Learn About Food Pairing Through The Angry Orchard AR App

Angry Orchard wants you to use AR to determine which food goes best with their ciders.

When it comes to pairing food with alcoholic beverage, most people think about the intricacies of wines, bourbons, and even beers, and how those distinctive flavors can mingle with foods to augment how they jolt your pallet.

But what about pairing the extraordinary characteristics of hard ciders with your meals, which–as of recent–has seen a big upswing in popularity.

One of the biggest national brand cider makers, Angry Orchard, is looking to change how people think about food pairing by educating foodies (and even non-foodies) on how their favorite dish and different ciders can complement each other – delivering a whole new eating and drinking experience.

To do this, Angry Orchard has launched an AR app called Angry Orchard Cider & Food, that will help you pair your favorite Angry Orchard ciders with foods that will harmoniously complement one other and tantalize even the pickiest of pallets.

Image Credit: Angry Orchard

Ryan Burk, head cider maker at Angry Orchard, is a food pairing expert who understands every individual note of the New York-based company’s hard cider lineup. The idea with the AR app is to put Burk’s expert knowledge into the hands of hard cider consumers who might be drinking at home, at a game, meeting friends in local bars, shopping at the supermarket – and give them the tools necessary to have a great cider and food experience.

Simply download the Angry Orchard Cider & Food AR app located in the Apple App store and install it on your device. You’ll first have to enter your date of birth to prove you’re 21 or over (because that is the legal drinking age here in the U.S.), and then–using your smartphones camera–scan the Angry Orchard Hard Cider bottle. The bottle will come to life with Burk himself jumping out of the label to talk to you about the complexities and wonderful flavors of the cider you’re holding in your hand, followed by his knowledge of which foods would go great with that particular beverage.

Throughout the AR experience, Burk explains what to look for when drinking an Angry Orchard hard cider. Tannins, acidity, and sweetness are all explained to you in a way that is easy to understand, and because it’s communicated through AR, it’s a fun and engaging experience to those totally unfamiliar with cider.  The AR experience also teaches you how to bring out those flavors with different foods so that each flavor note is properly highlighted. Pull your device back and you’ll notice that you’ve been transported into the middle of an apple orchard as people pluck apples from trees and have a picnic.

Image Credit: Angry Orchard

The Cider & Food app works with Angry Orchard’s core ciders: Crisp Apple, Rosé, Easy Apple, and Pear, with each individual cider label suggesting multiple appetizers, entrées, and desserts specific for the cider that you’re holding. But don’t stop at Burk’s expert suggestions. Angry Orchard hopes that you take your new knowledge of food and cider to explore your own combinations.

Speaking to a friend who has been a professional chef for over 20 years and happens to love hard ciders, elaborated on how Angry Orchard’s Rosé cider falls on the sweeter side, and explained that you could counter that sweetness with something like a paella, a charcuterie plate, or something spicy–such as a curry and rice dish. Angry Orchard’s Pear cider is a tad acidico , so perhaps something like a camembert or brie would be nice; or even something fatty, like a bacon cheeseburger or anything rich in flavor will cut through all that acid and balance things out.

The app even gives you recipes for several food-based ciders. Pulled Pork Sandwich, Spicy Thai Chicken Wings, and a NY Style Cheesecake are just some of the dishes you can find using the AR app. From there, you can ride that wave of hard ciders rebound back to popularity, and create your own recipes using Angry Orchard ciders or the cider of your choice.

To explore all of Burk’s pairing suggestions, download the free Angry Orchard’s Cider & Food app now via the iOS app store.

Happy scanning, pairing and exploring!!

The post Learn About Food Pairing Through The Angry Orchard AR App appeared first on VRScout.

1.Experience Night und 4.Roundtable VR/AR Corpoprate Learning – Das war aufregend…

Rund 70 Teilnehmenden aus Unternehmen in der DACH-Region und Hochschulen haben an der 1.Experience Night am 19.03. und am 4.Roundtable VR/AR Corporate Learning am 20.03. in Frankfurt bei der DB/DbSystel teilgenommen, vielen Dank.

