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‘New Retro Arcade’ Launches with HTC Vive Support on Steam

Developer Digital Cybercherries has launched the New Retro Arcade Tech Demo on Steam for the HTC Vive. This is effectively the same game seen previously on the Oculus Rift, but now with support for the Vive’s roomscale capabilities and motion controllers.

New Retro Arcade is hard not to love; inside you’ll find your own personal arcade with an array of fully functional classic arcade cabinets. Despite making its debut back in 2014, it’s still a gorgeously-rendered throwback to the era of dingy arcades which we called “a must-play homage to video game culture old and new,” for it’s unique mix of classic gaming and the latest in VR technology.

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Ever since the HTC Vive made an entrance into the VR space, we’ve been eyeing New Retro Arcade as a perfect fit for the system’s roomscale capabilities and motion controllers—with the game’s seemingly prophetic inclusion of basketball, darts, and bowling, and an environment laden with nostalgic items from eras past.

Developer Digital Cybercherries teased a few months back that they would be bringing a Vive-compatible version of New Retro Arcade to Steam, and that’s exactly what the New Retro Arcade Tech Demo is, now available.

New Retro Arcade on Steam

But the studio is also going several major steps further with a revamped version of their nostalgia-trap called New Retro Arcade: Neon which will bring massively requested multiplayer functionality to the arcade space, along with “a huge amount of new content.”

On that front, while there’s not yet an official release date, the studio tells us that New Retro Arcade: Neon will support up to six simultaneous players and leaderboards in some form or another.

The post ‘New Retro Arcade’ Launches with HTC Vive Support on Steam appeared first on Road to VR.


How to Sharpen Your HTC Vive’s Visuals with Supersampling

Want to substantially improve image quality whilst immersed in your HTC Vive? Here’s details of a new tweak that allows you to engage supersampling in SteamVR and compatible games and the difference is impressive, as long as your system can handle it.

Recently we published a report explaining how to use the Oculus SDK debug tool to increase rendering ‘pixel density’ in many games running through Oculus Home and just how much the process improved the resulting image quality once inside VR.

Now, the enterprising crew over at the Eagle.ru forums have discovered a config entry for SteamVR that similarly allows players (assuming they have the GPU grunt) to tweak pixel density to add Supersampling to the image pushed to the Vive on a sliding scale. That is, rendering the image at a higher resolution than the Vive’s native 2160 x 1200 before finally downsampling before ending up being displayed in the VR headset.

Unlike the tweak for the Oculus Rift, there’s no need to engage an extra tool to get this running either and performing the changes will engage it for all SteamVR launched titles globally. Here’s how.


  • Open your Steam’s install folder. This will vary depending on where you put Steam when first installing – for me it’s ‘C:Program Files (x86)Steam’.
  • Open the ‘Config’ directory and open the ‘steamvr.settings’ file using Notepad or your chosen text editor (click for larger version of image below which indicates file location).

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  • You’ll be confronted by a scary looking JSON config file, but don’t worry, you’re interested only in the section towards the bottom labelled “steamvr”.
  • You then need to add the following line to the end of that section: “renderTargetMultiplier”: 2.5
  • Take care here – JSON uses commas to seperate key/value pairs, make sure you add one to the end of the line immediately before the new line you just added.
  • Once you’re done, your config file should look something like this (new entry shown highlighted – click for larger image):

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  • Save the file and fire up your favourite VR experience.

Please note that depending on your GPU’s reserve power, you may need to reduce the multiplier from ‘2.5’ to something lower and fair warning, you will need some grunt to keep your VR game’s frame rate above the hallowed 90FPS and avoid judder and general discomfort. Try reducing by .1 increments to find a sweet spot (or indeed increasing should you have the power – although diminishing qualitative returns will be felt above this).

That’s it, let us know your experiences in the comments section below and your system configurations. It’d be interesting to see what kinds of success people achieve with their hardware.

The post How to Sharpen Your HTC Vive’s Visuals with Supersampling appeared first on Road to VR.


Acer to Invest $9 Million in Starbreeze to Help Manufacture StarVR Headset

Taiwan-based electronics firm Acer recently announced an investment into game studio Starbreeze equating to the sum of $9M USD, an amount intended to further the manufacture and commercialization of Starbreeze’s high-FOV, high resolution StarVR headset.

