Nickelodeon is taking immersive storytelling to the next level with the development of Meet the Voxels (working title), a virtual reality and augmented reality series that comes from Nickelodeon’s Entertainment Lab, the network’s experimental think tank around emerging platforms and new technology.
The animated sitcom, created in a game engine, marks the first time Nickelodeon will use it’s cutting-edge virtual-cinema technology, including real-time full body and facial-performance capture.
Meet the Voxels takes kids behind the scenes of a video-game world. It follows the on-and-off-duty adventures of the Voxels family, including Hunter, the 13-year-old star of a laser-tag video game; Maude, a 16-year-old girl fighting to pop as many bubbles as she can; their younger brother, Cody, who has not yet found his video-game calling; Mom, a popular street fighter in her game; and Dad, a 90’s-era classic console game character who quit the business years ago.
The series was conceived by Chris Young, senior vice president of Nickelodeon’s Entertainment Lab.
“Our vision is to take the real-time technology we’ve been exploring in the Lab and marry it with a creative concept that connects with kids and their passion for video games,” said Young in a statement. “We designed this next-gen animation workflow and filled it with characters who can exist naturally across multiple platforms from day one.”
Meet the Voxels represents a significant expansion of both the Entertainment Lab’s capabilities and Young’s work. Over the past year, he’s developed projects such as SlimeZone, a multi-player social VR experience that allows kids and families the opportunity to interact in a Nickelodeon-designed virtual world, and The Loud House 360, an original video where viewers can explore the madness of the Loud family household from all angles.
At San Diego Comic Con 2018, he debuted Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles VR Interview Experience, a virtual -eality experience that immerses users in the Turtles’ iconic New York City world and allows them to have a conversation with Mikey or Donnie, voiced on the scene by the actors who play the roles.
Now, Meet the Voxels represents an evolution of content development and creation using real-time animation technology. The pilot will be written by Jana Petrosini (Henry Danger, Kid Danger, Game Shakers) and Sean Gill (Henry Danger, Kid Danger, Game Shakers).
It’s being developed to air across Nickelodeon’s channels globally, Young will also help to guide further development of a larger slate of animated projects to be announced shortly.
“Chris is helping lead Nickelodeon animation toward a transformation into a wholly new content creation studio,” said Chris Viscardi, senior vice president, animation. “Meet the Voxels marks a significant development in turning that content dream into a production reality.”