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6. December 2019


Adobe announced today that they have acquired Oculus Medium, a VR based content creation tool developed at Facebook’s Oculus division.

Details from the Adobe announcement:

Today, I am thrilled to welcome the amazing Medium team to the Adobe family. Born as an innovative VR authoring tool at Facebook’s Oculus division, the Medium team and technology are an exciting addition to Adobe as we aim to meaningfully accelerate our 3D and immersive efforts.

Medium has been a beacon of creativity in the VR space, pushing creative and technical boundaries of 3D modeling. The creative tool enables users to sculpt, model and paint in an immersive environment – to easily create characters, objects, environments, expressive works of art and more. The integration of Medium’s tools and technology will greatly contribute to our 3D and immersive strategy.

Medium also have a blog post about the acquisition, with details of how existing customers will be impacted:

To our passionate Medium users, nothing is changing for you today. And the app is currently still free when you activate your new Oculus Touch controllers on the Oculus Store. Stay tuned for more features, improvements, and other developments coming from Adobe in 2020 as Medium continues to evolve.

If you wish to learn more about the acquisition, be sure to check out the video below.

GameDev News


14. November 2019


Two completely unrelated stories (beyond the Oculus commonality) in one today.  First, Unity and Oculus have teamed up to launch an 11 part, 20+ hour course on all aspects of creating a VR game using the Unity game engine with the Oculus Rift SDK and hardware.

Details from the Unity blog:

We’ve partnered with Oculus, to launch an extensive intermediate level course guiding you through all aspects of building a virtual reality (VR) game. As the VR industry continues to grow and mature, developers are asking more questions about making the switch to VR, and developers who already work in VR want to improve their skills. That’s why we teamed up with the experts at Oculus to build this comprehensive VR course, “Design, Develop, and Deploy for VR.

In more than 20 hours of hands-on course content, you’ll learn about programming, user experience (UX) considerations for VR, optimization, launching your game and more. Twelve experts from Oculus and Unity give you in-depth lessons to help you build your own vertical slice (think, level of a game) of an escape room game. Plus, after you complete the course, you can submit your vertical slice for feedback from Oculus.

Even though this course is centered around creating a game, the principles and learnings apply to almost any type of VR content, whether you’re building practical business applications or immersive experiences as art or entertainment. You’ll find this course useful even if your interests go beyond making a game. 

The course is hosted on the Unity Learn platform.  You can learn more about Unity learn here.

In additional Oculus news, John Carmack (of id fame) has announced he is stepping down as CIO of Oculus.  His announcement came via Facebook post, excerpt below:

Starting this week, I’m moving to a "Consulting CTO” position with Oculus.

I will still have a voice in the development work, but it will only be consuming a modest slice of my time.

As for what I am going to be doing with the rest of my time: When I think back over everything I have done across games, aerospace, and VR, I have always felt that I had at least a vague “line of sight” to the solutions, even if they were unconventional or unproven. I have sometimes wondered how I would fare with a problem where the solution really isn’t in sight. I decided that I should give it a try before I get too old.

I’m going to work on artificial general intelligence (AGI).

Thankfully John is leaving Facebook before working on artificial intelligence!  You can learn more about both announcements in the video below.

GameDev News


30. October 2019


Humble are running a new bundle of interest to game developers, the Humble Learn and Play VR-AR Game Dev Bundle.  This is a collection of courses by Zenva on the topics of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality development using the Unity game engine.  Additionally it contains several VR games as well, each redeemed on Steam.

As always the bundle is broken into tiers, this bundle’s tiers are:

1$

  • Intro to Augmented Realitry
  • Intro to Game Development with Unity
  • Create Your First 3D Game with Unity
  • VR Game Development for Beginners
  • VR Game Development with Controllers
  • Insect Revolution VR

11$

  • AR Projects – Job Training App
  • AR Projects – Geology App
  • VR Pointers – Space Station App
  • VR Projects – Night with Mosquitos Game
  • VR Projects – Space Invaders
  • Intro to ARKit
  • Intro to ARCore
  • AR Projects Science App For Kids

20$

  • Project Based Oculus Avatars and Platform SDK
  • VR Projects 360 Photos Experience
  • VR Projects 360 Video Quiz App
  • VR Projects Puzzle Game
  • VR Projects Fitness Game
  • VR Projects Cabin Experience
  • VR Projects Third Person Platformer Game
  • VR Projects Underwater Shark Experience
  • VR Projects First Person Shooter
  • VR Projects Build an RPG
  • AR Game Development Space Shooter
  • VR Projects Exploration Game
  • Stunt Kite Masters VR
  • Devil and the Fairy

As with all Humble bundles, you can decide how your money is allocated, between the Publisher, Humble, Charity or if you choose (and thanks if you do!) GameFromScratch by using this link.  You can learn more about this bundle in the video below.

GameDev News


18. March 2019


Khronos Group today announced the release of the provisional specification of OpenXR 0.9.  Along side the specification, two implementations were also released, OpenXR For Microsoft Mixed Reality Devices as well as Monado an open platform for AR/VR development on GNU/Linux.

Details from the Khronos blog:

The OpenXR 0.90 provisional release specifies a cross-platform Application Programming Interface (API) enabling XR hardware platform vendors to expose the functionality of their runtime systems. By accessing a common set of objects and functions corresponding to application lifecycle, rendering, tracking, frame timing, and input, which are frustratingly different across existing vendor-specific APIs, software developers can run their applications across multiple XR systems with minimal porting effort—significantly reducing industry fragmentation.

