Behind the Scenes of Battle For Eire

Battle For Eire

Take a behind-the-scenes look at the construction and design of our newest attraction coming in spring 2018. This virtual reality ride is unlike any other in North America, and we can't wait to share this exciting adventure with you. Check back every month for new posts about its progress until the ride opens next year.

Please note the behind-the-scenes information and details are showing stages of development and are not the final production. Changes are subject to be made throughout the process.


 

Chapter 3: Technology & Ride Details

November 27, 2017   |   Liam   |   Official Tour Guide


Greetings Lasses and Lads,

Here’s another behind-the-scenes update from Battle For Eire™ – Action VR Ride, the one-of-a-kind virtual reality attraction coming to Busch Gardens Williamsburg in spring 2018.

I slipped behind the curtain to get an up-close look at the new ride’s progress. If you haven’t had the chance, please take a moment to read my first blog entry in September and second entry in October so you can catch up. Things are moving fast.

I have some exciting news to share in this entry, including details about the state-of-the-art technology that will make this attraction unlike anything you’ve ever ridden. I also uncovered images of the finished character designs. You’re not going to want to miss this, so please read on.


A Peek at the Virtual Reality Headsets

Like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, the designers of Battle For Eire hit the jackpot with a headset design that is convenient to use and easy to maintain.

Riders will put on an adjustable head mount and fit it to their liking before boarding the motion simulator. The virtual reality headsets are tethered to the motion simulator seats, and will connect to the head mounts via a strong magnet that will seal the two together. Ride designers are still finalizing the design of the head mount and flow, but are focused on ensuring a speedy boarding process and making sure the head mounts are cleaned before each use.

“This installation at Busch Gardens Williamsburg has one of the easiest to use headsets that we’ve seen in the industry,” said Erik Baeumlisberger, project manager for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

“We’ve arrived on a best-in-class, very novel solution for how riders wear the headset,” Baeumlisberger added.

The combination of a motion-based theater simulator and 360-degree virtual reality headsets makes this a one-of-a-kind attraction in the amusement park industry. Busch Gardens Williamsburg guests are in for an immersive experience that raises the bar in virtual reality.


Meet the Film’s Stars

I’ve included some phenomenal images of the attraction’s main characters.

Before today, everything you’ve seen has been conceptual artwork, but these are the first images of true characters. Please take note of the detail work.


Addie

Addie - Battle For Eire

Balor

Balor - Battle For Eire

Ollie

Ollie - Battle For Eire

Sluagh

Sluagh - Battle For Eire

Addie, Ollie & Sluagh

Battle For Eire - VR Ride 2018

Check back next month for another behind-the-scenes report for Battle For Eire. I’ll have more to share in the future as we get closer to the ride’s spring opening.


 
 

Chapter 2: Character Development

October 27, 2017   |   Liam   |   Official Tour Guide


Good Day Friends,

It’s your favorite leprechaun Liam here to take you behind the scenes of Battle For Eire - Action VR Ride, the great new virtual reality attraction coming to Busch Gardens Williamsburg in spring 2018.

I snuck behind the curtain to get an up close look at the ride’s development, and I’ll be providing monthly updates on this blog to fill you in on the intriguing details I’ve uncovered. If you haven’t had the chance, please take a moment to read last month’s blog so you’re up to date.

This entry will focus on the film’s four main characters as we unveil more and more leading up to opening day. Stay tuned – we’ll be revealing more details in future posts.

Here’s a quick rundown of the characters:
  Addie — The heroine
  Ollie — Addie’s dragon sidekick
  Balor — The villain
  Sluagh — Balor’s minions

Before I reveal more, let me give you a bit of the backstory of how the characters came to life. I had a chance to sit down with some of the principal designers from Falcon’s Creative Group, the media provider for Battle For Eire, to get the inside scoop.

“These characters originate from authentic, legendary stories from Ireland that we’ve created and molded to be a bit more specific to a theme park experience,” said Cecil Magpuri, Chief Creative Officer of Falcon’s Creative Group. “Those who are familiar with Irish lore will see how much due diligence we’ve done in creating this attraction.”

Falcon’s Creative Group also included many creatures common to Irish lore in Battle For Eire, including fairies, a dragon and leprechauns.

Their names have Irish origins as well. For example, Addie’s full name is Aednat (pronounced EY-nit), which means “little flame” in Gaelic.

“We wanted to have Irish rooted influence in the character names and backstory, and combine these different Irish stories into one attraction,” said Jason Ambler, Executive Producer of Falcon’s Creative Group.

