Hollowhead's VR Time Machine on Kickstarter
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Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine

Our Project

Help us give life to an amazing scientific journey, a fantastic voyage through space and time, an educational exploration of the history of life on Earth – from the very beginning of our planet’s creation right up until modern times. Help us build…a time machine.

The Idea. Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine is an educational virtual reality experience that empowers courageous time travelers to journey through various periods of Earth’s history. Think of it as a four-dimensional zoo, a living museum, or an interactive documentary. This VR experience gives the traditional three-dimensional virtual reality experience the addition of travel through time. It un-cages the animals and brings them to life, freeing you (and your students) to explore with them.

The Experience. You, the time traveler, explore ancient habitats and observe species – from the first bacteria to powerful dinosaurs to modern mammals – in action as they struggle to survive in their environment. Each life-form the time traveler encounters will have a corresponding recorded narration, playable on demand during the exploration. Our aim is threefold: popularize science, create an engaging VR-based curriculum for teachers to use in the classroom, and provide an awe-inspiring virtual reality adventure that everyone on Earth can enjoy!

The Kickstarter. This project will help fund the creation of the VR Time Machine. The Time Machine will initially be designed for the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Valve Index. The first chapter published will be the History of Life on Earth – Volume 1 – Chapter 1, and will be followed by Chapters 4 through 14 as outlined below. These chapters focus on the most significant time periods in Earth’s history. Volume 1 features crucial science disciplines like biology, paleontology, and zoology, with some brief discussions of geology and climate science (e.g. geological timescales).

Please Note: Chapters 2 and 3 are STRETCH GOALS. These chapters are one of the most essential parts of the story of life on Earth, but for this project, we’ve decided to first focus on what we can practically accomplish within the confines of the designated time and budget. However, we intend to eventually make these chapters a part of the experience. We can commit to publishing these chapters by August 2021, as part of the second stretch goal, if the target funding goal for the second stretch goal is met.

Prototype designed for the Oculus Rift:

A prototype version of this software for Windows can be downloaded for free here:

http://bit.ly/2IiwH9e

The prototype features the visual style and core mechanics of Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine for all Windows-based versions of the software. This prototype is a good example of what we hope to accomplish for the versions of the software which will be compatible with Oculus Rift, Valve Index, and HTC Vive.

Prototype designed for the Vive Focus:

We also offer another prototype version of the software, which is available for download at a cost of $1.00 from VivePort:

http://bit.ly/31CpCrG

This particular version of the software was ported to VivePort for use on the Vive Focus. We include this link, and its corresponding images, as an example of what the Time Machine will tend to look like when ported to less powerful VR headsets.

Chapter 1 is set during the Hadeon eon, approximately 4 to 4.5 billion years ago. There is no life; the Earth’s temperature is extremely high; there is frequent volcanic activity and the earth is constantly bombarded by meteorites. The time traveler will discover that Earth is avast barren and hellish landscape.

Chapter - 2

Chapter 2 is a STRETCH GOAL that will bring you to the beginning of life on Earth, roughly 4 billion years ago. An unrecognizable era, characterized by a near oxygen-free landscape, that gave birth to the world as we know it. Diverse molecules transform and combine into the hallmarks of what we now call life. Witness the microscopic events that led to the first living organisms, a process we’ve yet to see again in our explored universe. Learn how some of these tiny species eventually changed the face of the planet by bathing Earth in oxygen, after evolving to harness the power of the sun through photosynthesis.

Chapter 3 is a STRETCH GOAL that explores the increasing complexity of life that began nearly 2 billion years ago. Early species became more than just bags of molecules, ‘eukaryotes’ evolved the capacity to segment their cells into distinct regions, or organelles. Explore the early lifeforms that exploited the abundant oxygen and transformed into the first multicellular organisms, built of individual cells completing different tasks. This era of drastic change has many competing theories that provide the foundation of evolutionary biology; investigate these ideas from a first-person perspective, like never before.

Chapter 4 takes the traveler back approximately 650 million years ago, when Earth became (nearly) entirely frozen. The time traveler will be able to explore the frozen landscape and inspect multiple points of interest that reveal evidence supporting the Snowball Earth theory.

In Chapter 5, the time traveler finds himself underwater and surrounded by life. Most of the major animal groups first appear in the fossil record during the Cambrian explosion, approximately 540 million years ago. The time traveler can discover life forms like: anomalocaris, waptia, hallucigenia, vauxia, wiwaxia, and pikaia.

