• Bow And Arrow Roguelike Shooter In Death Coming To PSVR This Month
    Bow And Arrow Roguelike Shooter In Death Coming To PSVR This Month

    In Death is one of the year’s surprise breakout VR hits with its devilishly satisfying difficulty and addictive roguelike-inspired gameplay loop. Now, later this month, the bow and arrow-focused shooter will make its debut on PSVR, specifically on November 27th according to a new PlayStation blog post.

    Similar to The Persistence, a PSVR exclusive horror roguelike shooter, In Death is a bit different every time you play. As you progress through the layers of a celestial chapel and various other locales, you face dangerous enemies that are hellbent on killing you. Armed with a bow, various unlockable arrows, and teleporting abilities, you have to fight them off and progress deeper and deeper into the afterlife.

    What makes In Death so clever is that is shuffles the layouts, enemies, and more each and every time. And the further you get into the game the harder it becomes as you unlock new enemy types and challenges for subsequent playthroughs. There’s a ton of content, it feels great to play (at least on Rift it does) and the difficulty curve is punishing (but fair) from start to finish.

    “In Death features procedurally-generated levels and random enemy spawns meaning each run is unique and unpredictable,” writes Reynir Hardarson, Co-founder & Creative Director at Sólfar on the PS Blog. “This is a high stakes permadeath style combat experience, with no save points during your run of each chapter of the game, only offering a continue point if you successfully complete a discrete chapter. We’ve created an achievement-based progression system that unlocks new power ups for your bow in the form of randomly generated special arrows and health boosts that you can loot from enemies.”

    For the PSVR version, it sounds like the entire game is getting ported over. It will be playable with both PS Move controllers or with DualShock 4 using the lightbar motion tracking, similar to how games like Firewall Zero Hour and Farpoint are playable with the gamepad.

    In Death hits PSVR on November 27th. Read our review of the PC version for more details!

    Tagged with: In Death, Solfar Studios

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  • Numenera: Beyond Tactics Is VR’s Take On A Tabletop RPG
    Numenera: Beyond Tactics Is VR’s Take On A Tabletop RPG

    Hugely popular tabletop role-playing game Numenera is the latest to explore bringing its world into a VR headset, though not quite in the way you’d imagine.

    Despite the name, Numenera – Beyond Tactics is not a direct virtual adaptation of Monte Cook’s RPG. Handled by developer Boneyard VR, the game takes the world and lore of the fantasy experience and builds a new, turn-based tactical game on top of it. In it, you take a group of heroes into battles against opposing sides, whilst also managing resources outside of combat. You’ll pick up virtual figurines, move them into battle and roll dice to decide crucial outcomes.

    I got a brief look at an early version of the game and, while there’s a lot of work to be done on it, my initial impressions were promising. It’s lacking in a tutorial right now and a lot of the UI is still to be filled in but there are some great core mechanics in place like picking up a figurine and seeing how far you can move it, then seeing the number of steps taken when you place it where you want it to go. It’s like a board game come to life, which is something VR does especially well.

    Look for Numenera – Beyond Tactics to hit Rift, Vive and Windows VR headsets via Early Access in 2019. Bone Yard is encouraging anyone interested in the game to head to its Discord page and start building a community around it.

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  • Tendar Is A Surreal New AR App From The Makers Of Virtual Virtual Reality
    Tendar Is A Surreal New AR App From The Makers Of Virtual Virtual Reality

    What did the makers of the exquisite Virtual Virtual Reality do next? Something completely different.

    Launched today on Android smartphones, Tendar is an AR app that brings the developer’s surrealist imagination into the world around us. In it, you look after Guppy, a virtual fish that wants to explore the big wide world with you. But you’re not simply making sure it gets fed on time and sending it off to the bathroom; Guppy is destined to evolve based on the everyday interactions you have out in the world. Check it out in the trailer below.

