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  1. The Viveport team visited the land down under to speak with MarineVerse, developers of the #VDA nominated title VR Regatta - The Sailing Game, to hear first-hand what went into making this authentic and educational virtual sailing experience Here is a description for VR Regatta. VR Regatta is the leading virtual reality sailing game. Explore the the immersive, inspiring sailing experience that awaits you on the open seas. Veterans of sailing and newcomers alike are invited to discover the relaxation and exploration at Akalana Islands. Journey through the sunrise and sunset as you compete in challenges and races to progress your career, or simply enjoy a peaceful moonlit sail. Your VR Regatta experience can inspire, relax and educate you about the world of sailing. Join the global community of players, exploring your dream seascape in a sailor’s paradise. (also playable on Oculus Rift) To check out VR Regatta, head on over to our Viveport page. You can also take a look at our Viveport Live episode where we play the game as well.
  2. Set during the events of Westworld Season 2, “Westworld Awakening” is a narrative-driven, single-player stealth exploration experience played from the perspective of Kate – a host within the Mesa facility who has attained self-awareness and must undergo a journey of self-discovery to understand exactly what that means. To survive a dangerous underworld where no one and nothing is what it seems, you must take matters into your own hands and, using a Quality Assurance tablet, manipulate the world around you. As you navigate Delos’ labyrinthine laboratories and offices, you will encounter iconic scenes and settings, solve puzzles, and interact with (and manipulate) other hosts. All while Hank, a relentless serial killer host who has stalked Westworld for generations, is in constant pursuit, forcing you to react quickly even as you venture further into the unknown. To escape, you must plunge into Westworld's secret past and overcome an entire world designed to destroy and enslave you. You can check out Westworld Awakening here in the Viveport store.
  3. In this new Developer Blog series, we’re interviewing many of our VIVE colleagues who work with developers daily to highlight our way of thinking and help developers best utilize all the opportunities available at VIVE and VIVEPORT. First up is Kris Severson from our San Francisco Office. Thomas: Hi Kris! Even though I already know, can you tell us a bit about your role and responsibilities at VIVE? Kris: Sure! I’m the Director of Global Content Partnerships, which means I work with the development community worldwide to bring the best content possible to Viveport. This includes everything from premium games to compelling narrative storytelling and other cool things you never thought you’d experience in VR. Thomas: How did you end up at Viveport and in the world of Virtual Reality? Kris: I started out in gaming, working for Sony PlayStation back when it was a little start-up. I got a real birds-eye view of the industry, working with every major PC and console publisher/developer. After PS2 launched, I joined the team at Rockstar Games right around the time they were releasing Grand Theft Auto 3, which was a heady experience. Working at both a hardware platform company and then moving to the other side of that as a game publisher gave me a lot of insight into the pain points of both sides of the game business. This is one reason I love working at HTC, helping to evangelize amazing new hardware technology and collaborating with content creators in a whole new medium. Thomas: So, you must talk to a lot of developers? Kris: I do talk to a lot of folks who are passionate about ridding the world of zombies 🙂 Thomas: What is the #1 question you get from developers? Kris: Ha, right now it’s: “When can I get a Cosmos?” and “When can I get a Pro Eye?”. Really, it’s amazing to see how everyone is so passionate about the hardware innovations happening in the XR world, and it’s great working at a company that is always on the forefront of that. It’s fun to see developers get really inspired by the possibilities of things like eye tracking and volumetric video capture. The creative world is on fire right now, and the consumer is the big winner of that. Thomas: We’re seeing a lot of that creativity publishing onto Viveport. For a developer who is considering Viveport, why should they publish with us? We’re growing rapidly but we don’t have the user size yet of Steam or Oculus Store. Kris: I have more than one answer for that! We do some of the best marketing campaigns in the business. We work with each developer on an individual basis, figuring out the best marketing opportunities tailored to their particular content and collaborate on any crazy and unique ideas they may have. We go the extra mile, from painting the storefront red for the SUPERHOT’s launch, to creating some pretty stellar MR videos for games like Angry Birds VR and Takelings. Viveport has a broader demographic than just the traditional gamer audience on Steam, so it’s a chance for a larger variety of content to get more visibility with the consumer. We have a great blend of both games and apps, and we’re passionate about promoting all kinds of VR content. Not only by genre but hardware too. We support content for not only Vive headsets, but also Oculus and Windows Mixed Reality. Add to that our mobile storefront for WAVE devices, and you can see how we’re establishing