Bei mir war im Vorfeld eine positive Nervosität zu spüren, dass erste Mal die Experience Night, mit rund 20 Experience hatten Unternehmen konkrete Beispiele mitgebracht. Vertreten waren sehr unterschiedliche Inhalte und Technologien. Von 3D-Welten am PC, 360-Grad-Apps, AR-Apps, Hololens-Anwendungen und VR-Learning Experience über die HTC Vive war alles dabei. Dies bot den Teilnehmenden einen tollen Querschnitt und Einblick in aktuelle Projekte und Umsetzungen. Alle Experience konnten Live erlebt werden, Den Experience Owner konnte Online und Live Feedback gegeben werden. Vielen Dank an die Experience Owner für das zur Verfügung stellen. Die Teilnehmenden schätzen die Einblicke und Impulse der gezeigten Praxisbeispiele. Hierbei waren natürlich Leuchttürme, aber auch in der Breite eingesetzten Umsetzungen zu sehen. Alle Teilnehmenden wollen wieder an einer nächsten Experience Night kommen. Diese findet übrigens am 12.11. in Oldenburg bei der EWE statt.

Am nächsten Tag haben wir dann wie gehabt den Roundtable VR/AR Corporate Learning im BarCamp-Format durchgeführt. 11 Sessions haben intensive über Herausforderungen rund um VR/AR Learning diskutiert. Hier standen eher Vorgehen, Integration und Inhalte im Vordergrund, die Technik spielte eine wichtige Rolle, war aber nicht das Hauptthema.

Auch waren AR und VR im Gleichgewicht in den Diskussionen. Alte Fragestellungen aus dem e-learning-Umfeld traten wieder an die Oberfläche. Wenn diese nicht bei der e-learning-Einführung gelöst waren, kommen diese spätestens jetzt wieder auf die Agenda. Beispielhaft der Betriebsrat in Deutschland, dass fehelende Budget oder die fehlende Wahrnehmung bei den internen Stakeholdern. Schade, hier könnte man viel Zeit sparen. Immer mehr kommen Fragen zur Integration in den Unternehmen und skalierbare Modelle.

Schön war zu sehen, dass immer mehr Vertreter aus der Schweiz und Österreich dazu stoßen. Alle Teilnehmenden schätzen durch die Bank, die neue Struktur mit der Experience Night in der die Experience-Session losgelöst von der inhaltlichen Diskussion des Roundtable umgesetzt wurde.

Alle faszinierte die Lokation der Durchführung der Silberturm, Jürgen-Ponto-Platz 1 in Frankfurt. Hier hat die Deutsche Bahn ihr Skydeck (30.Stock), ein kreativer Ort an den Innovationen im Konzern entstehen und als Co-Working allen zu Verfügung steht. Vielen Dank an Martin von der DBsystel und sein Team bei der Unterstützung und der zur Verfügung Stellung der Räumlichkeiten und der Verpflegung. Für mich war der Ort nach 20 Jahren ein Wiedersehen, hier fing meine Corporate Learning –Karriere bei der Dresdner Bank in der Strategischen Personalentwicklung an.

Ich und auch die Teilnehmenden freuen sich, am 12. und 13.11. bei EWE in Oldenburg auf dem Energie-Campus sein zu dürfen.

Übrigens, eine Weltpremiere hatten wir mit dem Auftritt von DJ VR Cosmos, der in der VR eine Live Musik Performance präsentierte. Quizfrage – wer steckt hinter DJ VR Cosmos?

Ich stellt kurz erste Erkenntnis aus unserem 1.Virtuellen Roundtable-Treffen vor, Rolf von der FH Erfurt hat dies dann in einer BarCamp-Session vertieft. Wir werden gemeinsam hier weitere Termine zwischen den physischen Treffen anbieten. Ich freue mich drauf. Auch sind weitere Ideen, Wünsche und Anregungen in Gesprächen entstanden. Z.B, Bildung von Arbeitsgruppen zu bestimmten Themenschwerpunkte. Hierzu später mehr.

