• Viveport Unwraps Some Christmas Treats for Subscribers The festivities start in a few days.
  • Borderlands 2 VR Dev Explains Why the Game Ditched Co-Op
    Borderlands 2 VR Dev Explains Why the Game Ditched Co-Op

    It’s just a few days now until Borderlands 2 VR graces PSVR headsets everywhere, bringing pretty much the entire original game into VR. As developer Gearbox has said from the start, though, there is one crucial feature missing in this version: co-op. Borderlands 2 VR is a single-player only experience, which has come as disappointing news to some, but Gearbox has finally explained its thinking behind this decision.

    In a recent gameplay commentary video with IGN (which you can see below), Borderlands 2 VR lead designer Jacob Lavender talked a bit about why the team took co-op out of the game. “What we do want, is that when you pick up BL2VR, it’s still the same story, but it’s completely different gameplay,” he explained. “And we wanted to give you that experience that’s like “Hey, I’ve played through this but now it’s different, it’s new, it’s fresh.””

    That’s why the game is fitted with new features, like the BAMF system that slows down time to allow you to get in extra shots at your enemies. “And with single-player, that was one of those things that gave us that opportunity to put in things like BAMF time and teleportation and to really pump those up 11 and make it as strong as you possibly could be,” Lavender added. “To make you a complete, total badass, moreso than you’ve ever been before because we didn’t have to worry about it messing up the balance of the game.”

    Will these new additions make up for the lack of co-op play that has previously defined the Borderlands experience? The jury’s still out on that, but we’ll have our full verdict later this week when the game goes live.

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  • Cross Platform Multiplayer Shooter Slightly Heroes is Out Now Go one-on-one in this Pixar-inspired shooter.
  • PSVR’s Falcon Age Continues To Look Stunning In New Trailer
    PSVR’s Falcon Age Continues To Look Stunning In New Trailer

    This new trailer for PSVR exclusive Falcon Age is comprised of a lot of footage from the first one, but the game continues to look so promising that we don’t really care.

    As the name suggests, Outer Loop’s new adventure has players raising a falcon from birth, teaching it to fetch and hunt as well as keeping it healthy by feeding and taking care of it. In this trailer, we see a bit more of the game’s crafting mechanics, which will have users growing their own garden of ingredients that they can then combine to make a meal for their feathered friend.

    We also see another look at the game’s combat, which pits players against an evil army of robots. We’ll be super interested to see how this portion of the game plays out even if we’re mainly excited about growing a bond with our new pet in Falcon Age. The game’s due to arrive sometime in 2019. I mean you can fist bump your new buddy. ‘Nuff said.

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  • Underground VR FPS Echoes Nears Kickstarter Funding
    Underground VR FPS Echoes Nears Kickstarter Funding

    It looks like Echoes, a new VR shooter from a Spanish indie developer, will be making its way to a headset near you soon.

    Rogue Titan Games launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for the game, which we originally wrote about earlier this year, back in November. With over two weeks to go before the campaign ends, it’s raised well over half of its modest $10,079 goal, meaning there’s every chance the developer pulls it off.

    Echoes is set in the near future in which life on earth is under threat. The player journeys underground in search of salvation but ends up coming up against a twisted brand of monsters. The game mixes shooter gameplay with stealth and survival elements and has employed some careful considerations for VR, like an ‘augmented reality’ interface.

    If funding comes in the developer hopes to have the PSVR version of the game out by April 2019. An $18 Early Bird pledge will get you a digital copy of the game on PS4 or Windows (the latter is expected to arrive later in 2019). Both editions will feature optional VR support.

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  • VRgineers Will be Upgrading the XTAL Headset for CES 2019 The lenses are getting an overhaul for improved image quality.
  • Waveguide Manufacturer WaveOptics Raises $26m in New Funding Round The investment will be used to scale business and support international expansion.
  • Rift Developers Can Now Grant Custom Oculus Home Items As Achievements
    Rift Developers Can Now Grant Custom Oculus Home Items As Achievements

    Developers of Oculus Rift games sold on the Oculus Store can now grant custom Oculus Home items as achievements. Users can decorate their virtual homes with these achievements and even show off them off to friends.

    Facebook first announced this feature at Oculus Connect 5 back in late September. Since then it’s been trialed with Superhot VR, Moss, Echo Arena, Job Simulator, OrbusVR, and Arizona Sunshine. From today, all Rift developers can create and grant 3D models as achievements.

