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Square Enix Will Release VR Comic Project Hikari in 2018

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By hatakeDate: Oct 09 2017 Views:

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After a demonstration of the Oculus Dev Kit 1 in 2013, game developer and comic publisher Square Enix started work on a research project dubbed “Project Hikari.” And it is on schedule for a 2018 release on Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets.

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Project Hikari is based on Tale of Wedding Rings, with the team rebuilding the manga using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to bring its 2D visuals into the 3D realm. And the company is demoing the project, Tales of the Wedding Rings VR on the Oculus Rift at New York Comic Con this weekend. It is a non-interactive viewing experience in a virtual space. It’s not so much a virtual reality comic, but a VR 3D animated film framed as a comic.

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“We want to let the user to be able to step inside the manga stories,” said Kaei Sou, project lead, during a New York Comic-Con panel. 

To do this, the team wanted to capture the manga’s hand drawn style, with subtle and hatched shading and lines that weren’t perfectly straight.

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They also had to create environments that weren’t originally there due to the originals framing. Environmental artist Hisami Miyamoto, estimates that around 70 percent of what a viewer will see had to be built by the team. “My goal,” said Miyamoto, “is to take an environment that if you took a snapshot of it, it could stand on its own as a piece of artwork.”

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