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Twitch Streamers & Cosplayers Team Up For Mixed Reality Dungeons & Dragons Campaign

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Tabletop gaming meets next-gen technology in this live action RPG series.

A handful of popular Twitch streamers, well-known cosplay artists, and producers are teaming up on a brand new Dungeons & Dragons campaign which will be broadcasted in real-time across Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Live. Unlike the dozens of other D&D-based live streams littering the web, however, this one-of-a-kind RPG series will incorporate real-time visual effects powered by mixed reality and projection mapping technology.

Starring well-known internet personalities ZombiUnicorn, TheSushiDragon, Darth Lexii, and Alex Drastal, InstaQuest follows an eclectic group of hardened warriors on a dangerous quest through a war-torn land.

Season 1 Campaign: A regal Barbarian, an explosive Artificer, a Druid with a wild side, and a Ranger with a love for all that’s cuddly and cute have joined the Adventurer’s Guild in pursuit of fortune and glory. However, with each new quest they take on, they descend deeper into the political frenzy of a world at war over dwindling energy resources. Competing imperial regimes vie for the allegiance of the ragtag adventurers. It is up to the players to decide who to trust and which path to take. The consequences of each action last throughout the entire campaign, and will ultimately decide the fate of heaven and earth.

Using a series of in-game visual elements brought to life via a massive screen incorporating 600 square feet of projection mapping with over 24 Million individual pixels, Game Master Joseph “Jobo” Bohan is able to activate certain enemies, digital assets, and spells based on the choices of each player and the particular scenarios they find themselves in. Based on the video provided, it appears as though Jobo will trigger these elements via a tablet device. Each of the visuals presented were created using the Unreal Game Engine, resulting in high-quality animations, textures, and lighting.

“Tabletop RPG storytelling balances exploring an open-world sandbox with keeping players ‘on the rails’ to meet the GM’s plot–hopefully without players knowing they are being steered in a certain direction,” stated Notes producer Jay Stone. “We endeavor to follow this philosophy using Jobo’s experience as a GM by preparing game elements to be triggered based on the choices the adventurers make. This means we are creating scenarios with certain enemies, digital assets, and spells that may never make it to the screen during the show.”

At the end of the day, however, Dungeons & Dragons is all about the player and their decisions. While InstaQuest’s mixed reality technology provides captivating visual content for viewers, it’s ultimately serves to enhance the story.

“As proud as we are of all the technical wizardry that’s gone into InstaQuest, the show is ultimately all about the players and the story they co-create,” added producer Parker Howell. “We’ve got a team of rising superstars, self-created artists who’s characters reflect their real life archetypes. The light, the dark, the sublime, the chaotic–the only way for them to move forward is to realize the alchemy of their fellowship.” 

Season 1 of InstaQuest kicks-off Saturday, July 25 at 1PM PST via Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook Live.

Image Credit: InstaQuest

Source: https://vrscout.com/news/instaquest-mixed-reality-dungeons-and-dragons/

AR/VR

Zero Caliber: Reloaded Survival Mode Drops Today, PlayStation VR News to Come

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Back in May XREAL Games brought its military shooter Zero Caliber to Oculus Quest in the form of Zero Caliber: Reloaded, rebuilding the experience for the standalone headset. Today, the studio has released its sixth update for the videogame, adding a new gameplay mode, more maps, guns and a few additional cosmetic extras.

Zero Caliber

The main focus of the update is the new Survival mode which supports both solo and four-player co-op. As you might expect, the mode is all about surviving for as long as possible, made a little bit easier if you are teamed up. Everyone starts with a basic pistol and as you clear waves gain access to better weapons and attachments via supply drops. Whilst you can slug it out for as long as possible, at a certain point between the waves you can leave by calling for extraction, although it’s not clear why you might do this.

XREAL Games has created two specific maps for the Survival mode, Critical Mass and The VIP, each with its own challenges. Critical Mass is a CQB map, players have to defend a stationary nuclear bomb while waves ofTlalokii soldiers try to sabotage the objective. The VIP changes the objective up by tasking players with keeping ‘Bob’ alive, who’ll be fighting alongside them.

In addition to all of this, Zero Caliber: Reloaded will see the M249 light machine gun make its debut, a HAMR Scope and 3 new weapon skins. Two of these skins can only be obtained by playing through the Survival mode.

Zero Caliber: Reloaded

Whilst it might be the sixth update XREAL Games has released for Zero Caliber: Reloaded, the team says the launch marks the first in series of bigger updates for the title without specifying what could be next. However, there was a tease regarding the PlayStation VR and SteamVR versions in the series. Zero Caliber VR is currently available as a Steam Early Access videogame whilst a PlayStation VR version has long been talked about. Hopefully, details should be dropping this week about both, most likely official launch dates for both.

When those details do arrive VRFocus will let you know.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/09/zero-caliber-reloaded-survival-mode-drops-today-playstation-vr-news-to-come/

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AR/VR

Practice Your Best Metal Face for Unplugged’s Oculus Quest Launch in October

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Anotherway and Vertigo Games have been developing one of the most interesting use cases for Oculus Quest’s hand tracking feature, an air guitar experience called Unplugged. Today, the teams have revealed that the launch isn’t too far away, with a date now stencilled in for next month.

Unplugged

Unplugged is all about taking that fantasy air guitar experience where you pretend you’re a rock god on stage at some crazy festival and making it that bit more real. Virtual guitar in hand, you’re taken under the wing of Steel Panther’s lead guitarist Satchel. He’ll show you the ropes before letting you loose on some classic tracks that celebrate over five decades of rock history.