Chapter 6 allows the time traveler to study the range of time when the first life on land appeared, focusing on early insects that arose between 430 and 300 million years ago. Chapter 6 excludes vertebrate land animals, instead focusing on life forms like charophytes, rhyniognatha hirsti, meganeura, and anthropleura.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 will be an exploration of the development of vertebrate land animals and their descendants prior to the Permian Extinction, from approximately 375 to 250 million years ago. Life forms in consideration for inclusion in this chapter are as follows: tiktaalik, hylonomus, amphibians; and later the scutosaurus, and the gorgonopsia.

Chapter 8 reveals the world during the Permian Extinction, approximately 250 million years ago. Roughly 7 in 10 land species, and 9 in 10 marine species vanished from the face of the earth. The time traveler will encounter groups of animals that did not survive this extinction event, such as the pelycosaurs and moschops, as well as the survivors like the synapsids (later the therapsids), and the archosaurs.

Chapter 9 takes the time traveler to return to the period known in the popular imagination as the Age of the Dinosaurs, 250 to 65 million years ago. Chapter 9 covers the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, which fit within the  Mesozoic Era. The time traveler can find over 20 different species of dinosaurs, and several species representing other groups of animals.

Chapter 10 focuses on the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event (formerly known as the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction). The K-Pg extinction event was a sudden mass extinction of approximately 75% of the plant and animal species on Earth approximately 65 million years ago, believed to be caused by the impact of a 10 to 15 km wide asteroid. The time traveler visiting this chapter will watch from the ground, near the impact site, as the asteroid strikes the earth, and be able to observe its effects.

Chapter 11 will focus on the Paleocene & Eocene Epochs, from 66 to 34 million years ago. The time traveler will observe a variety of species of mammals and birds that survived Chapter 10’s Asteroid impact. These organisms eventually dominated the various ecological niches left vacant by the now extinct dinosaurs. Chapter 11 will prominently feature the rise of different groups of mammals, such as: Hyracotherium, Diacodexis, Plesiadapis, Aegyptopithecus, Barylambda, Arctocyonidae, Palaeomastodon, Condylarth, Coryphodon, Hyaenodontidae, Notoungulata, Pantolambda, Purgatorius, Buxolestes, Embrithopoda, Gustafsonia, Metacheiromys, and the Diacodexis.

The time traveler visiting Chapter 12 will encounter one of the many species of archaic humans, Homo erectus. The time traveler will observe a small family group of Homo erectusas they struggle against the environment hunting, foraging, and making and using complex tools..

Chapter 13 will allow the time traveler to observe prehistoric animals from the Pleistocene Epoch, 2.6 million to 12 thousand years ago. Species all over North America will be featured, including those found at the La Brea Tar Pits in present-day Los Angeles, California. The time traveler will encounter these species: Dire wolf (Canis dirus), Ancient bison (Bison antiquus), American camel (Camelops hesternus), Saber-toothed cat (Smilodon fatalis), Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi), La Brea condor (Breagyps clarki) and the Woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) – our personal favorite.

Chapter 14 will feature the most interesting or popular animals from the present time. An emphasis will be given to endangered animals, those species most at risk for extinction, which may include the following: Amur Leopard, Gorillas, Sea turtles, Orangutan, Sumatran Elephant, Saola, Vaquita, Tiger, Rhinos, and the Pangolin

Jason Holloway, Co-Founder of Hollowhead, Inc., has been starting and managing education and training companies since graduating from the University of Northern Colorado in 2001 with a degree in Business Management. A life-long learner, Jason taught himself how to program software using books and online training courses delivered by Udacity, and Devslopes (a Kickstarter-funded project). After acquiring his first Oculus Rift approximately two years ago, Jason dove head-first into VR/AR software development and hasn’t looked back since.

David Holloway, Co-Founder of Hollowhead, Inc., is 25-year software industry veteran. He attended the University of California, Berkeley from 1991 to 1995, studying Computer Science and Chemistry, and received a Biochemistry degree from California State University, East Bay in 2004.
 

The two brothers co-own Nevada Technical Associates, Inc. (since 2010), which  delivers live, classroom-based training on Radiation Safety in the workplace and other Health Physics topics.

 

Brian Graf, Programmer / IT Administrator. Day-to-day workload includes IT support for the office and developing mobile game applications on Unreal Engine for Android and iOS. Brian studied Theatre at Columbia College Chicago from 2004 to 2005, and is currently attending UNLV for a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. Brian is also fluent in American Sign Language.

Kelly Lim Holloway, Curriculum Development, Received her degree in Kinesiology, Exercise Nutrition and Wellness from California State University, East Bay in 2005. She is the Course Coordinator at Nevada Technical Associates and has over a decade’s worth of experience managing the development of curriculum for educational and workplace training courses.

