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Dante Buckley’s Studio Downpour Interactive is Producing the Popular Online Mutlipalyer #VR Game “Onward”

It’s barely been half a year since the release of hi-end VR interfaces, such as HTC Vive and StarVR, and there is already an army of developers, artists and enthusiasts who is creating the very foundation of future VR experiences. In a previous post, I made a statement about the success of the VR marketplace relies on skilled developers to pave the pathway. This doesn’t necessarily mean those with over ten years of development experience, but also those who have fortified their talent with grounded knowledge.

This brings me to Downpour Interactive. This studio was created from the ambitious desire of an college drop-out, known as Dante Buckley. With a little tuition, he invested in developing his very own game, titled “Onward.” After a year of development, and finally released on Steam Early Access, Onward has received over 700 reviews on Steam, averaging out to “Very Positive” gaming experience and boasts a steady 50 players online at any given moment, which cannot be said for most online VR multiplayer games on the market.

Onward is an online multiplayer first person shooter game built for VR HMDs. It is a real-world simulation, where player must rely on coordination, communication and markmanship skills for finishing objectives successfully. There are no HUDs, no handicap crosshairs and limited respawns, giving the game its edge. With multiple maps, varying weather conditions and times of day, each match tests your combat skills and requires team cooperation.

Since it’s development, Onward grossed over $400,000, which is pretty impressive, being developed primarily by one person. Dante also created a blog tracking his progress, which includes implementation of weapon customization, new objectives, motion control inputs and Early access. In an Skype interview with UploadVR, regarding a question about comfort level, he states, “I got lucky with how people don’t really get sick. People that get sick in other games don’t seem to get sick in Onward.” A definite barrier he’s managed to overcome in a VR experience.

With Onward having an active fan base and continuous growth in popularity, Dante is currently hiring for other talented people to join his team in ensuring steady success for Downpour Interactive. The game is still in development, but you can purchase the game on Steam for $24.99. If you want to learn more about the direction he plans for his studio, go ahead and contact him.

Thanks for reading!

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@Squanchtendo and Crows Crows Crows Creates a Not-So-Serious #VR Game About Crunching Numbers Titled AccountingVR

What can promise to send you through an infinity of imagination? The answer: Virtual Reality. This is VR’s true potential. As manufacturing of immersive headsets become cheaper and more advanced input/haptic devices are invented, undeniably VR will become indistinguishable from the real world if not better. But that’s reserved for the future, though there is a game that can give you another perspective when venturing in VR.

From the joint efforts of Crows Crows Crows and Squanchtendo, they’ve created an not-so-serious game about accounting, titled “AccountingVR.” If you enjoy vulgar humor or the Adult Swim show ‘Rick and Morty’ then you’ll definitely enjoy this game, since Squanchtendo Cheif Creative Officer is Justin Roiland. Crows Crows Crows is also a extremely talented and skilled studio, with their flagship game ‘Dr. Langeskov’ available for free on SteamVR.

So what is AccountingVR about? The game is a product of one week collaborative effort of both studios, taking place in Los Angeles. It is not certain, but seems they were hired by highly qualified Accountants to create a number-crunching simulation, by utilizing the latest technology: Virtual Reality.

From the teaser, the game does start you off in Derrick Smith’s(an accountant) office, with him giving you a tour and supposedly asking you about your experience. As the game proceeds, you are introduced to a VR headset, where things become extremely weird. You continue to transport yourself to different virtual realities with each discovered VR headset. You even encounter a cloud-like creature who mistakes himself as a squirrel.

For the mere fact that AccountingVR is not all-about number-crunching, it begs the curious mind to wonder what is this undefined VR game really is. Lucky for you, through the generous kindhearted nature of the studios, you can play this game for free on SteamVR. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you like some good old wacky cartoon humor and maybe… accounting stuff. You can follow their developments via Twitter @Squanchtendo.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your take on AccountingVR with a comment below:)

@SamuraiPunkCo Flagship Satirical #VR Game ‘The American Dream’ Will teach You How To Use a Gun

It’s only been less than a year since the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have entered the public marketplace, and already there seems to be a plethora of immersive experiences to try. Before their release, developers of these majestic headsets knew that the only way VR was going to take off and appeal to the ordinary masses, there would need to be a variety of content available, showing virtual reality’s potential as the avant-garde of media interfaces. With this said, I want to bring recognition to one game development studio who has joined the VR bandwagon.

Samurai Punk is an independent game studio based in Melbourne, Australia, who is not new to the game dev scene. If you were to ask them what they are about, it seems to be a mixture of Radical, Underrated Ideas coming at you, well… Samurai Punk style. Which has to mean, their games are an unruly few.

