Vancouver VR Community Monthly Recap – September 2017 Edition

We’re not sure if it’s been instilled in us from childhood but there is something about back-to-school sentiments that excite us. Whether it’s stationary shopping, or the thrill of venturing into the unknown ahead, we’re gravitated towards that feeling! And it seems like the Vancouver VR Community is embracing fresh starts, and red and gold leaves.

Our team hosted a special edition event where we focused our efforts on showing how VR is changing the classroom in education, how we can use VR for training, and how easily accessible it is to get started for creating in VR. We were honoured to have Dr. Ray Hsu for sharing his story of integrating immersive tech with learning, Matt of OssoVR to show off the massive potential in VR for surgical training, and lastly, we had Lou from Academy of VR to tell us about how their courses are run, with JJ and Josh from Mythical City Games to do a live coding demo using free tools that are widely available! Weren’t able to make it? Check out the full event recap!

Our team is really excited to announce our October event’s festivities – next month, we are going to dial the talks down, and turn up the social! While we can’t say too much, we will reveal that we are going to have a special guest to show off just how easy it is to create mixed reality content.

The Blueprint Reality team is going to demo MixCast VR Studio! They have also kindly sponsored food and beverages for the next event, so join us for a proper pizza party! Save the date! Join us on October 17th.

We are currently looking for volunteers to help keep the community alive! Have a look at our Call for Speakers and Call for Volunteers MEGA page!

For anyone interested in purchasing mugs, shirts, or jumpers to support us (we receive a small royalty), there’s now a 20% off and free shipping sitewide sale on Design by Humans. Visit our shop and enter the code FALL20 to get your discount!

We are currently looking for sponsors who can help us keep our events going, so if you are interested or know a company that may be, please get in touch! If you haven’t been able to donate at our events because you don’t carry cash (I mean who does these days, I mean really), please consider using our new PayPal Donate button. If you’re not able to provide financial support (which is all good!), please consider supporting us by:

Enough about us, let’s see what you’ve been cooking this month, Vancouver!!!

September Highlights

BC LIONS EXP by teamed up with Perspective Films, TELUS, and QuestUpon to create an amazing component to the ultimate football fan. Be a part of the action with the 360 video, or be a part of the team with the fun augmented reality interactions! Download it on your phone (iOS/Android) today:

Northway Games featured on Oculus Rift’s Developer Spotlight

We got to see local delight-bringers Colin and Sarah Northway featured on Oculus Rift’s Developer Spotlight. Have a peak at their process in creating Fantastic Contraption for VR, with their Radial Games.

Bernhard Riecke at TEDxEastVan – “Could Virtual Reality Make us More Human”

Bernhard is an Associate Professor and directs the iSpace Lab at Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT). Earlier in September, he spoke at TEDxEastVan at York Theatre. “Could Virtual Reality Make us More Human” included some of SIAT’s recent research and examples from Bernhard’s teaching on immersive environments:

Virtual real­ity is becom­ing increas­ingly acces­si­ble and afford­able, and offers the unique oppor­tu­nity to pro­vide first-hand and embod­ied expe­ri­ences. How could we use this poten­tial to go beyond enter­tain­ment and gaming, for cre­at­ing pos­i­tive or even trans­for­ma­tional expe­ri­ences we might oth­er­wise not be able to have? And how could we democ­ra­tize the medium and put this pow­er­ful tech­nol­ogy into the cre­ative hands of more people?

The talk will be posted as a streaming video, so be sure to look out for that in October! In addition to Bernhard’s talk, one of his students – Denise Quesnel (who has provided us some awesome news on SIGGRAPH earlier this year!) will also be speaking at TEDxSFU in November. More details soon!

Conquer Mobile receives Atlantic Canada funding

“Conquer Mobile is a prime example of the kind of creative and innovative thinking that puts Canada in the ranks with the top scientists and inventors. Creating meaningful solutions to everyday problems for healthcare providers not only improves quality of life for Canadians but potentially for people all over the world.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for ACOA

Congratulations to Conquer Mobile and the team for receiving funding on further development of the medical training tools! Read more about it here.

LUMOHACKS 2017 – Janet Chen, Michael Goh, Li Ze Choo, and Daphne Liu

Lumohacks 2017 Photo by Gordon Shieh

LUMOHACKS is a hackathon for developing mental health applications, and Janet Chen (ITL, UBC Emerging Media Lab) and her team created a VR app for phobia exposure therapy. Wonderfully (and aptly) named Riddikulus, you can dispell your fears. Wonderful work, crew! Try it for yourself:

DevPuppy announces Kitty Paradise!

