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Preview: I Expect You to Die 2: The Spy and the Liar

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When Schell Games launched I Expect You to Die back in 2016 it perfectly showcased immersive virtual reality (VR) puzzle-solving on PlayStation VR. It was a time where locomotion in VR was being wrestled with, so having a completely stationary escape room experience worked extremely well, especially where newcomers were concerned. Ports to other platforms have been equally successful meaning there’s plenty of excitement around the sequel. I Expect You to Die 2: The Spy and the Liar is due for release soon but can it maintain that puzzle magic five years on?

I Expect You To Die 2

While you don’t need to have played the original when it comes to the gameplay elements the story does continue directly on. You play a secret agent tasked with foiling the plans of the villainous Dr. Zor and his Zoraxis organisation, intent as always on worldwide domination. The challenge is to stop him in his tracks across six new missions, all filled with ingenious puzzles and traps to kill you.

I Expect You to Die made no attempt to hide its James Bond inspiration and the sequel equally exudes all the pomp and grandeur you’d hope for with an epic introduction sung by Puddles Pity Party. Honestly, don’t skip the intro as it’s quite epic, really setting the scene for what’s to come. So few VR videogames add that sense of occasion to their introductions, loading straight into a menu or hub area, that I Expect You to Die 2 truly builds a sense of excitement.

Schell Games hasn’t messed around with the core DNA either, still maintaining that cheeky, tongue-in-cheek humour that gives the title much of its charm. Whether it’s your handler giving out oh-so-useful nuggets of information to the actual puzzles themselves, the production is still top-notch. Especially considering one of the central characters, world-famous actor and celebrity John Juniper is voiced by Wil Wheaton – of Big Bang Theory and Star Trek: Next Generation fame – who does a sterling job in the role.

I Expect You To Die 2

Of course, I Expect You to Die 2 can’t survive on strong theatrics alone, it needs some engaging gameplay to balance the experience out. Without revealing too much regarding puzzle specifics, I Expect You to Die 2 maintains that deliciously fun interaction with plenty of items to pick up and play around with. Some useful, some not, it’s all about treading carefully and methodically because as the levels progress more and more booby traps seem to appear.

For instance, whilst trying to delicately remove one item from a cupboard a precariously placed bottle of wine was knocked onto the floor. Unfortunately, this bottle was filled with deadly gas and death instantly occurred. That’s part of the joy of I Expect You to Die 2, there’s a vein of maniacal humour running through it, where one wrong move results in your demise. Thus you return over and over to find that perfect path through.

All while comfortably seated, by the way. More and more VR games are getting bigger and grander where you can run around big open worlds yet there’s a simple joy in I Expect You to Die 2 like you’ve been given a puzzle box to solve. Everything is either physically nearby or within easy reach thanks to a telekinesis ability, making I Expect You to Die 2 easily accessible to the majority of players.  

I Expect You To Die 2

From what VRFocus has seen so far I Expect You to Die 2: The Spy and the Liar continues to do the series justice, with its pickup and play mechanics and amusing spy-caper antics. Still great for VR first-timers, six missions may not seem like much but there are plenty of tricky secondary challenges for puzzle veterans ensuring a good few hours of gameplay. There’s only a month to wait until launch and don’t forget the Steam demo is still available.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/07/preview-i-expect-you-to-die-2-the-spy-and-the-liar/

AR/VR

The VR Job Hub: Make Real, Survios, SAIC & Armature Studio

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VR Job Hub

Every weekend VRFocus gathers together vacancies from across the virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) industry, in locations around the globe to help make finding that ideal job easier. Below is a selection of roles that are currently accepting applications across a number of disciplines, all within departments and companies that focus on immersive entertainment.

Location Company Role Link
Brighton, UK/Remote Make Real Administrative Assistant Click Here to Apply
Brighton, UK/Remote Make Real Senior Software Developer (Web) Click Here to Apply
Brighton, UK/Remote Make Real Senior Project Manager Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA/ Remote Survios 3D Character Artist Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA Survios Art Manager Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA/ Remote Survios Lead Gameplay Animator Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA/ Remote Survios Senior 3D Environment Artist Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA/ Remote Survios Technical Art Director Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA Survios Design Director (Studio) Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA Survios Senior UI/UX Designer – UE4 Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA/ Remote Survios AI Engineer – UE4 Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA/ Remote Survios DevOps Engineer Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA/ Remote Survios Gameplay Engineer – UE4 Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA/ Remote Survios Senior Animation Engineer – UE4 Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA/ Remote Survios Senior Platform Engineer – UE4 Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA/ Remote Survios Senior Tools Engineer – UE4 Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA/ Remote Survios Technical Director – UE4 Click Here to Apply
Marina Del Rey, CA Survios QA Analyst Click Here to Apply
Austin ,TX Armature Office Manager Click Here to Apply
Austin ,TX Armature Generalist Engineer Click Here to Apply
Austin ,TX Armature UI Engineer Click Here to Apply
Austin ,TX Armature Engineer 1 Click Here to Apply
Austin ,TX Armature Graphics Engineer Click Here to Apply
Portland, ME SAIC Augmented Reality Engineer Click Here to Apply

Don’t forget, if there wasn’t anything that took your fancy this week there’s always last week’s listings on The VR Job Hub to check as well.