Viveport as the destination storefront for everyone. We also have our location-based business, Viveport Arcade. When you launch your content on Viveport, it’s a simple click of a button to also launch with our arcade operators worldwide, increasing your reach instantly out into the LBE world. This provides a whole other revenue stream for your content and is much easier than trying to negotiate commercial licenses individually with operators. Lastly, Viveport is the only store to have a subscription service, which sets us apart from everyone else in the VR world. Thomas: Subscription is a pretty big deal for us – for a new developer, what is our Subscription service briefly? Kris: Viveport Infinity is our subscription program where a user pays a flat monthly fee and has unlimited access to titles opted into the service. We’ve got an impressive collection of titles that is growing every day. Thomas: And why should a developer opt-in for Viveport Infinity? Kris: I always tell developers there are multiple ways to use our subscription service to their advantage. For one, it’s a great way to launch your title and get increased buzz in the community. We really focus on amplifying new content coming into Infinity, so you get maximum exposure with the consumer right out of the gate. For multiplayer games, it’s an amazing vehicle for user acquisition. A significant amount of our traffic happens in Infinity, so this can greatly increase your overall user base and cross-platform play. Subscription is also great for content that is out of the mainstream; consumers get to try as many games and apps as they want and are more willing to experiment with an unknown title. Titles that have out there for a while can benefit by coming into Infinity, adding another marketing cadence to their content and revving up the sales cycle again. We’ve seen titles make as much (if not more) with ongoing Infinity revenue than they do in the paid download sections of stores. A lot of this depends on price point, stickiness of content, and re-playability…we work with developers to figure out the best strategy for every piece of content. If it isn’t optimum to launch in Infinity, we still welcome you into the paid download section of the store. Bottom-line is that we want this to be a win-win situation for everyone…we want developers to make the most money they can so that they can go on to create more great content down the line. Thomas: From your perspective, what is the #1 challenge VR developers face today? Kris: I come from the console gaming world, so I’m used to having millions of installed units across mass market consumers. Right now, we all need more headsets on heads. We need to collectively evangelize the technology and get the word out that VR is not just a phone strapped to your head playing 360 videos. Part of what makes HTC great is that we have the best hardware experience, and we’re dedicated to partnering with the development community to bring the best content to consumers. We know it’s hard for developers to keep the lights on right now, so we’re investing with our partners for the long haul. Thomas: And speaking of investment, conversations I often have with developers often include the word “funding”. Can you outline funding opportunities that come up at HTC that you’re directly a part of? Kris: As I just mentioned in regards to keeping the lights on, yes, we are actively funding a highly curated selection of content for both PC and Wave devices. We want the best content for Viveport customers, particularly for Infinity subscribers. While Viveport does not operate in the sense of a first-party publisher and first-party budgets, we do function as a third-party supplemental funding source for developers. Also, there is the Vive Studios program where developers can apply. Thomas: Any tips for a developer approaching HTC or other companies about funding? Kris: Have a fully fleshed-out proposal. Come with different levels of potential funding options, opening a dialog to discuss various ways in which to partner together. Keep in mind that support can come in different forms as well, from hardware seeding to marketing opportunities with significant in-kind value. Thomas: What do you hope to see VR developers focus on in the future? Kris: I also head up HTC’s VR for Impact initiative, so I always love seeing projects with a real social impact. Earlier this year we launched Tree, which generated donations to the Rainforest Alliance in support of reforestation around the world. We all love doing good. Thomas: Down to the last question. If you could tell all VR developers out there one thing, whatever that may be, what would you say? Kris: Be a little crazy. For instance, who would have thought shooting fruit in a supermarket would be that much fun [i.e. Shooty Fruity]? Be a little simple. Beat Saber surprised everyone…sometimes it’s the easy-to-learn, hard-to-master ideas. And be a whole lot optimistic. We are just getting started and I know there are so many mind-blowing VR experiences yet to come. Thanks Kris for taking the time and doing what you do for developers! And developers, thanks for reaching! You can connect with Kris Severson at LinkedIn here and if you want to get started with Viveport, head off to the Developer Console. Next month, we’re sitting down with Jennifer Bullion, Developer Marketing Manager at Viveport, to hear about what she is seeing are the most successful strategies reaching VR customers and all the marketing opportunities available to developers.