We are extremely excited to see what our fave devPuppy is releasing soon with ARKit for the iPhone. We’ve been following his development growth and progress this year, and he’s about to show the world what he’s been working on!

Hidden Fortune releases Chapter Two: Shanty Seas!

Itching for more content that you can take on the go with you with your Samsung Gear VR? Fret not, Archiact Games’ Hidden Fortune team was working hard on their latest and greatest content and just in time for the daylight hours to get shorter, Shanty Seas gives you the option to explore from the comfort of anywhere you are!

Don’t have the first one? The first chapter Outcast Cove is available for FREE!

END SPACE out on PSVR now!

The wait is over: Orange Bridge Studios has brought their title End Space into PlayStation VR! Pick up your copy today from the PlayStation store. If you are a PS Plus Member, you’ll receive 10% with a special launch discount.

Take a look at that insane 360 cinematic launch trailer! Read Lee’s blog over on the official End Space website for more details.

VRARA’s Vancouver Ecosystem Infographic

The VRARA Vancouver Chapter published this infographic – check out this amazing landscape of talent. We are hoping to work with the VRARA so we can keep our own Ecosystem updated, check back soon!

Team Visual Candy is developing a narrative-based VR installation for the Royal BC Museum

In September, the Visual Candy Team and research team from UVIC was able to run 60 user tests on our VR activity designed for the Royal BC Museum. This gold rush experience lets users fly over a canyon and then pan for gold. The results of these tests will help them refine this prototype to test on the Demo evening set for Oct 24th. We are excited about this prototype and it has a lot of potential!

Academy of VR launches class #3 last week

Academy of VR launched class #3 last week with students from Canada, US, Mexico, Korea and New Zealand!

Students are learning how to make VR/AR apps for Google Cardboard, ARKit, Hololens and everything in between!

VR/AR course #4 starts October 24th, Tuesdays & Thursdays. If you like to learn classroom style with 1-on-1 help from instructors check out:

What to keep your eyes out for in October

Cloudhead Games has a date for Heart of the Emberstone!

If 80s aesthetics and retro new wave really warms your heart (I know it does for us), you’ll absolutely LOVE Cloudhead Games’ inspired teaser for Heart of the Emberstone. The team has finally announced a date for release – mark your calendar for: Wednesday, October 18th to continue the journey. Or, add it to your Steam wishlist now!

Read the full announcement blog on Steam.

Google Developers Group Cloud Vancouver DevFest 2017 is now FREE!

Photo from DevFest Ukraine 2015

Originally $20 to attend, the DevFest 2017 organizers have pulled a rabbit out of a hat by making the event completely free to attend! Come out to HootSuite HQ on October 14th for a day of good talks and good people. More information on the Meetup page.

Full Indie Summit – speakers announced!

The 2017 Full Indie Summit is returning on Saturday, October 21st to the Playhouse theatre downtown! Talks by the creators of Splitter Critters, Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator, Super Meat Boy Forever, and more. Tickets are $35 and available at After party with an open bar, cool people to talk to, and a popup demo space for you to show off your game.

Virtual Reality Day at VIFF

The Expanding Frontiers in Storytelling series will transport attendees into the new mediums of VR and AR, with key insights from some of the most respected futurists in the world as well as conversations and demos from leading VR creators, companies, technologists and distributors. Presented by Creative BC, this is a must-attend event for anyone looking to understand or hoping to capitalize on this transformational medium.

VR in film has so much potential that Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) has dedicated an entire day for it! Join fellow VR filmgoers at Vancity Theatre on October 6th.

Bad Cookie Pictures to debut their VR film at East Van Showcase

First time VR filmmakers are going to show off what they’ve been working hard on over the last few months at Hammer & Tong’s East Van Showcase! The event is on October 22nd and will be a full house so be sure to grab your tickets early! Add the event to your calendar on Facebook.

Win a GTX 1080 with VIRL PC’s pre-launch giveaway!

A new specialized VR hardware shop has emerged but they haven’t quite revealed what they’re all about. Get into the hype by following them on Facebook and entering this amazing giveaway! (We wish we could win this one!)

That’s a wrap for September, Vancouver VR fam! Thank you so much for making this community yours, and truly bringing all the awesomeness! We look forward to throwing a costume party- Oh, did we say costumes? We might have said costumes.

Hope you’re ready to get spoopy with us! See you next month!

Want to share an October highlight or something to look forward to in November? Send us your tips for our next monthly recap in October!

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