Thursday, March 05, 2015

VR at GDC'15


Some incredible things have been happening at GDC for VR this year, and here's a quick round-up of what's been revealed so far. Out of the gates, Valve and HTC have joined forces for a new VR device called Vive, announced to release later this year, perhaps being the first device to hit the consumer market? Maybe... given we still have no street date for the Oculus Rift's consumer version.


Rumors and some official word has also been swirling that NVidia is also working on VR alongside Apple. But we've yet to see anything from them, but there are many companies working on VR, most notably Samsung who'd worked with Oculus to create their GearVR system for use with their high end phones.

 Sony's codenamed 'Morpheus' using Move as its VR controllers.

Of course one of the other big players is Sony which unveiled an update to their Project Morpheus VR solution for PlayStation 4. The big announcement aside from the updated specs which include an OLED screen and 120 fps refresh rate as well as additional tracking lights is that the device will release sometime during the first half of 2016. So it's still awhile away, but Sony looks to really be developing VR behind the scenes with some great innovative tech demos to help learn and explain to developers how best to create content for the device.


An excellent video is available below for any enthusiast game developers or anyone interested in the technology about what works and what kind of neat ideas Sony has found for interacting with VR worlds. A major focus being on how the DualShock 4 and its touchpad and tracking light were created with VR in mind and how well that can be incorporated into games which are pretty compelling!




As for some more interesting updates, Valve has been demoing full presence technology behind closed doors allowing people to walk around a small room and fully interact with a VR world, including a tech demo based on the world of Portal! People can fully walk around a room using the HTC Vive which uses an inside out method of tracking IR lights spread about a room from a 'lighthouse' source. This way if anyone approaches a wall or too close to an object, it appears are a grid system in the VR world warning the player that they might bump into something! This technology is completely open for anyone to use thanks to Valve who want to encouragement VR development, so even Sony and Oculus can make use of it if they wanted to!

 Valve's prototype VR controllers above, and below is a peek at some of Valve's full Rom VR tracking using a Portal Aperture Science demo apparently running on Source 2.

There are some truly exciting times ahead, and it looks like the VR party for the rest of us is set to begin in late 2015 at the earliest, though it will very likely hit its full stride by mid 2016. With engines like Unreal 4 and Unity 5 being made freely available, it's a great time for aspiring creators to see what they can do!

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Bartkira

There are many amusing fan projects, and this one is quite audacious and hilariously awesome! Several artists are uniting to completely recreate Katsuhiro Otomo's original manga 'Akira' using the cast and characters from 'The Simpsons'! It's gotten so popular that an exhibit is being held in Tokyo! Head over to their website to check it out!



Sunday, March 01, 2015

The wildlife of FFXV!

Square Enix released an amusing new video today of the manner of creatures contained in the Episode Duscae demo.

Friday, February 27, 2015

R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy

Sad news today as the legendary Leonard Nimoy passed away today...


"Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83. 
 His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Mr. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week. 
 His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”)." 
Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83

"Nimoy was best known for playing Spock in various iterations of Star Trek, and also directed two Star Trek films. He held a number of voice-over credits, including Galvatron in Transformers: The Movie and Master Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance."
Star Trek Actor Leonard Nimoy Passes Away