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This page reflects VRDC@GDC 2017. Please check back for updates. The Call for Submissions for VRDC@GDC 2018 is now open until September 29th, 2017 at 11:59pm PT.

Explore virtual and augmented reality in game development including design, production, programming, and visual art. Gain inspiration from exciting, current work in game VR and skills to build your own.

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2017 HIGHLIGHTED SESSIONS

Sources of Inspiration for Approaching Accessibility in VR
Hannah Gillis (ILMxLAB)
Ben Peck (ILMxLAB)
The focus of this talk is to have a conversation within the VR development community regarding accessibility and openly share lessons learned, and areas for improvement. Novel challenges to accessibility in VR projects are introduced, using the public demonstration of 'Trials on Tatooine' at the Star Wars Celebration 2016 convention as a real-world example. Attendees are given a survey of architecture, theme park design, and film set design, outlining their conceptual approach to accessibility and universal design, along with examples of what this means in practice, providing them with new resources for inspiration and insights.
Spatial Storytelling Lessons from 'Job Simulator' and 'Rick and Morty VR'
Alex Schwartz (Owlchemy Labs)
Devin Reimer (Owlchemy Labs)
Telling stories and interacting with characters in VR is a deep challenge with little precedent and many ways to ruin the illusion for players. Characters need to be able to interrupt one another seamlessly, avoid staring and awkward expressions, and character interactions need to work properly for players of any height, to name just a few. Owlchemy Labs shares tips to avoid uncanny valley, increase empathy with character interactions, and cover gobs of actionable lessons learned through the development of VR titles 'Job Simulator' and 'Rick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality'.
The Sound Design of 'Star Wars: Battlefront VR'
Jay Steen (Criterion Games)
The 'Star Wars: Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission' puts the player right at the center of the sound of Star Wars, and this talk shows how Criterion Games approached adapting the sound of Battlefront to VR. It covers giving the player a self-voice, creating a sense of scale and wonder, enhancing presence and interactivity in an X-Wing cockpit, how fully spatialized sound can make combat feel tangible and dangerous, using iconic music in VR, and how Criterion stayed true to the sound of 'Battlefront' whilst adapting it to a new medium.
Creating Mixed Reality Trailers and Livestreams
Kert Gartner (kertgartner.com)
Colin Northway (Northway Games)
You've said it yourself: "you have to try VR to understand it". Being in VR is so different that it's hard to communicate the experience with traditional media. Translating the feeling of being in a fully interactive virtual environment into a compelling 2D video people watch on their phone is a complicated problem. Mixed reality shows a player inside your game and is the best way to convey what it's like to be inside VR. Learn how Kert and Colin created the mixed reality livestreams and trailers for Fantastic Contraption and how they solved many VR specific post-production problems along the way.

GAME VR/AR TRACK ADVISORS

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Robin Hunicke
Funomena
 
Robin Hunicke is a game designer and co-founder at Funomena, working on the VR title 'Luna', the AR title, '​WOORLD' and the PC/Console title, 'Wattam'. She has been designing and making games for over 12 years ('Journey', 'Boom Blox', 'MySims', 'TheSims2').  An outspoken advocate for diversity in our industry, she helps organize Amplifying New Voices, and co-curates the Experimental Gameplay Workshop, and is Associate Professor and Director of the Art, Games and Playable Media BA program at UC Santa Cruz.
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Alex Schwartz
Owlchemy Labs
 
Alex Schwartz is the CEO (Chief Executive Owl) and Janitor of VR studio Owlchemy Labs, creators of the HTC Vive, Oculus Touch, and PlayStation VR triple-platform launch title 'Job Simulator' as well as 'Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality'. As one of the first studios to dive head-first into the VR space, Owlchemy Labs' efforts have resulted in some of the top played VR content in the world, earning them a Sundance Nomination for Job Simulator as well as the opportunity to ship inside the box with the HTC Vive. As co-founder of the VR Austin group, Alex plays an active role in the gaming and VR community by speaking around the world, organizing events, and smoking various exotic meats down in Austin, TX.
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Dan Hurd
Playful Corp
 
A lizardman rogue, selected as one of eight user-generated characters to enter the dreaded Crypts of the Forgotten, Dan Hurd returns to the surface to barter his enchanted loot and to direct the 'Super Lucky's Tale' team. He has previously worked on 'Lucky's Tale', 'Creativerse', and several of the 'With Friends' mobile titles. He can dual-wield one-handed weapons without penalty.