Come check out some of the latest VR games and tech at VRDC!

November will see the debut of the first-ever standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference, and conference organizers are working hard to line up great sessions, exhibitors and sponsors for the cutting-edge event.

The best way to understand the power of VR is to experience it for yourself, so today we’re excited to reveal some of the great VR demos that VRDC sponsors plan to make available for all VRDC attendees to check out as they’re making the most of their time at the conference.

Japanese VR pioneer Colopl Ni will have a booth at the show where visitors can play demos of their popular VR games Cyberpong and Slot Tub Party, as well as an as-yet unannounced VR game that’s expected to debut later this year.

Plus, sponsor MyDream Interactive is expected to bring playable versions of both its VR tower defense game Siege Hammer and its innovative LightVR room simulator, which allows anyone to build the room of their dreams.

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At VRDC, experts share lessons learned surviving the early days of VR

The field of virtual- and augmented-reality development is still young, but already pioneers have accumulated a wealth of learnings from trying (and sometimes failing) to build cutting-edge VR/AR experiences.

You can hear some of those learnings for yourself at the inaugural standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference this November, where a group of VR/AR pioneers will be speaking in a panel discussion called “Prototypes and Tears: Surviving the Early Days of VR.”

Panelists Joe Radak (Co-Founder, Lead Designer, Eerie Bear Games, LLC), Nathan Rowe (Founder, SculptrVR, Inc.), Julie Heyde (#ChickenBitch, VRUnicorns), Theresa Duringer (CEO, Temple Gates Games) and Sara Lisa Vogl (VR UX/UI & Creative Squirrel, VR Nerds) will  walk through the challenges they had starting up in VR, overcoming its challenges and how they got to where they are now, and how you can do the same!

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Google, Microsoft, HTC among VRDC’s growing list of cutting-edge exhibitors

The inaugural standalone edition of the Virtual Reality Developers Conference kicks off this November, and today we’d like to quickly highlight of the cutting-edge tech companies who have already signed on to exhibit on the VRDC show floor.

Often VR/AR tech and experiences are best understood by actually trying them for yourself, and VRDC is shaping up to be a great place for exploring the future of VR/AR development.

Among the exhibitors already expected to showcase their cutting-edge work at VRDC are Microsoft (makers of the augmented-reality HoloLens headset), Google (which recently expanded its mobile VR offerings with its Daydream platform) and HTC, which built the cutting-edge Vive VR headset in collaboration with Valve.

The growing list of VRDC exhibitors also includes CCP Games, developers of the high-profile VR game EVE Valkyrie, eye-tracking VR headset company Fove and the Japanese game publisher/developer Colopl, which recently launched a $50M global VR investment fund as it works to develop and publish its own VR games.

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At VRDC you’ll see how Chernobyl was authentically recreated in VR

November will see the debut of the first-ever standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference, and today conference organizers are excited to share more information on one of the many exciting sessions talking place during the show.

One of the great strengths of VR is its ability to transport us to other places — and when those places are physically hazardous, VR allows us to safely visit and explore them in virtual space.

The area around the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant is one such place, and in his VRDC talk on “Exploring & Remembering the Chernobyl Disaster Using VR: ‘Chernobyl VR Project’” Wojciech Pazdur will break down how The Farm 51 captured Chernobyl and authentically reconstructed it for a virtual audience.

Pazdur is the head of The Farm 51, a Polish studio, and in his talk he’ll showcase the ways that The Farm 51 recreated parts of the radiated Exclusion Zone around Chernobyl in Unreal Engine 4 with the help of photogrammetry, laser scanners, drones, 360 spherical movies and photos.

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Come to VRDC and learn to use sound more effectively in your VR game

Virtual reality experience design is an exciting, uncharted territory. How can developers use sound to really sell the illusion of reality (or hyper-reality) in VR experiences?

At the Virtual Reality Developers Conference this November, HUGESound audio director Chance Thomas will how you how in his talk on “Hearing Is Believing In The Void.”

Thomas is an expert, and his talk discusses a multiple-solution approach like the one utilized to deliver the debut VR experience for “The Void” (pictured), which blends real-world elements with VR to create a sort of “hyper-reality.” In his talk Thomas will dig into hardware control, current-gen software algorithms, and pre-rendered assets will be discussed, including pros and cons.

