To Remember a Friend is a Virtual Reality game developed by Kathleen Fox and her team from CalArts and beyond. From May 6th - 8th, join us for the first-ever live stream showing of the game on Twitch.tv followed by a Q&A with the creative team. You will have the opportunity to make decisions about how the story unfolds and experience the play-through in real-time.
The year is 2040. A young woman named Jane Watson has been murdered in her apartment. No one knows what happened... but you plan to find out. You play as Whitlock, a rookie detective undergoing an experimental consciousness transfer procedure with the comatose sole witness to the murder. In this virtual reality narrative adventure game, you must work to uncover what really happened to Jane Watson, but just remember that memory is fluid, and those around you all have an agenda...
The first episode of To Remember a Friend will be premiering in May 2021 as a part of the Beyond the Stage Festival and CalArts Expo.
While in the early development stages of this project, we did a lot of research on virtual reality and what the ideal version of virtual reality would one day be. The hope for VR is that one day it will be nearly indistinguishable from actual reality, that it would create such a level of immersion for all five senses the brain wouldn’t be able to tell the virtual from the real.
How we experience reality now is, needless to say, also very weird. Our brains are processing so much information all the time that our eyes and ears can’t process it immediately. It all becomes a memory the moment we experience it.
Our reality is based in memory, but memory is so often flawed and incorrect. False Memories are things we actually experience all the time where something feels real in the mind but is actually fabricated in part or in whole.
Memory shapes our reality but it is unreliable and imperfect. Virtual reality tries to create a new reality but it (in its current form) is also unreliable and imperfect.
We wanted to create a VR experience around False Memory where the user would have to navigate a narrative space that was always changing. They would have to question the reality they’ve been placed into and try to uncover which memories are real to uncover the truth.
MEET THE TEAM
Kathleen Fox is an interdisciplinary artist and multimedia designer who works in video design for live performance, VR, AR, game design, and architectural projection. Her work explores empathy, grief, loneliness, memory in the digital age, and the importance of physicality and presence in virtual spaces. Kathleen has worked on and off-Broadway with the Richard Frankel Group, Audible, and most recently the HERE Art Center. Kathleen is receiving her MFA in Interactive Media for performance
Jared Tyrel Pixler is a creative producer, director, and writer. He is the Lead Creative producer of MB Stage Productions where he helped to create and produce the award-winning shows THE VIDEO GAMES (regional, tour, and off-broadway), Winter is Coming: A Musical Parody, and THE STUDY. He holds a BFA in Musical Theater and is an MFA Creative Producing candidate at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). His current projects include “Tabletop a new musical”
Bridget Rooney is a second year graduate student at California Institute of the Arts where she’s pursuing her MFA in stage management. In addition to To Remember a Friend, she is currently the stage manager for Cries and Whispers (CalArts). Her recent credits include Machinal (CalArts), Uncle Vanya (CalArts), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Schuylkill Free Shakespeare), Fun Home (Majestic Theater), and The Little Mermaid (Pennsylvania Youth Theatre).
Simon Magno (Creative Producer) is based in Los Angeles and often mistaken for bigfoot or some sort of tree, Simon is a data analytics professional who graduated with a degree in International Economics from the University of California: San Diego in 2018. Since then he has been working as an IT Business Analyst in the Aerospace industry and is assisting the To Remember a Friend team as a Creative Producer.
Henry Albright is a writer, theatre director, and graduate student based in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area. He is currently earning his Master’s degree in English from The College of New Jersey, after which he hopes to either pursue a PhD or teach at community college, and continue directing, with a focus on using art to inspire empathy and expand worldviews. His goal is to one day be seen as a professional pun master.
Jack Frey currently works as a Software Engineer III for WellSky. He has an M.S. in Learning Design and Technology from University of Maryland Global Campus and an M.B.A. in Management from University of the People. He also has a B.A. in Interactive Multimedia with a minor in Technological Studies from The College of New Jersey (TCNJ). His interests include physical computing, the Internet of Things, digital fabrication, web/mobile development, and game development.
