Category Archives: VR

Hatsune Miku virtual character cafe experience

The following article really interested me and I used Google Translate to get the English text below. My desire to work with AR/VR is summarized here, in the public part of a submission for a grant for the 2017 Engadget Experience.

I found this on the KDDi website, where it was labeled as a corporate news release.

KDDI and Krypton realize a cafe date experience with the world's first virtual character

~ Limited time offering "Hatsune Miku" cafe experience possible ~

KDDI Corporation (headquartered in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, President and CEO: Koji Tanaka, hereinafter referred to as KDDI) and Krypton Future Media, Inc. (Head office: Hokkaido Sapporo City, President: Hiroyuki Itoh, hereinafter referred to as Krypton) Hideo Miku "cafe experience event (hereinafter this event) will be held at" BLUE LEAF CAFÉ "(Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture) with au SENDAI from 8th to 9th and 15th to 17th July To do.

Both companies signed a basic agreement on service development utilizing AR / VR / MR technology on April 26 this year. Based on the same agreement, this event realizes the world's first trial of a cafe experience with virtual characters (Note 1). The two companies will continue to develop services that utilize technologies such as AR / VR / MR (Note 2) so that they can provide a new experience that combines "Hatsune Miku" and other characters and the real world.

In this event, utilizing Google's Tango technology spatial recognition technology to realize AR experience with 3D camera, it is possible to experience as if Hatsune Miku is sitting in front of you and experiencing a cafe together. In addition, this event is a new window opens The advance application system (lottery) (Note 3) has become.

During the period, "Miku ☆ Sanpo ~ CAFÉ edition ~" is launched on Tango compatible smartphone installed in the table in the space of "BLUE LEAF CAFÉ", "Hatsune Miku" appears in front of you, together with a cafe You can enjoy meals and chatting. A limited-time collaboration menu will also be offered and it is possible to taste the world view of "Hatsune Miku" to its fullest. Part of the sales of the limited time collaboration menu will be donated to support Tohoku reconstruction.

Also, the original "Data Charge Card" (limited quantity) with a plastic card with a visual card used on this event on the face of the card and limited goods of 10th anniversary of Hatsune Miku will be delivered from July 8, 2017 to September 3, 2017, We will sell at au direct shop nationwide.

KDDIとクリプトン、世界初のバーチャルキャラクターとのカフェデート体験を実現

~期間限定で「初音ミク」とのカフェ体験が可能に~

KDDI株式会社 (本社: 東京都千代田区、代表取締役社長: 田中孝司、以下KDDI) と、クリプトン・フューチャー・メディア株式会社 (本社: 北海道札幌市、代表取締役社長: 伊藤博之、以下クリプトン) は、2017年7月8日から9日、15日から17日に、au SENDAI併設の「BLUE LEAF CAFÉ」(宮城県仙台市) で「初音ミク」とカフェ体験ができるイベント (以下、本イベント) を実施します

KDDI株式会社 (本社: 東京都千代田区、代表取締役社長: 田中孝司、以下KDDI) と、クリプトン・フューチャー・メディア株式会社 (本社: 北海道札幌市、代表取締役社長: 伊藤博之、以下クリプトン) は、2017年7月8日から9日、15日から17日に、au SENDAI併設の「BLUE LEAF CAFÉ」(宮城県仙台市) で「初音ミク」とカフェ体験ができるイベント (以下、本イベント) を実施します。

両社は、今年4月26日にAR/VR/MR技術等活用したサービス開発に関する基本合意書を締結しました。本イベントは、同合意書に基づき、バーチャルキャラクターとのカフェ体験という世界初 (注1) の試みを実現するものです。 今後も両社は、「初音ミク」らキャラクターと現実世界が融合した、新たな体験を提供できるよう、AR/VR/MR (注2) 等の技術を活用したサービス開発を進めてまいります。

本イベントでは3DカメラによるAR体験を実現するGoogle社のTangoテクノロジーの空間認識技術を活用し、目の前にあたかも初音ミクが座って一緒にカフェ体験をしているかのような体験が可能です。なお、本イベントは新規ウィンドウが開きます事前申込制 (抽選) (注3) となっております。 期間中、「BLUE LEAF CAFÉ」の専用スペースでテーブルに設置されたTango対応スマートフォンにて「ミク☆さんぽ~CAFÉ edition~」を起動すると、目の前に「初音ミク」が現れ、一緒にカフェでの食事やおしゃべりを楽しめます。期間限定コラボメニューも提供予定となっており、「初音ミク」の世界観を存分に味わうことが可能です。 期間限定コラボメニューの売上の一部は、東北復興支援のため寄付されます。

