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13 VR Games That Will BLOW YOUR MIND
Augmented Reality might be experiencing a sudden and somewhat unexpected surge in popularity off the back of the global sensation that is Pokemon: GO!, but in truth the REAL hype train that's actually going places is Virtual Reality, aka VR. This is the next big thing, and not just in a popular title way like Pokemon, but more in an era-defining technology like the introduction of smartphones or the major console generations in gaming.
Yes, VR is the next big thing. There's little disputing this, it's not like smartwatches that were foisted on an unwilling public by over-enthusiastic tech firms. Nope, VR started off softly, softly as independent, ambitious development projects by people just testing the waters and trying to push boundaries. Not much was available at first, but the huge surge in consumer interest in turn caught manufacturer interest BIG TIME; here was a large and feverish consumer base eager to get its hands, heads, and eyeballs on and into the virtual reality space. Cue much understandable bandwagon jumping.
It started with a few outlying projects such as Google Cardboard and the fledgling baby steps of Oculus Rift, but once that latter device started generating more and more buzz the big industry players really sat up and paid attention. By now, we're looking at every major electronics manufacturer having a hand in the VR game; Samsung has the Gear VR, the Oculus Rift is now owned by Facebook, LG has the LG 360 VR, Sony has the PlayStation VR, Razer has the OSVR, and HTC has the Vive.
There's also a plethora of lesser known OEMs creating their own hardware and all vying for your attention, while Google is reportedly working on its own, possibly Nexus branded, VR headset, and also developing Google Daydream as an Android-based VR platform for other OEMs to make use of (mirroring its smartphone business model). Arguably the two most successful devices to hit the market so far have been the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift.
It is still undoubtedly early days for VR, however, and some believe the medium is unlikely to hit any kind of maturity level to make it a "must-have" item (just like smartphones or major consoles such as the Xbox One and PS4) until at least 2020. But the momentum it has gained already clearly indicates it is here to stay, it is the future, and there's enough enthusiasm already that following the hardware manufacturer scramble to put out devices, there is now a developer scramble to create supporting software. A big chunk of the selection of games and applications available for VR devices released to date are in alpha or beta development stages, and many are available for free to try out ahead of their full launch. Others are using early-access models where you must buy the game at a reduced cost from its expected RRP on full release. Many more are also mere tech demo, proof-of-concept prototypes, and while a bunch of these are free this still doesn't stop some publishers charging you for the privilege. Still, paid or free, the point is there's already a bunch of cool software out there to feast your virtual eyes on.
So without further ado, here is KYM's list of VR games and fun applications you should probably try if you have a VR device. We will strive to keep this list fresh and updated as things develop over time.
This one's a bit different - in Hover Junkers you take the role of a scrap scavenger in a kind of post-apocalyptic wasteland. It's a multiplayer arena game and the idea is that the game observes the shape of your defined play area in your room, as picked up by the HTC Vive and designated during your setup process. This play area is your Hover Junker ship which is piloted around the game world, where you'll fight it out with other players using your pistols - during set up you can fortify your ship with physical objects that you need to duck behind for cover during your shoot-outs!Here's the blurb from Steam, where the game is priced at £26.99:
"Engage in multiplayer VR gunfights that capture real gun play like no FPS you've played before. Pilot and fortify Hover Junkers as you physically walk, duck, dodge and aim in cross ship combat."
The Thrill Of The Fight
As the name referencing the classic anthem "Eye Of The Tiger" suggests, The Thrill Of The Fight is a boxing simulator which allows you to get into the ring and slug it out against an opponent. At present it's an early-phase tech-demo with a training session and a single competitor to fight against. Also, right now you can punch and dodge, but not block like your opponent can. As with all indie development projects nothing is concrete, but we've seen talk of a bigger campaign/career mode, with the developer, "fyian", posting on Reddit. They said, "I'm hoping to add in somewhere around 16 opponents total, all with their own unique personalities and attacks."They also added that a blocking mechanic for the player is under consideration. There seems to be a lot of demand for multiplayer but fyian has stated that they think this would be difficult to implement. TTOTF is available as a demo download from the official site but can be found on Stea; it is currently compatible with the HTC Vive. fyian has mentioned that on a commercial release game may be priced at around $7.99.
