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  • Shell Collaborates With EON Reality to Employ AR & VR Solutions Globally With companies will be working together to deploy training solutions.
  • The Biggest VR Releases Of The Week 10/28/18
    The Biggest VR Releases Of The Week 10/28/18

    Last week we had a massive new VR shooter hit Early Access in the form of War Dust, putting 64 players on the same map in two teams of 32 each. This week, there’s nothing quite that ambitious. Instead, we’ve got a free edition of one of VR’s most visually striking shooters, an Oculus Go port of Daydream’s best game, a PSVR tourism app, and a mesmerizing VR short about an ancient healer.

    These are your biggest VR releases for the week of October 28th, 2018. For all of October’s VR releases check out this massive list and look forward to November VR releases here.

    Seeking Dawn: Free to Play Edition, from Multiverse
    Price: Free, Platforms: Rift, Vive, Windows VR

    Seeking Dawn is a gorgeous VR game, but its gameplay never quite does enough to back up the extreme visual fidelity. We had plenty of issues with the game when it first launched earlier this year, but now there’s a new free version, complete with multiplayer support, that’s basically a wave-based survival mode. And it’s Halloween themed because why not!

    Read our full review of the paid game here.

    The Bond, from Axis Studios
    Price: Free, Platforms: Rift, Vive

    The Bond is a visually stunning, free, VR short about an ancient healer and her connection with all living things – good or evil. Far away, in an alien forest, a TiaMuati and her faithful beast seek out a sacred glade. Here she can connect with the web of life – and see the world through other’s eyes. But there’s an imbalance – a dark presence. As the forest’s guardian she must confront it… and you’re coming with her.

    🐲 #LegendsofCatalonia | Consulta tots els detalls de la campanya de @turismecat, pionera en la promoció de destinacions turístiques a https://t.co/RNgd9ycyT3 pic.twitter.com/CWEGCwzw8g

    — Turisme (@turismecat) October 30, 2018

    Legends of Catalonia, from The Greyskull Company
    Price: Free, Platforms: PSVR

    VR tourism hasn’t really hit its stride yet and it’s typically rare on PSVR, but this app is really, really impressive. You can visit famous locales around Barcelona like never before in this world. From the Store page: “Enter an epic adventure, traveler. Catalonia awaits you and you must help the knight Sant Jordi to recover the secrets of his lost diary. Join an adventure in the hands of illustrious travel companions and overcome the challenges that await you in a world of dreams, legends and fantasy.”

    Eclipse: Edge of Light, from White Elk
    Price: $9.99, Platforms: Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR, Daydream

    Review Synopsis:

    If you hadn’t guessed by now I was really rather fond of Eclipse. I even see it as a sort of spiritual successor to Ustwo Games’ excellent Land’s End on Gear VR, only more ambitious. White Elk took a lot of risks with the game’s design that pay off in spades, from the smart use of Daydream’s controller to giving players full control over their movement. The result is a memorable sci-fi adventure that kept me fully engaged from start to finish, and left me feeling like I’d really explored an alien world.

    The post The Biggest VR Releases Of The Week 10/28/18 appeared first on UploadVR.

  • VR Film Homestay Wins BC Spotlight Audience Award The Vancouver Film Festival played host to an exhibition of immersive content.
  • GIVEAWAY: Win A Free Copy Of In Death On Steam For Rift, Vive, Or Windows VR
    GIVEAWAY: Win A Free Copy Of In Death On Steam For Rift, Vive, Or Windows VR

    Hopefully your aim is good because our latest giveaway is for a Steam key to grant access to the bow and arrow-focused archery roguelike, In Death! We’ve got 10 Steam copies ready to hand out, for free, no strings attached. All you have to do is enter into our giveaway right here or down in the widget below.

    Winners will be randomly selected. All of our keys are Steam keys, which means they will unlock the game with native support for either Rift, Vive, or Windows VR.

    For more on what we think of the game, here is an excerpt from our 8/10 review:

    In Death is a fantastic bow and arrow shooter that manages to stay fresh and challenging even after a dozen hours or more of gameplay. There isn’t much of a plot to speak of, but the procedurally generated level layouts and constantly evolving gallery of enemies and arrow types means the more you play and the farther you get, the more diverse and challenging the game becomes. As long as you don’t mind a hard fight that’s going to beat you down and kill you over and over, In Death is absolutely a surreal journey worth taking.

    Winners will be selected at approximately 4PM PT on Monday, November 5th, 2018. If you’d rather not click the link above, here is the embedded contest widget:

    GIVEAWAY: Win A Free Copy Of In Death On Steam For Rift, Vive, Or Windows VR

    Good luck! Hopefully you don’t die before you get a chance to die in VR.

