Category Archives: Working with Virtual Worlds

Working with Virtual Worlds: nDreams Dev Diary #8

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As we arrive at the concluding part of this series of development diaries from nDreams, the veil has been lifted. By now all regular readers of VRFocus will be well aware of the reveal of the project this series has been discussing, The Assembly, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) earlier this year. This final instalment offers unique insight into the world of a development studio revealed their project for the very first time. READ MORE

Working with Virtual Worlds: nDreams Dev Diary #7

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You probably don’t need to be told that next week is E3 week. nDreams certainly doesn’t. The event, which runs from 10th – 12th June 2014 with a range of publisher and platform holder conferences on 9th June, will play host to a range of new videogames, with this virtual reality (VR) dedicated developer counted among them. It’s a moment the company has been building to ever since it announced it would focus on developing for the technology back in 2013. READ MORE

Working with Virtual Worlds: nDreams Dev Diary #6

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As this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) draws ever closer it’s understandable that many videogame developers will be getting nervous about the event and the reactions to the products that they’ll be showing. Under usual circumstances all gamers would have to go on is intuition, but here at VRFocus we offer exclusive insight into the workings of a studio preparing to reveal their debut virtual reality (VR) videogame for the very first time. READ MORE

Working with Virtual Worlds: nDreams Dev Diary #5

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As this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) approaches many development studios will be adding the final touches to their showcases and demo builds. Some however, will be working to the wire in order to ensure that what they show to press is of the highest quality possible. nDreams’ Jackie Tetley has taken some time to explain just what this process is like in this weeks edition of Working with Virtual Worlds. READ MORE

Working with Virtual Worlds: nDreams Dev Diary #4

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We’re now into week 4 of our nDreams developer diary. That means the developer’s E3 reveal of its first title for both the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus virtual reality (VR) headsets draws ever closer. The team is currently busy shining its reveal demo to make it presentable for the swarms of industry insiders that will be coming to the show in Los Angeles on June 10th – 12th 2014.

This week, then, the team’s Jackie Tetley talks on optimisation, and what the process is like at this stage of development. It’s just over 3 weeks to go until the big show, and VRFocus will be there to bring you all the latest on this project as well as the full range of VR experiences on display. For now, here’s Jackie once more.

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Jackie Tetley, nDreams: Ah, optimisation.

In an ideal world everything would be optimal from the start. Not an excess graphics or processing hit in sight. The game would be a sleek streamlined sports car, each addition enhancing its performance and making it ever more perfect.

Alas this is not often the case. In the rush and excitement to make the BEST GAME EVER, far too much can end up being added, with the optimistic outlook that sure, the frame rate may be a bit chuggy now, but code will magically optimise all the problems away at the end.

To be fair, sometimes it DOES happen like that! A few magical investigations by code turn up a series of small tweaks that fix everything. I like that outcome. I suspect code sometimes secrete memory away at the start of the project in anticipation of all the other disciplines getting carried away, so at the eleventh hour they can uncomment some bits of code and be hailed as heroes…

More painful is where art and design have to start removing or refining implemented work. Everyone is quick to declare they can’t POSSIBLY change anything as it would RUIN the look/gameplay/experience/feel of the area.

Although it’s early days for project-wide optimisation, this week we’ve been having a pass specifically for E3, which is proving very useful for highlighting potential game-wide issues and elements we need to consider moving forward.

As terms like “occlusion culling”, “dynamic lighting” and “GPU and CPU” drop like tombstones from our lead programmer’s lips, I have been hiding under my desk and hoping no-one asks me to remove anything. So far, so good, and I have even been sneaking more things in. Only things that are absolutely necessary of course…

I’ve also been making myself popular by reporting bugs. At a previous company it emerged at the end of one project I had logged even more bugs than QA. I’m still on the fence as to whether that was a good thing.

Thankfully nothing too scary has reared its head here bug-wise so far, and everyone’s feeling positive as our E3 deadline draws near. I’m looking forward to the final polishing touches going in, and fully prepared for a possible last minute panic over something or other!

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Working with Virtual Worlds: nDreams Dev Diary #3

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We take a lot of common features in videogames for granted. It’s easy to think that transitioning an experience to virtual reality (VR) should be as easy as converting said title to 3D and then slapping on a headset but that just isn’t the case. Instead, developers need to rethink seemingly simple concepts such as height and movement and even staples such as heads-up displays (HUD). READ MORE

Working With Virtual Worlds: nDreams Dev Diary #2

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As just about everyone either in or following the videogame industry knows, E3 is fast approaching. The annual event is the highlight of many a fan’s calender, with all the latest surprise reveals,  polished trailers and in-depth previews arriving in the space of a tight 3 day schedule. This year’s event , running from June 10th – 12th, is set to be no different, with virtual reality (VR) positioned to make a huge impact. Few know this better than VR devoted developer nDreams, which is currently busy constructing and polishing its E3 demo. READ MORE

Working with Virtual Worlds: nDreams Dev Diary #1

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There are many development studios that are adding virtual reality (VR) compatibility to their existing projects or state that they are ‘excited’ for the potential of the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus, amongst other head-mounted displays (HMDs), but very few have committed themselves fully. nDreams are not about to shy away from their dedication to the technology however, with the studio now fully addressing the potential of this new wave of VR with a title built-up from the ground for the immersion-centric hardware. READ MORE