また、本イベントで使用するビジュアルが券面に描かれたプラスチックカード付きのオリジナル「データチャージカード」(数量限定) と初音ミク10周年の限定グッズを2017年7月8日から9月3日まで、全国のau直営店で販売いたします。

Cone: Engadget Experience public document

Hello Engadget and Esteemed Judges,

My name is Stephen Black and I am an artist, writer and producer. Cone is a three part project: a VR experience, an AR film experiment and a book. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

OnwARd,

Stephen Black

Engadget Experience Cone by Stephen Black PDF

AR, VR, ebook icon: Cone

Stephen Black's Cone is a 3 part project proposed for the 2017 Engadget Experience

Engadget Experience STEPHEN BLACK CONE (VR +AR +ebook)

Stephen Black’s Cone is a conceptual, experiential, multidisciplinary artwork: VR, AR, gaming, audio and text. Cone is conscious—and ignorant-- of fine art, dance, music, sound, design, animation, performance art, branding, storytelling, and installation. Cone has three parts: a short VR film experience, an AR experiment with Vance and a book documenting the creation and ideas associated with these two projects. Cone aims to help bridge the gap between artists and technologists.

Stephen Black is an artist, producer and writer. He was creative director of the Monja Kids Creative Development Kit, a 3D gamemaking kit which was successfully launched in Singapore.

Beach Road, Black’s 360 short film co-production with Hiverlab, was featured at film festivals in Brisbane, Singapore and Las Vegas. He curated SPOKEN, a virtual gallery(Unity) built by Eugene Soh. His text was a significant part of Michael Lee’s Office Orchitect installation at the 2011 Singapore Biennale.

Virtual gallery curators at the opening of their exhibition

Glasses in hand, the avatars of Stephen Black and Eugene Soh welcome visitors

Floating balloon dog

Eugene Soh's tribute to Jeff Koons' balloon dog floats over the SPOKEN landscape

VR graphics for game engine project

One of several designs by Roy Chan.

Black has worked for Cartoon Network, CNN, Fox and Fuji TV. He is also the author of several books, including i ate tiong bahru , which is a national bestseller in Singapore. He collaborated text and concepts to Office Orchitect, Michael Lee’s installation at the 2011 Singapore Biennale.

CONE 360 short film will combine butoh, performance art with 360-specific visual and audio techniques.

Ohno spirits

CONE AR will feature Vance, an animated character, and challenges the limits of AR filmmaking/storytelling.

Vance

Secret Donut World by David Severn w/ Stephen Black

CONEMA MANIFESTO (koh-ne-ma, three syllables as in cinema) An ebook combining existing interviews and essays by SB, with documentation of CONE and examples of short stories which lend themselves to 360 cinema.To be given away free during Engadget Experience.

Emgadget Experience documentation

Cover for ebook of Stephen Black's proposed Cone project for the Engadget Experience

Technologies and Products

Google Tango, depth perception visual/shape recognition algorithms, alternatives to image markers or GPS, Matterport, Unity, Vuforia, Android, Samsung, Ossic Sound, technologies that can scan bodies, technologies that link sound files, lipsynch and AI

Total Budget for VR short film experience, AR experience and ebook production, transportation and expenses: $100,000. Item by item breakdown available upon request.

Current topics of research:

http://www.blacksteps.tv/360-videography-what-would-matisse-do/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/the-potential-of-vr-as-a-collage-medium/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/riffs-on-vives-vr-development-bootcamp-at-digipen-part-1/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/mare-vaporum-open-source-video-source-material/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/virtual-reality-for-artists-workshopmichael-naimarkobjectifs/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/with-bubiko-foodtour-at-the-i-love-penang-festival-in-kl/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/haptics-giving-vr-the-finger-1-of-a-series/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/four-examples-of-a-blog-post-display-on-mobile-instant-article/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/red-dot-sad-stories-art-digitalia-2002-2017/

minimal book covers

red dot SAD (Stories Art, Digitalia 2002-2017) book by Stephen Black

http://www.blacksteps.tv/self-portrait-as-a-game/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/facebook-goes-cameramondo/

http://www.blacksteps.tv/vr-what-would-picasso-do-notes-and-links/

Music/audio/performance: 3how

screenshot of video interview on youtube

Stephen Black discusses his books, including Bali Wave Ghost, Obama Search Words and i ate tiong bahru.Reality TV and VR are also briefly discussed. Video by Aquiles Ascension

AR, VR, ebook icon: Cone

Cone. Engadget Experience. Los Angeles 2017

Haptics: Giving VR the Finger (1 of a series )

Rethink the body for a moment. The skin; the largest organ. The wondrous organs and processes within this sack of flesh, especially the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems. With everything working together, we can do things like jump, speak and button our clothes.

