• Preview: JetX – Hold on to Your Hats (and Stomach) If you’re hardy enough then fun will be had.
  • Community Spotlight: Your Most Memorable VR Moments
    Community Spotlight: Your Most Memorable VR Moments

    For this week's Community Spotlight we highlighted all of your favorite and most memorable VR memories over the years.

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  • Google’s VR Closure Shines A Spotlight On The Need For A New Storefront
    Google’s VR Closure Shines A Spotlight On The Need For A New Storefront

    As Google Spotlight Stories closes its doors, it's time for VR filmmakers to rally under one label for the good of the industry.

    The post Google’s VR Closure Shines A Spotlight On The Need For A New Storefront appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Magical Adventure Witching Tower VR is Coming to PlayStation VR The last major PC update has now been released.
  • Sniper Elite VR Coming From Battlezone Developer
    Sniper Elite VR

    Rebellion Entertainment’s next VR game will adapt one of its most popular series, Sniper Elite.

    Yes, a brand new Sniper Elite VR game is in the works. Few details have been shared at this time but we do know that it will be a brand new, standalone game. It’s being developed in partnership with Just Add Water, a team best known for remastering Oddworld games. There’s just a brief glimpse of the game in the video below from Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley (around the 4:40 mark).

    As the name suggests, Sniper Elite is all about carrying out assassination missions with a sniper rifle. In the video, a player can be seen wearing Sony’s PSVR headset, wielding the Aim controller to handle the sniper. It seems like PSVR is a definite release platform, then, but no word on the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.

    “Ever since we released Battlezone in 2016 on VR platforms, people have asked me “Why didn’t you Sniper Elite game?”” Kingsley says in the video. He revealed that the game will be set in the same conflict seen in Sniper Elite 4.

    That’s pretty much all we know for now. We’re not sure if the VR game will be a strictly shooting experience or if it will incorporate stealth elements like the other games in the series. Kingsley says more info will be coming later on in the year.

    As Kingsley said, this isn’t Rebellion’s first VR project. The studio launched Battlezone on PSVR back in 2016 before taking it to other headsets and platforms. Last year it also published Dream Reality Interactive’s debut VR game, Arca’s Path.

    Tagged with: Sniper Elite VR

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  • Sandbox VR Teams up With Vicon for 40 new VR Rooms Vicon's cameras will help power new experience Amber Sky 2088.
  • Leveling Up: How OrbusVR Reborn Aims To Define The VR MMO
    Leveling Up: How OrbusVR Reborn Aims To Define The VR MMO

    Ever since the days of .hack//sign on Toonami I’ve been dreaming about playing a real VR MMO. Anime like Sword Art Online only furthered that fantasy and my mind often races just thinking about the potential. OrbusVR isn’t that dream game and that’s perfectly okay. Even the folks over at Orbus Online, the small indie studio behind the VR MMO, totally understand that and their humble attitude is a big part of what makes me so optimistic about its future.

    There might be an obscure exception to this statement that I don’t know about, but I feel pretty confident in saying that OrbusVR is quite literally the first actual VR MMO. There are plenty of online VR games, some of them are even RPGs, but nothing on the same scale as OrbusVR released before or since. Apps like VRChat, Altspace, Rec Room, Sinespace, and High Fidelity certainly have elements of MMOs, but they’re better described as social virtual worlds and they certainly don’t fit the mold of what makes an MMORPG.

    OrbusVR was born from a successful Kickstarter campaign that originally launched on March 6th, 2017 and raised $34, 524 smashing their base goal in just four hours. It was a modest beginning and they’ve found success by staying lean and focused. The MMO launched to Early Access in December of 2017.

    “Honestly it’s done a lot better than I thought it would,” said Riley Dutton, creator of OrbusVR and original co-founder of the popular digital D&D app, roll20, in an interview with UploadVR. “Originally our goal was to sell about 10,000 copies of the game after the Kickstarter and we actually sold more like 30-40,000 copies in just the first couple of months. So we were already doing better than expected right out of the gate.”