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Get expert advice on implementing great VR hand-tracking at VRDC

The first-ever standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference is just months away, and today organizers want to let you know about another great talk taking place at the November event.

Veteran game developer Matt Newport is now chief technology officer at VR firm Osso VR, and at VRDC he’ll be running down the finer points of hand-tracking in a talk on “Hand Tracked Controls: Design and Implementation for Serious VR.”

This session will be great because Osso seeks to explain the tremendous value of hand tracked controls in VR for training applications, and discuss the key design decisions developers face implementing hand tracked controls and hand/object interaction in VR.

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Come out to VRDC and learn how to make VR/AR truly accessible

As VR and AR emerge as a new medium for storytelling, gaming, and other applications, it’s important to think about how to create experiences that can be inclusive to all types of people — especially since a significant portion of people who play games also have a disability.

At the inaugural standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference this November a panel of experts will gather to discuss just that in a session titled “For Every Gamer: Making VR and AR Truly Accessible.”

Ultimately, if developers want to be inclusive and/or make profit, disabled players are an increasingly important segment of users that can no longer be ignored.

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Learn about the future of eye-tracking in VR at VRDC 2016!

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Now that virtual reality technology is a commercial reality, eye-tracking for VR has become a hot topic. So what’s all the fuzz about?

Find out at the inaugural Virtual Reality Developers Conference this November, when SMI’s Tom Sengelaub — an eye-tracking expert — will dig into the topic in his Innovation track talk “Applications of Eye Tracking in Virtual Reality.”

SMI (Sensomotoric Instruments) is a world leader in eye-tracking tech, and in his talk Sengelaub will present how eye tracking can be used to personalize the 3D experience. Developers should also note he’ll speak directly to how the ability to track someone’s “point of gaze” revolutionizes interaction with a virtual world.

The power of eye-tracking is not limited to interaction alone, either — In the long run, eye-tracking can make logins obsolete, and using foveated rendering, make high-resolution displays possible in HMDs. Sengelaub will outline how this can be done and present both the state-of-the-art (and a leap into the future) of eye tracking in VR.

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Learn the secrets of social VR gameplay and the VR tabletop at VRDC!

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Contemporary VR expert (and Oculus chief scientist) Michael Abrash once predicted that “VR will be the most social medium ever.”

The VR developers at Ubisoft’s Red Storm Entertainment believe their own findings support that prediction, and at the standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference in November they intend to share their findings.

In a session titled “Social Animals: Werewolves Within and the Virtual Tabletop” Red Storm’s lead social systems designer Justin Achilli will deconstruct how the studio developed Werewolves Within with a focus on social gameplay. In the process they challenged the notion of VR as a solitary activity and translated the experience of face-to-face gameplay “around the table” into the medium of VR.

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VR Ethics: Come to VRDC and learn how not to join the league of evil

With new technology comes new creative power — and new responsibility.

Virtual reality is no exception, and at the inaugural standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference this November a panel of experts will gather to discuss the value of ethics in VR experience design.

Attend the session on “VR Ethics: How Not To Join The League of Evil” to learn just that. Experts Suzanne Leibrick (VR Designer, ARVR Academy), Mark Schramm (Director, Virtual Fireflies), Erin Pangilinan (Founder / Designer x Developer Consultant, Harp / Self), Banun Idris (Software Engineer, Independent Developer), Jedrzej Jonasz (President, Mythical City Games) and Sky Nite (Head of Education, UploadVR) will discuss the potential future ramifications of VR: how to avoid unethical behavior, what unethical VR creation looks like, and how to use your developer superpowers only for good.

Make time to check it out and you’ll gain a new perspective on the wider implications of the world-changing topic that is VR, and your own responsibility as a creator.

So go to the VRDC website now and register to attend the conference, which will feature a plethora of great VR/AR talks spanning games, entertainment, and beyond into subjects such as healthcare, journalism, travel, manufacturing, retail, live events, real estate, training, and so much more.

VRDC 2016 will take place November 2-3 at the Park Central Hotel in San Francisco. For more information on VRDC 2016, visit the show’s official website and subscribe to regular updates via Twitter and Facebook.

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