VIVE Tracker Bundles Up In Time For The Holidays

It’s been a great year for Vive Tracker and we’re consistently impressed by the way the developer community has integrated Tracker into their experiences, prototypes and arcades. From MarioKart VR, to full body tracking, to the first VR keyboard, Vive Tracker enables new types of VR projects quickly and affordably.

But that’s just for developers and businesses. Starting today, we’ve got our first line of Tracker peripherals and accessories for Vive users at home.

The first Vive Tracker accessory bundles are available for pre-order today with expected arrival dates of mid-December (just in time for the holidays).

  • Hyper Blaster with Duck Season
  • Racket Sports Set with Virtual Sports

A third partner bundle featuring straps to enable full body tracking, is available for purchase today.

  • Rebuff Reality’s TrackStrap with Redfoot Bluefoot Dancing

Note, the Rebuff bundle does not ship with a Vive Tracker so you’ll need to order directly from Vive.com (insert link).

Hyper Blaster

The Hyper Blaster brings a retro light gun to VR for the first time. When paired with Vive Tracker, the Hyper Blaster serves as both a gun and motion controller in integrated games such as Duck Season, Arizona Sunshine, The American Dream VR, Operation Warcade, TacticalAR, and Practisim VR. The Hyper Blaster will be sold exclusively through Amazon <INSERT LINK> and includes Duck Season as a pack-in title, and one Vive Tracker, all for $149.99. Duck Season, by Stress Level Zero, is a throwback to the golden age of 1980’s gaming and movies with a hint of horror in a Spielburgian universe. Unique to Duck Season, the Blaster is virtually represented within the game world.

In addition to the six titles integrated at launch, Vive is working with 10 additional developers to integrate the Blaster by Q1.

Racket Sports Set

Custom-molded and weighted to feel like real paddles and rackets, the Racket Sports Set is packaged for both Ping Pong and Tennis games.  Connected via a simple screw, the handles are integrated with five titles. The set will sell for $149.99 and includes both Ping Pong and Tennis handles, a Vive Tracker and a pack-in redemption code for Virtual Sports.  Pre-orders are available today via Amazon, Abt Electronics, BH Photo, Fry’s, Gamestop, Micro Center and NewEgg with additional retailers expected.

In addition to Virtual Sports, the Racket Sports Set is integrated with four titles today and expect an additional six by end of year.

TrackStrap

The Vive Tracker takes SteamVR tracking to another level of accuracy, easily adding feet, wrist, hip or leg tracking movement to VR experiences.

Rebuff Reality is selling TrackStrap, which easily attaches Vive Trackers to your feet and other body parts to enable full body tracking. A pair of TrackStraps is available now for $24.99 via rebuffreality.com and includes a pack-in redemption code for Redfoot Bluefoot Dancing on Steam, inspired by Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) and Audioshield.

Dozens of developers have integrated body tracking into their experiences, including CloudGate Studios’ Island 359, which today launched a “Virtual Self” update that uses Vive Trackers for full body tracking and movement.

Additional compatible titles include Climbey, Holodance, High Fidelity and more.

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A Cornucopia of VIVE Black Friday Deals 

Before the year’s most delicious holiday takes place, we want to share our exciting Black Friday deals across VIVE and VIVEPORT.

Customers who purchase a Vive between Friday, November 24th at 12:00am ET through Monday, November 27th at 11:59pm PT will receive a Deluxe Audio Strap with the purchase of their Vive in addition to the current Fallout 4 VR bundle. For $599 each customer will get the Vive headset and all the necessary hardware and software to set up room-scale VR as well as a Deluxe Audio Strap ($99.99 value), a copy of Google Tilt Brush, a free trial to Viveport Subscription, and a redemption code for Fallout 4 VR ($59.99 value) which launches on December 12, 2017.

With its integrated headphones, plush padding, and easy adjustment dial, the Deluxe Audio Strap provides additional comfort and when using Vive. Once you’ve received your Deluxe Audio Strap you only need a couple of minutes to install it on your new Vive.

This Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal will be available online and in all retail locations where Vive is sold. To find a location to purchase Vive near you, click here or head to vive.com.

VIVEPORT

Viveport will also be taking part in this year’s Black Friday deals, by offering discounted pre-paid subscription packages for Viveport Subscription and big discounts on titles from Vive Studios.  The Viveport deals will start on Wednesday Nov 22 and end on Monday Nov 27.

This promotion offers the best time to become a Viveport Subscriber. Viveport subscription is the best way to experience virtual reality from a specially curated collection of apps and games, from $6.99 per month. With your Viveport Subscription, you can experience up to five apps or games every month. Simply download and play!

Viveport Subscription will see huge savings on pre-purchased plans:  

·         3-month subscription  Select 15 Apps for just $12.99 (35% savings) 

·         6-month subscription – Select 30 Apps for just $19.99 (50% savings) 

·         12-month subscription – Select 60 Apps for just $29.99 (63% savings) 

With up to 75% off, Vive studios titles will also see big discounts on a wide-range of VR content titles, such as Virtual Sports, Arcade Saga, Remembering Pearl Harbor, Front Defense, Jams Studio, Amazon Odyssey & True Scale. Head to Viveport.com to see the full list of discounted content titles. 

Also, when you buy or subscribe on Viveport, we will give 100% of all profits back to our developers this holiday season.

 

*$599 HTC VIVE + Deluxe Audio Strap + Fallout 4 bundle is for North American markets only. More details on the European markets will be announced shortly. Stay tuned to our blog for more details.

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Vive Studios Announces Super Puzzle Galaxy and Front Defense: Heroes, Two New First-Party Titles for HTC Vive

Fantahorn Studios and 2 Bears Studio develop their second titles for Vive Studios, emphasizing multiplayer and user-generated content

Vive Studios today announced two new first-party titles coming to Vive in early December 2017. After releasing popular games this past year, 2 Bears Studio (Arcade Saga) and Fantahorn Studios (Front Defense) have developed their second titles for Vive Studios as the content development initiative approaches its one year anniversary. 2 Bears Studio’s Super Puzzle Galaxy, a physics-based puzzle game, and Fantahorn’s Front Defense: Heroes, a multiplayer WWII shooter, will be available for purchase in time for the holidays.

“We are excited to showcase the best of room-scale VR gaming as we approach Vive Studios’ one year anniversary,” said Joel Breton, Vice President of Vive Studios. “Super Puzzle Galaxy unleashes mind-bending puzzles and empowers creativity with user-generated tools for creating and sharing your own puzzles. Front Defense: Heroes, builds on one of the most successful games from Vive Studios and delivers a compelling multiplayer experience. The team at Fantahorn has created an innovative VR movement system that we are calling “V-Move”.  We think that players are going to absolutely love this new movement method that allows for concise and compelling multiplayer gameplay in VR.”

 

Super Puzzle Galaxy

2 Bears Studio, the developer behind Vive Studio’s debut title Arcade Saga, is announcing their new title Super Puzzle Galaxy to be made available in mid-December. Set on an intergalactic planet, players manipulate the world’s terrain to solve physics-based puzzles. By pushing, pulling, and manipulating sand and other objects, players vie to create the fastest pathways and unlock new ball abilities. At launch, the game will feature leaderboards and 48 pre-built puzzles with more to follow post-launch. In addition, Super Puzzle Galaxy allows users to create their own puzzles with an in-game editor which they can then share with the community to play. Super Puzzle Galaxy will be available early December on Steam for $9.99 and for a limited time the new title will have a launch discount of 75% off.

Super Puzzle Galaxy was born out of a passion for creating compelling and engaging VR content for the whole family that challenges the player’s problem solving and creative abilities,” said David Sapienza, Executive Producer of 2 Bears Studio “Adding user-generated content was a core tenet of creating something that empowers the community, and Super Puzzle Galaxy delivers a unique room-scale VR experience.  We’re excited to see the levels and Rube Goldberg contraptions the community is able to come up with.”