The investment, which comes on the heels of the news of the companies’ joint venture, was made via a ‘convertible bond’ which will be transferable into Starbreeze B-shares over the course of a 2-year period.

Acer’s purchase of convertible bonds in Starbreeze instead of company stock helps mitigate financial risk on Acer’s part. As stated by Investopedia, convertible bonds can be changed into stock at any time, and can therefore benefit from the company’s rise in stock price. However these types of bonds can also “act just like regular corporate bonds, albeit with a slightly lower interest rate,” should the stock under-perform. So a win-win for Acer, and a sizable vote of confidence for Starbreeze’s venture into VR.

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The joint venture is said to allow for Acer and Starbreeze to “cooperate on the design, manufacturing, promotion, marketing and sales of the StarVR HMD to the professional- and location-based entertainment market.†So if you’re expecting a consumer-priced headset, think again.

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See Also: Hands-on: The New and Improved StarVR Prototype Will Give You Field-of-View Envy

“Acer’s investment directly into Starbreeze will greatly benefit our long term VR-strategy and further solidify the collaboration between our companies and additionally enrich our eco-system,†said Bo Andersson Klint, Starbreeze CEO.

Senior Editor Paul James went hands-on with StarVR for the headset’s great unveiling at last year’s E3, saying “[y]our peripheral vision is, for all intents and purposes, entirely enveloped in the virtual world. The combination of StarVR’s gargantuan 210 degree horizontal and 135 degree vertical field of view really wraps your brain in a panoramic VR experience. This is StarVR’s killer unique selling point and it’s beyond anything you’ve tried before.”

And since then the headset’s only gotten lighter, more comfortable, and received better optics to boot—but still lacks low-persistence OLED-displays. We’ll be keeping our eyes out for the next iteration of StarVR, and we suggest you do too, because once it comes to market (or a theme park near you) it will be arguably the most immersive headset out there.

The post Acer to Invest $9 Million in Starbreeze to Help Manufacture StarVR Headset appeared first on Road to VR.


Seinfeld’s Apartment Could be Your Next Social VR Hangout

The seminal comedy show Seinfeld has formed the basis of inspiration for the latest social VR experience as the famous apartment from the long-running show has been rebuilt in VR for you to enjoy immersively, along with a bunch of friends.

Debuting in July 1989, the sitcom Seinfeld, named after, written by and starring stand up comedian Jerry Seinfeld, was considered innovative by many, groundbreaking by some but moreover it was just pretty damn funny.

27 years on and the famous apartment where most of the action took place has been lovingly recreated for virtual reality, specifically as a social VR venue that you’ll be invited to hangout in from July 5th, as social VR platform VRChat launches Jerry’s Place 2.0.

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VRChat is one of the longest running social VR platforms out there, having appeared during the early days of the Oculus Rift DK1 and remains popular to this day.

Check out the teaser trailer (embedded at the top of this page) for a taster of things to come then be sure to swing by VRChat on July 5th to catch a glimpse of Jerry’s place for ‘real’.

The post Seinfeld’s Apartment Could be Your Next Social VR Hangout appeared first on Road to VR.


Preview: ‘The Crystal Curse’

The Crystal Curse is death-defying puzzle game created by Sigtrap Games for HTC Vive. Make sure to invite your friends and family though, because much like the breakout hit Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, The Crystal Curse requires more than one person to play.

Inspired by the Indian Jones franchise and the lovably weird ’90s British TV classics Crystal Maze and Knightmare (a bit like Nickelodeon’s Legends of the Hidden Temple), The Crystal Curse puts you in 3m² room-scale space with a single objective in mind: solve the puzzle before you, or fall to your death in the spike-lined pit below.

And falling—as you might guess—isn’t a pleasant experience, so your party guests will have to race the clock as they lead you through each of the four rooms using clues projected on your computer’s monitor. And don’t try to play this one alone, because all in-game timers and puzzle hints are for non-VR players only. Trust me, I’ve tried and it doesn’t work.

