• Blade & Sorcery: How One Man Redefined VR Melee Combat Physics
    Blade & Sorcery: How One Man Redefined VR Melee Combat Physics

    Even though it’s still just in Early Access, Blade & Sorcery is an emerging sandbox VR combat game that’s been gaining a lot of attention as of late. The gladiatorial combat simulator is the brainchild of solo developer KospY, under his studio WarpFrog, and has been available to public audiences since December 2018. It was built from the ground up for VR; with several maps, enemy types and weapons and it has a ton of replay value. The game’s focus on realistic physics make for an immersive and satisfying experience — if you can stomach the violence.

    Last month, I contacted WarpFrog’s Community Manager and public spokesperson – ‘The Baron’ – seeking an interview to discuss the game’s success and gain some insights into its development. He actually took me one step further, and arranged for me to speak directly with the elusive developer himself.

    KospY and I sat down and talked for a while over Discord one evening, and I was able to pick his brain over the game’s origins and his vision for the future. For more details, you can read up on KospY and The Baron in this Oculus blog post as well.

    UploadVR: Let’s start by talking about your background. How did you get started with programming and development?

    KospY: As far as background goes, I come from the modding scene. The funny thing is I don’t have any experience in game development, and I’ve never worked in the industry before. However, I’m self taught and I’m passionate about gaming and VR.

    I’ve been making mods since my childhood, and my most recent modding experience with Kerbal Space Program gave me a good knowledge of Unity and programming. 3 years ago, after I first received my first VR set, I started a project on Unity, and worked on it as a hobby from time to time. I spent nearly 2 years designing the game in many iterations, and it changed direction several times. Last year, I finally had the chance to work full-time on that project and Blade & Sorcery was born.

    UploadVR: What made you want to develop for VR rather than more traditional platforms?

    KospY: Mainly because I’m just very passionate about VR! I’ve been following the scene since I first got the Oculus Dev Kit 2. Also, the community is great, it’s a smaller market and I like to innovate. VR felt like it was suited perfectly for a solo developer like myself.

    UploadVR: And you mentioned that in its early stages, the game itself changed direction a lot. Care to talk a bit more about that?

    KospY: Well, my original idea was to create a sorcery based combat game, something pretty simple. The game was called “Sorcering” once upon a time and the main idea was to fight waves of undead enemies. It used teleport-style locomotion, and combat was restricted just to spells back then.

    After some time, once I’d gotten my ‘VR legs’, I moved to free locomotion and started to take the game towards PvP Multiplayer. It was around then

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  • Ghost Giant Review: A Bold And Brave Adventure That Hides A VR Treasure
    Ghost Giant Review Image

    Ghost Giant has all the warmth and wonder you’ve come to expect from VR storytelling. It’s got a twee diorama world of small miracles to explore, cutesy characters to fall in love with and even a handful of subversive themes to pick apart. It doesn’t take long to fall for these charms. But Zoink Games’ VR debut then goes an unexpected extra mile. It takes these elements and adds a secret ingredient to the mix: you.

    Zoink mines virtual gold from deceptively simple concepts: companionship, kindness and, for the deeper crowd, our reliance on and manifestations of those themes in times of extreme distress. Ghost Giant is a thoughtful game, one that’s not afraid to tackle tough subjects in new ways. For that, it’s something I’ll cherish for a long time to come.

    Rarely has it felt so good to simply help. Ghost Giant introduces us to Louis, a young kid from the fictional town of Sancourt. We meet him out by an old hangout spot where he’s quietly sobbing. His tears start to flow toward you and, before you know it, form two hands you control with PS Move controllers. After a flustered introduction, you become an unlikely problem-solving duo, charting a path toward Louis’ deeper troubles.

    Ghost Giant first establishes bonds familiar to those that played Moss and Astro Bot. Micro fist bumps, constant eye-contact and friendly waves between you and your friend are just as potent as ever here. Louis himself is a wonderfully realized bit of work; at times he’s a peppy youngster that zips around with an enthusiasm that’s tough to keep up with. He’s joyfully voiced and often a pleasure to be around, uplifting the already feather-light world. The same is true of the rest of Sancourt’s inhabitants, which resemble something like an Animal Crossing cast with a touch of world-weariness. Three cool cats sit on a bridge and complain about the lack of art in town until you paint a giant burrito. A hard of hearing pelican locked in argument with a walrus keeps mishearing requests (“You collected kelp here?!”). It’s both ridiculous and delightful in equal measure.