Front Defense: Heroes

Fantahorn Studios is announcing their second title Front Defense: Heroes. The dynamic title features 5v5 multiplayer and builds upon Fantahorn’s success with Front Defense. Front Defense: Heroes offers a highly polished, room-scale multiplayer shooter. Whether playing as the Axis or Allies, players can access multiple maps, weapons, and game modes, including capture the flag, deathmatch, and defense mission mode to keep gameplay fresh and exciting. Fantahorn is also debuting a unique locomotion system called “V-Move” that adds to the strategy and drama of intense online battles. Front Defense: Heroes will be available in early December on Steam and Viveport for a promotional price of $4.99.

“With Front Defense: Heroes we’ve built upon our experience with Front Defense to engage the community and offer new challenges with every match,” said River Ho, Front Defense producer. “As a dynamic multiplayer shooter, Front Defense: Heroes lends itself perfectly to the competitive ethos of VR e-sports, an important feature as VR gaming matures.”

Stay tuned for more news on both titles as their launch dates approach in December!

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Vive Announces Vive Wave Open Platform and Vive Focus, Its Standalone VR device For China

Today, at our Vive Developers Conference (VDC) in Beijing, we announced the VIVE WAVE VR Open Platform.  With it, we are taking another huge step in driving the most vibrant ecosystem for VR forward. Vive Wave will open up the path to easy mobile VR content development and device optimization for third-party partners. So far, twelve hardware partners in China, including  360QIKU, Baofengmojing, Coocaa, EmdoorVR, Idealens, iQIYI, Juhaokan, Nubia, Pico, Pimax, Quanta and Thundercomm, announced their support for Vive Wave and integrating the VIVEPORT™ VR content platform into their future products.

Vive Wave is a clear step forward in bringing together the highly fragmented mobile VR market that has cropped up in China the last several years. It enables developers to create content for a common platform and storefront across multiple hardware vendors. Over 35 Chinese and global content developers have already built VR content optimized for Vive Wave, with 14 showing live demos during VDC.

We also announced VIVE FOCUS, our first standalone VR Headset for the China market.  Vive Focus is also based on the Vive Wave VR open platform.

Vive Focus offers enhanced comfort for extended use, easy on-off capabilities, and is the first commercial standalone device to deliver inside-out 6-degree-of-freedom tracking (6DoF) which Vive calls “world-scale”. Without the need to be attached to a PC or a phone, Vive Focus provides unlimited freedom of mobility while reducing the total cost for users to own a premium VR device in China. Its high-resolution AMOLED screen delivers the best possible VR experience, with low latency and unmatched clarity. The Vive Focus is powered by the advanced features of the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 VR Platform and utilizes the Vive Wave VR open platform, including the rich library of VR content available on the Viveport.

Also at VDC, Viveport also announced a global strategic partnership with Unity Technologies to enable the one-click publishing of VR content onto Viveport for PC VR, Standalone VR, and mobile VR developers. Unity will integrate Viveport into its content platform and provide a more intuitive way for developers to utilize the new Vive Wave VR SDK. Unity will also integrate Viveport’s in-app payment and VR advertisement functions into its development system, with an initial focus on the China market, opening up even more revenue opportunities for its VR developer community.  For the remainder of 2017, Viveport is giving back 100% of all profit earned on its platform back to the developer community.

For more information on VDC, check out our press release here.

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Volkswagen Launch The T-Roc Virtual Reality Experience

To celebrate the world premiere of the T-Roc, Volkswagen prepared something special: A virtual reality exhibition right in the lobby of the Volkswagen Brand Tower. The historic brand tower is the administrative center of the Volkswagen group, and stands on the site of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany.

This VR exhibit is now freely available to all visitors and extremely self-explanatory. The experience is realized with the use of the HTC Vive, functions without the need for any human resources and is designed with an intuitive user interface. Thus, visitors do not require any prior VR experience to know how to interact with the T-Roc exterior and interior configurations.

