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  • ‘A Fisherman’s Tale’ Is A VR Puzzler With A Miniature Twist

    Vertigo Games’ first attempt at a third-person experience makes its debut at Gamescom 2018 in Germany. Vertigo Games, the talented developer behind zombie-shooter Arizona Sunshine and turn-based strategy game Skyworld, announces its foray into third-person VR with A Fisherman’s Tale, a mind-boggling VR puzzler in which players must break the laws of physics in order

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  • Someone Turned All Of Shrek Into A Beat Saber Track (Yes, Really)
    Someone Turned All Of Shrek Into A Beat Saber Track (Yes, Really)

    Someone has turned all of the first Shrek movie into an 83-minute Beat Saber track. Yes, really.

    ShrekSaber, which I really can’t believe I just typed, is now available to download for the ever-popular VR rhythm game. Yes, a modder named KingPeuche has taken the entirety of the ogre’s original adventure and mapped it to one mammoth level in the Star Wars-inspired title. Notes are stuck to the soundtrack, but all of the dialogue is in there too. It’s like Shrek the audiobook… the VR game.

    This guy streamed it, just in case you still don’t believe me.

    Watch #SHREKTOURNEY – Literally 1.5 hours of the Shrek Movie Tournament Style from BennyDaBeastLIVE on www.twitch.tv

    That means immortal hits like Smash Mouth’s All Star and actually immortal hits like Hallelujah are now available inside Beat Saber, you just have to play through a lot of unbearably cheesy movie to get there.

    It took KingPeuche over 120 hours to make ShrekSaber. The modder told Beat Saber fansite, bsaber, that they had often seen requests for Shrek and Bee Movie (yes, really, Bee Movie) to be mapped to the game.

    “Sure it’s time consuming, but not only is it for Shrek, it’s for the history books,” Peuche told the site. “I’ve yet to see any rhythm game have an entire film be mapped. I think this would make a lot of people happy, and the initial support I received from the modding staff and community really gave me a push. I would spend most of my free time mapping anyways, so I figured I may as well use that time to make history.”

    Well, history has certainly been made.

    Oh and, don’t worry, KingPeuche is planning to map Shrek 2, too. VR is saved!

    Tagged with: Beat Saber

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  • Skyrim, Fallout 4 VR Developer Escalation Becomes Bethesda Dallas
    Skyrim, Fallout 4 VR Developer Escalation Becomes Bethesda Dallas

    Having been acquired by Bethesda parent company, ZeniMax Media, back in 2017, Escalation Studios this month became a bigger part of the publisher.

    Escalation has been renamed to Bethesda Games Studios Dallas, it was announced during Quake Con this weekend. The studio is known for its work helping Bethesda bring two of the biggest games in the industry, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, to VR headsets in 2017. Before Bethesda picked it up, it also created a VR version of Please, Don’t Touch Anything!.

    Currently, the team is helping the main Bethesda outfit, working on the upcoming Fallout 76 and its next-generation role-playing game, Starfield. It’s also working on Elder Scrolls: Blades, a new entry in the beloved fantasty series that’s set to receive VR support. There’s still no word on exactly when the game will launch on what headsets, though.

    Right now Bethesda has another two VR projects in the works. One is Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, a spin-off of the popular revival of the classic shooting series, while 2017’s Prey is also getting VR support for its latest batch of free content. Hopefully Bethesda Dallas will be able to get back to some big VR projects in the near future, too.

    Tagged with: Bethesda Games Studios Dallas

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  • First Ever OpenXR Demo Heading To Siggraph 2018 This Week
    First Ever OpenXR Demo Heading To Siggraph 2018 This Week

    Khronos Group’s anticipated VR/AR standard API, OpenXR, is finally getting its first ever public demo at Siggraph 2018 this week.

    The platform, which was announced at GDC last year, will be shown running an Unreal Engine VR demo inside both the StarVR and Microsoft’s Windows ‘Mixed Reality’ VR headsets at the event in Vancouver, Canada, from August 12th – 16th.

    OpenXR is designed to streamline development of VR and AR applications for studios working across the broad range of headsets and control inputs in the market today. Its interface is able to automatically adjust apps and control schemes to accommodate the varying specifications of these devices without asking developers to spend large amounts of time doing it all manually. The group includes over 140 members, with major players like Google, Sony, Valve, HTC, Samsung, Magic Leap, Oculus, AMD and Nvidia involved.

