Break a Leg Conjured onto Gear VR

apelab has today launched the full edition of Break a Leg on the Samsung Gear VR, a new virtual reality (VR) videogame which casts the player as an unfortunate magician. Available to download now, this final release version follows a preview chapter launched back in June of this year.

Break a Leg screenshot 1Who is the greatest magician of the universe? Harry Houdini? David Copperfield? Well, today it could become you: starting tonight, Samsung Gear VR owners can enter the enchanted world of Break a Leg and perform tricks like a true illusionist on Halloween Night.

Break a Leg is a VR experience inspired by the magic shows of the 19th Century. The videogame tells the tale of an unknown creature that has kidnapped you as part of a plan to unleash the ‘Ultimate Power of The Galaxy’. Only a human being can unleash its force by going through the ancient book of Stellar Tricks written by Houdini’s Great Great Aunt Maggie in person.

Using the new Samsung Controller as a wand players will perform iconic magic tricks such as “The Orange Tree”, “The Vanishing Assistant” or train your sleight of hand in Break a Leg’s second act, called “The Professor”.

“VR and theater are really close, it is all about acting. In Break a Leg you really are the actor on your own stage,” states Maria Beltran, CDO at apelab. “The game is also really funny, with strange and exotic creatures and great challenges, it is a total new world.”

Break a Leg screenshot 2apelab developed Break a Leg using their own SpatialStories software, which is currently taking on beta applications. This Unity plugin, currently in development as a full software title, allows developers to craft augmented reality (AR) or VR videogames and experiences without any prior coding knowledge. Users simply upload designs, convert them into interactive objects and assign to them predefined behaviors.

Break a Leg is now available to download from the Oculus Store, exclusively for Samsung Gear VR, priced at $5.99 USD/ £4.49 GBP. The official launch trailer for Break a Leg follows below and VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest from apelab.

AR Experience Ko’Ko’s Curse is an Interactive Ecological Fairy-tale

There have been a number of augmented reality (AR) apps come to market that explore the innovative use of the medium, but very few that intertwine a strong story element. Looking to change that is Apelab – the studio behind Dear VR title Break A Leg – which has just announced its latest project Ko’s Ko’s Curse.

Created using the developer’s real-time virtual environment creator SpacialStories and it Unity SDK, Ko’s Ko’s Curse is interactive fairy-tale aimed at teaching kids about the environment. 

“For the Hopi tribe, Ko’Ko the Burrowing Owl is the sacred God of Death. Commonly named the ‘Watcher of the Dark’, he protects the underworld, the seeds, and the plants,” the synopsis explians. “One day, a feather from Ko’Ko’s plumage is stolen and he is turned into a statue, causing the plants and trees to stop growing. The user has to find the feather and place it back on Ko’Ko before the last branch dies in the ancient forest.”

Ko'Ko's Curse screenshot 1

The story narrated by actor, activist and zen buddhist priest Peter Coyote, who said in a statement: “It’s exciting to be asked to play with a completely new media, a new way of telling stories. This is a fun beginning, but just as the man who invented television was not as free and fluid with it as his children, we all have to start somewhere and this is a great start, giving anyone with a cell phone the role of co-creator in storytelling.”

Ko’Ko’s Curse is the first of Apelab’s AR stories. It has been co-produced by the Digital Lab at the Swiss Television RTS and will be showcased at Future of Storytelling in New York City starting 4th October. Alongside the smartphone AR app, a special Hololens installation using a physical tree is being built by the props workshop will feature at the Geneva International Film Festival.

“Augmented Reality is fun, social, instantaneous and an excellent way to tell stories that feel magical. To make it truly work though, an AR experience needs to be thoroughly crafted. We use space, and make sure the environment reacts to the user because in the end the story is for him and he will need some kind of agency. We try to use all the tools that a smartphone can give you as the driver of the narrative. There is still a ton to be learned, we are at the beginning, and it’s also what’s exciting for us,” says Sylvain Joly, Creative Director at Apelab.

There’s no official release date yet for Ko’Ko’s Curse, when there is one VRFocus will let you know.