  4. In our Developer Blog Series, we sit down with many of our VIVE colleagues who work with developers daily to highlight our way of thinking and help developers best take advantage of all the opportunities available at VIVE and VIVEPORT. This month, we’re chatting with Thomas Gratz in our San Francisco Office. Please introduce yourself. What do you do for Viveport? My name is Thomas Gratz and I’m a Senior Manager here at HTC, leading Developer Marketing for Viveport, which is HTC’s content distribution platform and storefront for virtual reality. When I describe my role, I always split Developer Marketing into two sides. First, we try to reach as many VR developers as possible and bring their titles onto Viveport. We work hard to earn developer trust and participation in our programs like Infinity or Viveport Arcade. Second, we aim to provide the best marketing support in the VR industry by helping titles get discovered by VR users. We line up promotions and amplification of announcements, releases and sustainment after launch. And you’ve been at Viveport practically longer than anyone else in the San Francisco office, right? That’s true and a bit crazy to think about when you put it that way. I’m celebrating my 3-year anniversary at Viveport this month. When I joined, there was essentially Rikard Steiber who is our President and a few VPs. The VP of Marketing had been hired two weeks earlier and he quickly brought me on board as we needed to launch Viveport globally in just a few months. I was the first marketing hire at Viveport and it has been quite an experience watching the team and product evolve since. What made you want to join the Viveport team? I was at Microsoft prior to joining HTC. At Microsoft, I had my first experience with XR using the HoloLens. I got to take a device home for a few weekends for testing prior to the developer kit releasing. As soon as I had hands-on time, I knew I wanted to work in this emerging industry. I had my first experience with a VIVE when a buddy of mine gave me a demo of “theBlu” when he went to go work for a VR startup in downtown Bellevue. My experience at Microsoft also pushed me toward creator communities and empowering others. This role on the Viveport team checked all the boxes and it was an opportunity to get on the ground floor of a brand-new business unit at HTC. The Vive had just been released and developers were just starting to dig into VR content creation. What does a typical day at the office look like for you? It changes all the time and is hard to predict even 3 years in. I just came back from a trip to Europe where we filmed 3 different developers telling their story of VR development. My team has this Viveport Developer Story program where we produce a 3-to-4 minute video asset which can be used to market both the developer and Viveport. Our goal is to inspire other creators, provide interesting insights and recognize a growing community of VR developers across the world of different cultures, backgrounds and motivations. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job. In a normal day, I’m speaking with a lot of developers – coordinating their release dates, collecting assets needed for marketing, etc. I’m working with our Customer Marketing team on store programming, newsletter placements, making sure we’re highlighting great titles and talented developers. I work with our Content team so they everything they need to talk with developers 1-1. I decide which developer events we choose to sponsor and decide our messaging, logistics and outreach at events we do participate in. And in quiet moments (not often), I work on our strategy as a team, sit on the greenlight committee for Viveport funding opportunities and share input on the Viveport leadership team on the direction we’re taking and goals we have. How do you work with developers to promote their content? Most of the time, developers are referred to the Developer Marketing team by our Content Operations or Content Acquisition teams. They either have submitted their title to the Viveport Developer Console and are expecting to release in a few weeks or are having conversations about coming to the platform. With the introduction, we’re usually called upon to look at the title and evaluate how much marketing support we may be able to provide, depending on the title, distribution plan and release date. After a call and some emails back and forth, we usually have a game plan in place – general timing and what each side needs to execute effectively. We outline all the opportunities to promote across Viveport channels and provide a list of needs from developers (most of the time, information and assets). Once we receive what we need, we turn it around as fast as possible and prepare internal teams to execute. Post release, we remain in contact with all developers on the platform and let them know about future promotion opportunities we think their titles are well suited for. Of course, developers also reach out directly about their latest updates and plans and we do our best to support. There’s no shortage of titles on Viveport from all the good work our content team is doing (check out last month’s blog with Kris Severson, Director of Content Partnerships). How can developers prioritize themselves and make your job easier? Ha, it didn’t used to be that way. We launched Viveport with roughly 75 VR titles. The service has grown so much since then. We’re over 2000+ titles now including high quality games and apps across all territories that Viveport supports. You are correct that we can’t support everyone now in the way that we used to and there are things developers can do to be prioritized and get our attention. First and foremost, developers who can consistently lock in their release dates and hold to them are a rare unicorn in my experience. A lot of marketing must be planned prior to builds getting submitted or finalized and developers who can deliver on their initial plans that we work towards are easily prioritized. If dates slip, our bandwidth and inventory changes and it could mean the marketing scope of our campaigns are impacted. The importance of quality marketing assets can’t be overstated. A quality asset has art that is both unique and conveys immediately what the VR experience is like. It catches the eye and is easy to digest at a glance. It is often a user’s first and only impression of a title and bad assets will ruin a good game’s chance to be