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Topics - Revalis

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Off Topic / Dragon-Con 2013
« on: August 27, 2013, 07:45:20 am »
Anyone going to DragonCon this year? My wife and I are going for the first time, and wouldn't mind meeting peoples. :P

News and Announcements / John Carmack now CTO of Oculus
« on: August 07, 2013, 10:03:19 am »
We have incredible news to share with the community: legendary game programmer John Carmack will be officially joining the Oculus team as our new Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

John is one of the brightest minds of our generation — pioneer, visionary, and industry legend. There are very few people in the world that can contribute to the Oculus Rift and the future of virtual reality like John can.

John put together a short note for the Oculus community:

“I have fond memories of the development work that led to a lot of great things in modern gaming – the intensity of the first person experience, LAN and internet play, game mods, and so on. Duct taping a strap and hot gluing sensors onto Palmer’s early prototype Rift and writing the code to drive it ranks right up there. Now is a special time. I believe that VR will have a huge impact in the coming years, but everyone working today is a pioneer. The paradigms that everyone will take for granted in the future are being figured out today; probably by people reading this message. It’s certainly not there yet. There is a lot more work to do, and there are problems we don’t even know about that will need to be solved, but I am eager to work on them. It’s going to be awesome!”

If you’re unfamiliar with John’s background, John co-founded id Software, served as lead programmer on Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, and the Quake series, and is one of the pioneers of 3D graphics. When John’s not working on revolutionizing video games or computer graphics, he can be found coding at Armadillo Aerospace.

If you’ve been following Oculus since the launch of the Kickstarter campaign (or before that on MTBS3D), you know that John has been a part of this project and a true believer in the future of virtual reality since the beginning. He was the very first developer to actually integrate the Rift into a game, back when the hardware was just a hand-held prototype without an SDK.

Palmer, Michael Abrash (Valve), and John discuss virtual reality at QuakeCon 2012.
John will be working from the new Oculus Dallas office that we’re opening soon. We’re looking for a few key hires to help us in Dallas, so if you’re interested, check out the Oculus Careers page.

Please join us in welcoming John to the Oculus family! You can follow John at @ID_AA_Carmack on Twitter.

Happy anniversary to our Kickstarter backers! We’ve come a long a way in 1 year, and we can’t wait to show you where we’re headed next. This is just the beginning.

– Palmer, John and the Oculus team

Off Topic / Shamless Plug - Book Published
« on: July 31, 2013, 07:07:07 pm »
My wife has decided to self-publish her memoire with Amazon. :)

While it is the story of how we met, it's mostly the story about how she took a road trip to meet a bunch of people who all played on the Beast Wars Transformers MUSH. (An online, text-based roleplaying game for you youngsters)   :P

VR Gaming / FA Development - The Construct
« on: May 31, 2013, 03:24:46 pm »
Going to start tracking Development Progress in this thread. Feel free to interject comments/suggestions/questions at any time; or lurk in style.

What is this thing?
This - is the Construct.  It's our 'Loading Program'. We can load anything from clothing to equipment, weapons, training simulations -- anything we need.

How does it work?
As of right now, the Construct relies on a user that is defined as a Server. When a user with the access level of a server logs into the system, s/he will automatically generate a game server and begin hosting it on a private port (based on Unity Networking and session hosting).

When a game is being hosted, other users of all access levels will then be able to log in and join the Construct in whatever Program is currently loaded.

To begin, however, you will first need to have a character.
The Login System at the launch of the game is not the standard 'enter username and password' like in most games. I've built it to resemble a terminal screen, so you must actually log into the Matrix old-school-style. In order to register, you will need an access code to authenticate with the system.

The access code is the same as the one required in an early phase of the SWTOR Challenge. ;)

Once you've completed registration, a character will be auto-generated based on default settings.

This empty shell is your Residual Self Image.

Things are a little confusing at this point; mostly because I haven't generated the number of assets that would be necessary to create a fitting Character Customization system. That said, it is one of my next intentions. I have most of the back-end in place for customization, so it will probably be next on the list after Rift integration.

