BRCvr Merry Mad Tea Party

BRCvr Merry Mad Tea Party

Merry Mad Tea Party is a real-world Burning Man camp that participates in regional burns throughout the year. When COVID prevented this in 2020, Christi helped the camp find a home in BRCvr.

The BRCvr Merry Mad Tea Party in VR offers a warm ambience as burners chat over a cup of tea and enjoy beautiful art together.

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When COVID cancelled the 2020 in-person Burning Man event and regional burns, many people lost access to their community. BRCvr was quickly formed to address this need, offering a 3D space for human connection and exploration.

Marialyce, camp lead for Merry Mad Tea Party, wanted her camp to participate and was connected with Christi to build a world for their camp.

Marialyce shared photos of the camp’s tea party area and told Christi that the camp was a Zero-Waste camp, known for hosting tea parties and discussions about world issues, like sustainability. A key component of the camp was modeling and texturing the tea party area. The table cloth was modeled and textured in Blender using cloth physics, and interactable tea cups, tea kettle + cupcakes were added to encourage engagement from visitors. Camp member Debi Cable contributed her beautiful blacklight paintings to the camp, which Christi added throughout and made pop in the virtual world via proper light baking settings. In Unity, Christi created a trippy camp fire particle system that hints at the Alice in Wonderland theme: guests can watch as keys, teapots, crowns, clocks and rabbits rise from the colorful flames before fading into the air.

Additional details included embedded spatial audio clips such as windchimes, subtle tea sets clinking, and a private, asmr conversation between two campers hidden away in one of the many tents (only heard when in proximity to the tent).

None of the Merry Mad Tea Party camp members had ever used VR before, and when Burn Week 2020 arrived, Marialyce, Debi and other camp members came in for the first time. One of Christi’s most memorable VR experiences was witnessing this moment — the audible tears of joy as Marialyce entered the world, saw her camp’s new virtual home for the first time, and reunited with her camp mates after the many months of isolation and year spent apart.

View our other BRCvr 2020 Projects »