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Bean Stalker Takes PC VR Players on a Fairytale Adventure

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Classic fairytales can be a great source of inspiration for videogame developers, especially if a certain story has been a favourite since childhood. Jack and the Beanstalk is one of the most famous, inspiring VR Storm Studio to create Bean Stalker for PC VR headsets whilst putting its own unique twist on the tale to give it a unique virtual reality (VR) element.

Bean Stalker

Currently in early access development, Bean Stalker is about ascending this legendary plant, fighting the various creatures you encounter on the way and hopefully making it to the top. The twist is that the beanstalk is procedurally generated, so every time you go to tackle its heights you’ll need to find a new route up.

To make it up this winding mass of foliage you can physically climb each and every stalk you find or utilise a handy grabbling tool to quickly navigate to higher branches. Very useful when you consider the types of creatures hiding behind each leaf, from flying bugs to those ever-present eight-legged friends, everything fights for survival which includes you.

That does mean plenty of action and an arsenal including swords, crossbows, shields and grenades to aid your adventure. The higher you climb the more valuable resources you’ll discover, all of which can be used to craft tools and other useful items before facing the spirit at the top. Sometimes that means leaving the beanstalk climb to head back home, craft, and then tackle it anew.

Bean Stalker

However, there’s not one solitary beanstalk to climb. This initial version of Bean Stalker has two worlds to conquer, each with its own enemies and resources to collect. VR Storm Studio has revealed that its third map is almost complete and that a multiplayer element is also in the works. The overall aim is to officially launch Bean Stalker within the next year.

Bean Stalker is available now through Steam Early Access for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality headsets priced at £25.99 GBP. For continued updates on the latest VR videogames, keep reading VRFocus.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/09/bean-stalker-takes-pc-vr-players-on-a-fairytale-adventure/

AR/VR

The 20 Best Rated & Most Popular Quest Games & Apps – October 2021

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While Oculus doesn’t offer much publicly in the way of understanding how well individual apps are performing across its VR storefronts, it’s possible to glean some insight by looking at apps relative to each other. Here’s a snapshot of the top 20 Oculus Quest games and apps as of October 2021.

Some quick qualifications before we get to the data:

  • Paid and free apps are separated
  • Only apps with more than 100 reviews are represented
  • App Lab apps are not represented
  • Rounded ratings may appear to show ‘ties’ in ratings for some applications, but the ranked order remains correct

Best Rated Paid Oculus Quest Apps

The rating of each application is an aggregate of user reviews and a useful way to understand the general reception of each title by customers.

Rank Name Rating (# of ratings) Rank Change Price
#1 Puzzling Places 4.93 (515) $15
#2 The Room VR: A Dark Matter 4.89 (8,024) $30
#3 I Expect You To Die 2 4.88 (1,070) $25
#4 Walkabout Mini Golf 4.86 (3,760) $15
#5 Swarm 4.82 (1,237) $25
#6 Moss 4.82 (4,987) $30
#7 YUKI 4.81 (144) $20
#8 Cubism 4.81 (477) ↑ 1 $10
#9 I Expect You To Die 4.81 (3,844) ↓ 1 $25
#10 The Thrill of the Fight 4.79 (6,241) $10
#11 Pistol Whip 4.77 (7,424) ↑ 1 $30
#12 GORN 4.77 (5,115) ↓ 1 $20
#13 Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted 4.77 (6,260) $30
#14 ALTDEUS: Beyond Chronos 4.76 (908) $40
#15 In Death: Unchained 4.74 (3,044) $30
#16 Trover Saves the Universe 4.74 (1,757) $30
#17 Yupitergrad 4.73 (406) $15
#18 Racket: Nx 4.72 (1,543) $20
#19 SUPERHOT VR 4.72 (13,708) $25
#20 Job Simulator 4.72 (8,188) $20

Rank change & stats compared to September 2021

Dropouts:
None

  • Among the 20 best rated Quest apps
    • Average rating (mean): 4.8 out of 5 (±0)
    • Average price (mean): $23 (±$0)
    • Most common price (mode): $30 (±$0)
  • Among all paid Quest apps
    • Average rating (mean): 4.3 out of 5 (±0)
    • Average price (mean): $19 (±0)
    • Most common price (mode): $20 (±$0)

Continue on Page 2: Most Popular Paid Oculus Quest Apps »

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/best-oculus-quest-games-app-rated-october-2021/

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Sony Reveals Top 5 Most Played PSVR Games Ever

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It’s been five years since Sony released PlayStation VR on PS4 consoles, and to commemorate the anniversary its creators have released the top five most-played PSVR games to date.

Unlike its monthly top-download list, Sony has stacked up all of its 500+ games on the store and ranked them according to playtime hours, showing us just where most people have been spending their time on the now five year-old headset.

Here’s the global list, although you’ll also find regional breakdowns below:

Most-Played PSVR Games (Global)

  • Rec Room (2017)
  • Beat Saber (2018)
  • PlayStation VR Worlds (2016)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR (2017)
  • Resident Evil 7 biohazard (2017)

Unsurprisingly at the top of the global list is Rec Room, which launched on PSVR back in late 2017. The social VR platform is free, and includes a host of mini-games which rival some of the bespoke paid content on the store.

The cross-platform game is also constantly evolving thanks to the inclusion of user-generated content, new first-party content like the Mario Kart-style Rec Rally mini-game all of which shares common usership across desktop, PCVR, console (Xbox and PS), and mobile devices running Android and iOS.

Rec Room seems to have done well across Europe and North America, although it didn’t make the list in Japan. Here’s the regional breakdowns.

