Valem VR In Unity Channel

I recently found a great channel if you are interested in learning the new Unity XR framework. Valem is really cool and he has a series called Introduction to VR in Unity – UNITY XR TOOLKIT that provides a nice foundation for basic cross-platform VR interaction. This is excellent for beginners and is pretty easy to follow along. I just love listening to this guy!

Alien Assimilator Crash

I have been having fun building out the damage system for Alien Assimilator. During the assimilation run the human army is attacking your ship and as alien overlord you need to protect it fighting off various units like a wave shooter. However at the same time you must keep consuming material to power the shields, weapons, and other systems along with harvesting humans from the city – with your ultimate goal being to harvest as many as possible.

The ship is a simple working system with a variety of modules. These include lots of things like blaster cannons, snatcher beams, shield generators, matter to energy converters, energy storage cells, and thrusters to keep you aloft. If you lose to many modules your ship is going to start to fail ultimately crashing. There will eventually be a variety of designs with different trade offs to unlock – probably even a Borg Cube like one! I will also probably have a simple editor to make your own designs as well.

A Painless Self-Hosted Git Service: Gitea

Looking for something with many of the features of GitHub but you want it on site in your office for your team so you aren’t paying for a hosted solution along with the storage and bandwidth costs associated with larger projects like games? If this is you definitely check out Gitea! I decided to experiment with it primarily for myself as a way to work on various projects that i am accessing via different machines.… Continue reading

Unity Development

After four amazing years at Wayfair doing really cool XR projects I am now moving on! I am hoping to find some new and exciting projects to get involved in. Going forward I plan to work on some of my own concepts while looking for freelance Unity development opportunities!

I have many years of experience with Unity and leading XR platforms and devices – SteamVR, Oculus, Magic Leap, HoloLens, Google Daydream/Cardboard/ARCore etc. I also have plenty of experience doing mobile development and performance optimization with Unity including on standalone devices beyond phones like Oculus Quest and Magic Leap One.

I am willing to take on any project. I am reliable, detail oriented, and passionate about what I work on. Check out my LinkedIn profile to see more about my skill set, past projects, and published experiences.

If you need help with a Unity project feel free to contact me via mike@pixelatedramblings.com or reach out through LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Alien Assimilator Humans

Lately I have been trying out ideas for what the humans should look like in Alien Assimilator. After getting some inspiration from lots of voxel characters and looking at voxel games and their art styles I have settled on a style that I like.

I will be working on a lot of different ones following this art style. I decided I wanted a very simplistic design so that the vertex and triangle counts would not be extremely high. Plus these guys are little maybe a couple of inches tall on the ground so you won’t see lots of detail unless you get close to them.

They are modeled in MagicaVoxel as a body, head, arm, and leg. I put them together via script and do simple movements for the legs and arms while they wobble walk. They just wander about and look around right now. I plan to add some more states to them – one is to run around in circles hysterically waving their arms in the air. They can also turn into a rag doll and float when being snatched by the assimilator.

Diagrams.net

Another open source gem I have been using for a while is called diagrams.net (previously draw.io) which is a great free diagramming tool that I wanted to share with anyone who hasn’t already found it.

It works really well and integrates into Google Drive and many other services providing numerous diagrams right out of the box. I particularly like it because it is really easy to share diagrams from Google Drive.

It has a nice set of UML diagrams which I am used to and also a large variety of other diagrams for all kinds of needs. Here is a simple flow chart for Alien Assimilator showing the game flow.

Audio Spatializers for VR

After switching Alien Assimilator over to Steam VR I wanted to figure out what options there were for spatialized audio. I ended up searching around some on the internet and found this great post that covers the Oculus, Google and Valve spatializers. I had the same requirements they outline: Free to use and ship in your app. Currently supported by active development. Cross-platform compatibility with Unity. The article does a fantastic job outlining the strengths… Continue reading

Pica Voxel

I wanted to discuss Pica Voxel which is a great little voxel framework for Unity that I have been using in my latest project. It is written entirely in C# and works pretty well.  I have had success with it and plan to use it as the core in my next project.     The best thing I like about it is that it has shaders that produce a really nice flat shaded look.  The… Continue reading

8 Year Old Concept Art

Here is some concept art from my 8 year old son – two units we will have in the alien invasion arcade game we are working on.  He likes to mock things up in Minecraft.  I am starting to train him with MagicaVoxel which is what I am using to build the voxel models for the game.  These units will likely grow in detail over time.  I am focusing on a programmer art approach which is to get things in then refine them over time as the game play takes shape and the fun emerges!

