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!

Unity And Multi-Platform XR

Recently BUG had a great presentation by Jonathan Linowes of Parkerhill XR Studio on the new multi-platform XR framework that is now in Unity 2019.3. This is a replacement for the existing legacy XR integrations that were built into the engine in recent years. If you have been doing any VR development since the DK1 you have likely been through the ups and downs of Unity VR integrations which have been quite the ride. There… Continue reading

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.

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.

Skyrim VR

So I broke down during the Steam winter sale last year and decided to pay for Skyrim again since it was half price – all so I can try it in VR! I also dusted off my giant PRIMA game guide as well but referring to a game guide while playing in VR isn’t so easy 🙂 I have been playing for quite some time and I am probably two thirds of the way through… Continue reading

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

House Designs in VR (Part 1)

A few years ago I purchased some property in the mountains of southern Vermont where I am planning to eventually build a house.  It’s a beautiful place and is about 15 acres with approximately a third of that open fields and the rest woods.  There is a stream, a farm pond, and a three season cabin on the lower portion that is enjoyed many weekends throughout the year – except the coldest parts of the… Continue reading

Alien Assimilator Destruction

I have been making a little progress on my alien assimilation game. I have it working with SteamVR 2.0 now with some initial core mechanics. Basically you can just blast the city and pickup the debris which fuels your ship. You can also collect humans which just say funny things at the moment – they will eventually give you power ups as you collect them!  The goal will be to assimilate as many humans as possible within your limited invasion window while keeping your ship powered and defending it from the human army trying to take you down.  It’s pretty simple at the moment, but the explosions are satisfying!

Steam VR Unity Plugin 2.0

So I decided to spend some time with Steam VR and try the new Steam VR Unity Plugin 2.0. I am mentoring at the Reality Virtually hackathon at MIT next week helping represent Wayfair and the Next team there and wanted to be knowledgeable of all these recent changes. I also wanted to test my current game project in both the Rift and the Vive so now seems like a good time. I currently have… Continue reading

XR Dads

So the www.xr-dad.com  site launched and is exactly the kind of stuff I go through with my 8 year old son!  Some good resources here from Alex and Logan for us XR Dads.  I ended up meeting both of them in person at LEAPcon and they are great guys!  So I can officially vouch for them. 🙂

It’s Now A Dev Blog

So, it has been a long while since I put anything on this website and I have decided I don’t want it to go to waste any longer.  In that spirit I am now just going to write about my current development efforts and share some fun and insightful things about whatever I am working on.  I will also share some tips on Unity and XR where it makes sense but everything will be fairly short and informal.  It will be kind of a rambling development blog. 😉

LOST LOOT Alpha Progress – Little Red Raft

Time for another status update on the game with some cool screenshots of our beloved little red raft.  Everyone who has played the Lost Loot pre-alpha has tried to use it in that version.  Unfortunately it was never functional except as a travel system to much disappointment and continuous attempts to figure out how to “use” it.  I am happy to declare that the little red raft in the alpha version is now fully functional!… 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

Rift Ramblings (Part 8)

Time again for some wandering thoughts on the Rift and VR.  Let’s start off with some exciting news – my Rift arrived this past Monday!  With all the shipping issues I wasn’t really sure when it would come.  It has been almost three years since I first received the DK1 and wrote about it.  What a tumultuous ride!  Thank you again Oculus and Palmer for doing something special like this for all the Kickstarter backers.… Continue reading