Train2Game News VRFocus event in London

VRFocus Ltd., the UK-based specialist media outlet focusing on immersive technology has today announced a new event in collaboration with Realities Centre London, to bring virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences being shown off at this year’s Gamescom event to London for a special showcase.

The Post Gamescom #XR Review will play host to a number of developers and studios from the UK and showcase their projects; allowing people not able to attend the world’s largest videogame convention this August another chance to get hand-on and find out more about those utilising VR and AR.

Amongst those currently confirmed are Cherry Pop Games with Football Nation VR, Dream Reality Interactive and Rebellion’s physics-based platform title Arca’s Path VR and The Persistence, Firesprite’s roguelike horror for PlayStation VR.

Along with the opportunity to play the videogames on show there will also be a number of speakers and a panel discussing VR and AR’s role at this year’s Gamescom event and the latest in immersive technology news. Led by VRFocus.com Editor and CEO Kevin Joyce and the website’s Video Production Manager Nina Salomons.

“The UK XR community is hugely passionate, and the Realities Centre is keen to enable everyone access to all the latest developments whether or not they have the budget to attend international trade shows. Partnering with VRFocus for the Post Gamescom #XR Review enables Realities Centre further reach into the UK community and to attract the biggest names in XR.” said Thomas Gere, Realities Centre CEO.

“Gamescom is always a highlight in the annual videogames event calendar, and over the years has become one of the biggest showcases for new and exciting hardware and software. Working with UK developers to bring their titles back to UK audiences is exactly the kind of opportunity that VRFocus was always designed to provide.”, added Kevin Joyce, VRFocus CEO and Editor.
The event takes place on Thursday, 6th September 2018, at the Realities Centre at Huckletree West, Mediaworks, White City in London.

Applications for tickets can be made at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/vr-gaming-showcase-with-gamescom-review-in-association-with-vrfocus-tickets-45551446603.

Regular tickets are free, and demos and talks will begin at 7PM. Those who purchase a VIP ticket however will be able to gain access to the demos an hour earlier. Please See the Eventbrite listing for further details.

Train2Game News VR and AR for Unity

Parkerhill Reality Labs is making public its plans for the BridgeXR Pro Toolkit for Unity, a lean SDK manager for developing cross-platform VR and AR applications.

BridgeXR is for developers implementing virtual reality and/or augmented reality applications using the Unity 3D game engine. BridgeXR manages multiple VR and AR SDKs in a thin device-independent layer within the Unity editor, while leveraging the best of breed software from leading VR and AR vendors.

“BridgeXR is designed to stay out of your way, permitting you direct access to performant vendor-supplied toolkits while keeping your project device-independent,” says Jonathan Linowes, president of Parkerhill. “With BridgeXR, you can avoid the industry’s API fragmentation that can disrupt your development.”

Using BridgeXR, you define platform bridges in the Unity Editor. A bridge is a platform-object mapping in your project providing dynamic in-editor serialization and runtime instantiation. Types of bridges include scene loader, player rigs, prefabs, input gestures, and plug-ins.

Developers continue to use the world-class optimized toolkits from leading tech giants. Rather than try to replace them, BridgeXR builds on top of the high level tools you know and trust, including SteamVR Interaction System, Google Daydream Elements, Oculus SDK, Windows Mixed Reality Toolkit, Google ARCore, and Apple ARKit. There is even a VRTK bridge for transitioning apps away from that toolkit.

With BridgeXR, you are encouraged to use Unity’s latest features and best practices, including in-editor developer tools, Unity events, scriptable objects, playables, timelines, and asset bundles.

BridgeXR also includes a reaction semantics framework using Unity Events. Translate device input events into your application’s semantic events. Assemble reusable reaction collections, including audio reactions, particle effects, timeline sequences and animations.

Parkerhill is taking inquiries to participate in the BridgeXR private beta release. Preference will given to collaborative contract clients interested in hiring the studio’s development services that build upon Parkerhill’s technology and Unity 3D. For more information, visit http://www.parkerhill.com/bridgexr/ or email info@parkerhill.com.

Train2Game News Student front page news


Train2Game student Darroch McNaught has been featured on the front cover of The Inverness Courier.
Darroch McNaught is Chief Creative Officer at Deuxality, an Inverness based app development company. The company has currently been working on AR Technology uses.

These technologies are what caught the eye of The Inverness Courier. The article discusses Darroch and Deuxality’s plans to use AR Technology to aid tourists visiting the city. The app will give information in art galleries on artists and paintings for example.

We here at Train2Game would like to wish Darroch and Deuxality a massive congratulations. 

Train2Game News VR audience survey

Steel Media has completed a survey of its audience on new specialist VR site TheVirtualReport.biz. 
Highlights of the report have been provided ahead of the report’s full release alongside Steel Media’s flagship event in London. The biggest mobile gaming conference in Europe, Pocket Gamer Connects London, takes place 16-17th January 2017 and incorporates VR Connects, a dedicated area for the VR industry.