    Crucially, StarVR and Windows headsets offer very different specifications. The latter, for example, is one of the few home-based VR devices to currently offer an inside-out tracking system, and can run apps separate from the SteamVR and Oculus ecosystems on PC. StarVR meanwhile, is intended for location-based solutions and offers a higher field of view (FOV) and display resolution than many other VR devices as well as support for a range of peripherals. The two headsets should serve as a good example of how VR development can be simplified across two very different devices, then.

    Next up on the OpenXR roadmap is a provisional release for developers to test via an adopters program before a full launch later down the line. Dates for either haven’t yet been announced.

    Tagged with: Khronos Group, OpenXR

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  • Mario Kart VR Gets A Deeper Look As London Location Launches
    Mario Kart VR Gets A Deeper Look As London Location Launches

    You can finally try Mario Kart VR outside of Japan; Bandai Namco’s surprising collaboration with Nintendo launched in London earlier this month. This new video offers you a closer look.

    Footage from the video below was taken at the launch event for the racing experience, which is on show at the VR Zone in the Hollywood Bowl inside London’s O2 arena. It gives you a good look at the setup, which uses an HTC Vive, a pair for Vive Trackers for your hands, and a racing wheel and seat to provide a fully immersive experience.

    Meanwhile, inside VR, you’ll be transported to the Mushroom Kingdom to play as either Mario, Luigi, Yoshi or Peach. As you steer around a vibrant track you can reach out with your hands to grab and toss items. The experience can be played with up to four players.

    You can book a slot to play Mario Kart VR over on an official website. Later this summer the game will also come to VR Zone locations in Leeds and Tunbridge Wells. No word yet on a showing in the US, sadly.

    Tagged with: Mario Kart Arcade GP VR

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  • MoCap Giant Vicon Announces Location-Based VR Tracking System Origin
    MoCap Giant Vicon Announces Location-Based VR Tracking System Origin

    Leading motion capture company Vicon is jumping deeper into VR with a new tracking system for location-based solutions.

    You may have seen Vicon’s tech at work in hit movies like Blade Runner 2049 and Gravity as well as games like the VR-compatible Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, but its work in VR opens up a new avenue for the company. Using a combination of new hardware and software the new platform, named Origin, is designed to offer ‘unbreakable’ tracking to VR arcades and installations across the world for improved, multi-user experiences.

    To achieve this, Origin introduces three main components. The first is Viper, a lightweight camera that works with active marker technology. The camera’s sensors follow Origin’s wearable tracking clusters named Pulsar, which consist of several LED markers that a user would attach to their body (presumably fitted to a piece of clothing) and headset. A third device called the Beacon, meanwhile, allows Viper and Pulsar to communicate over a synchronized wireless network.

    This new hardware is paired with a software platform named Evoke, which is designed to keep tracking stable and also auto-fix any calibration changes between play sessions. The system comes with plug-ins for game engines (exactly which isn’t stated) for you to integrate into your software.

    Vicon is currently partnered with location-based VR company, Dreamscape Immersive, which is best known for its Alien Zoo experience, though we don’t know when or where we’ll see Origin integrated into one of its offerings. Vicon will be at Siggraph in Vancouver later this week to showcase its system, though.

    Tagged with: Origin, Vicon

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  • Beat Saber Tournament Looks To Become World’s Largest VR Arcade Event

    Over 120 arcades have signed on to participate in Virtual Athletics League’s upcoming International Beat Saber Tournament. Since its official release back in May of this year, Beat Saber has taken the immersive world by storm, quickly becoming one of the most popular VR games currently in circulation. The addictive VR rhythm game has developed

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  • Magic Leap CEO Interview: For $2,295, Start Living 10 Years Ahead Of Everyone Else
    Magic Leap CEO Interview: For $2,295, Start Living 10 Years Ahead Of Everyone Else

    Magic Leap is taking orders for its first product, the $2,295 Magic Leap One Creator Edition augmented reality glasses. It superimposes computer-animated imagery on the world to augment what you can see with your own eyes.

    CEO Rony Abovitz has been waiting for this day for a long time — since he started Magic Leap in his garage in Florida back in 2010. He saw an explosion of expectations and hype after Google invested more than $500 million in the company, raising expectations for AR and mixed reality.

