The XR, extended reality, content market is a cutting-edge field limited to a number of people and industries, such as gaming and industrial applications. To grow the base of people who enjoy XR content, Psychic VR Lab and Loftwork developed the XR creative platform, STYLY, which offers a place for spatial expression under the mission “FREE INNER CREATIVITY.”
Development of "New Tours”
In 2020, Psychic VR Lab proposed a new tour service, which would allow end-users to experience the extraordinary. In collaboration with Loftwork, the two companies embarked on a journey to develop this new service.
Since 2016, the two companies have jointly operated NEWVIEW, an experimental project and community where people from different design and creative industries come together to develop experiences in XR through awards, courses and collaboration programs. The new tour service utilized the experiences and connections cultivated with creators in the NEWVIEW project.
In the end, Loftwork and Psychic VR Lab developed ULTRA TOUR by STYLY, a tour program offering first-time experiences using XR. The concepts included ”encountering sensations that cannot be put into words” and “unprecedented ultra-first time experiences”. The team planned new sensory experience content that fused real and virtual realities in collaboration with other creators.
Writing: Kaori Ishibe
Editing: Ryoko Iwasaki (loftwork.com Editor)
Tour (RPG Restaurant)
- Period: June 2020 – December 2020
- Support: Branding and product design for new service
- Client: Psychic VR Lab, Inc.
- Project Management：Ki Kuwahara
- Creative direction: Reine Yamada, Yuki Narumi
- Website Production PM and Creative Direction: Kei Iwakura
- Observer: Ryosuke Hara
- Production Partners
- Logo/Main Visual: Hal Shibata (GIGANTIC Inc.)
- Copywriting: Seiya Munakata (White Note Inc.)
- Web Design: Hayato Tanaka
- Coding: Takayuki Komatsu
- Web content writing: Kuishin (Kuishin Co., Ltd.)
- Tour Planning: Neji Sato (Blue Puddle Inc.), Katzuki Tanaka, Takashi Ando
(Affiliations current to the time of project implementation.)
＊ XR (Extended Reality) is an umbrella term that covers advanced technologies such as VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality), and MR (Mixed Reality). Virtual Reality(VR) is a simulated experience, which uses a head-mounted gear to simulate a user’s presence in virtual space. Augmented Reality(AR) is an interactive experience where virtual visual information is superimposed on real scenery such as images captured by a camera. Mixed Reality(MR) merges real and computer-generated virtual worlds that interact and co-exist in real time.
Creating A New Cultural Scene Through Designing “Experiences Not Yet Of This World” with XR
As the requirements for the new tour were unique, they could only be realized through Psychic VR Lab’s session functionality, a technology allowing multiple users to connect simultaneously, to create a unique and high-quality tour service experience, first integrated to STYLY in June 2021. Branding identity, including visual content and UX, also played a key factor in the mission of the work.
The mid-and long-term goal of the project was to create a new cultural scene for XR. Loftwork and Psychic VR Lab aimed to bring consumers closer to XR technology through tours, increase the number of users who experience the works, and make the technology permeate their lifestyles.
Creating Customer Persona and Value Proposition
To formulate a strategy for the new service, Loftwork conducted trend scraping market research. Loftwork and Psychic VR Lab worked hand-in-hand with the creators and businesspeople from the NEWVIEW project to brainstorm the customer persona. As a result of the workshops and discussions during a two-day team camp, the concept for a “one-of-a-kind, not-yet-experienced” service was born.
Developing 4 tour plans with a diverse group of creators
In addition to the fashion and art fields experienced in NEWVIEW, the tour program incorporated elements of anime and manga, which were introduced and narrowed down through the project’s award. The tour included restaurants, saunas, theaters, shopping malls and more. To create a “first-of-a-kind experience” tour, Loftwork teamed up with playwrights, VR creators, musicians and other talents from different fields.
It was important to have creators who understood XR technology and had a high level of creativity in the planning process. Loftwork requested creators who had won NEWVIEW’s Creative Award and graduates from NEWVIEW’s educational courses to direct the tour planning. Four tour projects took shape with a wide variety of creators.
*In June 2021, Psychic VR Lab implemented a new feature on STYLY that allows multiple people to connect to a single work simultaneously across mobile, web browsers, and head-mounted displays.
Brand Identity (BI)
Welcome to the world of ultra firsts.
The ordinary and the extraordinary.
Real and virtual.
“ULTRA TOUR” is an adventure through a three-dimensional world
where two intersecting things merge into one. .
Enjoy this world full of possibilities to the max.
Let’s dive into the ultra first experience.
This is the unknown you have never encountered.
The unknown will change your senses, your knowledge, and your future.
ULTRA TOUR by STYLY” tagline / Seiya Munakata (White Note Inc.)
ULTRA TOUR by STYLY is a completely new three-dimensional experience that fuses the worlds of reality and fiction, allowing people to liberate themselves. It has the potential of transforming the senses. The message is distinctly different from the image of “ease” and “security” associated with the conventional keyword “tour” and evokes a sense of “excitement” and “autonomy” instead.
