So yesterday, I got a text on the DWVR line from someone saying they wanted a two hour station to play some Beat Saber. OI course I put that reservation into the system but I had no clue just who it was coming over to the arcade. That night comes along and he arrives asking about the high scores page for Beat Saber and I of course was thinking, “oh sure, like you’re going beat my Expert scores” but I was way wrong.
Shooty Fruity has been added to the selection of games and experiences here at DWVR. It’s a shooter that has you defending your checkout station from massive fruit bouncing closer and closer, or flying for some fruit. You have a wide range of firearms to pick from but you must scan grocery items to unlock the better weapons.
Okay, yeah, Digital Worlds was only open for almost two months in 2018, but we can still have a top VR games list for that time. I ran the data for our most popular titles and filtered out the lesser played ones. I don’t think this list shows the best games as some are just easier to grasp then others and some are multiplayer and therefor when a group of four play it for an hour straight, that helps. Any how, on to the list.
Digital Worlds will be hosting its Grand Opening party on November 10th starting at noon. There will be drinks and food during the party as well as prizes given out every 30 minutes. You can reserve your VR stations for that day by clicking the BOOK NOW! button below or you can come on out to the arcade that day and book your station in person. We will be doing 15 minute demos to those who have never tried VR before, but this is pending station availability.
It’s been a long journey so far but we’re not out of it just yet. I am happy to say that DWVR is now entering the beta testing phase. We’ve gotten the place into a decent enough shape to start having small groups of close friends and family members coming on out to play quick sessions of VR in order to test the tracking, gaming software, provide input on the look of the location, and all other things that we want to make sure are as good as they possible can be and ready for the grand opening, which should be coming up soon in early November.
Well, it’s about time. HTC have finally let us know of some of their plans with the two front-facing cameras, hand & finger tracking. I had assumed that some sort of augmented reality feature would get announced, but the hand & finger tracking is much more interesting to me as something we can use now whereas AR is still a few years away from practical use.
For the last few months, we have been working on the physical location for Digital Worlds VR. Some of you may not know about the address just yet; it’s 1945 Mallory Lane, Suite 170. Over the last few months, we’ve been demolishing the stuff from the old tenant and now we’ve been working on building it out with stuff for the arcade. I do plan to release a lot more images and videos one day that better document all of the stuff we’ve done to the place, but for now I’ll just share some more recent developments.
Any time Walmart makes a move, people take notice. Walmart announced today that they’re making a big move into the VR space by shipping out 17,000 Oculus Go HMDs to its 5,000 store locations. The reason they’re making this move is for employee training purposes. Each Supercenter will receive four HMDs and each Neighborhood Market will get two HMDs.
It seems like every couple of months, there's a new concept for a VR device, like a treadmill, eye tracking, lens type, tracking tech, haptic vest, or one of the most common ones, gloves. It makes sense, the beauty of Virtual Reality is how immersive it is and the sense of presence that the player can get through it, but of course touch is a large piece missing from the puzzle. Finding that missing piece is one of the many Holy Grails in the VR industry
I've been a gamer for as long as I can remember, playing the NES and SNES as a kid, and also for as long as I can remember, video games have been thought of as a lazy and unhealthy hobby. Now with Virtual Reality, things have changed as your whole body is the controller, especially so with Room-Scale VR. The thought is still taking some getting used to even for me, but playing video games can be some solid exercise. Already, we're seeing some amazing stories come about of people who, in combination with a good diet and healthy eating, are using VR games to loose a whole lot of excess weight and are having a blast doing it.
After just three-ish years, the modern day VR industry has done it; it's peaked. Nothing in the future will ever be better than this...
I was browsing Reddit today and I came across THIS post by /u/smithysjvr in which he brought up a common problem that many VR games suffer when it comes to leaning around cover. While it wasn't the first game to offer a lean or cover mechanic, ever since Gears of War released on the XBox 360 lean and cover mechanics have been in almost, if not more than, half of all shooters. It even made it's way into RPGs that featured a lot of shooting mechanics, like the Mass Effect series. So what's the problem with leaning and VR?
Great news everyone! One of the best VR games out right now, Beat Saber, has just released their Arcade version of the title which brings commercial usage to VR Arcades like Digital Worlds. Since it's release back in May, I have personally been a little obsessed with Beat Saber and it has easily risen to one of my top three favorite games in Virtual Reality. I'm so happy that I'll be able to offer Beat Saber to my customers from the very start.
One of the things that makes PC gaming so great is the how open the industry is. You get to pick the right parts that fit your budget and what you're wanting from your gaming hobby, but sometimes this open nature can lead to fragmentation. This is why it's nice to have some industry standards. Slowly but surely, the VR industry will get standards for certain aspects and today we got a new standard for the cables the headsets will use.
For the last two months, I've been out in the woods working at a Boy Scout Summer Camp, but now I'm back in the real world. Camp always ends what feels so fast, but I'm already looking forward to 2019 (assuming that we can get a staff at Digital Worlds VR to run the place while I'm gone). I'll post some photos from the camp below.
Publicly released in November 2015, Valve's Steam Controller gave PC gamers the gamepad that they've always wanted. It shared the ergonomics of the XBox 360 controller, which many gamers consider it one of the best gamepads of all time, but more importantly it brought with it the software that allowed for users to customize what every button did (which is what PC gaming is all about). Since the Vive was released, we haven't seen much customization offered by developers as to how players interact with their VR games. Now Valve has released SteamVR Input in beta and we have a level of control similar to that of the Steam Controller.
Google recently held it's 2018 I/O and during the keynote it unveiled a slew of new software and services as well as updates to many of their current offerings, but the one that caught my eye the most was the announcement of Google Duplex. I am very interested to see what Duplex brings to the table as for what it actually is, a much more "intelligent" version of the Google Assistant that we currently have on our phones and Google Homes, but it also got me thinking of what the future of games and VR games can be with this level of tech.
Typically a term used for consoles, a "Killer App" is the game released on that respective console that is just so good that gamers just have to cave in and buy that console in order to play that game. Nintendo has always had Zelda and Mario games as their killer apps, Microsoft has had Halo and Gears of War, and Sony has had Ratchet & Clank, Uncharted, and The Last of Us. Over the last few years, people have been wondering if VR would get a killer app. There have been a lot of standout VR games over the last couple of years like Rec Room, Lone Echo, Arizona Sunshine, and GORN among others like the recently released Skyrim VR, none have quite assumed the mantle of VR's killer app. Maybe we have that game now with the release of Beat Saber.
A YouTube video was recently uploaded by Crowbat titled "How different Counter Strike VR can be" and it really helps to put things into perspective. I touched on this in a March blog post how people often post in announcement trailers or Reddit comments asking developers to not make a game be exclusive to VR and they make a claim that there's barely any difference between VR games and non-VR games other than the 3D. One of the most popular and competitive shooters of all time is Counter Strike, so it's great that the video from Crowbat has used it for his comparison.
I went and saw Ready Player One in theaters for the second time, this time with my brother who had not seen it yet. I got a chance to look for more of of the references and such, but I still got into the story. It got me into a VR mood so I got onto my Vive when I got back to the house. Funny enough, when I got home I saw that RPO: Oasis Beta had finally been released on Steam. It's a free game, no micro-transactions, just free.