Author: vrcreators

HTC VR Survey Offers Vives & Gift Cards as Prizes, Aims to Understand VR Users

A survey sponsored by HTC America is currently open on SurveyGizmo, with the option to enter a prize draw, which includes three Vive systems and seven gift cards worth $100 – $150. The sweepstakes is open to US residents, ending August 4th; full terms and conditions are detailed on the official Vive blog.

The 10-15 minute ‘experiences with VR’ survey is for HTC’s ‘research purposes only’, aiming to gather some general VR usage data and purchasing habits. The questions range from VR awareness and usage to gaming systems and how comfortable the individual is with various technologies. It begins by gauging the person’s interest in VR, their sources of VR information, and what VR systems they own or have tried. If you have one or more VR systems, you’ll be asked specific usage questions, regarding where it is set up, the dimensions of the play area, and what apps or games you typically enjoy.

With the Vive’s dominating performance on the SteamVR platform, the expanding Viveport app store and subscription service, along with their upcoming involvement with the Daydream platform, HTC is obviously very interested in the way people access and purchase VR entertainment, productivity apps, and content, asking about what influences purchasing decisions, the frequency and value of purchases, including in-app purchasing.

A section of the survey also asks about users phone habits, including which devices they own and how long they’ve owned the phone. This is of course of interest to HTC who is first and foremost a phone company but has only dipped their toe into smartphone VR space with the ‘Link’ mobile VR headset that works with their U11 smartphone launching only in Japan.

Winners of the prize drawing will be contacted by August 4th, with gift card winners taking home an $100 Amazon card or a $150 Viveport card.

The post HTC VR Survey Offers Vives & Gift Cards as Prizes, Aims to Understand VR Users appeared first on Road to VR.

VR Puzzler Dr Kvorak’s Obliteration Game Coming to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive

Doctor Kvorak's Obliteration Game screenshot

Videogames aren’t something that just happen overnight – good ones anyway. They take time and dedication to create, no matter how big the studio, with developers toiling away for countless hours building entertaining experiences for everyone to enjoy. UK-based indie studio Freekstorm knows this only too well, having developed its puzzle adventure title Doctor Kvorak’s Obliteration Game over the past seven years. Well the end is nearly insight as the videogame will becoming to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive – as well as Windows PC Desktop – next week.

Describing the title in its own words, Freekstorm explains: “Doctor Kvorak’s Obliteration Game tells the story of a dastardly deity and an episode of his deadly galactic game show. Controlling all three talented contestants, players must pit their wits against the Doctor himself, an immortal trickster who will challenge and ensnare them every step of the way. Win fame, fortune and fantastical prizes, but all is not what it seems, for losing risks the very annihilation of your world.”

The studio says Doctor Kvorak’s Obliteration Game will feature over 10 hours worth of gameplay, with the story unfolding over 15 game zones – each around 30 minutes in length. Players will have to control three characters, each with their own unique abilities, as they try to solve a myriad of puzzles and traps to outwit the evil Doctor and win lots of fabulous prizes.

And for those of you feeling creative, Freekstorm has included a level editor which is fully integrated into the Steam Workshop, enabling players to build their own maps to share.

Doctor Kvorak’s Obliteration Game will be launching on Steam on 26th July for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and OSVR, retailing for $19.99 USD/£14.99 GBP.

Checkout the trailer for the virtual realty (VR) version below. And for any further updates from Freekstorm, as always, keep reading VRFocus.

3D Sound Labs VR Audio Kit Introduces Bluetooth Support

3d sound labs logo

3D Sound Labs are one of the best-known specialists in the area of immersive 3D audio. Proper use of sound can make a he difference in the immersiveness of a virtual reality (VR) experience. In order to make creating 3D soundscapes easier, 3D Sound Labs have released an update to its VR Audio Kit SDK for Unity that introduces new features.

The latest version of the 3D Sound Labs SDK introduces several bug fixes and general quality improvements, as well as introducing Bluetooth support directly into the SDK, to allow users to use wireless Bluetooth headphones.

The VR Audio Kit allows users to make sound effects and environmental noises sound like they originate from a particular source. This allows VR users to accurately locate the source of a particular sound. This can be used as an aural ‘cue’ that lets developers direct the player’s attention in a particular direction. The VR audio Kit also allows for sound ‘reflections’ which can be adjusted according to distance and angle, creating a more realistic and immersive effects.

