• Hands-On: Insomniac’s Seedling Is A Relaxing Magic Leap App About Caring For A Tiny Tree
    Hands-On: Insomniac’s Seedling Is A Relaxing Magic Leap App About Caring For A Tiny Tree

    In a surprise turn of events, Insomniac Games (yes, that Insomniac Games) is building an AR app for Magic Leap’s debut AR glasses: the Magic Leap One. The experience, Seedling, was officially unveiled today at the first ever developer conference, Leap Con, and it’s all about taking care of happy little trees.

    This means that the creators of non-VR best-sellers like Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4, Sunset Overdrive on Xbox One, and the Ratchet and Clank series, as well as  VR hits like The Unspoken, Edge of Nowhere, and the upcoming Stormland, are working with Magic Leap’s device.

    Yesterday at the first-ever LEAP Con developer conference, UploadVR’s Ian Hamilton got the chance to not only go hands-on with Insomniac’s debut AR experience, but he also spoke with Nathaniel Bell, Creative Director on Seedling and Lead Environment Artist at Insomniac Games.

    “We’ve been working on this for about a year and a half, it’s been a pretty small R&D team,” said Bell. “A small tight-knit group of people that really believe in the promise of mixed reality. I’ve been at Insomniac for going on 13 years. I’m a creator in the physical world too, I spend all day creating digital objects and then I go home and create physical ones. I’d like to merge those two worlds.”

    Ian had the following to say about his time with Seedling:

    “What I saw from Seedling was a tabletop plant — about the size of a large bonsai tree — that seemed perfectly solid with tiny crisp little leaves that moved ever so slightly — as if blown by the wind. The touchpad on the magic leap controller could be swiped to get to different tools to manage the tree. Tweezers and clippers were a few of the tools I saw.

    I used the tweezers to pull away growths sticking to the plant like spiderwebs and I used clippers to cut away smaller leaves that could help the tree grow more. The key thing for me was the tree was sized incredibly well for the limited field of view — it fit well inside the FOV. I didn’t see this myself, but they said that if you plant the tree below furniture, it’ll grow around the furniture.”

    So far, so good, I guess? There is a really impressive looking tree and it is really satisfying to interact with — but that’s the game? Magic Leap is billing Seedling as a game made for the Magic Leap One by a “AAA” studio, so what do you actually do?

    “There is a very Insomniac story as a charming wrapper to this experience,” said Bell. “We tell a story in real-time, which is kind of a new thing for us. As you take care of your tree and check in every day, the story is revealed. We deliver the story through narration and help you use your mind’s eye to paint more than what’s there…there is more than what you saw in the demo.”

    If I’m being honest, I’m still very confused and I know Ian is as

    The post Hands-On: Insomniac’s Seedling Is A Relaxing Magic Leap App About Caring For A Tiny Tree appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Hands On With the Angry Birds on Magic Leap The VRFocus team takes a look at how Angry Birds: FPS feels on the Magic Leap One.
  • Magic Leap To Let Developers Write AR Apps in JavaScript with ‘MagicScript’
    Magic Leap To Let Developers Write AR Apps in JavaScript with ‘MagicScript’

    Development for AR platforms, be it a smartphone or a dedicated headset like Magic Leap or Microsoft’s Hololens, is typically done with a game engine like Unity, which uses C#. 3D game engines are inherently spatial and thus are already suited to VR and AR development.

    Many AR developers however come from a web development background, not game development, and their apps do not center around the types of features a game engine is focused on.

    At Magic Leap’s first yearly conference, LEAP Con, they announced a JavaScript-based API & platform for AR “app” development, called ‘MagicScript’. This should let developers with experience in web-frontend development develop for Magic Leap’s operating system ‘LuminOS’, instead of having to use a full-fledged game engine.

    Full details of how MagicScript will work have not been revealed, but Magic Leap said that the first version will be released to developers in Q1 2019 according to their roadmap.

    In addition to MagicScript, Magic Leap also announced an avatar system, webview (so developers can easily embed webpages in their spatial apps), a hand occlusion mesh system, support for the popular video streaming technology MPEG-DASH, and spectator view support so that others can see what you see from their smartphones.

