News from GDC 2018

We can't begin a post about GDC without mentioning that Howest DAE was there, as usual, but this time as part of a Flemish gaming delegation led by Flemish Minister for Culture, Media, Youth and Brussels Sven Gatz, Flanders DC, FLEGA (Flemish Games Association) and about 30 Belgian gaming developers.

If you missed the recent VRT series about the GDC visit, you can read about it and watch a video from it here.

You can also see Howest Digital Arts & Entertainment Coordinator and "master chief," Rik Leenknegt talking about his favorite games and about Howest being the number one game school in the world via this article and video from the recent VRT series on gaming in Belgium.

Minister Gatz took the GDC visit opportunity to announce hopes to create a kind of tax shelter for the game industry in Flanders to encourage growth in the sector and undoubtedly to avoid brain drain of all of the talent here. Gatz also said he wants there to be a Flemish stand and more representation at next year's GDC. You can read more about it and the Flemish GDC delegation's adventures via the Flega blog.

If you want to know 5 facts about the Flemish Gaming Industry, make sure to check out the article inspired by the GDC visit from Flanders Investment and Trade.

The article mentions the following:

"Novel technologies – such as virtual and augmented realityare changing the face of the gaming industry. Luckily, Flanders provides a haven for companies trying to find their way in today’s digital maze. The region unites industrial, academic and governmental players for cross-sector collaborative projects that help shape digital society, and the gaming industry with it. Imec, Flanders’ research center for nano- and digital technology, has proven to be a particularly innovative force in these fields."

Another handy reference to get you up to date on the gaming industry as well as the current trends in VR and AR is this Game Industry Report based on as survey of 4000 game developers as a lead up to GDC 2018.

As a summary, the report states: "Significant trends revealed by the survey results include a notable uptick in interest in the Nintendo Switch, game makers’ waning opinions of VR, and a move away from mobile to focus on PC and home consoles."

Howest DAE's Rik Leenknegt agreed, saying that those he spoke with at GDC expressed that the gaming market is decreasing its focus on VR entertainment - but that the focus is now really shifting to B2B when it comes to the VR sector.

With that said, have a look at this video report from The Grid VR to see some of the GDC VR entertainment news. You'll hear about upcoming headsets with various improvements, such as the Vive Pro (due out April 3rd); the HTC Vive Focus (coming here later this year); the Oculus Go (low priced, with USB support) and the Santa Cruz. The video will also introduce you to some new games (Space Heroes) and a new VR series (Silicon Valley) and to some peeks through Leap Motion glasses. You'll hear lots of references to improved lighting, which can make a real impact on VR content. Have a look!

We'll continue with news from GDC soon but in the meantime, if you prefer text to video, you can find a detailed roundup of the highlights from GDC in this article from the "virtual reality, start up and stuff" blog The Ghost Howls.

We'll leave you with what so many have mentioned as the stand-out demo at GDC; the "live captured digital human" called "Siren". You have to see it to believe it - or maybe believe it to see it. In any case, make sure to have a look at the video. It might creep you out or excite you, depending on just how much of a futurist you are. Enjoy!

And for a little more background on Siren, watch this one too!

by Sarah Markewich – SIVAR project intern spring 2018


Studenten New Media & Communication Technology ontwikkelen toepassingen voor Hololens

Enkele studenten die aan Howest de opleiding New Media & Communication Technology(NMCT) studeren stelden onlangs de toepassingen voor die ze ontwikkelden voor de Microsoft Hololens.
Zo maakten de studenten bijvoorbeeld een applicatie die de gebruiker leert een Ikea stoel in elkaar te zetten. De gebruiker krijgt bovenop de echte stoel extra digitale aanduidingen te zien die aangeven hoe de verschillende stukken in elkaar passen en waar vijzen moeten aangevezen worden.
Een andere groep studenten werkte samen met Vyncke aan een prototype rond "Control Room of The Future". Hierbij kan men via de Hololens extra status informatie weergeven op specifieke locaties binnen het bedrijf.

Studenten:
(Ikea Assembly)
Benjamin Naesen
Brecht Valcke
Thuur Vandeplassche

(Control Room of The Future)
Robin Vandenbrande
Sebastiaan Van De Casteele
Stijn Vandendriesche