    In fact, just about every presentational aspect of Ghost Giant is a marvel in its own right. Each of the game’s 14 scenes is a miniature theatre production with stages cobbled together from nuts and bolts. Louis enters a house and you’ll have to pull a lever to rotate the building or outright lift its roof off to see what’s going on. Adorable little-big interactions are hidden in every corner, whether its dressing townspeople in hats you find in the environment or tossing a basketball into hidden giant hoops (which is sometimes an inexplicably difficult task). I’d be remiss not to mention the melancholic soundtrack, the soothing whispers of which still linger as I write.

    These features are whimsy and memorable, though they hide Ghost Giant’s darker side. Zoink’s weird and wonderful work is a Trojan Horse disguising a bold take on depression and neglect, one depicted from angles not always considered.

    The post Ghost Giant Review: A Bold And Brave Adventure That Hides A VR Treasure appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Acer Introduces new Windows Mixed Reality Headset: ConceptD OJO It'll be aimed towards creators rather than consumers.
  • Racket: Nx Is Coming To Oculus Quest, Supports Cross-Buy With Rift
    nacket nx

    Racket: Nx, the game described as “racquetball meets breakout”, is coming to the Oculus Quest standalone VR system.

    The developers, One Hamsa, filmed a new trailer for Quest in their home country of Israel. They shot it playing outside in the desert and edited in a sci-fi background. It is just an advertisement but this is the first time we’ve seen Quest being used outside.

    Games like this which depend on strong distinct gameplay mechanics rather than graphics are ideal for standalone VR systems like Quest. While Quest is significantly less powerful than a PC, it has room scale tracking and Touch controllers which enable the same kind of gameplay as PC VR.

    In fact, when playing Racket: Nx on PC the cable could often be a burden. This kind of active game with frequent rotation is perfect for wireless and standalone VR.

    The developer also enabled cross-buy. That means if you own it already on the Rift store, you won’t have to buy it again for Quest. Or if you buy it for Quest and get a Rift S in the future, you’ll still be able to play it on that headset as well.

    One Hamsa say the game probably won’t be a launch title, but should be available “very soon” after launch. We’re excited to give this game another try with the freedom of movement of standalone VR.

    Tagged with: Oculus Quest, racket nx

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  • Getting Social With VR Education Steve Bambury highlights some of the best online VR education communities.
  • Horror Mystery A Chair in a Room: Greenwater is Coming to PlayStation VR Wolf & Wood will launch the title later this month.
  • Acer Reveals ‘ConceptD OJO’ 4K Windows VR Headset

    4K resolution, a detachable design, and manual IPD adjustment included. Acer has just unveiled its latest Windows Mixed Reality headset, the ConceptD OJO. Revealed during the company’s annual “next@acer” conference earlier today, the headset will launch alongside their new professional computer lineup, ConceptD. According to Acer, the ConceptD OJO will feature 4K resolution with via

    The post Acer Reveals ‘ConceptD OJO’ 4K Windows VR Headset appeared first on VRScout.

  • Seeking Dawn PSVR Port Canceled Because ‘Graphics Are Just Not There’
    Seeking Dawn PSVR Port Canceled Because ‘Graphics Are Just Not There’

    Multiverse have officially canceled the PSVR port of their ambitious and demanding co-op VR shooter Seeking Dawn. More details inside!

    The post Seeking Dawn PSVR Port Canceled Because ‘Graphics Are Just Not There’ appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Acer Announces Windows VR Headset With HP Reverb Resolution And IPD Adjustment
    acer 4k windows mr headset

    During the company’s annual “next@acer” conference, Acer announced a new Microsoft-based headset with 2K per eye (4K overall) resolution and physical lens separation adjustment.

    High Resolution, IPD Adjustment

    Called ConceptD OJO, the headset uses dual 2160×2160 LCD panels. That means they might be the same panels used in the HP Reverb. Whereas the Reverb’s lenses are fixed in position, however, Acer’s headset allows you to adjust them for your interpupillary distance (IPD).