Zooming in on the act of buttoning a shirt, we see a number of interactions. The brain controls muscles related to the eyes, arms and hands. Information about texture and positioning is exchanged between brain and fingers. Muscles and tendons make movements, some obvious, some extremely subtle. Fingertips maneuver the object. Voila! The shirt is buttoned. All parts of the buttoning operation are important. However, from the viewpoint of haptics, the three nerves connected to the fingers deserve a closer look.

The median nerve controls the thumb and wrist. It also gives feeling to the skin around the palm, thumb, middle and index fingers. It runs down the inside of the arm, crosses the front of the elbow and passes through the wrist bones and connective tissue of the carpal tunnel. Compressing the median nerve over a long period can result in carpal tunnel syndrome.

Another nerve, the ulnar nerve, is connected to the muscles that bend the wrist and fingers. It passes behind the elbow. When someone says, “I hit my funny bone”, the correct reply is,”what you are actually saying is that you’ve unexpectedly stimulated your ulnar nerve, resulting in that unusual, wacky tingling sensation”.

Spock rockin' that ulnar nerve/ flexor digitalis superficialis action.

Finally, the radial nerve, which straightens the wrist, thumb and fingers. It gives feeling to the skin on the back of the hand, as well as the index finger, middle finger, and half of the ring finger. Considered by many to be the second most important nerve in the body, the radial nerve is also responsible for bending the elbow.

My interest in haptics is not yet linked to any projects, commercial or artistic. This series of haptics-related blog posts is open-ended, but, the following topics seem likely to follow, in this order: nerve endings, sensors, and haptic-related products. I am especially interested in the intersection of haptics and music. I hope to also again speak with Stelarc about his possible haptics-related projects. I was fortunate to document some of his third hand projects, as well as chat with his prosthetic head. FWIW, I have only knowingly photobombed once:

Stelarc third ear

Stephen Black's first and only photobomb.Stelarc, Uerich Lau, Steve Dixon and ? LASALLE College of the Arts

Black and white photo courtesy of Toyo Tsuchiya, from his No Se No documentation project.

Part two of this series is here.

Self-portrait as a Game

Hong Kong 1995: to pay the bills you work as a promo producer for Cartoon Network/Turner Classic Movies. At a wild party in a hair salon on a Sunday morning,  a beautiful Japanese woman says you should meet Seki, because, “he’s a genius.” You:
  1. Get Seki's contact info
  2. Thank her and misbehave
You show up at Seki’s. Your eyes immediately become glued to:
  1. Seki, a short, charming man with a moustache; part Mr. Magoo, part card shark
  2. The wireframe mode of a lens displayed on his laptop
  3. The postcards of rabbits on Seki's wall
The Handover of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China is over and you have become a freelancer. You get a job as a producer for CNN, a music program called Worldbeat. You  go to Singapore to cover the WOMAD Festival, with the help of a fantastic assistant and a great cameraman. As you get back onto the plane to return to Hong Kong, you think:
  1. I ‘m never coming back here again.
  2. What a fascinating multicultural, cosmopolitan first world country.  A truly desirable and charming place in which to reside!
You are now in Tokyo, to  set up and manage the six television channels operated by Fox, who have just set up operations in Japan.That contract ends and you write a movie script and search out ways to produce the film. Eventually you have to leave and re-enter the country for visa reasons. You go to:
  1. Shanghai
  2. Singapore
Singapore is where has Seki set up his $3.2  million  startup. The company has two divisions: one is doing something like Youtube; a platform for user-generated video content. (This is three years before Youtube.) The other division is creating a 3D/VR software for game development. The software is educational and entertaining and you have never seen anything like it. Seki asks you to join him, for a reasonable salary and a stake in the company. You:
  1. Join Seki
  2. Return to Tokyo to make a film
October 24, Singapore Science Center. Two years after joining Seki, the gamemaking software will premiere as part of the  three-month long Planet Games exhibition at the Singapore Science Center. You set up a small table with a large monitor and big CPU. Next to you is a large maze made out of plastic sheets;  something called AR Pacman. You and the AR Pacman team are the ony exhibitors in the Future section. Finally after more than ten years of hard work, Seki’s dream is a reality. The morning of the premiere, Seki:
  1. Dies from a heart attack
  2. Announces plans for the IPO
...to be continued....