    He used that to raise more than $2.3 billion and hire 1,500 employees. But there’s bound to be a letdown at some point, and the reality is that these kinds of big leap innovations still cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to develop and get to the market.

    The Magic Leap One Creator Edition costs less than Microsoft’s rival HoloLens AR glasses ($3,000 to $5,000), but it will cost far above typical consumer devices. Abovitz said that the initial product is for creators and enterprises, and the company is already working on future products that will show more improvements and more applicability for consumers.

    Abovitz sees Magic Leap’s augmented reality glasses as the next-generation computing platform — using computer vision, light-field technology and spatialized audio, in concert with the human brain. I interviewed him today about that vision.

    Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.

    Above: Founder and CEO of Magic Leap Rony Abovitz.

    Image Credit: Brian Ach—Getty Images for Wired

    VentureBeat: How are you feeling about your launch today? 

    Rony Abovitz: I’m recovering from a number of days of no sleep, but feeling good. We’re really happy.

    VentureBeat: Can you tell me about some of the biggest decisions that got you to this point?

    Abovitz: Probably the biggest decision — I started up a company around robotic surgery and went public in 2008. About three years after that we were successful. Things were going well. I was pretty content and happy. I said, “I need to do something super challenging again.” I wanted to go right back to the beginning and start working late at night on my next project.

    That decision to start something new and bigger and more ambitious, to try to change all of computing, was a bit nuts. It’s like Bilbo Baggins having to step out of the Shire. Off you go and there’s dragons. But that was probably the biggest decision, just to go and do this.

    VentureBeat: It looks like there are a lot of tradeoffs you have to make given where computing power is at this point, if you want to ship something relatively affordable.

    Abovitz: I grew up with computers. There was never a time when there was no computer in my life. I just grew up seeing those decisions over time. I had a 128K Mac when I was a kid. I had one of the first Ataris. I saw all those things evolve. All the people I admired did the best they could do at that moment in time with design and compute. They

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  • AltspaceVR Lets You Build Your Own Sharable Space In Virtual Reality
    AltspaceVR Lets You Build Your Own Sharable Space In Virtual Reality

    AltspaceVR has released tools to let users create their own sharable spaces in virtual reality.

    It uses a drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to place objects in a 3D space using AltspaceVR-compatible headsets — including Oculus Go and Gear VR. It’s one of the first major upgrades since Microsoft acquired the social VR platform.

    If you save the space, you can invite others to join it.

    “This is step one of a greater plan to make sure our community can help build AltspaceVR with us,” said Katie Kelly, head of engagement for AltspaceVR, in a blog post. “Today our community will have basic kits that they can use to build their environment. We’ll aim to release more kits so folks can have more options to
    customize their world.”

    You can choose a kit based on popular environments, Campfire and Origin, or make it your own. You can also attend a world-building event to connect with the design community. AltspaceVR will feature the best worlds and let you share your own world on Twitter or Facebook.

    If you want, you can host multiplayer social games in VR, import your in-world photography snaps, and include teleporters to common spaces. You can give your world a name, a profile picture, and choose a starting environment. Templates include: ​Base Worlds and SDK Playground Worlds.

    This post by Dean Takahashi originally appeared on VentureBeat.

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  • Artist’s AR Exhibit Shows Two Sides Of The Same Reality

    Adobe’s artist in residence explains how augmented reality proved to be the perfect medium to express herself.   Growing up as a Chinese immigrant in Oakland, California, Estella Tse recalls her struggle having to navigate between her strict, traditional heritage – and her more liberal American upbringing, which encouraged individualism and freedom of expression. Art,

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  • Livestream: New VR Releases For The Week Of 08/05/18
    Livestream: New VR Releases For The Week Of 08/05/18

    Today we are starting a new series here at UploadVR: every Friday we’re going to livestream an assortment of new VR releases from that week! This means that every single Friday you can tune in over on the UploadVR Facebook page to catch an hour (or more) of freshly picked new VR content pulled directly from Steam, Oculus Home, and PSN.

    On a related note, make sure you check out our highlighted release lists of the biggest new launches on both PC VR (Rift, Vive, and Windows VR) and PSVR.

    Since this is our first edition, we’re throwing in an extra game this week from a couple of weeks ago that we’ve been wanting to showcase and never had the time for. Specifically, we plan on showing off the new VR support for the PC version of Megaton Rainfall, a quirky VR art app called Museum of Symmetry, a simple archery shooter called Dungeon Rush, Electronauts from Survios, and a handful of other titles.