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your party guests guide you through puzzles
an overhead look at your deadly room

For the VR headse-user however, The Crystal Curse presents a particularly innovative use of the Vive controllers. To maintain your body position in the virtual world—an important aspect of staying on top of a small virtual platform—the game requires you to keep one controller strapped into your belt, and the other free so you can manipulate in-game puzzles. Although not always perfect (I ‘fell off’ several times when I know I shouldn’t have), it’s certainly one of the most interesting ways to use the Vive controller we’ve seen of late.

Download ‘The Crystal Curse’ for HTC Vive

“Tracking player movement with precision was initially a bit of an issue as we couldn’t just use the head position – if we did, people would plunge to their dooms just by looking over the edge of a precipice,” said game dev Gary Llyod, one of three Sigtrap devs present.

The Crystal Curse was created in just under 40 hours for Jamchester, a game jam based in Manchester, UK. The Sigtrap Games team was awarded the ‘Best Windows VR Game’, receiving an Xbox One Console for each team member.

As a game with only 4 levels, it’s more of a tech demo than a full game per se. But as free demos go, this one is an easy addition to your line-up of VR games/experiences to show off to a crowd of people.

The post Preview: ‘The Crystal Curse’ appeared first on Road to VR.


Hands-on: VR Needs More Great Party Games like PSVR’s ‘Playroom VR’

One of the most fun parts about virtual reality is still watching friends and family experience it. PlayStation VR’s The Playroom VR takes this one step further by making VR inclusive for a whole couch full of friends.

With just one PlayStation VR headset, The Playroom VR makes for fun with up to five players thanks to its roster of competitive and cooperative party games. I recently got to put my head in The Playroom VR and was impressed with the creative game design, which leverages the fact that one player is immersed in VR with the headset on while the others are on the couch. Sometimes all five players are working together, sometimes the player wearing the PSVR is pitting against those on the couch, and sometimes the players on the couch don’t even need a controller to participate. I came away feeling like this sort of local+social content hits a unique sweet spot for VR fun, and it’s something we could use a lot more of in the VR space.

Cat N Mouse

In the ‘Cat N Mouse’ game, the player wearing the PSVR headset takes the form of a cat while the non-VR players, wielding controllers, play as mice.

The cat hides behind a series of curtains while the mice run around on the kitchen floor with the goal of collecting cheese. If the cat pops their head through the curtains while the mice are in plain sight, they’ll get caught and knocked out of the round. There’s various kitchen items spread across the floor which offer a safe haven for the mice to hide behind.

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The tension of not knowing when the cat will pop out from behind the curtain is anxiety-inducing, and both sites attempt juke one another throughout the match. If the mice manage to collect all of the cheese, the cat loses. For the cat to win it has to catch all of the mice.

Saloon Shootout

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The Saloon Shootout (not the official name for this mini-game) is a cooperative game which can actually be played with as many non-VR players as you’d like (as they don’t need a controller to participate).

The player wearing the PSVR headset finds themselves as a sheriff confronting a room full of potential bandits with varying facial features. The player has to select which among them is the real bandit to shoot, but the only way they can know is through a description from the other players. The non-VR players are shown a picture of the bandit and must describe the details to the PSVR-wearing player accurately, otherwise they risk harming an innocent bystander.

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The characters in the scene can look quite alike; there’s a time limit so you need to work fast, but if the sheriff jumps the gun before the full description is given (or if the description isn’t specific enough), they’ll end up with a face full of lead rubber darts.

Ghost House

‘Ghost House’ is another cooperative/description game which can have more than five players since those on the couch don’t need to use a controller. The player wearing the PSVR headset enters a dark, haunted room sprinkled with furniture and other objects. A PSVR controller in the PSVR player’s hands acts as a flashlight and a paranormal vacuum with which to capture ghosts. But there’s just one problem… the ghosts are completely invisible.

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See Also: Hands-on – ‘Statik’ is an Undeniably Unique Take on the Puzzle Genre

Only the non-VR players can see the ghosts that need to be captured, and they need to tell the VR player exactly where they are located so that the VR player can point their controller at the ghost and vacuum it up. The ghosts move regularly and are fairly small, so the non-VR players need to be quite specific in order to be successful.

Once a ghost’s location is identified, the PSVR-wearing player fires their capture device and initially tethers the ghost, but at this point the ghost won’t go down easy. The ghost flies around the room fighting to escape the tether, and the player has to keep their controller pointed at the ghost for several seconds to prevent it from escaping.

