The Sokay Fam ready to exhibit Raybeem at Super Future last weekend – rockin new Sokay shirt designs.

I’ve probably spent more time creating Sokay clothing and other merchandise than I should have been doing. I’m supposed to be making more games, right??? But you know, I have fun doing it! Can’t help myself. Last week, we exhibited our VR music visualizer Raybeem at an art show in Downtown Los Angeles – Super Future by Futra. Since we were showing some Sokay stuff out in public, I took the opportunity to try to sell some Sokay shirts, at least put them out in front of people. This got me thinking of the journey of this Sokay clothing experiment.

Back in 2012, when we were getting close to the release of Donut Get!, I became obsessed with creating merchandise for the game. Even longer ago, a friend of mine had pitched me this idea of creating mini-games that were tied to the designs of shirts he was making. I thought it was a great idea but I took forever to finish games, it wasn’t an idea I thought could actually follow through with. I think this was before we even finished our second game LUV Tank, so I probably wasn’t in the mindset of making bite-sized games at this point. I revisited this idea with Donut Get! – could I sell a shirt for a game that I was essentially giving away for free?

Continue Reading…

So you’re interested in VR development with the Samsung Gear VR. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to get a build up and running on the Gear VR with Unity. It can, however, be an exercise in patience to figure out the steps to get started. I did some UI development work at Oculus and got accustomed with some of the hoops you need to jump through. I decided to write this guide as an attempt to clarify some of the details.

Please don’t take this guide as the absolute truth. The tools are constantly changing so some stuff may have been correct at some point but wrong at the present. Also, in the future, some things will definitely change. This is only intended as a starting point, a primer. If anything’s wrong, please let me know. There’s a lot to learn!

The Hardware

Here’s a quick rundown of the hardware that you may need and what role they play in development.

Samsung Gear VR

gearvr_consumer
The Samsung Gear VR consumer edition

You probably already know this by now, but the Gear VR is a VR headset in which you plug a specific Samsung phone into and it becomes a standalone VR device. With hardware manufactured by Samsung, and software by Oculus, it was first introduced Fall of 2014 and a few models have been released since then.

There are 3 versions of the Gear VR:

  • First Innovator Edition: Compatible with the Samsung Note 4 phone.
  • Second Innovator Edition: Compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge phones.
  • Gear VR Consumer Edition: Compatible with the Samsung Note 5, the S6, the S6 edge and the S6 edge+ phones.

Continue Reading…

Introducing…

raybeem_ani

Raybeem! The first virtual reality concept from Sokay. It’s a step towards my longtime dream of creating a music visualizer. I spent countless hours gazing at the Milkdrop visualizer in Winamp back in the day. I had no clue how it worked – back when I just starting to dive in Flash ActionScript.

raybeem_user
Here’s my homie giving Raybeem a shot on the Samsung Gear VR.

My concept for Raybeem started with imagining how great it could be if you didn’t need another person to give you a personal lightshow if you were at a rave. And what if you could take all of that great visual and aural stimuli with you anywhere? What if you never had to leave your couch to experience a spectacular show?

raybeem_cap_03

Above is a screen-capture of the playback controls. In the prototype, you can cycle through 5 embedded tracks. I tested using some of my favorite copyrighted tracks. I also got permission from the homies Eezir and Cryptic Circuitry to use their music in the final build. Each track has a different effect on the environment around you. Eventually I’d like the user to be able to load in their own library.

Here is a rough video demonstrating what it looks like on a 2D screen, from within Unity:

Continue Reading…