    We’ll be livestreaming this week’s newest VR releases on HTC Vive today and monitoring chat using OVRdrop while in VR. The stream will be starting soon at approximately 3:30 PM PT and we’ll 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:

    New VR Releases Livestream For Week Of 08/05/18

    Join us for our new weekly series focused on highlighting an assortment of the week's new VR releases!For today, we'll be a VR DJ, expert archer, tourist at a wacky museum, and even a tiny little baby!

    Posted by UploadVR on Friday, August 10, 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). All future and current streams will be on Facebook, which you can see a list of here.

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

    Tagged with: livestream, new releases

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  • The Biggest Rift, Vive and Windows VR Releases Of the Week 08/05/18
    The Biggest Rift, Vive and Windows VR Releases Of the Week 08/05/18

    A healthy week of intriguing releases awaits you today. We’ve got the long-awaited VR port of a great superhero game, the latest from the developer of Raw Data and a frankly out of this world surrealist experience.

    Megaton Rainfall, from Pentadimensional Games
    Price: $15.99 (Rift, Vive)

    The excellent Superman simulator finally makes its way to PC VR. In Megaton Rainfall you must defend a procedurally generated planet from an alien invasion. Rather than having your own health bar, though, you must prevent as much damage to the cities as possible by killing enemies quickly with carefully-aimed shots. It’s a little dizzying but absolutely exhilarating.

    Electronauts, from Survios
    Price: $19.99 (Rift, Vive)

    Sprint Vector developer Survios returns with an entirely different type of experience. Electronauts is a VR music mixer that uses smart interactions to produce a strikingly natural experience. The music might not be suited to your tastes but it’s hard not to feel the groove as you start playing around with this audible feast.

    Museum of Symmetry, from Casa Rare
    Price: Free (Vive)

    This has to be one of the most unique VR experiences we’ve seen in a while. Journey through the mind of cartoonish Paloma Dawkins in this surreal tour of some incredible animations. It’s the kind of thing you should definitely check out when you have a spare 10 minutes of VR time.

    Futurejam, from 2049VR
    Price: $9.99 (Rift, Vive, Windows VR)

    This is basically Beat Saber meets Guitar Hero, except you’ve got drum sticks instead of lightsabers. There’s really no other way to describe it. If you like music-based rhythm games and you like VR, then you’ll probably enjoy this one. It’s an Early Access launch right now with licensed tracks from “real-life house and trance artists” that will be expanded more over time.

    Tagged with: Electronauts, Megaton Rainfall

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  • Hands-On: Magic Leap One Creator Edition Is Looking Like A Solid AR Developer Kit
    Hands-On: Magic Leap One Creator Edition Is Looking Like A Solid AR Developer Kit

    I tried the Magic Leap One “Creator Edition” headset this week, after nearly five years of waiting to see what Rony Abovitz and his team have been building out in Florida.

    I am impressed Leapers shipped Magic Leap One (ML1) on the same day they announced its price and offered it for sale. I am impressed they hand-deliver this new type of standalone computer with an expert who explains how to operate it. I am impressed, and surprised, at the feeling of awe I experienced when I saw Magic Leap One’s main menu floating in between me and another person.

    My time was very limited with Magic Leap One and I focused most of that time trying to understand the visual experience of the Lightwear glasses. I used to call them “goggles” but when I broadcast live my first 15 minutes with Magic Leap One, I instinctively used the word “glasses” to talk about what you actually wear on your head. They felt light enough in my hands to be called that, I guess.

    The Lightwear headset is accompanied by the Lightpack processing unit which I put at the top of my pocket. It is wired to the glasses. I then picked up the controller, which reminds me a lot of the Oculus Go controller with an extra button.

    Magic Leap One’s menu is represented as a circle of floating spheres, anchored rock solid in place. When I first saw this, I immediately wanted small and quick digital characters darting around the room and hiding behind real-world furniture. I’ll explain more on that in a minute. One of these spheres across the room faintly glowed while appearing perfectly solid. The person behind it was slightly darker. The effect lured my eyes to the menu of spheres and gave the subtle impression the person in the background was also in the presence of these glowing spheres. I believed the spheres were floating there to a degree I never have with a HoloLens digital object.