The latest version of the VR Audio Kit works natively with the Unity engine and has been optimised for use in mobile VR applications. It has been engineered to produce ambisonic and object-based audio with minimal CPU consumption.

The updated version of the VR Audio Kit is available for download from the 3D Sound Labs website. A free evaluation version is available for users to test if the software is right for them. 3D Sound Labs are also keen to receive feedback from the community on new features and improvements to add to the SDK.

VRFocus will bring you further information on 3D Sound Labs and VR as it becomes available.

Grab Your Wizards Hat as inVokeR Materializes on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift

inVokeR BossFight

If you love a bit of magic and sorcery virtual reality (VR) developers have got you covered. The Mage’s Tale, Wands MageWorks, The Unspoken and more all offer differing levels of magical combat and spell making. This week another has been added to that list, with indie developer 8th Shore Inc. releasing VR wizard dueling game, inVokeR on Steam Early Access.

Featuring both single-player and multiplayer modes, inVokeR is all about one on one combat. Playing solo you can hone your skills offline, fighting against AI, three Target Break Time Attack modes, and running the gauntlet of the Boss Trial, each with three difficulty levels. When that proves too easy then head online, either against friends in private matches or random players in public matches, all with optional voice chat.

In its current early access form inVokeR has four elements to choose from: Fire, Earth, Ice, and Wind, with five spells plus four ultimate abilities. Three maps are currently available to battle on, whether in public matchmaking or private matches.

As for the full version,8th Shore Inc. has lots of plans for additional content, such as new single player modes, more spells and a progression and unlock system, but none of these a guaranteed just yet.

“Our aim with inVokeR was simply to make a game that was fun at its core,” said director and producer, Eric Compton in a statement. “The basics are easy to pick up – it’s just throwing a ball – so anyone can jump in and play. For those who want to spend the time to learn all the spells and how they work, there are small nuances to using every spell that allow for interesting strategies against other players and there’s undoubtedly a level of mastery to be attained. We intend to shape the game’s continued development with our community, and are actively seeking player feedback.”

The studio is offering a limited time discount for inVokeR, with a substantial 40 percent saving available until 27 July. This drops the price from £10.99 GBP to £6.59.

For further updates on inVokeR, keep reading VRFocus.

VR Shopping Application Seeks Crowd Funding

Some people love going shopping, some people hate it. For whatever reason, some people find it easier to use the internet to shop, but internet shopping comes with certain shortcomings. You can’t pick up and closely examine a product, or check a clothing size. A new Kickstarter project is seeking to use virtual reality (VR) to improve the online shopping experience.

Simply titled ‘Virtual Reality Shopping’ the application would allow users to walk through a virtual department store, able to examine, pick up and feel the items on sale using a combination of haptic data gloves and a specialised VR headset. Project creator Jamie England eventually wants to place cameras in stores that let customers do a virtual walk through of a store in real-time. England works in the grocery industry, and is confident of getting stores on board with the project.

The project is seeking $50,000 (USD) of funding, with the Kickstarter due to end of 16th September, 2017. There is only one main funding tier, that of $500 which gets the backer a copy of the first version of the software and the custom VR goggles. The project creator has stated that if a large pledge amount comes in, they may consider partnerships. Further information can be found on the Kickstarter page.

If funding is successful, delivery of the product is estimated to begin sometime in August, 2018. Project creator England says that challenges to the project include lack of delivery drivers and potential lack of support from the grocery industry, though remains confident that the future of commerce is in VR. There is no indication on if the software is currently in development, however, or what phase the software and VR headset for this project has reached.

VRFocus will bring you further updates on this project and other VR-related Kickstarter projects.

MMO-like Dungeon Combat Game ‘Age of Heroes’ Launches From Vive X Portfolio Company Omnigames

Omnigames, among one of the first companies to join HTC’s Vive X accelerator, has launched their “multiplayer combat VR game,” Age of Heroes, on Steam.