If you are an employer looking for someone to fill an immersive technology related role – regardless of the industry – don’t forget you can send us the lowdown on the position and we’ll be sure to feature it in that following week’s feature. Details should be sent to Peter Graham ([email protected]).

We’ll see you next week on VRFocus at the usual time of 3PM (UK) for another selection of jobs from around the world.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/10/the-vr-job-hub-make-real-survios-saic-armature-studio/

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AR/VR

Survival Horror Project TERMINUS VR Arrives on Oculus Quest Next Week

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Project TERMINUS VR has been available via SideQuest for Oculus Quest for almost two years now and soon it’ll finally make its official appearance on the Oculus Store for Quest and Oculus Rift. Indie team CVR actually launched the survival horror through Steam early access back in March and next week Oculus Quest players can finally join in the multiplayer fun.

Project Terminus VR

Set in Paris, France, Project TERMINUS VR takes players on a terrifying journey through the city, both above and below ground as they try to avoid the assimilated. No, they’re not the Borg (well, almost), these unfortunate souls have come into contact with swarms of nanites that have been attacking cities, turning the population into a combination of biological and robotic matter that’s now devoid of their previous personality. With no idea where these nanites came from and the military locking down the city, players have to survive using whatever resources they can find.

Supporting single-player and online co-op multiplayer for up to four people – no matter the platform they’re on – CVR has built Project TERMINUS VR around typically difficult survival mechanics and realistic VR interactions to immerse players in the experience. That means a backpack with limited storage, a flashlight with limited battery, physically climbing ledges and ladders, looting furniture, and crawling into ventilation systems to find whatever you can.

The launch of Project TERMINUS VR for Oculus Quest and Rift will be Act 1 of a multipart, story-driven campaign that should supply players with several hours of gameplay the studio says. Additionally, an Arcade mode will provide mini-campaigns and wave-based action on three exclusive maps.

Project Terminus VR

That’s not all for you VR horror fans. Project TERMINUS VR also has its own Map Editor so players can create, share and play their own custom maps which should massively up the replay factor for those after value for money.

Project TERMINUS VR is set to launch on Oculus Quest and Rift stores on 28th October 2021, fully cross-buy and cross-play compatible with the SteamVR version as well on casual-vr.com. For continued updates on Project TERMINUS VR keep reading VRFocus.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/10/survival-horror-project-terminus-vr-arrives-on-oculus-quest-next-week/

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AR/VR

Hero Brawler Quantaar to Hold Week-Long Steam Demo

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Steam is well known for its regular festival events where gamers can demo some of the hottest titles coming to the platform from both indie and large studios. Occasionally, some developers like to hold their own mini-demo events and that’s exactly what Pumpkin VR is doing for its upcoming virtual reality (VR) title Quantaar.

Quantaar

Quantaar is a hero brawler that supports single-player, online multiplayer and co-op gameplay, with Brawl, 2v2 and a 4-player party mode. Inspired by videogames like Super Smash Bros. and League of Legends, the Quantaar demo will offer up two maps (PK Arena and Dragon Valley), four heroes (Gumi and Cookie, Quasar, Captain Fury and Flèche) each with their own particular fighting skills alongside brawl, 2v2, a practice area and a private room mode. The final version will bump the character roster up to 12.

Developed over the past couple of years, Pumpkin VR has created a system where players can engage in battles from two points of view, as an observer looking over the battlefield partnering up with the hero to knock opponents off the arena or bombing them into the air.

Once you’ve found heroes you like Pumpkin VR says Quantaar will feature a: “deep progression and rune system and cosmetic upgrades,” to customise and enhance your characters. Additionally, because this is really a competitive social experience everyone will have their own avatars to customise.

Quantaar

From what’s been shown so far, Quantaar is gearing up to be a hugely fast and frantic multiplay brawler, check out the gameplay video below to see it in action.

