• Check Out 11 Minutes Of Apex Construct On Oculus Quest
    Apex Construct Quest Screenshot

    Apex Construct, Fast Travel Games’ VR debut, is heading to the Oculus Quest standalone headset this year. Along with the likes of Superhot VR, The Climb and more, it’s a port that promises to bring the full PC VR experience over to mobile hardware. Is that even possible?

    Well, see for yourself.

    Last month I took a trip to see the Fast Travel team in Stockholm, Sweden. I got the play the first level of Apex right the way through on Quest and poke around the game’s safe house hub. I also spoke to the team about the process of porting to Quest, which you can read about right here. As for the footage? Look below.

    For comparison’s sake, here’s gameplay footage we captured for the game on PC all the way back in 2018. Both videos show the game’s first level. Oculus Quest is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform which, though capable, definitely isn’t as powerful as high-end PCs that run VR. As such there’s an unmistakable difference in visuals between these two versions. The trade-off, though, is that Apex Construct on Quest provides a completely tether-free VR experience and doesn’t need that mightly expensive PC to run. All of its horsepower is already inside the device itself.

    So what do you think? Is the trade-off worth it? We definitely think a lot of the game’s core visual charm was captured in these opening moments, but how will it hold up for the rest of the adventure?

    Exactly when Apex Construct will launch on Quest we don’t yet know. In fact we don’t even have a release date for the headset itself aside from the spring 2019 window. Fingers crossed we find out soon.

    Tagged with: Apex Construct, Oculus Quest

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  • Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs Lands on iOS Now Angry Birds will appear in your own home.
  • Disney ‘Basically Built A Multiplayer VR Filmmaking Game’ To Direct The Lion King
    the lion king

    Disney is releasing a photorealistic CGI remake of 1994 classic The Lion King this summer. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the director Jon Favreau revealed how he actually directed the film in VR.

    Disney’s previous remakes of classic titles, such as The Jungle Book, mixed real actors and sets with CGI objects and environments. This is a normal way to introduce a new technology but it limits what the director can do compared to a fully computer generated shot.

    With The Lion King, everything in the shot is now computer generated. To allow Favreau to direct CGI shots as he would on a real set, Disney built a realtime VR renderer for the film’s environments:

    “By removing the one physical element of Mowgli, we were no longer tethered to the fact that we had to have blue screen or an actual set or real cameras, so everything became virtual at that point. Once that gave us the freedom to operate without actually having to move through physical photography, it allowed us to open ourselves up to a whole new approach, and that’s why it feels different than Jungle Book. We’ve basically built a multiplayer VR filmmaking game just for the purposes of making this movie.”

    Upon putting on the headset, the director finds himself at Pride Rock. The tool has full networked multi-user support, so other member’s of the team can put on another headset and join the director, assiting him with getting each shot just right.

    The users can play the scene at any time, scrubbing to the right time and changing the camera angle. The entire set and film can be explored from within this tool- this was Favreau’s primary method of direction:

    “The whole reason for all of this is to make an animated film feel live-action — to have a real crew come in, interface with an animated film, and make all the camera decisions that you would on set, instead of somebody sitting at a keyboard programming in the camera moves,”

    Jon Favreau is no stranger to virtual reality of course. Back in 2016 the director partnered with Reality One and WEVR to create Gnomes & Goblins. This was a realtime rendered room scale experience back when most directors were only interested in 360 degree video. We’ll keep an eye on Favreau’s future projects to see how he next uses VR to tell stories.

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  • Philip K. Dick’s The Great C Arrives on Mobile VR Headsets Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream are now supported.
  • Hands-On: Shadow Point Is Shaping Up As An Intuitive Puzzle Adventure
    Shadow Point key art

    Coatsink's newest title will be available on the Quest and Rift, dropping on the Quest's launch day, and is narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart.

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  • Space Junkies Drops To 60% Off A Month After Launch To ‘Maintain’ The Game
    Space Junkies vr shooter zero-gravity

    Ubisoft’s latest VR game, Space Junkies, is barely a month old but it’s already seen a huge sale.

    The zero gravity shooter is now available at a whopping 63% discount, taking it from $39.99 to $14.79. That price will remain until May 10th. Such a big discount so soon after its March 26th release date suggests Space Junkies might not have sold to expectations. In a developer update, Ubisoft Montpellier said that this move was to “maintain a positive game experience.”