    Tagged with: giveaway, In Death

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    The post GIVEAWAY: Win A Free Copy Of In Death On Steam For Rift, Vive, Or Windows VR appeared first on UploadVR.

  • VR Game Releases For November 2018
    VR Game Releases For November 2018

    Every month we aim to round up each and every VR game release for you in one single place — this is November’s list. Don’t worry — we’ll continue highlighting the best ones at the end of each week too.

    With the door closed on October, we’ve just been through another great month of VR content. Between Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, Evasion, and the massive Battlefield-esque VR shooter War Dust, there were lots of titles to look forward to last month. Now with November upon us, it’s time to take a look at what’s coming down the line next.

    And if you’re a VR game developer planning to release a game soon — let us know! You can get in touch with me directly by emailing david@uploadvr.com or hit all of the editorial team by emailing tips@uploadvr.com. Please contact us about your upcoming releases so that we can know what you’re working on and include you in release lists!

    Rift, Vive, and Windows VR Game Releases For November 2018

    Seeking Dawn: Free to Play Edition (Free) – November 1st (Rift, Vive, Windows VR)
    Neon VR ($19.99) – November 1st – Rift, Vive, Windows VR
    Redshift VR ($4.99) – November 1st – Vive
    Lume – Alpha Release (Free) – November 2nd – Vive
    Galaxy Beta ($TBD) – November 5th – Rift, Vive, Windows VR
    Transpose ($TBD) – November 6th – Rift, Vive
    Dreamland Defender ($TBD) – November 8th – Vive
    Beat  Blocks VR ($TBD) – November 8th – Rift, Vive, Windows VR
    Super Darts VR ($TBD) – November 8th – Vive
    Zero Caliber VR ($TBD) – November 9th – Rift, Vive, Windows VR (Free Demo) (Our Gameplay)
    Runes: The Forgotten Path ($TBD) – November 14th – Rift, Vive (Old Preview)
    Echo Combat ($9.99) – November 15th – Rift (Our Preview)
    Puzzle Out VR ($TBD) – November 2018 – Rift, Vive, Windows VR
    Sharknado VR: Eye of the Storm (Free Demo) – November 2018 – Rift, Vive

    PSVR Game Releases For November 2018

    Legends of Catalonia: The Land of Barcelona (Free) – November 2nd
    Deracine ($29.99) – November 6th (Read Our Preview)
    Tetris Effect ($39.99) – November 9th (Free Demo Until Nov. 5th) (Read Our Preview)

    We would love to include mobile releases, but there is very little visibility about what’s coming to Gear VR, Go, or Daydream and it’s difficult to track releases accurately by date. That being said, if you have a mobile VR title in the works with a specific launch date or window, let us know!

    As a point of emphasis: reach out to david@uploadvr.com or tips@uploadvr.com to let us know about your upcoming VR game releases!

    Editor’s Note: This list will be continuously updated.

    Tagged with: Deracine, Echo Combat, Scraper, Tetris Effect, Transpose

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  • Review: Witching Tower A well-balanced fantasy adventure.
  • Epic Games CEO Criticises Closed Oculus Platform With questions being raised about third-party applications on the Oculus quest, Tim Sweeney comes out in favour of openness.
  • Vive Studios Boss: ‘We Need To Get Better At Marketing’ Content
    Vive Studios Boss: ‘We Need To Get Better At Marketing’ Content

    HTC’s Vive Studios division acknowledges that it needs to ramp up its work in marketing, especially with more challenging non-gaming apps.

    Vive Studios was announced back in 2016 and is similar, though certainly not identical, to the Oculus Studios division at Facebook. The team pledged to do everything from publishing content made with partners to internally developing and releasing its own projects, going beyond gaming and looking at professional and experiential applications too. But, whilst Oculus Studios has launched big projects like Lone Echo and Marvel: Powers United over the past few years, it’s harder to keep track of Vive’s work.

    There have been some notable releases, the biggest of which is undoubtedly the Ready Player One: Oasis beta, a virtual hub of sorts that connects you to a handful of minigames. But, broadly speaking, it’s harder to find Studios’ fingerprints across the current VR ecosystem.

    To that end, some Vive Studios releases on Steam haven’t even gathered enough user reviews to get aggregate rankings, though many are also sold across platforms like Viveport and Oculus Home. Even Studios Head Joel Breton admits that games like the Vive Studios-published and Square Enix-developed Million Arthur VR didn’t “sell out of the gates”. Speaking to UploadVR, though, Breton said that it’s his first priority to keep VR developers safe regardless of sales.