Quantaar’s free week-long SteamVR demo begins next Friday, 29th October 2021 supporting Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Pumpkin VR has slated an early 2022 release for the project with Oculus Quest support also mentioned. For continued updates on Quantaar’s development, keep reading VRFocus.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/10/hero-brawler-quantaar-to-hold-week-long-steam-demo/

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AR/VR

Review: Spacefolk City

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One of the best things about the virtual reality (VR) industry is its ability to surprise and delight, especially when it comes to new indie games popping up left and right. Moon Mode began teasing its colourful building title Spacefolk City a couple of months ago, showcasing an amusing twist on the popular genre. And it is certainly a little bit different, challenging you to think how to expand a floating space city whilst trying to catch asteroids whizzing by.

Spacefolk City

One of the best things about the virtual reality (VR) industry is its ability to surprise and delight, especially when it comes to new indie games popping up left and right. Moon Mode began teasing its colourful building title Spacefolk City a couple of months ago, showcasing an amusing twist on the popular genre. And it is certainly a little bit different, challenging you to think how to expand a floating space city whilst trying to catch asteroids whizzing by.

The happy spacefolk are in trouble, big trouble. The star their world orbits is firing off increasingly deadly flares as it prepares to go supernova. So the spacefolk don’t want to hang around and wait for that to happen! Unlike most city builders Spacefolk City isn’t about making a permanent home for a growing population of residents, rather building up a city that can blast its way to safety.

You’ve got eight campaign levels to complete, with the first few serving more like training levels with various challenges to solve. Plus there’s a Sandbox Mode giving you free rein to build a city however you wish, no tasks to get around here.

Spacefolk City

Because you’re building in the void of space you’ve got complete freedom to drop buildings wherever you feel like, within the 3D area, the only restrictions are that every building needs to connect to another and they’re within the power field. This is the first thing you set up, placing a generator next to those ever so common electric clouds that float around space. This will create an area highlighted by a green box which you have to work within, the only exceptions being basic environmental objects like platforms, stairs and the zip-line to help all the little spacefolk get around. Whilst this power mechanic provides one of the core strategic elements to work around, it can sometimes be infuriating as you can’t create more clouds. Each level has a set amount and the Sandbox mode only ever offered up one cloud to build around, meaning really wide expansion is impossible.

That being said there’s plenty of gameplay options to get stuck into and it’s hard to stay annoyed at Spacefolk City for long, as there are so many imaginative elements in play. Before you build anything resources are required and the only way to gain “scrap” is to grab asteroids flying by and rip them apart. Yup, that’s right, those lumps of rock can come in from any direction – you’re in space after all – and easily shoot past if you’re not paying attention. Once torn apart they drop a scrap item that can be given to those tiny peeps to work on whatever building you like. Just pick them up and place them.

Each spacefolk requires their own home that has to be tailored to their specific style. Hotdogs, Cakes, Artists, Magicians, Bananas, Gardeners, they all embody one of these and their homes need to match. It’s what makes Spacefolk City so bright and colourful, there are tons of customisation options to make each city as weird and wacky as you like. And the only way to unlock more cosmetics, spot one of the rare yellow-glowing asteroids and pull it apart for a surprise.

Spacefolk City

Then there are all the important city buildings that help improve your workers and upgrade your city. Speed, Stamina and Skill buildings make the spacefolk walk faster, stay awake longer and activate their special abilities. Three tiers for each are available, and these again have to be decorated to suit particular residents. So the cheapest tier will only be for one type, whilst the costly third-tier accepts three types. As such, build one of each basic type for your banana folks and should a hotdog resident appear they won’t use your banana buildings. It’s a simple mechanic which works very well when either space or time is short – some levels like to drop a solar flare or two on you.   

That’s where more advanced buildings like the refinery (get more from each asteroid), warehouse (storage for your scrap), Defense Beacon (energy shield) and the Rocket Booster come into play. Once the latter is unlocked that’s pretty much it – even in the Sandbox mode – fire it up and off blasts your city into the black void.

In a way, it’s almost a shame to do that. Once you’ve built this vibrant space hub full of people zipping around doing little jobs the last thing anyone wants to do is lose the entire thing. A fully built-up city can be an amazing thing to peer into, like looking into a highly detailed Lego creation, it can be a feast for the eyes.

What Spacefolk City truly excels at is the use of spatial gameplay. Played either seated or standing, the ability to inspect your city from any angle, the asteroids that fly in and the giant looming sun that hovers directly overhead; Moon Mode has created a wonderfully inviting experience that could only be appreciated in VR. There are still glitches such as the menu system becoming illegible due to showing multiple pages on top of each other or items getting caught on invisible walls (mostly the scrap) but that wasn’t enough to hamper the overall experience. What it desperately needs is a random multiple cloud generator option in the Sandbox. Other than that, Spacefolk City is certainly worth a look if you like god-like city creation in VR.      

80% Awesome

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/10/review-spacefolk-city/

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