What's up in my virtual studio:
Finishing up another update for Crashed Lander. Taking longer than I expected (as usual) as I bounce around between a few projects. New camera system is working well and most of the other small improvements are in place. One of these days I'm gonna have to stop tinkering with this game. :)
Crashed Lander is part of the Steam Summer Sale - only $2.49. A bargain at twice the price!
New 360 video is nearly done. After about 1300 hours and 500 billion pixels of rendering my next fractal video is nearly ready for viewing in VR. I need to decide on the music that's going to accompany the visuals. I think I'd like to make a new song for it, though it's been a while since I put on my musician hat. If I can't come up with something I like I'll probably hunt around for a suitable, Creative Commons licensed clip.
One of my other VR vids was recently featured during the Samsung keynote speech at the SVVR conference. It was nice to be showcased as an innovative new use of the medium. VR videos is poised to explode in a big way and could be a driving force in mass adoption of the tech.
Updating my Unity Asset Store goodies. I have several packages on the Asset Store that need updating for Unity 5. My UniTrees are good to go. Currently working on adding new PBR materials to the NuPrim Spheres objects. I'll be updating Fractal Flora in the same way. I'd like to make some new stuff for the store, too. My 3d modelling skills have improved and it's nice to have that little bit of extra income every month.
I spent a couple of days getting used to the GI Lighting and Standard Shader in Unity 5 and I'm starting to get a feel for it now. They combine to make some very solid feeling, subtly shaded scenes.
What's next? Still not quite sure. :) I want to start work on another big project, but none of my current prototypes are really doin' it for me. I need something that is designed specifically for VR.
I keep thinking about some of my current favorite VR experiences - stuff like Blaze Rush and Shufflepuck Cantina. These are very comfortable, compelling games that avoid a lot of the VR pitfalls. The fixed viewpoint makes for a very solid feel while the headtracking makes the spaces feel real.
XenoFarm is an idea that excites me but my current tests are built around the standard first person/monitor style controls. I'm tinkering with something similar that is more of a top down, terrarium style view. Leaning in to look at small things in VR is very satisfying. I'm also tossing around ideas for arcade-style games with a VR twist. This type of game fits well with my coding skills and I've always enjoyed a simple, well crafted arcade game.
Whatever I decide on I'm excited to get going. I'd really like to have a full-on VR game ready for the launch of the Rift in 2016, and maybe even the Vive if I can get my hands on a dev kit.