• Procedurally Generated Bow FPS In Death Dated for PlayStation VR Release Master those bow skills in this roguelike shooter.
  • Oculus Rift’s Store Finally Supports DLC
    Oculus Rift’s Store Finally Supports DLC

    Oculus has now added beta support for DLC to its app store for Rift. The mobile store (Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR) received support for DLC shortly after the Go launch in May, when the company stated that Rift support was “coming soon”.

    DLC has actually been available on the Oculus Rift store since early 2017, but only for the game Rock Band VR. This however was a custom solution for the game, which was a major title in the months following the Oculus Touch release, rather than a platform feature. This week’s update makes it a general feature for any Rift developer to use.

    The feature is not only for paid DLC, but can also be used to lower the initial download size by only downloading the core or start of the game, then downloading the rest “on the fly” when it’s needed. This is more useful on mobile platforms where space is limited or standalone headsets where waiting for a download in VR is boring, but it could have some use for extremely large games on PC too.

    Steam has had DLC support for over a decade now, and the lack of it on the Oculus Store had prevented several developers from bringing their games to it. With DLC support now in place, these developers can finally bring their DLC dependent games to Facebook’s platform.

    Tagged with: dlc, oculus rift, oculus store

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  • Bow And Arrow Roguelike Shooter In Death Coming To PSVR This Month
    Bow And Arrow Roguelike Shooter In Death Coming To PSVR This Month

    In Death is one of the year’s surprise breakout VR hits with its devilishly satisfying difficulty and addictive roguelike-inspired gameplay loop. Now, later this month, the bow and arrow-focused shooter will make its debut on PSVR, specifically on November 27th according to a new PlayStation blog post.

    Similar to The Persistence, a PSVR exclusive horror roguelike shooter, In Death is a bit different every time you play. As you progress through the layers of a celestial chapel and various other locales, you face dangerous enemies that are hellbent on killing you. Armed with a bow, various unlockable arrows, and teleporting abilities, you have to fight them off and progress deeper and deeper into the afterlife.

    What makes In Death so clever is that is shuffles the layouts, enemies, and more each and every time. And the further you get into the game the harder it becomes as you unlock new enemy types and challenges for subsequent playthroughs. There’s a ton of content, it feels great to play (at least on Rift it does) and the difficulty curve is punishing (but fair) from start to finish.

    “In Death features procedurally-generated levels and random enemy spawns meaning each run is unique and unpredictable,” writes Reynir Hardarson, Co-founder & Creative Director at Sólfar on the PS Blog. “This is a high stakes permadeath style combat experience, with no save points during your run of each chapter of the game, only offering a continue point if you successfully complete a discrete chapter. We’ve created an achievement-based progression system that unlocks new power ups for your bow in the form of randomly generated special arrows and health boosts that you can loot from enemies.”

    For the PSVR version, it sounds like the entire game is getting ported over. It will be playable with both PS Move controllers or with DualShock 4 using the lightbar motion tracking, similar to how games like Firewall Zero Hour and Farpoint are playable with the gamepad.

    In Death hits PSVR on November 27th. Read our review of the PC version for more details!

    Tagged with: In Death, Solfar Studios

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  • Numenera: Beyond Tactics Is VR’s Take On A Tabletop RPG
    Numenera: Beyond Tactics Is VR’s Take On A Tabletop RPG

    Hugely popular tabletop role-playing game Numenera is the latest to explore bringing its world into a VR headset, though not quite in the way you’d imagine.

    Despite the name, Numenera – Beyond Tactics is not a direct virtual adaptation of Monte Cook’s RPG. Handled by developer Boneyard VR, the game takes the world and lore of the fantasy experience and builds a new, turn-based tactical game on top of it. In it, you take a group of heroes into battles against opposing sides, whilst also managing resources outside of combat. You’ll pick up virtual figurines, move them into battle and roll dice to decide crucial outcomes.

    I got a brief look at an early version of the game and, while there’s a lot of work to be done on it, my initial impressions were promising. It’s lacking in a tutorial right now and a lot of the UI is still to be filled in but there are some great core mechanics in place like picking up a figurine and seeing how far you can move it, then seeing the number of steps taken when you place it where you want it to go. It’s like a board game come to life, which is something VR does especially well.

    Look for Numenera – Beyond Tactics to hit Rift, Vive and Windows VR headsets via Early Access in 2019. Bone Yard is encouraging anyone interested in the game to head to its Discord page and start building a community around it.

