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Cloudhead Games – Lessons Learned From Five Years of VR Locomotion Experiments

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Both the Rift and the Vive first launched to consumers around this time two years ago, but their debut, and the games that launched alongside them, were the culmination of years of prior game design experimentation in a new medium that brought both new opportunities and challenges. Cloudhead Games, developers of Vive launch title The Gallery: Call of the Starseed, were among those leading the charge. On this occasion, the two year anniversary of modern VR headsets becoming available to consumers, the studio’s Lead Programmer, Paul White, and Narrative Designer, Antony Stevens, look back at the studio’s journey in VR development and where it has led them today.

Guest Article by Paul White and Antony Stevens

Paul is the Lead Programmer at Cloudhead Games. Bitten by the VR bug in the early 90s, Paul has been programming since fifth grade. With Cloudhead Games, Paul has more than five years experience in modern VR research and development, producing award-winning tech for The Gallery VR series.

Antony is the Narrative Designer and Community Lead at Cloudhead Games. With Cloudhead since the launch of consumer VR in 2016, Antony has helped shape and share the stories of its developers across multiple mediums, including in The Gallery: Heart of the Emberstone.

The First Climb

Fall 2013, Oculus DK1 + Razer Hydra

My journey into VR locomotion began with the sunsetting Razer Hydra in late 2013. An early motion controller system tracked by a low-power magnetic field, the Hydra was originally designed as a peripheral for flat PC gaming. But for some of us, it was also an unlikely hero—the Hydra was the first big key to unlocking presence in virtual reality, thanks to its positional tracking

It was the era of the DK1, the first of the Oculus Rift prototypes available to Kickstarters, offering only rotational head tracking during its initial foray into the rebirth of VR. Without positional tracking of the head or hands, player movement in VR projects was either bound to the analogue sticks or omitted entirely. These were the standards and limitations of the time; VR as we know it today was yet to exist.

Image courtesy Cloudhead Games

I was working on Exploration School, an early tech demo for our built-for-VR adventure game The Gallery (2016). My challenge was to use the Hydra to mimic the motions of climbing a wall without using control sticks—just reach out and grab it. It sounds straightforward now, but during those early days of VR we thought it could never be done with the available tech.

Holding the wired Hydra, you would reach out with your hand and press a button to capture the position of that arm on a surface. Any motion you made next would be countered and represented in game with our body persistence. If you let your arm down, your position would counter that movement, causing your camera and in-game body to move upward. If you raised your arm up, your position would counter, and you would climb down. It felt intuitive, all tech considered.

VR devs all around were experimenting with anything and everything, from climbing to flying to roller coasters, but there was no substantial test audience. Motion sickness was a concern internally, but there weren’t enough headsets in the wild to know how widespread its effect was. We knew what artificial movement felt like to us and other developers, but there was no way to know what was working and what wasn’t for various sensitivities.

When we brought Exploration School to public events, we gave players the best advice we had for avoiding motion sickness: “Don’t look down.”

The Bigger Picture

Spring 2014, Oculus DKHD + Razer Hydra

Those first two years saw many VR developers building single-room projects—playboxes with no need for travel or locomotion. The Oculus Rift, for all intents and purposes, was a seated experience. Our project, The Gallery, was a larger world that needed exploration, with terrain that was organic and rugged. We wanted realism where you could walk around, look at things, and feel alive in a world. VR was predominantly blocky at the time (both graphically and otherwise), and walking with the analogue stick felt like your body was a cart behind you, changing direction to chase after you each time you turned your head. It all felt unnatural.

Image courtesy Cloudhead Games

‘Tank Move’ was one alternative. This method allowed your head to deviate from the direction you were moving, so you could pan your view around an environment completely decoupled from your body direction. Think of your head as a swiveling neck turret, while your body is driven on tracks and controlled by a joystick. It was a fitting abstraction.

Tank Move was better because it meant you could look around while you moved. It was also worse because of vestibular disconnect—motion sickness caused by your brain perceiving directional movement through your eyes (the headset), without physical motion detected by your inner ear (the real one). Decoupling head movement from the body could ultimately decouple stomach contents from the body as well.