    People that bought the game at full price will get 10,000 coins, an Easter helmet plug and Game of Thrones-themed dragon wings to make up for the difference.

    Following the news, Ubisoft Montpellier hosted an AMA session on the PSVR subreddit. There the studio wrote a little more about the game’s growing pains. “I think we all face challenges regarding pure Multiplayer games,” the team noted, “especially in VR due to the number of players. But that’s the price we pay when being the first wave. The arrival of Free to play shooters like Apex also makes it hard for smaller teams that work on VR to compete.”

    The team continued, explaining that it was trying to expand the game through the community. “Cross play is particularly helpful on PC as you can play on your platform of choice, and based on feedbcack we are working to ensure PS4 players can compete against them with the arrival of PS moves which is being tested and planned for next update mid May. We also have an aggressive season strategy with AI bots and 3 vs 3, new maps and modes over the coming months.”

    At the same time, Ubisoft laid out a road map for the game’s free content. The first installment went live last week with a new mode and map among other additions. Three more content drops will arrive in May, June and July respectively. PlayStation Move support will also be added to the PSVR version of the game in the near future.

    We quite liked Space Junkies, but it’s no secret that multiplayer VR games are hard to maintain. A relatively low install base means that it’s hard to find games in many. Hopefully these moves will help Ubisoft buck that trend.

    Tagged with: Space Junkies

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  • Coming to Oculus Quest: PokerStars VR, Ballista & National Geographic Explore VR More titles confirmed for the launch.
  • Unofficial Nintendo Labo VR Headstrap Give Your Arms A Rest
    Nintendo Labo VR Headstrap

    The Nintendo Labo VR headset is an intriguing piece of kit for the right audience. But, no matter who you are, it’s easy to get fed up with holding the thing up to your face all the time. This Nintendo Labo VR Headstrap package fixes that.

    Sweet Proof Gaming last week released an add-on kit that doesn’t require you to modify your Labo. The company mainly makes grips for gaming controllers but clearly spotted an opportunity here. It features two adjustable straps that will fit around your head. As it stands right now, the standard Labo VR headset needs you to hold it up to your face. You either do that with two Joy-Con controllers attached to the side of the Switch or by holding the headset itself. With this unofficial add-on, you’ll be free to give your arms a rest.

    The company says the straps will work with Joy-Con plugged into the Switch too. It will also come with cushioned forehead and nose rests so you’re not getting any cardboard paper cuts. Right now you can add your name to a reserve list for when the kit comes into stock. It costs $13.99 and should work with the kit’s Toy-Con add-ons, too.

    It’s a cool idea, though not quite as flashy as the awesome Zelda mod we saw for the kit. It’s just a shame that Labo VR’s two biggest games, the VR mode for Super Mario Odyssey and the VR support for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, are both pretty lackluster.

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  • VR Therapy Trials Begin in Hong Kong to aid Mental Health Issues The pilot programme will begin later this year.
  • Technolust Dev Teases New Cyberpunk VR Game, Kickstarter Coming Soon
    Technolust Dev Teases New Cyberpunk VR Game, Kickstarter Coming Soon

    IRIS VR is best known for its 2016 Oculus launch title, Technolust. It was a cyberpunk VR game born out of a 2014 Kickstarter campaign. Five years on, the studio is returning to Kickstarter for Technolust’s spiritual successor.

    The team’s Blair Renaud this month shared the latest screenshots of Low-Fi. The game isn’t a direct sequel (though it used to be) but does explore the same tone, themes and setting. You play as a police officer patrolling the crime-ridden streets of Toronto. With the aid of your flying car (because of course) you’ll solve cases and fight crime.

    LOW-FI#Cyberpunk #VR
    Kickstarter coming soon.#screenshotsaturday #indiedev #madewithunity

    — Blair Renaud (@Anticleric) April 27, 2019

    These new images give us a look at the game’s seedy cyberpunk world. Long-time VR fans will have been following this project for a while but, crucially, Renaud this weekend confirmed the game would be coming to Kickstarter soon. We don’t know how much the developer will be looking to raise but he did say the campaign will launch “mid to late summer.” A demo for the game might release before then, though.

