Turning virtual reality into real world success

Cultural Heart At Work

Anyone can have an idea, but turning a creative spark into a viable business can present a myriad of challenges for creatives and start-ups alike. Adelaide is leading the way in becoming a thriving space for gaming and digital content creators, with the State Government committing to invest $2 million into building a digital games development space on Pirie Street, housing companies like Adelaide’s Mighty Kingdom.

The City of Adelaide is focused on attracting new businesses to the CBD and North Adelaide and supporting entrepreneurs in the digital space.

“Big picture solutions like the Ten Gigabit Adelaide project, which will provide 10Gbps data transfer capability and a range of high-performance services for the business community, will give the City a technological advantage which will make operating from here an even more attractive proposition,” said City of Adelaide Central Ward Councillor Houssam Abiad.

Novus Res is a city-based operation with lofty ambitions for its business. The independent software development company began trading in 2012, with Managing Director Matthew Wilson driven by his passion for video games and a work history in software development.

“When we began investigating virtual reality, we thought to ourselves ‘this is going to be big and way more fun than building websites and mobile apps’, so we began to make the shift towards building games and virtual reality projects: it's the same set of skills, but with a different application,” said Matthew.

Novus Res multiple

“What worked for us was making the transition from pure consulting work creating web and mobile apps over to custom virtual reality builds for clients. Now we’re just working on our own IP. It was a gradual process but one that worked for us in terms of building the business name.”
Matthew Wilson, Managing Director, Novus Res

Choosing to base themselves in the City of Adelaide was an easy decision for Matthew and his brother Luke, who were originally from Adelaide but living interstate when the idea to begin the business first developed.

“When we started on this stuff, I was living in New South Wales, but being in Adelaide has really helped things within this industry develop,” he said. “The first virtual reality project we worked on was the 2015 Adelaide Fringe Digital Playground, and it was how we landed our first lot of gigs. We made a VR experience in which the user wandered around painting and exploring in an immersive world. It was a first person-based open world project, and through this we were able to meet some film-makers, museum staff, and pick up more virtual reality work.”

With plans to reach out into international markets in the pipeline, Matthew anticipates the rollout of projects like Ten Gigabit Adelaide will enable Novus Res to transfer large volumes of data seamlessly and easily.

“In virtual reality, there’s a lot of content that needs to be transferred. For example, one of our main areas is 360-degree filming, which requires video data as large as 4K video as a minimum to be transferred,” Matthew said. “When I heard the City of Adelaide was implementing this project (Ten Gigabit Adelaide) I was like – hell yeah!”
Matthew Wilson

Need help getting your business off the ground?

The City of Adelaide offers several business advice and support services.

Enterprise Adelaide is a one-stop-shop for new small business enterprises, helping navigate regulatory processes and approvals. There’s plenty of assistance available for people starting out and all advice is free.

Invest Adelaide, run through Council’s Economic Development and Tourism program, is another avenue for individuals and businesses, both new and established, to access real-time economic insights and advice throughout all stages of their investment lifecycle.

“I’ve been an entrepreneur since high school, and am really excited to see the Adelaide start-up scene grow and evolve,” said Central Ward Councillor David Slama. “The advice and support the city can provide to new businesses is second to none, and I encourage people wanting to find out more to reach out and discover this.”

Visit investadelaide.com.au to find out more.

Want to experience virtual reality for yourself?

Visit the City Library's Innovation Lab and take a mind-blowing journey without leaving the room! Learn the applications of Virtual Reality through use of the HTC Vive, and discover the wonders of this great new technology. Bookable and drop-in sessions are available and free.

Visit cityofadelaide.com.au/innovationlab to find out more.