Category: Media


Project Morpheus makes waves

The highlight of the day at GDC was Sony’s little publicised session in which they announced Project Morpheus, their competitor to the oculus rift, and bid to bring virtual reality to mainstream.

Project Morpheus - Sony's VR Headset

Project Morpheus – Sony’s VR Headset

Project Morpheus will be available for use with PS4 and PS Move, with 1000Hz tracking and 1080p screen (presumably split between both eyes). Sony talked about immersion and presence, but there were no specifics, no release date, no final specs, no price point. I have no doubt that Sony are getting close to release, but the whole thing seemed a little rushed. The session wasn’t in the programs, and appears to have been arranged at the very last minute. Despite the fact there are bigger rooms here we were squeezed into two rooms with a video link between them. The session was on Tuesday before most of the developers arrive tomorrow. It just doesn’t make sense.

It’s almost like Sony are trying to get the jump on something. I wonder if there are more announcements to come. Perhaps Sony are trying to beat Microsoft or OculusVR (or both) to the party.

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The Games Developer Conference starts on Monday, so Sunday gives a good opportunity to try to get over the jet lag and wander round the city. That’s exactly what we did. After starting at the shops in fisherman’s wharf we walked towards the bridge, which was obscured by a heavy fog, then up the hill and back round towards the city. I think we covered about nine miles in all. After that we walked down to the convention centre to register before heading back to the hotel.

Monday saw the start of the conference. I mostly switched between sessions on the math and the graphics tracks. I learnt all about Grassmann Algebra, which is a more generalised version of vector algebra that I’m more familiar with. Then I learnt about some important considerations when introducing randomness into games, and then rotations using quaternions.

In the afternoon I deviated a little to see a session on using OpenCL for AI, and then I spent the rest of the day in the graphics track, covering shader optimisation in DirectX, optimizing DirectX, tessellation, volumetric rendering for shadows and god rays, and hair and fur shaders.

It was a busy day, but then it always is at GDC. There’s just too many great sessions on at a time!

Strange Rooms

1:52. That’s what’s it said on the large, red digital display next to me when I woke up. My nose and throat were dry, and my back ached like I’d been sitting in the same position for several hours. Outside I could hear the familiar, bell like tones of chains being dragged beneath the street that service the San Francisco trams.

Yes, after a shameful gap in which I failed to blog about all sorts of things, including the Global Game Jam! We made two games ambitiously linked by a bespoke, configurable 3D printed controller! I’ve decide to use my trip to GDC to try to kickstarting my blog, at least for the next few days.

GDC is the Games Developers Conference which is held annually in San Francisco. It’s a really great experience where we get to go to all sorts of talks on all sorts of topics. We get to find out about how parts of particular games were made, and go to talks on all sorts of topics, from hardware to graphics, physics and maths, to business and monetization.

So, Warren and I got an early train from Hull, and after more than fifteen hours of traveling, waiting and traveling again we arrived at our hotel. It’s traditional to take a picture of the view from your hotel room. Here’s mine:

Room with a view

Room with a view

The hotel is pretty good and is in a great location for the conference. I’ll try to post more tomorrow, but in the meantime if you want to find out more about what goes on at GDC go to www.gdconf.com