Monday, 31 March 2014

Updates from the world of VR

I thought I would summarise some of the more recent updates from the seemingly revived VR area which seems to be all the rage in 2014. 

First of all, the biggest headline must be Facebook acquiring Oculus Rift, a piece of news which was everywhere (including mainstream press). This is certainly a very strong indication that contemporary VR hardware and its potential holds a significant amount of interest even for non-gaming tech companies.

During the recent GDC Sony launched its long-awaited answer to Oculus Rift, a headset called Project Morpheus. An interesting review of this can be found here.

Finally, Microsoft is reportedly and seemingly working behind the scenes with acquisitions and patents towards (partially at least) a potential VR solution. A Develop article outlines some of their more recent movements in this area (found here).

Gamification World Congress event and PC for gEducation

The Gamification World Congress event is to take place from the 22nd to the 24th of May 2014 in Barcelona and consists of a variety of talks and workshops aimed towards the discipline. 

I have been invited to be on the PC for the gEducation workshop.

For more detailed information on the event see here.

UK games industry tax break

A tax break which has been a long time in the works for the UK games development industry is now going ahead, this is after the final hurdle of the scheme being overcome via green lighting by the European Commission.

More details (and a quick history run through of the events leading to this) can be found in this short Develop magazine article here. 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

CryEngine's change of business model

See previous blog post; Crytek has announced that from May this year (2014), indie developers will be able to use all of CryEngine's many features for a subscription costing 9.90 USD or EUR per user (and this is royalty free). The aforementioned cost is on a monthly basis.

This is a move which clearly rivals in cost the Epic Games announcement for UE4 and an interesting development for all game developers who are using a third-party engine. See here for more details. 

UE4 now available

The recent GDC conference which has now wrapped out had many interesting announcements which are worth highlighting. One of these is the release of Unreal engine version 4, UE4, which is now available. I will come back to this in a few days (after I have explored it in more detail) but the new version of the engine is now finally available to anybody who wants to use it for $19 subscription (unlike the free version of UE3, UDK). There are additional costs on top of that for commercial products created with the engine. Full C++ source code is also available. 

More information and the abilitity to purchase this here.