BUT I can still do some minor customizations, manually, until this system is in place. I have a few test textures I generated (which I'll provide at the end) that can be extended if anyone wants their own custom textures.

Moving on from here, I have systems in place to pretty much handle implementation for doing whatever we want.

Like the 'Server' Access Level, there is also a secondary Access Level that will flag a user as an 'Operator' -- currently, that has been my toy for dropping surprises on people. Operators have an extended GUI that allows them to Spawn Objects or Load Programs.

Outside of Access Levels, there are also RSI (or Character) Levels. These are kept separate from server-controlling-abilities. For the time being, Level determines access to the accessories worn by the character: Hat, Coat, and Shades.  This will likely be altered when Character Customization is put in place.

However, it also is the control for access to physical abilities.
Like Hyper Jump.

Programs are the levels inside the Construct. At the moment, only one program can be loaded at any time. When a new program is loaded, all players currently in the Construct will be loaded into the new program; subsequent logins into the Construct will be spawned in the active program.

Currently, there are three programs in development:
1) The White Room - This is the initial loading program of the Construct. Not much happens here, but it's an easy place to test spawning of items, animations, abilities, etc.

2) The Jump Program - This is the testing ground for the Hyper Jump ability. It's a bit confusing and needs some love, but for testing purposes, it does the job.

3) Mobil Ave - Not quite complete/integrated into the game yet, but it will be a third playground area. If I eventually break the server out into multiple program loads, I may have this be the initial loading zone for non-FA 'guests' to the server (if we decide to allow that as well).

Camera Modes
So, ultimately, the goal is to have this be an Oculus Rift experience. So, I'm working towards that goal in stages. Currently, the primary method of control is via a 3rd Person Perspective. This camera can always be activated using the '[' key.

I've also implemented a rough First Person camera mode which can be activated by using the ']' key. Currently, though, it is disconnected from the player; and so looking around (with the mouse) will not turn the player at his base.

So, that's about it for functionality.

On the development side of the Construct, there is a lot- A LOT- of stuff that could be done to improve what we have and can ultimately deliver.

If anyone would like to lend a hand in any way, it would definitely be  appreciated. More than anything, "Asset Development" is going to be the area in which I need the most help.

Models, Rigging, Animation
I am using 3DS Max 2014 to build all of the models for the game. If anyone out there has experience in 3d modeling and access to software, I can either give .max files or export it to some digestible format. Controls in red handle IK, controls in blue handle FK. ONLY the controls are animated and animations are baked into the mesh at export (FBX) for Unity.

Animations are extracted in Unity and split from Takes using the Mecanim System. I've built a Character Controller that handles calling the animations as well as syncing them over Multiplayer.

Materials and Textures
I've spent the majority of my time on the previous section; to the point of draining what little care I have for this part entirely. :P  I do enjoy modeling, despite being mediocre at it, but I suck at texturing.

For what it's worth, I've already done the time consuming part of unwrapping all of the models that I've created and slapped together a PSD Template file for creating textures. Feel free to grab it and texture til your heart's content. Send or Post what you create and I'll add them into future build updates.

PSD Template File

General / Limited Access for me
« on: December 22, 2011, 06:11:17 pm »
Getting ready to make the trek to Minnesota for Christmas, so will be scarce for the next week or so.. will try to pop in and play if I can, but it will likely be from an older laptop.

Merry Christmas (and Happy New Year)!

Non-VR Games / Open World PVP Event
« on: December 19, 2011, 09:51:31 am »

I thought some of us might like to make a guest appearance. ;)

I saw Terra Firma signed up and remembered hearing that one of our guys was getting ganked by them at some point. Might be a good time to serve some justice? ;)

Dec 20th, I think ~ 9 FA Time. @ Dune Sea.

Non-VR Games / Eternity Vault - Healer perspective
« on: December 01, 2011, 01:27:22 pm »
Was looking to see if there were any good Operations videos available yet. Found one of the first boss fight from a Smuggler Scoundrel perspective

Off Topic / Blizzcon Stuffs
« on: October 21, 2011, 03:27:06 pm »
So I know Warcraft has burned people out a bit, but I still find the offerings that Blizzard is teasing to be interesting:

Like, for instance, Buy 1-year access to WoW and get Diablo III for free?