Before Samurai Punk entered the VR scene, they produced a game called ‘ScreenCheat.’ This is one very interestingly unique first-person shooter game, were you hunt down other players. The catch is, the players are invisible, but with access to the other player’s screens, you must identify their location by ‘screencheating.’ What makes this game more anxiety-inducing, is the variety of one-shot kill weapons, such as the Chefelot: energy ball spewing car engine. This game is definitely radical.

Needless to, their flagship VR game, ‘The American Dream,’ is just as radical. Set in the 1950’s, you must learn how to live life with guns, or as Samurai Punk explains, “Look down the barrel of a future where all your everyday needs are solved with guns.” To learn the potential of guns, you take part in a large complex at the world’s fair, dedicated to showing you the various things that can be done with guns, like eating, driving or educating ourselves.

They held a teaser at PAX West, with the game scheduled to be released sometime in 2017 to major VR interfaces. Needless to say, this game may not be syutable for the young age, but if you’re interested in various ways to use firearms, excluding killing creatures, then add this game to your VR to-do-list. You can connect with Samurai Punk via Twitter @SamuraiPunkCo.

Thanks for reading! Let me know your take on Samurai Punk’s American Dream with a comment below:)

@TeotlStudios and @Grip_Digital studios has Released a Unique Virtual Reality Exploration Game Titled @TheSolusProject

 

 

It great to see the many worlds created for virtual reality. It is no doubt that developers, gamers and content-consumers in general are excited about being immersed in the very stories that has been confined to the two-D screen. VR also provides a new avenue for exploring worlds never seen and planets never visited.

Speaking of planets never visited, Teotl and Grip Games has teamed up together to release one of the most anticipated games, titled ‘The Solus Project.’ If you don’t know Teotle studios is driven by Sjoerd “Hourences” De Jong, the original one-man team who is behind the concept art and development of The Solus Project.

Teotl has also produced visually stunning games, such as The Ball. The Ball is a very unique experience, in which you obtain an artifact, The Ball, and must fight your way out the temple by utilizing the powers granted from this ancient artficat. Which is mainly crushing mummies and avoiding traps within the massive temple guarding the ball.

Operating in Prague and Zlín, Czech Republic, Grip Games studios is also a developer and publisher of games, such as Tower or Guns, Jet Car Stunts, Atomic Ninjas and Unmechanical Extended. They also work with other major developers to help bring their products to the global market. Now we know a little bit about the studios behind the scene, what is The Solus Project?

Based in the same universe as “The Ball,” you are a lonely austronaut stranded on a deserted planet, Gliese-6143-C, after loosing your crew to a fatal spaceship landing. With limited supplies, Earth on verge of destruction and no way to communicate back home, you must traverse the barren lands to find the tools necessary for building a communication device to contact Earth.

There are no apparent enemies, yet as you explore the planet, you find remnants of a civilization that once existed. As explained by the developers, “Survive through exploration. Unlock the depths of the uncharted planet, and the secrets buried deep below. Delve into huge cave systems and tombs and uncover over 200 secrets.”

Even though there are no immediate enemies to fight, with limited supplies, you must survive the harsh weather of the planet. Days are excruciatingly hot, surpassing 110F and nights swing under -30F. With no boat, you must also explore the cave massive system below, in order to travel across bodies of water.

Overall, The Solus Project delves into the more adventerous aspect of games. And with many secrets to uncover, you’ll forget you’re even at home, as you scour Gliese-6143-C. The game is currently available for the HTC Vive for $20. You can also keep up to date on The Solus Project via Twitter @TheSolusProject.

Thanks for reading! Let us know your take on The Solus Project with a comment below:)

Digital CyberCherries has Re-created the Arcade Experience with New Retro Arcade: Neon

One of the cool things virtual reality has to offer is being able to socialize with your friends in imaginative environments. For those of us who miss the good ol’ days of gathering all the quarters you had stockpiled to chill with your friends at the arcade, there is one virtual reality experience you should definitely check out.

Digital CyberCherries(DCC) is a game development studio, consisting of eleven talented and skillful minds, who has developed New Retro Arcade: Neon (NRA:N). The project began as a learning process in understanding and utilizing Unreal Engine 4 back in 2014. With the advent of virtual reality, they became heavily interested in developing a game for this new-found interface, which led them to release a demo version of New Retro Arcade.