discovered. Titles that distribute to all available territories make our lives a lot easier as we can plan for universal messaging across all our channels without worrying about some customers not having access. Compatibility across all the headsets that Viveport supports is also very helpful as we’re pushing to audiences with any VR device, not just VIVE. Finally, titles that opt-in for Viveport Infinity are always prioritized over non-Infinity titles. Most Viveport customers today come to Viveport as subscribers and we want to highlight the titles relevant to them. Infinity is our key differentiator as a content platform and titles that opt-in to the subscription service are guaranteed increased marketing support. For those developers considering submitting to Viveport, what is the best way to get connected and work with the marketing team? As mentioned, most developers get in contact with marketing through our Content Acquisition and Content Operations teams. Of course, I’m always happy to hear from developers coming or considering coming to Viveport and you can shoot me a message over LinkedIn. I can also be found at a decent number of industry events (I’m kind of short so you’ll need to keep a good look out). We have several program opt-ins / business models for developers to participate in like Viveport Infinity and Viveport Arcade? If they participate, does this change how you go about marketing their title? Definitely. Viveport Infinity can be used as a dedicated marketing channel. We’ve seen Infinity give a second life to titles as they get rediscovered by those who may have missed these titles when they first came out. Our Infinity members aren’t worried if a title is brand new or 3 years old, just as long as it is an enjoyable experience. They are an engaged audience looking to discover and sample new titles every month. And as I said, we prioritize our titles in our Infinity catalog for marketing opportunities. For Viveport Arcade, our position is to market the title to operators so they choose to feature the best titles fitting their venue. We focus on custom-built arcade titles that have thought out the flow for a user such as 1) easier, quick tutorial 2) high-action/fun 3) 10-15 minute session lengths with replayability 4) fun to watch with a social element. One program that we work on together is the Viveport Developer Awards or VDAs. For developers who don’t know, what is it? The Viveport Developer Awards is our annual program to recognize and reward some of the best developers on the Viveport platform. Winners and finalists can earn prize money, VIVE hardware, trophies, tickets to GDC, and a Viveport Developer Story video. It’s one of the coolest things I get to work on. Why do we have Viveport Developer Awards? We know we’re asking a lot for developers to build for VR and for our platform. It’s an emerging market and they could be spending their effort on traditional or mobile gaming platforms with a much larger audience. They are taking a risk on us, with us. We want to encourage developers to build for categories that don’t often translate to the highest sales but show off some of the greatest potential of VR. As one of the leading platforms, it’s our responsibility to give back to this community of developers. Our recognition through the VDAs can really highlight some of the amazing things developers are doing and also legitimize their work. Do you have a favorite experience working with developers so far? Personally, I had a great experience earlier this year at GDC 2019. We sponsored really late but the show somehow came together in the end. It takes an excellent team to pull something off at the scale we did and I’m fortunate to work with such talented folks. We had our first ever Developer Day with 6 different speaking sessions for developers running back-to-back. We also featured 13 of our own invited developers & internal teams at the VR Play area in the Expo, the highest number of featured developers I’ve ever had at an event I’ve ran. It all came together to be a great platform to connect with existing developers on Viveport and meet new developers who are VR or Viveport curious. For me, we kick off GDC with one of the best developer mixers for VR, open bar and all. We invite all our Viveport Developer Award winners and the wider developer community. It’s honestly a blast and I just love connecting with everyone over a drink (or two) and delicious food. And finally, if you could tell all VR developers out there one thing, what would you tell them? Right now is a great time to be developing for VR. This is still early days. The most important thing developers should be focused on as a studio is building an internal skillset for VR and iterating on that skillset with each project, slowly increasing the scope of projects over time. At the same time, build a brand around your studio and titles. New brands/IP are difficult to establish in mature markets so now is a great opportunity to accomplish that. The studios that create a reputation of quality with a focus on VR today will ride the incoming wave of mass VR adoption at the highest point in the future. Thanks for taking the time to chat, Thomas! And thanks developers for reading! You can connect with Thomas Gratz at LinkedIn here and if you want to get started with Viveport, head off to the Developer Console. Next month, we’ll chat with another member of our developer-facing team
  5. Hey @JNCIT, I just now sent you a Private Message, check it out.
  6. In our Developer Blog Series, we sit down with many of our VIVE colleagues who work with developers daily to highlight our way of thinking and help developers best take advantage of all the opportunities available at VIVE and VIVEPORT. This month, we’re chatting with Thomas Gratz in our San Francisco Office. Please introduce yourself. What do you do for Viveport? My name is Thomas Gratz and I’m a Senior Manager here at HTC, leading Developer Marketing for Viveport, which is HTC’s content distribution platform and storefront for virtual reality. When I describe my role, I always split Developer Marketing into two sides. First, we try to reach as many VR developers as possible and bring their titles onto Viveport. We work hard to earn developer trust and participation in our programs like Infinity or Viveport Arcade. Second, we aim to provide the best marketing support in the VR industry by helping titles get discovered by VR users. We line up promotions and