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 ] z-net.us.

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.

My New Project!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

First, I'm not done with PJO, nor have I given up on it or anything. It's just on the back burner for now. I still work on it to a degree in that I'm learning about how to do things relating to what I still want to add to it. Just not on the project itself. Outside of the Zelda room I made for VRChat that I will probably put into PJO.

Now as far as that Zelda room goes, I still have not shown it off. It's been done for a couple weeks, but turned out not to be the right time for it since then. And it may not be until a couple weeks yet. And heres why.

Last week I dove in really hard to turn out a custom room for VRChat, intending it to be for hosting a party day. It is a true party room. I went a bit overboard with it to try and make it fun. The party plan didn't happen as I hoped, but I still ended up showing it off. And well, exposed some issues with VRChat that need fixing before we can really start having Sunday meetups in custom rooms. To put it short, the Custom Room feature just can't handle that kind of stress right now. So because of this I won't be showing the Zelda room just yet.

But I am confident the issues will be addressed, and I will be able to show it off soon enough. In the meantime I can work more with the VRChat SDK and create other rooms and avatars. And that brings me to my next topic. A new project!

Since I started deving for VR I've been trying to think of a good idea for a show to host. There's podcast after podcast, a few talk shows, and others. I wanted to think of something unique, and unlike my horrible luck with the Kokiri Forest demo, be the first to do something! At the same time I've felt it's a shame that VRChat doesn't get the attention it deserves. And I would love to see a show hosted using it. Even if it wasn't me. And a bit ago it finally came to me. An idea for a show! I could make the first VR GameShow!

I kept the idea secret until Sunday, as I feared as soon as the idea slipped out, someone would try to beat me to it. But it's out now! And hopefully I can get it done before anyone else.

The show will be created by me, likely hosted by me, will be hosted inside VRChat, I'll need a camera man or 2 as it will probably be streamed to Twitch or Hitbox and made available later on YouTube.

The design and type of gameshow is not finalized yet. I've only gotten the chance to work on a couple pieces of it so far. And thats counting the game I made for the party room that can be considered a sort of prototype for some of the idea of the show.

Likely at the start contestants will be VR community members (with Rifts). And there will be no real prizes/incentive outside of getting to promote your projects.

I would REALLY like to take my time on the project, and do it well. But as I said, I also want to do it before anyone else jumps on the bandwagon to beat me to it. So I might try to make a sort of Pilot episode sooner rather than later. When? I don't know. I'd do it a week from now if that's how it works out, but I wouldn't count on it.

It's going to be a fun, original project either way. And I hope lots of people enjoy it! =)

Project: Ocarina - Status

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Today I realized it's been over a month since I last posted a update here. I expected the updates to be less frequent now that I'm trying to use twitter. But I didn't intend to be quite that silent. I havent even posted much to twitter this past couple weeks. The reason is, I just haven't done much with PJO. And the reason for that is mostly because I was sick, and it held on a bit longer than I thought it would.

Project: Ocarina - Hyrule Field

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Earlier this month I asked for some feedback on what area to add next. What I got was all over the place with people just suggesting everything, more or less. But thankfully one area did stand out above the rest enough with popular demand, and of course that place is Hyrule Field!

My Feelings on the Facebook Acquisition of Oculus

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Big news yesterday! And the result? An equally big storm and division in the VR community! No matter what side of the fence you're on, this isn't going to go away quickly.