With the help of Leap Motion hand tracking technology, visitors are able to see their own hands in Virtual Reality. This technique makes it possible to change vehicle configurations through simple hand motions and physical interactions with digital information. In the car’s interior, the visitor can playfully explore the design through our new intuitive 3D operating concept. The sunroof and glove compartment can be opened and closed, the horn can be honked and the radio can be turned on.

For the realization of this huge project,Volkswagen carried out a complex 3D scan from the lobby of the Markenhochhaus. In order to avoid noise pollution through the exhibit, they used new ultrasound speakers. Ultrasound speakers make the sound only hearable for the visitor.

The result is a one-of-a-kind VR experience, which does not require any external help or tutorials to use. Watch it in action below:

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Death by cardboard! Exploring Kartong in miniature

From The Incredible Shrinking Man in 1957 to Downsizing later in 2017, getting small has been a sci-fi staple for decades. In SVRVIVE Studios’ new VR experience, office supplies and bits of cardboard become weapons and environments in the small-sized city of Kartong.

We spoke with Robert Johansson, Level Designer and Oliwer Svensson, Art Director and 3D Game Artist at SVRVIVE Studios to get a newcomer’s guide to Kartong – Death by Cardboard!

 

Kartong! Tell us what it’s about in a small, cardboard box sized package.

Robert Johannson

Robert Johansson: Well, the game puts you up against evil experiments inside the miniature city of Kartong. You find yourself shrunk to the size of a toilet paper roll and trapped in a maze of evil toys, with your life depending on a mediocre weapon made from office supplies.

Tell us more about the ‘game jam’ that gave birth to Kartong.

Oliver Svensson

Oliwer Svensson: We wanted to challenge ourselves, the first thing being trying out a new game engine. Then after the game jam we showcased our games to each other, and two games felt more close to our hearts, one of them being Kartong. At that time, though, it was still just an ordinary maze game. But we fell in love with the game’s potential and me together with a few others were assigned to brainstorm a unique backstory and an authentic artstyle that felt new and fresh in VR. I gathered inspiration from Tim Burton and other similar genres which felt mysterious, chilling and gritty but not horror-like. We then created our own concept art which eventually set out to be Kartong – a creepy cute VR world completely made out of cardboard.

 

Why… cardboard?

Oliwer: Well, when we started playing around with scale and realized being small in VR is truly engaging, we also knew we needed a backstory to why you would be tiny. We ended up with a really weird one: you’re stuck in a miniature cardboard city, built by “someone” with a twisted mind. The fact that it is a VR game about cardboard, but not built for Google Cardboard, made it all the more fun for us – since we like creating games that can be a little “confusing” in their naming or story.

Were you inspired at all by various SF takes on ‘shrinking’?

Robert: Naturally some of our inspiration came from classic SF movies, shows and games – but we’re also very much inspired by The Wonderful Adventures of Nils – a classical Swedish child tale by the author Selma Lagerlöf. Nils is shrunken and able to talk with animals, much similar to the player in Kartong that has been shrunken to the size of a toilet paper roll. The fact that our Creative Director is also called Nils just added to the fun for the rest of the team – it let us mess with him, in a loving way of course. VR can take you to new worlds, but we love the idea of being in a familiar environment – with a totally new point of view and scale. The shrinking aspect of the game is also connected to the semi-hidden backstory. So yes, we were partly inspired by classic SF concepts of shrinking but we also don’t want to say too much, as the story should remain somewhat of a puzzle for players to figure out.

Kartong - Death by Cardboard!

This is a pretty radical change from your previous title – The Deus Helix (available in Viveport Subscription). What were you inspired by, games-wise?

Oliwer: We’ve always had this mentality that we want to create something that evokes emotions but also feels new and special. If it’s already done, make it new. Or if it does not exist, make it! Kartong is the kind of game that by first glimpse looks familiar but when you get past the first layer it changes your perspective. I think what has inspired us the most and what always makes us explore unknown territory is, again, the thrilling idea of creating something new and emotion evoking. We chose to look inwards and ask ourselves what we want to create with this new medium and what emotions we want to explore. I, for example, want the player to feel emotionally attached to, but still curious about, the environment. In comparison to The Deus Helix, Kartong is also more of a casual and social game, perfect to play with your friends or at an arcade. The Deus Helix is more of a longer VR story adventure.

