• A Mission: Impossible VR Experience is Coming to VR Arcades in 2019 Nomadic and VRWERX are currently developing the project.
  • Tim Sweeney: Games Released On Epic Games Store Can Support VR
    Tim Sweeney: Games Released On Epic Games Store Can Support VR

    The team behind Fortnite and the Unreal Engine which created it is going one level deeper and making a push for its own game storefront to challenge Valve’s Steam on PC and potentially Google Play on Android.

    The Epic Games store promises more revenue per sale to developers than other options and “will launch with a hand-curated set of games on PC and Mac, then it will open up more broadly to other games and to Android and other open platforms throughout 2019,” an announcement post states.

    Here’s the chart used to explain revenue split options to developers releasing virtual worlds made with Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 toolset or the leading competitor, Unity.

    In an emailed Q&A with Game Informer, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney wrote “the Epic Games store doesn’t have any sort of VR user interface, however, games released on the store can support VR if they choose.”

    We reached out to Epic Games representatives for more information about how VR support will be implemented, but we haven’t received a detailed response yet. Sweeney is quoted on the OpenXR website in support of the Khronos standard, stating “we’ll adopt and support the resulting API in Unreal Engine.”

    We’ll update this post with any new information from Epic about how its store will enable discovery of VR apps or how end users can make sure their system can run an app available through Epic’s store.

    Tagged with: Epic Games Store, Fortnite, Unreal engine

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  • Pokémon Go to Introduce PvP Trainer Battles The new system is due to arrive this month.
  • Location-Based Mission Impossible VR Experience Coming In 2019
    Location-Based Mission Impossible VR Experience Coming In 2019

    “Your mission, should you choose to accept it,” are words I’ve wanted to hear spoken to me through the earpieces of a VR headset ever since the Oculus Rift Kickstarter first got funded. I’m a big fan of Ethan Hunt’s adventures in the Mission Impossible franchise of films and was delighted to learn that Nomadic, the creators of this incredible Arizona Sunshine location-based experience, are teaming up with VRWERX, the developers of Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul, to make it a VR-reality. In fact, this appears to be the same Mission Impossible VR game they announced over a year ago.

    What makes Nomadic’s installations so amazing compared to other location-based experiences I’ve tried is just how interactive they are. Sure, you can carry a gun in Sandbox VR, or push some buttons in The Void, but with Nomadic the entire installation itself is mapped to the VR environment. I was opening drawers, walking across planks, hanging onto chain linked fences, and riding a moving, vibrating helicopter. They truly know how to make the virtual a reality.

    To be clear, this is old test footage. The actual experience and sets are far more elaborate now.

    Combine that with the game development talent of VRWERX, who really brought the Paranormal Activity IP to life in VR, and that’s a recipe for something special.

    To be clear we have not seen this VR experience for ourselves and we have no idea whether or not it lives up to expectations, but the potential for a high-quality escape room meets VR game is so perfect with this property it seems like a match made in VR heaven.

    According to a press release from a company representative:

    “Visitors can expect to literally step into the virtual shoes of an agent of the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) and feel exactly what it would be like to go on a secret mission… The new Mission Impossible experience is set to open early next year and will allow players to reach out and feel their way around various locations that tie back into what they are seeing through their headsets.”

    That’s about all we know so far, but this is definitely exciting news. In the meantime, I highly recommend checking out Nomadic’s debut location in Orlando to try their amazing cooperative Arizona Sunshine experience if you can. At the very least this news should tide us over until we find out more about Defector and Blood & Truth.

    Tagged with: Mission Impossible, Nomadic, vrwerx

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  • Tactical Haptics ‘Reactive Grip’ VR Controllers Are Now Production Ready
    Tactical Haptics ‘Reactive Grip’ VR Controllers Are Now Production Ready

    Tactical Haptics today announced the new production-ready design for their haptic VR controllers which adapt the shape of their grip to make using virtual objects feel more real.

    The company originated from a 2013 Kickstarter. While the campaign was unsuccessful, the company believed its idea was so good that they continued developing the project anyways. Since then, the company has been refining its technology and design. Today, it’s ready for full production.

    Whereas most VR controllers simply deliver vibration feedback, these controllers each have three metal plates inside their handles which move up and down to replicate motions and forces on the object you’re holding in that hand. For example the feeling of hitting an enemy with a club, opening a door by its handle, or just the weight of an object moving around in your hand should all feel more convincing than they do on Touch or Vive controllers. The controllers have been designed from the start to work with multiple tracking systems.

