• Smash Hit Plunder’s Delightful Chaos Is Even Better With A Friend
    Smash Hit Plunder’s Delightful Chaos Is Even Better With A Friend

    I’m pleased to report that, over the past four or so years, Smash Hit Plunder hasn’t really changed. Though it’s been away for some time, moving from Gear VR to PSVR as developer Triangular Pixels itself relocated from the UK capital of London to the calmer coastal scenes of Cornwall, the chaotic core of this smash ’em up remains intact and that’s a great thing. There is one new feature, though, and it’s a welcome one: local multiplayer using PSVR’s social screen support.

    In the past I’ve only seen Plunder as a single-player experience in which you tear through a castle, destroying everything in sight as you gather up the sweet loot that spills from within. It’s always made for a fun few minutes, but it was lacking the replayable party atmosphere that its ridiculous premise seemed ideally suited to. That’s no longer the case.

    Up to three players can now join the VR user in the game’s primary mode. Now, this isn’t some slight implementation via an app as with The Persistence, nor is it just a subtle feature to entertain those not fortunate enough to be inside the headset; this is full-blown multiplayer support, the likes of which we haven’t seen on PSVR since The Playroom VR. Each player joins you in the world as their own character — a plump little imp or sorts — that can charge about, picking up and smashing all the same objects that you can.

    Working together brings out a special kind of silliness that you don’t usually get with VR, though this isn’t a game that strictly encourages teamwork. It’s just too tempting to close a door in a friend’s face and then greet them by hurling a chair at them when they reopen it. Making it even better is the casual competitive element, which has you frantically scrambling to get the best score. The familiarity of the DualShock 4 does give flat-screen players an advantage, but the wonder of VR (which uses Move controllers) helps make up for it.

    On the VR side, it’s great to finally play Smash Hit with a motion controller instead of relying on Gear’s head-tracking. The controls themselves are still a little tricky, though there are customization options to help out. I got confused having to hold a button and move my controller to turn in the world, for example (simple button presses have always worked better, I’ve found).

    You can get inventive with your smashing, though. Fireplaces will set wood alight, which can help you dismantle some objects, and a Ghostbusters-style showdown at the end of the level had me flinging objects in sheer panic as I tried to protect my loot. I was laughing the entire time, and I can’t say that about many VR games.

    For all of the feverish fun, though, withstanding the test of time is going to be the biggest deciding factor in how good Smash Hit Plunder really is. Triangular Pixels is promising a generous amount of modes for the game (including, promising, a narrative

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  • VR Rhythm Game ‘Rave Runner’ Announced For Oculus Quest

    Dance like nobody’s watching. Facebook’s fifth annual Oculus Connect event was arguable its biggest as the company revealed a plethora of updates to its ever growing catalogue of VR software, not to mention an entirely new standalone headset, the Oculus Quest. The device, while not quite as powerful as its Rift counterpart, features 1600 x

    The post VR Rhythm Game ‘Rave Runner’ Announced For Oculus Quest appeared first on VRScout.

  • Final Assault Hands-On: Become A Conductor Of War In This VR RTS Meets MOBA
    Final Assault Hands-On: Become A Conductor Of War In This VR RTS Meets MOBA

    There really haven’t been a whole lot of good VR strategy games. It’s a bit surprising because when they’re done well (Brass Tactics, AirMech Command) they seem to fit the platform like a glove. Pointing to where you want units to go, grabbing troops to issue commands with your hands, and getting a bird’s eye view of the battlefield from inside the headset all feels great — but it’s just been rare. Final Assault, the next game from Phaser Lock Interactive, the same team behind Final Approach (air traffic control arcade game) and Twisted Arrow (a bow and arrow action adventure shooter) is here to try and help make it a more common occurrence.

    Some strategy games have tried to toe the line between complexity and accessibility, such as Skyworld, or suffered from crippling balance issues, such as MoonStrike, so those are certainly major areas of concern the devs at Phaser Lock will need to look out for.

    During our original demo with the game back at GDC, we got a good taste of the PvP offerings by going head-to-head on the urban map you see featured in a lot of the screenshots. For this latest demo it was a solo match against AI on the snowy level.

    In both of my demos the objective has been the same: destroy the enemy base. During a match, each side has infantry constantly spawning and automatically marching down the two lanes around the center courtyard, a bit like a MOBA. Along each path are guard towers with turrets that shoot at enemies automatically, a bit like a tower defense game. And as you play you’ll earn currency that can be spent to spawn more powerful units that you can send out to attack enemy units or to go down specified lanes, a bit like an RTS.

    Clearly, Final Assault is the VR melting pot of strategy genres.

    As of right now my biggest concern is with depth. There are supposedly a large number of different factions, but I get the feeling so far that they’re all going to feel about the same with slight variations. Both of the maps are basically the same with two bases at opposite ends, a center courtyard, and two lanes around the courtyard. Hopefully the final product has more to it, but it’s certainly lacking the depth and complexity that RTS titles are known for.