Wie der Roundtable sich 2020 weiterentwickeln wird, werde ich zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt erläutern. Neuerungen und Optimierungen stehen dann an. In 2019 stehen erst einmal folgende Termine im Programm: 03.04. Presse-Konferenz Hannover Messe zur Digital Reality Academy, 04.04. Meetup in München, 15.5. BarCamp in München, 02.07. Kongress in Hannover zum Thema VR/AR in der Industrie, 08. und 09.10 nächste Learnext.space, 7. bis 9.11. Education+ in China, 12. und 13.11. 5.Roundtabel/2.Experience Night … und dann ist 2020 – Wahnsinn, die nächste Learntec steht schon vor den Türen und damit die 2.VR/AR-Area.

Ich freue mich drauf, wenn Sie als Unternehmens- oder Hochschulvertreter Interesse an der Teilnahme an der Experience Night und / oder Roundtable VR/AR Corporate Learning haben, dann melden Sie sich über folgendes Formular an.

Der Podcast wird sich auch mit dem Roundtable und der Experience Night beschäftigen, also reinhören lohnt sich.

Google’s Gradient Ventures Joins $58 Million Investment In AR Startup Mojo Vision

Google’s Gradient Ventures Joins $58 Million Investment In AR Startup Mojo Vision

Mojo Vision, an under-the-radar augmented reality (AR) startup that has yet to reveal exactly what it’s building, announced that it has raised $58 million in a series B round of funding from Google’s Gradient Ventures, Advantech Capital, HP Tech Ventures, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, Bold Capital Partners, LG Electronics, Kakao Ventures, and Stanford StartX.

Founded out of Saratoga, California in 2015, Mojo Vision more or less exited stealth back in November, when it revealed it had raised $50 million in funding since its inception three years before. Aside from that, the startup didn’t reveal a whole lot about what it’s been cooking up — however, it did tout its AR-infused “invisible computing” platform that will deliver “immediate, powerful, and relevant” information minus the distractions of today’s mobile devices.

While the likes of Microsoft’s HoloLens and Magic Leap are developing gnarly AR smarts that rely on chunky headwear, it seems Mojo Vision could be building something that blends into the environment — perhaps contact lenses or a similar form factor.

“Mojo Vision is taking on a big challenge — to rethink how people receive and share information in a way that is immediate and relevant, without diverting their attention,” said Mojo Vision CEO Drew Perkins.

Perkins previously cofounded optical networking company Infinera, which went public back in 2007. He has also founded three companies that were acquired, including Gainspeed, which specialized in improving cable network capacity and was snapped up by Nokia in 2016.

With a fresh $58 million in financing under its belt, the startup will be better-positioned to get its technology into the public sphere, Perkins added.

“In addition to advancing critical technologies, this capital moves Mojo closer to initial customer pilots and strategic partnerships,” he said.

AI factor

Google announced its new Gradient Ventures fund back in 2017, and the focus for this fund has been squarely on early-stage AI startups. That Gradient has invested in Mojo Vision strongly suggests there will be a significant AI element to its product.

“The potential for artificial intelligence to provide access to information effortlessly and contextually without distraction is compelling,” said Anna Patterson, managing partner at Gradient Ventures. “Gradient’s investment in Mojo Vision represents our keen interest in using AI to look beyond today’s mobile form factors and develop new ways to connect the world to important information.”

A number of companies are currently pushing to make AR “invisible,” one of which is Amazon-backed North, which recently launched $999 Alexa-powered holographic glasses. Last month, North dropped the price of its Focals glasses by nearly half, followed by news that the company had laid off 150 employees, thought to be around a third of its workforce.

If nothing else, this served as a timely reminder of how precarious hardware startups can be and how resource-intensive it is to bring such new products to market.

It goes without saying that Mojo Vision, whatever it’s working on, will need as much capital as it can get.

This post by Paul Sawers originally appeared on VentureBeat. 

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Long-delayed PSVR Game ‘Golem’ to Reemerge at PAX East Next Week

We weren’t certain the PSVR title Golem would ever see the light of day after its lengthy delay. It wasn’t until the studio assured us late last year that yes, the game was still in production well after its prospective March 16th, 2018 launch date had come and gone. Now it appears PAX East-goers will get a fresh whack at the game, which was unveiled way back in 2015.

Sony today announced via its PS blog that seven PSVR titles are heading to PAX East in Boston next week, one of which is the long-overdue adventure game Golem from Highwire Games, an indie studio consisting of former Bungie veterans Marty O’Donnell and Jaime Griesemer, and a team of established industry devs.