Monster Escape

Monster Escape is a VR vs. non-VR game where the player wearing PSVR is a giant monster barreling down a long city street chasing four non-VR players who are all wielding controllers.

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See Also: The Fearless Creativity of ‘Lucid Trips’ is Exactly What VR Needs to Thrive

The non-VR players are running down the street away from the monster and must jump over obstacles on the road while also dodging debris launched by the monster. The monster launches these objects by smashing its head into buildings and nearby helicopters to try to hit the non-VR players.

If the non-VR players make it to the end of the road, it becomes their turn to go on the offensive. At this stage the non-VR players pick up objects scattered about and throw them at the monster’s head. The PSVR player has to duck and weave in order to avoid getting hit. Too many hits and the non-VR players will collectively blast the monster back into space, (presumably) from whence it came.


The Playroom VR isn’t the only VR game which makes active participants out of willing observers (Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is another excellent example), but it is an excellent starting point for VR Party Gaming, which we hope to see much more of in the future!

The post Hands-on: VR Needs More Great Party Games like PSVR’s ‘Playroom VR’ appeared first on Road to VR.


Ragnarok VR is an Immersive Remake of the Biggest MMO You’ve Never Heard Of

This is Ragnarok VR, a virtual reality remake of an early and hugely popular Korean MMO, which takes the original’s 3D assets and recreates the fantasy world in immersive 3D for a dose of immersive nostalgia, for those that have heard of it.

One of the first and most popular early examples of an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) title, Ragnarok Online (or RO) was played obsessively by legions of Koreans following its release in 2002.

It’s addictive job progression and social focus meant an ardent fan base built up around the title, with fond memories cemented in those for whom the game represented their first foray into the then fledgling world of massively multiplayer online games.

Now, a fan of the series, has gone to the original game’s assets and recreated the maps from the original in a new virtual reality experience which lets you walk around and generally just ‘be’ in the heavily stylised Ragnarok world. “This is a small project that I created using Unity, Which current allow user to enter RO’s maps (extracted from data.grf of RO original file) and walk around using vive,” says developer ChaMi, “just want to share this nostalgic, my favorite game in vive!” (see gameplay video embedded at the top of this page).

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Built for the HTC Vive, the Unity based project afford the player room-scale exploration of the maps, along with teleportation locomotion for covering larger distanced. Along with locations like Payon, you can also traverse the overworld map and skip to areas of interest using a 2D mini-map represented attached to one of the controllers. Originally Ragnarok VR comprises only 4 converted maps stitched together, but the developer has made real progress recently adding in more refined visuals, character stats and even combat and NPCs.

It’s clearly a labour of love for ChaMi and considering the visuals date back to 2002, the artwork from the original maps stands up remarkably well. And judging by the near 300k views ChaMi’s video has garnered since its release in May, clearly the nostalgic appetite for old games brought back to life in VR is strong.

As an ageing gamer myself, I’m now imagining RPG worlds that had so much impact on me in my youth being reborn in VR in similar ways. Imagine charging across the plains of Final Fantasy XII on a Chocobo or riding Flammie the dragon across the lush overworld of Secret of Mana. Any developers out there willing to take those on?

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a download link for the project, however you do – let us know in the comments below and I’ll update the article.

The post Ragnarok VR is an Immersive Remake of the Biggest MMO You’ve Never Heard Of appeared first on Road to VR.


Polynomial 2 Aims to Hold You in a Musical VR Trance, Out Now on Steam

Polynomial 2, the sequel to the 2010 original, brings its trance inducing, laser fuelled musical charms to virtual reality.

The original Polynomial received some reserved critical reaction on its release back in 2010. In fact, although reviews appeared in gaming publications such as Eurogamer, most of the negative commentary seemed to revolve around whether Polynomial could actually be classed as a game or whether of work of art might be more appropriate. It’s technicolor, kaleidoscopic visuals impressed, but the gameplay mechanics fell short according to some outlets.

Whilst the sequel may not promise to address all of those prior gameplay complaints, Polynomial 2 does include VR support, making the experiential nature of the title potentially very attractive for those looking for a chemical (or herb) free way to relax.

