News
NI’s largest immersive experience takes place at Science Festival
15 February 2019

Leading digital services and platforms company Kainos has collaborated with celebrated local comic book artist PJ Holden to create DragonSlumber, a huge virtual spectacle aimed at age eight and up at this year’s NI Science Festival.

Taking place in W5 on Saturday 23rd February, DragonSlumber is a first in terms of its scale; at 15 x 12m, it is the largest immersive experience that has ever been created in Northern Ireland.

The project comes from the mind of legendary comic book artist PJ Holden, who is best known for his work on Judge Dredd for 2000AD, and the idea was brought to reality by immersive technology and tools from Kainos, supported by Digital Catapult NI.

Through VR and a mini 3D world, young adventurers will encounter giants, ogres, meteors and volcanoes in their quest to guide fairy Lottie back to her home in Fairy Nook.

Luke McNeice, Innovation Lead at Kainos said: “We’re proud to have worked with PJ to bring this amazing and innovative idea to life; the scale of it is a spectacle in itself and a powerful way to show what’s possible when technology meets art. 

“It’s totally different to any other immersive experience seen in NI before in that you will actually walk around the space, or 3D ‘world’, rather than staying static with the VR headset on.

“The experience has been mapped to the real space in W5 and has been designed by a pretty legendary artist, so it really will be something incredibly special and unmissable!” he added.

PJ Holden said: “I truly hope that this will delight children and young adults, I just want them to have a go and experience wonder.

“DragonSlumber is built around giants, dragons and vast towers; and with the VR headset on these things feel real, like they’re right beside you. What I really want is for people to enjoy it and feel amazed by the experience,” he finished.

Nigel McAlpine, Immersive Technology Lead at Digital Catapult NI said “Digital Catapult NI is delighted to be collaborating on this unique experience.  After PJ Holden came to the Digital Catapult Immersive Lab in Belfast wanting to explore the use of Virtual Reality drawing platforms, a connection was quickly made to an existing idea to explore how the experience might evolve, mapping a real-world space to a virtual version, to allow users to ‘walk through’ a work of art. It’s fantastic to see this come to fruition, combining the skills and technical knowledge in the Kainos team, with the considerable creative talents of PJ.”

DragonSlumber is open to age eight and up and is free of charge, please register in advance to avoid disappointment.

Quiet time sessions are available between 4pm – 5pm, when the exhibition space will have stronger lighting, the background music will be muted and sound effect volume lower.

Watch our brand new teaser video series for more!