Annie and Emmy Award-winning VR/AR entertainment company Baobab Studios has announced its fifth project, Bonfire, starring comedian, writer and actress Ali Wong (American Housewife, Black Box). The absurd alien adventure is written and directed by studio co-founder Eric Darnell (co-director & co-writer, Madagascar franchise, Antz).
With each previous project, Baobab has sought to push the boundaries of immersive storytelling by melding user interactivity into the narrative. Their first, Invasion!, was the first VR story to make the user a character. Then in Asteroids!, the user had control over the story direction and character. Most recently with Crow: The Legend, the user plays an omnipotent spirit with power over the story’s world. Now, in Bonfire, Baobab has pushed the technical limits with its real-time rendering, artificial intelligence and interactive narrative systems to create a new virtual reality experience, where the user plays the leading role.
“We wanted to put the viewers in the middle of a story where they can develop believable, meaningful relationships with other characters so that the viewers feel that their interactions with these characters have legitimate stakes — that their decisions really matter,” said Darnell.
Synopsis: As Space Scout 817, you are on a mission to discover a new home for the human race after it has made a mess of Earth. The stakes are high. Too bad your piloting skills lack… precision. In fact, you crash-land at night in a mysterious clearing of an unknown planet three-hundred light-years from Earth. Your only source of light is your makeshift bonfire. Beyond its glow everything falls to darkness. And what are those strange noises coming from the alien jungle?
You have only your instincts and your robot sidekick, Debbie, to guide you. Voiced by comedian, actress, and writer Ali Wong, Debbie’s companionship comes with a signature wariness. When a chance meeting with a local inhabitant further steers your mission off course, you learn that unexpected encounters just might result in lasting friendships. In this intimate setting, you have the opportunity to embrace, explore and influence the world around you, and, perhaps, make new friends. In the end, the choice is ultimately yours: Will you follow your captain or your conscience?
Ali Wong is set to star in the soon-to-launch Netflix animated series Tuca & Bertie, and has lent her voice to Ralph Breaks the Internet, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, The Angry Birds Movie, and guest roles on TV’s OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, American Dad!, Ask the StoryBots, Animals and BoJack Horseman. She is the latest Hollywood talent to collaborate with Baobab, joining the likes of John Legend, Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Banks, Lupita Nyong’o, Ethan Hawke, Constance Wu, Diego Luna, and Tye Sheridan.