23rd January 2019
REVEAL Publishes Developer Resources
The EU ‘REVEAL’ project which has produced two virtual reality games for Sony’s PlayStation®VR platform, is now making its technologies and resources freely available to other developers.
REVEAL’s consortium of European universities and game development studios, has already released “The Chantry” game based inside the house of pioneering scientist Edward Jenner, and is in the final stages of developing “A Night at the Forum” based on the Augustus Forum in Rome.
The REVEAL framework, which is built on top of Sony’s PhyreEngine technology, provides developers with a ready-made system for developing environmental narrative games for PlayStation®VR. The framework, and the entire source-code for “The Chantry”, has now been made freely available to PlayStation developers through Sony’s online developer portal.
Jake Habgood, Reader in Game Development at Sheffield Hallam University and Project Coordinator for the REVEAL project said, “It’s been a huge privilege to work at the forefront of such an exciting gaming technology for the last two years and it’s amazing to be able to share the project outputs with both game players and game developers”.
The REVEAL games include a novice-locomotion system which researchers at Sheffield Hallam University developed and evaluated to minimise motion sickness in virtual reality. The results of their studies were presented at the IEEE Virtual Reality conference in Reutlingen last year.
REVEAL’s researchers have created a community interest group dedicated to those interested in Videogames for Cultural Heritage, Cultural Tourism and Education. Sofia Pescarin, Researcher at CNR-ITABC and REVEAL’s communication lead said, “REVEAL has shown that there is great potential for creating engaging interactive experiences based around cultural heritage and we have created their community group to help bring museums, educationalists and developers together.”
The REVEAL project has drawn upon and contributed to the RAGE ecosystem: an open repository and community platform for applied-gaming assets. The source code for REVEAL’s analytical tools which collect and visualise data from story-based games is also available from the RAGE repository.
Research by Utrecht University found that virtual reality environmental narrative games led to improved acquisition of spatial knowledge. Dr. Herre van Oostendorp, Associate Professor in Human-Media Interaction said, “Our research suggests that the freedom of choice and interaction, characteristic of virtual reality games, is responsible for players feeling a high sense of presence within the game and leads to more interest in the subject matter, while learning can be maximised through structured guidance”.
In addition to the code, the art assets to Edward Jenner’s 18th century mansion will be made available to developers taking part in the Global Game Jam from the 25th-27th January. Owen Gower, Museum Manager at Dr. Jenner’s House, Museum and Gardens said, “Its been incredible to be part of a creative process in which the museum was laser-scanned and taken back in time to when Edward Jenner lived here. A lot of time and research went into getting it right, so we’d love to see developers make use of it as part of the Game Jam”.
REVEAL is a European research project that is pioneering the use of PlayStation®VR for innovative educational applications which engage world-wide audiences in the Europe’s rich historical and scientific heritage. More information is available on the project website: https://revealvr.eu/ and the community interest group for environmental narrative games: http://www.envig.net/
RAGE is a European research project which is creating a technology and know-how transfer mechanism to accelerate innovation and growth of Applied (Serious) Games studios throughout Europe. More information about the project is available here: http://rageproject.eu/
“Rapid, continuous movement between nodes as an accessible virtual reality locomotion technique” by Habgood, J., Moore, D., Wilson, D., & Alapont, S. (2018) is available as an open-access publication from https://shura.shu.ac.uk/18594/
The Chantry game for PlayStation®VR is available to purchase throughout Europe on the PlayStation Store: https://store.playstation.com/en-gb/product/EP4325-CUSA12254_00-DRJENNERSMALLPOX
For access to “The Chantry” art assets (including a complete Unity-ready scene) please email firstname.lastname@example.org. These are made free for non-commercial use, but should not redistributed without permission.