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First Impressions of A Township Tale: Many Hands Make Light Work

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Having already spent a week with Alta’s A Township Tale for Oculus Quest it became clear that this was nowhere near enough time to actually review this open-world adventure. Originally brought to PC in 2019, if I’d played this version of A Township Tale then I would’ve had a better understanding. Instead, I stepped into A Township Tale fresh and naive that I’d be able to see most of what it had to offer prior to launch and give a definitive answer. What I can say most assuredly, if you’re looking for a huge, brand new Oculus Quest videogame to play with friends then this is most certainly it.

A Township Tale

If you’re already acquainted with the PC edition of A Township Tale or have been closely following its development, all the core functionality and gameplay has been brought over to Oculus Quest. Every player can start their own virtual server (private or open), get invited to another or simply join an already open server. These are their own individual worlds, so any progress made stays with them, hence why it’s a good idea to start your own with a few friends to nurture. Because you’ll need them, there’s a lot of ground to cover and jobs to do – unless you’re a glutton for multitasking.

And I’m not lying when I say you’ve got plenty to keep yourself busy. A Township Tale is built around collaboration as each server can support up to eight players so you can build a merry town. All the marketing blurb focuses on each player choosing a profession which they then have to stick to, every one providing vital services to progress the groups’ goal. In reality, this is only partially correct. You can if you so choose become a Blacksmith or a Woodcutter, or decide that you want to be a warrior fighting through monster-filled woods. It is quite easy to be a bit of everything, learning the various crafts so you know how to forge a weapon or cook a tasty meal.

That’s certainly the case if you don’t have a full contingent, becoming even more daunting if you decide to start a game all by yourself. And this is exactly what I did, thinking “how hard can this be?” as I wandered around the derelict town for the first time. Hard wasn’t really the correct description either, it was more “what the f**k do I do and where do I go?” A Township Tale gives you almost complete freedom to do that, with almost no handholding whatsoever. There’s a tutorial which in itself isn’t exactly straight forward and once you’re through that, satchel in hand, you’re off to build a brave new world.

A Township Tale

Like any videogame of this ilk, you’re going to stumble around for a bit as you find your bearings. There are basic challenges to help give you direction and books which do kind of detail some of the mechanics but there’s certainly plenty of trial and error. This is why it’s best to bring at least one buddy along so you can all figure some of this stuff out. Brazenly, after felling a couple of chicken/dodo type creatures wandering around the town we thought it would be a good idea to explore farther afield, get the lay of the land so to speak. We so weren’t ready.

Whilst there’s plenty to do in and around the town, collecting useful resources such as food or various rocks and ores, there’s a big world to explore and it’s dangerous. Danger is good, danger is exciting unless of course you dive into your first fight with nothing more than a piece of flint strapped to a stick. In which case, death is almost certain, and with the hunger level low, the option to run away suddenly wasn’t there. Then, in a very Dark Souls kinda way, I returned to the town minus one backpack full of useful items I’d collected, so you know exactly what happened next.

Thus it would be nice to get back and suddenly find one of your mates has been finessing their blacksmithing skills and created a new weapon or maybe someone else has cooked up a hearty broth to soothe those bones, all possible in A Township Tale.

A Township Tale

It’s an impressive achievement getting this massive open-world to work on Oculus Quest considering its hardware limitations. There are no loading sequences that I could find, run into a fort or go explore some dark and dingy caves and it’s all smooth and effortless, making A Township Tale truly feel immersive. However, sacrifices have had to be made to ensure this velvety effortlessness. As VRFocus previously reported when Alta released a comparison video between the PC VR and Oculus Quest versions, massive amounts of detail have been scrapped, especially at a distance. If you’re expecting a beautiful landscape when you get to the top of a hill, don’t, the videogame is best appreciated at closer range. Even then, buildings, trees, animals will all pop into view. That’s the price you pay for wireless, standalone freedom.

Even with these visual issues – and a few other annoying quirks – the time that I’ve spent with A Township Tale has been a blast, just mucking around working shit out. And not once have I been bored, even strolling around the town at night lighting all the torches was a simple joy, seeing the flames flicker away. As mentioned, I do need to spend more time digging into A Township Tale and its various mechanics to provide a proper review. Priced at $9.99 USD, from what I’ve seen so far A Township Tale is an absolute bargain on Oculus Quest.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/07/first-impressions-of-a-township-tale-many-hands-make-light-work/

AR/VR

Epic Games Acquires Sketchfab, the Massive 3D Object Library Compatible with AR/VR Headsets

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Sketchfab, the platform that lets you view, share, and download 3D models via traditional monitors and AR/VR headsets, today announced its been acquired by Unreal Engine creators Epic Games.

