Hi. I'm John.

Sometimes I make games. Sometimes I make websites. This is my blog.

Category Archives: Virtual Worlds


Leap Motion 2

UploadVR posted an article this evening about the newest Leap Motion prototype. This paragraph caught my attention:

According to Leap, its goal for the new module is not to package and sell it in Best Buy as the “Leap Motion 2.” Instead, the group wants to work with VR headset manufacturers themselves to integrate the hand-tracking sensor directly.

As much as I love the Oculus Touch and HTC Vive Controllers, accurate hand-tracking in VR is definitely the future. I’m excited not only because of the technology involved, but also because when manufacturers include this in their future headsets, it means that everyone will have it moving forward. We won’t run into another Sega CD / 32X add-on nightmare scenario where our userbase is fragmented between those who have it and those who don’t.

I got a chance to try out the original Leap Motion when we got one at the lab. It was just a few days after they released their major Orion upgrade, and I came away entirely impressed.

Hellblade Mobs / Xandorus Minecraft Server Warps

lilfirecracker

As most of our players have noticed, since Minecraft Release 1.8.x, xWarp has been broken. It’s been a mixed blessing: it’s fun to play true, legit survival, but it’s a pain if you want to visit a friend’s build without giving up the ability to warp back home. Until xWarp is fixed (I may have to do it myself), I’ve taken the time to export the warps from their cage in the SQLite database to JSON format. It’s not the easiest to read, but here’s how you can find the X, Y, and Z co-ordinates of your warps:

  1. Open Hellblade Mobs / Xandorus Minecraft Warps in your web browser
  2. Search for the warp name you are looking for (not one at a time, use the Search feature)
  3. Get the X, Y, and Z co-ordinates
  4. Type /tp <player-name> <X> <Y> <Z> in-game to teleport to your warp

Have fun!

GameFace VR

Road to VR has a great article on GameFace’s new VR kit, which has a resolution of 1440p. That’s not the real news, though. The real news is this:

“It’s freeing and intuitive to have a mobile VR headset where you can let the rotation of your body determine the direction of your virtual self. The same can’t be done with tethered VR headsets like the Oculus Rift—where you generally always face the same direction, but use some form of unnatural input to rotate your virtual self—simply because you’d get tangled up in the cord.”

Maxping Virtual World Forums are Now Open!

Maxping, arguably the best resource for news about virtual worlds, have just opened the virtual doors to their brand new user forums. This is a great place to get together with like-minded folks and discuss virtual world technology.

Check out the forums here: http://forum.maxping.org/index.php

Project Natal + OpenSim = Heaven? Getting there!

Microsoft unveiled their new Xbox 360 controller, or, lack-of-controller today at E3. Yes, I’m referring to Project Natal.

If you haven’t heard of it yet, you obviously don’t have a Twitter account. All of the videos I’ve seen thus far are pre-recorded, but if this thing works as good as they make it look, we are all in for a treat. Check it out:

Looks pretty awesome, if I do say so myself.

I have a few questions, which I’m sure you all do as well. Mine are

  1. Will the sensor be a USB device?
  2. If so, has anyone hacked their own drivers yet? :)
  3. How long until someone uses it in a virtual world, like OpenSim?

Combine this with a projection-cube-room like this one, a treadmill floor so you can actually walk, and you’ve got yourself a holodeck, son.

Whatever happened to Virtual Reality?

Am I the only late-20-something that’s sorely disappointed that Virtual Reality has basically dropped off the face of the planet?

When I was young, Virtual Reality was supposed to be the “next big thing.” And for a while, it was. I played Dactyl Nightmare with the best of them on a Virtuality machine in a mall in Port Huron and anxiously awaited any tidbit of news to come from Atari about their Jaguar 3D headset.

Then, all of a sudden, VR disappeared.

I think it’s because of the Virtual Boy. I really liked that system, but I guess at the time it made a bunch of people sick and companies got scared to try it again.

Here’s what I want:

  1. A lightweight, high-resolution, full-vision 3D display headset with built-in (at least Stereo) sound. If it needs to take advantage of dual-header DVI graphics cards, so be it.
  2. Two Nintendo PowerGlove-ish devices that let me manipulate objects in 3D.

Can you do it for cheap?

Does anyone know of a high-quality headset like the one described above? Let me know in the comments!

As far as the gloves… I was thinking about getting 10 Nintendo Wii controllers and removing and then mounting the IR units on the tips of my fingers. Take advantage of the many open-source Wii controller drivers around the net to build a PC joystick driver that can work in engines like Torque.

I often fool around with 3D tools like blender and Torque Construction Set. I get frustrated at the interface with my computer. Not only is any size screen too small, a mouse and a flat 2D display just can’t manipulate the objects fast enough. I want to use my hands, damnit!

Just think of how cool it would be to wave your hand and have a forest grow behind it or earth raise into a mountain. The Matrix, here we come!

Very cool Shenmue artwork

This would be great to have in the living room. Check out the Portuguese forums where I found it for more information.