After its March 2018 delay, the studio announced the game was pushed back indefinitely back in August as Highwire wanted to ensure they could “release a polished VR experience that we are proud of […].”

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“Things are still proceeding; we want Golem to be the game we envisioned and we’re taking the time we need to get it there,” a Highwire spokesperson told Road to VR late last year. “[We’re] not going to talk release timing until we are absolutely sure about it this time.”

We still aren’t exactly sure what sort of game Golem is shaping up to be. From our 2016 hands-on and previous talks with Highwire, it seems the studio’s PSVR title involves the ability to jump between various avatars—ranging in size from dolls to giants—as they explore the world around and go mano a mano with some pretty nasty looking rock golems.

In case you’re attending, here’s the seven titles Sony is trotting out at PAX East:

  • Ghost Giant
  • Golem
  • Falcon Age
  • Jupiter & Mars
  • Space Channel 5 VR Kinda Funky News Flash!
  • Trover Saves the Universe
  • Vacation Simulator

The post Long-delayed PSVR Game ‘Golem’ to Reemerge at PAX East Next Week appeared first on Road to VR.

Nintendo’s Switch VR Labo Kit Includes a Genius Makeshift 6DOF Controller

Nintendo’s upcoming Labo VR Kit for Switch includes a trove of creative VR content along with six ‘build it yourself’ cardboard accessories which are paired with VR experiences that work together with them. One of the accessories might look like a goofy ‘elephant’, but a closer look reveals a genius makeshift 6DOF controller made from some cardboard, stickers, and the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers.

You gotta give Nintendo props for their outside of the (cardboard) box thinking. The Labo program itself is already ‘out there’—it aims to deliver family friendly fun and learning by delivering built-it-yourself cardboard accessories, powered by Switch, which make for novel hands-on experiences. It’s part arts and crafts, part technology, and uniquely Nintendo.

Their newest Labo kit, which is entirely based around VR, embodies the Labo spirit with a creative solution for a makeshift 6DOF controller which gives users a way to reach into VR.

The ‘elephant’ accessory, which is part of the complete Labo VR Kit currently available for pre-order, looks silly at first glance, but a closer inspection reveals that it was likely only made to look like an elephant to contextualize what’s actually a clever way to achieve 6DOF input with little more than the Switch, cardboard, stickers, and the Joy-Con controllers.

Image courtesy Nintendo

With the Switch in the holder as the VR viewer, the two Joy-Con controllers are placed in the ‘trunk’ of the elephant which has two joints. Because the Joy-Con controllers each have an IMU inside, and because the positions of the joints are known, inverse kinematics can be used to mathematically determine the position of the entire trunk.

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But if that’s all they did, the system would be prone to Drift. which is what the white dots on the ‘face’ of the ‘elephant’ are used for. The right Joy-Con controller is equipped with IR sensors on the bottom, and the controller’s position in the trunk is oriented toward the IR-reflective dots (which are a known distance from the Switch itself, because of the known size of the cardboard pieces) which gives the whole trunk a static reference point for drift correction. Conceptually, it’s the same function that the external tracking sensors for the Rift and Vive are used for.

The result of this inventive cobbling is a positionally tracked controller which offers 6DOF input into the virtual world as seen through the Switch. In the games that ship with the Labo VR Kit, we can see the ‘elephant’ being used for 3D painting and a physics puzzle game which uses 6DOF input to allow players to place platforms to guide balls to a goal.

Granted, we don’t how well this makeshift 6DOF controller really works just yet—the kit doesn’t ship until April 12th—but I’m happy to give credit to this creative approach which  embodies what Nintendo is trying to do with Labo in the first place: give kids opportunities to learn and be inventive through play.

The post Nintendo’s Switch VR Labo Kit Includes a Genius Makeshift 6DOF Controller appeared first on Road to VR.

