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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

Bitcoin Just Marked New 2020 High, But This Indicator Signals Correction Incoming (BTC Price Analysis)

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Starting by looking at the bigger picture, Bitcoin price had made a remarkable run since October began, gaining almost $3000 to its value.

Looking at the following long-term weekly chart, we can see this week’s greenish candle that will be closed later today. From a technical point of view, as long as the candle close price is above the $12,500 area (previous high) – we can safely say that BTC is on a healthy uptrend.

btc_oct25_w-min
BTC/USD weekly. Chart by TradingView

The Good and The Bad: New 2020 High but Bearish Divergence

Just a few hours ago, Bitcoin price recorded a new 2020 high close to $13,400 (on Binance Futures); however, the primary cryptocurrency could not hold there, and quickly slumped to $12,700 in a matter of one hour.

Looking at the shorter-term chart, the 4-hour, we can identify a bearish divergence on the RSI. This is a bearish pattern and might indicate that the buying power is fading away.

This happens when the price goes through a higher-high, but the RSI indicator is doing the opposite and going through a lower-high.

Another worrying sign is the trading volume. Since its peak volume on October 20-21, four days ago, the trading volume decreased even though the BTC price had actually gone up.

BTC Support and Resistance Levels To Watch

As mentioned above, if BTC were to correct, then the first major level of support lies at the current levels around $12.9 – $13K. If Bitcoin breaks here, then the first significant level lies at $12,700, followed by the previous 2020 high from August at $12,400 – $12,500.

From the bullish side, if Bitcoin holds the $13,000 – then the first levels of resistance lie at $13,200, followed by today’s high around $13,400. Bitcoin will be looking to break the 2019 high from June – at around $13,880.

Total Market Cap: $400 billion

Bitcoin Market Cap: $240 billion

BTC Dominance Index: 60%

*Data by CoinGecko

BTC/USD BitStamp 4-Hour Chart

btc_oct25_4h-min

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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-just-marked-new-2020-high-but-this-indicator-signals-correction-incoming-btc-price-analysis/

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Blockchain

Bitcoin Breaks New 2020 High As Total Market Cap Topped $400 Billion (Market Watch)

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Bitcoin continues with the 2020 records and just a few hours ago marked a fresh high of above $13,350. Most alternative coins followed suit with impressive increases, but the market has calmed since then. The entire cryptocurrency market clocked at above $400 billion.

Bitcoin To Yet Another 2020 High

CryptoPotato reported a few days ago that the primary cryptocurrency exceeded the August 2020 high of about $12,500 and reached $13,200. What followed was a slight retracement to about $13,000 and stagnation yesterday.

Nevertheless, the volatility returned in the past 24 hours, and BTC headed towards new highs. This time, Bitcoin broke above $13,350. In fact, according to data from Bitstamp, BTC’s new 2020 high is at $13,362.

Another sharp rejection followed, and the asset tanked briefly below $13,000. Nevertheless, the bulls have since driven it above the coveted mark, and BTC trades at about $12,940.

A compelling chart recently revealed that Bitcoin is forming an inverse head and shoulders pattern. If it’s to play out, the cryptocurrency could soon skyrocket even further and top its all-time high of $20,000.

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If this scenario is indeed to materialize, Bitcoin would have to break above the resistance lines at $13,420, $13,500, $13,815, and $14,000 before reaching new records.

btcusd_chart
BTC/USD. Source: TradingView

Altcoins Follow Up And Calm Down

Most alternative coins experienced similarly increased volatility as Bitcoin. Ethereum surged to a new 7-week high of nearly $420. However, ETH quickly retraced and is now hovering around $409 again.

Ripple’s highest level came at about $0,26, but XRP has since decreased to below $0.253.

Thus, on a 24-hour scale, most larger-cap altcoins have remained essentially at the same positions as yesterday, despite the brief price jumps. Chainlink and Litecoin have registered the most gains of about 3.6%. LINK trades close to $12.35, and LTC is positioned at $56.3.

heatmap
Cryptocurrency Market Heatmap. Source: Quantify Crypto

The most impressive gainer since yesterday is Filecoin. After the recent controversy and continuous price slump, FIL has surged by 45% in the past 24 hours.

Ocean Protocol (18%), Quant (17.5%), THETA (10.2%), Reserve Rights (10.2%), and Ampleforth (10%) have also increased by double-digit percentages.

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Disclaimer: Information found on CryptoPotato is those of writers quoted. It does not represent the opinions of CryptoPotato on whether to buy, sell, or hold any investments. You are advised to conduct your own research before making any investment decisions. Use provided information at your own risk. See Disclaimer for more information.

Cryptocurrency charts by TradingView.


Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-breaks-new-2020-high-as-total-market-cap-tops-400-billion-market-watch/

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Blockchain

Ripple Board Member Arrested on Cyberstalking Charges

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  • Ripple board member and a close family friend of US President Donald Trump, Ken Kurson, has been arrested following allegations of cyberstalking.
  • According to the New York Times, Kurson has stalked and harassed a total of five victims, including his ex-wife.
  • He was reportedly most vicious against a friend of his ex-wife, whom he blamed for his divorce. He used pseudonyms to contact the hospital she worked and sent fraudulent emails claiming that she had an affair with her boss. Kurson also initiated a flood of negative Yelp reviews, threatening emails, and anonymous calls and messages to other hospital employees. 
  • The woman claimed that Kurson had used the same tactics against another female victim, who was fired from her job. The criminal complaint also asserted that the second victim is Kurson’s ex-wife.
  • The public corruption unit of the United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn is handling the case. A judge released Kurson from custody pending trial. 
  • Kurson is a close friend of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Kushner had previously appointed Kurson as the editor in chief when he owned The New York Observer in 2013. 
  • In 2018, the Trump administration offered Kurson a seat on the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities. After a routine background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kurson withdrew from consideration.
  • Kurson joined the board of directors at Ripple in early 2017. The announcement highlighted that Kurson was one of the first investors in the company. 

Featured Image Courtesy of CNBC

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/ripple-board-member-arrested-on-cyberstalking-charges/

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