    Different people have different distances between their eyeballs. If a headset’s lens separation is too different from your IPD, research indicates some people could experience blur, eyestrain, distortion and it might even make some people feel sick. This could make the ConceptD OJO a welcome alternative to Reverb for users with a narrow or wide IPD.

    Audio, Detachability, Inside-Out Tracking

    The headset features integrated headphones. Acer describes it as having “built-in sound pipe technology”. We’re not sure whether this refers to a secondary audio system when the headphones are removed. It could simply mean the headphones work without touching the ear.

    Like the OJO 500 announced back in August, the ConceptD OJO has a detachable design. The lenses and display can be detached from the unit. This seems to be intended for arcades and enterprise demos where the headset needs to be cleaned regularly for hygiene reasons.

    As with all Windows MR headsets, the ConceptD OJO uses two front facing cameras for “inside-out” positional tracking. These same cameras track LEDs on the controllers. This makes for an easy and portable setup, but controller tracking range is relatively limited.

    Pricing, Market

    Acer haven’t announced a price yet, but the product is targeted at “creators”, so expect a higher price than the original 1440p fixed IPD Acer headset. It’s not clear yet whether the old headset will be discontinued or kept around as an affordable alternative.

    The Reverb is priced at $599, so it’s possible Acer’s headset will be higher given the extra features. We’ll update you whenever Acer provides further information on this exciting new headset.

    Tagged with: acer, pc vr, windows mixed reality

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  • Nintendo Labo VR Includes A Virtual Boy Easter Egg

    Immerse yourself in the horror that was 90’s virtual reality. Nintendo Labo VR is set to hit store shelves tomorrow and the reviews so far have been positive overall. As passionate YouTubers and Nintendo fanatics dig into the meat and potatoes of the new VR Toy-Con Kit, some are discovering humorous easter eggs scattered throughout

    The post Nintendo Labo VR Includes A Virtual Boy Easter Egg appeared first on VRScout.

  • Sony Files Patent For In-VR Esports Tournament Spectator System
    sony esports patent

    Own a PSVR? One day you might be able to spectate esports leagues from inside virtual reality.

    Sony recently filed a patent application titled “Spectator View Into An Interactive Gaming World Showcased In A Live Event Held In A Real-World Venue”. The patent describes using an array of cameras to make the VR user feel as if they’re attending the tournament.

    The cameras and microphones would be embedded in the seats themselves. A proximity sensor in the seats could tell whether real people are sitting in the seats, so as to not use those for broadcast.

    The patent also describes letting the VR user see inside the game being played. Imagine toggling between being in the audience and being in the game. It additionally envisions hybrid modes where elements of the game appear in a virtual augmented reality view around the arena.

    Esports is a huge industry with the largest matches being watched by tens of millions of viewers. The ability to virtually sit in the audience could get a lot of new buyers into VR. Facebook streams live events in VR with Oculus Venues and that includes a crowd, but that’s been focused on physical sports. Arguably the overlap of people interested in VR and esports is larger than that of traditional sports.

    Valve added a spectator mode to the DOTA 2 international championships, but Sony’s approach adds a large audience too.

    Which exact events would be streamed is unclear, but some images in the patent show the text “PlayStation Plus League” implying that Sony could use virtual reality to boost their own services too.

    Tagged with: Esports, PlayStation VR, sony

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  • A Chair In A Room: Greenwater Gets PSVR Release Date This Month
    A Chair In A Room: Greenwater Gets PSVR Release Date This Month

    A Chair in a Room: Greenwater is finally coming to PSVR later this month and will support both DualShock 4 and PS Move controller input methods.

    The post A Chair In A Room: Greenwater Gets PSVR Release Date This Month appeared first on UploadVR.

  • DCS World Developer On Oculus Rift S Cockpit Resolution: “I Can Read EVERYTHING”
    dcs world cockpit view

    DCS World Senior Producer Matt Wagner now has an Oculus Rift S, and he seems highly impressed with its improved resolution over the original.

    DCS (Digital Combat Simulator) World is a combat flight simulation game. You pilot a range of military aircraft in training and combat simulations. The base game is free-to-play and includes two aircraft — a modern ground attack jet and a World War 2 era trainer. Other aircraft are purchased as DLC. DCS is highly realistic, aiming to accurately simulate every detail of the cockpit of the aircraft it offers.