    There’s good unit variety between jeeps, fighter planes, tanks, bomber planes, artillery units, anti-air units, and more. The main crux of Final Assault’s strategy boils down to pushing down the lane as fast as you can, countering enemy spawns, and trying to hit the enemy’s base before they take out yours.

    One thing I noticed is that it was very easy to get tunnel vision and only focus on one lane at a time, but that’s only a good strategy if you don’t like winning. Doing so can easily result in getting overran on the other lane or simply flanked through the central courtyard. Having to pay attention to

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  • BizBash Returns To Print With New AR Content Event planning magazine will be introducing AR content in upcoming re-launch issue.
  • Oculus Go ‘Exceeded Expectations’ States Carmack, Reveals Future Upgrades There are plenty of plans afoot to improve Oculus Go.
  • Why One Of Sony’s Biggest PSVR Advocates Risked It All On Going Indie
    Why One Of Sony’s Biggest PSVR Advocates Risked It All On Going Indie

    Dave Ranyard used to head up one of Sony’s longest-running PlayStation developers, working on its most experimental tech, located in the heart of London. Over the course of the past decade, he’s worked on games that spearheaded PlayStation peripherals from the popular SingStar karaoke series to early augmented reality efforts with Wonderbook. Most recently he was working on PlayStation VR, serving as one of the kit’s key ambassadors in its early days,  presenting the demos that would add up to the popular PlayStation VR Worlds launch compilation. Showing sharks to his mother, watching people fall through virtual desks or simply watching cynics be converted right before his eyes — you might consider him one of the headset’s biggest advocates.

    But these days? He’s traded all of that in for a meditation yurt and he couldn’t be happier about it.

    Ranyard’s given multiple talks on VR over the years, often showing a video of his mother being attack by virtual sharks

    Ranyard is grinning from ear-to-ear as he shows me around Huckletree, west London’s co-working space that houses his latest venture, independent development studio Dream Reality Interactive. He’s feeding off the bubbly vibe of positivity that exudes from the venue, from the hipster-approved hut to the indoor gazebo that sits next to it. DRI itself, now over two years old and soon set to release its second commercial product, is nestled off to the side of the main floor, a team of around 10 all busily working away with a hearty startup spirit. The enthusiasm on display is infectious, but I can’t help wonder if it’s worth the trade-off of that Sony safety net.

    “Isn’t that–”

    “Madness?” Ranyard interjects with a laugh before I’ve even finished my first question. Well, isn’t it? “I was 48 ,” he explains, “and I thought, if I don’t do it now, I’m not going to do it. It was a bit of personal pressure. I’d always thought “Wouldn’t it be great to have your own studio?””

    He’s had his own businesses before, too. In another life, Ranyard was a musician signed to Warner Bros. and he’d even run a vintage clothes store before that. Still, the decision wasn’t made lightly. “When you’re in a big corp it’s quite difficult to because you’re kind of in this certain lifestyle that’s very busy and it’s reasonably well recompensed. And I’ve got four kids.”

    But, having spent years working on PSVR in its R&D stage and developing the game that now comes packaged in with the headset as your first VR experience, Ranyard already had the spirit of adventure in him. “It was a high risk inside Sony to say “Right, let’s do VR!” when it was still like a cycling helmet with bits strapped on it,” he recalls.

    The London Heist demo was one of the first VR experiences that used motion controllers as guns and featured detailed human NPCs

    “And it was hard in the sense that we did lots of R&D and we found a lot of stuff that

    The post Why One Of Sony’s Biggest PSVR Advocates Risked It All On Going Indie appeared first on UploadVR.

  • VRHealth Working With Oculus For Health and Wellness Solutions VRHealth demonstrate use of Oculus Go and Oculus Rift for healthcare during Oculus Connect 5.
  • Limited Time Only: Moss is 25% off Across all VR Platforms Plus Oculus Rift users can unlock two unique Moss items to decorate their virtual Oculus Home.
  • Watch Valve’s Knuckles EV3 Controllers Get Unboxed
    Watch Valve’s Knuckles EV3 Controllers Get Unboxed

    The next iteration of Valve’s Knuckles VR controllers are now arriving on developer’s doorsteps, and Climbey developer Brian Lindenhof is providing his typically dependable first look at them.

    Lindenhof, who also gave us a glimpse of earlier Knuckles controllers being used to play Lone Echo and Fallout 4, yesterday posted the below video unboxing the latest edition of the devices. EV3 isn’t looking like a massive update over the last version of the devices (Lindenhof even describes them as “really close to EV2”), but it is shipping out to many more developers than the last batch.

    Lindehoff goes over the minute changes to the device, summing them up as “good improvements but very minor”. Stick around to see them compared to other VR controllers like Oculus Touch and the Vive wands.

    As for when Knuckles will actually release as a product? We still don’t have much of an idea, sadly, though we wouldn’t bet on it being in 2018.

