florida.HIGH.TECH florida.HIGH.TECH 2017 - Page 79

throughout the Marine Science Center in Ponce brandVR emerged from a shared enthusiasm for video games by its co- Inlet and nearly all the theme parks in Florida. founders. Taking note of the local talent pool, fed largely by the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at the University of Central Florida, “The scenic elements we fabricate play a large the trio launched monthly meetups where others could collaborate and role in making Florida’s attractions so special,” share ideas for video games. The monthly meetings attract more than 100 said ThemeWorks’ Vice President of Project people and end each year with the Indie Galactic Space Jam, an event to Development Ryan Kremser. develop space-themed video games. While Birket Engineering and ThemeWorks “The Kennedy Space Center is 45 minutes away and we never interacted focus on developing technology to enhance with anyone there,” said brandVR Chief Technology Officer Kunal Patel. the physical environment, companies such as “So, we decided to host a game jam, which is sort of like a hackathon, brandVR lead the charge in creating virtual but with the purpose to create video games about space.” worlds. In its first year, the sold-out event connected local talent with representatives Based in Orlando, the full-service virtual reality from NASA and SpaceX, and generated more than 25 video game (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology prototypes. Through continued conversations with NASA and collaborations startup combines art, programming, design and with the local technology community, brandVR led production of three VR music to create virtual worlds and immersive experiences found today at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: experiences for attractions along Florida’s Space Dreams, an exploration of the solar system and NASA technology; Space Coast and beyond. KSC 360 Expedition, an up-close look at NASA shuttles and capsules; and, at entertains Edge of Home, a tour of the International Space Station. florida.HIGH.TECH 2017 77