The Khronos OpenXR working group was formed in early 2017 with the support and participation of leading XR companies. Throughout the development of the specification, multiple Khronos members have been developing independent implementations to ensure a robust and complete specification. Many of these implementations are becoming available for developers to evaluate including the ‘Monado’ OpenXR open source implementation from Collabora and the OpenXR runtime for Windows Mixed Reality headsets from Microsoft shipping today. Additionally, the Unreal Engine from Epic plans to continue to support OpenXR.

Several device and engine makers have announced OpenXR support including Microsoft, HTC, Oculus, Unity and Unreal Engine.

GameDev News


24. February 2019


Today at MWC 19 in Barcelona, Microsoft announced the second release of their HoloLens augment reality headset.  Costing an eye watering $3,500 or $150/month, the HoloLens is not a mass market or consumer device.  The HoloLens 2 includes improved sensors, a better display, improved ergonomics and more.  The Microsoft blog describes the 3 pillars of HoloLens 2 development:

Immersion is greatly enhanced by advancements across the board, including in the visual display system, making holograms even more vibrant and realistic. We have more than doubled the field of view in HoloLens 2, while maintaining the industry-leading holographic density of 47 pixels per degree of sight. HoloLens 2 contains a new displaySide view of sleek black HoloLens 2 system that enables us to achieve these significant advances in performance at low power. We have also completely refreshed the way you interact with holograms in HoloLens 2. Taking advantage of our new time-of-flight depth sensor, combined with built-in AI and semantic understanding, HoloLens 2 enables direct manipulation of holograms with the same instinctual interactions you’d use with physical objects in the real world. In addition to the improvements in the display engine and direct manipulation of holograms, HoloLens 2 contains eye-tracking sensors that make interacting with holograms even more natural. You can log in with Windows Hello enterprise-grade authentication through iris recognition, making it easy for multiple people to quickly and securely share the device.

Comfort is enhanced by a more balanced center of gravity, the use of light carbon-fiber material and a new mechanism for donning the device without readjusting. We’ve improved the thermal management with new vapor chamber technology and accounted for the wide physiological variability in the size and shape of human heads by designing HoloLens 2 to comfortably adjust and fit almost anyone. The new dial-in fit system makes it comfortable to wear for hours on end, and you can keep your glasses on because HoloLens 2 adapts to you by sliding right over them. When it’s time to step out of mixed reality, flip the visor up and switch tasks in seconds. Together, these enhancements have more than tripled the measured comfort and ergonomics of the device.

Time-to-value is accelerated by Microsoft mixed reality applications like Dynamics 365 Remote Assist, Dynamics 365 Layout and the new Dynamics 365 Guides applications. In addition to the in-box value, our ecosystem of mixed reality partners provides a broad range of offerings built on HoloLens that deliver value across a range of industries and use cases. This partner ecosystem is being supplemented by a new wave of mixed reality entrepreneurs who are realizing the potential of devices like HoloLens 2 and the Azure services that give them the spatial, speech and vision intelligence needed for mixed reality, plus battle-tested cloud services for storage, security and application insights.

Building on the unique capabilities of the original HoloLens, HoloLens 2 is the ultimate intelligent edge device. And when coupled with existing and new Azure services, HoloLens 2 becomes even more capable, right out of the box.

HoloLens 2 will be available this year at a price of $3,500. Bundles including Dynamics 365 Remote Assist start at $125/month. HoloLens 2 will be initially available in the United States, Japan, China, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia and New Zealand. Customers can preorder HoloLens 2 starting today at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/hololens/buy.

In addition to the HoloLens 2, Microsoft also announced the release of Azure Kinect, an updated and more powerful version of the Kinect motion sensor previously bundled with the XBox 360/One. 

The Azure Kinect DK is a developer kit that combines our industry-leading AI sensors in a single device. At its core is the time-of-flight depth sensor we developed for Front and side view of compact silver Azure Kinect DK deviceHoloLens 2, high-def RGB camera and a 7-microphone circular array that will enable development of advanced computer vision and speech solutions with Azure. It enables solutions that don’t just sense but understand the world — people, places, things around it. A good example of such a solution in the healthcare space is Ocuvera, which is using this technology to prevent patients from falling in hospitals. Every year in the U.S. alone, over 1 million hospital patients fall each year, and 11,000 of those falls are fatal. With Azure Kinect, the environmental precursors to a fall can be determined and a nurse notified to get to patients before they fall. Initially available in the U.S. and China, the Azure Kinect DK is available for preorder today at $399. Visit Azure.com/Kinect for more info.

Epic Games were also on-hand to announce Unreal Engine support for the HoloLens 2:

Epic Games today announced that support for Microsoft HoloLens 2 will be coming to Unreal Engine 4 starting in May 2019. The announcement was made during an onstage presentation by Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney during the Microsoft keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
This development has been highly anticipated by augmented reality (AR) communities across entertainment, visualization, manufacturing, design, and education. In a future release, Unreal Engine will fully support HoloLens 2 with streaming and native platform integration. Unreal Engine support for HoloLens 1 currently enables streaming to the device.

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