It’s Halloween, and advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam has marked the dark occasion with the launch of their virtual reality (VR) thriller game installation Bitmap Banshees. Check out the trailer in the above video.
Bitmap Banshees is set inside a future dystopian Amsterdam where a gang of biker banshees take over the city and are, inevitably, your worst enemy. Players must navigate and survive the psychedelic sci-fi horror reality plagued with the cursed banshees.
Cycling around the virtual city, players collect secret weapons in the form of supernatural carrots (carrottys) to throw at the banshees and protect themselves for as long as possible.
But in reality, players wear an Oculus Rift VR headset whilst sitting on a “Mad Max style bike” rigged up to sensors, made from an exercise bike and an old Amsterdam bike. To unleash the carrottys, players ring the bike’s bell.
Creative directors Geoffrey Lillemon and Anita Fontaine of new creative Wieden+Kennedy unit, Department of New Realities, produced Bitmap Banshees using Unreal Engine. It took them and a dedicated team two months to complete.
“We tapped into the year 2097 in Amsterdam, where living life in VR is a daily grind. The Bitmap Banshees are digital avatars reeking havoc inside this warped future,” says Lillemon and Fontaine.
The Bitmap Banshees installation will be housed in Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam’s public gallery space until the end of the year, along with a print exhibition of the game’s characters and collectables.
“Killing zombies on a rigged up old exercise bike with a weaponised bell somewhere in a dystopian future seems like a good way to start redefining our own future and explore the outer limits of what kind of creative company we can become,” says Wiedem+Kennedy executive creative director Mark Bernath.
The game is expected online within the coming months.