With immense support from their community of gamers, they were able to re-create the arcade experience. Released on August 1, 2016, NRA:N features over ten arcade games you can play. Not only by yourself, but with your friends as well, regardless if they don’t own a HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. As your friends travel across the intergalactic carpet, you can shoot some hoops, play skeeball, chill out in the mini theatre and of course, play some arcade games.

For those who want to port their own games into the VR arcade, such as Tron or Centipede, you can do so. Only disadvantage at the moment, is that your friends will not be able to play those games with you. Since this maybe disappointing to a few, you can release your frustration by putting on some hi-tempo music on the boom box and throw the boom box across the arcade. Yes, it does support HTC Vive controllers, as well as Xbox One controller and mouse & keyboard.

You’re able to move around the arcade by teleporting, but you will be inclined to do what Ben Lang from RoadToVR did by re-calibrating your “Vive’s playspace to ensure that [you have] the largest possible area for uninterrupted immersion.” Overall, it’s a pretty nifty experience that most VR PC headset owners were hoping would become available. New Retro Arcade: Neon is currently downloadable on Steam VR.

You can connect with them on Twitter @DCybercherries or keep up with their latest developments on their website.

Virtual Reality Studio Survios Multiplayer Virtual Reality Game ‘Raw Data’ is available on Early Access Steam VR

When thinking about why there is such a big craze for virtual reality and why so many developers, artists and enthusiast are uncompromising of their excitement for this next-level media interface, it can only be described in an analogy for those who have yet to try out virtual reality. Currently, when we watch television or work on our computer it can be thought of as looking through a window to the digital world, while VR is the actual doorway.

This brings me to a innovative and skillful group of people that falls under the studio name of Survios. Before they where Survios, they were already inventing a cost effective DIY way of telepresence, which would allow a person to control an avatar in virtually different location, dubbed Project Holodeck. Project Holodeck backed by University of Southern California, was centered around solutions for positional movement, virtual avatar embodiment and virtual world creations.

Since then, Nathan Burba and James Iliff founded Survios. Survios is a two part word, with English prefix “sur” meaning “above, beyond” and Greek ‘βίος’ meaning “life, reality.” As you can guess, the dedicated team at Survios set out to create experiences beyond reality. Which is exactly where the future is heading.

One of their first projects, “Wild Skies,” put players on a nuclear-powered airship, with the objective of protecting their virtual family from disastrous weather, ruthless governments and pirates. For those who love some zombie-shooting aciton, Zombies on the Holodeck maybe the game to pique your interest. You are transported to 1940’s Chicago at ground-zero of the undead outbreak, where you’ll have to forget about your flight response and use a arsenal of weapons to fight to the end.

Through these projects, they’ve created “Raw Data,” a game that everyone should surely love and that every HTC Vive owner should already have on their VR to-do list. Raw Data is a virtual reality multiplayer game, placing the player within the confines of an corrupt tech research & development corporation, by the name of Eden Corp. Surrounded by waves of single-minded androids, you are tasked with the duty of stealing a geopbyte of data to expose the Corps corrupt deeds.

The mechanics of the game are fairly intuitive as you utilize Vive controllers to play as Bishop (gunslinger), Saija (cyber ninja), Street Mercenary (brawler) or Rogue Hunter (bowman). To allow players to traverse the action-packed arena, they employed an dash mechanic. This allows players to perform strategic maneuvers and keep oriented, while providing the solution for those who experience the unforgiving nauseating VR experience.

Raw Data is currently available on Steam VR as an early access, with the option of being Bishop or Saija as you slice, dice, shoot and blast through unrelenting robots. The full-game is expected to be available by end of 2016. In an interview with RoadToVR, James Iliff commented on whether Raw Data will be available for Oculus Rift with “We’re a platform agnostic studio, so we want to support them in the future, but currently our focus is on Vive.”

To keep up to date on current Survios plans, go ahead and check out their blog or follow them on twitter @Survios.

Adult Swim and Owlchemy Labs has teamed up to bring Rick and Morty to Virtual Reality

If you watch Adult Swim, then you’ve probably heard of Rick and Morty, which is a television show that follows the wacky adventures of, well… Rick and Morty. The show’s co-creator, Justin Roiland expressed intense enthusiasm about the emergence of virtual reality, through a tweet last year, stating “Been up all night working on design documents for several VR video games I plan to  market for #HTC Vive,” which you can view on UploadVR.

Since last year, Justin Roiland has been working covertly to bring Rick and Morty to Virtual Reality, with the backing of AdultSwim. They have also partnered up with Owlchemy Labs, known for Job Simulator, which was built exclusively for the HTC Vive. If you’ve played Job Simulator, you know the game mechanics revolves around picking up nearby objects and completing the task at hand, as well as humor.

