Learn about VR ghosts, werewolves, and more at VRDC this week!


Winter is coming, and tonight people around the world are celebrating All Hallow’s Eve. In the spirit of the season, organizers of the first-ever standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference would like to wish everyone a safe and happy evening.

Since VRDC itself kicks off this Wednesday in San Francisco, show staff would like to quickly highlight some of the expert VRDC sessions that touch upon topics that are just a little bit dark, spooky, and otherwise unsettling — in a fun way, of course.

For example, HUGESound audio director Chance Thomas will be delivering a great talk about how “Hearing Is Believing In The Void.”

Beyond its spooky name, “The Void” is a system blends real-world elements with VR to create a sort of “hyper-reality.” It made a splash this year when The Void team partnered with Sony Pictures to create an interactive mixed-reality experience (pictured) based on the comedic supernatural capers depicted in the Ghostbusters movies, and in his VRDC talk Thomas will dig into the nitty-gritty details of how you go about crafting compelling audio for such an experience.

All aspects of audio for your VR experience will be addressed: sound, VO and music. To round out the talk, Thomas will offer suggestions for future innovation and improvement that you can potentially implement in your own projects — spooky or not.

And in a session on “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 — though in this case, furry monsters sometimes lurk behind the faces of other players.

Plus, there will be a great rountable session that uses a darkly comedic title to broach some very real concerns about VR/AR development. In “VR Ethics: How Not To Join The League of Evil“, 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 for good — never for evil.

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.

Make sure to head over 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.