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  • Jeff Minter: Tempest 4000 VR Mode Looks ‘Spectacular’ And May Get Official Release
    Jeff Minter: Tempest 4000 VR Mode Looks ‘Spectacular’ And May Get Official Release

    Jeff Minter has made great games for decades, but his reboot of Atari’s 1980 arcade game Tempest made him an international icon — and gave Atari a killer app for the “64-bit” Jaguar console. Now that Atari itself is rebooting, Minter has returned to give the company a crown jewel in the form of Tempest 4000, a more intense sequel to Tempest 2000 and its spiritual successors.

    Speaking with GamesBeat, Minter addressed some of the biggest questions gamers have had about Tempest 4000: Is a VR mode coming? What’s going on under the game’s hood? How do you get past the most difficult levels? And what’s the deal with all those Indian food, KLF, and livestock references in the game?

    Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.

    GamesBeat: PlayStation VR gamers were expecting Tempest 4000 to have a VR mode, and if any game would make great use of VR, this is it. What happened, and might you include PSVR support in a post-release patch?

    Jeff Minter: We had VR working in our prototype, and yes, it does look amazing in VR. Getting everything fully working and certified in VR adds a fair bit to the development time; there’s a whole separate section of certification you have to go through on top of the already rigorous QA process before you can release on PSVR.

    The powers that be wanted us to concentrate on producing a game that was consistent across all three platforms, and localized across six different languages, so that ended up displacing the completion of the VR mode.

    I would like to add it back in if we get the chance, because it was spectacular and ran at 120Hz and 2x supersampling, as all our PSVR work does.

    GamesBeat: Tempest was originally developed around a rotary controller. How did you adjust the controls for the analog joysticks most players are using now?

    Minter: Analog sticks are halfway there already; the rotary controller allowed proportional control of speed along a single axis, and analog sticks already give you proportional control of speed, on two axes if necessary.

    What the rotary controller had, and analog sticks lack, is a degree of physical inertia which affects how it feels to move the player ship. Of course we can’t add physical inertia to the analog sticks, but there is code that adds a little bit of programmed inertia to the control inputs to try and give something of a similar feel.

    GamesBeat: Some of Tempest 4000’s stages are brutally difficult by design (including Destroyer), in part because you can only restart with a single life. Do you have any pointers or cheats for players who might get stuck along the way?

    Minter: Ah, perhaps you are not taking best advantage of the way the Restart Best mechanic works. The idea is that when you reach a level, your lives and score are compared with the best yet achieved on that level, and if they are better they are saved, and on subsequent games you can start that level with the best lives and score you ever had upon

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  • Experience The Art Of Burning Man In VR

    Intel and The Smithsonian partner with Sansar to bring museum experiences to everyone. Linden Lab’s Sansar just announced a partnership with Intel and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) to provide virtual access to the museum’s Renwick Gallery collections, as well as its research and educational resources. “With Sansar, we hope not only to make the

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  • Chrome Comes To Daydream With Cinema Mode And WebVR Support
    Chrome Comes To Daydream With Cinema Mode And WebVR Support

    Google is officially adding Chrome support for the Google Daydream View and Lenovo Mirage Solo.

    Chrome was available previously in a hidden way on a headset like the Mirage Solo, but the update today adds the ability to “launch Chrome directly from your homepage to browse and interact with any webpage while in VR.”

    We’ve yet to take the new app for a test drive, but Google says it includes voice search, incognito mode, saved bookmarks and all the other features you know from Chrome. There’s also a “cinema mode” which “optimizes web video for the best viewing experience in VR.” A Google spokesperson also confirmed WebVR is supported in this release of Chrome.

    According to Google, if you update to the latest version of Chrome it will make the app available from the home screen of your Daydream headset. If you are able try it out, we’d love to hear in the comments how WebVR works and we’ll update this post when we give it a try ourselves.

    We should also note the Mirage Solo is also fully capable of running any Android app, though that feature has been hidden like Chrome was previously. We’re hoping that Google finalizes Android app support so that it is easier to access the vast Google Play library. Apps like Amazon Video, which allow you to download and watch movies even without an Internet connection, could be very useful in current or future Daydream standalone headsets.