Or how about a neutral race that can be played on both sides. And is a Panda?
(Granted, watching the trailer for this expansion is less exciting than watching, say, Kung Fu Panda.)

Off Topic / The Nocturnal Third
« on: September 16, 2011, 04:02:28 pm »
A friend of mine here in Huntsville does Indie Film development on the side and just finished producing his second movie. Helping him raise awareness of it. ;)


First 10minutes:

Off Topic / Tribes: Ascend
« on: August 29, 2011, 03:10:00 pm »
It looks like Hi Rez is actually doing this game justice...
Small | Large

Loooooved Starsiege Tribes.

Off Topic / NASA-related Question
« on: August 19, 2011, 12:06:46 pm »
Hey everyone, we're working on a new project here and part of the last meeting I was in all eyes turned on me to be the "voice of my generation". Admittedly, I was put on the spot a bit, so didn't really have too great of a response, but left with the intention of returning with a better answer.

To that end, these are the questions posed to me:

Who is NASA to you? What's the first thing you think of when NASA is brought up? (Only 'astronauts in space and the moon landing, or exploration and technology?, something else?)

What do people like you (heavy in the tech world, grown up with the web, gamer, age 20s-30s) think of NASA in terms of their reputation and their future.

Do you have a positive or negative impression or NASA?

If your impression is negative, is it directly because of NASA and their policies? Or is it political? What would change your opinion?

Feel free to answer any one or all of the questions. But please be honest, especially if your outlook is in any way negative. Criticism is easier to learn something from. ;)

And thank you ahead of time for feedback!

Off Topic / Adv Class Quiz
« on: August 17, 2011, 01:00:20 pm »
Another silly quiz.. but, hey, I got the class I plan on playing. :P

Jedi Guardian
Through training, the Knight turns combat into an art.

A wall between the good people of the Republic and their enemies, the  Guardian stands firm in the face of overwhelming odds and dares  opponents to attack.

General / World of Warcraft - Free to Play
« on: June 28, 2011, 05:38:21 pm »
Along with the release of its second major content patch, Rage of the Firelands, for World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Blizzard has also announced that the massively multiplayer role playing game is now free to play up to level 20.

They've renamed the trial the World of Warcraft Starter Edition and removed the previous 10 and 14 day time trial restrictions. Now there's a chance for everyone to get hooked, as playing up to 20 levels of the game gives you just enough time to start caring about your character. They'll even let you make Blood Elf and Draenei characters, races that were previously only available with The Burning Crusade expansion. All you have to do to start your trial is create a account and download the game.

Additionally, Blizzard is selling both World of Warcraft Classic along with The Burning Crusade expansion together for $19.99 as part of a new digital Battle Chest. Plus, if you only purchased the original WoW and none of the expansions, Blizzard is also giving you access to The Burning Crusade for free now as well.
Read More

Read more:

General / City of Heroes - Free to Play
« on: June 21, 2011, 08:42:09 pm »
Looks like City of Heroes is going Free to Play

Definately liked that game much more than Champions Online. If it comes out before SW:TOR, then I'll likely start playing that again. :)

FA Artwork / Rev's Art Thread
« on: June 11, 2011, 11:34:28 pm »
Noticed we had a forum spot for artwork, so figured I'd start a thread to track my progress on a new Work-In-Progress. Not entirely sure where I'm headed with it, but considering some sort of Star Wars- themed fan art.

I started modeling the head about a year ago as a self-study in topology and eventually began spending less and less time on it. Came across it while cleaning up my external drive last week and started playing with it again. I know a lot more than I did then and had a 'what was I thinking' moment to start fixing a bunch of stuff...

Then I got carried away and decided to model a body for the head... now, at this point, I feel invested in it, so I need an idea for finishing it. :P
I'm semi-happy with the base model, so I'll probably take it into Mudbox and start playing with armor/clothing ideas, but if anyone has ideas, feel free to pitch them.

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