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Polynomial 2 is a 3D space shooter game developed by brothers Dmytry Lavrov and Alexey Lavrov. The title is built atop a custom engine, designed specifically to power Polynomial 2’s neon visuals, procedurally generating the game’s abstract content every time you play. The game uses music as the ‘composer’ to your in game visual light show, and includes an internal music player though which you can pump your own soundtrack, again adding to the personalised visual experience.

Polynomial 2 demonstrates another facet of VR gaming, once that can legitimately rely on experiential elements over traditional, core gaming mechanics and still deliver a compelling experience. We’ve not had much time with the title as yet, but from what we’ve seen, it certainly delivers a welcome diversion for those looking for something a little different.

Polynomial 2 is now available on Steam Early Access in the Summer Steam sale with a 15% discount for £7.64 (around $10).

The post Polynomial 2 Aims to Hold You in a Musical VR Trance, Out Now on Steam appeared first on Road to VR.


‘Final Approach: Pilot Edition’ Lets Oculus Rift Players Take Flight

Final Approach lands for the Oculus Rift with developer Phaser Lock Interactive coming up with a novel solution to the VR platform’s current lack of motion controllers, instead of guiding planes into land, they let you fly them.

Phaser Lock Interactive‘s Final Approach was one of the best launch titles for the HTC Vive back in April, but it was heavily tied to both the room-scale and motion controller features currently unique to the SteamVR platform, meaning it was tough for Oculus Rift owners to get a look in. Now, the developer have released a new companion version packed-in alongside the original, created be played entirely without motion controllers and their solution also has the side effect of adding a cool new feature.

The core of the original game, which itself was loosely based on airport control titles made popular on mobile gaming platforms, was that you – as the person in charge of their airport – were responsible for ensuring all aircraft landing or taking off did so safely, or at least without colliding horrible with other pilots. On the HTC Vive version, you guided those planes into land by drawing a path in 3D space from the aircraft’s location to the landing strip, a great mechanic that proved to be endlessly satisfying.

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The new ‘Pilot Edition’ takes a more arcade oriented gameplay approach, asking you take direct joypad control over the craft in question while de-emphasising some of the task-juggling elements from the original title. Those arcade elements include air-bound bonus missions and those ‘zoom point’ emergency activities like fire extinguishing and bird control look still to be present.

We’re not sure if what all that we loved about Final Approach will translate into this more traditional collection of gameplay mechanics, but as you get the original Final Approach packed in with the new Pilot Edition, any Oculus Rift owners wanting to invest now ahead of Oculus Touch motion controllers appearing later this year (with luck) now have something to tide them over with in the mean time.

Final Approach: Pilot Edition is currently available for 25% off if bought through Oculus Home for a limited period and available on Steam too.

The post ‘Final Approach: Pilot Edition’ Lets Oculus Rift Players Take Flight appeared first on Road to VR.


Watch: 6 Minutes of Golem Gameplay on the PlayStation VR

Here’s 6 minutes of gameplay from Golem, the forthcoming action adventure game from Highwire games, on the PlayStation VR – recorded at Sony’s showcase event held during GDC 2016 in March.

At GDC, Sony were out in force to mark the announcement of their PS4 powered virtual reality headset the PlayStation VR, now due to arrive on October 13th this year. The company held a showcase event immediately after their GDC event comprising a large selection of titles. One of the most anticipated among them was Golem, a new action adventure title from Highwire Games, a new development studio formed from ex-Bungie staffers, including Halo composer Marty O’Donnell.

See Also:  Halo Composer Marty O’Donnell on the Music and Design of Golem for PSVR
See Also: Halo Composer Marty O’Donnell on the Music and Design of Golem for PSVR

Ben Lang went hands on with the title and you can take a look at what he experienced in the video embedded at the top of this page.

Although the story behind Golem is a little mysterious right now, we know that you play the role of a bedridden girl, who seems able to ‘possess’ stone creatures, the titular Golems, and control their actions. For what purpose and to what ends is unknown right now, as Highwire are keeping the plot details under wraps for now.

IGN also went hands on with the title in March, check out the gameplay from that session below.

Golem is coming in 2016 for PlayStation VR, no specific release date is known. PlayStation VR is due for release on October 13th this year.

The post Watch: 6 Minutes of Golem Gameplay on the PlayStation VR appeared first on Road to VR.


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