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Breaking Boundaries: The Exciting Future of VR Innovation

Creator:
Published:
December 14, 2023
October 16, 2023
Watch how J.J. Castillo is transforming VR development with the release of groundbreaking games.

The technology behind virtual reality is advancing, but for J.J. Castillo, it still has a lot of untapped potential. As a developer, he has a unique view of what we are able to do with VR and the exciting opportunities that await us.

"Do I believe VR/AR is the future? I really do," J.J. shares. "We're making the pavement, we're putting down the railroad tracks right now, and someone has to. And I'm thrilled to be doing it. There's a lot of people that are saying they want that moment to happen faster. They want that future now. And I'm just thrilled to be part of the ride."

Video Transcript

J.J. Castillo: You should be able to see me.

I just want to get a reaction out of people. And that's all any artist is trying to do.

So they know they're in front of me and now they know they're behind me which is amazing. It is pretty insane.

Producer Ronald: Can't do that with a Nintendo controller.

J.J.: No.

Do I believe VR/AR is the future? I really do. I don't think it's going to hit for our generations. I think that we're already aged out. What you got to look at is the 10 to 13-year-olds. We're making the pavement, we're putting down the railroad tracks right now, and someone has to. And I'm thrilled to be doing it. There's a lot of people that are saying they want that moment to happen faster. They want that future now. And I'm just thrilled to be part of the ride.

So we're adding those special pitches this week, and so we have to add a whole section to the story.

My background into getting into the VR/AR industry is very odd. It's not the kind of traditional path. Around 2015 or so, I was building my first PC, and I got an ad for the Oculus Dev kit. The moment I put it on, I had this holy calling experience. Everything just hit at once. It was essentially finding out a new color existed in the year 2015. Our first little success was we were at a game jam, and I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if we made a game where you have a cylinder and a sphere and you had some colliders and some multi-players?" And you make a baseball game, but it was like a self-pitch baseball game where you had to throw the ball up yourself and then hit it and it was popular. And then we realized we were essentially making a full baseball game at that point.

And I really thought with all this competition, with the EAs, with all these other studios with large amounts of investment, and we're totally just bootstrapping and doing this ourselves, it still blows my mind that we are the first studio to release a full-fledged virtual reality baseball game. It was a bit of a money pit for about two years. You'd be like, "We're not making any money off of this, but let's keep going in that direction." The amount of returns that we would get on the game were two to three times the amount that we would get from client work.

These guys from Penrose Studios did a 3D scan of me. And then I took it home and I started playing around with it.

If you want to get into game dev, just go to a game jam and try to absorb as much as you can. Watch those YouTube tutorials. And what you'll realize is that by week two, you'll start to remember some of the stuff that you're having problems with. And then by month two, you start to feel really confident in your capabilities and what you can do. Putting the time in will just get easier and easier. So the most important thing to do is just start. And the point is the difference between people who succeed and people who don't are the people that go like, "Let's just keep doing it. Let's just keep pushing forward. Let's finish it." Where sometimes you just got to wear blinders. Don't look to your left, don't look to your right. Don't let other people's success throw you off. Just stay focused and don't give up, especially if it's something that you really believe in.

Jack, I think that the beta has been online for about a day now, Jack. How much has broken?

Jack: Less than 10%.

J.J.: That sounds good.

Creators:
Grotto
Published:
December 14, 2023
October 16, 2023
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