    Tagged with: chrome, Daydream

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  • Chrome Launches on Daydream

    Browse the web in VR. If you want to give VR web-browsing a try for yourself, now you can. Google announced Monday that Chrome is now integrated into Daydream, letting you browse the web with your Google Daydream View and Lenovo Mirage Solo headset. You can launch Chrome directly from your homepage to browse and

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  • Doom, Dead Space And Resident Evil Collide In A-Tech Cybernetic
    Doom, Dead Space And Resident Evil Collide In A-Tech Cybernetic

    If, like me, this month’s trailer for Zero Caliber caught your eye, you might be cautiously optimistic that this could be a VR shooter genuinely worth looking forward to. I say cautiously, because it wouldn’t be the first time VR developers have made big promises for first-person shooters (FPSs) and come up short, right Reboant? While I still can’t tell you if developer XREAL Games will deliver with its new game, I can at least reassure you by telling you its last one is pretty darn good.

    It’s easy to pick apart the DNA that makes up A-Tech Cybernetic. Monster-ridden facility set in the wastelands of a red planet? That’s Doom. Hordes of shambling mutants that pour towards you? Hello, Resident Evil 4. Strategical dismemberment that allows you to slow enemies down and prioritize where you spend your ammo? That’d be Dead Space. And, while A-Tech obviously doesn’t measure up to the heights of these AAA inspirations, it already towers above some of its VR rivals.

    For starters, common issues with current VR shooters are circumvented (though not resolved) with context. The game’s spooky mutants, for example, can be forgiven for being brain dead because they’re, well, brain dead. Most of the early encounters consist of two or three enemy types charging at you in hopes of ripping your face off, and you’ll need a fast trigger finger to stop them. XREAL uses brute force to distract from the simplicity; it’s not long before enemies tally in the double digits and you’ll be too busy using everything in your arsenal to slow them down to think about the similarity of these encounters.

    A-Tech is a game about having your back against the wall, biting your lip, keeping one eye closed and firing as quickly and efficiently as you can. It’s a game that wants to push past that initial thrill of holding a virtual gun in your hand and deliver some actual content. There are moments in which you’re locked in rooms with super mutants, or begging gates to open as a swarm surrounds you. In one particular highlight, you have to keep one hand pressed on a button while holding off a crowd of approaching enemies directly behind you. It makes for a deliciously nail-biting scrap.

    There’s a genuine sense of invention to A-Tech’s campaign, and a real desire to deliver something different around every corner, be it those twists on mechanics, new weapons or deadlier enemy types. With so many VR shooters coasting by on dual-wielding motion controls, it’s a relief to play something that can adhere to at least the basic rules of engaging videogame design. In fact, while the influx of new missions is great to see, I’d also welcome expanded editions of existing chapters that retread some of these scenarios.

    If XREAL really wants to make you sweat, though, it needs to go back and do some difficulty tuning. The current build of A-Tech is generous with its ammo count and enemies topple too quickly. My favorite moments in the

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  • HTC Vive Pro Owners Need To Buy An Attach Kit To Use Official Wireless Adapter
    HTC Vive Pro Owners Need To Buy An Attach Kit To Use Official Wireless Adapter

    HTC hasn’t exactly made friends with anyone’s wallets recently. Earlier this year the company launched its enhanced HTC Vive Pro headset as a standalone package at a staggering $799, and just recently released the full bundle for a total of $1,399. But the spending doesn’t stop there; if you’re a Vive Pro owner that’s planning to pick up HTC’s official wireless adapter set to release later this year, it looks like you’ll have to lay down yet more cash to actually fit it to your headset.

    This weekend, HTC published the setup guide for the adapter, which cuts the chords between your headset and PC for a tetherless VR experience. The guide appears to have been taken down, but you can still see a cached version. At one point, the guide asks you to select the type of Vive you have, including the original, one fitted with the Deluxe Audio Strap and the Pro. As the above imagines shows, though, selecting the Pro presents you with a warning that users need to buy an additional Attach Kit for Wireless Adapter to use the kit.

    So, if you own the more expensive headset, it looks like you’ll need to buy another peripheral to make sure you can use another peripheral.

    We reached out to HTC to ask why the Vive Pro required this extra add-on. “Since Vive Pro has a different cabling solution and headstrap, we built the accessory attachments as an add-on,” the company said in a statement. “There are two reasons for this – 1) Including both mounts / cables in the package would have raised the cost for every purchaser – whether using Pro or not. 2) Since the original Vive has been in market for 2+ years, the install base is much larger. For the majority of users, they wont need the Pro bracket / cable. It’s also less wasteful. ”

    A spokesperson also declined to reveal the price of the attachment.