Valve Psychologist: Brain-computer Interfaces Are Coming & Could Be Built into VR Headsets

Valve’s resident experimental psychologist Dr. Mike Ambinder took the stage at GDC 2019 today for his talk on the state of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) and how they’ll inform the future of game design. In his talk, Ambinder put forth a near future where VR/AR headsets are kitted with non-invasive electroencephalogram (EEG) devices that could one day provide data to game designers so they can create a new generation of smarter, more reactive games. The long-term view is definitely trending towards neuronal implants, Ambinder says, but we’re not there yet.

Ambinder explained that many of the traditionally measurable ‘bio-feedback’ such as heart-rate, galvanic skin response, eye movement, facial expression, muscle tension, and physical posture are all important to understanding what’s happening to the player at any given moment, although he argues that reaching into the core of the matter, the brain itself, is the frontier that holds the most promise for game developers.

Brain-computer interfaces are basically a communication method that translates neuronal signals into actionable input for computers. In the context of gaming, the Ambinder’s envisioned goal is to acquire physiological data from a player and use that to inform the game whether a player is happy, sad, frustrated, bored, focused, distracted, etc; the idea is to figure out why that happens in each circumstance—be it anger from experiencing a game-breaking bug, or happiness when a specific goal is achieved—and build systems to leverage this data.

And it’s not as far-fetched as you may think, Ambinder maintains:

“We can measure responses to in-game stimuli. And we’re not always getting [data] reliably, but we’re starting to figure out how. Think about what you’d want to know about your players. There’s a long list of things we can get right now with current technology, current generation analysis, and current generation experimentation,” he said.

Valve’s Mike Ambinder donning an OpenBCI EEG helmet, Image captured by Road to VR

Moment-to-moment insights into the user’s cognitive state could provide a sort of adaptive, immersive gameplay which could include variable game difficulty, on-the-fly AI responses tailored to the player’s mindset, and even replacing traditional input systems all together—all within the purview of BCI’s gaming future, Ambinder said.

In the near-term, Ambinder sees EEG as the easiest way to start collecting that sort of psychological data and organizing it into something actionable for developers to create more immersive games. In the case of EEG, electrodes are non-invasively placed on various points of the scalp, and used to measure voltage fluctuations of the brain’s neurons. Things like attention, learning, memory, and intention have been measured in some respects using EEG, and Ambinder hopes these things, which have previously been the subject of scientific research, will make their way into mainstream game design at some point. But people aren’t just going to wear a full 35-electrode location EEG helmet like the one from the OpenBCI initiative on its lonesome though; that’s where AR/VR comes in.

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“If you’re going to measure brain signals, you need a way to get people to wear a helmet. If only us as game designers had a way of doing that,” Ambinder said jokingly, showing a slide of an HTC Vive headset. “One advantage of AR and VR as well is you’re getting consistent contact with the source of brain activity. So you might be able to do interesting things if you could convince them to wear a helmet with EEG sensors.”

Companies like Neurable have already begun productizing EEG devices especially built to work with VR devices, letting people “control software and devices using only their brain activity,” the company claims.

That said, EEG data isn’t a perfect solution. Ambinder compared it to sitting outside of a football stadium and trying to figure out what’s happening on the field just by listening to the intensity of the crowd’s reaction. The current generation of BCI devices are noisy, and EEG is one of the noisiest due to its job of picking up neuronal signals through the skull, scalp, and hair.

Image captured by Road to VR

There’s still plenty to learn from EEG, Ambinder says, although deeper knowledge and a push towards more immersive, adaptive games would likely necessitate invasive brain implants. Before that happens, they’d need to pass what he calls the ‘Lasik threshold’ though—a procedure that is technically invasive but confers enough potential benefits to the user while minimizing the procedure’s overall risk.

Ambinder had nothing to announce regarding the company’s plans for potentially kickstarting BCI with something as monumental as a consumerized virtual reality-EEG headset (or brain implants for that matter), although he sees EEG as a definite early avenue for capturing the sort of large data sets needed to start building out interaction systems that could span everything from creating better tutorials by learning about the user’s individual ability to learn, to making games capable of learning how players want to play as opposed to how they should play.

Making this knowledge more granular (and accurate) is still in its early phases, something that needs both sufficient time and a large enough userbase to gather data across a wide set of people. There’s a long list of powerful uses and equally powerful pitfalls yet to come.