Mailing Address of Company:

Hollowhead, Inc.
PO Box 93355
Las Vegas, NV 89193

Physical Address of Company:

Hollowhead, Inc.
12 Sunset Way, Suite B-202
Henderson, NV 89014

Phone Number:

702-848-4848

Fax Number:

702-558-7672

The supporters of this project who donate at the Patron level will receive a bust of their likeness, which will be displayed in the Hall of Patrons, an in-game, museum-like exhibit which will be included within the VR experience. You will need to submit two reference images, front and profile, similar to the examples below. You will then be able to choose the style of a bust. We offer jade marble, white marble, cracked marble, and brass.

Reference Images


Jade Marble


White Marble


Cracked Marble


Brass

Stretch Goal #1 – $50,000

Porting to Various Platforms

If we reach a funding goal of $50,000 we will spend an additional 6 to 12 months deploying the Time Machine to a variety of the more ubiquitous VR headsets and devices which may include the following: Sony PlayStation VR, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Go, Vive Focus, Google Daydream, and a handful of Google Cardboard compatible mobile phone models. Due to the hardware limitations of these particular VR devices, the Time Machine will need to be simplified in various ways depending on the platform, in some cases drastically, whether it’s in the form of less complex 3-D models, or the gameplay, or the way the A.I. works. Also, we may not be able to port our app to every device listed, but our ultimate aim is to port the Time Machine to as many devices as practically possible. We want the whole world to experience the joy of seeing long-extinct life forms like Dinosaurs and Saber-tooth tigers come to life before their eyes.

An attempt will be made to port the Time Machine to Oculus Quest, but inclusion within the Oculus Quest ecosystem of apps is not something we can guarantee.

Production time: approximately 6 to 12 months

ETC: 4th Quarter 2021.

Stretch Goal #2 – $100,000

The History of Life on Earth – Volume 1, Chapter 2: The Birth of Life – Archaea and Bacteria, and an exploration of various Abiogenesis theories.

The History of Life on Earth – Volume 1, Chapter 3: Emergence of Eukaryotes, and Multi-Cellular life.

Should we be lucky enough to raise this amount we will develop Chapters 2 and 3, to fill in the biggest gaps of Volume 1, which will focus on the topics of microbiology and evolutionary biology. An additional $25,000 will be necessary to explore the world of microscopic life because we will have to depart drastically from the prototype. It will essentially be an entirely new type of game/app which will be added onto the Time Machine experience.

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 4th Quarter 2022.

Stretch Goal #3 – $150,000.00

The History of Life on Earth – Volume 2 – Human Evolution

Volume 2 of the Time Machine will focus exclusively on the history of human evolution, featuring mostly hominids, until about 50,000 to 70,000 years ago. Branches of science/subcategories which will be examined: evolutionary biology, physical anthropology, primatology, archeology, paleontology, evolutionary psychology, and genetics.

An episodic journey through time visualizing key moments in human evolution. Key episodes may include Sahelanthropus tchadensis and Darwinius Massilae, the emergency of the Great Rift Valley, Homo sapiens leaving Africa, the Ice Age in Europe, Crossing of the Siberian Strait, agriculture, and domestication of animals. The Time Machine will also explore various theories of Human Evolution. The goal will be to bring to life, in virtual reality, as many of the following species as possible: Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus afarensis, Kenyanthropus platyops, Australopithecus africanus, Paranthropus aethiopicus, Paranthropus boisei, Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo neanderthalensis, Denisova hominin, Homo floresiensis, and Homo sapiens.

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 4th Quarter 2023.

Stretch Goal #4 – $325,000.00

The History of Life on Earth – Volume 3 – Human History

Branches of science: Anthropology, Archaeology

Fields of study: History, Sociology, and Psychology

An episodic journey through time focusing on interesting or significant moments or events in recorded human history. In each episode the time traveler will be able to explore and experience a particular moment in time, which will be embedded within a larger historical context or idea.

The time traveler may sometimes see and experience historical figures in action, perhaps during moments of crisis, or the time traveler may have the opportunity to explore the lives of ordinary people and their interactions with the environment, as well as organizations and institutions.

We will pick 10 moments in history and allow the time traveler to explore and experience the general environment and the mix of people pertaining to that particular time and place in history. We will strive to highlight a variety of cultures and civilizations.

What follows below are examples, rough sketches, of the types of episodes we might produce for this volume, but we are not promising to produce any particular episode at this time.