    Are you a Vive Pro owner? Would you be willing to shell out yet more money to go wireless? Let us know in the comments below.

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  • Hi Ho! Dancing Kermit The Frog Is Here To Judge Us All
    Hi Ho! Dancing Kermit The Frog Is Here To Judge Us All

    Put Pokemon Go down; the next AR sensation is here. That’s right, dancing Kermit the Frog has arrived and the world will never be the same.

    If you’ve been loitering about social media over the past few days, you might have spotted a tweet or two showcasing a lanky (and scarily seductive) virtual Kermit dancing around people’s living rooms and kitchens. That’s because there’s a new AR filter on Snapchat that brings the friendly frog into the real world. That means you too can be hypnotized by his entrancing moves.

    I can’t believe Kermit the frog is an intellectual @trixiemattel pic.twitter.com/02RmcTeQUm

    — Coli Dog🌭 (@coliflours) July 30, 2018

    It’s obviously unofficial (at least we certainly hope so), but we’re not surprised to see Kermit’s meme-magnet body make its way into AR. Someone even made an entire Twitter account dedicated solely to his sensual moves and is taking requests (Milkshake by Kelis, please).

    OUTRO: TEAR – BTS @luvKimmyKim pic.twitter.com/CbmGNVOE36

    — KERMIT DANCING TO KPOP (@KermitKpop) July 29, 2018

    The real question, of course, is what Miss Piggy makes of all this. Something tells me she won’t be happy. If you want to get the filter for yourself (and why wouldn’t you?) it’s apparently available with this icon below.

    Tagged with: Kermit the Frog

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  • QuasAR Arena Is Laser Tag For Augmented Reality
    QuasAR Arena Is Laser Tag For Augmented Reality

    Forget VR wave shooting; this AR game will let you play laser tag pretty much wherever you want.

    AR developer HappyGiant, which previous worked on the Star Wars-style HoloGrid game, this month revealed QuasAR Arena, a multiplayer smartphone game that allows two players to face off in virtual battles in the real world.

    Developed in partnership with Jido Maps, the game uses a new technology created by the latter company that allows players to quickly sync up their phones for AR combat without the need to scan their surroundings. While passersby might see two people just running around with their phones looking like they want to kill each other, players will be able to fire projectiles through their devices and summon shields to block incoming attacks. It looks like a goofy bit of fun, as the trailer above shows.

    Still, as much as we’d like to shoot our friends, we can’t help but question how many people are willing to run around an open space with their smartphone out looking like they’re fighting thin air. Still, if you have no shame, then the world is now your battleground. Imagine this concept applied to some of our favorite franchises, like wizard duelling in Harry Potter, for blaster-based shoot outs in Star Wars. Now that’s exciting.

    The app is currently in beta testing, though will launch for free on iOS soon. Going forward, the studio plans to add four player support and new modes. We’d hope that an Android version is on the cards, too.

    Tagged with: QuasAR Arena

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  • New VR Documentaries Now Arriving Twice A Week On Inception Via Targo
    New VR Documentaries Now Arriving Twice A Week On Inception Via Targo

    We love VR documentaries here at UploadVR. Showcases like the Alternate Realities Arcade at Sheffield Doc/Fest prove that this can be one of the most compelling uses of the platform. Good news for doc lovers, then: a steady stream of them are now rolling out on one of VR’s biggest video apps.

    Free video service, Inception, this month announced a partnership with VR media company, Targo, to bring a new VR documentary to the platform every two weeks. A selection of the company’s content is already available including Into the White, which follows a young French explorer as he trains to cross Antarctica and The Hot Air Balloon Family, which is exactly what it sounds like. Other videos will have you undergoing a spiritual journey in French forests, attending special pigeon races and exploring one of the largest miniature train sets in the world today.

    The documentaries are in French so you’ll have to make good use of the video’s subtitles. Still, it’s great to see a steady stream of engaging VR content like this now arriving on a regular schedule.

    Inception is available on pretty much every VR headset under the sun including Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Gear VR, Google Daydream, HTC Vive, Windows VR, and PSVR. If you don’t have a device then you can get it on iOS and Android too. Inception’s content is also available on YouTube, one of which we’ve embedded above.

    Tagged with: Inception, Targo

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  • Gran Turismo Sport Gets Another F1 Car, Microtransactions, New Course In July Update
    Gran Turismo Sport Gets Another F1 Car, Microtransactions, New Course In July Update

    Yet another free update is on the way for Sony’s Gran Turismo Sport, though not all of its new features are so cheap.

