Remember Spotlight Stories? Released back in May, they were interactive, 360-degree videos published by Google to help promote new methods of immersive storytelling. Now the company is gearing up to propel the medium further by publishing new stories onto YouTube.
First up is a holiday themed short film called ‘Special Delivery,’ created by Aardman Animations of ‘Wallace and Gromit’ fame. Google says there are 10 subplots, three potential ways of seeing the ending, and ’60+ moments where you can decide to follow the story in different ways,’ which you trigger by moving your phone around and focusing on different parts of the video.
It’s a little confusing though, as there are two versions of the film. The above interactivity is only supported on certain phone models. The extra software behind this version allows you to do things like peer into windows, follow different characters or listen to ‘3D sound.’
The other version is a standard YouTube 360 video which can be viewed on any mobile device or computer. You’ll miss out on the secret plot lines, but you can still look around the environment with your device.
Nonetheless, it’s nice to see companies experimenting with new storytelling methods and this looks like an interesting way for Google to continue future-proofing YouTube. Aside from 360-degree videos, the company also recently introduced Cardboard support in preparation for the imminent VR onslaught.
You can find both versions of ‘Special Delivery’ on the Spotlight Stories YouTube channel.