Balor, the villain of the Battle For Eire story, was inspired by the one-eyed giant of the same name in Irish mythology.

“He comes in many different stories as a one-eyed giant Cyclops, so we put a different spin on our Balor. We wanted to make him friendlier for the park so he appeals to all ages,” Ambler said.


Balor - Early animated rendering

“One of the things we take pride in is our storytelling. In this case, we wanted to make sure we had a good balance of good to evil to ensure we produce a compelling and dynamic experience,” Magpuri said.

Without further ado, enjoy these detailed character sketches of the main personalities from Battle For Eire.


Addie - Battle for Eire

ADDIE

The heroine

Her love of green isn’t coincidental. She is faithful to her Irish heritage through and through, and she’ll go to great lengths to protect her homeland. This fierce fairy is free spirited and one of a kind … literally. She is the last remaining fairy of Ireland, and she needs help to recover the sacred Heart of Eire from the evil Balor and his minions.



Ollie - Battle for Eire

OLLIE

Addie’s dragon sidekick

Ever seen a tatted up dragon? Well get a load of this big guy. Addie’s trusty sidekick is the strong, silent type who isn’t afraid to stand up for the little guys. His body is adorned with Celtic emblems and symbols, all of which are difficult to see when he is enchanted into a stone statue. But he is awoken as a final defense to protect the Heart of Eire.



Balor - Battle for Eire

BALOR

The villain

This sinister dark lord isn’t easy on the eyes. Or in his case eye. This Cyclops is a snorting, tusked menace who gains power from consuming the good magic from Ireland. Brash and brooding with a taste for power, Balor is the personification of blight and drought who will stop at nothing to gain ultimate dominion. The manifestation of his physical form is enhanced by his evil minions.



Sluagh - Battle for Eire

SLUAGH

Balor’s minions

These guys are evil. But that’s not hard to tell with those bug eyes, piercing teeth and sharp claws. Sluagh (pronounced SLEW-ahh) are corrupted guardian fairies who are now shadows of their former selves. They buzz around their dark lord Balor, flocking together to help the evil leader take his ultimate physical form.


 
 

Chapter 1: Beginning of the Story

September 27, 2017   |   Liam   |   Official Tour Guide


Battle For Eire: Paddy, Liam & Seamus

Hello Lads and Lasses

Charmed to meet ya’. My name is Liam, and I’ll be your behind-the-scenes tour guide for Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s virtual reality attraction, Battle For Eire—Action VR Ride, opening spring 2018.

Before your bravery and luck can be put to the test in this 360-degree virtual reality experience, there’s a lot of work to be done around the castle. Every month I’ll be reporting on the activity of the creative designers and engineers working hard to prepare for your journey.


Story Developments

The storytellers have discovered The Otherworld, a magical dimension connected to the Ireland that humans know and love. As the last fairy guardian to survive the evil forces at hand, our main character, Addie, will need all the help she can get to save both worlds.

Lately this team has been working diligently to lock in the details of the final script for your experience. There are a lot of details that go into determining who you’ll meet and how you’ll interact with the characters. That means picking the best dialogue, selecting the voice talent, and even finding room for a few surprises – I promised to keep their secret. Even though there are many details left to figure out, they plan on leaving the final the outcome of the story up to you!


Character Development

Speaking of who you’ll meet, Addie has been getting quite a bit of attention lately. There are some perks to being the main character after all. Her voice will be done by a native Irish speaker, and the modelers and animators are finalizing how she will appear in the VR head gear.

They are doing the same for the other magical creatures you’ll encounter in this quest next year, but you’ll have to meet them a little later.


Battle For Eire Character Concept: Addie

Characters are starting to come to life in the developmental process. Here is an early rendering of the main character, Addie.

Note: This is behind-the-scenes information and details showing stage 1 of development of Battle For Eire. This is not the final production and changes are subject to be made throughout the process. Please follow along over the next few months.


The Technical Team

The current motion base simulator has been used to bring multiple adventures to life in your world (Europe in the Air) and many other fantastical places (Corkscrew Hill). This time around the team is reprogramming it to work simultaneously with proprietary head gear that will let you experience Addie’s home – The Otherworld – in an immersive experience that surrounds you.

Preliminary testing of the prototypes for the headgear and its synchronization of the motion base are underway. It appears that this creative team is excited to continue the progress of these developments bringing you closer and closer to the final battle for our worlds.


Watch the Making of Battle For Eire - Chapter 1



Check back each month for further reports on the behind-the-scenes updates for the Battle For Eire, opening at Busch Gardens Williamsburg spring of 2018.