like themed clothing, virtual fun utilities or even printable coupons that might be used in the real world at local businesses. This combination of task and reward has proven to be a succesfull way to keep visitors engaged.