Follow Gamasutra’s VRDC 2017 coverage right here!

VRDC Fall 2017 is happening this week!

Gamasutra will be there to cover a wide variety of talks, panels, and demos during the show, which is happening this Thursday and Friday, September 21-22 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. (You can still register here and join us in person!)

Make sure to follow Gamasutra’s coverage on the special event page, which will be updated regularly during the show. We’ll be on site to bring you highlights from talks including:

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Smartphones are only the tip of the AR iceberg, argues Niantic CEO

The point is that the AR camera view is a cool step forward, but it’s only part of what is going to make AR so important and powerful.”

– Niantic CEO John Hanke shares his vision for the future of augmented reality

During its big iPhone reveal yesterday, Apple described its upcoming line of devices as the first smartphones designed with augmented reality applications in mind, but Niantic CEO John Hanke says that the tech’s current focus on digital overlays risks missing the point of AR entirely.

In a post shared to Medium, Hanke detailed Niantic’s vision of the coming augmented future and argued that the tech showed off during Apple’s presentation should be viewed as a stepping-stone rather than AR’s endgame.

Register for VRDC Fall 2017 and join creators of amazing, immersive experiences of all kinds at the premier industry event.

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Discover how to design positive interactions in social VR at VRDC Fall 2017

With the appeal of social VR applications in the industry, Virtual Reality Developers Conference organizers are highlighting a VRDC Fall 2017 panel dedicated to presenting the best practices for designing the most positive possible interactions in social VR in a way that mitigates abusive scenarios.

If you’re coming to VRDC Fall 2017, which is happening September 21-22 at a bigger, better venue in San Francisco, you’ll want to keep an eye on this panel to gain insight into the fascinating past of VR, and learn about the trends that will shape its future.

Attend VRDC Fall 2017 to learn about immersive games & entertainment, brand experiences, and innovative use cases across industries.

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Don’t miss out on all the great AR talks at VRDC Fall 2017!

As Virtual Reality Developers Conference organizers wrap up preparations for VRDC Fall 2017, they want to make sure you know about some of the great sessions about augmented reality that are happening at the event, which is happening September 21-22 at a bigger, better venue in San Francisco!

For example, Playlines creative director Rob Morgan and technical director Dustin Freeman will be at VRDC Fall 2017 to speak about “Creating ‘Heads-Up Narratives in AR: Lessons Learned.” Location-based AR experiences are now mainstream (see Pokemon Go) and so the pair will discuss their experiences developing narrative-driven site-specific AR experiences, demonstrating the enormous opportunities and unexpected pitfalls of location-based AR.

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Speaker Q&A: Jim Toepel explains how ‘Mindshow’ encourages players to express themselves in VR

Jim Toepel is the Virtual Experience Designer at Mindshow and will be at VRDC 2017 to present his talk Fostering Creative Play with ‘Mindshow’, which will discuss how the tool ‘Mindshow’ has been used to teach players to embody different creatures, act with their pre-recorded selves, respond to improv prompting, explore their playspace and frame their own camera shots. Here, Toepel gives us some information about himself and his work.

Attend VRDC Fall 2017 to learn about immersive games & entertainment, brand experiences, and innovative use cases across industries.

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Learn about the value and future of VR/AR standards at VRDC Fall 2017

With so many new and exciting VR and AR technologies on the market, Virtual Reality Developers Conference organizers believe it’s important to get the word out about a smart VRDC Fall 2017 panel focused on the future of VR/AR standards in the industry.

If you’re coming to VRDC Fall 2017, which is happening September 21-22 at a bigger, better venue in San Francisco, you’ll want to keep tabs on this panel because one of the greatest threats to the long-term health of VR and AR is fragmentation and the lack of easily understandable, implementable standards.

In their panel discussion on “OpenXR News: Converging on a Widely Accepted VR API Standard“, OpenXR working group experts from Epic, Google, Sensics and Valve will provide new updates on the goals, content and status of this critical standards effort, which was launched by the Khronos Group earlier this year.

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At VRDC Fall 2017, learn about cutting-edge social VR work and tech

As Virtual Reality Developers Conference organizers put the finishing touches on a great VRDC Fall 2017 event (happening September 21-22 at a bigger, better venue in San Francisco), they want to make sure you don’t miss out on some of the great social VR talks happening at the show!

One of VRDC’s many goals is to give attendees opportunities to learn from experts breaking ground on the frontier of VR/AR/MR social experiences. These new technologies can open up whole new realms of human interaction, and at VRDC Fall 2017 you’ll hear from some of the foremost pioneers in the field.

