I will be giving a presentation tonight at 7:00 PM called "Dive into History at Home: French Colonial Blacksmith Shops in VR Museums." It is part of the 2021 Winter Virtual Lecture Series - Fort Talk Thursdays, hosted by the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project, the Niles District Library, and the Niles History Center.
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2491953910
VR Museum: Art Through Time will be launching on the Oculus Store for the Oculus Rift on Thursday, August 6th. This will be an art-centric entry in the VR Museum series.
There are several features in development for future updates, including refinements to the museum environment. We are also looking into ways to easily let players locate works of art.
The theme of the initial galleries revolves around landscapes and portrayals of the past. Over time, additions to the educational aspect of the VR Museum are planned, taking players on a journey through the windows of the past that art provides.
One of the major updates to look forward to will apply to both VR Museum titles--Blacksmithing Through Time and Art Through Time. This update will feature an overhaul to the underlying VR system to improve how teleportation works and expand player interactions with the museum environments.
Art lovers rejoice, VR Museum: Art Through Time will be available August 6th on the Oculus Store.
A new entry in the VR Museum series is in development, titled VR Museum: Art Through Time. Development of our first VR Museum: Blacksmithing Through Time will continue, with updates to VR systems benefitting both titles.
This new Art-focused VR Museum continues a concept begun with the original VR Museum title with blacksmithing themed artwork. The new museum will feature over 60 works of art at launch, with expansions planned. These works of art date from the 1500s to the 1800s, depicting landscapes and archaeological sites. Art provides a fascinating means for visualizing how places looked in the past, and how artists interpreted the history around them.
In the screenshot above (taken from an alpha build of VR Museum: Art Through Time) the artist created two similar paintings. In the one on the left, people apparently from the artist’s era of the 1700s are surrounded by artwork featuring the archaeology of ancient Rome. The painting on the right instead shows views of the city from the artist’s own time. Both together illustrate the dualities of Rome as many ruins remain alongside newer sections of Rome. At the same time, these paintings provide the present-day viewer glimpses of how Rome may have appeared in the artist’s era.
The VR Museum: Art Through Time is in closed alpha testing. It will be launching soon on the Oculus Rift in Early Access.
This update adds new lantern models providing more lights in the blacksmith shops in the Village Map.
-Lanterns added to blacksmith shops to help illuminate some areas that were previously dark
-General fixes to the Village Map
The third update for the VR Museum has been released. The Village Map has had a full lighting rebuild, some new props, and new teleportation zones.
Full Patch Notes:
-Changed positioning of controls sign in main museum for better visibility upon spawn
-New Unreal Engine 4 SkyAtmosphere system added to main museum map
-Full lighting rebuild in Village Map with SkyAtmosphere system, new lantern lights, candle lights, and other lights to enhance the environment
-Added more decorative props to Village Map
This update further refines the village map, with more updates to come. Signs showing the Oculus Touch controls have been added to the starting room/ main menu, and at the entrance of the main museum.
Full patch notes:
-New decorative props added to the Village Map
-Garden in the Village Map has been opened to teleportation
-New signs depicting Oculus Touch controls
-New path in experimental Forest Map opened – under development
The Experimental Maps Update has arrived. The main feature of this update is the addition of a new teleport menu in the Section 3 room off the museum lobby. This is where new maps will be added first as they are developed. As the name suggests, these maps are experimental and may not be fully optimized when released. The first map added to this new menu is a forest map that was near-complete before it was replaced by the village map.
See below for the full update notes:
Our educational VR game, VR Museum: Blacksmithing Through Time, has launched in the Oculus Store as an Early Access title. It has been a long journey to get to this point. The journey is not over yet though. Releasing the VR Museum in Early Access allows more community feedback as we continue development. In its current state, the VR Museum could be considered a finished product—it is playable from beginning to end, with all the major features that were initially planned in place. But we don’t want to stop there. The goal is to make this the best VR Museum we can make. To that end, we will be working on feature updates for the VR Museum.
One of the first major updates you can look forward to is a refinement of the village map with reconstructed blacksmith shops. This map was made late in development as a replacement to a forest environment. There are plans for the village map long-term, but to start the focus will be on adding props to help make the village look more lived-in. Longer-term, the village will more fully be utilized for educating players about how the work of blacksmiths integrates into the daily life of a pre-industrial village.
While we are working on the village update, we have decided to release the older map that the village replaced. It is in a more complete state and would have been in the launch version if not for performance issues on some graphics cards during testing. Internally, we feel players should still have the opportunity to play this map. It will be the first addition to a new Experimental Maps teleport menu.
The Experimental Maps teleport menu will be located in the Section 3 room off of the museum lobby, where the teleporter to the village is also located. Going forward. This is where new maps will be added as they are opened to Early Access players. The Experimental Maps Update will be coming soon.
Walk into a new type of immersive museum where you are free to throw priceless artifacts around as you please, or teleport from a museum building into the middle of a village. The VR Museum is an educational experience about the ancient craft of blacksmithing and how archaeologists understand blacksmith shops.