Visual Identity (VI)
The visual concept is “an amusement park that moves between 2D to 3D to 4D,” suggesting a layered structure and depth despite the flat 2D graphic and the possibilities of interaction and play present in three-dimensional and spatial works.
By combining simple elements like a maze, the visual can be freely rearranged, through reassembling or adding more parts and is designed as a “flexible” visual design that can easily be used for websites and animations.
The logotype conveys the image of traveling back and forth between 2D and 3D worlds, with a sense of three-dimensionality, fluctuation and transformation.
ULTRA TOUR by STYLY website
Caption 1: Top view of the home page. Mouse cursor movements creates fluctuations on the screen, evoking a unique, floating feeling
Caption 2: Ultra tour concept of the “Ultra first experience”
Caption 3: Every time you scroll the home page, you create a new world
The ULTRA TOUR by STYLY website expresses the concept of “the day before the very first experience”. It was designed to convey the sense of anticipation and elation when wandering into a different world through the use of animation.
Loftwork and the website creators added accent colors to boldly express the world of ULTRA TOUR by STYLY, while maintaining the brand identity. The UI/UX was designed to be easily understandable for those new to XR content, while still maintaining a creative edge.
4 tour plans
Loftwork and Psychic VR Lab planned a total of four tours to allow for a wide range of users to enjoy XR content.
In June 2021, the first tour called “RPG Restaurant,” where participants evaluated “monster” cuisine in a fantasy game world, was released. The second tour, VR Sauna, which allowed visitors to experience the manga world of Tanaka Katsutsuki, the cartoonist who sparked the sauna boom, was unveiled in July 2021.
ANGLE ART MARKET, a VR gallery and store where visitors could look and buy art, was then hosted at Shibuya PARCO for three days on January 23, 29, and 30, 2022
The fourth and final tour plan is currently in production.
The first VR experience to taste magical and monster cuisine｜RPG Restaurant
This VR experience allows participants to “taste” monsters and magic. Players must eat RPG dishes and guess the ingredients used with the information provided. RPG Restaurant provides a new VR experience, immersing participants in the game world and allowing them to experience the unrealistic flavors of the fantasy world.
- Neji Sato (Planning, Direction, Supervision)
- Ryohei Kaneda (Logo design)
- Otsuhata (Tour guide)
- Daisuke Murakami (Cuisine creator)
- YORIMIYA (VR space design and development)
- Afromance (Event production)
VR x Tototto! ＝Experience the very first VR Sauna through 360° manga space｜VR Sauna
Tanaka Katsuki’s Experimental Sauna Project established the “Totoi VR”. Totoi(ととのう), refers to the state of physical and mental conditioning achieved through repeated sauna and rest periods. Through this experience, participants live through changing seasons and encounter unique characters through a 360° manga style tour. The VR sauna is one of a kind experience that offers a new way of life.
- Tanakatsuki Tanaka (Planning and Original Story)
- Koe Hanaaki (VR Manga Space Development)
- gen asai (Music and Sound production)
- hacha (Totoi Production)
- Magu Manpei (Tour Guide)
See and buy art from every angle: A Mysterious first experience "VR Gallery & Shop"｜ANGLE ART MARKET
Through Angle Art Market, creators built an exhibition that utilizes VR space ambitiously. Customers can not only enjoy the exhibition, but take pictures of the artworks from different angles and print them on T-shirts or tote bags. The items created are then delivered to the customers’ homes. Some of the works could also be purchased within the VR. This is the very first “VR Gallery & Shop” experience that offers an original selection.
- Takashi Ando (Curation)
- Hikari Matsuura (3D Modeling)
- JACKSON kaki (3D Spatial Composition)
- Gen Seiichi (Music Production)
- Kentaro Okawara (Exhibiting Artist)
- Taoka Obata (Exhibiting Artist)
- Misai Kono（Exhibiting Artist)
- Namichie（Exhibiting artist)
NEWVIEW FEST 2021: A multi-disciplinary event that pioneers three-dimensional designs and experiences
NEWVIEW, a joint project by Psychic VR Lab, PARCO Inc. and Loftwork, will hold NEWVIEW FEST 2021 from Friday, January 21 to Sunday, January, 30. The event will be held at Shibuya PARCO, the real venue, and Virtual PARCO, which can be accessed from all over the world.
Under the theme “Post-Reality and No Normal”, creators from diverse fields such as art, design, music, and fashion will participate in the event to offer a wide range of content and experiences in the XR culture. The ANGLE ART MARKET will also be available to experience.
(Reservations required for ANGLE ART MARKET only).
- 2022.1.21(fri) – 1.30(sun)
- Shibuya PARCO 1F NAKASHIBU STREET / 4F POP UP SPACE / 10F ROOFTOP PARK (15-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
- Shibuya PARCO 11:00-20:00 (*Following Shibuya PARCO business hours) VIRTUAL PARCO Experience 24 hours a day, anywhere
- Participation Fee
- Free of charge