Speaker Q&A: Polyarc’s Brendan Walker discusses the intersection of art and engineering in Moss

One of the big challenges in any medium, but especially VR, is the challenge of creating authentic, likable characters for an audience to interact with. It’s a task that involves artists, writers, and engineers coming together to hopefully create a fictional entity that will win the hearts and minds of people everywhere…but when you’ve got a whole new medium on your hands, how do you do that?

At GDC 2018, Polyarc engineer Brendan Walker hopes to answer that question in a session about the studio’s debut game Moss. To help attendees get introduced to one of the people who brought the charismatic mouse Quill to life, we’ve reached out to Walker for a quick Q&A about his work, which you can read below!

Don’t miss out! The Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next March is going to be full of interesting and informative sessions like Walker’s. For more visit the show’s official website.

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Come out to GDC 2018 and learn to better tell stories in VR!

If you’re coming to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this month and you have any interest in how devs are learning to tell compelling stories in virtual reality, we have a talk you won’t want to miss!

As part of VRDC @ GDC, Baobab Studios cofounder Eric Darnell will be presenting “‘INVASION!’: Crafting a VR Story“.  Boabob creates animated VR experiences, and in his talk Darnell will break down the challenges of telling a narrative VR story where the user has control, as well as techniques Baobab has developed to tackle them.

Notably, Darnell will use Baobab’s recent interactive VR story INVASION! to illustrate how the studio works to strike the right balance between storytelling and gameplay. Don’t miss it!

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Learn from cutting-edge VR/AR entertainment devs at GDC 2018

Next month the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco will once again feature a curated selection of great stuff for virtual reality developers under the aegis of VRDC @ GDC — including an array of great talks from top VR/AR creators!

Notably, the “‘CocoVR’: Engineering a Cinematic Experience, Spherical Multi-Projection” session — part of the Entertainment AR/VR track of VRDC @ GDC talks — will see Magnopus‘ Luke Schloemer and Xavier Gonzalez discussing how the team at Magnopus (a visual development and experience company) used textures created by Pixar’s rendering pipeline so they could texture the static geometry with lighting equivalent to what they have in their films.

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Google launches VR and AR object library called ‘Poly’

Google has launched Poly, a digital library where virtual and augmented reality devs can find and download 3D objects for use in their apps.

The platform was built from the ground up with AR and VR development in mind, and is has been fully integrated with Google’s Tilt Brush and Blocks object creation software.

Better yet, it’s also compatible with the Google ARCore and Apple ARKit and frameworks, meaning devs from outside of the Google ecosystem can also reap the rewards.

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Resident Evil 7 doubled PlayStation VR session time, says Sony

It’s been roughly one year since Sony launched its console VR headset, the PlayStation VR. While the headset made waves early on by selling 1 million units after eight months, Sony has been largely quiet about the headset’s sales since, even as an updated model hits shelves.

Engadget recently published a story that digs into the state of VR both at the time of the PSVR’s launch and the current moment. The story in itself offers an interesting look at first console VR option, but a comment from Sony on what games seem to shine on console VR might be especially interesting to game developers

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New Unreal Engine 4 update brings official ARKit and ARCore support

Epic Games updated its Unreal Engine to v. 4.18 this week, slipping in a smorgasbord of changes aimed at improving performance and giving devs more tools to make games across more platforms.

While this is chiefly of note to devs using UE4, it’s interesting to skim through the 4.18 release notes and see that Epic has added official support for two notable augmented reality platforms: Apple’s ARKit, and the developer preview version of Google’s ARCore.

Couldn’t make it to VRDC Fall 2017? Catch up on Gamasutra’s coverage of the show here!

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Starbreeze hands majority control of StarVR to Acer

Starbreeze has handed majority control of its StarVR virtual reality platform over to Acer.

The pair initially joined forces in May last year, with Acer offering to help Starbreeze design, manufacture, promote, market, and eventually sell the headset.

At the time, both companies agreed to equally invest up to $25 million in the project. As of today, both have invested a combined $10 million, but Acer will be the sole investor moving forward.

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‘Project CloverVR’ announced as VR editing interface for Adobe Premiere Pro

It was announced at the Adobe MAX conference in Las Vegas that Project CloverVR, a VR editing interface for editing immersive media is now available for Premiere Pro as part of this week’s Creative Cloud release.

Users can utilize CloverVR and edit within Premiere while wearing a VR headset, no longer being constrained to a conventional monitor when editing immersive content.

Couldn’t make it to VRDC Fall 2017? Catch up on Gamasutra’s coverage of the show here!

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Mixed-reality startup Magic Leap secures $502M in funding

Mixed-reality startup Magic Leap has secured $502 million in Series D equity funding. The round was led by new Singapore-based investor Temasek, and means the company has raised almost $2 billion to date.

Magic Leap has spent most of its time working behind closed doors, but that hasn’t stopped investors from splashing the cash.

Couldn’t make it to VRDC Fall 2017? Catch up on Gamasutra’s coverage of the show here!

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