20Q with Jesse Joudrey of VRChat

Posted December 21, 2014 by David in 20 Q

Welcome to our weekly feature where we ask some of the industry’s leading developers and personalities 20 questions.

This week we chat to Jesse Joudrey of VRChat

Jesse Joudrey

Jesse Joudrey

 

State Your Name:  

My name is Jesse Joudrey

What is your current Job / Role ?

 I’m the CEO of VRChat

What are you most famous for ?

 The last video game studio I ran sold 2.5 Million units of “Wipeout: The Game” on Wii, but I think any personal “fame” I have comes from my work in VR and with the VR community.

Wipeout The Game

Wipeout The Game

What is currently on the desk in front of you ?

Heh, I’m in a Cafe, so I have an empty Americano cup, my Macbook and my Note 4.

What was your first VR experience ?

I experienced a few of the classics but the one that stuck with me was playing Duke Nukem 3D on a VFX-1 in a mall almost twenty years ago.

Did you feel any sim sickness or do you ever feel any sim sickness ?

No, I never feel sickness.  I have felt vertigo, but that’s not the same thing.  Vertigo is, I would say, pleasantly uncomfortable.

VFX-1

VFX-1

What’s the longest amount of time you have spent in VR in one play session ?

About four hours.  Some of our VRChat meet-ups run pretty long and some times people don’t want to stop.  I think the people who use Social VR applications like VRChat are the people who’ve spent the most time in VR.  Not only do we often stay in the rift for hours but we come back week after week to hang out.

What’s the strangest experience you have had with VR ?

Definitely Alien Make-out Simulator.

What’s the funniest experience you have had with VR ?

Alien Make-out Simulator

Alien Make-out Simulator

The funniest moments I’ve had in VR are all in social environments.  It’s a lot easier for a friend to be funny on the spur of the moment than for someone to write a joke that will be funny for people they don’t know.

What game or hardware device are you currently working on ?

VRChat has been around for almost a year now and Graham and I are both full time pushing it forward.  Besides constant tweaks and improvements we’re really trying to build our second SDK to allow people to make even more compelling custom VR experiences.

Do you have a release date in mind for your project ?

VRChat is live now.  You can download the client from VRChat.net and get in.  If you do though, log in on a sunday at 4pm pacific during one of our meet-ups.

VR Chat

VR Chat

What is the biggest surprise you have had since you started to work in VR ?

There were just a few of us back at the start when the DK1 was launched, and it looked like VR would be an indie industry for a while and the only people with product to release with CV1 would be these indie studios.  As CV1 got pushed back further and further, larger players started getting involved.  Now it looks like the CV1 launch will be difficult to navigate for smaller teams. This is great for the industry but might be unfortunate for some of my friends that may have trouble making the transition.

If you could only choose one game from your childhood to be remade for VR what would it be  ?

Ultima Underworld would be excellent.  I like it’s constrained scope (it all takes place in one dungeon) and there’s a great sense of the dungeon as a coherent place that VR would certainly enhance.

Besides games what do you think will be the most useful application for VR ?

It’s funny, no-one every asks me “what’s the most useful application of real-reality?” but I think the answer is the same.  Eventually I predict we’ll be able to do almost anything in VR, then the applications will be the same and we’ll just have a choice of which reality to use on a case-by-case basis.  I guess authentic reality will be good if you’re co-located with the people you want to be with and virtual reality will be when you are not.

What advice would you give to people on how to get into VR development ?

There’s nothing stopping you.  Download Unity and the Oculus SDK.  Drag the oculus player prefab into the scene and you’re a VR developer.  Go ahead!

The Matrix

The Matrix

What is your favorite VR related movie?

I hate to be so cliche, but I’d have to say The Matrix.

If you had a crystal ball and could see 10 years into the future what developments in VR do you think will have happened?

Well, a lot of us in the community have seen how VR can change many things for the better.  There are things in the works for Lazy Eye, PTSD, Pain Reduction, marketing, interactive and non-interactive entertainment and yes, socializing.  Though it will likely take a long time for VR to become our go-to tool, my wish is that in 10 years VR is being used a little bit in every field.

Outside of VR what do you do to relax ?

Ah, I remember the days before VR.  I used to be a big gamer.

We’re launching a new medium here.  It’s exciting and scary. The starting line is approaching fast but no-one can see it coming.  I think there are a number of people on the front lines of VR who are giving this industry their all and I’m one of them.  I’m a husband and father, and I’m a VR developer.  Right now, that’s it.  The birth of an industry happens very rarely.  When you see to VR developers at conferences you can tell who’s taking this opportunity seriously.

Time Rifters

Time Rifters

What’s your current favorite VR experience that you have not developed your self ?

I found Titans of Space quite moving and Time Rifters was the first thing I played that was a complete game experience.  I want to call out Technolust and Vanguard V for pushing us forward though.  Soon, to be compelling a game will need other people in it to communicate with.  Social experiences get this for “free” but we’d better see more non-player characters in the very near future.

Sum up how you feel about Virtual Reality in 6 words or less ?

VR can change how humans interact.

Download VRChat Here

 

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About the Author

David

David Whelan a professional web developer has been a serial early adopter of the latest technology. From an early age playing on a C64 he always dreamt of entering virtual worlds and exploring the endless possibilities that could be offered up by the platform.

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