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  • Tendar Is A Surreal New AR App From The Makers Of Virtual Virtual Reality
    Tendar Is A Surreal New AR App From The Makers Of Virtual Virtual Reality

    What did the makers of the exquisite Virtual Virtual Reality do next? Something completely different.

    Launched today on Android smartphones, Tendar is an AR app that brings the developer’s surrealist imagination into the world around us. In it, you look after Guppy, a virtual fish that wants to explore the big wide world with you. But you’re not simply making sure it gets fed on time and sending it off to the bathroom; Guppy is destined to evolve based on the everyday interactions you have out in the world. Check it out in the trailer below.

    Weird, right? We’d expect no less from the makers of a game in which you slap toast on a sentient slab of butter. But Tendar looks like it could shine the same satirical spotlight it placed upon VR in VVR, only this time on AR and AI instead. Guppy will learn about the facial expressions you make when interacting with him for example, and the app can also detect and scan over 200 real-world objects that you’ll then be able to place in his virtual fishbowl.

    Doing so will expand his knowledge of the outside world and help him evolve with his own unique personality based on what you’ve taught it. But it may come at a cost, as the game’s press kit reads: “beware that sentience may lead to a full blown existential crisis!”

    Tendar is free to download. There’s no word on an iOS release just yet.

    Tagged with: Tendar

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  • Within Transforms Ordinary Spaces Into Extraordinary Stories With AR App Wonderscope The app is free for iOS users and comes supplied with one story.
  • Crow: The Legend Review: An Essential Native American Story About The Seasons
    Crow: The Legend Review: An Essential Native American Story About The Seasons

    Crow: The Legend is the third VR project from startup Baobab after Invasion! and Asteroids!. A complete departure from the first two, this one is based on a Native American legend featuring an all-star cast of voice talent including John Legend and Oprah. With Baobab’s first title planned for adaptation into a feature length film, CEO Maureen Fan has big plans for this tale too.

    You can experience the story for free on Oculus Go, Oculus Rift and Gear VR. I tried Crow: The Legend with Touch controllers and that seems to be the definitive experience.

    Baobab toyed with interactivity for VR visitors in previous projects, but as “The Spirit of the Seasons” on Rift each visitor discovers that a simple wave of their arms can change the weather and the seasons at key moments in the narrative. Wouldn’t it be fun to wave your arms and cause snow to appear in the environment around you? It absolutely is, and that feeling is essential to the magic of what director Eric Darnell and the team behind Crow: The Legend are able to accomplish.

    As the personified creatures of the forest — a turtle, skunk, owl and moth — struggle to figure out how to handle the sudden cold, the beautiful rainbow-colored crow appears and decides to help. I wasn’t too familiar with this legend before experiencing Crow. If you are unfamiliar with the tale and own Rift, I recommend trying Crow now since this is free.

    Darnell aimed to let people make flowers grow, snows fall and winds blow with a wave of their hands, and later on in the story soaring through the universe you conduct a song among the stars like a a conductor leads an orchestra. The aim was for this interaction to be so intuitive it is effortless, focusing the viewer on what matters. I found the effort to be an incredible success.

    A lot of people talk about how VR is an empathy machine, but when the snow comes and you just made life harder for a bunch of cute little animals it can force you to feel not just for them but the seasons themselves. I found it so much fun to change the seasons, do you think that’s why the seasons change? I felt that question while wearing the headset, but it wasn’t until writing this article I figured out how to put it into words.

    Therein is the true magic of Crow: The Legend.

    Final Recommendation: Must See

    Crow: The Legend is available now for free on Oculus-powered headsets for a timed exclusivity period, though it should come to other platforms eventually.

    Tagged with: baobab, Crow: The Legend

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  • Tvori Gets 360 Video Exporting, Here’s How It Looks
    Tvori Gets 360 Video Exporting, Here’s How It Looks

    VR animation app Tvori is making it even easier for people to watch its content inside headsets.

    An update to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive app, which aims to make animation and storytelling accessible for all, adds in the ability to export videos in the 360-degree format, both in mono and stereo. That means you’ll be able to shoot a story using the app’s accessible set of tools and then easily upload it to far-reaching platforms like YouTube. 360 video isn’t quite the same as immersing yourself inside a full 3D world with positional tracking, but it’s a lot easier to get into.

    To help showcase what’s capable with this new update, Tvori’s developers have been working with the community to create short VR experiences. One of those is Lightning, which was created entirely by one fan, Jeremy Casper, that taught himself to use both the app and Oculus Medium. There’s a teaser trailer for it below.