Image courtesy Cloudhead Games

More important than the freedom to look around was the freedom to move around, and we knew that the positional tracking features of the upcoming DK2 (and experimental hardware from Valve) would help dictate movement. In the meantime, we wanted to get ahead of the curve and start building for the future that VR was heading toward. Using heuristic spine modeling and a simulated height, I was able to turn the single, rotational tracking point of the DK1 into two positional tracking points: head and root.

With that inferred root, we then had the approximate location of the player’s torso in relation to their head, and could then adjust their body avatar with movements accordingly. We could tell the difference between natural displacements, from the player crouching into a tent, to peering over a balcony at the distant world around them.

In the end, the feature never made it in. Everything was about to change anyway.

Continued on Page 2 »

The post Cloudhead Games – Lessons Learned From Five Years of VR Locomotion Experiments appeared first on Road to VR.

Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/cloudhead-games-lessons-learned-five-years-vr-locomotion-experiments/

Blockchain

Opinion: Can Uniswap’s UNI Break Into the Top 10 Cryptocurrency Token Rankings?

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The launch of Uniswap’s governance token UNI caught the cryptocurrency market left, right, and center. Some folks who received the airdrop for being a loyal Uniswap user before September 1, dumped it on the market to avail their free helicopter money. Some held on.

Nonetheless, UNI got listed on Coinbase Pro, Binance and it’s price shot through the roof. It’s now on number 32 as per CoinGecko. But can it break into the top 10?

UNI Token Price Pumps, Dumps Then Again Pumps

As reported by CryptoPotato, the listing of UNI on Coinbase and Binance led to a massive pump in the token’s price. UNI surged 300 percent from $1 to $4 before dropping to the lower $2 levels later in the day.

Then, the token went on a rampage and reached a high of just shy of $9 before retracing to where it’s currently trading at around $6.7. But the explosive price action has generated tremendous enthusiasm amongst traders and DeFi fans who are calling for UNI’s break into the top 10.

So much is the frenzy that users were found to buy ETH to collect their ‘UNI helicopter money’ despite surging gas prices on the Ethereum network.

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Can Uniswap’s Governance Token Break Into Top 10?

Since the launch and a super volatile bout of trading activity, Uniswap’s governance token is already a number 32 cryptocurrency according to data from CoinGecko.

Uniswap is currently the top DeFi project according to DeFi Pulse. And has assets with a total USD value worth $1.8 billion docked up in the DEX. An increment of 90 percent in the last 24 hours.

UNI has a $720 million market cap and is handling a $4.5 billion daily trading volume. Something which is unusual for a digital asset at such lower rankings. But according to hopium laced optimistic predictions on Twitter, the token will actually be a ‘unicorn’ cryptocurrency with its entry in the top 10.

And actually there may be some substance in such a claim as out of a maximum supply of 1 billion, only around 106 million UNI tokens are in circulation. The coin is trading currently for a price of $6.7.

It must be taken into consideration that Coinbase has an equity stake in Uniswap’s parent company Universal Navigation Inc and also holds a sufficient number of UNI tokens, as mentioned in their UNI token listing blog post.

This imparts a certain dose of legitimacy to the decentralized token swapping protocol. As per CoinGecko with current prices, UNI would have a ‘fully diluted valuation’ of more than $6.5 billion. That would be enough to push it comfortably amongst the top 10 cryptocurrencies.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/opinion-can-uniswaps-uni-break-into-the-top-10-cryptocurrency-token-rankings/

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Blockchain

DeFi in healthcare – a slice of over $8 trillion worth pie

DeFi has the potential to be a solution for many problems existing in the healthcare industry It can provide easier and more affordable access to financing It is the future of the healthcare industry The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is a global healthcare problem. It is showing that the problems of such scale demand solutions on […]

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  • DeFi has the potential to be a solution for many problems existing in the healthcare industry
  • It can provide easier and more affordable access to financing
  • It is the future of the healthcare industry

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is a global healthcare problem. It is showing that the problems of such scale demand solutions on the same level.