Spell FighterSpell Fighter is another indie tech-demo developed by Kubold which places you in the role of a kind of quasi-medieval fantasy "witch hunter" type character, think Van Helsing or Solomon Kane. You start off in a village, but exploring will quickly reveal some gribbly zombies and skeletons to deal with. You can defend yourself with a variety of spells, swords, spears, bows, and guns, and also summoning minions. However, the real meat of the game is in venturing out further to find the source of the monster invasion!The game is available for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift and can be installed via Steam.
Raw DataRaw Data is one of the more polished VR gaming experiences we've seen so far. Developed by Servios, it's available as an early-access title on Steam for the HTC Vive. The game's main mode is a co-operative mission where you can team up with another player to defend a location from increasingly tough swarms of killer robots. There's a wide range of weapons on top of your starting pistol and katana sword combination (oh yes), including shotguns, machine guns, and even a bow with explosive arrows. The game also features a competetive "duel" multiplayer mode.
Lightblade VROk, it's called Lightblade VR because it's not an official LucasArts/LucasFilm Star Wars product, but to all intents and purposes Lightblade VR is a Lightsabre simulator. We'll clear something else up straight away too - it doesn't include duelling with enemies or other players, unfortunately - what it does offer though is a spot of Jedi training against one of those little laser shooting drones, just like Luke Skywalker in the first movie. The aim is to deflect the incoming blasts, and you can select a number of difficulty modes from Rookie to Legend. Or if you'd rather you can just piss about waving one or two Lightsabres around, which is really all we're interested in, right? You can even change the colour of each Lightsabre individually. Neat.And yes, it's another Vive game on Steam!
Note that an official Lightsabre game is in development: Trials On Tatooine.
Waltz Of The WizardWaltz Of The Wizard is another sandbox game that may appeal to any Harry Potter fans out there. You play a Wizard at home in his tower. Here you're able to concoct potions, discover and cast spells to alter yourself or the world around you, and explore and interact with both your tower and...other dimensions! This game is free on Steam!
Vanishing Realms is a somewhat cartoony action RPG in the vein of titles such as D&D, Zelda, and Diablo, but being unique for its VR control system. Go dungeon crawling in a 3D fantasy realm to fight skeletons and other monsters with swords, spells, and bows. Available on Steam for the HTC Vive as an early access title for £14.99 (visit the page for video).
Out Of Ammo
Out Of Ammo is a game developed by Dean Hall's (creator of DayZ) new studio RocketWerkz. It's still in development, but the game offers an interesting take on the Tower Defence genre where you are hovering over your base and able to assign soldiers, weapons, and resources to defend it. When things get manic, be prepared to lock-and-load, jumping into the first-person view of one of your soldier minions armed with assault rifles, sniper rifles, and machine gun emplacements. Compatible with the HTC Vive and priced at £14.99 on Steam."Four unique environments to try your skill on
- Construct defenses such as sandbags and watchtowers-Issue orders to your soldiers-Five different kinds of units each with special abilities-Possess any units directly to control their engagement-Call in artillery, airstrikes, and sniper targets-Fixed Machine guns, Grenades, and more"
Elite: DangerousNot so much a "VR game" per-se as it is an established mainstream title that was smartly developed with emerging VR in mind and has now been tweaked to allow compatibility with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Elite: Dangerous' persistent multiplayer universe of intergalactic trading, war, bounty hunting, and piracy is not for the feint-hearted, but who can resist the lure of piloting their own spaceship in glorious, immersive, VR 3D? And with graphics this good as well!
theBlu: Encounter by Wevr is one of those VR "experiences" which lets you see what it's like getting up close and personal with various types of sea life without the inconvenience of travel, breathing equipment, or getting wet. Whales, fish, jellyfish, and sea anemones are all present for you to ogle, or prod with your virtual fingers (yes they do react).
Universe Sandbox² Pretty much what it says on the tin - Universe Sandbox lets you mess around with the building blocks of astrophysics in the depths of space; create planets, suns, or whole galaxies, form nebulas, build beautiful starmaps and cosmic spacescapes. Or, if youre feeling destructive, smash everything together into supernovas, create the next Big Bang, or chuck it all into a black hole! The game is available via early access on Steam for $24.99/£18.99.