Chun-Wei Wang is a Taiwanese set designer & production designer based in Taiwan and U.S., received his B.A. at the National Taiwan University Department of Drama and Theater in 2017. He is currently an MFA Scene Design student at CalArts. Chun-Wei’s works include theater, concert, exhibition, and interior design. Now developing toward gaming and VR scenic design, expects himself to become a full-range set designer.
Violet holds a B.S. from Ball State University in Lighting Design and is currently pursuing her MFA in Experience Design at the California Institute of the Arts with a specialization in Lighting Design. She has worked in theatrical, corporate, industrial, and digital lighting design and hopes to expand into animation lighting design. Violet is interested in mixed media art and her next cup of coffee.
Elliot Yokum is a sound designer, composer, and audio engineer based in NYC. Elliot has worked in theatrical, film, video game, podcast, and installation sound design and composition. They are an MFA Candidate studying Sound Design at the CalArts School of Theater. They hold a BFA in Music Composition from Carnegie Mellon University. When they're not working on sound, Elliot can be found playing tabletop games and watching fictional sports.
Chris Duran is a graphic designer and digital illustrator based in Los Angeles, California. He has worked in a variety of industries including video games and motion pictures. He is adept at multiple forms of digital art, and his major goal is to create a unique, stylistic graphic novel.
Catherine holds a B.A. in Visual Communication Design from Ramapo College of New Jersey. She is currently working as a Visual Designer in northern New Jersey. She specializes in UX/UI and marketing design. In her free time she can be found crafting and taking care of her plants.
Jiaxin [Lydia] Wang is a Shanghai/Plymouth/Los Angeles based award-winning digital artist who has been an animator, editing assistant and production assistant for close to 6 years at such places as TwoFour Group(ITV) and Daqian Post Production(Tencent Video). She focuses on making CG works and has won the IMDb Independent Shorts Award for Best Animation and Graduate Award for Excellence in Experimental Practice.
Kat Walker Shea is a Writer, Director, Producer, and Actor. She was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, which may one day be appropriately renamed Flavortown. Kat developed a love of storytelling through watching cartoons and reading too many Goosebumps books as a child. She focuses on character driven comedies that have a lot of heart and emotional depth. Kat is the creator of Georgie Romero Is Done For, a horror comedy podcast, and The Soft-Boiled Detective, a cyberpunk neo-noir comedy podcast.
BK is an award winning actor from the MFA Acting Cohort of CalArts 2021. Recently, BK has starred in August Wilson's Two Trains Running as Memphis, Sophocles' Oedipus as Teireisias, and has played iconic roles such as The Scarecrow (The Wiz), Puck (A Midsummer Nights Dream), Audrey II (The Little Shop of Horrors), Lear (King Lear), and even childhood favorites such as Charlie Brown (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown).
Kion Heidari is a composer, musician, and voice actor from San Diego, California. Having graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in composition, Kion has offered his talents to countless media productions. Recent voice roles include the audio drama Georgie Romero is Done For as Vincent, and the animated short film hair today, gone tomorrow as the Evil Beard. When he isn’t voice acting, Kion is writing music for film/media, performing in Los Angeles-based choirs like C3LA.
Jade V. Robinson is an award-winning Canadian actress who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and Associate diplomas in Speech & Drama from the Royal Conservatory of Music and Trinity College London. As a half-Chinese woman and wellness advocate, Jade is passionate about dismantling stereotypes, promoting diversity in the industry, and using comedy to address such issues as self-talk and body image. Favorite roles include: Alice in “CHAMP”
Socks Whitmore (they/them/theirs) is a multidisciplinary performer, creative, and storyteller. Whether they're writing a new musical, recording voice over, or testing their four-octave range in song, every aspect of their work is rooted in voice and text. Their vocal talents can also be heard in Penguin Random House's Narwhal and Jelly series as Narwhal, the episodic audio drama Georgie Romero Is Done For as Georgie, the indie video game Georgia as Georgia, and more.
Cameron Leonard is a self-styled video game aficionado from northern New Jersey. He studied Interactive Multimedia for his undergraduate degree and currently works as a CNC Technician.
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