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Unity VR Samples: Remixed

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Unity VR Samples: Remixed

After working on the VR Samples with Unity, I thought it might be entertaining - for me at least - to try 'remixing' them in the style of some of my dioramas

Here's a few hours of playing around with the Flyer minigame, and adding a bunch of Asset Store things in, and lots of tweaking of various properties.

Runs at a solid 75fps on my DK2, with 780ti. This is in no way designed to run on mobile :)

Assets used include:

Gallery of my WIP below.


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Unity VR Samples

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Unity VR Samples

Unity asked me to work with them on the Unity VR Samples, which is aimed at people who are interested in starting VR development in Unity. I'm very happy to say it's now been released!

It consists of a VR Sample project for Gear VR and DK2, with a menu scene and four minigames:

It's also backed by extensive documentation about various aspects of VR and how they're applied in the VR Samples:

 

If you're new to VR dev, take a look! There's tons of information in there that's bound to be useful to you.

Big thanks for the Unity team for their hard work and putting up with me :)

 

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Speaking at Unite Europe 2015 - A Quick Summary

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Speaking at Unite Europe 2015 - A Quick Summary

This was the second time I attended the fun and inspiring Unite Europe conference in Amsterdam, and this time I was on stage - twice!

A huge, heartfelt thank you to Unity and the team who organised it. Not only for organising a wonderful event for ~1500 people, but also for accepting my session, and putting me on the main stage.

First up was the brief mention in the Unite keynote at 1:46:50 (thanks Andy!) - followed by my session on the main stage: "Turning It Up To Eleven: Making Unity 5 Look AWESOME". For those of you surprised I wasn't talking about VR, making Unity look amazing is my other passion!

This was my first time speaking at an international tech conference, and it seemed to go down well - see the tweets embedded below. Although it's a lot of work to prepare, the payoff is definitely worth it, and once you're on the stage any worries just disappear.

On the second day of the conference I was on the "So You Want To Be A Unity Freelancer?" panel with Cat Burton, Kerry Turner, and Emil Johansen - which was genuinely interesting to be on from my point of view. It was great sharing thoughts, tips, and strategies with other experienced freelancers - I definitely learned some new things, and perhaps we convinced some people to go freelance too.

I believe both talks were recorded, and will be available on YouTube over the next few weeks. I'll update this when they're available, and upload my edited slides soon.

[Edit: Link to Turning It Up To Eleven: Making Unity 5 Look AWESOME!]

Various tweets about the two talks below. I think my favourite is "@yezzer is the Michael Bay of Unity scenes".



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Vuforia just made Augmented Reality 10x more interesting with Object Recognition

While I really enjoy making AR content with Unity, I realise that its real-life applications are few and far between. This could be set to change with Vuforia beta 4.0, which introduces Object Recognition.

In short, this means we are no longer bound by flat planes with markers on them, such as business cards, posters, boxes, and menus. Vuforia now allows us to use a physical product as a marker, which is very, very exciting.

A great example is toys, and Vuforia uses an augmented toy car in their promotional video:

 

As soon as I was notified about the release, I had to take a look. Although it's beta software, it works well. My first test of the tech was with a toy car, which was a bit boring. Time for something a bit more interesting, and relevant to my interests. Since I'm obsessed with Iron Man, I thought I'd try using an Arc Reactor prop as a marker.

First of all, place the object to track on the special scanning marker, and use the scanning App to build up a model that Vuforia can track.

Then send the tracking data to yourself, and upload to the Object Tracking manager. Download the Unity package, import into your project, then just add whatever you want to it.

In this case, I had some assets that I thought might work well with it. So here we go, an Arc Reactor with Iron Man flying above it, with a few other elements. 

It works! It's remarkably robust too, considering I'm using quite a symmetrical marker. I'll see if I can capture a video of it when I have some time, as it's much more impressive than a boring static screenshot. 

In all, this took me around an hour. About half of that was waiting for the assets to download. Once again, basic AR is easy.. it's all the functionality that's added on top that take time!

I wish I had an accurate 3D model of the Arc Reactor, as it could be made a lot more interesting augmenting parts of the reactor (see the car bonnet in the Vuforia video above).

This tech could have great applications for use with physical objects, including and also far beyond toys. I'm very excited about what we can make with this, it could have huge uses in training, education, marketing, and advertising... anything that involves a physical product that doesn't deform.

One thing I'm interested in is how much they're going to charge for this. No details are released yet. It should be fine for prototypes for clients, but anything 'out in the wild' is unlikely to be completely free.

