VR History and early VR projects

DREAMS BEFORE DAWN was my very first Virtual reality app, where the experience followed a pre animated path. I tried to recreate a somewhat sombre atmosphere that can sometimes be encountered in the near Earth levels of the Astral Plane. I produced two version. Eventually I expanded it into a sandbox for testing and extending my knowledge of VR programming.

AFTER THE PLAGUE - is a virtual reality exploration which was inspired by an Out-of-Body experience in a darker realm.  I wanted to recreate the feeling I had. For the App I themed it differently, a medieval town with the population wiped out after the plague. For scariness I introduced giant spiders. The base of the experience refers to a chapter in my book “VISTAS OF INFINITY”, where I came across a group of Astral inhabitants, huddled around a fire, trying to get out of their dark realm. There were no spiders of course in my experience, but it was something that sometimes popped up in my dreams.

CELESTIAL SONG was the most successful app with over 3,000 downloads and rave review by fellow techies who had no astral experiences. The music compositions of Craig Pruess are based on inspiration gained during his deep meditation and often involve the use of ancient mantras. I was recreating a “Flying through the Tunnel of Light” experience, often mentioned in NDEs and experienced during some meditation practices.

CELESTIAL CHANTS - Musician/Composer Craig Pruess who wrote the piece "108 Sacred Chants" supplied the sound track to this Virtual Reality Meditation Project. The idea was to take people on an inner journey using chants and mandalas to get to a place of stillness. Visually it is based on a deep meditation experiences.
Craig is a dear friend of mine, BAFTA nominated, who works for major films and TV series and I hope I will be able to call on his musical meditation skills for future projects.

After The PlagueVR_Development_&_History_files/Plague-0.8-DK2.zip


I started experimenting with VR in 2014 after obtaining the OCULUS DK 2 virtual reality headset. The work was done in Unity3d version 4, the newest version of which I now use for designing virtual environment. It is miles ahead of what I produced six years ago. The software is of a completely different calibre. A couple of years ago I even used it to illustrate a book on ancient history and the quality of the illustration came close to the software I normally use. Rendering only takes a few seconds as compared to many hours using raytracing software:

Because it was a huge project with a dozen illustrations it saved a lot of time in rendering the images, seconds instead of hours. Then I suggested to the publisher that the readers could experience the images in virtual reality and actually-virtually walk around inside the village, mixing with the chickens and people instead of looking at it on paper. However, this revolutionary concept was still too new for publishers used to print, but to me it opened the idea to take Virtual Reality to the next Level.

During the last few months completely new software technologies have emerged which will have a powerful impact in a few years time on how our children will be educated and entertained.

Raytracing in Game Engines is now a possibility with experiences and footage indistinguishable from real life photography. But take a look at the latest technology below. Obviously this work was produced by a million budget studio with hundreds of artists employed, beyond me and my meagre resources, but it gives you a taste of things to come:



(Click on the image below to see the future of virtual reality, particularly the Astral Flying sequence at 7:30)

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Wonna be a dragon? This is how some of my Game Designer colleges aspire to the Astral Realms.