• Budget Cuts Arcade is the Latest Update for the Stealth Experience It'll be on sale later today as well.
  • Curfew Put Me In VR’s Most Comfortable Car Crash
    curfew join the race vr rewind

    I’ve had my fair share of VR crashes. I’ve rolled down the side of Lydden Hill in Dirt and smashed into every corner in Project Cars. I don’t have a driving license, so don’t judge. But, for all your cinematic expectations, crashing is usually one of the most awful, suddenly sickening sensations you can experience in VR. But not in Curfew – Join the Race.

    This short piece, the latest from UK-based Rewind, is set to release next week. It ties into the upcoming Sky TV series of the same name and was produced in partnership with Endemol Shine. In the show, the UK has been infested with a zombie virus. For one reason or another, this pits a series of survivors in a vicious race to escape the country. Each episode hones in on a different character. This VR entry is like its own self-contained episode in the series.

    You find yourself somewhat cramped up in the passenger’s seat of one car, sitting next to a silent driver named Eduardo. As you race for first place, you’ll be in contact with a woman named Helena over the radio.

    Rewind has some neat ideas here. Creative Director Daryl Atkins told me that the studio had a surprising degree of autonomy over the piece’s script and development. You’ll see cars and characters from the show, but the events of the experience are largely separate.

    You communicate with Helena using a handset mapped to Oculus Touch’s buttons, which feels seamless and natural. Rewind explained that, to keep the pace going, many of the game’s light interactions are optional. At one point you’re asked to hit the boost but, if you don’t, Eduardo will eventually reach over and do it for you. It’s a clever way to keep the experience flowing without allowing for unnatural pauses between commands and actions.

    It’s that crash that’s the star of the show, though. Inevitably your journey gets a little hairy and you find yourself spinning offroad. But, instead of a stomach-churning stop and mind-breaking corkscrew, Rewind makes some clever sacrifices in order to retain a sense of coherency and comfort. The screen fades to black and, when it comes back, you’re mid-air in slow motion. Items from the car glide past your face and Eduardo seems frozen in time. The screen fades out two more times, with the entire sequence lasting around 20 seconds.

    Perhaps not the most realistic sensation, then, but in a weird way it mirrors that sense of time slowing as you, say take a bungee jump or do something equally nerve-racking. More importantly, though, it never once made me feel ill or disorientated. It was, oddly enough, VR’s most comfortable car crash yet.

    When you land you find yourself upside down. It’s initially confusing and requires you to gather your bearings. Again, I sort of imagine that to be like getting into an actual car crash, though I’m fortunate enough not to be able to verify that personally. Then the zombies come and well, yeah, you know how that

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  • Budget Cuts Gets Arcade Mode With New Levels And Fixes
    Budget Cuts Gets Arcade Mode With New Levels And Fixes

    Good news colleagues! There’s an all-new reason to jump back into Neat Corp’s Budget Cuts this Valentine’s Day.

    The indie dev today launched Budget Cuts Arcade. It’s a new mode for the original game that you can access by finding the arcade cabinet in the menu. As the name suggests, Arcade Mode is all about scoring. It includes four brand new levels that will push your sneaking skills to the absolute limit. There’s a local leaderboard system so you can challenge friends to beat your best and three difficulty levels will help you find the right fit. Eight new collectibles can also be found in this mode.

    Unsurprisingly, the mode is also intended for use in VR arcades around the world.

    It’s great to see Budget Cuts getting more content. The campaign’s short length was one of our main complaints when we reviewed the game last year.

    That’s not all that’s new in this update, though. There are some tweaks made to the game that make the hardest difficulty “a bit more difficult” and fix various other bugs. Again, issues with bugs were one of the biggest talking points in our review, so we welcome any fixes. To celebrate the launch, Budget Cuts is set to have a half-price sale for a few days, too.

    Expect more from Budget Cuts later this year. Last month we reported that Neat Corp is bringing the game to Sony’s PSVR headset, and may even port it to Oculus Quest too. Fingers crossed we hear more about that soon.

    Tagged with: Budget Cuts

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  • Audio Solutions Specialist Dirac Research Closes £13.2m Investment Round The funding will be used to complete its Intelligent Audio solutions.
  • Audica is a new Rhythm Action Shooter From the Team Behind Rock Band VR And it's due for release next month.
  • DeMagnete VR Is A Magnetizing Puzzler Coming To All Major Platforms This Year
    demagnete vr puzzle

    This mesmerizing new puzzle game from Brazil-based BitCake Studio packs some serious voice talent with ove 40 magnet-themed puzzles.

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  • Asgard’s Wrath Lets You Experience God-Like Powers In VR

    The latest action adventure game from Oculus Studios will arrive on the Rift later this year. “It’s the twilight of the gods, with Asgard’s inhabitants consumed by bickering and selfish exploits. You, Fledgling God, are birthed in an explosion of light—a clash of primordial forces of nature. Your story begins in medias res with a

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  • The Wizards – Enhanced Edition is Coming to PlayStation VR in March The original PC VR version will also see improvements.
  • ‘So…What Really Did Happen With Palmer [Luckey]’
    ‘So…What Really Did Happen With Palmer ’

    A book out next week tells the story of the founding of Oculus VR based on hundreds of interviews across several years.