    “So the first thing I want to do with my partners is derisk the project for them and let them try to innovate and create something awesome that will help the market and then obviously help their business too,” Breton reasoned. “So certainly we need to get better at marketing. I’m very proud of the content we make. Everything that we’re making is very highly rated, it’s very well received and certainly we can do a much better job of marketing content and that’s something that I’m very happy to be working on.”

    Breton admits that much of the challenge comes from knowing who to market to, especially in the non-gaming scene. “For instance, the TrueScale design application is fantastic for anybody that’s doing design of an interior space like a store or a gymnasium or a fitness center. So it’s amazing for those people but they just don’t know about it. They don’t know that it’s there they don’t know that they can go into VR and then in like 30 minutes do what might take them a couple of hours or at least a day to do on a flat screen.”

    One approach Breton says its taken recently is to give some of its apps more of a soft launch, quietly releasing early builds and then updating them with the help of the community to the point that it can market them more confidently. Studios also sees its most recent project, an episodic VR movie retelling Bible stories named 7 Miracles, as an example of an app that it knows directly who to market to.

    “But finding the audiences for these non-gaming VR content? That is certainly a challenge right now that’s something that we’re

    The post Vive Studios Boss: ‘We Need To Get Better At Marketing’ Content appeared first on UploadVR.

  • PlayStation VR Bundles Discounted For Black Friday Target are offering deep discounts for PlayStation VR bundles for Black Friday.
  • Futuristic VR Playground Coming To Toronto VRulez VR Arcade will be first in North America to use KatWalk treadmill system.
  • Facebook Predicts 40 – 50% Increase In Spending In 2019 Due To VR/AR And More
    Facebook Predicts 40 – 50% Increase In Spending In 2019 Due To VR/AR And More

    Facebook expects to keep spending heavily on VR and AR in 2019.

    During its Q3 2018 earnings call earlier this week the company announced that it expects a 40 – 50% increase in spending in 2019 compared to 2018, taking full-year capital expenditure to around $18 billion to $20 billion. CEO Mark Zuckerberg rounded off his opening notes by stating that the company was “heavily investing in AR and VR”, making specific mention of next year’s launch of the Oculus Quest all-in-one VR headset.

    Chief Financial Officer Dave Wehner later explained that the company expects to total $14 billion to $14.5 billion in capital expenditure in 2018. “As Mark said, we continue to invest aggressively across the business, and expect that full-year 2019 total expenses will grow 40 – 50% compared to full-year 2018,” he said, putting full-year capital expenditures at “$18 to $20 billion.”

    When later asked if this spending would be in the same areas that the company has previously said it will be investing in, Wehner replied: “A lot of that is consistent with what we’ve been talking about as our big investment areas.” He specifically noted that investment in VR and AR was one such area as well as other factors like increased headcount and investment in safety and security technologies.

    Obviously Facebook isn’t going to be spending $20 billion on VR and AR next year but with news that the company’s immersive R&D division, Reality Lab, is getting a big new site at the Redmond campus, coupled with the work Michael Abrash showcased at OC5 this year, it’s clear that it’s not going to slow down its spending any time soon. The big question is if Oculus Quest, which launches in spring 2019 for $399, will mark the start of Facebook recouping some of those investments.

    Tagged with: facebook, mark zuckerberg

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  • More Patent Reveals With News of Google Eye-Tracking Patent Google patent will use eye-tracking to give VR avatars accurate facial expressions.
  • Escape With Me: How A Mobile Phone Game Led To The Creation Of Beat Saber
    Escape With Me: How A Mobile Phone Game Led To The Creation Of Beat Saber

    XRDC is a very tiny event. It takes place near the end of the year in San Francisco (formerly it was called VRDC, but the industry is expanding and they wanted it all under one roof) and a few dozen industry executives, developers, luminaries, and press all gather together to network, try out a few demos, and attend talks. Mostly it’s for networking and talks though. The “show floor” had maybe six or seven booths total.

    As a result, the best part of XRDC for me this year was the Beat Saber talk hosted by Beat Games CEO and co-founder, Jaroslav Beck. He discussed the project’s origins, where the concept came from, how they’ve found so much success, and what’s next for the studio.

    Humble Beginnings

    Beck began his talk by explaining that Beat Saber owes a lot of its creation to a critically acclaimed and massively popular mobile phone game named Chameleon Run by Hyperbolic Magnetism. It’s a simple little game in which you control a small character that is constantly running at high speeds while you make him jump and change colors to match platforms. That’s about it.