VC questions applied to a book and a VR startup

I am presently in Johor Bahru Malaysia, where I am duotasking: writing a book and concluding the research necessary to begin  a VR-related startup. The questions that investors ask are a must for for my startup and an interesting way to look at my book project. The VR section immediately follows the book section.

VC Questions for Touching JB, a book by Stephen Black

What is it?

A 50,00 word book based on the experiences, thoughts and blog posts of Stephen Black, written during an unexpected stay in Johor Bahru, Malaysia in the spring of 2017. Topics and themes include  cultural issues, human relationships, food, comedy, art and virtual reality.

What problem does it solve?

There are no fact-based fiction books about Johor Bahru. As JB continues to gain international recognition, Touching JB will also gain prominence

Competition

There are no comparable books about JB.

Who is making it?

Bestselling author and producer Stephen Black is making it, aided by Book Merah, who made i ate tiong bahru a bestseller in Singapore.

Potential audience?

Ten thousand readers within five years.

What work has been done?

25,000 words have been written. On schedule.

How will it grow?

Book Merah will handle promotion and marketing. The readers of  Black's previous books will be the first group contacted. Once reviews are secured, large scale promotion will begin.

References

Goodreads, Amazon, Art Review Asia, Expat Living Magazine

Schedule

Finish writing in April. E-publishing and promotion to follow immediately.

VC Questions for a VR-related startup being initiated by Stephen Black

Note; Parts of the following are intentionally vague and for now SVRP (Steve’s VR Project) is being used as the project name.

 

What is it?

A Google Daydream app and platform  for nongaming casual VR users.

What problem does it solve?

Entertainment, education, tourism and other industries will have a tool to build audiences with.

Competition

There is, presently, no competition.

Who is making it?

Experienced 3D and gaming producer Stephen Black

Potential audience?

Tens of millions+

What work has been done?

Extensive research, planning and paper grey boxing

How will it grow?

Carefully chosen beta testers, then alpha companies and individuals, freeware

References

Previous projects were successfully used by the Singapore Science Center and the Singapore Ministry of Education

Schedule

Prepare mockup. Find money. Go forth and prosper.

Steve’s VR Startup

I began working with VR in 2002, with a software development kit for children, the CDK. The Creative Development Kit allowed inexperienced children AND serious game developers to create games and projects, using our models and commands. The CDK was studied by the Singaporean Ministry of Education and used in schools throughout Singapore, as well as in the Singapore Science Center. I took a hiatus from VR to write books, one of which has become a best seller in Singapore. I also  began research f0r a book on digital cinematography/VR/art, co-produced/curated SPOKEN, a virtual gallery with Eugene Soh and wrote/co-produced/starred in a 360 short film called Beach Road.

In the middle of 2016, I decided that the time was right for my VR ideas. This blog is filled with posts about research , seminars, meetings etc. I am now refining my pitchdeck for presentation to investors/VCs. I would prefer to bootstrap, but for this company, at this time, that is a challenge that would seem to take a long time to solve.

...................

Here are my replies to some of the basic questions investors want answered:

Potential audience? One billion (yes, that is a 'b')

What work has been done? Extensive pre-production  including: research, research research, paper mockup, paper grey box mockup, troubleshooting  bootcamp with trusted associates, started theoretical command sequences for programmers, UI design(fonts, layout color patterns)

How will it grow? I have compiled a list of personal connections and carefully selected industry leaders (mainly bloggers and journalists). These people would form a base for testing. Additionally, when the time is right, a press release will be sent to the VR media and notification give to VR social media groups. The user base will grow through these channels as well as through word of mouth. Other methods of promotion have been planned.

In addition to meeting a need, the project is fun to use. Though the project is simple and functional, the user experience will feel like the best parts of a five star restaurant, Cirque Soleil and driving a Ferrari.

Business projections: Huge

If you would like to know more or be a beta tester, feel free to get in touch.

Onward!

SB  

Stephen Black: VR startup in Singapore. Why?

