Fellow virtual reality news outlet VRFocus has launched ‘Virtual Reality Challenge’ and has hopes for it to become the largest hackathon of its kind in the UK dedicated to virtual reality content.

Hackathon events in various forms are now commonplace across different technologies and for virtual reality has proven an important catalyst for innovation and creativity in the past, with both Oculus and HTC embracing the format to encourage content creation. Now fellow VR news outlet VRFocus, has announced an initiative of its own designed to further seed the creation of original content for immersive platforms.

The Virtual Reality Challenge is to be held at Campus London and is scheduled to take place over 2 days, with 8 teams, each made up of 3 members battling it out from September 3rd 2016, all aiming to build the best VR application they can.

Image courtesy Scapeliving.com
Image courtesy Scapeliving.com

VRFocus has teamed up with Epic Games, developers of the Unreal Engine, and will also feature various mentors from the gaming industry including representatives from Climax Studios, CherryPop Games and Supermassive Games who will be present to guide teams in their endeavours.

The VRC will conclude on Sunday, 4th September 2016, where members of the winning team will each receive a HTC Vive of their own, courtesy of Valve, as part of Epic’s Unreal Dev Grants programme.

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If you’re interested in taking part, you can apply for a place now by heading here.

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  • DiGiCT Ltd

    2 days for VR will only result in a very bad looking prototype, modelling for VR cost much more time and effort for a non VR game.
    Normally you can easy get a way with 2d sprites or vector graphics in a game, but not in VR.
    Still fun to make a challenge although the time limit is really killing the devs even more now, unless they can use existing prepared stuff.

    Good Luck.

    • J.C.

      These game jams are never about the graphics. They’re about coming up with new game mechanics. I agree they’ll likely look awful, but I bet at least one super crazy fun idea will come from it.

      • DiGiCT Ltd

        Yeah who knows, just wait and see what fun will come out.

    • VR doesn’t imply more cost modelling. Unless you want to do realistic stuff, which you won’t be targeting in a 2-day jam. Also, for that style to look acceptable, you need a lot of resources. Sometimes well done low-poly stuff ends up looking much more better.

    • Bomh

      2 days to model is plenty, it’s the coding that takes a long time. Good modelers can easily hammer out models faster than I can rig them into a game. Combine rigging with early stage of coding a concept and the 2 days vanish. Anyhow best of luck all I’m a Unity dev and feel a little left out :(

      • DiGiCT Ltd

        Low poly models yes easy, but better ones not, it has to do with workflow differences in modelling for VR.
        The normal modelling can cause glitches and artifacts on high end models in VR as shaders need to be aproached different.

        • Bomh

          Fair enough, I’ve not come across any troubles with this myself yet so will pay closer attention now – I’ve seen the reflections mess up often. Suppose I currently just LOD hi detail models so the normal maps aren’t doing much of the work though they are used. I’m sure you would get far more points for quantity vs quality visuals at a Hackathon. I’ve found I’m always CPU bound with VR and I can chuck triangles at the GPU with no trouble.

          • DiGiCT Ltd

            Correct, bumpmaps are indeed an issue in VR although you could use in a way heightmaps to do the extra detail with tessalation instead, its one way to go around.
            The safest way is although to just model the details, but requires a lot of vertex cleanups or making good LOD system to keep framerates.

            For me it’s a lot of trial and error, performance in VR can just make the app become rated bad, but in 2d screen games a simple perfomrance drop is not very anoying and sometimes acceptable.

  • Tom

    Well, it’s not gonna be the biggest VR Jam ever… The Virtual Association in France has already held two VR game jams with up to 50 devs, sound designers, and 3d artists, and the results were great even in two days!
    The next one is happening in a few months, come join us! :)
    http://virtualassociation.fr

    • Thomas Gere

      Hey Tom, it says “UK’s largest” ;) let’s do a French UK synchronised jam in future, would be great ;)

      • Tom

        I didn’t at first, as the URL suggests ;)
        Having an international VR jam would indeed be fun !

        • Thomas Gere

          cool :) , email me on thomas at agylgroup dot com pls – merci