Two North­eastern Uni­ver­sity dig­ital media stu­dents have made cru­cial con­tri­bu­tions to an inter­ac­tive virtual-​​reality expe­ri­ence called “The Egyptian Oracle,” in which avatars, live actors and audi­ence mem­bers reenact an authentic Egyptian ceremony.

The show will be per­formed in the Raytheon Amphithe­ater on Friday at 7 p.m.

Ajayan Nam­biar, CPS’11, and Sid­dhesh Pandit, CPS’12, both of whom earned master’s degrees in dig­ital media, com­pleted theses on their con­tri­bu­tions to the project. Nam­biar designed the show’s surround-​​sound system, which uti­lizes the Doppler effect to enhance the environment’s sense of depth and realism. Pandit, for his part, redesigned the open-​​source game engine using the C Sharp pro­gram­ming lan­guage in order for actors to con­trol avatars from remote locations.

Jef­frey Jacobson, director of Pub­licVR, a non­profit ded­i­cated to vir­tual reality research for edu­ca­tion, con­ceived of the project and served as the stu­dents’ fac­ulty adviser. The com­pany received a $50,000 grant from the National Endow­ment for the Human­i­ties to com­plete the pro­to­type, employing a team of stu­dents and top pro­fes­sionals in sev­eral fields, and seeks another $400,000 to make the show bigger, better and more effective.

Jacobson praised the show’s edu­ca­tional value, noting that it has already been per­formed at the Axiom Gallery, an artists col­lec­tive in Jamaica Plain, and for stu­dents at both the Jonas Clarke and William Dia­mond middle schools in Lex­ington, Mass.

Egyp­tians loved their reli­gious drama and the­ater, and that’s some­thing that’s not often taught in schools or seen in museums or in movies,” he explained. “It’s very impor­tant because it’s the pre­cursor to Greek and Western theater.”

The show pro­duces a mixed reality, Jacobson noted, one in which the real and vir­tual worlds col­lide to create new envi­ron­ments where both phys­ical and dig­ital objects co-​​exist. As he put it, “It breaks the fourth wall, unlike ‘World of War­craft’ or ‘Second Life,’ in which the player is out­side of the vir­tual world.”

Nam­biar pre­sented his thesis on sound design in June in Atlanta, Ga., at the 18th Inter­na­tional Con­fer­ence on Audi­tory Dis­plays. The paper, he said, played a big role in his landing a job as a sound engi­neer for audio man­u­fac­turer Harmon Kardon.

People were inter­ested in my work,” he said. “They were impressed with the paper.”

Nam­biar, who earned an under­grad­uate degree in com­puter sci­ence, noted that the project gave him the chance to com­bine the tech­nical aspect of coding with the cre­ative aspect of dig­ital media. “Until you’re actu­ally working in this field you don’t realize how seam­lessly pro­gram­ming and media are con­nected,” he said.

Pandit, who grad­u­ated in June, looks for­ward to breaking into the video-​​game industry with Activi­sion or Elec­tronic Arts. Working on “Oracle,” he said, gave him a glimpse of the field.

I got expo­sure to a big industry,” he said. “I learned how much research goes into devel­oping games.”