The Magicverse

I wanted to share my thoughts on the Magic Leap One.  I was able to work with the device as an early access developer at Wayfair and I built an experience for it called Wayfair Spaces that is published on Magic Leap World.  These are some of my personal thoughts about the device and the bigger picture of this tech and community of early adopters around it.     I honestly believe that Rony and… Continue reading

LOST LOOT Pre-Alpha Update #3 Released!

This latest update to Lost Loot brings CV1 support and a variety of other minor improvements!  It also works beautifully with the DK2 if you are still waiting for a CV1.  Anyone who purchased at any price can simply login to itch.io and download the new version.  If not, now is the time to get it on the itch.io page.     Things have been a little slow but there will be more updates soon.  I… Continue reading

LOST LOOT Alpha Progress – Riley Taylor

It has been a while since posting an update on the game.  I am making good progress and excited to see it really coming alive.  Working on it part time seems to make everything take longer than I would like though.  I hope to start showing more details soon.   With the switch to miniature scale and third person there is now a main character that the game is focused around.  This has both positive and negative… Continue reading

Unite 2015 + Oculus Connect 2

I was very fortunate to be able to attend both Unite 15 and Oculus Connect 2.  Unite was is Boston, and since I live there, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a part of that.  Unfortunately the two conferences were one after the other and even overlapped for a day.  This made for a fun but exhausting week of Unity and VR.        There were many exciting moments throughout both events, and way… Continue reading

LOST LOOT Alpha Progress – Islands

Two years have passed since the original version of LOST LOOT was created for the 2013 VR Jam and I am now happy to report that we are officially entering Alpha territory!  I have made steady progress on a number of areas, but lets start with a few screenshots of the current build and the starting island…     These show the new island environment and our protagonist Riley Taylor, who you will learn more about… Continue reading

LOST LOOT Pre-Alpha Update #2 Released!

The next update to Lost Loot is now available.  This new version has taken the game in a completely different direction with a miniature world third person design that is extremely immersive and very comfortable.     A preview video…   Some screenshots… Check out the this new version and let me know how you like it.  There are many aspects that improve the overall experience that I covered in my blog post called The… Continue reading

The quest for comfortable VR

When I put on the Rift and play a game, I want it to feel good.  I want to be able to stay plugged in for hours and hours and become lost in another world – to explore, have adventures, do things not possible in the real world.  That is the general expectation of the average consumer and at the same time the ultimate dream of any VR enthusiast. So what happens when we have… Continue reading

The Lost Loot Road Map

The initial pre-release is still essentially the VR Jam game I created, although cleaned up and improved significantly.  The gameplay is also still simple with only a few basic exploration and treasure hunting mechanics.  My plan right now is to continue improving and enhancing the foundation of the game.  I also intend to rework the terrain with new shaders, revise the art pack used for the island, and put in a procedural sky system with… Continue reading

Boston VR Bender Insanity!

So, what does it take to utterly blow your mind?  VR!  It has happened twice now for me.  The last time was experiencing VR for the first time with the Rift a year ago.  This time it was experiencing the famous Valve demos that everyone has been talking about since the beginning of the year.  I am convinced more than ever that this new wave of VR technology is going to change the world.  There… Continue reading

Underwater Effects

It has been a while since the last update on Lost Loot.  I have been hard at work on the game during the little spare time I have available lately and I wanted to show off some of the underwater effects that have been added and discuss some of the progress that has been made.  I made a video so you can see the current version in action. I started off with some changes to… Continue reading