Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Oculus VR meetup

Today I am going to write about the Oculus VR meetup, my presentation, and the weird attention that echobox has been receiving lately. Last Saturday (November 2nd) was the Oculus VR meetup at the Microsoft NERD center in Cambridge.

wtf is an echobox

If you don't recall my posts from a while back, echobox (link to the demo on the downloads page) is my entry in Oculus VRjam. It was a project I made in 3 weeks specifically for use with the rift. It's an acoustic wave propagation simulation and visualization. It's a big pile of math and you can get a lot of the details in the presentation (also on the downloads page). I've gotten a lot of comments like, "oh it's so trippy," or "this should be in a club," or "I feel like I'm inside the sun." All that stuff is great, but I don't know how to sell trippy sun simulations to clubs. 



Apparently, there is quite some interest in echobox. I've gotten some very positive replies on my vrjam forum topic, and there were people lined up at my booth all day, and some people have really shown interest in it. I admit, it is probably more novel than Bad Things, so I'm collecting ideas for what kind of game I should turn echobox into. Send me your ideas!



Oculus VR meetup

The Microsoft NERD center is actually a pretty cool place. There was free food and drinks, and the view was pretty nice. It's got some sweet colored chairs, and in fact, you can see how dumb I look with a rift strapped to my face.


There were dudes lined up at my booth the whole day. I'm guessing at least 200 people got to do the demo. The framerate was a lot worse than usual for some reason, and also the bug that stops you from getting to level 4 was in full force, no one was able to ascend to the interplanetary platform and witness the splendor thereupon. It may be the case that no one will ever get to do it ever, now that the source is lost. Ah, too bad, so sad.

When I wasn't doing the demos, Gosia, my fearless minion, manned the booth. I sneaked upstairs and saw Palmer's keynote presentation. Nate Mitchell, VP of something wasn't able to make it, so Palmer had to try and give his part of the presentation too! It was kind of funny, but Palmer did well covering much of the topics. I also got to see Elliott's presentation on Unity and VR, and also Alex's presentation on AAAAAaaaaaaAAAAaaaaCULUS. It is clear that no one knows how to do VR.

I gave my presentation and it was mostly over everyone's heads. No one had any comments, and I doubt people were even paying attention because no one laughed at my jokes. Or maybe my jokes were bad... but I thought that they were good. I'm pretty sure someone was actually asleep. That's fine though! It was my first time giving a presentation on game development stuff, and I only started not that long ago, so it's only up from here!

The secret vip dinner

After the meetup there was a secret dinner for VIPs only. That's right, someone thought I was Very Important. I got to talk to Palmer about his secret things that I shall not repeat. Well, I will repeat them if you pay me enough, but whatever. I also got to speak with Peter Giokaris about his work on the Unity integration, which was really great. I talked with Will Brierly about soda drinker pro, and also some other academia guys (one of which did his phd on ocean wave stuff, quite related to echobox), and it was suggested that I try to write a paper on my work simulating real time acoustic propagation. Unfortunately, I am not in academia, and also I only have a very "omg I can't believe this worked, and I have no idea why" understanding of what I am doing.

There was also steak tartare. I didn't partake.