Mixed Reality Accelerator – VISR

Finally finished with first year, I should be receiving my results any day now. More importantly however, is the Accelerator program that I will be attending until mid August, ran by Hull based VR company VISR!

www.visr-vr.com/accelerator/ 

The program trains students in developing for the Hololens, providing real projects to work on, from real big-name companies. In the next few months, my fellow students and I will be producing real interactive spatial solutions to address industry needs.

Two weeks have already passed, but only now have we been assigned our work groups and partner companies. For these first two weeks we have had several workshops ranging from the use of singletons in C# to the creation of 3D assets, and have had two “GameJam’s”. Game Jams you ask? Yup. And I can think of no better method to get 24 individual students to: work together, learn new software and hardware, build teamwork, and gain experience.

Very excited, but I probably won’t be able to post much due to the NDA. Hopefully when the project is completed, I will be able to share. Until then, here is what microsoft have to say about it:

news.microsoft.com/en-gb/2018/06/20/university-of-hull-and-visr-launch-worlds-first-microsoft-hololens-summer-school/

 

Getting stuck into Mixed Reality – Thank god for emulators

Starting to mess around with developing for mixed reality with the Microsoft Hololens emulator and Unity, and I have to say, its going surprisingly smoothly! Whilst I wont be able to buy myself an actual Hololens any time soon, the emulator does a very good job for development purposes, and works seamlessly with visual studio and Unity. (after taking 10m on first launch… but ah well, can’t be picky)

My last foray into the world of AR was back in 2014, using Qualcomm Vuforia and Unity. Whilst there were a few headaches, especially getting the apps to work on actual mobile devices, that development was also relatively smooth thanks to Unity’s in-built emulator, which allowed me to use my webcam to test out the scenes, holding up the physical AR targets created via Vuforia’s developer website. I have yet to use Vuforia again, since it was integrated into Unity as standard from the 2017.2 version onward, but look forward to doing so, as I have heard great things about it.

Back to the present, I was a little surprised, but delighted to find that everything went exactly as Microsofts tutorial said it would: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mixed-reality/academy. Once I updated my version of visual studio, and downloaded the emulator, https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/mixed-reality/using-the-hololens-emulator, it was the next best thing to having a hololens in front of me.

Whilst it is still just a dev tool, and cannot replicate the sense of wonder and experience that I’m sure a real device would bring, it is very useful to train and learn with. With the cost of the hololens being so high, an effective emulator is essential, whether for poor students, or large companies who cannot afford a hololens per developer. It is reassuring to see it work so well, I am glad that microsoft have realised its importance.

Another great “3 Thing Game”!

Earlier this year I posted that me and my team had won Hull Universitys 2017 Autumn Three Thing Game Jam

Well now I can happily report that we have also won the 2018 Spring Three Thing Game Jam! Well done to the team, and a massive well done and thankyou to the sound dev guys who put music to our madness!

Team “Parse(Nips);” came together again, though this time with an additional member, making it 3 first years and two second years. The three random words that we needed to incorporate into our game were “Angry”, “Rolling” and “Drake”. Whilst all three interpretations of “Drake” would have been entertaining (Singer, Duck, Dragon), we decided to use the duck.

Full video in my next post!

“3 Thing Game” Game Jam Winners!

A bit late, but now that I’m blogging, three months ago me and my team won Hull Universitys Autumn 24h Three Thing Game Jam!

I teamed up with two fellow first years, and a second year, forming the 4 person team “ParseNips”.

The three words that we needed to incorporate into our game were “Hull”, “Culture” and “Change”, in accordance with Hull being the City of Culture that year. We decided to create a game that encompassed several minigames and took the player on a journey from a humble whaling village to modern day Hull. It was very interesting working as a team to create our vision in such a short amount of time.