    Weird, right? We’d expect no less from the makers of a game in which you slap toast on a sentient slab of butter. But Tendar looks like it could shine the same satirical spotlight it placed upon VR in VVR, only this time on AR and AI instead. Guppy will learn about the facial expressions you make when interacting with him for example, and the app can also detect and scan over 200 real-world objects that you’ll then be able to place in his virtual fishbowl.

    Doing so will expand his knowledge of the outside world and help him evolve with his own unique personality based on what you’ve taught it. But it may come at a cost, as the game’s press kit reads: “beware that sentience may lead to a full blown existential crisis!”

    Tendar is free to download. There’s no word on an iOS release just yet.

    Tagged with: Tendar

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  • Within Transforms Ordinary Spaces Into Extraordinary Stories With AR App Wonderscope The app is free for iOS users and comes supplied with one story.
  • Crow: The Legend Review: An Essential Native American Story About The Seasons
    Crow: The Legend Review: An Essential Native American Story About The Seasons

    Crow: The Legend is the third VR project from startup Baobab after Invasion! and Asteroids!. A complete departure from the first two, this one is based on a Native American legend featuring an all-star cast of voice talent including John Legend and Oprah. With Baobab’s first title planned for adaptation into a feature length film, CEO Maureen Fan has big plans for this tale too.

    You can experience the story for free on Oculus Go, Oculus Rift and Gear VR. I tried Crow: The Legend with Touch controllers and that seems to be the definitive experience.

    Baobab toyed with interactivity for VR visitors in previous projects, but as “The Spirit of the Seasons” on Rift each visitor discovers that a simple wave of their arms can change the weather and the seasons at key moments in the narrative. Wouldn’t it be fun to wave your arms and cause snow to appear in the environment around you? It absolutely is, and that feeling is essential to the magic of what director Eric Darnell and the team behind Crow: The Legend are able to accomplish.

    As the personified creatures of the forest — a turtle, skunk, owl and moth — struggle to figure out how to handle the sudden cold, the beautiful rainbow-colored crow appears and decides to help. I wasn’t too familiar with this legend before experiencing Crow. If you are unfamiliar with the tale and own Rift, I recommend trying Crow now since this is free.

    Darnell aimed to let people make flowers grow, snows fall and winds blow with a wave of their hands, and later on in the story soaring through the universe you conduct a song among the stars like a a conductor leads an orchestra. The aim was for this interaction to be so intuitive it is effortless, focusing the viewer on what matters. I found the effort to be an incredible success.

    A lot of people talk about how VR is an empathy machine, but when the snow comes and you just made life harder for a bunch of cute little animals it can force you to feel not just for them but the seasons themselves. I found it so much fun to change the seasons, do you think that’s why the seasons change? I felt that question while wearing the headset, but it wasn’t until writing this article I figured out how to put it into words.

    Therein is the true magic of Crow: The Legend.

    Final Recommendation: Must See

    Crow: The Legend is available now for free on Oculus-powered headsets for a timed exclusivity period, though it should come to other platforms eventually.

    Tagged with: baobab, Crow: The Legend

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  • Tvori Gets 360 Video Exporting, Here’s How It Looks
    Tvori Gets 360 Video Exporting, Here’s How It Looks

    VR animation app Tvori is making it even easier for people to watch its content inside headsets.

    An update to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive app, which aims to make animation and storytelling accessible for all, adds in the ability to export videos in the 360-degree format, both in mono and stereo. That means you’ll be able to shoot a story using the app’s accessible set of tools and then easily upload it to far-reaching platforms like YouTube. 360 video isn’t quite the same as immersing yourself inside a full 3D world with positional tracking, but it’s a lot easier to get into.

    To help showcase what’s capable with this new update, Tvori’s developers have been working with the community to create short VR experiences. One of those is Lightning, which was created entirely by one fan, Jeremy Casper, that taught himself to use both the app and Oculus Medium. There’s a teaser trailer for it below.

    Sterling Osment, meanwhile, made Captain Blue Screen, which was originally a 2D short but is getting a 360 degree version with the help of this new update.