    I read an early version of the Harper Collins book by Console Wars author Blake Harris. We’ve decided to refrain reporting certain elements of the book until we verify information, or until we read the finished edition which arrives February 19.

    The draft I read, however, is an intimate portrait of Palmer Luckey, Nate Mitchell, Brendan Iribe and other key members of the Oculus founding team. They assembled in 2012 to realize consumer VR and just two years later were acquired by Facebook for $3 billion. Written in a “narrative non-fiction” style, the final section of The History Of The Future follows the path Luckey took after September 2016, when a Daily Beast article tied him to “secretly funding Trump’s meme machine.” It ends after Luckey’s departure from Facebook in March 2017.

    Though we broke news of Luckey’s exit, Facebook representatives wouldn’t say at the time whether the departure was voluntary. Instead, they said he’d be “dearly missed.” Luckey was also quiet on the subject despite lasting questions surrounding the misleading public statement he issued.

    In April 2018, Senator Ted Cruz asked Facbook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about it:

    Late last year the Wall Street Journal reported Luckey “was put on leave, then fired.”

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    “Internal Facebook emails suggest the matter was discussed at the highest levels of the company. In the fall of 2016, as unhappiness over the donation simmered, Facebook executives including Mr. Zuckerberg pressured Mr. Luckey to publicly voice support for libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, despite Mr. Luckey’s yearslong support of Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the conversations and internal emails viewed by The Wall Street Journal.”

    VP of VR/AR at Facebook Andrew “Boz” Bosworth published on his Twitter the statement “we did not pressure him to say something untrue.”

    I’ve reached out over direct message to Oculus co-founders Nate Mitchell and Brendan Iribe in hopes of understanding what happened in Luckey’s final months at the company. Iribe has not responded to my messages. I also reached out to Luckey, who responded but declined to comment publicly until the book’s release. I received the following statement over email attributed by Facebook PR to Mitchell, Head of VR Product:

    It’s certainly surreal to see such a huge part of our lives turned into a few hundred pages. The book’s dramatization of our history is not always consistent with what happened, and some of the stories are definitely not reflective of our real relationships. That said, what I hope people take away is the spirit of Oculus: we lived, dreamed, and breathed VR. We worked to build something that would make the community proud, and it wasn’t easy nor without mistakes. VR has always been much bigger than just Oculus, and I’m looking forward to what this community builds together in the next 10 year chapter.

    Harris sent an email late last week circulating with Facebook employees working on the VR and AR teams. I read

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  • Tribe XR Launches Their First Live DJ Classes In VR

    Learn the art of mixing beats in the worlds first ever live DJ class in VR. Imagine someone came up to you and asked you to jump on the 1’s and 2’s and lay down a fat beat. Would you know exactly what that means? People familiar with a mixer and CDJ may be able

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  • Audica Is A VR Rhythm Music Shooter From Harmonix Coming In March
    Audica Is A VR Rhythm Music Shooter From Harmonix Coming In March

    Audica is a brand-new VR rhythm-based music game from Harmonix, the creators of Rock Band and Dance Central.

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  • Shadow Legend VR RPG Releases On Rift And Vive Feb. 21
    Shadow Legend VR RPG Releases On Rift And Vive Feb. 21

    Shadow Legend is fast-approaching! The new VR RPG is set to release on Rift and Vive next week on February 21st and PSVR later this year.

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  • The Bigscreen Beta ‘2019 Update’ Adds Some Substantial new Features Oculus Quest support will be added later in the year.
  • Become an Illegal Street Racer in REWIND’s Latest VR Experience Curfew: Join The Race It's a free experience for Oculus Rift.
  • Bigscreen’s Huge 2019 Update Goes Live, Quest Support Confirmed
    Bigscreen’s Huge 2019 Update Goes Live, Quest Support Confirmed

    The much-anticipated 2019 update for social VR app Bigscreen is finally here. Well, in beta form at least.

    The 2019 update comes packed with a heap of features, many of which are highlighted in the trailer below. For starters, there are new environments, including an improved social lobby to meet other visitors and a new cinema. The latter now has a curved seating layout. It encourages you to chat with your friends as you watch content. It’s especially concerned with mobile headsets that don’t have the same tracking capabilities as PC VR.

    Another major improvement to BigScreen is, well, the screens. The app now uses real-time raytracing for more realistic lighting effects. Screens will light up rooms in realistic ways, without placing intense demands on the hardware running the app. There’s also improved clarity on virtual displays thanks to Oculus Overlay support.

    That’s far from the end, though. The app’s UI has been completely retooled for accessibility, avatars have a huge number of new customization options, teleportation now enables movement around environments and desktop audio streaming has been massively improved. On the mobile VR front, the app also adds the ability to create public and private rooms.

    Wrapping up, there’s a wealth of bug fixes addressing crashes and audio blips.

    But Bigscreen isn’t done yet. It’s 2019 roadmap includes yet more big updates. Chief among them is a port to Oculus Quest, Facebook’s upcoming standalone headset. The team is also working on a new friend and party system, the ability to play local video files and more movie nights. The hope is that Bigscreen 1.0 will be ready for summer 2019.

    Bigscreen is available for free on Rift, Vive, Windows VR, Go and Gear VR.

    Tagged with: bigscreen, Oculus Quest, social vr

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