Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Orange Energy Chamber and Boss Enemy

Today I am unveiling a glimpse of the Orange Energy Chamber from my current game project. 

Below is concept art for the Orange Energy Chamber. Can you guess which tool will solve this riddle?

Also below are animations illustrating some enemies and allies. In each level there will be different enemies with different AI and different behaviors. 

The Bugbot animation below is showing a concept of a Boss Enemy that guards tools in each Energy Chamber. As the player advances in levels the Bugbot will morph into a svelte, aerodynamic, killing machine that the Shotbot must battle.

Orange Energy Chamber
(Please click to enlarge)

(Please click to enlarge)

A PowerUp
(Please click to enlarge)

An Enemy
(Please click to enlarge)

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset On Sale 2016 And The Possibilities!

Photo original
The Rift Kickstarter
In August of 2012 The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was successfully launched on Kickstarter.

As almost everyone knows, Oculus VR, the company that makes The Rift, has taken an incredible journey from a maverick homegrown project to a multi-hundred million dollar juggernaut after being purchased by Facebook in 2014. 

A first look at what the world can expect in Q1 2016.

Now, it appears that the massive investment in providing the company with more brainpower and hardware is paying off. Last week, it was announced that the Oculus Rift will go on sale in 2016 and pre-orders will kick off later this year! After years of only the "development kit" prototype headset being available, a true consumer grade model is actually on the horizon. I plan to pre-order the device because I am excited about the possibilities of combining the Oculus Rift with the Unity Game Engine.

The top 12 virtual reality movies of the 1990s
We were promised "virtual reality" in the 1990s, but the technology just wasn't ready at the time. Poorly implemented headsets, rudimentary graphics, and slow computers made for bad experiences that turned off consumers to the idea of virtual reality, and the concept was shelved for decades.

Now, the industry as a whole and Oculus VR, in particular, is keenly aware of this and they don't want to make the same mistake twice by rolling out a half-baked device.  I am optimistic about The Rift when I see so much excitement and so many industry heavyweights (like John Carmack of Id fame) endorsing the product and saying that this is the real deal.

Beyond the obvious impact on the gaming industry, some other exciting potential applications of the technology include things like:

Controlling Robots

By combining Oculus Rift with the Kinect camera motion tracker researches in NASA made a system allowing for control of a robotic limb by using the motion of the operator's own limbs. According to Gamespot, this system is intended to be used to operate rovers on mars with the Oculus Rift displaying the environment in 3D.

NASA also wants to use a similar setup to control "Robonaut 2" on the Space Station. This robot is designed to work along side humans in space.

Virtual Reality Simulation

When Facebook bought Oculus VR, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had more uses than just gaming in mind for Oculus experiences. According to Live Science Zuckerberg said, "Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home."

Or imagine learning how to pilot a plane with virtual reality Flight Simulation. Here is a video demonstrating Mike Aker's plug-in software for Oculus Rift that make the goggles fully compatible with the X-Plane flight simulator:

EON Sports is revolutionizing the training process for football players by using Virtual Reality to help players get better:

Guided Visualization

3D Interactive Kitchen Design
I have long since used Unity game engine for Architectural Visualization. My clients love being able to walk through spaces before they are built and being able to make informed decisions about the design of their spaces. Click here to see a kitchen interior design that I brought into Unity game engine so that the client could walk through it during the design process. Here is a link to a trade show booth design that I brought into Unity game engine so that the client could walk around in it during the design process.

However, I think the most powerful use for visualization is in medicine. According to the Academy for Guided Imagery using medical visualization can help alleviate symptoms, stimulate healing responses in the body, modify health endangering behaviors, and provide effective motivation for making positive life changes.

Apparently, imagery is the world's oldest and most powerful healing resource, and now some companies are tapping into the transportive ability of virtual reality to help us de-stress and find better health.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Blue Energy Chamber

Tonight on my blog I am unveiling a glimpse of the Blue Energy Chamber from my current game project. 

Below is concept art for the Blue Energy Chamber.

Also below is an animation illustrating some of the Tools that you will need to discover during exploration of the game environment. These Tools are necessary to solve the puzzles in the Energy Chambers. 

While exploring the environment you will have manual control over the Shotbot such as barrel rolls and increased special moves as you advance. 

Blue Energy Chamber 
(Please click to enlarge)

(Please click to enlarge)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Turquoise Energy Chamber

Tonight on my blog I am unveiling a glimpse of the Turquoise Energy Chamber from my current game project. The game is a Star Fox inspired 3D shooter except not on rails because it is open world with exploration. 

To solve some of the riddles in the Energy Chambers you will need special "tools" that you must discover through your exploration.

Below is concept art for the Turquoise Energy Chamber and animations of the Shotbot exploring an early game environment.

Turquoise Energy Chamber 
(Please click to enlarge)

Shotbot exploring an early game environment
(Please click to enlarge)

Shotbot exploring an early game environment
(Please click to enlarge)