Today, Lofelt and the creative studio More Mountains are announcing an exciting partnership. Going forward, Lofelt will guide development of the most popular haptics asset on Unity: Nice Vibrations. We believe this partnership will have a tremendous, positive impact for thousands of game developers who want to bring the next-generation of haptics to their users.
The owner and developer of More Mountains, Renaud Forestié, is a deep UX expert, particularly when it comes to gaming feedback. Renaud has been delivering high-quality, battle-tested and widely-trusted plug-ins to the Unity community for many years — including Corgi Engine, TopDown Engine, MMFeedbacks/Feel, and of course, Nice Vibrations. Renaud’s combined experience in gaming UX, haptics and shipping best-in-class Unity assets developers love is unique.
When Lofelt began looking for a partner that could help bring HD haptics to the masses, Renaud and More Mountains was an obvious choice. Thousands of developers, from hobbyists to AAA Studios, are already using Nice Vibrations to create tactile effects in their games today. Augmenting Nice Vibrations with Lofelt technology will empower those developers, giving them the tools they need to deliver better, more engaging mobile experiences.
Lofelt is currently working with Renaud and More Mountains to develop a major update to Nice Vibrations. This update will retain the features users already know and love for producing standard, simple vibrotactile feedback. And, it will add capabilities that open new possibilities for implementing HD haptics.
To get developers going quickly, Nice Vibrations will come with a large collection of Lofelt-designed haptics. Any developer will be able to implement this type of experience in their games with little to no haptic development or design experience.
In addition, we are adding a number of new haptic playback APIs. These APIs will enable developers to treat haptic content just like graphical and audio assets — as pre-designed clips that can be manipulated at runtime. Developers can add variations to the haptic output or enable the haptics to react to other ongoing game mechanics.
Nice Vibrations 4.0 will be a free upgrade for existing users and will be included as part of Feel. On day one, thousands of game developers will be able to access features that can produce a new level of tactile experience.
Future-Proofing for Upcoming Android Devices
For some time now, Apple Core Haptics has enabled developers to create high-quality vibrotactile experiences for Apple iPhones. But delivering HD haptics on Android has been much more challenging. Lofelt is working with Qualcomm to help address Android limitations for haptics by offering the new Lofelt VTX framework with the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform. Nice Vibrations 4.0 will be ready to support this framework as soon as the Snapdragon-equipped phones hit the market.
Any haptic content created before that time will be forward-compatible with new Snapdragon phones coming to the market in 2022. Tactile effects designed today — that currently fall back to simple playback on Android — will automatically utilize Lofelt VTX and deliver HD playback in new handsets. Game developers will not have to change a thing.
“I’m really excited to partner with Lofelt — their expertise in haptics is second to none. I’ve always been limited by hardware and API constraints, and Lofelt working directly with manufacturers to improve the quality at the source changes everything. This partnership will help make Nice Vibrations the product I always envisioned it should be, with unified quality across all platforms, advanced runtime control, and an even easier-to-use API.” — Renaud Forestié, More Mountains
Advancing the Lofelt Content Strategy
The partnership with More Mountains is an important step in the Lofelt multi-year content strategy. That strategy is focused on empowering more developers, designers, and other content creators to produce HD haptics.
How can we encourage more teams to integrate HD haptics into games, music, and movies?
First, content creation and integration work must fit into budgets allocated for new technology exploration. The challenge is that these budgets are usually comparatively small and are often the first to be cut.
That means producing tactile effects must be fast and easy. Developers, designers, and content creators do not have the time to learn new tools or incorporate lengthy new processes into their workflows. Haptic design and integration need to be deeply embedded inside the tools that teams already use.
At Lofelt, we are focusing on shipping our technology first as plug-ins to game engines. In addition to building Nice Vibrations 4.0 for Unity, we are currently developing a version of the plug-in for Unreal.
Later, we intend to integrate our design and playback technology into other tools that content creators use — including audio tools such as Apple Logic Pro X, Ableton Live, and Reaper as well as video editing and post-production tools such as Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere. Along with our work on Nice Vibrations, embedding our technology in other solutions will help accelerate adoption of HD haptics among content creators.
One Step Closer to HD Haptics
With the introduction of new tools for the largest mobile haptics developer community on Unity and a new framework for delivering better haptics on Qualcomm phones, haptics in mobile gaming is about to change. Mobile gamers across Android and iOS will soon be able to feel the difference.
Read more from More Mountains about this partnership.
Feel HD haptics now with Lofelt Studio for iOS.