Waggle Words iOS Beta Now Leveraging ARKit for a New Augmented Reality Mode

We’ve been talking about both iOS and SteamVR versions of Waggle Words for well over a year; today we’re announcing Waggle Words for iOS now features an Augmented Reality mode for supported devices!

Since we are very close to releasing Waggle Words for both SteamVR and iOS, and given the advent of Apple’s upcoming iOS 11 release (which introduces ARKit for Augmented Reality), we thought we’d apply our accumulated knowledge of working in both VR and iOS and try our hand at Augmented Reality. We have been thinking about AR all throughout Waggle Words development and have intentionally architected our project in Unity to take into account future platforms and modes of play.

Waggle Words AR Mode is still a work in progress. We’re continually iterating our design to be intuitive and fun. We plan on continuing playtesting and implementing UI/UX revisions up until we launch Waggle Words. We’ve included some recent previews of Waggle Words for iOS with both AR and normal modes of play in this post. These samples are already a little out of date, but we thought we’d share our process nonetheless.

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[image]http://vermontdigitalarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Vermont_Digital_Arts_Waggle_Words_Beta_iPad_01_600x800.png[/image]
[image]http://vermontdigitalarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Vermont_Digital_Arts_Waggle_Words_AR_Beta_iPad_01_600x800.png[/image]
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We have some TestFlight slots available for serious people in the press, and video streamers, who are interested in Augmented Reality and ARKit.

Stay Tuned!

More to come shortly!

Spin Spell 2.1 Update – Now Supports the iPhone, iPad and iOS 10.x

Today, we’re pleased to announce the release of Spin Spell 2.1!

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It’s been a long while since we initially released both Spin Spell and Spin Spell HD for iOS. Last September, we were forced to choose between updating both games on the App Store, or allowing Apple to remove them due to their legacy status. We made the decision to only update Spin Spell (for the iPhone) and to remove Spin Spell HD (for iPad) from the App Store. We made that decision in order to support all iOS devices in the future with a single game, Spin Spell.

At the time of our initial Spin Spell 2.0 update, we didn’t announced the update due to our intense focus on the development of Waggle Words (for Steam VR and iOS) and we had yet to add support for iPad into the new Spin Spell 2.0 build.

This week, we took another pass at Spin Spell and updated the game to run on iOS 10, added support for the 12.9 inch iPad, fixed a few remaining bugs, gave Spin Spell a little more polish and leveraged some cool new Apple and Unity features!

Spin Spell 2.1 is now available on the App Store for both iPhone and iPad! Check it out!
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GDC: It Takes a Village: Growing Vibrant Game Developer Communities

In case you missed GDC 2016, and you are interested what makes a vibrant game developer community, check out the GDC Vault release of the all star panel Elliott Mitchell assembled: It Takes a Village: Growing Vibrant Game Developer Communities!

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The panel, comprised of key organizers from the Boston and Austin communities, offers the audience valuable insights into organizing events, meet-ups and co-working collectives which in turn fuel local industry growth for the future. Speakers include Elliott Mitchell (Vermont Digital Arts), Adri Mills (Independent), Dawn Rivers (Harmonix Music Systems), Michael Carriere (Zapdot), Jono Forbes (Defective Studios) & Andrew Eiche (Owlchemy Labs).

Unity Asset Store Gives Waggle Words That Extra Polish

Check out this video of Vermont Digital Art’s co-founder, Elliott Mitchell, as well as Adam Simonar (NVYVE Studios) & Evan Doody (Darkwind Media) talk about their favorite Unity Asset Store products. Elliott is using Circular Gravity Force, Koreographer, and Chromatica Studio in Waggle Words for VR and mobile. Check out the game footage!

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Circular Gravity Force

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Koreographer

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Chromatica Studio

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Vermont Digital Arts at Unite Boston 2015

Unite Boston 2015

Unite 2015, the annual Unity game developer conference, is scheduled to be held in Boston, MA, September 21st – 23rd! Isn’t that exciting?!?

I’m Elliott Mitchell, co-founder of Vermont Digital Arts and the Boston Unity Group. I am honored to announce that I will be presenting at Unite for the fourth consecutive year! My session, Unity Maximus: Art Optimizations for Maximum Performance in Unity 5, was announced on a list of talks published on Unity’s blog yesterday. This talk will be geared towards helping artists and designers who are beginners with Unity 5 art optimizations.

Unity Maximus: Art Optimizations for Maximum Performance in Unity 5, is scheduled for Tuesday, September 22nd, 5:00-5:30, Ballroom A.

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Many platforms, like VR and mobile, place high demands on developers to meet acceptable frame rates or else risk failure. Often, the art assets in a Unity project look fantastic but no matter how optimized the code base is, the build just doesn’t meet the desired frame rate. Unoptimized art assets, including some art which may be purchased on the Asset Store, can seriously hinder performance on demanding platforms. In this session, we will highlight some red flags to look out for in a variety of art asset types and identify key optimizations that can be implemented into your art pipeline to significantly increase performance on demanding platforms. Art asset types covered will include:

  • 3D Models, Animations and Rigs
  • 2D Textures and Sprites
  • Materials and Shaders

I’ll likely cover a few more topics like lightmapping & post process effects.

I hope to see you at Unite 2015 Boston!

Best,

-Elliott

EDIT 9/18: Changed the time and location to Tuesday, September 22nd, 5:00-5:30, Ballroom A.

School’s Out Summer Sale

Schools Out Summer Sale

School’s Out Summer Sale! July 23rd – July 29th

Kids want a summer of fun and parents want a summer of learning, growth and skill. What if downtime could be both fun and enriching?

Presenting the 2015 School’s Out Summer Sale (July 23rd – July 29th)! Enjoy discounts on 8 amazing, awarding-winning games and apps for both iOS and Android that are packed with fun and entertainment to last all summer! Made by the most innovative and creative game designers from all over the world, these games are guaranteed to keep kids both entertained and sharp in the summer heat.  And they’re just as fun for adults too – so enjoy some time playing these games with your kids this summer!

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[image title=”Agent Higgs by TestTubeGames” link_to=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/agent-higgs/id526613680″]http://vermontdigitalarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/AgentHiggsIcon.png[/image]
[image title=”Backyard Engineers by Filament Games” link_to=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/slice-fractions/id794730213?mt=8″]http://vermontdigitalarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/BackyardEngineersIcon.png[/image]
[image title=”The Counting Kingdom by Little Worlds Interactive” link_to=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-counting-kingdom/id925814105?mt=8″]http://vermontdigitalarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/CountingKingdomIcon.jpg[/image]
[image title=”Earth Primer by Chaim Gingold” link_to=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/earth-primer/id956678532?mt=8″]http://vermontdigitalarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/EarthPrimerIcon.png[/image]
[image alt=”Slice Fractions by Ululab” link_to=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/slice-fractions/id794730213?mt=8″]http://vermontdigitalarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SliceFractionsIcon.png[/image]
[image title=”Spin Spell by Vermont Digital Arts” link_to=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spinspellhd/id452320603?mt=8″]http://vermontdigitalarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SpinSpellIcon.png[/image]
[image title=”Tin Pan Rhythm by Tin Pan” link_to=”https://itunes.apple.com/app/id963594351″]http://vermontdigitalarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/TinPanRhythmIcon.png[/image]
[image title=”Word Mess by Masala Games” link_to=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/word-mess/id504739597?mt=8″]http://vermontdigitalarts.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/WordMessIcon.jpg[/image]
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Check out the official School’s Out Summer Sale webpage to learn more about the featured games and participating studios!