Last week we participated in the Game Dev and Art Tech (GDAT) meetup in San Francisco. GDAT is a meetup held about once a month where gamedevs get to meet up, exchange ideas and help each other out.
Chartboost graciously provided office space for the Meetup. I think the giant T-Rex in the meetup area alone made going to this meetup worth it. Photo taken by Jasper Sanidad.
The meetup was held at Chartboost, and was organized by Simon Amarasingham from dSonic.com. This month’s invited speaker was Niklas Smedberg from Epic Games who chatted with us about using Unreal Engine for VR games. I have to admit, for months we had been hearing about all the exciting things that can potentially be done with VR, but I had basically been ignoring all that, mainly because I’m one of those people who get motion-sickness when playing first-person shooters, so I could imagine VR would be, well 10x worse than that.
After trying out a couple of VR demos, I can honestly attest to 2 things: (1) I was correct in expecting motion-sickness to kick in to high gear, and (2) VR really is EXCITING technology! With the Oculus Rift and headphones on, a well-made game can make you feel like you’re really in the environment. For those of you that haven’t tried out a VR game yet, I recommend you do so at one of the demos. We were really impressed with what can be done. With that, we’re planning to get an Oculus Rift devkit soon and start playing around with it. That and some anti-motion sickness medication, probably.
Shameless plug: We brought along Space Sluggers to the event and got some awesome feedback from the people we met at the event. Destructobot (shown here), our newest addition to the hero lineup, was the most-chosen hero during this session, and we’re happy about that. Deep down, we knew everyone secretly wants to control a giant mech with miniguns and rockets and wreak havoc to everything in sight.
Destructobot from Space Sluggers, our latest work-in-progress. If Destructobot doesn’t satisfy players’ craving for mindless destruction, we’re not sure what will.
During the session we also tried Wordsum, a game by fellow gamedev Pixelshot Games (http://pixelshotgames.com). It’s a nifty iOS/Android/Mac word puzzle game where the player lines up letters to look for words before time runs out, kind of like a mix of Boggle and Tetris. It starts off where you leisurely look for words in a 6×8 matrix of letters which later turns into a frantic search, to find words before the letter blocks fill up the matrix. The app is free and ad-supported, so there’s really no reason not to try it out! Just think, you could be beating everyone at Boggle in a couple of months.
Me desperately trying to mark “Taze” as a word in Wordsum. What? Isn’t Taze a word? As in, “Don’t taze me, bro!”
Well that’s it for now. For those around the SF Bay Area, you can get more info about the GDAT meetup here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/GDATSF/?fref=nf