Craft World’s Hypergrid International Expo starts Friday

HIE Welcome Center. (Image courtesy Hypergrid International Expo.).

This year’s Hypergrid International Expo kicks off at 11 a.m. Pacific Time on Friday, October 6 at the HIE’s Auditorium in Craft World grid, featuring an opening party with music from Zoree Jupiter at 11 a.m., Arianna Nightfire at 1 p.m., and Forest Azure at 10 p.m. Pacific Time.

“The three artists will bring us an international mix of songs on a unique music stage built by Nyx Breen with a sort of crosswords in all languages theme,” Thirza Ember, one of the planning committee members, told Hypergrid Business. 

The event, which showcases the diversity and various cultures in OpenSim, will run through Saturday and Sunday, September 8. It is open to all hypergrid visitors and will be broadcast live on the HIE YouTube channel.

The hypergrid event attracts exhibitions, artists, and speakers from all around OpenSim. Please see the full schedule on this link.

The main activities will take place on Saturday and Sunday starting from 9 a.m. Pacific Time. Three different sessions are planned each day — two sessions dedicated to talks in the normal conference format and the other session to artistic displays.

The teleports to the different regions are located at the Welcome region of Craft World grid.

The hypergrid address is Welcome.

The hypergrid address to the auditorium is 4.

Addresses to the other areas dedicated to the event are 2 and 3.  

Craft World is an ideal place to host the event because the different language groups needed for the event are already operational there, it is a popular grid, and many of the presenters already have avatars on the grid, said Thirza Ember in an interview.

Exhibitions, art, music, and speakers from around OpenSim

HIE Auditorium. (Image courtesy HIE.).

This year’s event features over 70 exhibition booths covering three OpenSim regions and showcasing work from different people around OpenSim, including grid and region owners and OpenSim creators and artists. The exhibitions will take place at the Expo Park next to the Auditorium region. Different exhibitors will tell the story of their grids and regions, advertise their grids and regions with textures and using personalized booths or by providing their web page links at the booths, showcase any projects they have, and give away freebies, souvenirs, note cards, and other items which are usually in full perm.

Art performances and music will take place at the Auditorium — which consists of four sims — including four art performances by Range Darkstone, Lampithaler Artist, CapCat Ragu, Tosha Tyran, and Cherry Manga.

This year’s event speakers are drawn from different OpenSim grids, including Craft World, OSGrid, Pangea Grid, CreaNovale, and SV3D. They will address a range of topics and issues from the experience of living in OpenSim to technical tricks with scripts. HIE streams the audio using Discord so as to be heard across region boundaries. You can find the presentation subtitles in-world through the HIE groups.

Presentations in five languages

Speakers at the HIE event give their presentations in five languages — French, German, Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish — unlike the OpenSim Community Conference where all presenters speak English.

However, the audience in the HIE does not need to know the languages in which the speakers are presenting because they can follow all of the presentations through subtitles in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. By allowing for presentations in languages other than English, the event will give a chance to people who want to make presentations in those languages and also embrace cultural variations in language and other things.

The event is organized by Mal Burns, James Atlloud, Kelso Uxlay, Tosha Tyran, and Thirza Ember. However, there are other volunteers, including the streaming and filming team, translators team, booth makers, admins, greeters, speakers, planning committee, and performers.

Immersed Cancels Cheaper 2.5K Visor As 96% Chose The 4K Model

Immersed canceled the cheaper 2.5K per eye model of Visor.

Visor was announced in August as an ultra-compact productivity headset with OLED microdisplays, inside-out tracking, HD color passthrough, hand tracking, and eye tracking set to release in 2024 with support for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Immersed says it has a compute puck with a battery, can support support a wireless monitor streaming mode, and has integrated inside-out tracking.

Immersed currently offers a free app for Meta Quest, Vive Focus 3, and Pico 4 that shows your PC monitors in VR and lets you spawn entirely virtual extra monitors, for up to 5 monitors in total. Visor is meant to be a dedicated device with streamlined software designed around this use case rather than a generalized headset for an ecosystem of applications. Visor is described by Immersed as a "strategic collaboration" with Qualcomm for the device, Intel for the PC functionality, as well as an "undisclosed AR/VR tech giant" that will be revealed later this year.

