Merry Christmas! / End of the Year Update

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Chrismas!

I figure I should post one last update to close out 2014. So what have I been up to?

My New Project & Thanksgiving Day Stream

Friday, November 21, 2014

This new project started out as practice project for later trying to get emulators displaying in VR scenes. And when I finally got working on it, it was with being for VRChat in mind. Things change, and well, here we are!

10 Months a VR Developer, 10 Days a VR User

Saturday, October 04, 2014

We've seen a LOT of first impressions posts for the DK2, so one from me may not be all that interesting at this point. But I do have 1 unique perspective though. I've been a fan of the Rift since the Kickstarter, and a dev since the end of last year. However, I have not used a Rift at all yet. That's crazy right? How could I believe in the Rift enough to dev for it for almost 10 months but have never put on on my head? How can I even do it at all without a Rift for testing on? I'll answer these questions, and more. I'll also try to take you on a journey through what lead me to this day. And finally, yes, give you some first impressions.

Keep in mind, I wrote this intending to just let my thoughts flow freely and edit later. But after delays in finishing this up, I decided to just post it as is rather then wait any longer and maybe never posting it. It's a little long, so you can skip some things if if you want.

Waiting on DK2...

Friday, September 05, 2014

Things have been silent on my part since I release v2.5 of the Kokiri Forest demo. And that's because, I just haven't done much. I took a step back for a few weeks, as now that I'm waiting on the DK2, I knew seeing all the talk about it, people getting theirs, crowing about demos and game and such, that it was just going to make me more and more impatient when waiting for mine.

Kokiri Forest - Release v2.4

Friday, July 25, 2014

It's back for another round. Now with DK2 support!

While I'm waiting on my own Rift DK2 so I can get to finishing up with Project: Ocarina, I felt I could stand to re-release the original Kokiri Forest demo with some DK2 support from the Oculus 0.4.0 SDK, and a few minor changes.

Here's a summary of whats changed...

My VRChat Rooms

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I've now made a couple of my VRChat rooms public here on my site. VRChat supports catching url links to open rooms inside of it now, so all you have to do is click a link, press "Play" on the setup dialog, and (for now) press "Connect" on the server select screen. After that VRChat will download (if need be) and drop you in the room.

Hopefully sharing rooms like this will help grow VRChat, and get people connecting more often during the week. But for now, its at least nice to explore the environments, whether you have a Rift or not!

There's only 2 rooms now, but I'll add more over time. While I can't promise to make all of them available, to date I've worked on dozens!

In the future I will be sharing avatars by way of these rooms. Rather then copying and pasting urls, typing commands, following instructions and such, there will be rooms you connect to that you simply walk over to a NPC avatar/mannequin and press the Use button on to become that avatar. Just like in the main hub (Pad) room.

An Amazing Holiday Weekend

Monday, July 07, 2014

One could say my holiday weekend started out kind of sad. It was Independence day weekend here in the states of course. A time when people get together with friends/family, watch some fireworks, barbeques, swimming, etc. But that wasn't on the menu for me. So at the last minute I figured I'd make a new VRChat room to have my own fireworks show, and I enjoy it with my online VR friends that are either rained out where they live, or maybe from another country. About 2 hours later it was ready, and I think people really enjoyed it! It has a nice atmosphere. Over the night I refined it more and more, and eventually a ton of people got to see it on Sunday at the weekly meetup, and even a few others got to see it on Bruces stream. There were a couple disappointing things about that, but still over all it was a great time and seemed well received! =)

VRChat Zelda Room, and Dark Link

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Today I finally got to show off the Zelda room I worked on for VRChat like 2 months ago. I've been waiting for it to be stable enough to host an entire meeting, and that's exactly what happened! While some people had to bow out early, or others arrived late, it was up for 5 1/2 hours with little to no issues.

So for those that missed it, after all this time what was my Zelda room?

WoW Characters in VRChat

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sunday and Wednesday I showed off the latest addition to my collection of VRChat avatars, and along with it the inclusion of avatars like it from my avatar services. I can now do WoW characters. This is an exact copy of my WoW Rogue Ubaest from the end of Cataclysm.

And for comparison, heres a real screenshot of my Rogue the day I got his Legendary daggers.

As I've been asked about creating avatars for people more and more, I've been trying to expand my menu as it were. WoW characters seemed like one of the best inclusions. It's been a popular game for years, and many people have spent a lot of time behind the eyes/head of their characters. In a sense, MMOs are a pre-pre-metaverse were people ARE their characters. So some people may want to continue that into VRChat.

At this time I can do any character race/sex, facial, hair, skin color, and armor from Cata and before. I currently have to rig/skin the models my self, but they're low enough polygon count to where its not to tough, and just a factor of time. In the future I hope to add animations too.

I also debuted a new self-added VRChat feature as it were. Custom nameplates. We have seen the white text with a black drop shadow for awhile. It changes to red text when someones talking. Well, I can change that and spruce it up a little. On my Rogue avatar I created the name plate in the exact style of WoW, complete with color and font. I even added a fake guild tag to better illustrate the idea. The cool part is that this custom nameplate even changes when you talk too. While not exactly WoW like (I never used the internal WoW voice chat, so I don't know for certain), the name changes to red while you're talking.

This of course is a simple example of what could be done with custom nameplates. The names are just images, so anything that can be drawn with a image can be used for a nameplate. They can even be animated! Though I wouldn't do much myself beyond a simple few frames. My skills are growing in many areas, but I'm still not much of an artist right now. I'm capable of some thing, but can't promise much.

Interest in hiring me to create VRChat avatars has been picking up a little more lately. And with that I'm finding a need to take it a bit more seriously and have quicker answers to what I would charge for what. I created that page last week in part as a portfollio of what I can do. And since then I've been working on what specific services I can offer and at what prices. I won't be posting my prices publicly, but people will be able to email me for them if they're interested. It's a bit of a balancing act figuring out prices, considering my skill/quality, time invested, and keeping things cheap enough that people will want to hire me.

Like donations, anything I make right now from creating avatars will go to my DK2 fund. So if you want to help me reach that goal, maybe this will be of interest to you. Though I will still take donations. =)

As always, you can contact me at darkakuma [ at ]

My VRChat Avatars

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In the months since VRChat added support for using your own custom avatars I've been kind of making a name for myself as the "Avatar Guy". The label comes from my habit of trying to show up with a new avatar for myself every week, but also from the avatars I make for other people.

When making a avatar I try to have some fun with it. Make something a bit silly/fun/cool that can help make the weekly meetup that much more of a good experience for everyone. But alas, once the week is over that may be it for a avatar. And some people will have never known about them. So I figure I could compile a list of all the avatars I've made, for everyone to see!

Some day I'll hopefully even share some of these for public use. Also, since I have done some freelance work on avatars for others, this could double as a portfollio of my past work. Though of course a lot of these aren't 100% modeled by me, but instead maybe just rigged/skinned, had the Animation Controller setup, or bundled up as a VRChat compatible avatar by me. But I still put time and effort into them just the same.

I placed the images after the break as there are a lot of them, and they will take a bit to load. Press "Read More" to see them.