If you want to get into the nitty gritty, Ambinder’s full talk will be up on the GDC’s YouTube page in the coming days. We’ll toss the video down here when it comes, so check back soon.

The post Valve Psychologist: Brain-computer Interfaces Are Coming & Could Be Built into VR Headsets appeared first on Road to VR.

Nintendo Shows a Trove of Creative VR Content for Switch VR Labo Kit, Pre-orders Open

None among us can deny Nintendo’s penchant for creativity. The limited VR specs of the Switch don’t exactly inspire, but the company’s creative array of accessories and content in the Labo VR Kit just might. Nintendo has shown off a unique set of games based on the DIY cardboard peripherals (there’s a freaking bird attachment), along with 64 mini-experiences which can be deconstructed and experimented with in the ‘Garage VR’ scriptable programming tool.

Earlier this month Nintendo announced the Labo: VR Kit, the fourth kit in their ‘Labo’ product line—primarily targeted toward younger gamers and families—which offers build-it-yourself accessories which work in conjunction with specially made games and experiences.

The Labo VR Kit for Switch is now available for pre-order as a $40 Starter Kit and an $80 all-inclusive kit that offers all of the VR Toy-Con accessories in one box. Both kits launch on April 12th.

A new trailer shows the creative use of the included accessories and the diverse array of experiences:

Nintendo is calling it their “most immersive, robust Nintendo Labo kit to date,” not only because of the six unique Toy-Con accessories and corresponding games, but because of the 64 mini-experiences in the ‘VR Plaza’, all of which were built in (and can be deconstructed with) ‘Garage VR’, a programming tool which lets kids understand what makes each experiences tick—and encourages them to learn by tweaking, fiddling, and customizing.

Image courtesy Nintendo

Nintendo says that Garage VR can also be used to build simple VR experiences from scratch, right from the Switch. It isn’t clear yet if these experiences will be shareable between users, or if they will remain local.

Garage VR is a scriptable programming tool | Image courtesy Nintendo

From what we’re seeing so far, it looks like Nintendo has put a lot more thought into the Labo VR Kit than the many comparisons to Google Cardboard have insinuated. With an April 12th release date we’ll soon know if the kit can overcome the VR limitations of the Switch with its creative set of content.

The post Nintendo Shows a Trove of Creative VR Content for Switch VR Labo Kit, Pre-orders Open appeared first on Road to VR.

New ‘Asgard’s Wrath’ Gameplay Video Reveals Dungeon Crawling in Action

Asgard’s Wrath is an upcoming combat RPG from Sanzaru Games, the studio that created Rift exclusives Marvel Powers United VR (2018) and Ripcoil (2016). It’s slated to launch on Rift and the newly unveiled Rift S in 2019, although to whet our appetites in the meantime the studio released some fresh footage at their public GDC 2019 debut this week, showing off what to expect from the game’s combat and puzzle-laden quests.

We only got a chance to play some of the beginning storyline and learn the basics of combat during our hands-on with Asgard’s Wrathso everything seen in the questing video (linked above and below) is news to us.

The setup is this: in Asgard’s Wrath you’re a fledgling god who must help a set of Nordic heroes through their own discrete story lines. Each hero as their own load-out and abilities, and the objective is to complete each hero’s story to obtain a special rune stone for Loki, who basically plays as the game’s grand task master.

Clocking in just under eight minutes, the video presents a number of classic RPG tropes to go along with the game’s decidedly involved combat system, making use of shields, swords for attacks and parrying, and some magical weapons such as a throwable axe that you can recall with the flick of the wrist.

Image courtesy Sanzaru Games

On top of that, some of light puzzles seem to make use of your weapons, forcing you to throw your axe accurately to cut down a rope suspending a plank bridge.

The level seems to be brimming with items such as a cross-bow, crafting items such as berries and mushrooms, and treasure too, which all nestles into the game’s classic-style RPG inventory menu. Only a few things are actually holstered to your body in the game, all of which seem to relate directly to combat.

Image courtesy Sanzaru Games

One of the major mechanics in Asgard’s Wrath is the ability to magically transform the world’s animals into chimeric allies. A battle-toad pal follows you around automatically, taking down the level’s brutish enemies with his trident and giant lily pad-shaped shield.