Age of Heroes aims to bring a MMO-like experience to VR, which means choosing classes, casting abilities, and defeating bosses. The game has launched on SteamVR with support for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

And while Age of Heroes is certainly set in the style of an MMORPG (and may have ambitions to get there at some point), for now there doesn’t appear to be much in the way of ‘massive multiplayer’. While a game like World of Warcraft can have hundreds of players roaming around vast regions, Age of Heroes in its current state appears to be a more typical multiplayer affair, with smaller groups of players (up to five) working together to defeat enemies and bosses in enclosed dungeon environments.

Otherwise the game replicates some tried and true MMO tropes, with different classes to choose from, a typical fantasy setting—with goblins, demons, undead and the like—and dingy dungeons with big bosses at the end. The graphics too are reminiscent of World of Warcraft and similar MMOs, which means they’d fit right in if it were 2005.

There’s four classes (Mage, Archer, Warlock, Priest), with a fifth (Warrior) promised to be added later down the road. Each class has three primary abilities, except for the Priest which has a fourth Resurrect ability to bring other players back to life.

Where Age of Heroes differs in its approach (and where it has the biggest opportunity to shine) is of course virtual reality. Here the developers say the game emphasises “actual physical body movements in VR,” hopefully making combat more dynamic and visceral.

Priced at $30, Age of Heroes has only a handful of user reviews at this early moment after launch, and they are mixed, with one users saying “In its current state [it’s] basically just a demo and really should have been released as such, in my opinion. Really [doesn’t] seem like a finished [product] and is in no way worth anything close to the asking price.”

Some DLC is promised, including the Warrior class, leaderboards and achievements, and eventually a “personal space,” where players can show off their trophies and modify their character’s skills and talents, though it isn’t clear how much further the game will be developed beyond those plans as it isn’t marked as an Early Access title.

The post MMO-like Dungeon Combat Game ‘Age of Heroes’ Launches From Vive X Portfolio Company Omnigames appeared first on Road to VR.

KryptCrawler Creeps onto Oculus Rift and Gear VR

kryptcrawler 2

Headup Games and CrazyBunch have launched the long-awaited KryptCrawler, now available for Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR. KryptCrawler will let you enter vast and dangerous dungeons designed exclusively for virtual reality (VR).

KryptCrawler delivers a combination of turn-based gameplay and real-time combat, combined with the immersion of modern VR technology. Throughout their adventure in the dungeon, players will have to overcome gruesome traps, face dangerous creatures and solve puzzles.

Originally unveiled at Gamescom, Cologne, in August 2016, KryptCrawler has been on the radar for nearly a year prior to release. The videogame is now available to download for Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR following a brand new trailer earlier this week.

There is currently no word on whether KryptCrawler will come to other VR formats, including HTC Vive or PlayStation VR, but as always VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details.

Review: Augmented Empire

Augmented Empire Screenshot 1 exclusive

With literally millions of users across the world, the Samsung Gear VR is by far the most popular head-mounted display (HMD) out there – not including cheap and cheerful Google Cardboard – and one of the platform’s most ardent supporters has been British indie developer Coatsink Software. You might not have heard of the company but if you own the headset it’s more than likely you’ll have come across one of it’s videogames, Esper, Esper 2 or A Night Sky. Adding to this roster is Augmented Empire, a strategy role-playing game (RPG) that continues Coatsink’s quality record on Gear VR.

Augmented Empire’s story revolves around an island called New Savannah, an isolated neo-noir metropolis whose society has been divided into three tiers by the ‘Citizen Grade System’, with citizens deemed of high value to society living an opulent lifestyle at the soaring heights of the city, while those seen as less savoury have to live their lives in the squalid depth’s. For the most part you play a girl called Willa, who had worked her way to these upper echelons of society, only to find it all come crashing down in an instant.

Featuring an overhead viewpoint and grid-based movement mechanic, Augmented Empire’s gameplay will feel very familiar to anyone who’s played XCOM or its sequel. The layout Coatsink has gone for is tabletop in design, meant to represent a holographic display. As such, apart from the main hub which is an office – you actually play a non-speaking robot in a detective agency – from where you select which level to play and the various upgrade options, the actual gameplay levels only take up one area in front of you, so there’s no need to look around as the rest of the space is redundant.

This means your always looking down at the same area – a bit of a shame for immersive VR – which can lead to some neck strain after longer play sessions. On the flip side it means you can comfortably play Augmented Empire whilst relaxing on the sofa (which is no bad thing).