    Wagner took to the sim’s forums to share his impressions of using Rift S in DCS:

    Based on the previews I’ve been reading from GDC, I was expecting more of a lateral quality move, with added inside-out tracking.

    However, compared to the Rift, I’m seeing a significantly higher resolution in DCS World where instrumentation is much easier to read, as well as spotting units outside the cockpit. Looking around the Hornet cockpit, I can read EVERYTHING. I’m very impressed with the DCS World experience in the Rift S.

    Inside-out tracking has been flawless for me, and Rift S setup could not be easier.

    If you are a Rift owner, I’d certainly suggest taking a very hard look at the Rift S; I find the experience considerably better.

    Wagner said he was not asked by Facebook to make his comments, nor was he compensated, “I’m just a bit giddy after just flying with it.”

    When asked if he noticed the refresh rate reduction from 90Hz to 80Hz, he responded that he sees no difference.

    The upcoming HP Reverb headset should provide an even higher resolution, but Wagner says he hasn’t had a chance to try it yet.

    Subpixels: RGB vs PenTile

    The Rift S headset boosts the 1200p resolution of the original to 1440p. That on its own shouldn’t be major — the reason for the “significantly higher resolution” Wagner is seeing is likely due to the change in subpixel type.

    Each “pixel” in a display is actually made up of subpixels- usually three (red/green/blue). The original Rift’s panels however, like almost all OLED panels, use the “PenTile” subpixel system. PenTile has the full number of green subpixels, but only half the number of blue and red subpixels.

    Image from Note that this depicts equal resolution, so the difference for Rift S will be greater.

    Rift S uses an RGB LCD panel. While LCD can’t deliver the true blacks of OLED, it has the advantage of having the full three subpixels per pixel. This means that clarity of details like text and cockpit instruments should be significantly better.

    Overall, Rift S has more than twice the number of subpixels as the original Rift.

    VR Performance Update

    But what about the promised 50% VR performance improvement? Wager says it’s “coming”. The Caucasus map has already been done and other maps will be next. The improvements will be released in a future Open Beta. We can’t wait to try it.

    With Rift S, HP Reverb, and the VR performance update on the horizon,

    The post DCS World Developer On Oculus Rift S Cockpit Resolution: “I Can Read EVERYTHING” appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Star Wars: Secrets Of The Empire ‘Essentially Sets Up’ Vader Immortal
    Star Wars: Secrets Of The Empire ‘Essentially Sets Up’ Vader Immortal

    More clues about what to expect from the upcoming Star Wars: Vader Immortal may rest within another VR story from ILMxLAB.

    Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, the excellent location-based VR experience from The Void, apparently sets up the upcoming VR series. That is according to Vicki Dobbs Beck, Executive in Charge at ILMxLAB, who recently spoke at GTC 2019 (as reported by Den of Geek). Beck described the link between Secrets of the Empire and Vader Immortal as a “foray into connected stories.”

    “So Star Wars: Secrets Of The Empire essentially sets up Vader Immortal,” Beck explained. “Whereas in Secrets Of The Empire you were on an outpost on Mustafar and you could see Vader’s Monolith in the distance, now you’ll have the opportunity to go into the Monolith and engage with Vader on his home turf, not to mention have the opportunity to wield a lightsaber.”

    Indeed, Secrets of the Empire does take you to the fiery planet on which Darth Vader was born. In the experience, you are part of a group of Rebels disguised as Stormtroopers. You’re on the hunt for an Imperial shipment containing a mysterious item.

    Quick note: we’ll detail spoilers from this point on. Go see Secrets of the Empire if you haven’t!

    After shooting your way through the base you discover what’s inside; a new kind of lightsaber. Vader himself stops you from retrieving it before you make a desperate escape.

    Could this new type of weapon be central to Vader Immortal’s story? We know that the experience will offer a lightsaber battle of some kind so it’s very possible. We’ve also theorized about a new villain that could make his debut in the piece.

    We’ll likely have our answers tomorrow. Vader Immortal is set to be revealed in full at a panel at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago tomorrow. We’ll have more details then. The app is due to launch on Oculus Quest this year.

    Tagged with: Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, Star Wars: Vader Immortal

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  • Preview: The Spy Who Shrunk Me VR – One to Grow Into Rough around the edges, there’s certainly potential.