    The update should be live now for anyone that owns Tvori. The app itself is available for $19.99.

    Tagged with: tvori

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  • Trash the Internet in The VOID’s Upcoming Adventure Ralph Breaks VR The movie tie-in is due to launch next week.
  • 18 new Startups Selected for the HTC Vive X AR/VR Accelerator Programme This fourth round has an increased emphasis on enterprise VR technology.
  • Wonderscope Is The First AR App From Within
    Wonderscope Is The First AR App From Within

    Within is bringing its expertise in making experiential VR to the weird and wonderful world of augmented reality.

    The company this week launched its first AR experience, Wonderscope, as its own iOS app. Geared towards kids, the experience utilizes Apple’s ARKit to turn the spaces around them into virtually interactive environments designed to encourage early learning. It features several stories that children will be able to read aloud, with text being highlighted as they speak. They can even reach into the world in front of the camera to play with characters.

    Within hopes that encouraging early learning skills will make Wonderscope one of a new breed of AR apps that gets kids using their family’s tablets and phones in proactive ways. “Millions of kids use screens as much or more than adults, and they often do it alone,” Within CEO, Chris Milk said in a prepared statement. “With AR, we see an opportunity to change that dynamic. Rather than disappearing into our devices and shutting out the world, Wonderscope promotes a new kind of screen-positive experience, one that opens you up to everything and everyone around you.”

    Wonderscope is initially launching with one story, A Brief History of Stunts by Astounding People, which takes viewers on a tour of historic stunts. It’s available for free inside the app, but you can also download another story, Little Red the Inventor, for $4.99. As the name suggests, the story is a modern twist on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. More stories will be rolling out to the app in December.

    No word on an Android release just yet.

    Tagged with: Within, Wonderscope

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  • Titanic VR Sets Sail for PlayStation VR Next Week Explore the infamous shipwreck as well as a unique story-driven campaign.
  • VR/AR Adtech Startup Admix Secures $2.1m Investment The company helps developers monetise their content by placing non-intrusive ads.
  • HTC Vive, Vive Pro, And Wireless Adapter Sales All ‘Meeting Goals’
    HTC Vive, Vive Pro, And Wireless Adapter Sales All ‘Meeting Goals’

    Last week I attended an HTC press event in San Francisco where the company not only revealed the Vive Focus was launching in the US that day as an Enterprise-focused device, but they also presented hands-on opportunities with the Vive Focus 6DOF controller dev kit and revealed a new consumer-focused device based on the Vive Wave SDK known as the Shadow VR. The verdict’s still out on that one.

    At that event I also got the chance to sit down with Dan O’Brien, General Manager at HTC. As it turns out, the only thing more difficult than getting a hint of sales data out of executives at virtual reality tech companies is trying to get a room of VR enthusiasts to agree on a preferred form of movement inside VR games. But I tried anyway.

    “We are seeing year-over-year growth for both products, well not so much for Pro it hasn’t been a year yet, but the original Vive we continue to see that growth and adoption,” said O’Brien. “What we’ve learned with the price point of taking that down to $499 we have seen a very accelerated growth to the point that we were stocking out for the summer and had to update our supply chain and forecast.”

    Basically it’s the same sort of answer we’ve gotten in the past from Facebook regarding the Oculus Rift and Oculus Go. In fact, Oculus’ Nate Mitchell told us Go was “beating expectations” and that the Rift was “performing well” in an interview back from September.

    “We continue to see traction going into the holidays and with Vive Pro we continue to see accelerated growth of the full kit and adoption,” said O’Brien. “They want the larger tracking space and better headset. We are meeting goals overall. The Wireless Adapter is going great too.”

    To put things into context, the most recent Steam Hardware Survey results show that while more polled users are using Rifts than Vives at this point, the margin between the two is shrinking as the combined approach from Vive and Vive Pro gains ground.