Example Episode – 1 – The Role of the Merchant Marine in WWII

In WWII, the civilian seamen of the merchant marine suffered the highest kill ratio of all the services losing one of every 26 men who went to sea. Nazi Wolfpacks and U-Boats prowled the oceans sinking an average of 33 merchant ships a week. Come aboard the bridge of a merchant ship as she is stalked by a Nazi U-Boat in her desperate struggle to deliver some of the 380 million tons of cargo and supplies our troops needed to fight and win WWII.

Example Episode – 2 – Pre-Revolutionary War


The Time Machine will give you a seat at the table where, in the flickering light of a single candle, Colonists weary of British oppression whisper their plans to break from bondage, not knowing that a British patrol is about to kick in the door.

Example Episode – 3 – Battle of Naseby


Travel back to 1661, approximately one year after King Charles II was restored to the throne, to a quiet churchyard in an English village. Hear birdsong and children’s voices, maybe the distant sound of a horse’s hooves on an earthen track. As you pause to read the gravestones, you realize this is not the quiet idyll it seems. This is Naseby and about 15 years before your visit, in the house opposite, Cromwell’s men massacred Royalist soldiers then took their places at the dinner table. From the starting point of the church’s records, uncover one of England’s bloodiest moments in time

Example Episode – 4 – Eruption of Mount Tambora, Indonesia – 1815


Sit and eat breakfast with a British merchant in Batavia, the capital of the Dutch East Indies. As he begins to tell you of his trade and his adventures, you hear explosions that sound as if a dreadful battle is taking place. But as the skies darken and ash begins to fall, you realize that this is the planet at its most terrifyingly powerful. No manmade disaster, the earth itself is erupting and as you revisit over the coming months and years, the cold chills your bones and the food you once shared is so scarce the people are dying.

Example Episode – 5 – Siege of Tenochtitlán

You are in Tenochtitlán. It is 1521 and the capital of the Aztec empire has been under siege for months. The ruler has died of a mysterious, disfiguring illness. The trade in slaves, foodstuffs, and gemstones that made the city so wealthy is bringing about its destruction, as Spanish forces seeking golden treasure are forcing the population to cede to their power. You are witnessing the downfall of a society both cruel and complex. As the Great Temple burns, both human sacrifice and architectural prowess are brought to an end. But what else can you find out about how the Aztecs lived?

Production time for Volume 3: 12 months

ETC:  4th Quarter 2024

Stretch Goal #5 – $375,000.00

Women in History

This addition to the Time Machine will focus exclusively on women who’ve changed the world. This is a topic which has been sorely neglected, and if the funding and time permit this will be the first topic-specific add-on to Volume 3.

Production time 6 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2025

Stretch Goal #6 – $450,000.00

Pivotal Moments in U.S. History

This addition to the time machine will focus on 5 pivotal moments in U.S. history, and be designed to meet U.S. curriculum requirements related to U.S. history.

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2026

Stretch Goal #7 – $500,000.00

Geological Adventures – The History of Earth’s Geology

A guided tour which will include the formation of solar system, the formation of the Moon, the Earth, plate tectonics, and volcanism, with some discussion on how Earth’s geology shaped the history of life on Earth, and how life shaped Earth’s geology.

Branches of science: Geology

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2027

Stretch Goal #8 – $550,000.00

The Evolution of Plants – a Guided tour

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2028

Stretch Goal #9 – $600,000.00

The Evolution of Land Animals – a Guided tour

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2029

Stretch Goal #10 – $650,000.00

The Evolution of Birds – a Guided tour

Production time 12 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2030

Stretch Goal #11 – $700,000.00

VR Fossil Dig

Help search for fossils at VR site using the same tools and techniques as a Paleontologist. Will also cover notable discoveries throughout the history of Paleontology.

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2031

Stretch Goal #12 – $750,000.00

The History of Science, and the Scientific Method.

This add-on will explain the history of science, the scientific method, and how to think logically. It will be loosely based on Carl Sagan’s book The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2032

Stretch Goal #13 – $800,000.00

A brief overview of the universe before the formation of the solar system.

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2033

Stretch Goal #14 – $850,000.00

The Science of Global Warming

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2034

Stretch Goal #15 – $950,000.00

The Future

An exploration of environmental and global warming simulations. The time traveler to the future will also be able to explore the consequences of habitat loss and its impact on a few of the world’s most endangered species.

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2035

Stretch Goal #16 – $1,00,000.00

Exploration of Coral Reefs

Before and after examination of the destruction of coral reefs.

Production time: 12 months

ETC: 2nd Quarter 2036

Risks and challenges

Time, as always, is the enemy, especially when it comes to software development. The biggest risk we face is that we may not finish this project within the time period we’ve allotted ourselves and promised to you. That’s why we’ve restricted the scope of this project to practical, achievable goals within our realm of expertise, goals which we’ve already demonstrated we are capable of achieving.

