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Vancouver VR Community Monthly Recap – April 2018 Edition

Is it summer yet? That is the question that all the locals say around this time of year, and with record breaking prices of fuel at the pump, a bit of random completely-foreign sun coming up on surprise. So, is it summer yet? You betcha. We usually say it’s summer because anything with sun in Vancouver is considered a good time.

Let’s take a look at what happened over this transitional month of April!

Vancouver VR Community News

We threw our first signature event of the year (the first event being Global Game Jam), and despite the rain, it was amazing seeing so many familiar faces as well as all the new ones too! Thank you so much to our Global Game Jammers who shared a little bit of insight on how to organize your projects and some hints for first-time VR devs, Archiact VR Games for bringing the HTC Vive Focus prototype with the kickass Hidden Fortune exclusive, and Virtro Games. Huge thank you to Launch Academy for sharing their space with us, and Steampunk Digital for sponsoring some local pizza favourites.

Next event confirmed, SAVE THE DATE: Tuesday, June 12th

We are excited to announce that we have locked down the date for our next event just in time for the summer on Tuesday, June 12th. For the first time, we will be working with Microsoft who will be providing space at their studio in the heart of downtown Vancouver.

And because we love keeping things fresh, we are going to experiment with a brand new format. Remember high school science fairs? Being able to walk around your high school concourse and check out all your friends’ projects?

Let’s have our very own VR fair, (appropriately named) the VancouVR Fair!

We also want to break into other spaces – VR touches so much, so let’s explore!:

  • Working on a cool research project for school that you want to share?
  • Are you an indie dev working on a quirky VR experience?
  • Does your studio want some user feedback on your VR software?
  • Do you want to present a short lightning talk that will benefit the VR community?
  • Is your VR company looking for fresh talent to join your team?

If any of the above resonated with you, please get in touch with us on Twitter @VRVancouver, or email us at hello@vancouvervrcommunity.com. Let’s collaborate together!

Now, what has VR in Vancouver been up to?

New development Nightstar Alliance by Tiny Leviathan

Tiny Leviathan started as a garage project to create small games and experiment with ideas outside of our usual 9-5’s. Three of us from Offworld Industries (developers of Squad) in Burnaby started with an original project called Valkyrie. We ended up leaving that project and moving onto Transmortal which is still being developed – but our main focus is Nightstar Alliance which we started at the end of February this year.

Nightstar Alliance is the adrenaline rush arcade action of the past bought to VR in full force! Travel through space destroying hordes of enemies, gathering hundreds of weapons and modifications to build your ship and save the human race!

Check out some of Bruno’s art at ArtStation: The Supremacy is Listening.

If you’d like to try out the latest (and certainly not the last!) build of Alliance, you can download it and name your price on itch.io: tiny-leviathan.itch.io/alliance. Be sure to follow Tiny Leviathan on Twitter @Tiny_Leviathan, and let them know what you think of Alliance!

Blueprint Reality secures $2M in equity funding

From the MixCast blog:

We announced the closure of $2.0 million in equity funding. From our demos at GDC to our upcoming 2.0 release, 2018 has already become a fantastic year for us, and this funding is yet another milestone we’re so proud to have reached. What does this funding mean to our studio? The funding enables us to continue to develop MixCast into the world’s premier mixed reality and inter-reality capture and broadcast platform – adding new features, broader support, and continually increasing ease of use.

Be sure to check out the MixCast blog for the full press release!

Virtro Games revamps Zombie Donuts

From VRFocus:

A light-hearted experience just like its first title, Zombie Donuts see’s you fighting off waves of the undead sugary hordes with your trusty marshmallow blaster. You’ll face the evil donuts in waves over 3 different levels. In each level, zombie donuts will sneak up on you from every angle, in this immersive 360 experience. Manage your ammo and aim carefully to score extra points with long, bounce and trick shots.

You can check out Zombie Donuts on the Oculus Store, App Store, and Google Play.

Evasion by Archiact VR Games reveals enemy lore

First the Evasion team reveals the last two hero classes and now they’ve exposed the enemy in the game called the Optera. From the official Steam Announcement:

The enemies in Evasion are called the Optera and very little is known about their origins. Scientists theorize that they evolved from insects, but it’s unclear whether they wear exo-suits or if the Optera themselves are cybernetic organisms. They use energy weapons, have the ability to instantaneously teleport from location to location, and can propel themselves using anti-gravity technology. Since their attacks are highly coordinated, it’s assumed that are governed by a hive mind or use some non-verbal method of communication.

The main campaign in Evasion takes place on a moon that orbits the Optera homeworld that is rich in a mineral called chloragen, which the humans use to power their ships and colonies. When humans first established a mining operation on that moon, there were some initial skirmishes with the Optera, but a peace accord was struck.

Be sure to follow Evasion on Twitter @EvasionVR for the latest news – this is one Vancouver VR title you will want to check out!

$100 discount for Vancouver VR Community members for the VR/AR Academy

Courses for the VR/AR Academy start in May, and if you are a member of the Vancouver VR Community on Facebook or Meetup, you are eligible for a $100 discount. Check out the offerings today on the official VR/AR Academy site.

Circuit Stream’s next FREE workshop: May 8th

Whether you’re exploring a career, want to prototype an idea, or just want to learn something new, this free session will give you insight into Circuit Stream’s teaching style and network. Register for the workshop today.

BC Tech Summit runs from May 14 to 16

One of the largest tech conferences in Western Canada is taking place from May 14 to 16. Radical I/O, Steampunk Digital are just a few that will be there.

YVRFF ANNOUNCED: May 18 to 20

YVRFF is returning to CBC Studios for 2018! YVRFF gives Vancouver the opportunity to explore the world of VR with the most innovative technology and creative content. Industry influentials are working closely with the festival to celebrate the top creative minds and leading developments at the premier Vancouver Virtual Reality Film Festival. Get your tickets today.

That’s a wrap for April, and a little peek into May events – we’ll see you next month!