An outline of reasons as to why Singapore is the place for Stephen Black's planned  VR startup.
  1. As Creative Director/Producer for the CDK, a CG-generated VR project for a Singapore-based joint venture, SB became very familiar with Singapore's working environment, including government policies and business practices. (The CDK is described more fully elsewhere on this blog.)
  2. As a long-term resident based in Singapore since 2002, and the author of a bestselling book about Singapore (i ate tiong bahru), SB has a familiarity with Singapore as well as a personal and professional network.
  3. The government of Singapore provides support for VR and VR-related startups. https://www.spring.gov.sg/Nurturing-Startups/SEEDS/Pages/spring-start-up-enterprise-development-scheme.aspx VR in Singapore
  4. As a teacher of VR-related educational software in the Singapore educational system, SB has experience "in the trenches", regarding the demands of institutions, schools, teachers and students. The Singapore Ministry of successfully tested the CDK and  presented the results at an international educational symposium.
  5. Singapore is a regional hub, with strong connections throughout Southeast Asia,India, China and Japan. This fact, combined with SB's living experiences in Japan, Hong Kong, Paris, New York and Bali create a strong  possibility for an active beta network that will be an influential force for global take-up.
    two male avatars in a very red gallery

    Stephen Black and Eugene Soh in the virtual lobby of gallery.sg, the location for the SPOKEN exhibition

    6. Safe and stable, Singapore has trustworthy legal and business infrastructures. 7. English: yes! Other languages? Yes, yes, yes and yes!
  6. 8.Singapore's multicultural population is also very smartphone savvy.

     

Year of the Rooster things to do

(image by David Severn) The Art/VR startup idea...the time is now! The  Tiong Bahru Mouth the book , the photos, the haikus,  the videos. The Tiong Bahru Market is closing for three months at the end of February. Seems like that would be a punctuation mark of some sort. The i ate tiong bahru audiobook is now being checked by Amazon. The iatb glasses were successfully crowdfunded. So was the design for the Tiong Bahru poster. I ate Tiong Bahru, the book itself, is due for a second printing...   priest painting the skyI Ate Tiong Bahru Audiobook Really...this could go live any day!ArtReview Asia review of IATBcover of Artreview AsiaVoicemaps I have Tiong Bahru mapped out... Bali Wave Ghost After three years+ of doing the starving artist thing,it's time to work on the net net and synergize so as to secure maximum ROI.(that was written last year also, on another blog post. Have not done marketing.. no sales action.)Bali Wave Ghost in a Periplus bookstoreSPOKEN I wrote the following last year, and it has received attention, should receive more... SPOKEN needs to increase its audience...it really is an incredible piece of work :a virtual gallery built by Eugene Soh and filled with contributions from an extremely diverse collection of artists and writers. two male avatars in a very red gallery And these two projects, carry overs from last year. Hopefully by midyear, they can be picked up again...INSEIN Last year, I  spent almost ten days in Yangon. I created images with a digital camera. I would like to exhibit them and create a book.The images use Yangon as a starting point...airline map sing to RangoonI Ate LaPhet Thoke Conceptual art meets culinary research. A booklet co-created with Sayuri Okayama.IMG_3604 la phet thoke in styrofoam w Joe 19th stBeach Road This 360VR movie will hopefully continue to attract viewers. 360 video still from Beach Road Towards a New Cinematography, the book, has been plodding along. I hope it will plod faster.AND I WANT TO SPEND TIME WITH MY MOM AND DAD AND BROTHER AND DAUGHTER!

stephen black start up

Two hundred percent. Ten thousand percent. Whatever it takes.... I am finalizing a pitch deck now and calmly, but urgently, looking for a Unity/C# person who works hard and dreams harder. VR and more. NOW.

The potential of VR as a collage medium

Various notes without a single topic, but all related to the possibilities of immersive art and text. CG and 360 possibilities are innumerable and exciting...but aren't there also untapped resources in the traditional 2D artforms?

What if someone like Virginia Fleck had a way to easily, and dramatically, present her works in VR?v

I am just thinking out loud here...would love to hear your comments.

...some links related to this. Oh yes... the image used at the top of this post was "borrowed" from the blog of Skarred Ghost, who is doing some amazing things with VR and full body presence.

Here is a link to one of his superb posts: on https://skarredghost.wordpress.com/2016/12/28/how-to-show-a-video-in-a-texture-with-unity-on-android/

Netflix home theatre in the Oculus.  http://techblog.netflix.com/2015/09/john-carmack-on-developing-netflix-app.html

The screens on the Gear VR supported phones are all 2560x1440 resolution, which is split in half to give each eye a 1280x1440 view that covers approximately 90 degrees of your field of view. If you have tried previous Oculus headsets, that is more than twice the pixel density of DK2, and four times the pixel density of DK1. That sounds like a pretty good resolution for videos until you consider that very few people want a TV screen to occupy a 90 degree field of view. Even quite large screens are usually placed far enough away to be about half of that in real life.

