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VR Digest: Game Engine Space
Reshaped Around VR

The week's top VR news brought to you
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VR Digest: A VR newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent
written by Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) issue 54 – February 10, 2016

VR Digest: A Virtual Reality newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent

Game Engine Space Reshaped Around VR

The landscape for creating a VR experience was reshaped this week as Amazon announced Lumberyard, a toolset forked from Crytek’s CryEngine that is free to use for developing games and (eventually) VR experiences. Amazon plans to make money from developers who use Amazon Web Services to scale the game up with features like online multiplayer. The company is offering full source code access, one of Unreal’s chief selling points.

The two leading VR development engines, Unity and Unreal, revealed in-VR development tools. Epic Games showed its Unreal Engine VR Editor in a must-watch 2-minute preview video. Unity is hosting the Vision Summit in Hollywood Wednesday and Thursday this week where the company is expected to show its take on developing VR while immersed in VR. UploadVR reported some details about the features ahead of the launch but you can follow along a livestream beginning at 10 a.m. PST to see the news for yourself. Look for a Youtube link on the Vision Summit website to watch the event live. Awards will also be given during the event.
 

Bits

A Financial Times article (paywall) reports Google is preparing a Gear VR-like headset and deeper integration of VR into Android.

Oculus CTO John Carmack tweeted that he is working on position tracking for Gear VR. If properly implemented, the technology could untether walk-around VR experiences from the PC. World-scale VR anyone?

This 5-minute video snippet from Oculus Connect 2 shows Carmack talking about the challenges of including this technology in a mobile device.

Bundles starting at $1,500 that include both a Rift and an “Oculus Ready” PC will be available for pre-orders on February 16 and ship in April. Most bundles are priced at a $100 discount from purchasing the Rift and computer separately.

While traditional media companies scramble around for a viable VR business model, porn companies have quietly started booking profits. The Next Web covered BaDoink’s efforts in the space as the company has converted its entire production pipeline to VR and now publishes two VR videos per week. The images in the story are censored but might still be considered NSFW.

Valve released a new version of SteamVR that enabled Direct Mode on Vive. This should make using the device considerably easier.

Christine Coenen published a reference guide to the new Facebook 360 video format filters for the ffmpeg command-line tool, and Andrew Hazelden added one to his Domemaster tools for Fusion.

An 8-minute video provides a first look at Lecture VR, the latest efforts from the people behind an educational experience of the Apollo 11 mission. The education platform from Immersive VR Education uses performance capture and 3D animation to provide a learning experience unlike any other.
 

VR Digest™ is a Virtual Reality Newsletter brought to you by Studio Transcendent, a producer of premium Virtual Reality experiences. We publish weekly on Wednesdays.

 
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