    In their long term roadmap, Magic Leap also indicated that they are working on an object recognition API, which could enable an entirely new class of AR interactions not yet seen on other platforms.

    For all the other announcements made at LeapCon, check out our page for all things Magic Leap.

    Tagged with: Leap Con, Magic Leap, MagicScript

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  • Magic Leap’s Roadmap Includes Two 6DOF Controllers And ‘Large-Scale’ Mapping
    Magic Leap’s Roadmap Includes Two 6DOF Controllers And ‘Large-Scale’ Mapping

    At the first-ever Leap Con event in Los Angeles, Magic Leap executives staff got on stage to discuss the company’s bold vision and technology. During the keynote today, Yannick Pellet, SVP of Software at Magic Leap, discussed the company’s future roadmap through the first quarter of 2019.

    You can see the roadmap for the Magic Leap One, which was shown on-screen, below:

    For example, by the end of this year they intend to have remote casting for avatar chat with up to three participants, full customization, MPEG-DASH support “for streaming”, and webview support.

    Then in the first quarter of 2019 that’s when it starts to really get juicy. The first thing on the agenda for next year is “two 6DOF controller support in the SDK” according to Pellet, which would dramatically enhance the type of things developers can create. It also implies controllers will be available separately for purchase. This would also include a “basic hand occlusion mask” as well.

    After that is a spectator view support via a mobile phone companion app, MagicScript language, and even the ability for large-scale mapping for large areas much bigger than normal rooms.

    This was just a, “small overview of what’s coming in the next few months,” said Pellet. “Everything we have been creating and will be creating is done with developers and creators in mind. We want you to help us build this together.”

    What on this roadmap gets you most excited? Let us know down in the comments below!

    Tagged with: Leap Conference, Magic Leap

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    The post Magic Leap’s Roadmap Includes Two 6DOF Controllers And ‘Large-Scale’ Mapping appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Digi-Capital Reports Surge In Investment for AR And Computer Vision A report from Digi-Capital shows that China is overtaking North America for investments in AR and computer vision.
  • Virtually Learning: Practical Ways To Integrate High-end VR Into The Classroom Steve Bambury of VirtualiTeach and JESS Dubai returns to discuss more about VR's use as an educational tool.
  • VR Company Varjo Announces Series B Investment Varjo says investment money will help bring industrial-grade VR headset to market.
  • Hands-On: PSVR’s Deracine Has A Little More In Common With Dark Souls Than You Might Think
    Hands-On: PSVR’s Deracine Has A Little More In Common With Dark Souls Than You Might Think

    At first glance Deracine, the new PlayStation VR (PSVR) exclusive from Dark Souls developer From Software, couldn’t be more different than its acclaimed predecessors. For starters, it trades the murky depths of dark fantasy for a straight-laced and traditional boarding school setting and the pressure-driven combat has been swapped out in favor of exploration-based puzzles.

    The cast of characters, meanwhile, aren’t gruesome monsters, turncoat warriors or cowardly hermits, but instead a group of reclusive students, measured in their words and reactions. Though director Hidetaka Miyazaki is heading up the project, Deracine is unlike anything From has produced in the last decade. But a tiny slither of the Dark Souls DNA is in there, as incidental as it may be.

    I discovered as much when I recently went hands-on with the game. I got my first Souls-vibe pretty much straight away when the music kicked in. If you’d have told me that its melancholic moaning of violins had been lifted straight out of one of the hub worlds in a Souls game — think of the Hunter’s Dream in Bloodborne — I’d have believed you. In turn, it exudes that same, lonesome atmosphere you get during your downtime in one of those games, only stretched across an entire school.

    And yet Deracine looks and feels unlike anything else I’ve seen in VR. It’s like one of Japan’s visual novels given life, knowingly glacial in its proceedings but selling you on its sheer oddness alone. You take on the role of a faerie that paces the halls of the school in suspended time. As you interact with objects students become aware of your surroundings and start to play games with you. There’s something very reserved about it and how polite it is; it’s a period piece for an era and genre often unexplored in gaming. Whether or not audiences will take to that I really can’t say, but I welcome the experiment with open arms.