The problems of shared access to the latest medical advancements and knowledge are not alone. A financing solution that is globally available is also necessary.

In recent months the expansion of telemedicine shows the trend for the healthcare industry moving online. Solutions for financing medical services are currently lagging behind.

DeFi potential role

In the modern world, it is considered that access to affordable healthcare is a basic human right. That it should be irrespective of class, wealth, or any other socioeconomic distinctions.

Such democratic universalism of services can be powered by DeFi, which is based on the very same principle. The need for easy access to healthcare services is global, and if properly applied it can provide a globally accessible way of financing them.

Opportunity for growth

The global healthcare market was worth mind-boggling $8.45 trillion in 2018, with projected growth to $11.9 trillion by 2022. And DeFi has a definitive opportunity to take a slice of this pie.

Currently, the whole of this industry is estimated to be worth just south of nine billion dollars. It can provide solutions that will give an astounding growth potential inside of the healthcare industry.

DeFi is based around community governance, community funding, and the principle of transparency. It has the power to provide financial solutions that will expand the accessibility to affordable healthcare around the world.

Projects based around DeFi solutions have the power to bring the most benefits to those who need them, the community. Groundwork already exists, now it should be built upon and grown to scale.

DeFi has the power to remove almost all barriers currently existing between people and affordable access to healthcare. It is the future of healthcare.

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Blockchain

Cardano, Ontology, Crypto.com Coin Price Analysis: 19 September

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Cardano formed a bearish pattern on the charts as it braced for another dip in its price. The bearish pressure on the crypto-asset abated briefly, but sellers once more stepped in at a level of resistance to effect a slide for ADA. Crypto.com Coin, on the other hand, formed a bullish pattern. Ontology also displayed signs of bullishness.

However, since major altcoins seem to bleed whenever Bitcoin makes a move to the upside or down, another move could invalidate altcoin chart patterns.

Cardano [ADA]

Cardano, Ontology, Crypto.com Coin Price Analysis: 19 September

Source: ADA/USD on TradingView

Cardano appeared to form an uptrend from its recent lows as it briefly rose past its resistance at $0.097. However, sellers have prevailed since and the price was forming lower highs over the past week.

ADA formed a descending triangle pattern, as shown by the white line. This was accompanied by falling trading volume, also highlighted by the same. Such a bearish pattern signaled an imminent drop in the asset’s price.

The next level of support for ADA, beneath $0.091, lay at $0.085.

Cardano was in the news recently when IOHK announced a $250K public fund for Cardano community innovation, Project Catalyst. “Anyone can bring their idea and create a proposal,” the announcement said. “Through a public vote” winning proposals will begin a development process, it added.

Ontology [ONT]

Cardano, Ontology, Crypto.com Coin Price Analysis: 19 September

Source: ONT/USD on TradingView

The 20, 50, and 100 SMA (white, yellow, and pink respectively) showed that the past couple weeks have seen an uptrend. Their crossovers also indicated bullishness in the near-term.

Further, the MACD was forming a bearish crossover over the past few days. And yet, the previous week saw every price drop beneath this support being bought up as many candles near the $0.78-support level had significant tail wicks.

The outlook for ONT remained bullish, but a close beneath the support might suggest short-term bearishness.

Crypto.com Coin [CRO]

Cardano, Ontology, Crypto.com Coin Price Analysis: 19 September

Source: CRO/USDT on TradingView

Crypto.com Coin was forming a bull pennant on its 4-hour charts. The same was evidenced by the white lines which formed the pennant, while the yellow line formed the flag pole of the pattern. The height of the flagpole is generally the upside target for this pattern. Here, the target would be $0.19.

The Parabolic SAR also gave a buy signal. The dots formed by the indicator would be a good place to set a stop-loss, as the pattern would be invalidated if the price closes beneath the pennant.

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/cardano-ontology-crypto-com-coin-price-analysis-19-september

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