Hello from Seattle! I don't work at Valve, Oculus, HTC, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Magic Leap, Unity or Unreal. But every single one of those companies has an R&D lab in Seattle that is working on VR and AR, and I have at least one friend who works in each of them, plus a dozen more in small VR companies you have never heard of.
So, in Seattle I started a VR company called Invrse, and 3 years later you could say I am one of the leading experts in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. We've made games, including one that made decent money. We've also experimented with things like locomotion and text input...challenges that not even the big boys have really solved yet.
I'm also a 3D Modeler, animator, and generally useful guy to have around when you want to make something look cool in Unity or Unreal.
For background, roughly 8 years ago I started an iOS mobile gaming company with a programmer friend of mine, but our paths diverged when he went into crypto and I [eventually]went into immersive technology. Since then I have worked on almost two dozen games and demos for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows MR including HoloLens, and crazy stuff like CastAR Augmented Reality glasses, Meta, and the recently launched (in China) Vive Focus. I literally can't confirm or deny if I have tried Magic Leap, so we should all take a moment to be in awe of how good their NDA is!
Last year my company got into ViveX, the VR accelerator run by HTC, and Oculus LaunchPad...at the same time. It was a hell of a year, but the realities of an emerging market are pretty dank...after working with nothing but start-ups since 2014, I'm pretty beat up. Getting investment for a tech startup is something I'll probably write about, but it will come with a trigger warning for suicidal references, because trying to raise money for the last 7 months has made me want to kill myself.
Part of my reason for coming here, aside from easily a million dollars worth of "I told you so's" from my old video game partner who tried to get me into bitcoin in 2011, is that my influence on Facebook has gotten a little out of control, and I have too many business partners on the site to be able to speak as openly as I want. Even now, I haven't gone as anonymous here as I probably should have, and there is a non-zero chance that my candid take on things will make it to an important contact and get me scolded. (I am not Palmer Luckey, but I sort of feel his pain) This keys in a bit with the fundraising nightmare, as keeping a public persona and being followed by potential investors has made me unable to speak my mind on pretty big issues.
Since I am not fully anonymous, and my company title is plain to see, I will not be leaking confidential info, breaking NDAs, or venting too hard...though damn that would be cathartic.
I'm also not here to try and sell games, especially since our newest release is only on the Vive Focus and only in China (called Hero Sword VR) But I'm happy to link to our projects, blog about a million mistakes we made, and maybe make friends who want to jump in a game together. Our biggest title is called The Nest, and is one of the coolest multiplayer VR shooters you can find...if there are people online to play against. (My picture above is a render of our Sniper class from the Angroid faction, which I kit bashed from existing 3D meshes)
If folks want the take of an industry insider, I'm a useful resource, and will be posting more about some of our projects (not the super secret ones...yet) and the industry at large.
Immersive tech is coming, and surely intersects with Blockchain in a million ways, but it has a few hundred hurdles left to overcome. The first of those hurdles will be if bitcoin miners can please stop buying out all the GTX 1070 and 1080 cards, which is making it super expensive for people to get a VR gaming rig!
Lastly, I have spoken on almost a dozen panels in the last few years, so if you have good questions, I have good answers.
P.S. I messed up the tags and my original ended up in the VR section. Hopefully this will post in the right place!