“Collaborating with VisiSonics and Ramani Duraiswami will be interesting as sound and visual elements are important for complete immersion in a VR environment,” Zwicker said. “The work is an interesting extension of what I’m doing.” Read more
David, congratulations on being the winner of The Power of 3D Audio Contest!
When the RS3D team demos Independence Acres, everyone loves it. There is something compelling about the arcade-like gameplay and the quirky premise that keeps people entertained. It’s so much fun that our demo lines are getting backed up! I would like to ask you a few questions about Independence Acres and your experience using RS3D, but let’s start things off by giving you a chance to tell us a little bit about yourself.
“Fixing Incus” is a new VR demo by Nick LaMartina, featuring RealSpace 3D Audio. The demo provides a quick glimpse into a mysterious sci-fi themed installation where characters clad in futuristic environmental suits attempt to repair you, the robot Incus. Journey through this other-worldly compound in Virtual Reality (with an Oculus DK2 and Headphones) as you marvel at the beautiful environments and perfectly rendered 3D audio!
RealSpace: The VR industry is a new one, and is attracting creative individuals from many different industries. Please tell us a little bit about your background, and where you are coming from?
Aaron: I grew up playing in bands in Austin, Texas, drums, guitar and keyboards mostly. I was always interested in games but never thought I would be able to make them. I studied Psychology at UT Austin with hopes of becoming a neuroscientist. The rise of independent games and the availability of great tools like Unity inspired me to try my hand at game design. I threw myself fully into designing traditional monitor games, taught myself to code… Then the Rift came out and I abandoned the other monitor games I was working on and started making VR experiences.
RealSpace: There is a great photo of you on the Unello Design website, surrounded by art, literature and musical instruments. It seems as though you are an exceptionally creative person, and have a well-rounded approach to your process. Is there something or someone that you see as an important influence on your work or on your process?
Aaron: I’m influenced by many different artists and thinkers who take a multidisciplinary approach to their work. People like Jaron Lanier, Ben Franklin, Elon Musk, John Lasseter, and Walt Disney to name a few. For better or for worse, my own curiosity has driven me to this way of thinking. I like to know how things work, so in game design that means learning every single part of the process.
One of the upsides of knowing how to make music along with knowing how to code or make 3d models or do sound design is that if you are ever stumped by an especially hard bit of code or a melody that’s not quite right, you can always switch to one of the other tasks. More often than not, just taking a step back and thinking about something else for a while helps the solution become clear.
“I’ve always thought VR should be a tool for transcendence.” -Aaron Lemke
CES 2015 featured a substantial increase in Virtual Reality technology. Even though they showed up last year, interest in VR headsets has been renewed by the implementation of VisiSonics RealSpace 3D Audio in Oculus Rift’s Crescent Bay iteration. Check out what tech review sites around the web had to say about RealSpace 3D Audio!
-Sean Hollister, Gizmodo
-Kevin Joyce, VRfocus
-Joel Hruska, Hot Hardware
-Brian Galloway, Red Orbit
-Ben Lang, Road to VR
Blair Renaud’s upcoming VR experience, Technolust, is among the most anticipated and promising titles currently in development for the Oculus Rift. Blair adopted RealSpace3D Audio for his demo last month, and we were captivated by the results. We know that many RealSpace3D users have asked for more guidance and suggestions implementing our Plugin, so we asked him to talk a little about his experience using our Unity plugin and how he handled technical decisions.
Everyone here at RealSpace enjoyed your Technolust demo, and we are really pleased with the way that you implemented our 3D sound! Downloading our Unity plugin is as easy as registering on our site, but actually using the plugin gets a bit more complicated. I would like to ask you a few questions about your process using our RealSpace plugin, but first I’d like to give you a chance to tell us a little bit about yourself and about Technolust.
Thanks for that 🙂 Really glad people are enjoying it.
You have been in the video game industry for a long time now, and have achieved recognition for your work with the Grand Theft Auto series, but we don’t know too much about your background in general. Please tell us a little about your background in gaming.
I’ve actually been OUT of the video game industry for a long time now. I’ve always been interested in technology, from the first time I heard the eerie voice of my Speak and Spell as a child. I really didn’t do very well in school outside of art, science and computer classes. I left high school in grade 10 and began working at a small video game shop called Underground Entertainment at around age 17. The guys from Rockstar Toronto (then GameTek) used to frequent the shop and I would proceed to talk their ears off about games. Eventually, they offered me a job as a tester on a game called RoadWarrior (the sequel to to Quarantine). After the game shipped and my contract was up, I went into the bosses office and told him I wasn’t leaving. I would go for coffee, clean the toilets or whatever was required, so that I could stay on and learn. From there I quickly moved up the ladder. From sound design to level design and beyond. I loved my job. Eventually (sometime after Rockstar bought the company) I fell out of love with it though. The long (seemly endless) hours and stress was a lot for a 23 year old to handle. I had to move on.
From there I moved on to running a web design company (mostly Flash), then Motion Graphics and VFX, I was even a Mascot and a Security Guard briefly. I still enjoyed gaming though, and did some contract work in between (most notably, level design for N+ on the PSP). Fast forward to December 2013, when I got my DK1… and I’m back.