    For starters, there’s the usual assortment of new cars. Fans of March’s update, which added the Gran Turismo F1500T-A, will be pleased to know that the Mercedes AMG F1 W08 EQ Power+ 2017 (Gr.X) also makes its way into the game with this update, bringing us that bit closer to a VR F1 racing game. There’s also the Daihatsu Copen Active Top ’02 (N100), Honda Beat ’91 (N100), HONDA S660 ’15 (N100), Ferrari 250 GTO CN.3729GT ’62 (Gr.X), Ford GT LM Spec II Test Car (Gr.3) and Mazda 787B ’91 (Gr.1). I’m sure if you know your cars that all means something to you, but it just means shiny new VR playthings to me.

    There’s also a new track to race around. France’s Circuit de Sainte-Croix has been digitized and features three configurations that can also be played in reverse.

    Perhaps the most important addition, though, is microtransactions. Once the update hits, all of the game’s existing cars that cost less then 2,000,000 in-game will be available to purchse on the PlayStation Store. Based on the screenshot above, a car that costs 184,000 in-game will cost you $0.99 on the store, for example. So, basically, if you don’t want to sink in the time to unlock a particular type of vehicle, you can now just throw down a bit of extra cash to get it straight away. That might be handy for VR users that simply want to try out a specific car.

    As usual, all of this new content will be accessible via the game’s limited VR mode, which allows you to either take part in one-on-one races against AI with any car on any track, or race alone in VR time trials, which were also added last March. We’ve always loved how it played, we just wish there was a bit more to it.

    No word on the exact date for the update yet but, given that there’s two days left in July, expect it to hit very soon.

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  • How VR Is Treating People’s Fear Of Heights

    According to a new Oxford University study, VR therapy may be just as effective as individualized counseling in helping people overcome their fear of heights. Led by Daniel Freeman, PhD, DClinPsy, the study enlisted a total of 100 volunteers with clinically diagnosed acrophobia to undergo VR therapy for their fear. Of the 100 volunteers, 49

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  • Hands-On: Arrowborn Feels Like The Ultimate PvP Archery Game
    Hands-On: Arrowborn Feels Like The Ultimate PvP Archery Game

    After I played Longbow in The Lab on HTC Vive over two years ago the first thing that came to my mind is that I really, really wanted to shoot other people in VR with a bow and arrow. Well, here we go: it’s real and it’s called Arrowborn.

    To date, shooting a bow and arrow is still one of my favorite things to do inside of a VR headset. Games like QuiVR and Twisted Arrow have done a great job of making it feel really good, but none of those are competitive. oVRshot exists, but it’s a decidedly sci-fi take with small, tactical maps. I want a fantasy-themed competitive bow and arrow adventure. Skyrim VR is fine, but I want to shoot real players.

    After spending some time with Arrowborn before it hit Early Access this week (you can see some highlights of footage up above) I can’t wait to see how this game evolves over the next few months. It’s already got a ton of arrow types, build options, and a solid number of vast levels. You can move around freely via smooth locomotion and jump through the air in slow-motion like Legolas. Landing a 180-degree slow-motion aerial headshot in VR is a very special kind of power fantasy.

    Some of the arrow types are what you’d expect from this kind of game and some of them are extremely creative. For example, there’s a vampire arrow that heals you when you hit someone with it, but then there’s also your typical fire arrow. We’ve got a mine arrow that blows up after a short time, and your standard ice arrow. There’s an arrow that pops a shield when it hits the ground, and one that creates a healing mist on location. Some are built for free-for-all battles while others work better when used as part of a team.

    Switching arrows is simple — you just press the quiver button, grab the arrow you want, nock it, and release. You’ve got a mana meter that prevents you from spamming the powerful ones too much, but your limit on standard arrows is just how fast you can move your arms.

    In addition to all of the different arrow types they’ve also got different crystals to augment your build. Depending on which crystal you select you may have more health but less mana, for example. All together it’s a really robust and deep system that ensures everyone is going to be playing quite a bit differently.

    There’s a standard free-for-all game mode, team deathmatch, a shooting range, and bots that you can load into the game. Oddly enough I was a horrible shot in the shooting range, but absolutely decimated my enemies in actual free-for-all. Perhaps my eyes need a human head as a target to satiate my blood-thirst?

