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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

TA: Why Bitcoin Must Clear $19.3K To Start A Fresh Rally Towards $20K

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Bitcoin price remained in a range above the $18,500 support against the US Dollar. BTC is trading above $19,000 and it could start a strong surge if there is a clear break above $19.3K

  • Bitcoin is currently holding the $18,800 and $19,000 support levels.
  • The price is facing a major resistance near $19,300, but it is above the 100 hourly simple moving average.
  • There is a major contracting triangle forming with resistance near $19,300 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair could start a strong rally if there is a clear break above the $19,300 resistance zone.

Bitcoin Price is Stuck In Range

Yesterday, we discussed the importance of the 100 hourly simple moving average and $18,800 for bitcoin price. BTC did find a strong support near the 100 hourly simple moving average and there was no downside break below the $18,500 support.

The price seems to be trading in a broad range above the $18,500 and $18,800 support. The last swing low was formed near $18,117 before the price climbed above the 50% Fib retracement level of the key downward move from the $19,957 swing high to $18,117 swing low.

The price is now facing a major resistance near $19,300, but it is above the 100 hourly simple moving average. It seems like there is a major contracting triangle forming with resistance near $19,300 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair.

Bitcoin Price

Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

The triangle resistance is close to the 61.8% Fib retracement level of the key downward move from the $19,957 swing high to $18,117 swing low.

Therefore, a close above the triangle resistance and $19,320 could open the doors for a larger increase. The next key resistance is near the $19,500, above which bitcoin might test the $20,000 zone.

Downside Break in BTC?

If bitcoin fails to clear the $19,300 resistance level, there is a risk of a downside break. An initial support is near the triangle lower trend line at $18,800 and the 100 hourly simple moving average.

A downside break below the $18,800 support level could push the price towards $18,500. Any more losses may possibly spark a sharp decline towards the $18,000 level.

Technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD is slowly gaining momentum in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is currently just above the 50 level.

Major Support Levels – $18,800, followed by $18,500.

Major Resistance Levels – $19,300, $19,500 and $19,800.

Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/btc/bitcoin-must-clear-19-3k-to-start-rally/

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Blockchain

Chainlink recovery hampered under $14.5 but these key support levels hold the fort

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  • Chainlink holds above the critical support provided by the 50% Fibo in conjunction with the 100 SMA.
  • LINK/USD could resume the uptrend as long as the price reclaims the position above $14 and holds the 50% Fibo support.

Chainlink’s upside recently hit a wall amid the recovery from the Thanksgiving Day crash to $11. Several barriers were pushed into the rearview but LINK failed to sustain gains above the stubborn resistance at $14.5. Meanwhile, it is still difficult to sustain the uptrend, now that the price slipped under $14.

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StormGain

Chainlink holds above critical support

At the time of writing, the decentralized oracle price feed token is trading at $13.9. Immediately on the downside, the 50% Fibonacci level is providing support. Additionally, the 100 Simple Moving Average on the 4-hour chart, adds credibility to the support.

Holding anchor above will cement the bulls’ position in the market while setting up Chainlink for a price action eyeing $18 in the medium term. As mentioned earlier several resistance levels are likely to delay the recovery, including $14.5, $15 as well as $16.

LINK/USD 4-hour chart

LINK/USD price chart
LINK/USD price chart by Tradingview

On the other hand, trading under the 50% Fibo and the 100 SMA might trigger massive sell orders. If enough volume is created, LINK would be forced to seek balance at the 50 SMA and the 38.2% Fibo. The bearish outlook has been reinforced by the Relative Strength Index after stalling slightly above the midline.

In case of extended declines, the 200 SMA is in line to cushion Chainlink from a massive drop. However, last week’s support at $11 would be the last resort before LINK enters into a downtrend with the potential of refreshing levels under $10.

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Chainlink intraday levels

Spot rate: $13.9

Relative change: -0.034

Percentage change: -0.2

Trend: Short-term bearish bias

Volatility: Low


To keep track of DeFi updates in real time, check out our DeFi news feed Here.

Author: John Isige




John is a talented writer with over two years of experience actively contributing to the cryptocurrency industry by providing credible, interesting and easy to read the content. His main focus is on cryptocurrency price analysis and industry news coverage. Lets follow him on Twitter at @jjisige

Source: https://coingape.com/77191-2/

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Blockchain

TrustToken and Syscoin Partner on a Stablecoin Bridge

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Decentralized marketplace and e-commerce protocol Syscoin has partnered with the stablecoin platform TrustToken.

The goal of the collaboration is to speed up payments and to provide further solutions to Ethereum’s blockchain. It also means that the five stablecoins of TrustToken, namely TUSD, TGBP, THKD, TCAD, and TAUD, will run on Syscoin’s blockchain and be available for users.

A Collaboration Between Syscoin and TrustToken

According to a release shared with CryptoPotato, the popular decentralized marketplace and e-commerce protocol Syscoin has teamed up with stablecoin platform TrustToken.

Right off the bat, this means that the stablecoins provided by the platform will now run on Syscoin’s blockchain as well. These are TUSD, TGBP, THKD, TCAD, and TAUD.

Stablecoins have grown in popularity over the past few months, mainly because of the DeFi boom, where they are used to enable staking, liquidity provision, and so forth. However, there was also an obvious challenge with all of it – scaling. Supposedly, Syscoin is intended to help with that. Using Z-DAG (Zero Confirmation Directed Acyclic Graph), the protocol claims to be able to settle transactions in less than 10 seconds with comparatively low fees.

The partnership will also enable users to mine two cryptocurrencies at the same time – SYS and BTC.

Distribution of the Roles

While Syscoin’s task would be scalability, TrustToken comes in for the stablecoin part. It’s a platform that aims at an open financial system through a selection of stablecoins.

The stablecoins it offers are collateralized, and it has also partnered with Chainlink, as well as other protocols.

The overall partnership is aimed at creating a solution for scalable and secure token payments at a lower risk interoperability with Ethereum’s network. It should make TrustToken’s stablecoins function quicker and cheaper following the enabling of the bridge.

Speaking on the matter was Syscoin’s Foundation Chairman Jag Sidhu, who said:

“Digital assets have growing needs for better usability, robust decentralized security, and a scalable way of ensuring every transaction complies with regulations. Syscoin uniquely aligns with all of these requirements. We look forward to TrustToken’s family of stablecoins becoming future-proof and gaining significant advantage with Syscoin.”

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/trusttoken-and-syscoin-partner-on-a-stablecoin-bridge/

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