You can order your toad buddy to do specific tasks too, like grab a key with his long tongue from behind the bars of a jail cell or attack a specific group of baddies on command.

Image courtesy Sanzaru Games

There’s no denying that Asgard’s Wrath is a visually stunning game. You can also probably tell that it’s not an easy game either when it comes to the game’s combat system. Multiple enemies put your melee skills to the test, as they barge in with increasingly tough attacks and armor plating that you have to break before getting a good shot at finally knocking down their HP bar.

Unlike the popular combat sandbox Blade & Sorcery, Asgard’s Wrath isn’t entirely physics-based, meaning you’ll have to pay close attention to when baddies are charging up, or telegraphic vulnerability to land those head-slicing hits.

Sanzaru isn’t ready to talk specific release dates yet, although they’ve said it’ll be headed to the Oculus platform sometime this year. It’s said to offer a 30+ hours of adventuring, promising to be the “deepest title yet” from Sanzaru Games.

The post New ‘Asgard’s Wrath’ Gameplay Video Reveals Dungeon Crawling in Action appeared first on Road to VR.

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit Includes Over 64 Games & Experiences

Nintendo’s 4th Toy-Con release is absolutely massive.

It was just over two weeks ago Nintendo made the unexpected announcement of the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con: VR Kit. Yesterday, the company dropped a huge 7-minute trailer that gave us a more comprehensive look at the enormous collection of immersive minigames we have to look forward to when the 4th edition of Labo hits store shelves April 12th.

Here is a breakdown of everything the new trailer has revealed about the Nintendo Labo: VR Kit:

MULTIPLE GAMES PER TOY-CON

The Nintendo Labo: VR Kit is composed of cardboard VR Goggles which house the Nintendo Switch tablet. This VR display can then attached to a variety of cardboard attachments in order to operate and enhance a corresponding game/experience. Not only did this trailer gives us a better look at what we’ll be playing using these unique peripherals, it also revealed that each attachment will work in conjunction with multiple games.

The Toy-Con Blaster features both an action-packed alien shooter, as well as a light-hearted turn-based competitive experience. In the shooter, players will use the pump-action Blaster to fend off an attack from an invading alien armada. For long-distance shots, they’ll be able to use their homing function to lock-on to far-away targets. By rotating the Joy-Con controller located on the side of the weapon, they’re also able to stop time and line-up their shots, similar to Red Dead Redemption’s ‘Dead Eye’ feature.

Lock & load / Image Credit: Nintendo

In the two-player competitive game, players hand-off the blaster as they each take turns trying to round up the largest herd of hippos by sucking up fruit and blasting the produce back into the mouths of the hungry animals.

The Toy-Con Camera features two environments in which players can zoom-in and snap photos of various wildlife, scenery, and hidden easter eggs. In the underwater environment, players will capture pictures of exotic marine life–such as sharks, schools of fish, and crabs. For a more adorable photo session, visit the home of an insanely cute cat-like creature as it goes about its business rolling around on the floor, falling asleep, and eating various fruit by violently shoving strawberries down its open face-hole. Each environment features a variety of challenges to complete, such as capturing certain characters/creatures while in certain poses, or discovering hidden easter eggs.

Then there’s the Toy-Con Wind Pedal. Arguably the strangest game of the bunch, the Wind Pedal is used for a stacking game in which players players help a frog dodge an incoming assault of colorful balls generated by mechanical teddy-bears. Stepping on the pedal not only triggers the frogs jump animation, but also produces a realistic gust of wind.

Take to the skies / Image Credit: Nintendo

Next up, the Toy-Con Bird. The Bird features two triggers located on both sides of the Toy-Con device, which allow players to flap its corresponding cardboard wings. Unsurprisingly, this peripheral is used in tandem with a bird flying simulator where players explore a lush island in search of food to feed their hatchlings. Triggering the wings builds altitude, while rotating and tilting the headset itself controls the steering. There’s also a time-trial mode which adds the Wind Pedal Toy-Con into the mix, allowing players to increase speed for a better time.