    Despite not being properly fitted, not being instructed how to use this headset and a field of view that is “constantly distracting”, as The Verge’s Adi Robertson put it, I found myself suddenly playful with ML1. When I realized a block I made had dropped onto the floor, I sat up and leaned far over the table and peered down to the floor on the other side. As soon as my head cleared the table I saw the semi-transparent orange block sitting on the floor where I expected it to have fallen. In that type of situation, with a HoloLens, I might expect to notice the field of view restriction or some other failure of the system before finding the digital object. That’s not what I perceived with Magic Leap One — there was no break in the illusion in this one specific moment. It was a simple but powerful demonstration of Magic Leap’s technology.

     

    I didn’t spend enough time with ML1 to make up my mind as to whether long term use could

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  • The Biggest PSVR Releases Of the Week 08/05/18
    The Biggest PSVR Releases Of the Week 08/05/18

    Now this is the kind of week we like to see. Two VR experiences (one of them free!) and not a gun in sight. These two apps represent something genuinely new for headsets; no wave shooting or third-person platforming. Let’s check them out.

    We Happy Few: Uncle Jack Live, from Signal Space Lab
    Price: Free

    This is a surprise tie-in app for Compulsion Games’ long-awaited We Happy Few. It finds you thrust into the game’s dystopian world as a guest editor on a radio show. Though brief, it uses some pretty interesting techniques to immerse you in one of the most interesting gaming worlds we’ve seen in some time.

    Electronauts, from Survios
    Price: $19.99

    Sprint Vector developer Survios returns with an entirely different type of experience. Electronauts is a VR music mixer that uses smart interactions to produce a strikingly natural experience. The music might not be suited to your tastes but it’s hard not to feel the groove as you start playing around with this audible feast.

    Watch both (mixed reality and multiplayer) of our livestreams from this week.

    Tagged with: Electronauts, We Happy Few

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  • Hands-On: Riff VR Has Potential To Realize A Full Rock Band VR Vision, But Not Yet
    Hands-On: Riff VR Has Potential To Realize A Full Rock Band VR Vision, But Not Yet

    When I reviewed Rock Band VR last year, I loved what the team at Harmonix did to bring the feeling of playing a guitar, on-stage, in front of a live audience to VR headsets. I am a huge fan of the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises, all of my plastic instruments still work and get used every now and then, and the track list was solid. However, it’s not a real Rock Band game without the actual full band. It was only the guitar and that left me wanting more.

    Guitar Godz came along with a Kickstarter campaign that crashed hard, so now we’re left wanting. Then I heard about Riff VR. This ambitious project aims to bring together guitar, vocals, and drums all into one VR experience. It’s not multiplayer (yet) but it all works right now in Early Access…sort of.

    Truthfully, it’s pretty janky right now. Without a physical prop to hold as a guitar it feels really strange strumming the air. I play air guitar all the time at home, but I’m not craning my neck down to try and hit floating virtual colors. It’s a strange mixture because playing air guitar is all about performance instead of accuracy, but then in Riff VR you have to be perfectly precise with hitting the right notes at the right time. The two styles don’t really meld together very well.

    And then the drums are just a beast of their own. Games like Electronauts have proved that you can accurately capture the sensation of drumming on virtual objects using haptic feedback to make it feel good, but that’s not really the case here in Riff VR.

    They’re just not that responsive and the difficulty curve compared to guitar and singing is just unreal. Actually hitting all of the notes in-time with the song requires borderline professional drumming experience and prior encyclopedic knowledge of the song. The great thing about drums in Rock Band is that, even if you’ve never heard the song before, it was accessible enough that you could follow along and feel like a drummer, even on higher difficulty settings. But the lack of really responsive controls makes it hard to get into drumming in VR here.

    Unexpectedly, the vocals are what I enjoyed the most in Riff VR. Since the game has such an excellent soundtrack of songs I already know by heart (Final Countdown by Europe, I Was Made For Loving You by KISS, Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and several others) it was fun to just jump right in and belt out the words.

    I don’t have a great singing voice, but SingSpace (ironically, another Harmonix VR game) taught me that there is no shame when wearing a VR headset so I don’t even care.

    The truth of the matter is that Riff VR already has a strong foundation. Guitar and drums are just a few tweaks away from feeling really nice and if they can integrate proper LIV mixed reality support it’ll be a lot of fun for

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