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Time Vault

Reach PLC

A time-travelling adventure through the key events of the 20th century.

How to share history

Reach PLC is the UK's largest commercial national and regional publisher. They create engaging and relevant content and distribute it through newspapers, magazines and digital platforms to one of the biggest monthly multi-platform audiences in the country. With newsbrands ranging from the Daily Mirror and Daily Express to regional titles such as the Manchester Evening News and Bristol Post, Reach PLC has a vast and fascinating archive – which they wanted to showcase in a fun and interactive way.

So they came to us, and we suggested a time-hopping VR experience that challenges the user to solve puzzles and unlock decades of history and culture from across the UK, all drawn from Reach’s archives. The Time Vault puts years’ worth of newspaper articles, videos, audio clips and more into the hands of the user and lets them explore in a way that’s entertaining, engaging and immersive.

A journey through nostalgia

The experience begins in a lobby to the Time Vault, where users can jump to different decades through the vault door. To start with, only one decade is unlocked and accessible – starting users off on a journey that challenges them to find clues and unlock more of the Time Vault so they can travel further into the past. We built a simple interaction menu that’s locked to the user’s palm, so all they have to do is turn their left hand up to see what tasks they need to do next – giving them a helping hand to complete the various challenges along the way. To mark their progress, we included display cases in the lobby showing objects from the different decades that are all greyed out. Only once the user has been to the corresponding decade and completed all the tasks will the objects switch to their regular state for the users to view properly.

The ambitious project was split into two phases. In the first, we modelled out two decade zones – the 1980s and 1950s – and created a series of fun puzzles dotted around each environment. We styled each zone according to the fashions of the time, including furniture, gadgets and colours that you’d typically find in that era, with challenges relating to key events of the decade hidden in the room, from old radios and VHS players to vintage magazines and news articles. The user has to complete the first decade to open the next, with the rest of the gallery ‘under construction’ until the second phase is launched. 

Designed to be downloaded from Steam VR and the Oculus Store, the experience captures the wonder and nostalgia of the past while helping tell the story of important historical events from across the 20th century, as recorded by Reach. 

Do you have a message you want to convey? A situation that needs simulating, or an audience that needs reaching? Whatever your challenge – we have the ideas, the experience, and the equipment to help.

What’s your challenge?

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Contact Us

+44 (0)1603 620562

+44 (0)1603 620562