foretell reality

Covid-19 and me being a game developer

The above title could be pretty surprising which would make people wonder, what’s the corelation between the pandemic and a game developer. I will explain as I type this post (I haven’t write a blog post or tutorials for a long time). As we go through the tumultuous times during the this COVID-19 event, it has been pretty hectic for me since as usual, my normal life got bit disrupted. Just like everyone else working in the field of information technology and software development and people who provide services through computers, I am also locked down in my own home and working from home. However as societies around the world, started practicing social distancing, the adoption of emerging technology as a means of social communication has increased quite a lot. As I work in the field of virtual reality, my work also got pretty frantic due to increased demand of use of virtual reality on the enterprise level.

A little background before I continue further. Some of you already know I know Unity and Unreal and I make games and I also make little software (not much). I work as a software/virtual reality developer in Foretell Reality, a subsidiary of Glimpse Group. Foretell Reality specializes on building a platform for social communication and interaction in the virtual world for different enterprise level clients dealing with medical therapy and support, soft skills development and corporate collaboration. In short, we build enterprise level VRChat or whatever example you guys can think of. As COVID-19 literally made the whole US under lockdown, my work on continuous development and polishing of the platform increased. A lot of new features, bug fixes became a routine task for me, as the goal of meeting the clients requirements during this tensed time became quite a high priority. I could say, it was a pretty learning experience (definitely learned new stuff in my continuous journey of learning deeper C# and Python) and also a pleasant feeling, not because I am getting skillful, but because what I am contributing to help the society during this pandemic. Even though I am game developer, I used a game engine to build such enterprise level app for social communication. Game developers take note, yup you can extend your skills beyond only making games. Yup the point of this blog is what I am actually contributing during this pandemic.

Lets get to the point. There are unfortunate people around in our neighborhood and society who are suffering from different illnesses, particularly cancer, who have personal traumas, who cannot move around. There are people who need mental help, require therapies. During this pandemic, it became dangerous for these people to even visit to their doctors or medical institutions. It is possible that some of the patients in different hospitals are moved elsewhere for their own safety. Time to time, these patients require timely check of their current health and mental conditions. When I hear that the technology, that I am making along with the outstanding team I am with Foretell and Glimpse, is being used by enterprises and support groups to reach out and cater these people, I feel a bit relieved and great to know that my skills are being used to help the people in need during this pandemic. Well not like frontline workers, who are risking their lives to save our society, but an indirect help somehow or the other is something I can at least provide. Hell we are helping another subsidiary of Glimpse, Pagoni VR, on its Project Chimera, to strengthen remote education. So yea, my actions are also keeping education going during the lockdown state. My fellow developers in Glimpse are all doing the same one way or the other.

I would address this to the developers all around the world, especially in developing countries, where severe lockdown is still in progress. As a developer, we can solve anything that is within our own reach. Even post-pandemic, we have still lot of work to do and we can solve each problem one by one. We can build tools to help front line workers, awareness apps, trackers, games to keep people at home (yup gamers do help indirectly). It could be for any platform, mobiles phones, desktop or laptop, tablets, web based. We are the keyboard warriors who can build and create major difference to help the society in dire need. At least make something small, so you can tell everyone that you were part of a history that helped the world little by little. It does not have to be huge. In return, the satisfaction of helping people is great and it actually builds further your love on the your own discipline of coding.