The ClimbYou might have noticed that many of the games in this list are available on the HTC Vive, while a few of them are on the Oculus Rift AND the HTC Vive; it's fair to say the Vive seems to have pretty much taken over as the dominant VR platform for now. However, there are some games out there that were developed for the Oculus Rift first, and which don't appear to have switched to the Vive just yet. The Climb is one such title, and as the name suggests it is a VR climbing simulator, allowing you to scale some impressive cliffs and natural structures in an immersive environment without the worry of actual death! The graphics on this game look amazing, and it's currently only available for the Oculus Rift via the Oculus store; be warned that the devs describe the experience as "intense" and also it's not cheap as VR games go, with a full-retail level price tag of £39.99. That said, it does appear to be a very thoroughly and profressionall developed title. Frankly, we'd be surprised if this game didn't get wider VR device support (including the Gear VR and Vive) at some point.
Zombie Training Simulator
The descriptively titled Zombie Training Simulator is, as expected, a simulator in which you train to fight zombies. Yes. The game has some very fun cartoony graphics similar in to Plants Vs Zombies. Players can choose from a range of different course types, including survival and various trick shooting events such as time trials. You'll start off next to a bench full of weapons, including shotguns, pistols, machine guns, assault rifles, and explosives, which unlock as you kill more and more zombies in the various modes. You can also take advantage of environmental hazards such as gas canisters or petrol cans, and even throw slabs of meat to distract the ravenous hordes temporarily. The zombies themselves are a sort of cardboard cut-out variety to emphasise the "training simulator" aspect (as well as presumably saving on animation time and system resources!). Available on Steam for £14.99 and compatible with the HTC Vive.
Bonus: Tilt Brush VRNot really a game, but it is fun to mess around with. Google's VR proof-of-concept Tilt Brush is a 3D VR painting and creativity suite that literally lets you create virtual 3D sculptures or paintings in a virtual space. Because it's a VR app you can paint and sculpt with all kinds of materials artists might only dream of being able to use - lava, light, rocky earth, fabrics, fire, even snow. Creations can also be set up to be location based, effectively turning your living room into a virtual gallery for your art as VR "installations" viewable when the headset is worn. You can also export your art in more traditonal still images or animated gifs for people who don't have VR.
9 Awesome Things You Can Experience For Free In India
India is a large and varied land. One of the few things that unite all of us is our quest for free and inexpensive things. No matter how affluent you are, freebies and discounts always attract you.
So, we have tried to create a list of few things that you can enjoy absolutely free of cost in your own country.
1. Read rare books at the National Library.
Image sourceThe National Library, Kolkata is the largest library in India. The library was opened for providing free assistance to needy students. You can enjoy the reading facilities of this iconic library, absolutely free of cost.
You can stay as long as you want and read as many books as you want.
2. Enjoy lip smacking food at the famous religious kitchens of India for free.
Image sourceIn India, there are many religious places that offer you great food without charging you a single penny. Places likethe Golden Temple, Amritsar, the Sri Sai Sansthan Prasadalaya, Shirdi and Jagannath Temple, Puri are just some of the places that offer delicious food absolutely free of cost.
3. Go to the India-Nepal border and visit a foreign land for free.
Image sourceWe all wish to go outside India, at least once but often the expenses becomes a major hindrance. Though we admit Nepal might not fulfill your definition of abroad but it still remains a foreign land which requires no entry fee.
4. Go the top of the Jama Masjid Minarets to enjoy the view of the city.
Image sourceAnybody who has been to the top of the Jama Masjid Minarets in Delhi would agree that it is an experience of a lifetime. Once you reach the top of the minaret, it actually feels like you can see the entire city.
It is one of the best things one can enjoy in Delhi, without spending a single penny.
5. Visit India’s only sanitary museum.
Image sourceThough the idea of visiting a sanitary museum might sound a little weird but trust me it is one of the unique experiences you will ever have. The museum is open 365 days and the Time magazine has rated it amongst the weirdest museums in the world.And you don’t even need to spend any extra bucks to visit this unique and exciting place.
6. Enjoy lip-smacking pakoda, chops and cutlets for free on Netaji’s bday.
Image sourceWell, believe it or not, there is actually a shop in north Kolkata known as the Laxmi Narayan Shaw and Sons, which serves its best items for free on Netaji’s birthday.
It is said that even Ramkrishna Paramhansa used to enjoy the ‘telebhajas’ from this shop.
7. Watch films for free at Film festivals.
Image sourceIf you want to enjoy a good film for free then film festivals are your place. In most of the film festivals that are held across India, they screen many films for which you do not need to pay a single rupee for the tickets.
8. Enjoy an exotic experience at Auroville in Puducherry.
Image sourceAnybody who has been to Puducherry would admit that it is one of the prettiest places in the country. You might be a little surprised to know that you can actually enjoy to entire stay in Pondicherry absolutely free.
