A downloadable game for Windows

As the End Drew Near is an interactive VR game using the volumetric video recording of a stand-alone LARP (live-action role playing game), commissioned for this work from author Natalie Z. Walschots (Hench). The narrative is constructed through three iterations of the LARP enactment, and will include the framing construct for the narrative (worldbuilding and exiting). It is influenced by fiction-blurring works like Hirokazu Kore-eda’s After Life (1999), and informed by design patterns from interactive cinema games.

In the game, players materialize key details and timelines in the narratives, as they move through different instances of the performance that evoke different details, highlight particular emotions, or are simply performed in a distinct way. Having repaired glitches and omissions in the timeline, the players’ last task will be to anchor the memory in one otherwise non-extraordinary moment which stands out as sublime. The result is a work that speaks to the blur between fictive and non-fiction performance, narrative networks and instances, and transparency and immersion in VR. To create the entangled narrative storylines of the game, the LARP was performed three times: each time as an unscripted improvisation, structured by pre-determined story beats. The player experience is of a singular narrative that at glitch points slips out of joint between three possible realities.

It can be difficult to really represent a game-performance hybrid like a LARP well. This (often misunderstood) genre has none-the-less shown extraordinary critical potential as an immersive form, in part because of the necessary entanglement between immersive role-play and embodied enactment. As the End Drew Near features a narrative construct, but otherwise is emergently performed by both actors and non-actors. Volumetric recording gives us ways of capturing more of the nuance of this live collaborative storytelling, as the performers negotiate in-game and out-of-game roles. 

While volumetric video is increasingly popular in non-fiction storytelling, the materiality of captured media makes it challenging to incorporate into highly dynamic interactive forms like videogames. One goal with As the End Drew Near is to push deeper into interaction design paradigms for hybrid image forms like volumetric video, and ideally present a viable channel for engaging captured content in non-fiction videogames. The demo presents a two scene excerpt of the volumetric video interaction structure (filmed using Scatter’s Depthkit), and two key interaction mechanics (the ability for character dialog to materialize objects in the scene, and the ability for players to “tune” in different versions of the character/LARPer narratives). The gameplay is designed to be accessible for non-gamers while still rewarding exploration and engagement.


Creative Leads

Cindy Poremba

Maxwell Lander


Natalie Zina Walschots


Klayton Cheuk

Nikki Zee

Heather Cleveland

Janica Olpindo

Michelle Vu

Performed by

Klayton Cheuk

Izzie Colpitts-Campbell

Jessika Koeslag

tynk brave

Noordin Ali Kadir

Natalie Zina Walschots

With special thanks to

Alexander Porter and Kyle Kukshtel (Scatter)

Nic Hesler

Carl Therrien

Dames Making Games


ATEDN Demo Download

Install instructions

ATEDN requires a Rift S or Quest 2 + Link

Development log