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SteamVR and Oculus Players Can Finally Play ‘Beat Saber’ Together on Any Headset

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One of VR’s most popular games, Beat Saber, got a multiplayer mode late last year. Unfortunately, Oculus and SteamVR players were separated, which means if your friend had a Quest and you had a Vive, you couldn’t play together. Now, almost a year after multiplayer was initially released, Beat Saber has full cross-play between Quest, Rift, and SteamVR headsets.

Hot off the tail of the Beat Saber Skrillex music pack release, the game this week just got another update: cross-play between Oculus and SteamVR. While Quest and Rift could always play Beat Saber together from the start, the SteamVR version was stuck as its own multiplayer island.

But no longer will mixed platforms mean you can’t slice blocks with friends. Facebook-owned Beat Games announced this week that Beat Saber now supports cross-play between any Oculus and SteamVR headsets.

You won’t be able to directly invite players from across platforms, but any headset from either platform will be able to join the same match via the existing room-code functionality. Beat Games says this change was done on the server side which means players don’t need to download a game update to have unlocked cross-play.

Beat Saber’s multiplayer mode allows up to five players to play songs together and compete for the high score in real-time.

While it’s great that Oculus and SteamVR headsets can finally play together, unfortunately the PSVR version of Beat Saber is still missing a multiplayer mode entirely. Hopefully this step toward cross-play is a hint that the Beat Saber multiplayer mode for PSVR isn’t too much further away.

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Source: https://www.roadtovr.com/beat-saber-cross-player-quest-rift-steamvr/

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.

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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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AR/VR

Does Device Quality Impact AR Satisfaction?

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One of the rallying cries of mobile AR proponents is the technology’s scalability. Until AR glasse s get sleek enough to be mainstream viable, the here-and-now opportunity is the device that’s already in our pockets. This lets AR piggyback on a ubiquitous vessel.

Wrapping some numbers around that, our research arm ARtillery Intelligence recently quantified 3.1 billion smartphones that can run AR. Most of these involve web AR compatibility, thanks to the efforts of 8th Wall and others that make AR work on commodity hardware.

Further segmenting that total addressable market, there are about 800 million active mobile AR users today. But is this too simplistic or binary? Beyond quantity, what about quality? Do newer devices offer more robust AR experiences (e.g. LiDAR) and user satisfaction?

The easy answer is “yes”, but can we back that up with any hard data from user behavior happening today? To answer that question we went to our friends at R2U — an AR commerce enabler — to see what their usage data shows as the focus of this week’s Data Dive.

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Validating Assumptions

Before diving into the data, another key question to contextualize things further is to what degree AR user satisfaction (and adoption as a corollary) hinge on the capabilities of one’s device. And conversely, what degree does satisfaction hinge on the UX that developers create?

The answer of course is “both”, but R2U’s data shows that device quality — including hardware and mobile OS — has a larger than expected impact on user experience and satisfaction. In fact, there’s a clear correlation between device recency and users’ reported AR satisfaction.

Breaking that down, iPhone 12 Pro Max users show a 78.92 percent AR satisfaction rate, followed by iPhone 12 and 12 Pro (68.74 percent), iPhone 11, and XR (62 percent). The full data set can be seen below, which doesn’t include the iPhone 13 line, which is too early for reliable data.

Meanwhile, these high-end satisfaction ratings are partly due to faster processors and better plane detection, which ease AR activation. And higher satisfaction also correlates to bigger and brighter screens that make any multimedia — beyond just AR — pop and sing with greater fidelity.

Either way, these results validate the assumption that better devices equal better AR satisfaction. So if you use an iPhone 12 (or Pro Max 13 for that matter), AR experiences will be better than if you use an older iPhone. This places outsized importance on a given user’s hardware.

“It sounds obvious, but now we have data to back that assumption up,” said R2U CTO Antonio Viggiano. “Newer devices, with improved hardware and software, as well as 5G, are today the biggest driver of what defines good user experience in this field.”

Phasing in

As background on R2U’s survey methodology, it defines AR satisfaction by the number of likes as a function of total feedback. Its SDK asks for this thumbs up or thumbs down whenever users end their first web AR session, and the above zeroes in on iOS responses for consistency.

But the bigger question is what insights can be extracted from these results. As noted, they validate a logical hypothesis most of us already had. But that validation has key implications for AR’s near-term evolution, and how much impact developer rigor and UX have on user satisfaction.

On that measure, these results are a double-edged sword. It’s bad news in that some developer efforts are degraded if even their best work is rendered through consumers’ sub-par hardware. But it’s also good news in that the baseline will only get better as newer hardware phases in.

In other words, we can see the bleeding edge at the high-end of the hardware spectrum, represented by the top marks above. That capability — including 5G and LiDAR — will eventually trickle down to commodity hardware and reach AR-empowering ubiquity….which raises all boats.

“AR technology is improving every year to the point of it inevitably becoming mainstream due to the infrastructure that evolves around it,” said Viggiano. “We expect to see more use cases in the near future as the backbone of the technology gets better.”

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Does Device Quality Impact AR Satisfaction? was originally published in AR/VR Journey: Augmented & Virtual Reality Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Source: https://arvrjourney.com/does-device-quality-impact-ar-satisfaction-3e200270c649?source=rss—-d01820283d6d—4

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