Founded in 2012, Sketchfab plays host to over 4 million 3D assets, all of which are accessible through its web-based platform across PC, mobile, and immersive headsets. In a blogpost announcing the acquisition, Sketchfab says it aims to make 3D, AR and VR content more accessible and grow its creator ecosystem, something it says is “critical to an open and interconnected Metaverse.”

Details of the acquisition are still thin on the ground, however Sketchfab says it will remain independently branded moving forward and will be working closely with Epic Games. Sketchfab says it will continue to support other game engines, Unity included.

The acquisition no doubt comes as a direct result of Epic securing a $1 billion financing round back in April, $200 million of which came from Sony Group Corporation. Epic still hasn’t tipped its hand on what that Metaverse will look like, however the company says it’s looking to build connected social experiences starting with its most successful properties FortniteRocket League and Fall Guys.

“Joining Epic will enable us to accelerate the development of Sketchfab and our powerful online toolset, all while providing an even greater experience for creators,” said Alban Denoyel, CEO and co-founder of Sketchfab. “We are proud to work alongside Epic to build the Metaverse and enable creators to take their work even further.”

Sketchfab has partnered with Epic Games in the past as a recipient of an Epic MegaGrant. Unreal Engine, one of the two largest game development platforms alongside Unity, officially supports the 3D model platform via a plugin, as well as Epic’s RealityCapture and ArtStation.

“We will maintain and expand our integration efforts with all creation tools and 3D/VR/AR platforms, so you can easily upload to and import from Sketchfab everywhere,” the company says.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.

Click here to access.

Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/epic-games-acquires-sketchfab-massive-3d-object-library-compatible-ar-vr-headsets/

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AR/VR

Epic Games Acquires Sketchfab, the Massive 3D Object Library Compatible with AR/VR Headsets

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Sketchfab, the platform that lets you view, share, and download 3D models via traditional monitors and AR/VR headsets, today announced its been acquired by Unreal Engine creators Epic Games.

Founded in 2012, Sketchfab plays host to over 4 million 3D assets, all of which are accessible through its web-based platform across PC, mobile, and immersive headsets. In a blogpost announcing the acquisition, Sketchfab says it aims to make 3D, AR and VR content more accessible and grow its creator ecosystem, something it says is “critical to an open and interconnected Metaverse.”

Details of the acquisition are still thin on the ground, however Sketchfab says it will remain independently branded moving forward and will be working closely with Epic Games. Sketchfab says it will continue to support other game engines, Unity included.

The acquisition no doubt comes as a direct result of Epic securing a $1 billion financing round back in April, $200 million of which came from Sony Group Corporation. Epic still hasn’t tipped its hand on what that Metaverse will look like, however the company says it’s looking to build connected social experiences starting with its most successful properties FortniteRocket League and Fall Guys.

“Joining Epic will enable us to accelerate the development of Sketchfab and our powerful online toolset, all while providing an even greater experience for creators,” said Alban Denoyel, CEO and co-founder of Sketchfab. “We are proud to work alongside Epic to build the Metaverse and enable creators to take their work even further.”

Sketchfab has partnered with Epic Games in the past as a recipient of an Epic MegaGrant. Unreal Engine, one of the two largest game development platforms alongside Unity, officially supports the 3D model platform via a plugin, as well as Epic’s RealityCapture and ArtStation.

“We will maintain and expand our integration efforts with all creation tools and 3D/VR/AR platforms, so you can easily upload to and import from Sketchfab everywhere,” the company says.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.

Click here to access.

Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/epic-games-acquires-sketchfab-massive-3d-object-library-compatible-ar-vr-headsets/

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AR/VR

Epic Games Acquires Sketchfab, the Massive 3D Object Library Compatible with AR/VR Headsets

Published

on

Sketchfab, the platform that lets you view, share, and download 3D models via traditional monitors and AR/VR headsets, today announced its been acquired by Unreal Engine creators Epic Games.

Founded in 2012, Sketchfab plays host to over 4 million 3D assets, all of which are accessible through its web-based platform across PC, mobile, and immersive headsets. In a blogpost announcing the acquisition, Sketchfab says it aims to make 3D, AR and VR content more accessible and grow its creator ecosystem, something it says is “critical to an open and interconnected Metaverse.”

Details of the acquisition are still thin on the ground, however Sketchfab says it will remain independently branded moving forward and will be working closely with Epic Games. Sketchfab says it will continue to support other game engines, Unity included.

The acquisition no doubt comes as a direct result of Epic securing a $1 billion financing round back in April, $200 million of which came from Sony Group Corporation. Epic still hasn’t tipped its hand on what that Metaverse will look like, however the company says it’s looking to build connected social experiences starting with its most successful properties FortniteRocket League and Fall Guys.