    Of course, achievements aren’t the only way to get custom items for your Oculus Home. Back in June, Oculus started allowing users to import their own 3D models into Home. Shortly after, the company added an ‘Export to Home’ feature to the Oculus Medium sculpting app.

    Like with user-created custom items, custom developer items must be in the glTF file format. glTF is a free open standard from the Khronos group, the same organization behind Vulkan and OpenXR. Items can include looping animations, but the total file size must be under 15MB. They also have to be tied directly to achievements; you can’t grant players extra rewards for anything not linked to the system right now.

    Achievements as actual items in VR may make earning them much more compelling for gamers. In the past, showing off your achievements meant a friend scrolling through a 2D list on your profile or exhibiting them as framed posters inside Home. But now you can show them off in much more personalized ways when inviting a friend around to your virtual home. You can pick one up and hand it to them, if you really want to boast.

    Tagged with: Developers, Oculus Home, oculus rift

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  • Liam Payne Set To Star In MelodyVR’s First Live VR Concert
    Liam Payne Set To Star In MelodyVR’s First Live VR Concert

    Since its launch on Oculus Go earlier this year the MelodyVR app has mainly focused on building out a library of concerts recorded in 360 degrees for people to watch back in VR. Attending a live concert without having to leave your home has always been one of VR’s big promises, though, and the service is set to provide just that next week with the help of former One Direction star Liam Payne.

    MelodyVR is set to host its first livestream on December 19th, broadcasting Payne’s headline show in London at a secret location. He might be best known for the larger boy band, but Payne’s been going his own as a solo act ever since the group went on indefinite hiatus in 2016 (bet you never thought you’d read about this on UploadVR?). He’s bound to perform his new single, Polaroid, at the show but he’s also been known to perform a One Direction song or two in his own sets from time to time.

    MelodyVR will be giving away a limited number of tickets to attend the show in person but, for everyone else around the globe, you’ll be able to watch it inside Go and Gear VR. You’ll get to experience the show as if you were there in person with none of the mosh pits (okay maybe there won’t be any mosh pits at a Liam Payne concert). Payne is set to release more content on the platform throughout 2019.

    Concerts have been livestreamed in VR before, but MelodyVR’s platform will allow users to switch between different cameras during the show to get the view they want, be it front row seating or a more panoramic landscape. If you’re interested in watching along you’ll need to boot up the app at 8PM GMT (about 3PM ET/12PM PT) on Monday, December 19th.

    MelodyVR is still due to release on other VR headsets like PSVR and Oculus Rift in the near future.

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  • XTAL Ultra High-End VR Headset Adds Neurable’s Emotion Analysis
    XTAL Ultra High-End VR Headset Adds Neurable’s Emotion Analysis

    A new partnership between Neurable and VRgineers adds the former’s “brain sensors” to the ultra high-end XTAL VR headset.

    We tried out Neurable last year, a system which places EEG (Electroencephalography) sensors along the interior of a VR headset’s strap to gather data from contact with the skin around the brain. Combining that information in real-time with eye-tracking could allow the system to identify, measure and analyze the emotion and intent of the person wearing the headset. The XTAL VR headset from VRgineers includes eye tracking, so adding the EEG sensors and using Neurable’s analysis software might offer customers with very large budgets more capable analysis and training tools than consumer grade systems like Rift and Vive.

    “We anticipate that this will be an enterprise-grade device, built for professional designers and engineers who require superior visual quality and highly accurate, reliable analytics,” Neurable CEO Ramses Alcaide explained in an email. “We’ve seen a lot of traction in three main areas: high-consequence simulation training for industrial applications, design feedback in AEC use cases, customer research for retail.”

    VRgineers claim,”Neurable’s unique ability to overcome the signal-to-noise issues of traditional non-invasive” brain-computer interfaces “enable them to deliver on the promise of truly useful BCI technology for enterprise and consumer applications.”

    The expected use cases for the system make sense for the XTAL headset, which starts around $5,500 for its ultra-high end features which include a higher resolution panel, expanded field of view and integrated Leap Motion hand tracking. There’s no word yet on when the headset with Neurable integration will be available, or how much it will cost.