    Those numbers include both Steam and Oculus Home players, which all occupy the same game world. I played OrbusVR for a bit back around February 2018 and came away impressed with the ambition. Visually it was rough, some design decisions left me scratch my head, and it wasn’t the most intuitive thing out there, but the core of it was really fun and solid.

    At the very least, it was a good proof of concept that a VR MMO could work and actually be fun.

    “The main negative thing about the first go around is that we were an inexperienced team from a game development standpoint and we just had a very small budget,” said Dutton. “It was funded through a mixture of Kickstarter and my own pocket so we couldn’t get a significant team together for art or programming. We ended up using lots of Unity asset store stuff for the environments and monsters. It was just never really that optimized for VR, at least not as much as I wanted it to be. It was honestly more of a hodge-podge of assets and stuff.”

    Well as a hodge-podge it was certainly getting the job done. For the first few months of life it was hovering around 200 or even

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  • Journey for Elysium Begins its Kickstarter Voyage The developer is looking to raise €20,000.
  • Adam Orth On Quest And Standalone VR: ‘Everyone’s Going To Have Them At Some Point’
    oculus quest vr

    Former Firewall: Zero Hour developer Adam Orth thinks that standalone headsets like Oculus Quest could mark a turning point for the VR industry.

    Speaking to Game Daily, Orth revealed that he has “three or four” VR projects “in the stages of being greenlit.” One of those includes work on a potential Oculus Quest game, though it’s yet to be approved by Oculus itself.

    Orth left his role at First Contact Entertainment shortly before the release of Firewall, our 2018 VR Game of the Year. Before that he also worked on Oculus Rift launch title, Adrift. Now he’s back to working as an independent VR developer. He admitted it’s a risky business, but the arrival of standalone headsets should improve VR’s prospects.

    “As a creator, I’m super okay with taking that graphics hit because I’m very comfortable and believe in designing and creating with boundaries,” Orth said. “I’m willing to take that hit because I believe in the freedom of wireless and the things that you can do there.”

    He later added: “You’ve got to take risks right now if you want to do big things in VR. It’s the price of admission for developing . But when you think about the Oculus Quest and the standalone headsets? Everyone’s going to have them at some point.”

    Standalone headsets feature all the necessary compute power inside of the device itself. That means there’s no need for an expensive PC or smartphone. Headsets like the Oculus Quest also deliver six degrees of freedom (6DOF) positional tracking. Breaking down barriers to entry such as this has many hoping standalone headsets will increase VR adoption.

    As for his projects, Orth has high hopes. “I have some ideas that I’m really excited about, probably more excited about than my other VR games,” he said.

    Orth will be speaking at GDC 2019 in San Francisco next week. He’s one of a handful of talks VR devs shouldn’t miss.

    Tagged with: Adam Orth, Oculus Quest, Standalone VR

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  • FundamentalVR Combines With HaptX Glove For Even More Realistic Surgical Training
    FundamentalVR Combines With HaptX Glove For Even More Realistic Surgical Training

    FundamentalVR gave me a frankly disgusting haptic VR experience back in 2017. The surgical training company combined a VR headset with a robotic arm to provide realistic resistance to actions like inserting a needle into human skin. I winced at the sensation of dragging the needle over bone and piercing skin. Well, good news, that experience just got even closer to the real thing.

    Oh, joy.

    FundamentalVR is teaming up with HaptX to implement the latter’s haptic feedback glove. The collaboration was announced earlier this week. The pair showcased their work together at the annual general meeting of the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS). The glove is an exoskeleton-like device that provides resistance when interacting with virtual objects and forces.

    When paired together the user has a HaptX glove on one hand and holds the robotic arm in another. As you can see in the video, the result is an even more tactile training platform for surgeons. It could also enable new, more robust training experiences. The demo features an Anterior Total Hip Arthroplasty, getting users to locate a specific ligament around the hip socket with their hands. They then carry out the necessary operation with the tool in their other hand.