    Tagged with: Knuckles, valve

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  • The Future of Oculus Home Will Have Plenty More Incentives Developers will be able to add even more to their games to keep you playing.
  • Echo Combat Hands-On: New Game Mode And New Map Adds Variety
    Echo Combat Hands-On: New Game Mode And New Map Adds Variety

    Echo Combat is the next iteration of the excellent Echo franchise from Ready at Dawn, but instead of being about zero-gravity ultimate frisbee in VR like Echo Arena, Echo Combat is all about shooting. In past demos we’ve seen the Fission map with the Payload-focused game mode, a lot like Overwatch, but at a recent preview event last week we got the chance to check out not only a brand new King of the Hill-style point capture game mode, but a brand new map as well.

    The new map is called Combustion and this Echo Combat variation of King of the Hill has been dubbed Capture Point. I was starting to get worried there would only be the one map and mode when Echo Combat launched, but thankfully their adding a bit more to the package. You can see gameplay clips down below:

    Just like anything Echo-branded, the concept is simple, but fun to try and master. At the center of the Combustion map there’s a large space known as the Capture Point. Once the zone is active, someone must claim it by hanging out inside until a meter fills. You can only earn points while you own the zone, but you don’t need to stay in the zone to keep control.

    In other words, once you claim it, you can move anywhere in the map and still own the zone until someone from the other team claims it. So it’s a bit like Domination from Destiny, but just a single point instead of three.

    Matches are still two teams of three and you’ve got the same assortment of weapons and abilities to pick from, but the strategies are much different this time around. For example, once you own the zone, do you all camp out at it and just defend it at all cost, or do you send one or two teammates out hunting for the other team to try and disrupt them? Since no one needs to sit inside the zone, you could leave it exposed as bait, then ambush them while they’re eager to try and grab it.

    Oculus has stated that “even more content” is expected following the game’s launch, so maybe that means more game modes and maps to come. I’d also love to see each of these two maps tweaked just enough to support either game mode to give even more variety to what’s already there.

    When we did our break down of Space Junkies and Echo Combat we noted a preference for Echo Combat due to the excellent movement mechanics, wonderful polish, and satisfying gameplay. Now with even more variety in terms of game modes, Ready at Dawn’s competitive shootout is looking better than ever. Make sure and check out our past livestream for more footage of the original Fission Payload map’s gameplay.

    Echo Combat is currently slated for release on November 15th exclusive for Oculus Rift and will be accessed from the Echo VR portal in the same lobby as Echo Arena. The next Open Beta starts today, September 26th,

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  • Ukrainian Storytellers Seek Crowdfunding for VR Documentary Aftermath VR: Euromaidan tells the story of the protests in Kyiv, Ukraine that led into the Ukraine Revolution.
  • Predator-Esque VR Shooter Primordian Gets Four New Levels, Much More Coming
    Predator-Esque VR Shooter Primordian Gets Four New Levels, Much More Coming

    Well the most recent Predator film might have been a bit of a disappointment but the good news is you can forget all about it with a healthy dose of new Primordian content.

    Developer Stonepunk Studios this month launched the first four levels of the second part of its hugely enjoyable VR first-person shooter (FPS), which launched in Early Access at the beginning of the year. As the trailer below shows, they include new environments and enemies as well as a new whip weapon which frankly looks brilliant. There should be a good few hours’ worth of single-player content to the game, now.

    From here, the developer is planning to add weekly updates to the game that include new levels, leading into a third and final part.

    Speaking with UploadVR, Stonepunk’s Jason Morris thanked the community for its feedback thus far. “It’s super important to me to make sure everyone who has spent that time to bring up anything, that it is addressed,” he said. “It’s a huge help to know how it actually feels to someone else in VR compared to what I “hope” they will feel. I appreciate that anyone would take time away from playing a game to talk about it.”

    One area some players mention is the sword combat, which Morris says can be divisive. Personally, I’ve always found it to be one of Primordian’s pain points; it can look cool but simply tapping an enemy on the arm with a sword to make their arm fly off is a little distracting. Morris says he may head back to polish this once the larger game is done.

    “Many hours are spent on removing things rather than adding, to find that sweet spot of avoiding the thought process,” he explained. “So that’s why I did without many things like reloading weapons with hand movements or anything complex that involves hand gestures. It’s just my personal opinion but I don’t think we are there yet with the technology, and I find that the moment I have the think about a hand gesture or action that is not seamless and instant in a fast action scenario, it starts pulling me out of the precious immersion that only VR can deliver so well.”

    Tagged with: Primordian

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  • Grab This PlayStation VR Deal With Move Controllers and Firewall Zero Hour for £230 The offer ends 3rd October 2018.
  • UNTAMED ARena Brings Dinosaur Toys To Life In AR UNTAMED dinosaur toys can come to life to battle each other in UNTAMED ARena.