All you need to do is contact the ashram and sign up with them and they would often provide you free accommodation and free food. Interestingly, that is not all, in Auroville, you can attend things like Yoga classes, film screenings, and most these stuff do not cost you any extra bucks.
9. Visit chocolate factories in Ooty and enjoy free chocolates.
Image sourceThere is hardly any place in India which as pretty and romantic as Ooty. This beautiful hill-station is not only famous for its scenery but also for its brilliant chocolates. Though you might find quite a few chocolate factories.
Not only can you visit these factories for free but most of these factories gives you a coupon that allows you to enjoy complimentary chocolates.
And you thought nothing is free in this world!
How Cricket can be even cooler sports than what it is now? What are the some of innovative ideas?
Look one can have plenty of cool ideas about Cricket, will ICC listen? Will every board members agree to that? The major power player is BCCI, now in country like ours where we don't like change, even ideas like T10Is for only Olympic games also get sidetracked. People of India are also not really comfortable with any change. One needs to push it to them, remember first T20I WC in SA, well before that tournament, BCCI wasn't ready to play by saying T20I was a joke, Indian people also kind of went with that as they follow most often our former cricketer say, fortunately BCCI voted out in the meeting, and rest is history. Now look at Indian public's craze with T20Is. Because Indian people most often don't know what they want. Ask most Indian about T10Is only for Olympic as even 3 hr of T20Is are long for Olympic, they will say they hate the ideas. They said same thing about T20Is as well. Actually the problems with Cricket are tradition and nostalgia and it's clash with this modern world. At certain points of time ICC and BCCI need to choose between keeping the old fans satisfied or creating completely new age fan base who weren't interested in cricket before by creating new version of Cricket which more interesting and eye catching than before for even those who doesn't have any ideas about Cricket before.
I mean look at old test cricket loving crowds in Australia and England. What will happen after 10 years from now, when most of them will be dead?
No one knows answer to this question.
First of all, if you look at world sports, glamour sells and it sells well in sports.
I mean anyone can see woman's tennis obvious popularity now, and it's sheer level of competitiveness, but is it always like this?
A big no
Glamour started to bring attention and money in the sports and then gradually women's tennis competitiveness hit the roof.
Some things similar could be done for women's Cricket. Conservative ideas won't help anyone here.
There should be a group in ICC whose prime job is to research on Cricket and build some new ideas to make it more interesting and innovative and exciting for the new crowds, they should research on Cricket to bring new kind of thinking to change the game forever, they should research why particular group of people in particular part of the world like particular game, what is the thinking behind that kind of mentality, how they could be interested in cricket, what general Cricket fans are thinking about the game, what they want, how they want game to change, maybe they should learn from other sports- what is working for other sports, bring that into Cricket etc etc etc etc etc etc
For test cricket:
Cricket specially test cricket is based on certain factors like patience etc where percentage of that happening from people are very low. Let's add to that 5 day long test cricket in today's day and age . And you get ignorance and ridiculing from people and even from those test playing nations. Test cricket lover always say that test cricket is like those traditional setar music whereas T20Is are more like hip hop.
But is it really???
Or is it more complex than that?
See people are very participatory nature in their core even though the whole concept of test cricket will drive away most people these days and that should be expected not to be surprised about but people end of days like to see their team is playing and participating and competing and competing hard even if the level of cricket is not exactly up to mark to the purist test cricket lovers.
What exactly my point here?
It's very simple.
Former cricketer always talk about balance between bat and ball , yet they never do anything about it pushing convention wisdom AKA with innovative thought process.
What is exactly going on now in limited over's cricket?
There's some invisible structure where 40% of matches are played on extremely flat surface and rest of 60% matches played on three types pitches - slow(20%), turning(20%), seaming(20%).
But in test cricket it is extremely opposite such as bowling favoured pitch since the perception is that limited over's cricket is only played on flat surface therefore test cricket should be played on bowling favoured pitch otherwise bowlers will disappear.
But it just different tone from the past era when test cricket was played on flat surface otherwise it is very same. It just two sides of a same coin.
While it is very hard to make test cricket viewers friendly in today's day and age. But one can try and do by pushing the conventional wisdom.
How is that possible?
Well first of all stop trying to pretend that test cricket is a simple game.
It is not. It is the most complex game in the world.
