It's been one crazy month!

Friday, February 28, 2014

With a bit more traffic coming in lately, I'm realizing more and more that I should take steps at posting a bit more, lets say, professionally. And one of the ways to work towards that goal is to stop posting on a variety of topics in a single post, especially when I do some rambling! However, I will still post about my thoughts and things of a less project update oriented nature.

So what have I been up to, and what do I think about my latest project?

Well, since releasing the v2.1 build of the Kokiri Forest a couple weeks ago, I've been taking it easy. I've still been working with Unity and Blender, and specifically the Temple of Time from OoT. But doing so FAR more casually than before. I learned quite a bit with Kokiri Forest, and was eager to try and apply it and see how much easier my experience made things.

Shortly after releasing the demo I was contacted by Cris from EnterVR in interest of a podcast interview. After recovering from a cold and thinking about it for a couple days I agreed and we scheduled a date. I'm not the greatest candidate for an interview, but I sucked it up and gave it my best try! If you can suffer through my mic issues and slow responses, you can find it through a link at the end of the post. But I will say, based on the lack of comments on the reddit post, I'm either far less interesting than I'd hope, it's to unlistenable, or both. =/

Since releasing the demo, I've been trying to be more active in the VR scene. Trying to get my name out there and recognizable, and make some friends. Again, based on the reaction to the podcast, I don't think I did very well. =( I've been participating in Riftmax testing events, joining and talking in the chat for CymaticBruce's streams, joining the VRChat events held right afterwards (though chatting less. I'm easily over-whelmed in group chat settings, and speak very little), and posting a lot on the /r/oculus subreddit and OculusVR dev forums. Part of my hope was to build up my own relevance some and make some friends going into the podcast, to help ensure there were at least a few people willing to tune in. Sadly, if anyone I've met these past few weeks has listened to it, they haven't admitted it publicly! lol

I helped teach some Unity/Blender stuff to a guy named UED, so he could create his own N64 game re-creation demo for Banjo Kazooie. You can check that out here if you've ever played and enjoyed that game.

I recently announced my continuation of working on OoT and re-branding it as a new project dubbed "Project: Ocarina". I had a ton of fun getting to put my 3D modeling skills to the test for the fancy logo. At times I just don't get to do enough in Blender, and I just don't know what I'm capable of with it. Apparently, despite me being able to point out flaws and issues, I'm not completely terrible at it! And I'm hoping to get even better!

Throughout all of this, I've been hoping to gain enough skill to make a completely custom game later. The PushyPixels tutorials and my experience with OoT, I think, have helped a lot towards that goal. I've even been drafting a design document for a game to help catalog and shape my ideas. I hope I can start prototyping something in a couple months after I get some more done with OoT. It's definitely to early to say much, but I'm leaning towards making a sort of point and click/visual novel type of game. Of course, in VR. Whatever it ends up being, it should be very casual. More about walking around, seeing things, interacting with objects and people, and hopefully with a bit or more of story. Also set in a somewhat high-fantasy setting. And with a hopefully cell shaded/anime art style. I know I got a lot of work ahead, and I'm still very green. So I won't be rushing it. I do hope to make a quality game worthy of selling/buying, and to take as good of a stab at being the "killer app" for VR, just as anyone developing for VR should be.

I should also announce that I'm now on twitter! I know right? Welcome to last decade! I've never understood the appeal of twitter. And honestly, I still don't! But I need to give it a real try if not for myself, but for others who do "get it". I'll be trying to post to it a modest amount. And maybe, hopefully, find a good use for it for myself. So follow me on twitter as @DarkAkuma_ (underscore at the end).

I want to personally and publicly thank semioriginality, bookoo, and crossmaxxx from reddit for their generous donation of Unity Pro trial keys, enabling me to get back to producing content for the Rift! Their names will also remain listed in the contributors section of my donate page!

For a brief time this month, I was considering trying to raise donations in hopes of getting enough to buy a DK1. I really would love one to better design and just plain play my demos. But I chose to decided against it for now. With my only active related projects being what they are, it's a really murky area. Even if it's just "donations". Beyond that, I'm just not sure I'm popular enough right now to even think I'd have a chance of raising enough and making anyone's kind donations have a chance of going towards an achievable goal. Of course, then the production stoppage of the DK1 happened, and the DK2 rumors started. It's basically a bad time to be doing such a thing, even if everything else lined up. Perhaps a re-evaluation of the idea after GDC...

As a bit of an extra, I figure why not do a bit of a round up of articles, videos and such, of my Kokiri Forest demo being played from these past few weeks? I want to thank everyone of these people, and anyone else for joy of experiencing the demo through your eyes, and for sharing it with others!

Paul James of RoadtoVR - Kokiri Forest Oculus Rift Demo: Step into the Iconic Zelda Ocarina of Time
Cris Miranda Podcast from EnterVR - A conversation with DarkAkuma, creator of Kokiri Forest VR
Jason Johnson of killscreendaily - This guy is building Ocarina of Time’s Kokiri Forest in virtual reality
Fan Recreates Ocarina of Time’s Kokiri Forest for Oculus Rift (ZeldaInformer)






Bob Sacamano said...

Hey man, your work has inspired me to look into Unity. I am a novice JS, .Net programmer. I am a HUGE Ocarina fan and really love the idea of learning Unity by working on your project. I am not skilled enough to help and would probably just get in the way. So I was wondering if you could share your project with me in the state it is in. I wouldn't use it for anything except for personal learning. Sorry if it sounds like a wierd request, I just have a hard time motivating myself when taking on a large tasks like taking on Unity but I can't resist the ability to tinker around with a Zelda world. And I would rather focus on scripting than Blender so I would primarily be messing around with the functionality in your world.

DarkAkuma said...

I'm sorry. The code is going to remain private for now. I might release it later this year or next year though. But I doubt you would want to wait for then.

I really recommend the PushyPixels Cooking with Unity tutorials I linked to in the post above. I scoured the net looking for good text or video tutorials to teach myself, finding many unsuitable for me before finally finding those.

There wouldn't be much to learn from my project anyway. My scripts are very basic. And when not, generally poorly written. I'm having to learn with everything I do!

Bob Sacamano said...

Thats cool, I definitely get you wanting to keep it private seeing the work you have put into it. I just have a hard time motivating myself to take the big leap. With my work its fine because there is a clearly defined task and I love working. But I have had trouble motivating myself in my free time. Anyway, keep up the good work!

Shivas Thong said...

I have a bug report!
I can't seem to climb up the vine-wall in some of Kokiri Forest's gmaing modes.

Particularly with collecting the 10 boulders~
And I know the last one is up there!
I just cannot climb the wall, and trust me oooh I tried.
It's impossibles in every mode that isn't the freestyle day mode!

DarkAkuma said...

I've checked it, and you are correct. It seems when making the changes needed to fix the bug that could cause you to fall through the map, I forgot to properly apply it among the other scenes.

I'll try to roll out a fix in the next couple days.

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