    Visually, Arrowborn isn’t going to blow anyone away. Kung Fu Robots is a very small development team and while the game certainly looks and plays fine, the stylized visuals aren’t for everyone. However, hopefully this means less time spent

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  • Marvel Powers United VR Livestream: Assembling A Superhero Dream Team
    Marvel Powers United VR Livestream: Assembling A Superhero Dream Team

    Marvel: Powers United VR released yesterday for Oculus Rift. If you missed it, you can see our full review right here and a super-detailed character guide with strategies and powers for all 18 heroes right here.

    So for today’s livestream we’re embarking on a superhero-fueled journey into the Marvel Universe to play as 18 of your favorite characters from Thor, Spider-Man, and Wolverine to Captain America and The Hulk.

    We’ll be livestreaming Onward on PC today using an Oculus Rift with Touch starting very soon as of the time this is being published (which means we’ll start at approximately 3:00PM PT) and aim to last for about an hour or so. We’ll be livestreaming directly to the UploadVR Facebook page. You can see the full stream embedded right here down below once it’s up:

    Marvel VR Live! Superheroes in virtual reality!

    Marvel: Powers United VR is now available! Join us today for our livestream looking at several of the 18 included heroes!Read our full review for more details: https://uploadvr.com/marvel-powers-united-vr-review/

    Posted by UploadVR on Friday, July 27, 2018

    You can see our archived streams all in this one handy Livestream playlist over on the official UploadVR YouTube channel (which you should totally subscribe to by the way).

    Let us know which games you want us to livestream next and what you want to see us do, specifically, in Marvel Powers United VR or other VR games. Comment with feedback down below!

    Tagged with: livestream, marvel, Marvel Powers United VR, Sanzaru

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  • The Biggest Rift, Vive and Windows VR Releases of the Week 08/22/18
    The Biggest Rift, Vive and Windows VR Releases of the Week 08/22/18

    It’s time to suit up and take the fight to the enemy. That’s right, Marvel: Powers United VR is finally available to buy on Oculus Rift this week. Other than that it’s not a huge week for PC VR, but there’s definitely some interesting stuff to check out.

    Marvel: Powers United VR, from Sanzaru Games
    Price: $39.99 (Rift)

    The long-awaited Marvel VR game finally arrives. Step into the suits of your favorite heroes and take on hordes of baddies in this wave-based action game. Though it certainly has its charms, we found Powers United VR to be a little underwhelming.

    Read our full review and detailed character guide.

    Soviet Lunapark VR, from Mundfish
    Price: $18.99 (Rift, Vive)

    This strange VR wave shooter from Atomic Heart developer Mundfish finally comes out of Early Access this week. Explore an abandoned Soviet theme park with friends and fight off the hordes of crazy mechanical creations that still dwell within. Lunapark has striking visuals and loads of charm, and might just be worth your time.

    Arrowborn, from Kung Fu Robots
    Price: $14.99 (Rift, Vive)

    Yep, more archery in Early Access. But Arrowborn does at least have its own spin on the genre, pitting players against each other in competitive shooting ranges that make you go for the high score. You can customize loadouts and more, too. Definitely worth a look for archery fans. We’ll have more thoughts on it via an in-depth hands-on and some gameplay footage soon.

    Tagged with: Arrowborn, Marvel Powers United VR, new releases, Oculus Home, steam

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  • Skydance Used Oculus Medium To Design Archangel: Hellfire’s Mechs
    Skydance Used Oculus Medium To Design Archangel: Hellfire’s Mechs

    Archangel: Hellfire is a really good VR mech combat game. We praised the freedom of movement, variety of weapons, and intensity of its player-versus-player combat in our full review and are excited to see what the development studio does with their upcoming Walking Dead VR game.

    As it turns out, I have a feeling a big reason why the gameplay feels so good is because the developers used VR during the development process itself by building 3D models of the mechs inside of sculpting tool, Oculus Medium. My favorite line from this short mini-documentary (embedded below) that Oculus published about Archangel: Hellfire developer Skydance Interactive occurs right at the start from an unnamed developer: “If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a Medium concept is worth 1,000 pictures.”

    The implication is that, because of how immersive a 3D object is when you’re experiencing it inside of a VR headset, it’s way more powerful than just a standard image or even a 3D model on a flat screen.

    We’ve seen similar ideas in practice from other developers, such as prototyping levels with Tilt Brush. As VR continues to penetrate the mainstream, we expect to see more examples of it being used in this way.

    Let us know what you think down in the comments below!

    Tagged with: archangel, Archangel: Hellfire, Skydance

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