• VR Experience About Violence In Syria Now Available The ICRC have worked with Google's Daydream Impact project to create VR experience about urban warfare.
  • Someone Is Making A Portal Clone In VR With A Level Editor
    Someone Is Making A Portal Clone In VR With A Level Editor

    The fact that Valve hasn’t created official VR ports of Portal and Portal 2 is one of the greatest travesties of modern virtual reality technology. If any existing IP would be a perfect fit, it would be Portal. There is a Portal 2 mod called Portal Stories: VR that does a decent job of replicating environments and the overall tongue-in-cheek tone, but it lacks one important thing: portals. That’s a pretty glaring missing feature.

    Thankfully the intrepid modding community is doing their part to help keep dreams alive. Over the weekend Reddit user Tesseract-Cat posted in the HTC Vive subreddit that they were “working on a Portal clone in Unity for VR” with GIFs and images to show off the work so far. In the footage you can see the developer is using a Windows VR headset and it’s stated to be running in Unity.

    As of now all that’s there are the core gameplay mechanics, but they look incredibly polished so far. There’s a portal gun that shoots portals that can actually be walked through just like in the Portal games as well as the beginnings of a Level Editor (shown in the image above) that would allow players to create their own levels from inside the game itself by laying out blocks and puzzles.

    There is still a lot of work left to put in all of the features that you’d expect from a Portal game, but the developer said that once all of that is done, “I’m planning on making it available through Github, or something similar.”

    Fingers crossed that the modding community turns this into something fun for people to play around with — at the very least this proves the mechanic can work well in VR, as long as zooming through the air like that doesn’t get you motion sick. And fingers double-crossed that Portal VR is an official thing in the works right now. Maybe it’s one of the unannounced VR games that Valve is work shopping behind the scenes?

    Let us know what you think down in the comments below!

    Tagged with: portal, unity, valve

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  • Tobii Signs Agreement With VR Headset Manufacturer Tobii expects to begin delivering eye-tracking technology to major VR headset maker by 2019.
  • VR Shooter Zero Killed Now Available on Steam Early Access Zero Killed is now available in Steam Early Access for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
  • Evasion Review: Redefining Bullet Hell Shooters With VR Chaos
    Evasion Review: Redefining Bullet Hell Shooters With VR Chaos

    Over two and a half years after the launch of consumer-grade VR headsets, my favorite thing to do in VR is still to stand side-by-side, with a friend, while fighting enemies. Whether it be a tactical military shooter like Firewall Zero Hour, a pirate-themed adventure in Rec Room, or a tense arcade-style bullet hell shooter like Evasion, all VR is better with friends.

    Evasion is a game that is built, from the ground up, with co-op multiplayer at the very heart of its identity. So much so, in fact, that it’s often overwhelming to the point of being frustrating if you try to play it alone. It’s very possible, but it’s going to give you a tough challenge.

    The team at Archiact have done a great job of crafting a rich, detailed world. You can read more about the setup for the conflicts in Evasion here, with a blog post directly from the game’s Lead Writer. The premise is pretty simple: humans are colonizing space and mining for precious resources that are being contested by an aggressive alien race that was previously working with the humans. You shoot hundreds of bad guy aliens and fight your way through a series of missions to find out what’s going on. One way to look at Evasion, especially for the PSVR audience, is to think of it as a faster-paced version of Farpoint, but this time with co-op in the actual campaign.

    In Evasion you’ve got four different classes to pick from. The Surgeon, which is a combat medic type, that can heal multiple allies at the same time and the “Contagion” ability on his blaster can bounce between enemies. Then there’s the Striker. She’s a more agile and quick-thinking class with armor-piercing rounds, a smaller shield that can deflect attacks, and a particle beam style weapon.

    Next is the Warden, my favorite class. He’s kind of the polar opposite of the Striker in that he is heavily armored and described as a “one-man wrecking crew.” His main blaster is a bit more like a shotgun and he’s also got a grenade launcher and a large tower-style shield. His tether link can actually buff allies, increasing their damage resistance, and his big Surge Attack shoots out a bunch of cluster bombs. I’ve always gravitated towards the most tank-link characters in games. Finally, there’s the Engineer. She can shoot off orb-shaped charges the do big damage and overload enemy systems with a charged attack. Her tether grabs enemies out of the air and she can also buff allies with increased damage.

    I really enjoyed the class variety, but I was hoping for a bit more nuance inside the game’s structure. There isn’t really a good progression system in place to make it feel like you’re constantly growing in power, so you’re more or less left with whatever you start with. It would have been nice to have a bit more influence over weapons and abilities as you play through the game.