And long play sessions you certainly will have, as the title is entirely engrossing. Whether using the touchpad or a Bluetooth controller (recommended), the mechanics of Augmented Empire are really easy and fluid to use. Characters have an allotted amount of action uses – two on average – which you can use to move, shoot or both depending on their particular traits. There’s also a wealth of other options to be unlocked, with grenades, healing, taunting, headshot and more. As you delve deeper into the videogame you’ll unlock a bunch of characters, turning it into a team management experience. So as you upgrade them, choosing the right person for the job becomes an important factor – although certain levels do have fixed selections to compliment the storyline.

Augmented Empire screenshot5

And while Augmented Empire is great fun to play, Coatsink has ensured it’s not a hollow experience, with a rich story and voice acting. In its quintessentially British style, the studio brought in the voice talents of Kate Mulgrew (Orange is the New Black, Star Trek Voyager); Doug Cockle (The Witcher Series); Garrick Hagon (Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Horizon: Zero Dawn) and Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Paul), helping take the mood from dramatic to quirky humour.

The title takes a different direction to Coatsink’s other projects for Samsung Gear VR and that’s no bad thing. Augmented Empire is a refreshing change from all the first-person shooters (FPS) on Gear VR, offering gunplay, tactics, upgrade options, and a wonderful visual style. In fact it’s a shame the videogame is just for Gear VR, because at points you’ll really want to lean in and explore the world – which you can’t – so here’s hoping for a high-end headset version.



  • Verdict

Get ‘EVE: Valkyrie’ Free When You Purchase Rift + Touch Bundle from Best Buy

Oculus’ massive price drop that saw the cost of Rift + Touch slashed to only $400, is still going on for the next 4-5 weeks—but if you purchase through, you can get EVE: Valkyrie, normally costing $40, for free.

Note (07/21/17): Best Buy is currently out of online stock. Individual stores however post in-store availability for pick-up. Many stores are quickly running out, or have already ran out, but list when they expect stock to return.

Featuring near-constant updates from EVE Online developers CCP Games, this arcade dogfighter has gotten a slew of new maps and gamemodes since launch in 2016, making Valkyrie a solid investment in both time and money—but if you can get it for free, why not?

Road to VR named EVE: Valkyrie the #1 in our breakdown of the 5 Best Multiplayer games to offer Cross-play on Rift, Vive and PSVR, and for a limited time you can get a free digital download of the game when you buy a Rift + Touch bundle from Best Buy.

Rift + Touch from Best Buy

This of course includes the free games you’ll already be getting when you activate Rift + Touch including: Robo Recall (2017), Luckyʼs Tale (2016), Quill (2017), Medium (2017), Dead and Buried (2017), and Toybox (2017).

Check out out breakdown of the top 5 Oculus Rift games for Touch and Gamepad to get an idea of what’s in store.

The post Get ‘EVE: Valkyrie’ Free When You Purchase Rift + Touch Bundle from Best Buy appeared first on Road to VR.

Ubimax Launches Frontline A New Enterprise AR Platform

We’ve already seen that augmented reality (AR) and business can be a good fit. From using the technology to do more accurate stock control, to using AR to detect faults and manufacturing defects, wearable technology can be valuable to businesses. Wearable Technology manufacturer Ubimax are using this capability to launch a new AR platform specifically for Enterprise use.

The new platform, titled Frontline, integrates three different AR products, xPick, xMake, xInspect and xAssist in order to offer an end-to-end solution for functions such as production, deployment, operation and quality control.

The new Frontline platform is compatible with the most common smart glasses technology currently on the market, including Vuzix M300, Google Glass Enterprise Edition and Microsoft HoloLens. Ubimax claim that the new Frontline software suite offers significant improvements over previous AR and wearable technology solutions previously offered to businesses.

The software is already being distributed to some of Ubimax’s customers. Ubimax says that customers who have already rolled out Ubimax Frontline have seen significant improvements. Samsung are currently using the software, and Ubimax have released figures saying that Samsung have seen an increase in production speed of 22% and a 10% reduction in error rate compared to figures gathered before Ubimax Frontline was in use.

The software is being made available for manufacturing, retail, logistics and other business interests. Ubimax are hoping that the Frontline software suite will become as ubiquitous as Microsoft Office.

VRFocus will bring you further news on Ubimax AR products as it becomes available.