The miniature city of Kartong changes every time you play. Can you explain that? Is it a procedural map? Was that more challenging to develop in VR?

Robert: Yes! The city map of Kartong consists of procedurally generated levels. That allows us to create a world in constant change – something which makes every new game unique (and you will never know the way out of the maze, haha). Also, as a small indie studio, this system makes it possible to generate a lot of new content and game time for our players to enjoy. It was a challenge to develop this in VR, especially considering performance – when everything is randomized it is harder to predict where in the city the performance might go down because of heavy objects. But we’ve been working hard on this issue, and I feel we’ve found a really good solution.

Kartong - Death by Cardboard!

You describe the game as stealth/FPS gameplay… what makes it different from the average game in either of those genres?

Robert: We wanted to offer something different and more approachable than the typical horror wave shooter. We were aiming for a visually stunning world you would like to explore, but we still wanted to include that slightly stressed sensation of being hunted down. We’re combining the cuteness of children’s play with the excitement of getting your adrenalin pumping. Also, we wanted to create a game that allows the player some freedom when it comes to play style. In Kartong you can either speed run each map (while you pretend to be a kickass shooter), or you can use our stealth moving system, invented for Kartong, in order to sneak around the whole city without being noticed.

Let’s talk about the look: clearly, it’s very ‘hand-made’ in style. Did you concept the game with real objects?

Oliwer: Actually yes! Before the actual development of Kartong begun we started experimenting with photo scanned objects in our studio and also made real weapons out of office supplies. You’ll find all sorts of items from our own office, such as batteries, needles, ketchup containers, matches and cans inside the city of Kartong. What sets it aside from other games though, is the modular approach we have to the art, theme and the environment. We have created a system where we easily could build another theme to be generated inside the city of Kartong if we want to. The possibilities are endless and the only limitation is the imagination of our team and our players!

Kartong - Death by Cardboard!

Was everything in the game inspired by real objects, or are some of them completely made up?

Oliwer: We wanted to put a realistic vibe to the city Kartong and fill it with real-world objects, but also giving those objects a somewhat uncanny twist and use them in unorthodox ways. Also, the longer you play, you’ll notice that there’s more to the city than you might think. You’ll eventually find yourself in a place where you’re offered an entirely different perspective on the city and its dangers. We trying to help you give yourself perspective on your “fears” in life, by shifting between realities – sometimes what you perceive as a deadly trap is nothing but stationary, and sometimes tiny led lights can fill your sky as magical stars.

Are there any special ‘physics’ in the game to represent the fact that you’re, well, tiny?

Robert: Both yes and no. In Kartong, ordinary objects are used in new ways, but the physics are kind of the same as in normal life: the objects are just smaller and different. For example, we build a crossbow from a clothes pin and a hair buckle. To figure out the physics, we actually built this miniature weapon for real in our office to see if it would work. We also fired different ammo, including needles and matches in order to see how they would behave. Luckily, no one was hurt haha. Also, the game is still in Early Access, so who knows what crazy physics experiments we’ll add next.

Any special Easter Eggs people should look out for?

Oliwer: With our approach to theme difficulty levels based on players feedback and suggestions, we can guarantee that there will be some surprises similar to the Halloween event, but also new unlockables and skins that enhance the experience even further. We won’t reveal the best easter eggs though, as we want players to find them on their own – but I can say this much:  you might be surprised by what happens if you get a special number combo into the menu´s map seed system 😉

What’s next for SVRVIVE (as a studio)? Any more crazy game jams in the future?

Robert: SVRVIVE Studios is all about exploring and pushing the boundaries of immersive gaming. We started in emotion evoking gameplay and we’ll soon venture onwards into Transformative Gaming, where games provide more value to players than just entertainment. That’s all we’re saying for now!!


Kartong: Death by Cardboard is available in Viveport Subscription.

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