So rather than trying to be something that test cricket is not , I say test cricket should hold on to it's best attributes that it is a complex game therefore innovate rules from that point of view to make this game more multi dimensional and contest worthy in every single matches.
It should not matter which team is playing against which team.
Since pitch is such a big deal in test cricket , let's make rules based on according to every kind of pitch that a cricket game can offer.
This should be the job for match referee since most of the time they are not super busy in Cricket game. They should handle this complex responsibility of cricket rules with accordance to cricket pitch to bring out it's multi dimensional nature.
Situation no 1>
If the pitch is absolutely flat and nothing is happening allow the bowlers to push the envelope of conventional wisdom of cricket rules. Allow ball tampering to an certain extent to reverse swing the ball both ways and allow Spinners to bowl with illegal action to bring different varieties like dusra etc to cause problems for the batsman in a bowlers graveyard. There are lots of theory and calculation out there today which wasn't earlier to predict the pitch better than ever before so this should not be that hard for match referees.
Situation no 2>
If pitch is too slow and nothing is happening. Allow the bowlers to do exactly like in situation 1 but also make sure the boundary limit is ridiculously small(extremely small) to give a ‘kick start' advantage to test batsman to play more attacking cricket since most of them are devoid of great stroke making ability to suit the test cricket.
Situation no 3>
If pitch is seaming like in England or South Africa or in New Zealand, allow the boundary limit just like in situation 2 to favour the batsman to play more attacking cricket.
Situation no 4>
If pitch is turning like in Indian subcontinent, allow the boundary limit just like in situation 2&3 to favour the batsman to play more attacking cricket.
This will almost make sure that the percentage of draw become almost non existent.
This is a creative idea which you have the option to disagree with but remember something is always better than nothing and this will also make sure small teams to come into the game big way in test cricket and everyone, I mean everyone will have their opportunity to eat the pie and that of course include big teams.
But is it going to make test cricket very popular?
I don't think so.
Is it going to make better test cricket for everyone , I mean not just the big teams but even for the small teams- I believe so.
What do you think?
For ODIs :
What exactly do we want from ODIs, we want to see two teams are contesting hard inspite of their unequal power of strength as it should not matter which team is playing against which team. I have a solution for this, but a warning it will sound complicated so read carefully, truth is if you want to make Cricket matches one sided contest free then we don't have much options but the complicated ways as Cricket is designed to be one sided.
In ODIs a bowler's limitation is 10 overs, but there are circumstances when bowler is bowling superbly but in rest of the bowling line up, few are okay and few are having a off day. To counter this situation, one option is that best bowler from that day can bowl upto 20 overs or in another option two of the best from the rest can bowl 15 overs each and rest can bowl either remaining 30 overs or 20 overs with 10 overs limit respectively or as another option go back to traditional five bowlers 10 over max rule. The bowling captain needs to decide and let umpire know after the chosen bowler or bowlers finished their first 6 overs. When one team goes to bat they should have the option of having two batsman from the reserve bench replacing any two bowlers from playing XI, when they go to bowl everything will be the way it was before. In a similar bowling team will also have the option to choose two bowlers from reserve bench replacing two batsman and when the bowling team will go to bat things will be the way they were before. Four bouncers in a over should be another nice option. When a team is all out they should have the option of playing their XI again but with each batsman coming to bat, there will be 60 runs penalty cut off from the total and this will be considered 2nd innings of that particular batsman in that match (Only for the batting team as this will farther complicate it for the bowling stats, so bowlers don't need any second innings)[Remember this second innings options can be used any situation not just when team is all out, for example suppose Virat Kohli has got out early with this rule he can bat again anytime but with 60 runs extra to the total as it has been cut off from the total as penalty for using the second innings options, yeah now it sounds very interesting], stats and average will be working according to that. This new rule will make sure both team & comparatively weaker team stay in the match and it will be multiplying their strength there by reducing the percentage of one sided contest. Because ODIs go on for long time therefore one sided contest is killing it. I believe this is the best cure at the moment.
See the idea is very simple, let's have one team whose strength is 100 and another team whose strength is 10 and you will know that who is going to win even before the match and with above mentioned ideas both team's strength will be multiplied at least hundred times which means even though the stronger team will win most occasions but game will be very close contested therefore one dimensional nature free. This is what people are looking for from ODIs and Cricket.
So How do you like this idea which you have the option to disagree with but remember something is better than nothing and it just a creative thought end of the days. You can add if you have something.