The survey highlights provide key insight into the future of this rapidly expanding sector. The VR and AR industry is looking forward to 2017 despite some apprehensions. Over 62% predicted a positive or very positive outlook for VR this year. Only 16.13% had doubts due to Brexit. Adoption of the latest tech is being fuelled by indie developers working with VR and AR, but the industry is calling on government to safeguard its future.

Lack of investment in UK, or a skills shortage, were considered the two most likely threats to the VR business caused by Brexit. Uncertain consumer interest in VR was considered the biggest current threat generally, said 60% of those who took part. Government investment in tech R&D was the biggest factor which 46% of those surveyed thought would help the UK stay at the forefront of VR development.

Many of those surveyed have yet to release a VR product, almost 50% have been operating for under two years and most have under $20,000 in development budget. Of those that disclosed their expectations, the majority expected their 2016 profits to be 5% or less, although almost 34% expected this to be more than 2015.

There are key hardware players at the forefront of VR and AR who respondents are working with. HTC Vive, with 63%, was seen as most important, closely followed by Oculus Rift with 55%. Mobile VR also featured significantly, with Google’s platforms Android/Daydream (53%) and Samsung Gear VR (52%) taking the third and fourth slots.

117 VR industry professionals took part in the survey, Developers were the largest group who took part at 55%. The majority of those surveyed were from: Europe (41%), UK (16%) and US and Canada (26%).

Chris James, Managing Director, Steel Media:  “The games industry in the UK is vital to the British economy. Mobile continues to be a successful business area. And our research now shows that developers see huge potential in VR and AR. It’s interesting that any doubt in 2016 came not from Brexit but from the need for education and investment. We’ve launched our new event VR Connects alongside our hugely successful mobile event, and continue to grow our website TheVirtualReport.biz, to support this growing sector. This is just the beginning!”

The survey took place on the TheVirtualReport.biz, giving insight from VR professionals operating in the games industry. The survey was completed in tandem with a survey of the mobile games industry on PocketGamer.biz. The full results of both surveys will be available online to coincide with the launch of the biggest mobile gaming industry event in Europe,

Pocket Gamer Connects London, and its sister event VR Connects London, take place on the 16th and 17th of January at The Brewery on Chiswell Street. Some tickets to the event are still available at the time of writing. Over 74% of people surveyed said they considered networking opportunities to be the deciding factor on whether to attend an event or not; for this reason PG Connects and VR Connects has a dedicated Pitch & Match meeting system, two SpeedMatch sessions, the Very Big Indie Pitch and VR Indie Pitch for showcasing projects and more, including the hugely popular Global Connects party.

More information can be found at http://www.vr-connects.com/london and http://www.pgconnects.com/london

Train2Game News Kudan AR Unity Support

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Kudan, the Augmented Reality software provider, release a version of their AR Engine that unlocks the potential for over 4.5 million Unity® developers to integrate professional Augmented Reality into their games and apps.

The Kudan AR SDK has solved some of the biggest challenges with Augmented Reality today. Until now apps have generally been reliant upon expensive data connections, a problem that Kudan neatly avoids with the ability to store assets and recognize hundreds of images locally on the device. 3D content can be highly realistic, with multi-million polygon models and HD videos.

Next-generation features of the Kudan AR SDK include the ability for developers to add occlusion to real world objects, adding depth and interactivity to a scene.

The SDK also offers a capability to position AR content on any surface. Known as Markerless Tracking, this is a new type of AR that doesn’t require a trigger image or location, allowing for AR anywhere, anytime.

The magic of the augmented reality can now be easily added to new or existing Unity® projects. Unity® customers include Cartoon Network, Coca-Cola, Disney, Electronic Arts, LEGO, Microsoft, NASA, Nexon, Nickelodeon, Square, Ubisoft and Warner Bros.

Kudan CTO, John Williams says, “The Unity plugin is another milestone in the development of our engine and represents an important step towards the continued growth of our developer ecosystem. We’re committed to providing the millions of Unity developers a professional solution with which to enable AR in their games and apps.”

Unity® is the game developer’s software of choice in every major market in the world. An overwhelming majority of the top-grossing 3D mobile games made with third-party tools are created using Unity Technologies’ engine.

The fully featured Kudan AR Engine is a relative newcomer onto the scene, arriving at a time of great disruption in the AR software provider landscape. With Apple Inc.’s buyout of Metaio and Qualcomm’s sale of the Vuforia platform, developers have been faced with some difficult choices.

The lightweight Kudan AR Engine Unity Package is available to download, for free, at the Kudan Website:
https://www.kudan.eu/downloads/kudan-ar-unity-package/