  • Europe: Rec Room, PlayStation VR Worlds, Beat Saber, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim VR, Resident Evil 7 biohazard
  • North America: Rec Room, Beat Saber, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, Job Simulator, Firewall: Zero Hour
  • Japan: Resident Evil 7 biohazard, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR, PlayStation VR Worlds, Beat Saber, Gran Turismo Sport

There’s still no word on when the next PlayStation VR headset is coming; Sony has said previously the headset won’t launch until ‘sometime after 2021’. Maybe there’s a barn-burner sale coming this Holiday Season to help wipe out stock before the company makes a commitment to show off the new hardware?

Although just a rumor at this point, the next-gen hardware is reportedly packing some pretty impressive specs like eye-tracking, inside-out positional tracking, and resolutions reported to be 2,000 × 2,040 pixels per-eye. Bear in mind that none of that’s substantiated, so we’ll just have to wait and see when Sony decides the time is right.

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/psvr-most-played-games-2021/

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AR/VR

Can Snap Mainstream AR Marketing?

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AR Insider

Immersive ad formats like AR continue to hold promise, though they’re mostly still in early adopter phases among brand marketers. We’re talking about ad formats that utilize the camera (Gen-Z friendly) to offer 3D interactivity, such as virtually trying on shoes or shades of lipstick.

This includes social lenses (the most popular format to date) and visual search. For the latter, Google is pioneering a “search what you see” use case to point your phone at objects to contextualize or shop for them. And as we examined earlier this week, Pinterest isn’t far behind.

But the king of consumer AR is Snap. Not only has it popularized AR lenses by having them piggyback on media/selfie sharing, but it’s monetized that traction. In fact, Snap explicitly attributes AR lenses as its growth engine during the past few years of ad revenue acceleration.

It turns out that the same qualities that make lenses viral also create favorable performance in their sponsored instances. Products shown in greater visual dimension have higher conversion rates and lower eCommerce returns on average than non-immersive benchmarks.

To double down on all of these principles, Snap recently launched the AR Lab with ad agency giant WPP. The program will set advertisers on the right foot with onboarding tools, educational materials and development resources. This will ease those first adoptive steps for brands.

Breaking it down further, the AR Lab offers custom strategy guides with best practices for successful AR lens campaigns (think: how to convert lens interactions to eCommerce purchases). It also offers optimization scorecards to track campaign effectiveness in real-time.

Lastly, the AR Lab will establish an AR certification program that aims to enroll 1,000 WPP employees this year. This could accelerate brand adoption as their agency representatives will be equipped to translate their campaign goals to the benefits and best practices of AR lenses.

Stepping back, the idea is generally to continue growing lenses past the early-adopter brands noted earlier. The beauty of lenses for Snap isn’t just growth so far….but the market headroom still to come. Most advertisers haven’t yet experienced the benefits of these immersive formats.

Why is that? Some advertisers aren’t convinced, some need more education, and others are simply stuck in their ways….as it often goes with the habit-bound Madison Avenue. So the AR Lab is Snap’s way of reaching these uninitiated and unconverted brands. And WPP is its bridge.

So if Snapchat is building a bridge to a larger market of lens advertisers, who are those companies specifically? Current AR marketers span verticals but skew towards fashion and entertainment. They include hip and tech-forward brands like Gucci, Nike and Sony Pictures.

So if there’s growth to be had in AR advertising it could come from going deeper in these verticals as well as reaching new verticals. The latter could include AR-conducive product categories like food and travel. And it could involve moving down market to small businesses.

AR’s ability to create favorable brand engagement is also evident in hard goods, given the ability to visualize products remotely before buying. This makes AR primed for retail and eCommerce, especially in the Covid era when additional product dimension is valued.

But there’s a value chain that still needs to be developed in order for adoption friction to recede among brands. For example, making one’s products render properly in AR requires 3D digital assets — either existing CAD designs or 3D scans that need to be made.

These processes continue to get democratized by companies like CG Trader and VNTANA, which will chip away at the adoption inertia seen in the brand advertising world. Tech giants like Snap will likewise accelerate this process as they continue to double down on AR.

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Source: https://arvrjourney.com/can-snap-mainstream-ar-marketing-dde16e862041?source=rss—-d01820283d6d—4

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Facebook to Create 10,000 European Jobs to Build its Metaverse

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Mark Zuckerberg has been very vocal about turning Facebook into a metaverse company, having previously announced initiatives like a dedicated metaverse product group and that $50 million investment program. The latest step in that vision was revealed over the weekend with plans to create 10,000 new jobs at Facebook across Europe.

Horizon Worlds

In a blog post, Nick Clegg, VP Global Affairs, and Javier Olivan, VP Central Products said that: “Europe is hugely important to Facebook. From the thousands of employees in the EU to the millions of businesses using our apps and tools every day, Europe is a big part of our success, as Facebook is invested in the success of European companies and the wider economy.” Hence why the company wants to create so many jobs in the region over the next five years.

Facebook has yet to detail its overall metaverse vision, simply reiterating that its: “a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences using technologies like virtual and augmented reality,” and that: “No one company will own and operate the metaverse. Like the internet, its key feature will be its openness and interoperability.”

It does however have a couple of products already in beta, the recently renamed Horizon Worlds and Horizon Workrooms. Both serve different purposes in that fact that Horizon Worlds is a more community-driven platform where you can build your own worlds. Whilst Horizon Workrooms is purely designed for remote collaboration, with upcoming features including the integration of Zoom.

Horizon Workrooms

These are just going to be the tip of the iceberg as Facebook heavily invests in all aspects of the metaverse, with more “Horizon” products highly likely. The next could even be shown at Facebook Connect next week?

With all the hardware announcements going on last week Facebook also got in on the action, showcasing several prototypes including one with a retina display. As the company continues to reveal its metaverse plans, VRFocus will keep you updated.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/10/facebook-to-create-10000-european-jobs-to-build-its-metaverse/

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