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A week of the Game Developers Conference 2011
GDC 2011 just finished last week and wow do I have a game developer hangover! What an insane week of intense sessions on gaming, walking the expo floor, aisle conversations, meetings, and great parties.
This year I was in on a media pass and got full access to the latest and greatest from the game industry. No I didn't get the Google Chrome Notebooks or Motorola Xooms they passed out to the entire audience of certain sessions, but by far this year's show was the best for things I am interested in.
Even though I am not a game developer per se, there were plenty of sessions in areas of interest. The Kinect had several sessions, there was a full day of Unity3D, a few sessions about augmented reality, and some on web3D technologies.
A bonus of being media, I got the chance to participate in new product/game releases.
Ogmento had a location based multi-player AR game for iPhone that GDC attendees could play called Paranormal Activity: Sanctuary. Find out more about the game here.
The Khronos Group released the final specification for WebGL 1.0, a specification that brings OpenGL hardware-accelerated graphics to supporting web browsers. Official press release.
It has finally happened, virtual reality is getting religion! It started yesterday when I read a post on UploadVR (a great resource for VR and related news) about a Bible app for Google Cardboard called Bible VRX. Bible VRX, developed by Derek Ham, puts users in different scenes from the Bible with, "a mission to use advanced technology to communicate the stories of the Bible, stories of faith, hope, and love”.
One can see in the video below some of the scenes it is possible to visit. According to the article this app is just a prototype that Derek hopes to build out with other scenes that have music, narration, and animated effects.
So this got me thinking. Religion is such a integral part of humanity and this is probably the first virtual reality application I have heard of anyone doing. There were plenty of digital religious experiences back in the heyday of virtual worlds so surely this cannot be the case I thought. To Google I went to find other religious VR experiences …
The FireFox folks on the MozVR team released this month the first version of A-Frame: an open source framework for creating WebVR experiences with very simple markup. For those that are unfamiliar with WebVR, it is the term used to describe virtual reality experiences that are accessible via a Web browser (opposed to VR experiences that are downloaded executables).
"A-Frame makes it easy for web developers to create virtual reality experiences that work across desktop, iPhone (Android support coming soon), and the Oculus Rift.
We created A-Frame to make it easier to create VR web experiences. WebVR has …
I just had an unforgettable day of VR here in the Seattle area. It started off at Envelop VR's office to discuss an upcoming VR event they organize called SEA VR and then my buddy Greg and I got to visit both Unity and Epic's local offices. I can't thank Nick and Pete enough for letting us see their VR rigs and try out their VR demos.
I had a great chat with Pete at Unity's office where I got a chance to see their setup and try out the HTC Vive unit. So far, this headset is by far my favorite HMD.
Next up was a visit to Epic Games' office just a few blocks away. While I am not a game developer, I am a big Epic fan. Epic's Unreal Engine is responsible for a variety of games I have loved playing over the years so this was a fan boy dream come true.
I also got a chance to see the Oculus Rift Crescent Bay demos that I never stand in line at conferences to see. First up was the super cool demo 'Showdown' that takes the user on slow motion trip through a str…