The optics in the headset that magnify the image and allow your eyes to focus on it introduce both a significant spatial distortion and chromatic aberration that needs to be corrected. The distortion compresses the pixels together in the center and stretches them out towards the outside, which has the positive effect of giving a somewhat higher effective resolution in the middle where you tend to be looking, but it also means that there is no perfect resolution for content to be presented in. If you size it for the middle, it will need mip maps and waste pixels on the outside. If you size it for the outside, it will be stretched over multiple pixels in the center.

For synthetic environments on mobile, we usually size our 3D renderings close to the outer range, about 1024x1024 pixels per eye, and let it be a little blurrier in the middle, because we care a lot about performance. On high end PC systems, even though the actual headset displays are lower resolution than Gear VR, sometimes higher resolution scenes are rendered to extract the maximum value from the display in the middle, even if the majority of the pixels wind up being blended together in a mip map for display.

The Netflix UI is built around a 1280x720 resolution image. If that was rendered to a giant virtual TV covering 60 degrees of your field of view in the 1024x1024 eye buffer, you would have a very poor quality image as you would only be seeing a quarter of the pixels. If you had mip maps it would be a blurry mess, otherwise all the text would be aliased fizzing in and out as your head made tiny movements each frame.

The technique we use to get around this is to have special code for just the screen part of the view that can directly sample a single textured rectangle after the necessary distortion calculations have been done, and blend that with the conventional eye buffers. These are our "Time Warp Layers". This has limited flexibility, but it gives us the best possible quality for virtual screens (and also the panoramic cube maps in Oculus 360 Photos). If you have a joypad bound to the phone, you can toggle this feature on and off by pressing the start button. It makes an enormous difference for the UI, and is a solid improvement for the video content.

Still, it is drawing a 1280 pixel wide UI over maybe 900 pixels on the screen, so something has to give. Because of the nature of the distortion, the middle of the screen winds up stretching the image slightly, and you can discern every single pixel in the UI. As you get towards the outer edges, and especially the corners, more and more of the UI pixels get blended together. Some of the Netflix UI layout is a little unfortunate for this; small text in the corners is definitely harder to read.

So forget 4K, or even full-HD. 720p HD is the highest resolution video you should even consider playing in a VR headset today.

http://alexchu.net/Presentation-VR-Design-Transitioning-from-a-2D-to-a-3D-Design-Paradigm

Dragon Front Card Game

https://www.oculus.com/experiences/rift/999515523455801/

(Interesting in terms of card size/distance from viewer) For a card game, Dragon Front was an exhilarating experience that mixes the tense moments of high-level strategy play with the full-body escapism of VR. Yet after a few turns going back and forth, you start to completely forget that you're even playing a game with a headset on. The competition starts to feel as natural as a physical table-top experience, while the Rift just becomes an interface for your virtual showdown."

After just 10 minutes or so of tutorial playing, I was able to grasp the game's lengthy turn-based combat and try my hand at a real one-on-one fight with another human being in VR. For a card game, Dragon Front was an exhilarating experience that mixes the tense moments of high-level strategy play with the full-body escapism of VR. Yet after a few turns going back and forth, you start to completely forget that you're even playing a game with a headset on. The competition starts to feel as natural as a physical table-top experience, while the Rift just becomes an interface for your virtual showdown.

Dragon Front makes you forget you're playing a VR game

Dragon Front has a couple fun quirks to amplify that sensation. For one, your opponent's face shows up as a omnipresent floating mask above their fortress, and it will mirror the direction of their gaze and facial expressions in real time so you can feel as if you're sitting across the table from the person. Dragon Front also relies on in-game voice chat so you can talk to your opponent as the game progresses.
So Dragon Front may not be the most immersive VR title out there or one you could show your parents to convince them of the technology's potential. But it's certainly a unique rethinking of the VR approach, one that will most certainly catch on as headsets like the Rift start becoming a more common way to play a wide variety of games and not just first-person experiences.

MIKE ALGER!  

.......

Great  piece by Vincent McCurley

From Vincent's article: Download the printable VR Storyboard template PDF via DropBox or just grab the image below. (THANK YOU VINCENT!)

VR Storyboard Template
 ....................................
Jessica Brillhart, VR Filmmaker http://www.jessicabrillhart.com/about/