Unity's '2017' game engine will focus on artists and designers

about X hours ago from
Unity's '2017' game engine will focus on artists and designers

Unity's keynote at this year's GDC was all about the future of its game engine. The company has outlined plans for the next major version of its platform, Unity 2017, which is being designed with creators in mind. Unity says one of the main goals is to improve team productivity and collaboration features for non-programmers, particularly those who are artists and designers -- someone like a cinematic animator, for example. Developers will be able to sign up for a beta in April, marking the end of the Unity 5 cycle that began in 2014.

Vive Studios' 'VR Sports' is exactly what it sounds like

about X hours ago from
Vive Studios' 'VR Sports' is exactly what it sounds like

The unmitigated phenomenon that was the Nintendo Wii had an everlasting effect on any medium with motion controllers: if you have hardware that can track hand movements, it needs to have its own "Wii Sports" game. Enter Vive Studios latest virtual reality game, VR Sports -- a light hearted, but surprisingly realistic feeling ping-pong and tennis simulator. On March 15th, the game kicks off Vive Studios' spring line-up of VR games, which also includes a WWII defense shooter and a port of Sixaxis' virtual reality CAD program.

Games like 'Augmented Empire' are why Gear VR needs a controller

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Games like 'Augmented Empire' are why Gear VR needs a controller

If you've ever used a Samsung Gear VR before, you've probably found yourself awkwardly tapping the side of the headset to issue a command, or fumbling with its four-way touchpad to make a selection in a menu. This inelegant, embedded touch control is a necessary evil -- a compromise that allows the headset to be a self-contained VR experience free of the complicated peripherals and set-up required of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. I struggled with its faults at Oculus GDC demo day, as I uncomfortably tapped my way through a battle in Augmented Empire.

'From Other Suns' lets players move in VR however they want

about X hours ago from
'From Other Suns' lets players move in VR however they want

When I boot up a new VR game for the first time, the same question always hangs in my mind. "So," I think, "how do you teleport in this game." It's become a standard in virtual reality, the go-to movement system that lets players explore the digital realm without contracting simulator sickness. It works, but not perfectly. Warping from place to place avoids the disparity between vision and physical movement that causes nausea, but teleporting across a tiny, walkable distance feels a little weird. From Other Suns doesn't change the basic function of the teleport mechanic, but adds a nice twist -- it lets you see your character actually walk to the teleport location.

Oculus shows off upcoming VR titles at GDC 2017

about X hours ago from
Oculus shows off upcoming VR titles at GDC 2017

It's the start of the 2017 Game Developers Conference and, as you might expect, it's an event where VR is likely to take center stage. Kicking it all off is Oculus, which not only announced a new Gear VR plus a new controller this weekend, it also showed off a slew of new games at a special pre-GDC event. From rocking out on a virtual stage to pitting armies against each other in a tabletop strategy game, there's no shortage of variety in Oculus' upcoming library. Check out some of these titles in our video above.

'Brass Tactics' is a VR RTS that puts you in a clockwork battlefield

about X hours ago from
'Brass Tactics' is a VR RTS that puts you in a clockwork battlefield

Real-time strategy and VR don't seem like they would go together. After all, the key attraction to virtual reality is feeling like you're in someone else's shoes in a faraway land of make believe. The top-down view of typical RTS games doesn't quite lend itself to that level of immersion. Or does it? After a few minutes playing with Hidden Path Entertainment's Brass Tactics at an Oculus demo event, I found myself so engrossed in a cutthroat tabletop battle that I almost forgot I had a headset on at all.

Xbox Games Pass lets you play 100 titles for $10 a month

about X hours ago from
Xbox Games Pass lets you play 100 titles for $10 a month

Microsoft received a good amount of deserved praise for adding backwards compatibility to the Xbox One. Today, the company is adding another way to play older titles on its flagship console. The new Xbox Games Pass is another take on the "Netflix for games" concept, and it's not dissimilar to what Sony has been offering for a few years with its PlayStation Now service. For $10 a month, Xbox Games Pass lets you access a library of about 100 games, both from the Xbox 360 library as well as newer titles for the Xbox One.