    In recent years affordable 6DoF controllers have become standard across much of consumer VR. As such, the company has pivoted to the location-based VR and VR training markets. Location-based experiences have higher budgets for hardware to create a more immersive experience than consumer VR, whereas training experiences often need better haptic feedback to accurately represent the real life object they’re training for.

    Last year, IMAX decided to use Tactical Haptics controllers for its Justice League location based VR experience, made in partnership with DC Comics. They have been using a “minimum viable product” (MVP) version of the controllers for this.

    Whereas the MVP controllers were designed to accommodate the specific tracking systems the company wanted to support directly, the new ones instead have a general magnetic socket. Third parties can make adapters for this socket to allow the use of tracking hardware like Oculus Touch, HTC Vive trackers, Windows MR controllers, OptiTrack, or future tracking hardware. The company tells us that this allows the controllers to be smaller, cheaper to manufacture, and more future proof.

    The company is currently seeking new partnerships with location-based VR and training VR companies, and will be announcing more details early next year. We’re excited to see advanced VR controller haptics spread to more VR locations, and hopefully one day the consumer market too.

    Tagged with: Haptics, tactical haptics, vr controllers

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  • Arca’s Path Review: A Hands-Free VR Game Worth Digging Into
    Arca’s Path Review: A Hands-Free VR Game Worth Digging Into

    The best thing about Arca’s Path? Booting up your headset of choice, selecting the game and then putting the controller down. This is a hands-free VR game that’s controlled by your head alone. It’s not an especially new concept but, unlike most other games that do this, Arca’s Path feels like an impressively full package.

    It’s a marble maze, essentially, one that you navigate by leading a ball by looking in the direction you want it to travel. Shift your head a millimeter to the side and it’ll roll off at a crawl. Look further away and it’ll charge towards your cursor with determination.

    With 25 levels that’ll take around three hours or so to run through, Arca’s Path offers more bang for your buck than any real maze that exists on this mortal coil. It helps that the game itself is tightly polished and perfectly entertaining throughout. The controls have been refined to the point at which you can quickly master the intricacies of movement and most accidents will be on your head and not the game’s. You’ll inevitably encounter a handful of more frustrating deaths but I was pleasantly surprised to find that its harder levels weren’t as irritable as I suspected they’d be.

    This might all sound a little too, shall we say, ‘casual’ for VR enthusiasts looking for their next big epic but developer Dream Reality Interactive (DRI) has done an admirable job of catering to both that fanbase and those that are going to be unwrapping an Oculus Go this Christmas. Optional collectibles hidden behind more demanding challenges will allow the latter to breeze through the game without worry, but they’re basically a necessity for anyone looking for that more addictive challenge. Not only do they encourage you to explore environments rather than roll on through them but they also unlock masochist-only time trials for completed levels.

    Perhaps unavoidably, though, there is a ceiling here. Arca’s Path doesn’t do much wrong but it’s also not the most eye-opening use of VR, especially when you consider that the movement mechanic stops you from looking around to admire the vibrant neon world DRI has built. It’s a shame given that the world unfolds into reality with beautiful papercraft-like animation reminiscent of Tearaway. There is a free-look button but it essentially pauses the game and, like I said, it’s best to play this without holding a controller. Level design also repeatedly borrows from what’s come before, which is especially hurtful when some of its best ideas (like navigating obstacles on a moving platform) feel underutilized.

    With a core mechanic that’ll be familiar to anyone that plays it, though, Arca’s Path’s story and world-building do feel somewhat supplemental but appreciated all the same. The game’s motion graphics cutscenes make for a surprisingly engaging way to tell a story in VR even if they’re used sparingly, but special mention has to go to the soundtrack, composed by UK musician Raffertie. It’s a strange, scratchy beast that effectively evokes the rusty VHS-era quality of the world

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  • Arca’s Path is Out Now, new Launch Trailer Released There's a week-long discount for early adopters.
  • Rift Loses More Ground To Vive In November Steam Hardware Survey
    Rift Loses More Ground To Vive In November Steam Hardware Survey

    The Oculus Rift’s lead over the HTC Vive family of VR headsets in Steam’s monthly hardware survey is now the smallest it’s been in some time.

    The recent introduction of HTC’s enhanced Vive Pro headset to the survey has proved troubling for Rift’s perceived majority market share. Last month we reported that the Vive and Vive Pro added together meant that there was just a 1.42% difference between the competing VR companies. This month, though, that gap has shrunk nearly an entire percent to just 0.62%. One more drop like that and Vive’s back in the lead.