    Now if you extrapolate on that idea of color switching and contact, it makes sense that the premise could lead to what we now know as Beat Saber. Albeit just a way cooler, more polished, and impressive version. Beck mentioned that the neon aesthetic inspiration comes from Tron, which should come as no surprise at all.

    Photo Credit: Ben Lang

    In the image above, you can see the first initial prototype for Beat Saber (compared to the final version of the Early Access release pictured below). Beck said the initial prototype with all of the core designs and gameplay mechanics was completed in just a single week.

    “We worked for the next year and a half just on polishing the last 10% of the game, which made all the difference,” Beck said.

    Prior to working on Beat Saber, Beck mostly contributed his musical talents to AAA game studios for properties such as Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Star Wars, Call of Duty, Starcraft, and more.

    “We agreed I’d make a soundtrack of 10 songs to be included and customized for the game,” Beck said. And $100 Bills, one of the most popular tracks in the game today, was that first test. Beck and developer Jan Ilavsky collaborated back and forth between crafting new tracks and mapping the beats, iterating and polishing along the way.

    Organic Viral

    According to Beck, the team at Hyperbolic Magnetism and Beat Games did not spend a single dollar on marketing. Instead, they got lucky. By partnering up with LIV, a mixed reality capture and software studio, they crafted videos like the one you see above to not only sell people on Beat Saber, but to sell people on VR in general. And it worked.

    “Suddenly we thought, ‘What are we going to do about this?'” Beck said. “The game isn’t even finished yet! But there is a chance that this could help the industry as a whole become

    The post Escape With Me: How A Mobile Phone Game Led To The Creation Of Beat Saber appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Epic CEO Tim Sweeney: Closed Oculus Platform Would Mean ‘Less Income For Developers’
    Tim Sweeney Epic Games

    Some major questions remain unanswered by Facebook’s Oculus team regarding how open and accessible its Oculus Quest hardware will be to buyers. With some prompting this weekend, one of the gaming industry’s thought leaders commented with some strong language on the situation.

    Critically, it is unclear how easy it will be for the average Oculus Quest buyer in 2019 to become developers so they could load up software that runs on the headset without going through Facebook’s Oculus Store. That’s the way it is done today with the standalone Oculus Go headset.

    Signs are there that Oculus Quest will have a dev mode for sideloading apps. How accessible will that developer mode be to all buyers? Can a company like @epicgames get a hypothetical Fortnite VR installed this way? What about an alternate store? @TimSweeneyEpic @ID_AA_Carmack https://t.co/5nxhmgNPLL

    — Ian Hamilton (@hmltn) October 27, 2018

    While it is important for developers to get full access to all the computation and graphics power in a standalone headset, certain services might kept active and beyond user or developer control for safety, security or privacy reasons. For example, we know Quest includes a visible external light that is wired directly to the power rail of the headset, and we expect its operation not to be changeable by apps or the end user.

    Likewise, Oculus uses what it calls a “Guardian” system which defines safe boundaries for play. Facebook uses the system on Rift today while Valve offers its own “Chaperone” system with adjustable settings on PC. Even Microsoft uses the concept of “Boundaries” on PC with its inside-out tracking system to define play areas that are clear from floor to ceiling. Google’s Daydream OS running on Lenovo’s standalone Mirage Solo automatically restricts head movement to a very small area, but that feature can be deactivated by developers for a dangerous testing session.

    Bleh, a closed platform attempt around VR.

    — Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) October 28, 2018

    The issue here is the same path used by developers to test their apps on computers is also often used by enthusiastic early adopters to become the first to test those apps. On the standalone Oculus Go headset, for instance, you can install stuff from a connected PC, but that’s not nearly as easy as, say, installing Fortnite on an Android phone and bypassing the Google Play Store to do it. The argument could be made that security, safety, and privacy of whomever is using a VR headset demands a more restrictive console-like platform similar to an Xbox, Nintendo or PS4.

    It certainly seems like Oculus is heading toward a console approach for Quest, but the company still hasn’t clarified its plan for some of these things. Company representatives, however, made it clear earlier this year that they are aware of the issues at stake when it comes to how they run current and future platforms.

    “It’s an existential crisis for us to make sure we get data handling right,” said Max Cohen, head of product for the Oculus Platform, during a phone interview

    The post Epic CEO Tim Sweeney: Closed Oculus Platform Would Mean ‘Less Income For Developers’ appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Nothing Half-Baked About Zombie Donuts Update Canadian developer Virtro have announced an update for candy apocalypse shooter Zombie Donuts.