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Indie VR Gem ‘COMPOUND’ Gets Fresh Demo Following a Year of Content Updates

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Indie VR gem COMPOUND has taken its Early Access status to heart. Over the last year, the game has seen consistent updates every month which have added new enemies, weapons, bosses, and more to the game. Developer Bevan McKechnie says the game’s demo has been recently updated allowing new players to get a glimpse of the changes.

Compound is an impressive but lesser-known roguelite VR shooter with a deliciously authentic pixel-art aesthetic. Having launched in Early Access on Steam back in 2018, developer Bevan “NotDead” McKechnie has been busy bringing new content to the game ever since.

In the last year alone Compound has seen 17 updates which have added six new weapons, five new mini-bosses, and two major bosses to the game:

Weapons: Dart Gun, Revolver, Sticky Grenade Launcher, Sonic Pulse Generator, Blast Pistol, Laser Pistol

Mini-bosses: Giant Rat, Accountant, Spider Tank, Booster Bruce, Lab Director

Major bosses: CEO Helicopter, Gold Leader

There’s also been feature updates and fixes along the way. v0.5.1 added new hand models to the game with support for Index finger-tracking. v0.5.3 added ‘Mutators’ which change the gameplay in challenging ways:

Mutators:

  • Gun Magnet (enemies drop weapons but you can’t reload)
  • Damage Amplifier (all enemies die with one shot but so do you)
  • People Populator (enemies have less HP, bullets move faster, and more enemies spawn)

v0.5.14 updated the game’s weapons to support ‘momentum reloading’ meaning that you can now articulate many of the hinged weapons (ie: swing shut the Revolver’s cylinder) by swinging them naturally; it also added a new enemy (‘KANi’ Reception Security bot).

v0.5.16 was a key update which added a Save & Continue feature. Compound is all about surviving as long as you can, but that meant that longer runs could become a time investment. With the Save & Continue feature, players can now store their progress between levels and resume at a later date.

Image courtesy Charmander

The game’s latest update, v0.5.17, which went live today, brought balance changes to the game which its creator says were focused on “improving the smoothness of the difficulty curve while also giving Easy and Medium players access to more of the mini-boss content.”

According to today’s update, the game’s free demo has also been updated to bring it in line with the latest version of the game; it’s available on the Compound Steam page.

We spoke with Bevan McKechnie about Compound’s latest updates and what he has planned for the future. In the near-term he expects to focus on adding more Mutators to the game, bringing the total count to “at least nine,” he said.

“Being a solo dev, my style of development is very organic. I like to add, remove, and change ideas all the time. This means I can never be 100% sure of how the game will turn out,” McKechnie told us as a caveat before listing some of his longer term goals for the game “in no specific order:”

  • More map specific ‘hazards’, like the explosive barrels in the sewers.
  • More variation to the early game.
  • An overhauled unlock system
  • A completely new tutorial system with audio and video instructions for clarity, with a bit of fun world building thrown in. The current one has always been a placeholder as no-one wants to sit around reading pages of instruction text.
  • AI improvements, overall polish, and misc. QOL features.
  • Many more story elements and multiple unlockable ‘endings’
  • Some fun secret items for completionists

We awarded Compound the ‘Excellence in Indie Development’ award in our 2018 Game of the Year Awards and are happy to see that McKechnie has continued to show that it was well-earned recognition.

Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/compound-vr-new-demo-content-updates/

AR/VR

Unity announces plans to release experimental version of Unity OpenXR early next year

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In Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality News

October 24, 2020 – Unity Technologies, a leading platform for creating and operating interactive, real-time 3D content, has recently announced that it plans to have early previews of its support of OpenXR on some platforms as early as the end of this year (Unity 2020 release cycle). The company noted that it has been closely monitoring the development of the OpenXR standard, and has accelerated its efforts to enable OpenXR in Unity.

OpenXR is an open standard created by the Khronos Group, aimed at simplifying augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) development by allowing developers to seamlessly target a wide range of AR/VR devices. Unity is a member of the Khronos Group and is an active contributor to the OpenXR standard.

In a blog post on the announcement, Matt Fuad, Sr. Technical Product Manager, AR/VR at Unity, commented: “We’re at an inflection point now, where OpenXR 1.0 has been ratified and OpenXR runtimes by various vendors are reaching maturity. This inflection point has accelerated our efforts to enable OpenXR in Unity. Though we’re still working through some details, we want to reiterate our commitment to OpenXR and are excited to share our latest plans.” 

As OpenXR becomes the primary backend for many platforms, Unity added that it is working with its partners to ensure full Unity support of their OpenXR runtimes, along with the necessary OpenXR extensions to ensure parity with existing features. The company stated that its development efforts and support will be focused on providing the best developer experience on Unity supported platforms.

Furthermore, by enabling OpenXR support on partner platforms, it affords Unity the ability to make support widely available for other OpenXR runtimes/devices. Early next year, the company plans to release an experimental version of Unity OpenXR that works with other conformant OpenXR runtimes based on the OpenXR 1.0 specification. Of course, the company clarified that given the unbounded combinations of possible hardware/software configurations, it will not be able to test or guarantee that all configurations will work optimally. However, as issues are discovered with runtimes, Unity stated that it will work to contribute conformance tests and specification changes back to the Khronos working group to help the community as a whole. Additionally, the company will also make sure that it is clear to developers which platforms have been fully tested and thus supported by Unity.