Immersed claims the headset is built for "all day" comfort, is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and weighs less than a typical smartphone.

Concept of Visor's software experience.

Two weeks ago Immersed opened "fully refundable deposits" for two models of Visor, one with 2.5K per eye OLED microdisplays (similar to Bigscreen Beyond) for $500 and another with 4K per eye OLED microdisplays (similar to Apple Vision Pro) for $750.

But the startup now says it will no longer build the 2.5K model, as 96% of people opted for the 4K per eye model. According to the company, those who opted for 2.5K will be "emailed a special offer, or are welcome to refund altogether".

Like Bigscreen Beyond, Visor promises to be custom built to match the lens spacing to each buyer's interpupillary distance. Immersed said in its document announcing the pricing plans that, once you scan your face, the deposit will generally no longer be refundable.

VR MMORPG Ilysia Targets Early Access This Month On Quest & Steam

Ilysia, the upcoming VR MMORPG, targets an early access launch this month.

Developed by Team 21, Ilysia first appeared three years ago after a successful Kickstarter campaign, promising open world exploration and adventure across the titular world as you explore hidden ruins and dungeons. Following recent beta tests, Ilysia will receive new zones, races and tutorials, brand new starting areas and "tons of bug fixes." On Discord, Team21 confirmed the early release will reach Quest and Steam.

While Ilysia calls itself "the first true MMORPG built for VR" on its Steam page, OrbusVR: Reborn and Zenith: The Last City means this isn't the first MMO we have seen in this space. During our Ilysia interview last year, Team 21 touched upon the Zenith comparisons, telling us "we’ve always seen Zenith as Final Fantasy 14 to our World of Warcraft.”

Ilysia targets an early access release this month on the Meta Quest platform and SteamVR. UploadVR reached out to Team21 to confirm current plans for additional platforms, and we will update this article if we learn more.

PowerWash Simulator VR Reaches Quest This November

PowerWash Simulator VR cleans up a release date, arriving next month on Quest.

Revealed during June's Meta Quest Gaming Showcase pre-show, PowerWash Simulator VR can be played solo or in co-op multiplayer and also introduces some VR-specific features. Publisher nDreams confirms you can select outfits and equipment from the back of the PowerWash van, alongside quick nozzle changes through a new tool belt.

In our hands-on PowerWash Simulator VR preview at Summer Game Fest, we came away impressed by FuturLab's upcoming adaptation. Featuring all base game content from the original flatscreen edition with over 40 levels, we believed the VR version has parity with the console and PC versions while adding "some clever tweaks to the core gameplay loop."

PowerWash Simulator VR arrives on Quest 2, Quest Pro and Quest 3 on November 2. Pre-orders are now live and all early adopters will receive an in-game pair of exclusive cat-themed gloves at launch.

Power Wash Simulator VR Looks Set To Overcome The Pressure
Ahead of release later this year, we’ve gone hands-on with PowerWash Simulator VR. The good news? It looks like it’s going to overcome the pressure:

Valve Hires Creator Behind Popular ‘Half-Life: Alyx’ Mod

Like many of Valve’s best titles, Half-Life: Alyx (2020) is a lot more moddable than your average game, which for PC VR headset owners means hundreds of new modes, missions, and mini-games. Now one of the HLA’s most talented modders announced they’ve been snapped up by Valve.

Nate Grove was responsible for two of the best HLA campaign-style mods, Incursion and Re-Education—both of which are uncannily Valve-like in pacing, setting… everything.

Grove says in a tweet that “a HUGE contributing factor to my hire was my work on my Workshop items Re-Education and Incursion. It was a dream for me (and many others) to work at Valve and I think this highlights the importance of supporting integration of community work into any game. It only makes the product (and the industry) stronger.”

