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Togo: The Trail of Mercy

Music adapted from:

Geoff Zanelli - Buffalo Jump

Tony Anderson - Something Can Grow

          Togo: The Trail of Mercy was a VR experience with a fully themed pre-ride que sequence. The set places guests in an alleyway in the town of Nome, Alaska in 1925. The guests learn about the dire situation in the town, due to a diphtheria outbreak, through small vignettes overhead and seen in the house windows. The audio for these scenes was pre-recorded, and played back through a speaker at each window. After passing three windows, the guests step into the telegraph office, where the town's telegraph man tells them all they need to know about the adventure that awaits them ahead. 

Creator's Description:

          "Togo: The Trail of Mercy is a fully fledged theme park experience that includes a fully immersive ride queue that transports guests to Nome, Alaska during the diphtheria outbreak of 1925 and an automated virtual reality ride that brings guests on a very exciting and dangerous trip to deliver the anti-toxin to the sick children. On the ride, guests meet Togo, the unsung hero of the Nome Serum Run, and experience his story. Togo, a dark brown Siberian husky of the Inuit tribe’s stock, and his owner Leonhard were able to trek 261 miles of the most hazardous trek of the 674 mile journey to save Nome and its children. Guests will be able to experience the bravery of Togo and his musher Leonhard in a thrilling ride inspired by their true adventures."

About the Sound:

          The sound design for this production was concentrated in two areas: the VR ride experience, and the pre- and post-ride queue experience. For the ride, I created content to be synced to the visuals - dogs running and various speeds, the bear running, the sled sliding, the bear running and roaring, etc. For the practical queue, I recorded and editing voice actor content to be played back from various loudspeakers placed behind the scenic facades. The space also had ambient sound playing throughout.

December 2017


Carnegie Mellon University

School of Drama Playground XV

Creator/Producer – Thomas Kelly

Scenic Design – Fiona Rhodes

Costume Design – Mohan Yei

Sound Design & Engineer – Scott MacDonald

Lighting Design – Shawn Neilson & Chazz Malott

Live Media Designer Engineer – Daniel Kelly

Programming & VFX – Sudha Manigundam

Programming – Atul Singh

Virtual World Design – Srujani Kamineni & Vasant Menon

3D Modeler/Animator – Euna Park

3D Modeler – Eliza Zhang

More information about the experience here

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