Whilst we take a short breather at the end of another fantastic year before kicking off the next, have a read about some of our highlights from the year. Since each quarter has been covered in depth previously here, here, here and here, this post acts as a summary of our achievements and developments. We’ll also avoid going over old ground in terms of the 41! events we attended in 2017, as they are also already covered here, but I think we are all agreed that fewer will be attended in 2018.
Brightwave – “Net Cost Bar Sim”
Co-designed and developed with the learning instructional team at Brightwave, this HTML5 gamified showcase introduces multiple online teams to competitive bar stock and net profit management for one of their top tier partners within the drinks and distribution sector. Challenging employees with the task of operating a bar effectively over the course of a simulated year, they must utilise their learned skills and understanding of how best to maximise net profits with a fixed set of costs and available spend for promotions as they deem appropriate.
Immersive VR Education – “Apollo 11 Mobile VR”
Originally developed for Oculus Rift (and later ported to HTC Vive and Sony PlayStation VR), Immersive VR Education approached Make Real to create a mobile version of the award-winning experience that transports viewers into the body of Buzz Aldrin as the Apollo 11 crew make their historic voyage to land and walk on the moon. Managing to maintain the same level of interactivity and graphical fidelity as the original full VR title on mobile, the application was released on Samsung Gear VR initially with a later launch on Google Daydream VR as well.
EDF Energy – “The V.O.I.D”, “HPC Explorer” and “Click Mobile VR”
Continuing our partnership with the Campus team, Make Real created two technology showcases to allow them to understand the possibilities offered for training with the Oculus Rift + Touch VR headset and the Microsoft Hololens AR device. This then lead to the desire to create an deeper, engaging and immersive Oculus Rift + Touch full VR training application, around the needs to onboard installation engineers to meet the goal of replacing 2M existing electricity and gas meters with smart meters.
L-3 / Schneider – “SMART Driving”
Following on from the 27 learning courses delivered in 2016, the team continued to adapt, update and enhance the quarterly driving training materials for Schneider US haulage and distribution.
Make Real – “Loco Dojo”
Our first game title developed and published as Make Real resulted in high praise, continued positive reviews and awards won for our uniquely British take on multiplayer and social VR gaming. Featuring the voice of Brian Blessed as the overseeing Grand Sensei, ‘Loco Dojo‘ sees up to four players compete against each other to win praise and golden sun tokens, unlocking the fabled black headband that grants them access to the Temple of Trials and ultimate overall victory. Initially launched on Oculus Rift + Touch, the team tweaked and adapted the game for HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets before setting off on the path to Sony PlayStation VR.
PROCAT – “Digital VR Applications”
Providing NVQ Level 3 assessment experiences for the Prospects College of Advanced Technology, covering the electrical, plumbing and air-con & refrigeration maintenance professions, the Digital VR Applications utilise the power of VR with HTC Vive hardware to allow apprentices to carry out routine tasks safely and effectively, whilst conveying complex thermal dynamic theory in new and meaningful ways.
Tammeka – “Radial-G : Racing Revolved”
Being part of Makemedia Ltd, who co-owns the VR gaming studio Tammeka Ltd, the Make Real team continued their involvement and main development of the full VR Oculus Rift and HTC Vive day one launch title ‘Radial-G : Racing Revolved’ with the porting of the VR game title to the Sony PlayStation VR system. Self-published as a digital game title on the EU and US Sony PlayStation Stores, the game also saw a physical boxed release in the two territories thanks to a publishing partnership deal with Perp Games, making it available to purchase from all good high street and online retailers.
TEQ4 – “Kravis Discovery Centre”
Working in partnership with the creative technologists brought together by TEQ4, to create the fully immersive museum experience for the mid-stage revamp of the Kravis Discovery Centre as part of the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, US. Following on from the early prototype work completed in 2016, Make Real developed the Android tablet-based “Chaperone” system. Designed to provide a simple, experience guide or self-led journey of discovery around the new series of exhibits, mixing a blend of augmented reality, location-based content and age-appropriate group-driven stories and challenges.
You can read more in-depth case studies for many of our immersive technology products deployed over on our ‘Products‘ page.
With the increase in demand for immersive technology product solutions throughout 2016, increasing in 2017, we were able to grow the development team from our core leadership quartet to take on junior and senior Unity developers and senior designers and 3D artists to expand our delivery capabilities and experience pool. This combined with another studio move into more professional and comfortable conditions for working meant that the team has been able to fully concentrate on development rather than just keeping warm. We now have plenty of space for the existing team with room for dedicated immersive technology demo areas, multiple meeting rooms and still space to grow over the coming year in 2018.
With the existing and new experience of the team, we have seen a rise in the quality of our output, once again managing to meet all points of the quality / time / cost triangle, which has seen the team and our products be nominated for a number of awards, even winning some! We fought ourselves with both our EDF Energy and PROCAT products nominated for the ‘Best VR Education’ award at VR Bound – VR Awards 2017 but emerged victorious with the Virtual Perceptions – Immersive Perspective awards for PROCAT and ‘Best VR Education’. Our self-published VR game ‘Loco Dojo’ was up for two awards as part of Develop: Brighton. Whilst our voice over actor Brian Blessed didn’t win the Develop: Awards 2017 “Best Performance” for his role as the Grand Sensei, the team walked away with the Develop: Brighton – Indie Developer Showcase “Judge’s Choice” award. To help give something back, we donated a days worth of sales of the game to the Special Effect event “One Special Day“, to help the charity fundraise to allow everyone to be able to play games.
We have also been busy expanding our partnership and collaboration efforts, in order to be connected to far larger corporate organisations and commercial bodies, widening our visibility and awareness within the main verticals we operate in, chiefly education & training and games & entertainment. Whilst we can not go into specifics just yet, we are very excited by these partnerships that will continue to grow and mature throughout 2018 and beyond, to help strengthen our message and increase the adoption of immersive technologies on a much larger scale than we could achieve alone.
The next year ahead will start much like this one, with a new EDF Energy product getting under full development swing, as well as the health & safety trainer for our global telecommunications partner, whilst the external facing team finalise and secure current proposals, prototypes and pitchdecks into actual products. We’re also revisiting part of our recent past and looking to update and unify our multi-channel building simulator hardware solution into a singular device, now that technology advances allow greater computational power and capabilities. All of these form an important part of the short and long term future of the company and the direction we head in, so 2018 will be critical in shaping our strategies. But the details will have to wait as always until a future update when we can reveal what we have planned.
That leaves us with the final piece of the year to address – our wonderful clients and partners who have engaged with immersive technologies in new, interesting ways, challenging us to deliver meaningful content that simplifies the deployment and operation, whilst providing the depth of interactions expected for worthwhile and effective training, learning & development and education. Thank you for involving us in your goals and objectives and we look forward to continuing the journey together over the next year. Happy holidays everyone from all the team at Make Real.