    It looks gross but it could be a vital new addition to an already exciting platform. FundamentalVR is already deployed at locations including Mayo Clinic and UCLA in the US, UCLH in the UK and Sana in Germany.  Earlier this week it won an SXSW 2019 Innovation Award. The company didn’t specify when these features might roll out to customers. HaptX itself is an early development kit right now.

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  • Battlezone Developer Rebellion Confirms Work on Sniper Elite VR Title More details are to come later this year.
  • Beat Saber Monstercat Music Pack Vol. 1 DLC Review: Fantastic Collection Of New Songs
    Beat Saber Monstercat Music Pack Vol. 1 DLC Review: Fantastic Collection Of New Songs

    Now that the Monstercat Music Pack Vol. 1 DLC for Beat Saber is officially out, we put all 10 new songs through their paces and have our review.

    The post Beat Saber Monstercat Music Pack Vol. 1 DLC Review: Fantastic Collection Of New Songs appeared first on UploadVR.

  • Facebook Bets On Realistic Face Tracked Avatars As Key To VR’s Future
    facebook codec avatars

    Dozens of people are working at Facebook Reality Lab in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on research into ultra-realistic avatars that could redefine communication in the 21st century.

    I spoke by phone with Yaser Sheikh, a Carnegie Mellon University associate professor running VR research in the city for Facebook since 2015. Sheikh offered context on a technical blog post released this week which details the company’s research toward ultra-realistic avatars. I followed up with Facebook over email for clarification after the call.

    “Facebook Reality Lab Pittsburgh can accommodate close to 100 people,” the email explains. “To accommodate the team’s growth, FRL Pittsburgh will be moving into a larger building in Pittsburgh later this year.”

    That suggests a big investment toward the future of the team. The group is also not the only one at Facebook researching more realistic and personalized avatars. To be clear, Facebook says this technology is “years away” from being realized in consumer headsets.

    Facebook calls the avatar system detailed this week ‘Codec Avatars’. The work has been talked about at Facebook and Oculus developer conferences over the last few  years. These latest details, however, provide insight into the work and their path which could one day carry the research into a shipping product.

    Avatar Creation

    To create each avatar, Facebook uses a specialized capture studio consisting of 132 cameras pointed toward the center. After a few hours with a person making various facial expressions, the system generates a unique photorealistic avatar face. Another newly-built system captures bodies.

    “Creating lifelike avatars currently requires capturing large quantities of high-quality audio and video of research participants using a highly-customized system of cameras and microphones in Facebook Reality Lab’s Pittsburgh office,” the email from Facebook explains. “This data is used to train AI systems that may one day allow users to quickly and easily build their Codec Avatar from just a few snaps or videos. “

    The current process won’t work with consumers for obvious reasons so a main focus of the research is to use machine learning to generate avatars of this detail. The potential is that one day your existing photos on Facebook or Instagram could be enough. I asked Sheikh if he’d tried feeding his own photos from Facebook to its system to see if he can build an avatar from it. He said they need to understand more about how light interacts with skin before trying.

    ”When we do such work, we want to make sure it’s with the consent of the user,” he added.

    Capture Research

    To drive these avatars, Facebook built a system with cameras — including one in the nose gap — on the inside of the head-mounted capture research device.

    The results look impressive.

    VR headsets are relatively dark on the inside and you don’t want to blind the user with light. Features can be illuminated using infrared lights that are invisible to the human eye. These types of lights are used in the Oculus Rift “Constellation” positional tracking system, and are often used in eye tracking. Facebook here is using the same technique to illuminate features in the capture

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  • Google Closes The Door On Its ‘Spotlight Stories’ VR Film Studio

    Pour one out in remembrance of Google’s Oscar nominated, Emmy award-winning platform. In an official statement released yesterday by Google, the company confirmed the termination of their popular immersive film program, Google Spotlight Stories, after an impressive six years of AAA VR storytelling. “Google Spotlight Stories is shutting its doors after over six years of

    The post Google Closes The Door On Its ‘Spotlight Stories’ VR Film Studio appeared first on VRScout.

  • New Map and Screenshots Released for Intense Arena Shooter Telefrag VR The PvP shooter is due for release this year.