Destinations: Public Lobbies and More

September 21 - Lawrence

Today we are adding Public Lobbies to Destinations. Now it’s even easier to meet with players around the world and explore Destinations together in VR. In addition, we are shipping more default Destinations, props, and tutorials for players to dig into and learn from.

Public Lobbies
Join players from around the world with the new Public Lobbies feature. Meet new people, customize your avatar, and interact with physics props. Make new friends and add them as Steam friends from inside of Destinations. All players can create a public lobby from any Destination on the Steam Workshop - simply select "Create Lobby" from the Social panel and it will show up in the public lobby list.

New Content
In addition, we are adding three new Destinations to the default set of shipped Destinations: photogrammetry of the Valve office lobby, La Pedrera in Barcelona, and Arcade Toss, a multiplayer game built in Destinations. We are also including a set of new props, a new avatar, and new hand gestures. Some of these items are locked by default though – you will need to explore different Destinations in order to unlock each unique prop. (Prop and hand gesture support is only available for players with motion controllers)

More Examples and Documentation
To accompany the new content, we’ve added two new articles to the Destinations Wiki. One is an extensive tutorial on indoor photogrammetry which walks through the creation of the Valve Lobby Destination. The other document shows how scripting was used with Destinations in order to create the Arcade Toss Destination. All of the content assets for Arcade Toss will be shipped with this update as well.

We’ve been very excited to see the great content that creators have continued to upload. 120 Destinations have been uploaded to date, allowing players to visit 10 different countries. In addition there are numerous Destinations that depict game settings and other fictional places. A few notable mentions: mkhamra for his beautiful photogrammetry captures of Jordan, ToitagL for his capture of South Corsica, peppels for his capture of his Studio Room, and Rectus for his Beach Sunset Destination.

Destinations is compatible with any HMD that is supported by OpenVR, including the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. It is available for free on Steam, and you can get it here.

Update Update Update

September 13 - Chet

When we discuss business with VR developers on what works in VR, we tell them the same things that works in 2D games. Make a good game, price it right, listen to your community and update, update, update.

The cycle of update, feedback, update is an important one in the development of a game. Today with Space Pirate Trainer’s massive update we are seeing that again. Already one of the most popular VR titles on Steam, today’s massive update paired with a 3-day sale at 25% off, will introduce even more players to the game and give existing players more competition on the leader boards.

Other titles that have been doing significant updates that you might want to go back and reconsider if you haven’t already picked them up:

Out of Ammo
Out of Ammo started with the rough outline of its gameplay and world and continued to refine both with every one of its updates and now RocketWerkz actually has its release candidate available to play now. If you didn’t try it when it first came out – it has changed! Jump in, play, and give feedback.

Cloudlands VR Minigolf
Futuretown wasn’t content with just bug-fixes but months after release have come out with a course editor update. Their workshop already has over 200 courses created and shared! Still not sure? They also have a demo available.

Vanishing Realms
There are significant updates and then there are massive updates – Indimo just released a massive update on its RPG that had already been met with Overwhelmingly Positive reviews. It just keeps getting better.

Pool Nation VR
How do you update a pool game that already nailed the playing pool part of the game? Cherry Pop Games added darts, skreeball, and air hockey. How did they choose those games? They asked the community and they answered. A great loop of update, feedback, update, feedback.

Raw Data
When Survios‘s Raw Data jumped to #1 on the Steam Charts with their release into Early Access you might think that was it – mission accomplished. Their work was done. Far from it. They continue regular updates adding content, fixing bugs, and regular events with the community.

Hover Junkers
Stress Level Zero didn’t let early success go to their heads, they continue updating Hover Junkers regularly. Not only did they add a co-op mode, just last week they added new weapons.

This list could continue for pages. We see games like Battledome, Pierhead Arcade, BigScreen, Rec Room, and more keep updating, getting feedback, and updating again. So make sure to go back and check out earlier titles to see if they tickle your fancy now… and if we missed listing your favorite update – list it below.

Funhouse of Mods

September 1 - Chet

With today’s update, NVIDIA VR Funhouse supports mods and Steam Workshop. What does this mean?

On the player side, just visit the workshop page, subscribe to one of the mods, and start playing new experiences. NVIDIA was even nice enough to create 5 mods to get you started while you wait for the community additions.

On the dev side, you can download Unreal and the Funhouse Mod kit (the kit is available inside the Epic game launcher). This kit works with the freely available Unreal engine and is all you need to get modding.

If you want to take it further, you can even access the full VR Funhouse source code from Github, and build your own game. If you get something serious up and running, make sure to let us know about it – visit here to find out how to get your VR game published on Steam.

Diamonds in the Rough

August 26 - Chet

One of the interesting problems of virtual reality for developers is trying to describe the games being created. For players it is the flip side; trying to understand what to play from a video or screenshot.

The just released Galaxy Golf is a good example of this. It is a golf game, on tiny planets, with no clubs, just aiming, gravity, and obstacles. Sound fun? It is. The second you start it up and aim your first shot your brain gets it, it is a fun puzzle game in the cloak of a golf game.

And Galaxy Golf is one of the more understandable titles. What about the work of Isaac Cohen? What is L U N E? I describe it as trying to setup a musical tent in the rain. If that doesn’t motivate you to try it – well… just try it or his more game-like work Blarp! That is unless you don’t like cool trippy things…

Then there is Battle Dome. A competitive shooter where you paint the ground to own teleportation areas as you battle for position in a gunfight - or something like that. The art isn’t going to win any awards but again, it needs no instructions almost because once you are in it - you get it.

The list continues, in HoloBall why are you protecting a car? Does it matter? In #SelfieTennis you move by jumping up and down on your toy horse? What!?!?

These make experiences like Rec Room (a virtual reality social club) or Audioshield (block orbs to the beat) seem easy to understand in comparison.

With over 500 VR titles on Steam, what is hiding out there you want other people to experience?

New Bundle!

August 12 - christen

Starting today, when you buy an HTC Vive you will receive a Steam code for The Gallery, Tilt Brush, and Zombie Training Simulator.