amplification of announcements, releases and sustainment after launch. And you’ve been at Viveport practically longer than anyone else in the San Francisco office, right? That’s true and a bit crazy to think about when you put it that way. I’m celebrating my 3-year anniversary at Viveport this month. When I joined, there was essentially Rikard Steiber who is our President and a few VPs. The VP of Marketing had been hired two weeks earlier and he quickly brought me on board as we needed to launch Viveport globally in just a few months. I was the first marketing hire at Viveport and it has been quite an experience watching the team and product evolve since. What made you want to join the Viveport team? I was at Microsoft prior to joining HTC. At Microsoft, I had my first experience with XR using the HoloLens. I got to take a device home for a few weekends for testing prior to the developer kit releasing. As soon as I had hands-on time, I knew I wanted to work in this emerging industry. I had my first experience with a VIVE when a buddy of mine gave me a demo of “theBlu” when he went to go work for a VR startup in downtown Bellevue. My experience at Microsoft also pushed me toward creator communities and empowering others. This role on the Viveport team checked all the boxes and it was an opportunity to get on the ground floor of a brand-new business unit at HTC. The Vive had just been released and developers were just starting to dig into VR content creation. What does a typical day at the office look like for you? It changes all the time and is hard to predict even 3 years in. I just came back from a trip to Europe where we filmed 3 different developers telling their story of VR development. My team has this Viveport Developer Story program where we produce a 3-to-4 minute video asset which can be used to market both the developer and Viveport. Our goal is to inspire other creators, provide interesting insights and recognize a growing community of VR developers across the world of different cultures, backgrounds and motivations. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job. In a normal day, I’m speaking with a lot of developers – coordinating their release dates, collecting assets needed for marketing, etc. I’m working with our Customer Marketing team on store programming, newsletter placements, making sure we’re highlighting great titles and talented developers. I work with our Content team so they everything they need to talk with developers 1-1. I decide which developer events we choose to sponsor and decide our messaging, logistics and outreach at events we do participate in. And in quiet moments (not often), I work on our strategy as a team, sit on the greenlight committee for Viveport funding opportunities and share input on the Viveport leadership team on the direction we’re taking and goals we have. How do you work with developers to promote their content? Most of the time, developers are referred to the Developer Marketing team by our Content Operations or Content Acquisition teams. They either have submitted their title to the Viveport Developer Console and are expecting to release in a few weeks or are having conversations about coming to the platform. With the introduction, we’re usually called upon to look at the title and evaluate how much marketing support we may be able to provide, depending on the title, distribution plan and release date. After a call and some emails back and forth, we usually have a game plan in place – general timing and what each side needs to execute effectively. We outline all the opportunities to promote across Viveport channels and provide a list of needs from developers (most of the time, information and assets). Once we receive what we need, we turn it around as fast as possible and prepare internal teams to execute. Post release, we remain in contact with all developers on the platform and let them know about future promotion opportunities we think their titles are well suited for. Of course, developers also reach out directly about their latest updates and plans and we do our best to support. There’s no shortage of titles on Viveport from all the good work our content team is doing (check out last month’s blog with Kris Severson, Director of Content Partnerships). How can developers prioritize themselves and make your job easier? Ha, it didn’t used to be that way. We launched Viveport with roughly 75 VR titles. The service has grown so much since then. We’re over 2000+ titles now including high quality games and apps across all territories that Viveport supports. You are correct that we can’t support everyone now in the way that we used to and there are things developers can do to be prioritized and get our attention. First and foremost, developers who can consistently lock in their release dates and hold to them are a rare unicorn in my experience. A lot of marketing must be planned prior to builds getting submitted or finalized and developers who can deliver on their initial plans that we work towards are easily prioritized. If dates slip, our bandwidth and inventory changes and it could mean the marketing scope of our campaigns are impacted. The importance of quality marketing assets can’t be overstated. A quality asset has art that is both unique and conveys immediately what the VR experience is like. It catches the eye and is easy to digest at a glance. It is often a user’s first and only impression of a title and bad assets will ruin a good game’s chance to be discovered. Titles that distribute to all available territories make our lives a lot easier as we can plan for universal messaging across all our channels without worrying about some customers not having access. Compatibility across all the headsets that Viveport supports is also very helpful as we’re pushing to audiences with any VR device, not just VIVE. Finally, titles that opt-in for Viveport Infinity are always prioritized over non-Infinity titles. Most Viveport customers today come to Viveport as subscribers and we want to highlight the titles relevant to them. Infinity is our key differentiator as a content platform and titles that opt-in to the subscription service are guaranteed increased marketing support. For those developers considering submitting to Viveport, what is the best way to get connected and work with the marketing team? As mentioned, most developers get in contact with marketing through our Content Acquisition and Content Operations teams. Of