Finally, the Elephant. Using the joy-con equipped trunk, players can participate in a Tilt Brush-style 3D art experience and draw custom works of art in a 3D space. There’s tons of customization to be had using a wide assortment of tools and effects, such as erasers, shape tools, and lighting effects. A second game mode, Marble Run, introduces a challenging puzzle aspect in which players select and move various objects to lead a marble to its goal. Twisty tubes, trampolines, fans, and anti-gravity machines will be at your disposal. There’s even the option to create your very own puzzles from scratch.

64 games and experiences await / Image Credit: Nintendo

INTRODUCING VR PLAZA

The games listed above are just the tip-of-the-iceberg for Nintendo Labo: VR. VR Plaza opens up an absolutely massive catalogue of 64 individual VR games and experiences to choose from, including alien abductions, driving simulators, music creators, and a physics sandbox; just to name a few.

TOY-CON GARAGE VR

64 experiences not enough action for you? Toy-Con Garage returns once again to Nintendo Labo, this time bringing with it a slew of new options allowing players to develop, program, and share their own custom-made VR games and experiences. Garage VR simplifies the coding process by replacing conventional programming procedures with easy-to-use ‘branching dialogue.’ Players can customize terrain, goals, obstacles, enemies, and a variety of other game elements to create everything from a lunar rover driving simulator, to a Quest-based adventure game–all without any prior game development knowledge. 

Build your own VR games with Toy-Con Garage VR / Image Credit: Nintendo

TOY-CON MODIFICATIONS?

Although Nintendo has been primarily advertising the aforementioned peripherals, this trailer indicates that we’ll have multiple other VR Toy-Con attachments to play with, or at the very least the ability to modify existing ones. At a certain point in the video, one player can be seen wearing some type of basic face-tracking mask which allows them to control an in-game counterpart in real-time; the other player then uses the VR Goggles to follow the characters movements and nail them with various projectiles. Not only does this point towards additional cardboard peripherals, but the potential for multiplayer asymmetrical gaming experiences as well.

I’m honestly not sure what’s happening here / Image Credit: Nintendo

There’s also a brief second during the trailer where it appears as though a live-action video is being played on the tablet, hinting at the possibility of support for 360-degree video.

Although Nintendo Labo VR Kit may have been initially advertised as a simplistic VR gaming experience for the Switch, this trailer shows a much deeper commitment to the immersive sector by Nintendo. The 64 game VR Plaza alone makes this an experience worth checking out, but the ability to modify existing Toy-Cons and ‘program’ your own custom VR games could turn this light-hearted side project into a robust platform.

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit will be available April 12th for $79.99. The full kit includes the software and materials required for all six Toy-Cons, the Start Set + Blaster bundle features the Toy-Con Goggles, Toy-Con Blaster, Screen Holder, and Safety Cap for $39.99. Of course you could always expand your VR Kit as you go along, beginning first with the Starter Kit and then picking up either $19.99 Expansion Sets at a later time.

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Nintendo Labo VR’s Elephant Doodle & Puzzle Games Feature Positional Controller Tracking

nintendo switch tracking

Thought Nintendo’s Labo VR for Switch was just 3DoF? You’d be wrong. Nintendo actually uses a clever design to add positional controller tracking.

The Nintendo Switch right Joy-Con has a little known feature- an IR camera on the end. The VR Elephant Toy-Con has a slot for the right Joy-Con to be positioned in. It also has luminant paint dots on its front.

That IR camera only has a resolution of 340×220, but that’s enough to see those dots, and from that it knows its position. It’s similar to how tracking worked on the Oculus Rift, but having the camera move instead of the object with dots on it.

While the headset itself will still be 3DoF, the player can move the controller in and out and to the sides. The “trunk” is designed so that the dots will stay within the field of view of the tracking.

Nintendo uses this for two games so far. The first is a sculping game that seems similar to Oculus Medium. For this kind of sculpting controller positional tracking is vital, which is likely why Nintendo engineered this system.

The second is a puzzle game that almost reminds us of Gravity Lab. Here the higher degrees of freedom are needed to properly position the objects.

This is a smart use of existing low cost components to deliver a better VR experience than you’d have thought was possible on Switch. In fact, this kind of interactivity isn’t even available on Oculus Go or Samsung Gear VR. Nintendo have truly impressed us with this clever innovation.

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