That’s why behavioral scientist and researcher Jessica Outlaw will be giving an important talk about social VR titled “Road to Art3mis: Women’s First-Time Experiences in Social VR.” Outlaw’s talks is based on her recruitment of 20 women (all first-timers to VR) to use different social VR platforms. Using observation, and pre- and post-interview questions, she will report the findings of this testing and offer attendees insight into how the data might be applied to create more inclusive VR experiences.

Outlaw aims to discuss how the participant’s expectations about VR influenced their experience, how they approached social interactions, and their perceptions about the potential of the technology. Attend her talk to learn all the specific findings from this study — and get tips on running your own research in the future!

Organizers are also excited to welcome Mike Booth, who currently works on social VR at Facebook and has a long career in games (founding Turtle Rock Studios and working at companies like Valve, Electronic Arts and Blizzard), to deliver a cutting-edge talk on what it takes to build an immersive social experience in VR.

Booth’s talk, “Creating Social Experiences in VR“, will be part of VRDC Fall 2017’s Innovation track of talks, which are all about how pioneers are breaking new ground in VR, AR, and mixed-reality experience design. Booth now leads a team of people who are exploring and building the future of social interation in VR, and his talk will be packed with their lessons learned.

And in “Building VR Communities: Asymmetry, Asynchrony, and Abuse” a panel of experts (Google’s Rob Jagnow and Daniel Citron, along with Owlchemy Labs’ Cy Wise) will discuss findings from dozens of VR social interaction tests and highlight their own hard-learned best practices in an effort to foster an open dialogue about the nuances of this new space.

The idea is that by considering asymmetric experiences that take place across heterogeneous devices like a headset and a mobile phone, developers can open up new opportunities for participation. Mechanics built around asynchronous interactions can make small communities feel bigger.

And of course, VRDC Fall 2017 organizers look forward to announcing many more talks for the event in the weeks to come. Don’t forget to register early at a discounted rate!

Since tickets sold out for the first three VRDC events, VRDC Fall 2017 will offer more sessions and move to a bigger location at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco, CA September 21-22.

For more information on VRDC Fall 2017, visit the show’s official website and subscribe to regular updates via Twitter and Facebook.

Unreal Engine 4.17 debuts with experimental support for Apple’s ARKit

Devs curious about augmented reality games and experiences should note that Epic updated its Unreal Engine to 4.17 today, and nestled in the list of additions is experimental support for Apple’s new ARKit tech.

This is a big deal if you’re at all interested in making an AR game for mobile devices, since ARKit works with all modern iOS devices running iOS 11 or later.

Join creators of innovative VR, AR, and mixed reality technologies at VRDC Fall 2017 next month.  Register now!

When Apple debuted ARKit at its dev conference this summer, it made games a centerpiece, bringing up a pair of staffers from the new AR division of WingNut (a company founded by film director Peter Jackson) to showcase a game demo they’d built using UE4.

Of course, ARKit is currently out in beta form ahead of a full release later this year, which is why the latest UE4 update tags its ARKit support as experimental; in the update notes, Epic states it wants “developers to play around with the new feature set before the official support arrives from Apple in iOS 11 later this year.”

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At VRDC Fall 2017, see how the Rick & Morty VR experience was made!

Good news today if you’re a fan of Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon’s show “Rick & Morty” or virtual reality: Virtual Reality Developers Conference officials are proud to host a talk at VRDC Fall 2017 that’s all about how Owlchemy Labs made Rick & Morty: Virtual Rick-ality!

This is a greast postmortem session that you’ll want time to see if you’re attending VRDC Fall 2017, which is happening September 21-22 at a bigger, better venue in San Francisco!

In their talk — cheerfully titled “Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality‘ Postmortem: VR Lessons *burrrp* Learned — Owlchemy Labs’ Alex Schwartz and Devin Reimer will break down the successes, failures, and lessons learned during the development of the game, which was recently published by Adult Swim.

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PSA: Use the Session Scheduler to optimize your time at VRDC Fall 2017!

The VRDC Fall 2017 conference is happening next month (September 21-22) so now is the perfect time for attendees to hammer out their schedules in order to ensure they make the most of their time at the conference.

For an easier planning process, onference officials encourage you to take advantage of the free VRDC Fall 2017 Session Scheduler to plan out which talks you’d like to attend and ensure you don’t miss anything the show has to offer.

(And if you haven’t signed up yet, don’t worry — there’s still time to register for a pass at a cheaper rate than you’ll pay at the door!)

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