[Student Spotlight] Charles Gosme, From Music To Full Time XR Development
In this segment of our Student Spotlight series, we talked with Charles Gosme — a freelance musician who always cultivated a strong interest in psychology and using technology for good. Charles Gosme took the 10-week XR development course, as well as the Introduction to C# course.
Charles is currently a freelance musician working with clients as a composer, producer, educator and performer (mainly as a cellist and pianist). You can check his solo music work here at charlesgosme.com.
Before turning to a career in music, he worked in the field of EU immigration and asylum law as a lecturer and researcher.
From Music to Finding XR
Charles first found XR in early 2021 when he tried a VR headset on for the first time. He had always been interested in science fiction books and movies about virtual reality, but actually experiencing VR turned that interest into a passion and vocation.
“Science fiction books and movies relating to VR have always made me feel particularly excited about the future and VR’s potential. I also have a strong interest in psychology research and am very drawn to the areas of intersection between the fields of XR and psychology.”
Charles also turned towards working on immersive audio projects in 2020. His growing fascination for immersive audio spilled over into a passion for overall immersive XR experiences.
First VR Experiences
It's tough to become excited by the technology if you haven't experienced great content first. Charles passion about storytelling, narrative and socially conscious content drove him to find VR experiences out there.
"My favorite VR-for-good experiences include “Notes on Blindness”, “Home After War” and “We Live Here”. These 3 apps make excellent use of VR’s empathy-enhancing potential to engage the user respectively on blindness, war-torn homes and homelessness."
Charles also loved “The Room VR: A Dark Matter” - a highly immersive mystery for player to solve, which combines stunning visuals, an elaborate narrative framework and excellent use of VR interactions to keep you flowing through the experience.
Getting Involved with XR
The experiences in VR drove Charles to start thinking about career transition to XR. It didn't take long to discover Circuit Stream's free XR workshops and their AR/VR educational courses.
He already had a few ideas for psychology-related VR apps, particularly relating to the performance anxiety he experienced himself as a musician.
From the Idea to Execution
During the course, Charles developed a VR prototype for an app that aims to help singers with performance anxiety.
The project involves sound design as much as XR development. The aim is to simulate singing or public speaking in a realistic performance environment in the Oculus Quest. Each room has an audience for you to perform to. You can hear your own voice, the sound of footsteps when you move around, as well as ambient sounds when you are outdoors.
When you are indoors, everything you hear is baked in the concert room’s reverb. The footstep sounds change depending on the surface you are walking on (wood, stone etc.). *The app includes tips for overcoming performance anxiety as well as cubes that react to your voice in various locations (as an extra prop to help you stay focused on your voice)."
Watch the video Charles made for Circuit Stream’s Demo Day.
Experience with the XR Development Course
As an absolute beginner to coding, the hardest part for Charles was the steep learning curve is at first. From understanding a concept to truly retaining it, there can be a lot of back-and-forths between remembering and forgetting.
"The key is to just keep applying those concepts in your projects and use whatever learning devices work best for you to retain information and the logic behind it. That might involve looking away from the screen and drawing diagrams with a pen and paper."
With effort Charles was able to push forward and see his idea from start to finish.
"I had a great time studying with Circuit Stream. I had no prior experience of coding but wished to transition towards a career in XR via bootcamp-style learning. Circuit Stream’s course was exactly what I needed to learn a large amount about XR development very quickly. It provided a stimulating and exciting framework to develop a strong personal project. Luciana [Circuit Stream's Student Success and Community representative] provided wonderful support throughout the course, all of the teachers were top-notch, and Demo Day was an excellent way to finish the program with the presentation of personal projects. I was very inspired by all of the student projects that were presented and how varied they were."
Charles attended the 2021 Antwerp Summer School in VR storytelling shortly after finishing the Circuit Stream course, which allowed him to work on a second prototype as part of a team.
"We created a skatepark and street art experience. I was the team’s Unity developer, and also contributed to the story development, design and 3D modeling."
He is currently preparing to sit Unity’s Certified Associate Programmer exam, as well as further developing the two apps he started working on during his studies with Circuit Stream and the Antwerp Summer School on Storytelling in VR.
Check out the early demos below:
Luciana from Circuit Stream supported Charles to present his projects to other influencers in the XR field.
"I had a really great opportunity to present my Performance Anxiety prototype at a Spatial Ape event in October. It was Luci from Circuit Stream who introduced me to Jesse from Spatial Ape, so many thanks to her!"
Charles will continue to discover the opportunities in XR.
"My plan is to transition towards working in the XR industry in 2022 after obtaining the Unity Certificate, and in the meantime to continue building my skillset in XR development, sound design and 3D modeling."
Connect with Charles Gosme
Charles is happy to connect with you over all the major social media channels:
XR Development With Circuit Stream
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XR Development With Unity
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