Crédits photos : Château de la Rouerie / Arts et Métiers Laval
For the Château de la Rouerie, a 17th century building, the conclusion is bitter: guided and audio-guided tours are no longer a hit! A pity because the history of the last Marquis of the castle is rich: Armand-Charles Tuffin de la Rouerie, hero of the American War of Independence and founder of the Brittany Chouannerie.
When virtual reality brings history to life…
In collaboration with students in Virtual Engineering from Arts et Métiers Laval as part of their senior project, SARL SAUT-DE-LOUP, which manages the castle, decided to revive important moments of the movements of the Chouannerie thanks to a virtual collaborative escape game (4 simultaneous players).
The game takes visitors back in time. Finding a hidden letter, getting weapons and defeating revolutionaries… a muscular programme where the manipulation of objects, thanks to the Oculus Touch, is at the heart of the enigmas. Immersed in the stormy scenery of a ship on the Channel, visitors must load a gunpowder cannon and attack an enemy ship. On board, boys and girls!
Bringing the past to life: the challenge of realism
The game’s scenes are taken from extensive scans of the castle rooms (with retopology work under 3DS MAX), the avatars accurately reflect the busts of the historical characters, the paintings are animated thanks to CrazyTalk, the dialogues and the recording of the voices of the characters made in Audacity. A narrative and instructive discourse guides the player through the experience.
Virtual reality is scientifically proven to be a good tool for the valorisation of heritage, it allows a stronger sense of commitment than a simple visit. By increasing the visitor’s interest, because he or she takes part in the tour under a headset, new knowledge is more easily acquired.
A nice perspective to give a more modern version of the Heritage Days. “I was really impressed by the work of reconstructing the settings and characters,” says Diego Barbier de Chalais, the owner of the castle. The game will be set up in a dedicated room near the reception area and players will be able to book their game directly on the website.