    Sterling Osment, meanwhile, made Captain Blue Screen, which was originally a 2D short but is getting a 360 degree version with the help of this new update.

    The update should be live now for anyone that owns Tvori. The app itself is available for $19.99.

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  • Trash the Internet in The VOID’s Upcoming Adventure Ralph Breaks VR The movie tie-in is due to launch next week.
  • 18 new Startups Selected for the HTC Vive X AR/VR Accelerator Programme This fourth round has an increased emphasis on enterprise VR technology.
  • Wonderscope Is The First AR App From Within
    Wonderscope Is The First AR App From Within

    Within is bringing its expertise in making experiential VR to the weird and wonderful world of augmented reality.

    The company this week launched its first AR experience, Wonderscope, as its own iOS app. Geared towards kids, the experience utilizes Apple’s ARKit to turn the spaces around them into virtually interactive environments designed to encourage early learning. It features several stories that children will be able to read aloud, with text being highlighted as they speak. They can even reach into the world in front of the camera to play with characters.

    Within hopes that encouraging early learning skills will make Wonderscope one of a new breed of AR apps that gets kids using their family’s tablets and phones in proactive ways. “Millions of kids use screens as much or more than adults, and they often do it alone,” Within CEO, Chris Milk said in a prepared statement. “With AR, we see an opportunity to change that dynamic. Rather than disappearing into our devices and shutting out the world, Wonderscope promotes a new kind of screen-positive experience, one that opens you up to everything and everyone around you.”

    Wonderscope is initially launching with one story, A Brief History of Stunts by Astounding People, which takes viewers on a tour of historic stunts. It’s available for free inside the app, but you can also download another story, Little Red the Inventor, for $4.99. As the name suggests, the story is a modern twist on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. More stories will be rolling out to the app in December.

    No word on an Android release just yet.

    Tagged with: Within, Wonderscope

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  • Titanic VR Sets Sail for PlayStation VR Next Week Explore the infamous shipwreck as well as a unique story-driven campaign.
  • VR/AR Adtech Startup Admix Secures $2.1m Investment The company helps developers monetise their content by placing non-intrusive ads.
  • HTC Vive, Vive Pro, And Wireless Adapter Sales All ‘Meeting Goals’
    HTC Vive, Vive Pro, And Wireless Adapter Sales All ‘Meeting Goals’

    Last week I attended an HTC press event in San Francisco where the company not only revealed the Vive Focus was launching in the US that day as an Enterprise-focused device, but they also presented hands-on opportunities with the Vive Focus 6DOF controller dev kit and revealed a new consumer-focused device based on the Vive Wave SDK known as the Shadow VR. The verdict’s still out on that one.

    At that event I also got the chance to sit down with Dan O’Brien, General Manager at HTC. As it turns out, the only thing more difficult than getting a hint of sales data out of executives at virtual reality tech companies is trying to get a room of VR enthusiasts to agree on a preferred form of movement inside VR games. But I tried anyway.

    “We are seeing year-over-year growth for both products, well not so much for Pro it hasn’t been a year yet, but the original Vive we continue to see that growth and adoption,” said O’Brien. “What we’ve learned with the price point of taking that down to $499 we have seen a very accelerated growth to the point that we were stocking out for the summer and had to update our supply chain and forecast.”

    Basically it’s the same sort of answer we’ve gotten in the past from Facebook regarding the Oculus Rift and Oculus Go. In fact, Oculus’ Nate Mitchell told us Go was “beating expectations” and that the Rift was “performing well” in an interview back from September.

    “We continue to see traction going into the holidays and with Vive Pro we continue to see accelerated growth of the full kit and adoption,” said O’Brien. “They want the larger tracking space and better headset. We are meeting goals overall. The Wireless Adapter is going great too.”

    To put things into context, the most recent Steam Hardware Survey results show that while more polled users are using Rifts than Vives at this point, the margin between the two is shrinking as the combined approach from Vive and Vive Pro gains ground.

    Unfortunately we still don’t know hard sales figures from HTC or Oculus. Sony on the other hand have revealed that over 3M PSVR units are out in the wild, which is huge, and it’s a number that is expected to keep growing as we enter the 2018 Holiday season. There are great deals out there for Sony’s headset and it has an excellent lineup of exclusive and cross-platform titles.

    Let us know what you think!

    Tagged with: htc vive, Vive Pro, Vive Wireless Adapter

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  • HP’s new Concept Opera Glass Allows for Quick VR Immersion What the company likes to term as 'VR snacking'.