I'll post more experiments with Vuforia Object Recognition in the coming weeks.

If you want any more info on this, use the contact form and give me a shout.

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Radial-G

 

Radial-G is one of the best VR games I've played, and now I'd say it's by far the best. But then I would say that, as I'm now credited as a Supporting Developer!

Admittedly it was only a small amount of work, however it was an absolute pleasure working with the team. Shame I didn't have more availability, as I love working on shiny 3D, particularly in VR.

Radial-G also won "Best Overall VR Experience Finalists Public Choice" at the Virtual Reality Awards.

Radial-G has been greenlit on Steam, and will be available on December 11th, 2014.

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WebGL Gunship Demo

Just testing out the Unity WebGL preview. When I get time I'll add some interactivity into these things! 

Edit: 17/12/2014: Looks like something's changed in the browsers WebGL rendering, and there's a DoF/blur on everything. Will need to fix that.

Exciting times. See my other blog post for more info.

Note that not all image effects are currently supported by the WebGL preview, and the images below have some enabled that you won't see... yet.



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Unity 5 and WebGL - Walker Diorama

All hail the new golden age of bloated WebGL skip intros for websites!

Well, maybe, but hopefully not. I will admit to making some when I was an ActionScript programmer many many years ago..

Anyway, I've been doing some personal R&D with the Unity 5 private beta and the WebGL preview. I haven't had much time to play with WebGL, but thought I'd take a quick look over a quiet weekend.

If you haven't heard much about WebGL and Unity, well Unity recently announced that they will make this a free feature for both Free and Pro users, which is fantastic news for everyone really. I'm sure this will mean more people using Unity, which can only be a good thing.

The screenshot below is with some nice image effects enabled, but WebGL doesn't yet support that. 

Personally - and the point of this quick test - I find it amazing that browsers can display this content without any plugins. It's come such a long way since I used Mosaic back in the 90's!

Updated with a few extra bits and watermark

Updated with a few extra bits and watermark

Unity 5 WebGL Walker Diorama in Editor. Note: Image effects are not yet available in WebGL.

Updated daytime version

 

If you'd like to take a look at this scene exported for WebGL:

Edit: 17/12/2014: Looks like something's changed in the browsers WebGL rendering, and there's a DoF/blur on everything. Will need to fix that.


Please note it's:

  • Not optimised! This is a whopping 150MB. There's a bunch of textures I need to optimise or strip out.
  • Doesn't do much (move camera + zoom using mousewheel)
  • Has not been tested on anything other than a GeForce 780TI
  • Is the WebGL preview and not representative of the final release
  • The fire effect goes a bit odd at times.
  • The thumbnails are misleading as they have image effects

With all the above disclaimers, I'm not quite sure why you'd check it out! But do feel free.

Any comments, please leave them below. If it doesn't work, could you note your system spec? Thanks!

Update 1: Ok, the dark scene is too dark on most monitors. Updated to a daytime version.

Update 2: Added some other bits and pieces in, including a watermark. Can you find the liquorice allsorts? 

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Aardman

I'm very happy to say I'm now working on a project with Aardman in Bristol! More info soon..

A busy quarter

A quick update on my activity this year. It's been hectic so far! I've had the pleasure of working with some enormously talented companies; Littleloud, Fat Pebble, Plastic Pictures, and most recently Preloaded. I can't give any more information as the work I've done is either NDA'd, or has yet to be released. I'll be sure to update when the projects are on the App Store / Google Play.

Of course, the biggest news of 2013 so far is Sweatshop HD being pulled from the App Store, which was covered by media worldwide.

Work in Progress - Augmented Reality Car Demo

Some work in progress shots of an interactive Unity3D demo I've been working on when I have spare time. At some point I'll upload video, and maybe link to a Webplayer demo. Screenshots from Desktop, iPad3, and iPhone5.

This was also a contender for working it into a http://www.onegameamonth.com/ entry. Maybe next month..

Spin View

Spin view

Augmented Reality view

Interior gyroscope view

Shrike Engine

Shrike Engine
Shrike Engine

Some progress on Shrike Engine - a framework I'm building in Unity3D to handle common functionality in 3rd person games, such as:

  • Enemy AI
  • Pathfinding
  • Dialog
  • Inventory
  • Long and short range combat
  • Multiplatform (iOS, Android, Web)
  • Multiplayer
  • Multiple input (touchpad, desktop, controller)

All of this building on top of Unity3D, and using plugins such as 2D Toolkit, Finger Gestures, Playmaker, Skyshop, and Alloy.