    I’ve played a lot of Evasion over the last year

    The post Evasion Review: Redefining Bullet Hell Shooters With VR Chaos appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Google Uses AR To Replace The Faces On Dollar Bills With Notable Women

    News erupted in 2016 when the U.S. Treasury announced it would replace President Andrew Jackson with the image of Harriet Tubman. The choice to replace the past president with an abolitionist like Tubman, was both celebrated and considered controversial by the public due to the weight of the decision. The leaders on our currency are

    The post Google Uses AR To Replace The Faces On Dollar Bills With Notable Women appeared first on VRScout.

  • Adverty Announces Release of Advertising Network for Mixed Reality PuzzleAR: World Tour becomes the first HoloLens title to use the Adverty advertising platform.
  • Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Escape Room Is Location Based VR At Its Collaborative Best
    Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Escape Room Is Location Based VR At Its Collaborative Best

    Ubisoft was right to withhold the Assassin’s Creed branding from its first ever location-based VR escape room, Escape The Lost Pyramid. Though this exists in the popular gaming series’ universe (and loosely ties into the just-released Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey), the closest you’ll get to the hood-wearing, neck-stabbing escapades of the Creed games is clambering up some walls and firing a bow and arrow at some decidedly un-killable mirrors. But that doesn’t mean you should pass up an opportunity to visit this Egyptian tomb, especially if you’ve got three friends with you.

    Escape The Lost Pyramid, not to be confused with the Temple of Anubis VR maze we saw at E3, is a smartly-designed escape room that plays to VR’s strengths. It doesn’t have you scratching your head solving riddles or going in circle searching for keys to locked doors but instead focuses on things that are fun to do inside VR, especially with friends. That means plenty of physical activities as well as delivering on the powerful immersion that can come with feeling true presence. Played on either the Rift or Vive, four players team up to navigate the treacherous traps of an enormous pyramid. You’ll have your own tile to walk around on that’s roughly the side of your physical walking space, although you can also teleport with the game’s simple one-button control scheme.

    This being an escape room, I’m hesitant to share much info about the game and its solutions, suffice to say that it smartly designs around the potential headaches of VR problem-solving. This is an experience that gives you the opportunity to do things you wouldn’t do in real life; climb over chasms with the abyss lingering below or practice your archery skills in self-declared competitions. A lot of the time the game pairs you off with one other player so as to avoid too much complication and pace the experience so that everyone gets a turn to do something fun.

    To seasoned VR players, this is all fairly regular stuff, but the collaborative nature of the game gives it a welcome twist. Communicating with each other as we twisted platforms to open up paths for teammates and worked out puzzles in the rare moments we all stood together almost felt like being on a game show.   One especially nice touch is the echo added to voice chat over the microphone, creating the feeling that you’re really calling out to someone from far away. I think I screamed in the ear of another player that was maybe a tenth of the distance I thought they were in VR.

    Crucially, for two of the people in my group, it was their first time in VR. We spent about 30 minutes inside the experience (you’re given an hour to complete it, though I’m betting experienced VR players will be at an advantage) and neither of them ever claimed to feel sick. Not only that but our adventure was filled with gasps as we ascended through enormous environments and laughter as we messed around trying on different

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  • The Virtual Arena: VR’s Bonanza for Commercial Entertainment (Part 1) Kevin Williams gives his perspective on the recent developments.
  • Varjo Raises $31 Million For Industrial VR Headset With Human-eye Resolution
    Varjo Raises $31 Million For Industrial VR Headset With Human-eye Resolution

    Varjo, a Finnish startup that’s building a high resolution virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (XR) headset that promises clarity comparable to the human eye, has announced it has raised $31 million in a series B round of funding led by Atomico, with participation from Next 47, EQT Ventures, and Lifeline Ventures.

    “Traditional” VR headsets are certainly clear enough for many scenarios, such as watching a soccer match or playing some games, but if you ever need to get up close and read a piece of text on a virtual document or identify subtle nuances between shades of color, for example, then something a little more high-res will likely be in order.

    Founded out of Helsinki in 2016, Varjo (pronounced “Var-yo”) is targeting myriad industries with a super high-resolution headset and software that promise to help companies carry out tasks that traditionally require a detailed view, but from within a virtual world. The headset can also be integrated with popular 3D engines such as Unity, among other integral industry-specific software.


    Varjo shipped its first alpha headsets last November, and has been working with a host of big names from multiple industries including 20th Century Fox, Airbus, Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, and Technicolor.

    Above: Varjo beta prototype

    The current available prototype has an effective resolution of 50 megapixels per eye, which is well over 20 times more than most consumer VR headsets. VentureBeat was given a hands-on demo with a Varjo prototype headset, and we have to say, it was quite impressive.