course, I’m always happy to hear from developers coming or considering coming to Viveport and you can shoot me a message over LinkedIn. I can also be found at a decent number of industry events (I’m kind of short so you’ll need to keep a good look out). We have several program opt-ins / business models for developers to participate in like Viveport Infinity and Viveport Arcade? If they participate, does this change how you go about marketing their title? Definitely. Viveport Infinity can be used as a dedicated marketing channel. We’ve seen Infinity give a second life to titles as they get rediscovered by those who may have missed these titles when they first came out. Our Infinity members aren’t worried if a title is brand new or 3 years old, just as long as it is an enjoyable experience. They are an engaged audience looking to discover and sample new titles every month. And as I said, we prioritize our titles in our Infinity catalog for marketing opportunities. For Viveport Arcade, our position is to market the title to operators so they choose to feature the best titles fitting their venue. We focus on custom-built arcade titles that have thought out the flow for a user such as 1) easier, quick tutorial 2) high-action/fun 3) 10-15 minute session lengths with replayability 4) fun to watch with a social element. One program that we work on together is the Viveport Developer Awards or VDAs. For developers who don’t know, what is it? The Viveport Developer Awards is our annual program to recognize and reward some of the best developers on the Viveport platform. Winners and finalists can earn prize money, VIVE hardware, trophies, tickets to GDC, and a Viveport Developer Story video. It’s one of the coolest things I get to work on. Why do we have Viveport Developer Awards? We know we’re asking a lot for developers to build for VR and for our platform. It’s an emerging market and they could be spending their effort on traditional or mobile gaming platforms with a much larger audience. They are taking a risk on us, with us. We want to encourage developers to build for categories that don’t often translate to the highest sales but show off some of the greatest potential of VR. As one of the leading platforms, it’s our responsibility to give back to this community of developers. Our recognition through the VDAs can really highlight some of the amazing things developers are doing and also legitimize their work. Do you have a favorite experience working with developers so far? Personally, I had a great experience earlier this year at GDC 2019. We sponsored really late but the show somehow came together in the end. It takes an excellent team to pull something off at the scale we did and I’m fortunate to work with such talented folks. We had our first ever Developer Day with 6 different speaking sessions for developers running back-to-back. We also featured 13 of our own invited developers & internal teams at the VR Play area in the Expo, the highest number of featured developers I’ve ever had at an event I’ve ran. It all came together to be a great platform to connect with existing developers on Viveport and meet new developers who are VR or Viveport curious. For me, we kick off GDC with one of the best developer mixers for VR, open bar and all. We invite all our Viveport Developer Award winners and the wider developer community. It’s honestly a blast and I just love connecting with everyone over a drink (or two) and delicious food. And finally, if you could tell all VR developers out there one thing, what would you tell them? Right now is a great time to be developing for VR. This is still early days. The most important thing developers should be focused on as a studio is building an internal skillset for VR and iterating on that skillset with each project, slowly increasing the scope of projects over time. At the same time, build a brand around your studio and titles. New brands/IP are difficult to establish in mature markets so now is a great opportunity to accomplish that. The studios that create a reputation of quality with a focus on VR today will ride the incoming wave of mass VR adoption at the highest point in the future. Thanks for taking the time to chat, Thomas! And thanks developers for reading! You can connect with Thomas Gratz at LinkedIn here and if you want to get started with Viveport, head off to the Developer Console. Next month, we’ll chat with another member of our developer-facing team
  7. Hi @Schweppes, I've started a support ticket on your behalf for this situation. They will be responding to your email that you currently have on file here in the forums. Our Customer Care folks will be able to look into this deeper for you. Thanks, SNP
  8. There are so many titles throughout the Viveport and Viveport Infinity catalog. What are some of the first titles you set up for a new playing? Well, besides terrifying them with Ritchie's Plank Experience?
  9. Hey @Rosebuds, We reached out to the devs about getting this updated. I will follow up on this thread with more information soon.
  10. The Viveport FAQ has been consolidated into one document that can be located here. https://forum.viveport.com/forums/topic/5429-viveport-infinity-faq/?tab=comments#comment-5436
  11. Creating multiplayer experiences that are satisfying and fun for everyone involved is no easy task – especially with the asymmetrical nature of VR. The creative team over at DimnHouse – makers of the new Viveport release Takelings House Party – sought to make an experience that plays into not only the strengths of VR, but of this asymmetrical nature of VR couch play to make a game that will keep you laughing and shouting at those around you for countless hours. We sat down to find out how they sussed out the formula for the perfect VR party. Interview by Nathan Allen Ortega, Viveport Staff Tell us a bit about yourself and the team at DimnHouse Hi, my name is Kevin Weir, I’m the lead game designer here at Dimnhouse. I work with our art lead Clint Davidson, and our project manager Faith Myhra. We’ve been early adopters and big fans of VR. Before starting Dimnhouse, both Clint and I worked as motion graphics artists, and Faith as an organizer in the environmental justice movement in LA. What inspired you to create the wacky party experience Takelings House Party? We were driving back from a camping trip in Yosemite sorta group daydreaming about what might be some fun game ideas for VR. None of us at the time had any