    Sunday bonus screenshot
    Realtime #VR

    — Blair Renaud (@Anticleric) April 28, 2019

    Low-Fi isn’t all that Renaud is working on, though. The developer is also building a prequel to the game called Agency, designed to run on the Oculus Quest standalone headset. The game’s designed to showcase the kind of visual fidelity that’s possible on mobile VR. It will be released to those that pick up Low-Fi itself.

    Plenty to come from IRIS VR, then.

    Tagged with: Low-Fi

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  • Early Access Hands-On With Medieval Combat Simulator ‘Blade & Sorcery’

    This is how VR swords and sorcery games should feel. Offering some of the most realistic gladiatorial battles currently available to owners of PC VR headsets, physics-based medieval combat simulator Blade & Sorcery rolled in hot at the beginning of April with early access Update #5. Keeping an early access title such as Blade &

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  • Inside The Making Of Baobab’s Latest VR Short, Bonfire
    Inside The Making Of Baobab’s Latest VR Short, Bonfire

    Baobab Studios took the wraps off its next original virtual reality creation yesterday, debuting a trailer for the short VR film Bonfire. The full episode will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York this week. I was able to play the episode on the Oculus Rift headset, and I talked with its creators about how this cute and interactive story came together.

    Baobab’s VR tales stand out as masterful storytelling, which has enabled the company to win two Emmy awards and lots of kudos for its previous VR creations — Invasion!, Asteroids!, Jack, and Crow: The Legend. I’ve come to expect good things from the creative team that includes Eric Darnell, cofounder of Baobab and the creator of the animated Madagascar films. Headed by CEO Maureen Fan, the company raised $25 million in 2016, largely on the promise of what these film properties could become.

    Above: Character designs for Baobab’s Bonfire.

    Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

    I met with Darnell, Fan, chief technology officer Larry Cutler, and others at the company’s headquarters in Redwood City, California. Except for the animated creatures all over its walls, the place could have been any other software company in Silicon Valley. Baobab Studios was founded by Darnell, its chief creative officer, and Fan (a former vice president of games at Zynga) in 2015.

    Darnell is best known for his director and screenwriter talents on all four films in the DreamWorks Madagascar franchise, which together have grossed more than $2.5 billion at the box office. He also held top roles for The Penguins of Madagascar and Antz, DreamWorks’ first animated film. Fan has held leadership roles in film, gaming, and most recently as vice president of games at Zynga, where she oversaw three studios, including the FarmVille sequels, which contributed 40 percent of the company’s revenues. Previously, she worked on Pixar’s Toy Story 3.


    Above: Left to right: Maureen Fan, Larry Cutler, Nathaniel Dirksen, and Eric Darnell.

    Image Credit: Dean Takahashi

    Bonfire features the main character, Debbie, voiced by comedian, writer and actress Ali Wong. Debbie is a robot who serves as your assistant as you fulfill your mission while searching for a new home for humans as Earth runs out of resources.

    As one of many Space Force scouts (No. 817)  sent into deep space to explore other planetary systems, you discover a planet that could be habitable. You crash-land on the planet and build yourself a bonfire.

    Debbie is your assistant, but she is hobbled because she has lost a wheel and can only spin in circles. In the alien jungle, you are surrounded by a creature in the dark shadows of the landscape, which seems genuinely scary. Then you meet a character named Pork Bun.

    Pork Bun is cute pink-and-yellow alien with a big green tongue and a penchant for manufactured food that comes out of your robot. Debbie chats with you and provides you with comic relief. You gain Pork Bun’s trust by tossing out little marshmallow-like treats.

    Then you have to make a decision. I won’t spoil it. It’s a comedic VR experience, but you have to interact with the characters and make a decision

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  • The VR Job Hub: Archiact and Secret Location Only a couple of companies this week.
  • How Changing Places In VR Can Teach Employees Soft Skills

    Can swapping bodies with your employees in VR help you to become a better manager? More businesses across every industry have come to realize that soft skills—attributes that allow you to effectively communicate with others—are far from a “nice to have” and are actually essential in order to maintain a well-rounded and creative workforce capable

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  • Celebrate Star Wars Day in Style With The Void The LBE company will be hosting a special one day offer.