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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

gdc_newlogo1 (1).jpg

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.

Continue reading

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

gdc_newlogo1 (1).jpg

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.

Continue reading

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.

Gamasutra, VRDC and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

Attend VRDC to see how AR tools can be integrated into the workplace

gdc_newlogo1 (1).jpg

As virtual- and augmented-reality technologies become more powerful and more commonplace, the question arises: how can you use them to enhance your workplace?

At the Virtual Reality Developers Conference this November IBM engineer Rosstin Murphy will help answer that question with a talk on “Immersive Data Visualization: AR in the Workplace.”

It should be an intriguing talk, as Rosstin will present his research on using AR to visualize, analyze, and manipulate big data in the workplace. His goal is to use AR to augment the data scientist’s toolbox, and improve the speed and depth of their analyses.

Even if you aren’t a data analyst, his talk is worth checking out because (in addition to his insight on AR uses) his work exploring VR interaction in a business context reveals objective challenges with using VR to improve work productivity.

Continue reading

At VRDC you’ll learn when (and when not) to apply existing design rules to VR

gdc_newlogo1 (1).jpg

The advent of decent consumer-grade virtual reality hardware has huge implications for every creative field. But to take advantage of this cutting-edge tech, creators must understand the many ways VR confounds established design practices.

That’s exactly what Noah Falstein, a longtime game maker who now serves as Google’s chief game designer, hopes to explore in his talk on “7 Ways VR Confounds Design Expectations” at the inaugural standalone Virtual Reality Developers Conference this November.

Falstein’s talk delves into seven specific areas, detailing problems and suggesting solutions derived from game design, film making, theater, evolution, and neuroscience.

Incidentally, the deadline to register early at a discounted rate for this year’s Virtual Reality Developers Conference ends today, September 7th at 11:59 PM Pacific! Conference organizers are encouraging anyone interested in attending to register now at a discounted rate to save up to $400!

Make time to attend and you’ll learn how VR game design and storytelling can benefit from existing rules of thumb, and when they need entirely new approaches to succeed. Plus, Falstein will speak to what VR devs need to know about physical considerations, immersion, presence, attention, timing, and more.

Continue reading

Reminder: Early registration for VRDC ends tomorrow!

gdc_newlogo1 (1).jpg

Heads up: The deadline to register early at a discounted rate for the 2016 Virtual Reality Developers Conference ends tomorrow, September 7th at 11:59 PM Pacific!

Conference organizers are encouraging anyone interested in attending to register now at a discounted rate to save up to $400!

The premier event for creators of immersive VR (and AR) experiences, VRDC will be held this November 2-3 in San Francisco, at the prestigious Park Central Hotel.

To meet the growing demand for high‐quality content in the rapidly-expanding VR/AR space, VRDC is expanding to cover virtual and augmented reality in games, entertainment, and beyond into subjects such as healthcare, journalism, travel, manufacturing, retail, live events, real estate, training, and so much more.

When you register you’ll be securing access to a very special two‐day event that will bring together VR/AR experts from multiple industries to share best practices, demo new technology, create new business partnerships, and exchange ideas with innovators shaping the industry.

Continue reading