Alongside confirming when Unplugged will launch, Anotherway and Vertigo Games have also listed the first set of songs you’ll be able to play.

  • Bumblefoot – Overloaded
  • Freak Kitchen – My New Haircut
  • Louis and The Shakes – On One
  • Lynch Mob – Wicked Sensation
  • Ozzy Osbourne – Flying High Again
  • The Electric Alley – Searching For The Truth
  • The Offspring – The Kids Aren’t Alright
  • The YeahTones – Lightning
  • Weezer – Say It Ain’t So

As mentioned, Unplugged is all about freeing you from those controllers to offer one of the most unique rhythm action games yet. Suitable for left or right-handed players, you’ll have to get the feel for strumming along and matching your fingers to the chords. In true air guitar style, there are even moments where you can unleash and freestyle.

Unplugged

Previewing Unplugged earlier this week VRFocus said: “Unplugged is going to be the greatest test of Oculus Quest’s hand tracking and likely very divisive as to whether it can really offer a viable alternative to those physical, guitar rhythm action games of old. There’s no doubt that it works with some flashes of brilliance but the learning curve is huge, especially trying to complete those higher levels.” 

Unplugged is due for release on 21st October 2021 for Oculus Quest. The developer has confirmed a PC VR version is on the way later this year but it’ll only support hand tracking enabled hardware or the Valve Index controllers with their finger tracking. For continued updates, keep reading VRFocus.

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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/09/practice-your-best-metal-face-for-unpluggeds-oculus-quest-launch-in-october/

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AR/VR

Cubism Volume 2 Adds 30 Free new Puzzles

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When it comes to deliciously simply yet highly effective puzzle gameplay, Thomas van Bouwel’s Cubism for Oculus Quest, Rift and SteamVR is a very good place to start. Officially released back in September 2020, for Cubism’s first anniversary this month the developer is releasing a free content update adding 30 new puzzles into the mix.

Cubism

The Volume 2 update adds a second campaign to Cubism’s roster, split across five stages each with six puzzles apiece. And to give them a bit of pop the puzzles feature a new colour palette. Just like the first campaign, with each puzzle solved players will be able to unlock an original piano song. To access volume 2 you’ll need to have completed at least 30 puzzles from the first campaign.

Cubism captured hearts and puzzled brains because at first, it seems so deceptively easy; take coloured blocks and try to make them all fit with a predefined shape. As the shapes increase in size and with more blocks to try and place the difficulty soon ramps up, providing a mix of logic solving and trial and error to succeed.

While volume 2 is the first content update for Cubism van Bouwel has released other backend updates to improve the experience, especially where Oculus Quest is concerned. He added hand tracking back in March so players no longer required controllers, followed by 120Hz support a month later.

Cubism

Reviewing the Oculus Quest version of Cubism at launch VRFocus said: “Easy to pick up yet difficult to complete, it may take some an hour whilst others will take five. It’s the kind of VR game you can give to anyone and they’ll instantly know what to do, because who doesn’t know how to place a few blocks together.”

Cubism’s free volume 2 update is available today. If you’ve not picked up the puzzle title then it’s only £7.99 GBP on Oculus Store and Steam. For continued updates from van Bouwel, keep reading VRFocus.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/09/cubism-volume-2-adds-30-free-new-puzzles/

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AR/VR

Andrew Bosworth Will Be Facebook’s New CTO in 2022

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This week marks Facebook’s next big step towards its metaverse future as current Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mike Schroepfer has announced he’ll be stepping down next year after 13 years at the company. Taking his place will be head of Facebook Reality Lab (FRL) Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth, continuing Facebook’s work in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Mike Schroepfer
Image credit: Facebook/Mike Schroepfer

In a statement on his Facebook profile, Schroepfer said: “I have made the decision to step down as Chief Technology Officer and transition to a new part time role as Facebook’s first Senior Fellow at the company sometime in 2022.” This was a personal choice with him going on to say: “This change in role will allow me to dedicate more time to my family and my personal philanthropic efforts while staying deeply connected to the company working on key initiatives including recruiting and developing technical talent.”

This process will be very gradual by all accounts with Bosworth continuing to oversee FRL as he assumes more responsibilities at Facebook. “As our next CTO, Boz will continue leading Facebook Reality Labs and overseeing our work in augmented reality, virtual reality and more, and as part of this transition a few other groups will join Boz’s team as well. This is all foundational to our broader efforts helping to build the metaverse, and I’m excited about the future of this work under Boz’s leadership,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a statement.

The announcement comes as Facebook continues to ramp up its hardware efforts across a number of product lines. This week saw new Portal devices revealed and a couple of weeks ago Facebook’s first entry into the smart glasses sector with Ray-Ban Stories, essentially camera-equipped sunglasses. While these weren’t AR glasses the company’s Project Aria is working towards that eventual solution.

Oculus Quest 2 top down

When it comes to that metaverse vision of Zuckerberg’s, the Oculus Quest platform is going to play an important role. Oculus Quest 2 recently saw and upgrade with the standard £299 model now sporting 128GB of internal memory. Facebook Connect is only a month away with biggest VR and AR news usually saved for the event. VRFocus is expecting either Bosworth or Zuckerberg to confirm new details regarding Oculus Quest Pro, a device both have teased will feature more sensors to make the experience more immersive.

As further details arise regarding Bosworth’s plan for his new role VRFocus will keep you updated.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2021/09/andrew-bosworth-will-be-facebooks-new-cto-in-2022/

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