    Unfortunately we still don’t know hard sales figures from HTC or Oculus. Sony on the other hand have revealed that over 3M PSVR units are out in the wild, which is huge, and it’s a number that is expected to keep growing as we enter the 2018 Holiday season. There are great deals out there for Sony’s headset and it has an excellent lineup of exclusive and cross-platform titles.

    Let us know what you think!

    Tagged with: htc vive, Vive Pro, Vive Wireless Adapter

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  • HP’s new Concept Opera Glass Allows for Quick VR Immersion What the company likes to term as 'VR snacking'.
  • The VOID’s VR Theme Parks Add Wreck-It Ralph Experience
    The VOID’s VR Theme Parks Add Wreck-It Ralph Experience

    The VOID out-of-home VR company is adding an official Wreck-It Ralph experience to four of their locations. It is named ‘Ralph Breaks VR’ and officially opens on the 21st of November (next Wednesday). The VOID describes the experience as:

    Shoot retro alien spaceships, squash pixel bugs, and fend off hordes of bunnies and kitties in the Pancake Milkshake Diner while you team up with Ralph and Vanellope in a race against time to see who can rack up the highest score! It’s all fun and games until an evil security system shows up and threatens to take you and your new buddies offline…permanently.

    The experience was jointly developed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and ILMxLAB (also owned by Disney). It was originally announced in September alongside an unnamed Marvel experience, which is expected in 2019.

    ILMxLAB were also behind the existing Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire at The VOID, which opened in January.

    The 4 locations Ralph Breaks VR will be available at are:

    Anaheim, California
    Glendale, California
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Orlando, Florida

    With Star Wars, Wreck it Ralph, Ghostbusters, and a future Marvel experience, the VOID now has an impressive lineup up content for their VR theme parks. It seems that major entertainment companies consider the ability to physically move around a large space (“warehouse scale VR”) to be a compelling case for bringing their content to VR.

    Tagged with: disney, ilmxlab, out of home vr, The Void

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  • Huawei Plans To Release AR Glasses Within ‘The Next One To Two Years’
    Huawei Plans To Release AR Glasses Within ‘The Next One To Two Years’

    Chinese tech company Huawei has told CNBC that it plans to commercialize augmented reality (AR) glasses within “the next one to two years”. Huawei is China’s largest consumer electronics company and is often described as “China’s Apple” due to its focus on high end products.

    One factor that could give Huawei an edge over competitors like Facebook and help them compete with Apple’s upcoming AR glasses is that they design and manufacture their own SoCs (system on chip) through their HiSilicon subsidiary. Whereas Facebook may have to purchase generic SoCs from Qualcomm (as they do for their VR headsets) Huawei can use their own. Not only would this allow them to lower cost, but it would also allow them to tailor the SoCs around the glasses.

    Huawei has already released two VR headsets, so the company has gained some experience with head mounted displays. The company’s first headset, the Huawei VR, was a Google Daydream powered smartphone based system for the Huawei P9 and Mate 10 phones, similar to Samsung’s Gear VR. It released in 2016 in China, and in early 2017 Google announced that it was coming to the West — however this did not happen.

    The company’s latest VR offering is the Huawei VR 2, a unique headset which can be powered by either a Huawei flagship smartphone (via the phone’s USB-C port) or a gaming PC via DisplayPort. The headset features dual 90 Hz 1440×1600 LCD panels with IPD adjustment, however the tracking for both the headset and controller is 3DoF only. Because it can connect to a PC, it now shows up in the Steam Hardware Survey.

    Current AR headsets from Microsoft (HoloLens) and Magic Leap (Magic Leap One) have high prices, a relatively small field of view, and are too big to be worn in public. Huawei told CNBC that the company will “bring a better user experience product”, but has not provided any specific details on exactly what they will improve on.

    With Huawei, Apple, and Facebook all now working on AR glasses, as well as the HoloLens and Magic Leap One both currently in the development kit stage, the early 2020’s is shaping up to be the beginning of the true consumer AR age. We’ll keep you updated on any further news of true consumer AR glasses.

    Tagged with: ar, AR glasses, augmented reality, Huawei

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