    While the version we used isn’t fully representative of the one that will go to market, the rough shape and size of the unit will be the same, and it will still require a high-performance computer to operate alongside — this isn’t a standalone device, and it isn’t wireless.

    Above: VentureBeat trying out a Varjo prototype

    We witnessed several demos, including an artist’s studio and a cockpit simulation, and the detail was incredible. In the cockpit, for example, you could crane your head forward and read tiny numbers on the various screens and dials.

    It’s difficult to convey this without experiencing a demo yourself, but by way of a crude illustration, these side-by-side comparisons go some way toward highlighting the differences between what Varjo is trying to build and where consumer VR headsets are currently at. Using a Sony DSC-RX 1000M4 camera, Varjo snapped a photo of the on-screen visuals through a Varjo headset (top) and the Oculus CV1 headset (below).

    Above: Cockpit comparison: Varjo (top) vs. Oculus CV1

    Image Credit: Varjo

    In reality, humans only see the most clarity within around a five degree area off their full field-of-view, and Varjo’s so-called “bionic display” tracks your eyes to deliver high-res imagery where the eyes would normally expect to see such clarity in the real world.

    “The resolution of VR devices on the market today is a fraction of what the average human eye can see,” noted Atomico founding partner and CEO Niklas Zennström. “Until we met Varjo’s visionary founders and experienced their superior product firsthand, we thought that VR was still at least 10 years

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  • What Will It Take For Location-Based VR To Succeed?
    What Will It Take For Location-Based VR To Succeed?

    With home-based systems getting better and cheaper, can VR arcades and attractions bring in repeat visitors and turn a profit? We talked to some key players about what it takes to be successful in that space.

    Many who rushed to jump on the VR bandwagon and invested heavily in opening VR arcades with the debut of consumer headsets in 2016 have since gone out of business. Some industry insiders, however, remain enthusiastic about Location-Based VR Entertainment for VR and see the market as entering a more sustainable phase.

    We talked to some of the survivors about how they made it this far and how they are honing in on a profitable model for out-of-home VR entertainment. Here’s an overview of where the market is going.

    Lower Per-Minute Pricing

    SpringboardVR has VR arcade operators in 36 countries with dozens more joining every month, according to co-founder and CMO Will Stackable. A recent survey conducted by the company across its network of arcades suggested a majority could be profitable, with many operators having opened multiple locations or planning to expand in the coming months.

    Part of the problem in the early days, according to Stackable, was that many arcades signed expensive leases at malls and set their prices at up to a dollar per minute. At that rate they couldn’t compete with other out of home entertainment venues and mostly attracted one-time thrill seekers. Now that prices have dropped closer to the .50 per minute, however, customers can afford to come in on a weekly basis and arcades are able to build up repeat business.

    SpringboardVR’s survey data shows 95 percent of VR arcade customers have never tried VR before, with the biggest demographic consisting of families with kids.

    “We’re seeing arcades with consistently high utilization numbers,” he said, adding that VR arcades are also diversifying their income streams by acting almost like community centers and hosting tournaments, school field trips, STEM classes, and even nursing home visits.

    Bring VR To The Customers

    “For LBE VR to properly take off, it needs to be experienced, enjoyed and somewhat integrated into the local community,” said Barbara Lippe, Co-Founder and Head of content at HolodeckVR.

    HolodeckVR’s strategy is to sell into existing location verticals instead of trying to create new ones, since there are plenty of entertainment venues out there such as cinemas, casinos, shopping malls and even waterparks.

    “Most people don’t realize how big in the U.S. trampoline parks, indoor skydiving, family entertainment centers, traditional arcades, bowling alleys, etc.  still are,” said Stackable, who believes steady growth in VR arcades will come from consumers that already enjoy, and pay for, location-based social experiences.

    Finding How To Scale

    Simplifying and optimizing equipment setup so that locations are able to decrease the ratio of staff per user could make the difference between going bust and finding profitability.

    “As you might expect, our stages/equipment, location and labor expense are the primary drivers of cost, but while specific economics will vary by location, our locations typically have a positive Net Operating Income from day one,” said Curtis Hickman, Chief Creative Officer and

    The post What Will It Take For Location-Based VR To Succeed? appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Rovio Entertainment Is Planning A New AR App Called Project Magic Rovio Entertainment is working with AR company Zappar to create a new AR app for branded content.
  • 29 Halloween Horrors Come To VRrOOm Via The Strasbourg European Fantastic Film Festival Hot on the heels of its tie in with the Venice Film Festiva
  • Space Bullet Talk Virtual Mecha Mayhem In Vox Machinae Jakub Czeszejko-Sochacki, Co-Founder of the robot battler's developer discusses the title's launch at OC5.
  • Make It A (Virtual) Reality: Tom Clancy’s The Division "What will it take to save what remains?"