“Joining Epic will enable us to accelerate the development of Sketchfab and our powerful online toolset, all while providing an even greater experience for creators,” said Alban Denoyel, CEO and co-founder of Sketchfab. “We are proud to work alongside Epic to build the Metaverse and enable creators to take their work even further.”

Sketchfab has partnered with Epic Games in the past as a recipient of an Epic MegaGrant. Unreal Engine, one of the two largest game development platforms alongside Unity, officially supports the 3D model platform via a plugin, as well as Epic’s RealityCapture and ArtStation.

“We will maintain and expand our integration efforts with all creation tools and 3D/VR/AR platforms, so you can easily upload to and import from Sketchfab everywhere,” the company says.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.

Click here to access.

Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/epic-games-acquires-sketchfab-massive-3d-object-library-compatible-ar-vr-headsets/

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AR/VR

The Number of VR Users on Steam Dropped Sharply Last Month, But Valve Isn’t Saying Why

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Valve’s monthly Steam Hardware & Software Survey, which we’ve been carefully tracking for years now, has been a useful way to gauge how many VR headsets are being used on the platform each month. The latest data shows an odd, sharp drop in the number of VR users on Steam, but Valve isn’t saying why.

Each month Valve collects info from Steam users to determine some baseline statistics about what kind of hardware and software is used by the platform’s population, and to see how things are changing over time, including the use of VR headsets.

The data shared in the survey represents the number of headsets connected to Steam over a given month, so we call the resulting figure ‘monthly-connected headsets’ for clarity; it’s the closest official figure there is to ‘monthly active VR users’ on Steam, with the caveat that it only tells us how many VR headsets were connected, not how many were actually used.

While Valve’s data is a useful way see which headsets are most popular on Steam, the trend of monthly-connected headsets is obfuscated because the data is given exclusively as percentages relative to Steam’s population—which itself is an unstated and constantly fluctuating figure.

To demystify the data Road to VR maintains a model, based on the historical survey data along with official data points directly from Valve and Steam, which aims to correct for Steam’s changing population and estimate the actual count—not the percent—of headsets being used on Steam.

Monthly-Connected VR Headsets on Steam

We’ve been tracking the data on VR headsets published in the Steam Hardware & Software survey ever since first-gen VR headsets hit the market. The number of monthly-connected VR headsets on Steam has always seen ups and downs, but last month was different.

In the latest data we saw a surprisingly sharp drop in headsets used on Steam. In fact, it’s the single largest drop we’ve ever seen in the data set—from 2.31% to 1.86%—which is why it stood out as perciular.

While it’s easy to look at the data and see that there have been upswings that are nearly, or as large, as the drop, the major upswings have had fairly clear explanations: the big jump from March 2020 to April 2020 was largely due to the launch of Half-Life: Alyx, while the jump from December 2020 to January 2021 was likely due to the holiday season (with Quest 2 having just recently launched). As for this big drop in the last month, we haven’t been able to come up with any clear explanation.

Road to VR has reached out to three separate people at Valve, on multiple occasions, for comment on the data, but we’ve received no response. Until then, we can only really wait to see if next month’s data brings any answers.

We have seen the Steam Hardware & Software Survey report some funky VR numbers here and there over the years, but usually a correction comes within a week or so. Here we are, three weeks into the month, and nothing appears to be changing. So at this point we can’t say for certain which of the following is true:

  • The data is correct, but the explanation for the drop is unknown
  • The data is correct, due to some kind of statistical adjustment made by Valve
  • The data is in error

Share of VR Headsets on Steam

Looking at the breakdown of individual headsets in use on Steam, we don’t see any strange jostling that we might expect to come with the odd drop in overall headset use.

Despite somewhat notable losses from Rift S (–0.69%), original Rift (–0.54%), and Quest (–0.08%), Quest 2’s gains (+1.74%) managed to grow Facebook’s share of headsets on the platform overall, pushing it to more than 60% for the first time.

Even with the strong growth of Quest 2, other headsets found some room to grow too, like Valve Index now at 16.68% (+0.19%), Vive Cosmos at 1.75% (+0.56%), and even the original HTC Vive at 11.24% (+0.13%).

Windows Mixed Reality dropped slightly to 5.48% (–0.17%), though this marks a three month loss-streak, down from 6.50% share back in March.

HTC’s Vive Cosmos Elite took a larger hit down to just 0.14% (–0.68%), making for a five month loss-streak. Combined, all of HTC’s headsets on Steam now account for 15.22%, less than Valve’s Index headset.

This month’s data also reflected the debut of two new headsets, HTC’s Vive Pro 2 at 0.08% and Pico Neo 3 at 0.27%.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.

Click here to access.

Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/steam-survey-vr-headsets-june-2021-sharp-drop/

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