While clearly a capable modder of one of the best VR games to date, Grove is no gaming industry neophyte. Now a level designer and artist at Valve, Grove comes to the company from Annapurna Interactive, which is known for publishing award-winning titles such as Outer Wilds, Stray, and What Remains of Edith Finch. Grove also created custom assets for both HLA mods, which is probably par for the course for someone who’s already spent nearly a decade as a professional digital artist and environmental designer.

What does this mean for Valve, VR and everything? It’s too early to speculate, since the company is by nature a black box that only occasionally sneaks possible hints about upcoming headsets in SteamVR updates. In fact, Grove says the announcement above was their “last post here” on X, formerly Twitter.

If it makes you feel better though, you can always comment “Half-Life 3 confirmed” in the comments.

Former Oculus CTO John Carmack 'Unconvinced' By Mixed Reality In VR Headsets

Meta's going all in on mixed reality with Quest 3, but former Oculus CTO John Carmack remains unconvinced.

We've known for months about Meta's MR ambitions with Quest 3, and last week at Connect offered a closer look at these ambitions. But it wasn't long before Carmack, who left Meta last December and has outlined the need for "instant VR", aired concerns about the MR focus. Without mentioning Quest 3, Carmack states MR has "lots of niche training" cases but doubts mass-market potential.

Here is the full statement:

I remain unconvinced that mixed reality applications are any kind of an engine for increasing headset sales. High quality pass through is great, but I just don’t see applications built around integrating rendering with your real world environment as any kind of a killer app. I consider it interesting and challenging technology looking for a justification.
The power of VR is to replace your environment with something much better, not to hang a virtual screen in your real environment. In all the highly produced videos demonstrating the MR future, the environments are always stylish, clean, and spacious. That is not representative of the real world user base.
There is certainly some value in the efforts, but I have always thought there was much more low hanging fruit to be grabbed first.

Carmack isn't writing off MR completely, later clarifying his intent. “[I'm] talking about MR apps on todays headsets — the mythical all day wear AR glasses will be a bigger deal if they ever exist at an affordable price," the former CTO adds. He also calls passthrough "very valuable when it is instant, intuitive, and high resolution" but doesn't believe the “apps interacting with your environment" pitch has the general value needed for a short-term headset.

Connect revealed how strongly Quest 3 is pushing mixed reality. Showcasing the upcoming headset's various MR and VR games, Meta announced over "100+ new and upgraded titles" are coming to Quest 3 with over 50 previously released games receiving upgrades and MR features. You can learn more about Quest 3 with our eyes-in impressions and our full Quest 3 specs breakdown.

Quest 3 Eyes-In Impressions & Technical Analysis From Meta Connect
Read our detailed hands-on impressions of Quest 3 from Meta Connect, including the comfort, lenses, graphics, and passthrough mixed reality:

Neos VR Successor 'Resonite' Hits Steam Early Access This Week

Resonite brings a Neos VR successor to PC VR, offering a "novel digital universe" on Steam Early Access this week.

Developed by Yellow Dog Man Studios, Resonite is a new social VR platform from Neos VR's former lead developer, Tomáš “Frooxius” Mariančík. "Whether you resonate with people around the world in a casual conversation, playing games and socializing or you riff off each other when creating anything from art to programming complex games, you'll find your place here," states the Steam page.

Announced nearly two weeks ago, Resonite follows a longstanding dispute between the Neos VR development team and publisher Solirax's CEO, Karel Hulec, which saw Mariančík resign in late April. In a joint statement on Discord last month, the development team saw mass resignations after negotiations between both parties fell through, stating "we no longer see a path to successful reconciliation."

As for Resonite, the team calls this launch "the beginning of this new digital universe" and explained its current plans through a Patreon statement:

We reached a point where we are confident that major issues will be sorted out and we’d generally prefer not to make all of you wait longer and delay the launch. There will still probably be some bumps, but we’ll smooth them out as time goes. We’re very excited to open the new platform and experience our work. We have a lot more for store in you as well coming in the future.

Resonite arrives on PC VR through Steam Early Access on October 6.