    The cast is another area that scratched my Dark Souls itch. For better and worse, character models all possess that strangely blank, feautreless expression that the human inhabitants of Lordan, Yharnam and the like all carry. You might argue that From’s character models simply don’t hold up to the scrutiny that VR affords, though I’d contest it lends each student a certain mysticism too. The same is true of the game’s purposefully archaic dialogue, which again could just as easily be heard uttered from those that dwell in the misery of a Souls world. It’s strict and eloquent, reflective of the private education and discipline the school would preach, but it also makes the cast — at least in the first two levels — feel somewhat uniform and quaint. I’ll definitely be interested to see if I can grow a stronger bond between them in the full game.

    I’m also a little worried that Deracine is going to fall into that trap of being too obscure in its solutions. There’s nothing quite as tiresome in all of VR than being stuck on a puzzle

    The post Hands-On: PSVR’s Deracine Has A Little More In Common With Dark Souls Than You Might Think appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Porgs Come To Mixed Reality In ILMxLAB Experiment The Porgs from Star Wars: The Last Jedi come to life in Project Porg from ILMxLAB and Magic Leap.
  • Racket Fury: Table Tennis Review – Missing Important Features
    Racket Fury: Table Tennis Review – Missing Important Features

    VR is best used to replicate experiences we can’t actually have in the real world, whether it be climbing a treacherous mountain or piloting an X-Wing. Table tennis isn’t one of those experiences, but Racket Fury: Table Tennis does its best to make it one by throwing you against robotic masters in outer space.

    What is realistic about the table tennis experience in Racket Fury, however, is how supremely frustrating it is – you’re much better off just buying a cheap ping-pong table and ignoring the PlayStation VR option altogether.

    If you’ve ever played table tennis before, you already know the basics of Racket Fury. Using two PlayStation Move controllers, you must toss a ball into the air and smack it with your racket to send it bouncing across to your opponent, who then hits it back. Despite the age of the Move technology, smacking the ball back and forth across the table feels fantastic, and you have plenty of options for adjusting the angle, height, and position of the table to fit your setup. In my case, I actually found standing up to make it hard to gauge where a shot would land, and I ended up sitting on my couch for the majority of my time with the game.

    The frustration comes a little earlier, because serving is inconsistent to the point of screaming, which I did on numerous occasions while struggling to beat my opponents. You must “let go” of the ball with your non-dominant hand before you’re able to serve it with your dominant hand, but the process of moving one Move controller out of the way to do this often leads to the camera losing track of the other controller’s position momentarily. This leads to a lot of missed or poorly-hit serves, often resulting in a free point for your opponent. You can toss the ball higher into the air to give yourself enough time to serve it, if you want, but it’s nearly impossible to do so with any sort of power or finesse.

    Aside from a practice mode and a customization tool for an avatar you hardly ever see, the only mode included in the PlayStation VR version of Racket Fury is a single-player championship. It’s split across four difficulty levels, with four opponents in each, and it’s here where I encountered an issue even more frustrating than the serving: the difficulty. The first four opponents you face aren’t pushovers, but hitting the shots you need to hit and playing defensively will result in a win more often than not. Reach the fifth opponent, however, and get ready to feel like a worthless loser who should never have picked up a virtual racket.

    Spike a perfectly placed shot and it will be sent back at blazing speed into the one area you can’t reach. Return a tricky serve and watch as the next shot barely bumps your corner. Through all of this, the robot dances to taunt you for your poor abilities.

    I’m not the best table tennis player

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  • WorldViz Announces Launch of VizMove 2.0 VizMove system update introduces more capabilities for large-scale and location-based VR experiences.
  • Special Edition Announced as Pre-Orders Open For Tetris Effect Physical edition and digital pre-orders will come along with a host of bonuses.
  • PSVR Videos Can Be Improved, All Thanks To VR Porn? Apparently so according to one site that's catering for XXX content to the PSVR crowd.
  • Improbable announces New London Headquarters SpatialOS creators Improbable move to new larger London headquarters as part of continuing expansion.
  • Life In 360°: Prost! "Oh, what is the malted liquor? What gets you drunken quicker? What comes in bottles or in cans?"