We’ve also made the decision to paint the broadest sketch of the history of life on earth. With respect to the various life forms which will be found during each chapter, we will likely include no more than 10 animal species, and no more than 5 plant species (note: Chapter 1 will not have any plant or animal species, and Chapter 4 will have few or none). If the project is successful in the long term we will then fill in the gaps by adding more species, more chapters, and more add-ons, as outlined in our list of stretch goals.

We face an additional challenge in that we are not subject-matter experts on the educational topics we intend to cover, but we plan on sticking to the basics for the few bits of material we will write ourselves, and relying on experts to write most of the curriculum.

Please note: what follows below is only a listing of the possible pledge rewards we are considering. The actual pledge amounts and rewards may change once we go live on Kickstarter.

Pledge $15 or more
[Early Bird] Archaeopteryx Discount (available for the first few days of the campaign)

Get Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine Vol. 1

The History of Life on Earth, Chapter 1, and Chapters 4 through 14.

Includes:

1 Digital download for Windows
Your name in the Game Credits

ESTIMATED DELIVERY
Aug 2020
7 days to go

Pledge $25 or more
Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine Vol. 1

Get Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine Vol. 1

The History of Life on Earth, Chapter 1, and Chapters 4 through 14.

Includes:

1 Digital download for Windows
Your name in the Game Credits

ESTIMATED DELIVERY
Aug 2020

Pledge $50 or more (This will be discounted 50% for the first few days of the campaign)
Educator’s Pack

Get Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine Vol. 1 (Multiple licenses)

The History of Life on Earth, Chapter 1, and Chapters 4 through 14.

+ off-the-shelf curriculum and educational materials

Includes:

15 licenses/keys for Digital download for Windows (Transportable license – if you switch schools you keep the licenses/keys. Also, you must provide proof you teach, e.g., valid school ID card)
Your name in the Game Credits
Curriculum-aligned Content: Lesson Plans, Student Handouts/Worksheets, and Quizzes available as a Digital Download in PDF format

ESTIMATED DELIVERY
Aug 2020

Pledge $100 or more (This will be discounted 50% for the first few days of the campaign)
Science Fan

Get Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine Vol. 1

The History of Life on Earth, Chapter 1, and Chapters 4 through 14.

+ Unlimited Lifetime Access to all future content

Includes:

1 Digital download for Windows
Your name in the Game Credits
Unlimited Lifetime access to all future content, including every Volume, or Chapter, or add-on we will ever make for Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine (single-user license).

ESTIMATED DELIVERY
Aug 2020

Pledge $350 or more (This will be discounted 50% for the first few days of the campaign)
Patron

Get Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine Vol. 1

The History of Life on Earth, Chapter 1, and Chapters 4 through 14.

+ Unlimited Lifetime Access to all future content

+ an in-game marble bust featuring your likeness

Includes:

1 Digital download for Windows (avail Sept. 2020)

Unlimited Lifetime access to all future content, including every Volume, or Chapter, or add-on we will ever make for Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine
Become a part of our world’s history with a static 3D likeness of your face designed in the style of a marble bust. Your bust will be displayed in the Time Machine’s “Hall of Patrons”, which will be a prominently featured museum-like exhibit within the experience. Your name and a brief text-based message of your choice will accompany your bust in the form of an inscription.

ESTIMATED DELIVERY
Oct 2020

Pledge $1,000 or more
Education Partner

Get Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine Vol 1.

The History of Life on Earth, Chapter 1, and Chapters 4 through 14.

+ off-the-shelf curriculum and educational materials

Includes:

Unlimited Organization-wide licenses/keys for digital download for Windows (available for non-profit organizations, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities)

Curriculum-aligned Content: Lesson Plans, Student Handouts/Worksheets, and Quizzes available as a Digital Download in PDF format

Unlimited Lifetime access to all future content, including every Volume, or Chapter, Curriculum-aligned Content, or add-on we will ever make for Hollowhead’s VR Time Machine.

ESTIMATED DELIVERY
Aug 2020

Reference List

Protoplanetary disc image included in video: ESO/L. CALÇADA

Bust model reference: Senshistock

deviantart.com/senshistock/art/Free-3D-Model-Reference-Pack-M-Extras-138905535

Hollowhead's VR Time Machine on Kickstarter

Get notified before we go live on Kickstarter!

Sign up now to be among the first to receive limited-time discounts - some up to 50% off - on rewards available within the first few days of our campaign's launch. Enter your e-mail and we will notify you 48 hours before the campaign launches on Kickstarter.