experience in games development but we were all huge fans of VR. We’d played games like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes and Ruckus Ridge to death, and we knew we had to make it a party game. I’d mentioned the idea of being able to pick up a tiny character while slowly carrying them over to some sort of death machine and they’re yelling, “NO NO, PUT ME DOWN!” as their allies attempt to free them, while the VR player laughs maniacally. We all got excited about this idea, and once I got home I opened Unity and started prototyping it up. Takelings House Party features asymmetrical gameplay – pitting one human player strapped into a headset against multiple couch players who cause mischief and mayhem as the titular Takelings. Was this the premise from the start or did it come about through experimenting with design ideas? It’s definitely grown quite a bit from the original premise. Really we just wanted a game where the VR player can pick up a player smaller than them and shove them into a toaster. It was meant to be demeaning to the couch player and inspire shouting, begging, taunting. I’m really happy to say that we were able to deliver that experience, people get REALLY loud while playing Takelings. But it has grown a lot, we now have other game modes and have expanded out a party mode. Even the original Kitchen game itself has grown, with added power up items, and other… cartoonishly brutal ways to murder your friends. This all came about from playtesting and trying to be reactive with our design. Seeing what people enjoyed, what got everyone jumping out of their chairs in excitement or outrage and dialing in and expanding on those aspects of the game. Can you speak to how difficult it was to implement asymmetrical party gameplay between VR and couch/controller players? I imagine the concept provides unique design challenges to make the experience equally fun and intuitive for everyone. It has always been important for us that the game is equally as fun for the Takelings as it is for the VR player. This is a particular challenge in asymmetric games, it’s easy to get fixated on the experience of the solo player and forget about the individual experience of someone on the “mob” side of things. There was also an interesting effect in balancing against a VR player. We didn’t want to inhibit the VR player in any way. When interacting with the world in VR, what you expect to happen should be what happens, and any artificial slowing down of your player would be very uncomfortable in VR. That free motion, however, means there’s not really a limit to how quick the pace of the game can be. So a lot of tuning went towards empowering and mobilizing the Takelings more and more, and building into that frantic pace set by the VR player. And, the more we sped up the game, the more frantic energy revved up our players and the more fun the game became! But I think the biggest challenge for us, especially as a small team of 3, was playtesting. With a game that allows up to 9 players, we’ve had to host TONS of beta testing parties. What’s it like to play with 3 players? Or 5? Or all 9? Balancing the game while keeping the variety of possible experiences in mind required a lot of playtesting with our very awesome and patient friends and family. Were there any weapons/environments/game modes etc that you wanted to work into the game but had to leave on the cutting room floor? Oh sure, the biggest one for me is online play. I was, unfortunately, unable to get that into the game. There were some technical challenges, one of which is that our game is pretty physics heavy. There are many game modes we’d love to add to Takelings. Our goal, if all goes well, is to release content packs that feature the other members of Hal’s family facing off against the Takelings in different themed game modes adding more variety and rooms to the game. We’re really excited about the next character. What do you think are essential elements necessary to making an engaging multiplayer party game that keeps players coming back? For a party game, I think it’s important to be very easy to pick up and play and also engaging and inclusive to casual players and people who don’t generally play games. It should be a social experience, something that you share with many different people. It should be unique depending on the group playing, you should be saying, “We need to get so-and-so to play this with us.” We try to encourage these social experience with our game design as much as we can. Our big mantra with Takelings is, “How can we get people yelling at each other” (in good humor of course). And it definitely doesn’t hurt to have a higher skill ceiling, so players can feel like they are improving as they play. I think this is where asymmetric party games can really flourish. Normally in competitive games, a high skilled player wouldn’t be fun to play against as a new player, but in an asymmetric game that player would be teamed up against, or underpowered in the “mob” group. Takelings, sort of by accident, actually has a relatively high skill ceiling. Some of our friends are SCARY good at exterminating Takelings. Takelings House Party has been shown at several events – such as VRLA, Caltopia and the 2018 AMD Gaming Garage. How has player feedback helped shape the direction of the game? Have you been surprised by any particular responses from players? The positive response from families was a bit surprising. It probably sounds funny, but I wasn’t really building Takelings as a family friendly game on purpose. Kids were drawn to the game in mobs, and after watching for a round or two, their parents would join right in, seeing how easy it was to pick up. We had a quite a bit of complements from parents who were grateful to have a few minutes to… shove their kids in a waffle iron. I think we sold a couple parents on VR that day. Their perspectives on the game were pretty funny too. One little girl pointed at Hal and said, “I want to be the monster next.” While one of the parents commented, “So they’re all controlling the little pests huh?” We don’t really think of either Hal or the Takelings as good or evil, but it’s fun to see everyone picking a side anyways. What were your main creative influences on the tone/design of Takelings House Party? There’s a good amount of the classic mouse hunting genre in this game. Tom and Jerry, The Borrowers, Mouse Hunt. But we also felt inspired by old propaganda films. “These Takelings