20Q with Tony Davidson developer of Ethereon and founder of Innervision Games

Posted December 1, 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 feature Tony Davidson developer of Ethereon and founder of Innervision Games

Tony Davidson

Tony Davidson

What is your current Job / Role ?

Full-time VR developer of Ethereon and founder of Innervision Games.

What are you most famous for ?

Probably my work on Riven:the sequel to Myst, and also for my feature film work on How to Train Your Dragon.

 

What is currently on the desk in front of you ?

How to Train your Dragon

How to Train your Dragon

Of course a DK2! A couple of 24” monitors, a Wacom tablet, a custom-made Ethereon prop that my son Dakota made for my last birthday, a small copy of the Bardo Thodol, and some random fortune cookie fortunes.

 

What was your first VR experience ?

That would be the infamous Dactyl Nightmare on the Virtuality 1000 system back in 1993. I drove almost 1,000 miles to try it and will never forget it! It was a defining moment in my life and led to my career as a professional developer.

Dactyl Nightmare

Dactyl Nightmare

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

Yeah, big time. I’m the worst! I’m getting more used to it now with the DK2 but the DK1 was just brutal for me.

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

I can hold up for about 20-30 minutes now, but that’s pretty much my limit with the current tech.

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

That would have to be the alien demo in the Crescent Bay prototype that I tried at Oculus Connect recently. Was totally not expecting that one!

Ethereon

Ethereon

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

While demoing Ethereon at Connect one of the participants got turned around and was unable to place an object into its socket, by using the positional tracking, because he had moved out of range. After instructing him to turn around and try again, he managed to make it only part of the way, before leaning forward to place the object, where he then face-planted the wall next to him! lol I know it’s cruel but I laughed harder than I have in a long time. And I can still remember him saying “Thanks a lot guys!”. Fortunately we all signed waivers before the show. J

What game or hardware device are you currently working on ?

Ethereon, though I’m currently more focused on promoting our kickstarter that we just recently launched for it. For hardware, I’ve built all of my PC’s over the past 20+ years and so I’m working on a custom box with and Intel i7 and an older AMD7950. I’m still using the DK2 but hoping to include another system in the very near future.

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

Right now we’re shooting for mid-November of 2015. But that will really depend on the amount of support that we receive for the project and how quickly we’ll be able to move into production.

Project Morpheus

Project Morpheus

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

We’ve had a few surprises. Being contacted by Sony after releasing our latest Aquatic Realm Teaser and getting approved for PS4 development was a big one. Getting featured on Share and having the top-rated app for a few days was another pleasant surprise for us.

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

Oh that’s a tough one! When I was kid I was playing games like space invaders. lol I’m actually not very interested in playing games in VR. I would rather be transported to worlds like the ones that Roger Dean envisaged in his body of work to be honest. I want to explore new worlds.

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

Exploring places that you can’t otherwise reach physically. Like ancient sites buried deep underground, planets beyond our reach, subatomic spaces, etc. and also, our imaginations!

Tron

Tron

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

Get your hands on a devkit and a copy of unity3d, and then use google to guide you. And please create something original!

What is your favorite VR related movie ?

I’m old school… so I’ll have to go with Tron.

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

The internet will become the metaverse and people will have access to cloud-based content. Cell phone screens will be replaced by VRD solutions with a sleek sunglass-like form factor, which will be wireless of course. Eye-tracking and bio-feedback solutions will drive the experiences that people will have, based on their personal reactions to the virtual environment.

Outside of VR what do you do to relax ?

Remind myself to take deep breaths. 😉  I spend some time every morning doing a little tummo exercise. It’s sort of a meditation practice that I picked up years ago.

Titans of Space

Titans of Space

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

Titans of Space is still my all-time favorite. But, I have a growing list of demo’s that I’m hoping to catch up on.

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

A dream come true.

Download Ethereon Here

Comments

comments


VR Cover

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.

Latest Posts
 
  •  
     
     
     
     
  •  
     
     
     
     
  •