With that said, it is official that “Rick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality,” will be coming to the HTC Vive. Since this is the first full-fledge virtual reality game based off a cartoon series, it should be a definite add-on to your VR to-do list. If not for that reason, then for being able to portal jump to different dimensions to explore the comical places Rick and Morty journey to.

The game was showcased at San Diego Comic Con on July 21st-24th, though there doesn’t seem to be a official release date for the game. To keep up on the latest news about Virtual Rick-ality, you can follow Owlchemy’s blog posts or follow them on twitter @OwlchemyLabs, as well as follow @JustinRoiland. For Ricky and Morty’s perspective on virtual reality, go watch Season 2 Episode 2.

SculptrVR: A Creative Game Where Virtual Reality Meets Three-D Printing

SculptrVR is one of those VR games that lets your imagination roam free. Nathan Rowe (main developer), Jonathan Davis, Eugene Tchoukhrov, Brandon Hjestrom and Steve Fullmer helped bring this game to life. Developed with the HTC Vive in mind, you are placed in a infinitely large blank environment with a brush that produces pixelated 3D objects.

To make creating objects and environments easier, they’ve employed a zooming and teleportation mechanism. With zooming, the player is able to zoom out to create a mountain, then zoom in to add trees. And of course with teleportation, you can quickly move across the world. This is useful for creation of large environments, where jogging back and forth can easily become tedious and mind-numbing.

What is unique about SculptrVR, is after you are content with what you have made, you can then make a 3D-printed replica of your creation. If you do not own a 3D printer, it’ll be printed off-site, where you can expect to receive it in a few weeks.

As stated by UploadVR, “While Google’s Tilt Brush uses a painting system that instantly creates something eye-catching in VR, SculptrVR in the HTC Vive is made with something else in mind – the ability to bring something you made in VR into the real world.”

The virtual reality game is a little rough in design, though Jonathan is planning to release updates to improve game function and mechanics. One example of this is the Water Brush. This allows players to place water emitters on their creations to simulate waterfalls.

You can download SculptrVR through Steam or visit their website for updates and news.

HELM Systems Develops Creative Fantasy Role-Playing Game Virtual Reality Game ‘The Soulkeeper VR’

There is much content to be explored for virtual reality. There some horror games, 360 degree videos, social platforms, sandbox environments and on the list go. As the VR marketplace continues to grow and mainstream audiences find their own use for this immersive interfaces, the type of content available for virtual reality will undoubtedly expand seven folds.

Helm Systems is part of the businesses entering the VR marketplace, adding virtual reality fantasy gameplay to the mix. It is no doubt, that RPG games like Bloodbourne, The Witcher or Elder Scrolls, is dear to some of us gamers who look forward to becoming magical creatures or skilled swordsman through virtual reality.

Thanks to Helm Systems, The Soulkeeper VR is a fantasy VR RPG game we should add to our VR to-do list. This is a VR spin-off from their open-world episodic flat-game, The Soulkeeper. Part of the inspiration in making this game, is to mimic the way TV episodes are released, providing more depth about characters and the impact of their choices. Some of these characters come from the Nordic race, monastic brotherhood and other historical cultures.

Founder and President of HELM Systems, Myron Mortakis stated, “Every episode will feel like a whole game, because each will feature different regions… we want people to be able to roam the universe. With each episode, you unlock new regions, and each one will have a whole bunch of locations. By locations, I mean anything from a simple dungeon to a huge city.”

They expect this game to not be your traditional style open world RPG, incorporating innovative game mechanics and inventive story progression. OnlySP has a great article with Myron Mortakis and Micheal Poropat (Press Release) giving their insight about the influence and direction of the game.

The Soulkeeper VR was developed for the room-scale VR system HTC Vive, and powered by Unreal Engine 4. As you enter The Soulkeeper’s universe, you inhabit the body of a warrior or avatar of your liking. Following the same gameplay as their flat-game, you’ll have to solve puzzles and fight unholy creatures, but with both of your hands. One hand with a staff and the other with a sword.

In order to caste fireballs, you’ll have to wave your arms around and create rune-like symbols in the air with you staff. As for piercing enemy body armor, you’ll have to utilize the space in your room and be quick on your feet. This game is one the first of it’s kind, bringing another style of experience to the VR platform.

You can subscribe to Soulkeeper’s newsletter to learn more about the game or visit HELM Systems website to see the staff behind the scene. As mainstream adapts VR for their own purposes, it will be important and necessary for role-playing-games like these to satisfy the human curiosity of being someone or something else.

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