    Both Vive and Vive Pro both saw marginal growth this month whereas Rift surrendered more of its share to HTC and other companies. Windows VR headsets and even the Oculus Rift DK2 (yes really) all grew ever so slightly as well. It’s interesting to see that the former hasn’t grown too much with last month’s introduction of the Samsung Odyssey+.

    Of course, November brought with it Black Friday and thus a slew of deals on VR headsets. The Rift went down to the cheapest price we’ve yet seen it at and Vive slashed $100 off of the Pro headset (or $200 on the starter kit bundle).

    As always, we must remind you that Steam’s Hardware Survey isn’t a definitive means of tracking the actual sales of VR headsets in relation to others. It’s an optional survey that requires users to have their hardware plugged in when it does its scan, so it can’t account for all of the VR devices out there.

    Still, it’s interesting to see HTC regaining ground as we move into 2019. How will December shift the scales?

    Tagged with: htc vive, HTC Vive Pro, oculus rift, Steam Hardware Survey

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  • Take an Adrenaline Fueled Ride on PlayStation VR Today With Rush VR All the thrill of wingsuiting without the death-defying danger.
  • ImmotionVR Announces Two New UK VR Centres Birmingham has already opened with Weston-super-Mare's to come.
  • Complementarity Between Avatars & Environments In Social VR

    This is the first installment in a series about what makes avatars useful in Social VR environments. Author’s note: Many of the anecdotes about avatars that get recounted are about unfettered self-expression. And how Social VR platforms allow people to finally express who they really are, and control exactly how they are perceived by those

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  • Pixvana and Limbix Aim to Combat Adolescent Depression Using VR The project also involves Stony Brook, UT Austin, and Harvard researchers.
  • 3D Printing In AR Using A Robotic Assistant

    The interactive fabrication system combines AR CAD editing with precise robotic control. In a 2018 research paper entitled RoMA: Interactive Fabrication with Augmented Reality and a Robotic Printer, Huaishu Peng, an information science doctoral student at Cornell University, and his team of researchers based primarily out of MIT and Cornell University, introduced RoMA, a robotic

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  • Win Yourself a Copy of Arca’s Path on Steam or PlayStation VR The new VR puzzle experience launches tomorrow.
  • The 25 Best HTC Vive Games: Day #1
    The 25 Best HTC Vive Games: Day #1

    From the stunning precision of SteamVR tracking to the frankly ludicrous amount of games to play, the HTC Vive and its bigger brother, the Vive Pro, are arguably the best place to experience high-end VR gaming today. Sifting through the seemingly unending amount of titles on Viveport and Steam to choose just 25 apps was an impossible task but, as Vive crosses two and a half years on the market, we thought it was time to celebrate the games that have defined it.

    Throughout the week we’re going to be updating this list with five games a day in ranked order, leading up to the game we’ve crowned as, yes, the very best game on the platform. Once we’re done, this will be our new and definitive list, replacing our previous, smaller version. Updates will appear on this very page so make sure to check back through the week.

    So, without further ado, here are UploadVR’s 25 best HTC Vive games.

    25. Redout – Read Our Review

    PC VR gamers might not have a Wipeout game to call their own, but Redout is a more than worthy substitute. This futuristic racer has you bombing along eye-popping circuits at blistering speeds. It’s a brutal, no-compromise speedster that throws you straight in at the deep end and demands your stomach keep up with the 80-level campaign that keeps its foot on the pedal from start to finish.

    Redout’s secret sauce is the fact that its VR support is optional, which meant developer 34BigThings was able to ladle on the stunning visuals and heaps of content without having to rely solely on sales from the fledgling VR market. This is a big game with tons of content that’s absolutely worth your consideration.

    24. Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives – Read Our Review

    You know how people look back on the early days of PlayStation with fond memories of Crash and Spyro? Or get all nostalgic for Super Mario World on SNES? We’d bet that Job Simulator will be remembered in a similar way one day. Owlchemy Labs gave us arguably the first game that showed us what high-end VR (spearheaded by Vive itself) could do by creating virtual simulations of the mundanity of modern jobs and then letting you make your own fun.

    Job Simulator orders you to throw responsibility out of the window. It lets you trash your office desk, make the biggest, most ridiculous sandwich known to man or light fireworks inside a convenience store with no real repercussions. Not only are these fun activities in themselves, but the game’s masterful design keeps the friction between you and the virtual world to a minimum. Most tellingly, it remains a key cornerstone of how to make an immersive VR game well over two years since its original release. Job done.

    23. Creed: Rise to Glory – Read Our Review

    Few sports go hand-in-hand with current VR systems as well as boxing, and Creed: Rise to Glory is undeniably the best entry into the genre yet. Developer Survios was able to build upon

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