    The military is investing nearly half a billion dollars in Microsoft-built HoloLens AR headsets to help soldiers become more effective while Walmart purchased 17,000 Oculus Go VR headsets this year to train the workforce at every store. If businesses are able to realize savings (or increased profits) by implementing VR training, then the high up-front cost of a headset like XTAL is likely still worth the investment. While we tried XTAL earlier this year and Neurable last year, and came away impressed by aspects of both demos, we haven’t tried a demo with both of these technologies implemented together.

    “VR is a medium that relishes in data. Making sense of all of that data both from an input/output perspective is very important,” Alcaide explained. “Eye-tracking allows systems to parse a user’s virtual reality experience (i.e. when and where they are looking) while BCI provides data on the internal experience of the user (e.g. change in cognitive state state). With both data streams, we can extract powerful behavioral insights from virtual reality not available otherwise. It’s not enough to just see where a user is looking. We need to know what kind of changes are going on while they do so. Similarity, it’s not enough to just know general changes in state. Being able to programmatically associate the two data streams is how we bring value to these new types of applications.”

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  • LEGO Playgrounds: A Mixed Reality Portal Of Innovation

    Have you ever wanted to jump through a mysterious portal and travel to a brand new universe where you loose all sense of space and time? LEGO Playgrounds, LEGO’s latest AR app-based channel, allows you to do precisely that. The LEGO Playgrounds portal is one of the latest LEGO digital innovations; a connected play experience

    The post LEGO Playgrounds: A Mixed Reality Portal Of Innovation appeared first on VRScout.

  • Mini-Mech Mayhem to Cause Some Table-top Carnage in Q1 2019 for PlayStation VR It's the latest title from Tiny Trax studio FuturLab.
  • Building An AR Platform For Intelligent Avatars

    Artie’s engine uses AI to create entertaining and highly interactive avatars in augmented reality.   The ability to create engaging avatars is crucial if social immersive experiences and platforms wish to catch on with consumers. Unfortunately, that’s arguably the trickiest part of the puzzle, as creators have to somehow balance the desire for realistic representation/interaction

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  • Oculus Announces the $100K VR Charity Challenge The event will take place later this week.
  • Skyworld Translates Perfectly To PSVR, For What It’s Worth
    Skyworld Translates Perfectly To PSVR, For What It’s Worth

    Remember Skyworld? It’s that other VR app from Arizona Sunshine developer Vertigo Games, the one that didn’t quite enjoy the same level of critical success as its zombie-slaying brethren, at least on our part. Well it’s coming to PSVR early next year and, for what it’s worth, Vertigo seems to have done an ace job handling the port.

    Skyworld is a blend of turn-based and real-time strategy. For the bulk of gameplay, you’ll be building out a town filled with the usual assortment of bases and units that will gather resources for you. You can move a General unit every turn and, when you’re satisfied your forces are robust enough, take on the enemy in card-based battles. Either that or the enemy will come hunting for you and you’ll find yourself on the back foot.

    One of our favorite things about the game is the cutesy presentation, and that’s been retained in the PSVR port. Skyworld has an adorable action figure aesthetic that makes exploring its model-sized worlds an absolute delight. Better yet, the diorama levels are just as easy to navigate on PSVR as they were on PC; Skyworld is a 100% 180-degree experience and, during my demo, there were no awkward instances of losing tracking or wrestling with Move buttons. It all felt entirely natural, right down to the little interactions like grabbing and spinning the table to see more of the world.

    I asked Vertigo if there were going to be any big changes to the PSVR version of the game and they told me this was pretty much a straight port. That means this edition isn’t likely to win around anyone that wasn’t sold on the original version. While Skyworld nails its presentation, it remains true that there isn’t a whole lot of depth to the game. In our review we said: “Skyworld has some good ideas, but ultimately its full potential is unrealized. I applaud Vertigo for trying something new, but when it comes down to it, VR doesn’t really enhance a board game and simple strategy experience like this, and it often became more tedious and convoluted than fun.”

    That remains the case here. The game’s real-time battles don’t inspire much strategic gameplay so much as a hectic free-for-all of deploying units faster than your enemy can in order to win ground. You don’t feel like you have an overwhelming amount of control, more just hoping for the best.

    Still, if you have a friend whom with you share an affinity for strategic gaming, Skyworld has enjoyable online multiplayer and if you’re craving this type of experience in VR you don’t have many other choices.

    Skyworld hits PSVR in early 2019.

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