Casual Connect Asia 2016 Day 2
After Day 1 of Casual Connect Asia, we continue with more talks about Virtual Reality on Day TWO of Casual Connect Asia on 18 May 2016. Trends in Japan and China pointing towards the growth of VR, new development suite to get the most out of VR, and Unreal Engine. Check it out!
VR in Japan and VR Funds from Japan
The first talk is “New Surging Trends in Japan’s Entertainment Sector” by Masahiko Honma, Co-Founder & General Partner of Incubate Fund. He spoke about the popularity of VR-Zone by Bandai Namco, a VR experience area where even he can’t get into due to the long queue. He also shared the use of VR at Universal Studios Japan and Recruit Technologies at a HR event. Lastly and most importantly, he mentioned that many japanese companies like Colopl, GREE and Gumi and of course his own company Incubate Fund is looking to fund VR.
Disrupting the way we make VR games and apps
The next talk is “Getting the most out of VR” by John Goodale, VP of Platform Business Development, MaxPlay. We have mostly been using Unity and UNREAL Engine for game development for VR. John challenges the use of these game engines as being outdated. His company’s soon-to-be released MaxPlay game development suite will be able push our multicore-CPU and GPU harder to run the software more efficiently. There are other features like real time collaboration (imagine google docs) and analytics for eye tracking and motion controls to optimize performance. We can’t wait for the release of MaxPlay to see how it bring our game development speed to the next level.
China, a market of its own
Next up, Cui Chenyu, an analyst from global information company IHS, talks about “VR for China: Mobile or TV Games”. Having just came from CES Asia in Shanghai where VR was promoted very aggressively by Chinese companies in terms of hardware, content and investment, she had a first hand experience of the VR trend in China. At this moment, hardware is well ahead of VR content curve in China, but even then the types of headset, both adaptor and high end, have weaknesses that is limiting headset adoption not just in China but globally. In developing content for China, one good insight that developers outside China may miss out is that the approval process is complicated and for VR it is still very much in the grey area and will face heavy censorship.
Unreal Engine Workshop
Only manage to catch the end part of Epic Games talk on “Making VR Games and Experiences in UE4” but it showcases a lot of information on development in VR that harness the power of Unreal Engine framework to help build VR content. More information can be found here. Most people are familiar with Unity3D only but do give Unreal Engine a try as they have spend a lot of effort making it easier and better to create VR content.
Casual Connect Experience
It was a really fun experience at Casual Connect Asia 2016 throughout the 2 days that I was there. I learnt a lot from the industry experts, managed to network with many people and got to try new games that are not yet released! I just wished that there were VR games on showcase though. Maybe next year?!