Fuad added: “Our mission is to make it as easy as possible for developers to take their content to the widest set of desired platforms. OpenXR is an important part of that story, and will be implemented as a part of our XR plug-in framework (XR SDK).”

This means developers will be able to continue using Unity’s suite of XR workflows and frameworks (AR Foundation, XR Interaction Toolkit, Unity MARS) for platforms that adopt OpenXR, as well as platforms that may choose not to adopt it.

Unity noted that it will be announcing more updates over the coming months. For more information on OpenXR, please visit the Khronos Group’s website.

Image credit: Unity Technologies / Khronos Group

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he covers news articles on both the AR and VR industries. He also has an interest in human augmentation technology as a whole, and does not just limit his learning specifically to the visual experience side of things.

Source: https://www.auganix.org/unity-announces-plans-to-release-experimental-version-of-unity-openxr-early-next-year/

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AR/VR

Competition: Win Either Angry Birds VR or Acron: Attack of the Squirrels! for Oculus Quest

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It’s coming up to the season of giving and what better way to start the celebrations early than with a competition where you can win some videogames. Today’s giveaway is a double bill, with Resolution Games’ Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs and Acron: Attack of the Squirrels! up for grabs.

Angry Birds VR

Rovio’s iconic Angry Birds franchise came to VR in 2019 with a selection of core levels which have been expanded upon over time. One of the major updates to the bird flinging experience was the addition of a level builder late last year, followed by online sharing to massively enhance the gameplay possibilities.

Acron: Attack of the Squirrels! on the other hand, is a purely multiplayer experience. One person is in VR controlling a tree trying to protect its golden acorns from a bunch of thieving squirrels. All the squirrels are controlled by players on mobile devices – via a free app – who are able to select characters with particular traits such as burrowing short distances underground. All making for a fast and entertaining party game.

Most recently, Resolution Games released a Halloween update for both titles, adding new levels as well as spooky themes to get into the spirit of the season as a lot of developers like to do.

Acron: Attack of the Squirrels

So onto the competition. VRFocus has got six codes to give away, three for Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs and three for Acron: Attack of the Squirrels, both for the Oculus Quest platform. There are multiple ways to enter the giveaway with the standard prize draw entry rules applying: Follow us (or already be following us) on Twitter or alternatively, visit our Facebook page or YouTube channel to get an entry for each. Winners will receive a single randomly drawn code. The competition will be open until 11.59 pm GMT on Monday 26th October 2020. The draw will be made shortly thereafter.

Win Angry Birds VR or Acron: Attack of the Squirrels!

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/competition-win-either-angry-birds-vr-or-acron-attack-of-the-squirrels-for-oculus-quest/

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AR/VR

Sayduck enters three-year license agreement with Forms+Surfaces to create 3D product models for AR visualization

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In Augmented Reality News 

October 23, 2020 – Bublar Group has announced that its subsidiary Sayduck has expanded its collaboration with one of its oldest customers and entered into a three-year licence agreement with design and manufacturing company Forms+Surfaces based in the US.

The new assignment will consist of Sayduck building an online 3D configurator for over 80 of Forms+Surfaces’ different furnishing products for public spaces. Forms+Surfaces designs and manufactures architectural products used in public spaces, from walls and elevator interiors to site furnishings and lighting.

According to Bublar, the 3D configurator will make it possible to realistically present complex products that come in a multitude of variations and combinations that typically are not easily showcased online. It will also allow Forms+Surfaces customers to visualize product selections in augmented reality (AR), a core feature of the Sayduck Platform.

“We are truly excited about our continued collaboration with Sayduck. We knew that we were only scratching the surface as far as business opportunities when Forms+Surfaces introduced the AR technology to architects and designers for select products back in 2013. This new 3D configurator project is a natural extension of our digital outreach, helping streamline the specification process of our entire outdoor product line for our customers,” commented Jeffrey Stork, President, Forms+Surfaces, Inc.

Examples of Forms+Surfaces’ products

Earlier assignments from Forms+Surfaces have included an AR-enabled iOS app. In addition, Sayduck states that it has created multiple products as simpler, non-configurable items in the past.

Commenting on the agreement, Niklas Slotte, Managing Director at Sayduck, said: “I am very happy that we have gained continued trust from one of our oldest customers. We have had a strong collaboration for more than seven years and with this agreement we will develop our partnership even further.”

Bublar added that Sayduck’s strategy is to help product manufacturers and e-commerce companies to showcase and present their products in more immersive ways. The Sayduck Platform allows companies to create unique web 3D and AR experiences for their customers, helping to drive product engagement and customer confidence.

For more information on Sayduck and its 3D Configurator product, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Sayduck / Forms+Surfaces

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he covers news articles on both the AR and VR industries. He also has an interest in human augmentation technology as a whole, and does not just limit his learning specifically to the visual experience side of things.

Source: https://www.auganix.org/sayduck-enters-three-year-license-agreement-with-formssurfaces-to-create-3d-product-models-for-ar-visualization/

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