are a stain on the American way of life!” “Protect your family from these pests”. These are the sort of things our character Hal is hearing over the TV. This tongue-in-cheek propaganda style was utilized really well in games like Portal 2 and the Fallout series. How many people helped make Takelings House Party and how long was the development process? I started working on it part time as a hobby after work for about 6 months, and in July 2017 I switched to start working on it full time. Last fall my teammates Clint Davidson (our Art Lead) and Faith Myhra (our project manager, plus some) joined me. We were also very fortunate to have the talented Adam Bravo compose the theme music and Kevin Chaja as a Business Development Advisor. And of course our dozens of amazing playtest volunteers. Takelings brings out a lot of passion in players – as illustrated by the hilarious trailer featuring some very adult language haha. What has been the wildest thing you’ve heard players shout during gameplay? (don’t worry, we’ll censor it for any young eyes who might be reading) Oh my god it’s incredible what people are shouting. A favorite was from ViveSummit 2019 CIZZORZ panicaly said, “He’s waffling me!” A young boy at the AMD Gaming Garage yelled to his dad, “She’s toasting him! That’s hecka evil!” Also, “No, you’re killing him wrong!” at VRLA It got to a point where we started writing down what people said, they are just too good to forget. What are your thoughts on the future of VR and AR and where do you hope to see the technology develop going forward – especially in the realm of multiplayer experiences? Oh I’m very hopeful for the future of VR. I mean, just the term virtual reality has been in our lexicon for quite a while. I think it was always coming, and as the technology improves more and more people will adopt it, and a lot of people already have. It might be a ways off but I’m really looking forward to the possible transition to light field displays allowing you to draw natural focus with the eye. On the multiplayer side, we’re really starting to see a unifying experience across devices. Like in Takelings, being able to use your smartphone as a controller. I’m really excited to see where we go in this space of multiplatform play with smartphones, almost everyone has a smartphone. What’s next for DimnHouse? Finishing the final release of Takelings House Party with a total of 5 games and AI Takelings. We’d love to continue to support the game for a while with additional content packs featuring the other members of Hal’s family and their own themed levels. Really we just love VR, and to have the opportunity to create more unique and engaging experiences for this fantastic new medium is the dream. Sounds awesome! We can’t wait to see what you have coming next. Thank you for your time! Takelings House Party is now available on Viveport for VIVE and Oculus Rift headsets.
  12. Hi @Rosebuds, I'll see if I can scare up some information about this.
  13. Hello everyone, Welcome to your new VIVEPORT Community Forum. This is where you can now talk about all things VIVEPORT. If you are new, it's great to have you here. We hope you enjoy your stay. Feel free to ask any questions you have and engage in any discussions you wish related to VIVEPORT. For those of you who are returning members, you may notice a few changes. Ok ok, A LOT of changes. Here are some of the biggest changes; 1: Split communities. To make it easier to navigate through various VIVEPORT discussions and sections, we have created to separate VIVE and VIVEPORT community pages. This will make it so we can make sure you get the content you are looking for as well as offer surface level help. 2: Easier to navigate UI. As you can see, in the upper right, you have a few icons that will help you with notifications, private messages, and you will be able to access all of your profile settings. We'd rather you be able to enjoy the community without any confusion. If you have any questions, please ask and we will help you to the best of our ability. 3: Cleaner and clearer design. A few mentioned it was hard to find what you wanted to read or navigate back to where you once were without having to completely start over again. We've taken care of that for you. Now, our forum directories are less cluttered and more attractive. 4: Emotes, GIFs, and YouTube options. As many of you mentioned previously, adding these types of links/files to the forums was confusing or lacking. We now have it to where you can easily add a video, a gif, or extended emojis with no problem. These are the more important ones that you. As we open up for fun apps, options, and features, we will let you know. Until then, have fun!
  14. Hello everyone, Welcome to your new VIVE Community Forum. This is where you can now talk about all things VIVE. If you are new, it's great to have you here. We hope you enjoy your stay. Feel free to ask any questions you have and engage in any discussions you wish related to VIVE. For those of you who are returning members, you may notice a few changes. Ok ok, A LOT of changes. Here are some of the biggest changes; 1: Split communities. To make it easier to navigate through various VIVE discussions and sections, we have created to separate VIVE and VIVEPORT community pages. This will make it so we can make sure you get the content you are looking for as well as offer surface level help. 2: Easier to navigate UI. As you can see, in the upper right, you have a few icons that will help you with notifications, private messages, and you will be able to access all of your profile settings. We'd rather you be able to enjoy the community without any confusion. If you have any questions, please ask and we will help you to the best of our ability. 3: Cleaner and clearer design. A few mentioned it was hard to find what you wanted to read or navigate back to where you once were without having to completely start over again. We've taken care of that for you. Now, our forum directories are less cluttered and more attractive. 4: Emotes, GIFs, and YouTube options. As many of you mentioned previously, adding these types of links/files to the forums was confusing or lacking. We now have it to where you can easily add a video, a gif, or extended emojis with no problem. These are the more important ones that you. As we open up for fun apps, options, and features, we will let you know. Until then, have fun!
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