SpatialStories: Erstellung von AR- und VR-Inhalten ohne Vorkenntnisse

Das Unternehmen Apelab entwickelte im Kollaboration mit Technicolor das Tool SpatialStories für interessierte VR-Enthusiasten, die ohne Vorkenntnisse im Coding Inhalte für die VR erstellen möchten. Dieses ermöglicht die Erstellung und Anpassung von AR- und VR-Apps für Laien und Fortgeschrittene.

Eigenen AR- und VR-Apps mit SpatialStories

SpatialStories entstand in Zusammenarbeit durch das schweizer-amerikanische Unternehmen Apelab mit Technicolor. Das Tool ist kompatibel mit Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear VR und der HoloLens. Zudem soll es bald mit Apples ARKit und Google ARCore nutzbar sein.

Mit SpatialStories ist es möglich, auf einfache Weise AR- und VR-Projekte zu erstellen und zu bearbeiten. Dadurch sollen ambitionierte Entwickler und interessierte VR-Enthusiasten dank einem Unity-Addon interaktive Erfahrungen erstellen können.

Die entsprechenden Schritte haben die Entwickler zugänglich und intuitiv gestaltet. Der Anwender kann beispielsweise ein Objekt oder einen Charakter auswählen und diesen vorbestimmte Spezifikationen zuweisen. Dabei sind alle genutzten Objekte miteinander verbunden, wodurch Designer in der Lage sind, Sequenzen ablaufen zu lassen oder schnell Interaktionen testen können. Auch Apelabs nächstes Videospielprojekt Break a Leg entstand innerhalb weniger Monate mit dem Toolkit.


Der CTO und Co-Gründer von Apelab, Michael Martin, sagte dazu: „Unser Ziel war es, ein flexibles und intuitives Tool für Leute ohne Coding-Kenntnisse zu entwickeln, das schnell und einfach zu erlernen ist. Wenn wir für unser Videospielprojekt Break a Leg neue Funktionen benötigten, so entwarfen wir diese innerhalb des Tools. Schließlich testeten Personen, die nichts mit der Entwicklung zu tun hatten, unser Toolkit, um festzustellen, ob der Prozess auch wirklich einfach und unproblematisch funktioniert. Das traf vollkommen zu.“

Doch auch für Entwickler ist die Plattform sinnvoll, denn Programmierer können darin ihre eigenen Codes einbetten, während Designer diese für ihre Arbeit nutzen können. Zukünftig sollen weitere Funktionen hinzu kommen, wie beispielsweise eine AI, Spracherkennung und vieles mehr.

Zu Beginn des Jahres 2018 möchte Apelab zudem eine eigenständige Software namens SpatialStories Studio veröffentlichen. Mit dieser wird es Designern ermöglicht, interaktive Inhalte direkt innerhalb der AR- und VR-Umgebung zu erstellen.

(Quellen: VRFocus | SpatialStories)

Der Beitrag SpatialStories: Erstellung von AR- und VR-Inhalten ohne Vorkenntnisse zuerst gesehen auf VR∙Nerds. VR·Nerds am Werk!

Create VR and AR with No Experience in SpatialStories

apelab, a Swiss-American company, partnered with Technicolor to deliver SpatialStories earlier this year. A tool that will help optimise your virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications without coding, SpatialStories currently works for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and HoloLens, with support for Apple ARKit and Google ARCore coming soon.

Break a Leg headerSpatialStories is designed as an easy editing tool to create native VR and AR projects. With the Unity plugin, SpatialStories allows teams to create interactive experiences in a simple and accessible manner. The design and prototyping process is dramatically reduced, as can be seen in Break a Leg, apelab’s next videogame release, which was developed in only a couple of months using the toolkit.

SpatialStories allows users to select an object or a character and assign to it predetermined specifications. Everything is interdependent, enabling designers to craft a flow of actions and to quickly test interactions.

“We wanted a flexible and intuitive tool people without coding knowledge could master within a few days” says Michaël Martin, CTO and Co-Founder apelab. “It is really how we developed it. Whenever we needed a new function in Break a Leg, our game project, we created the appropriate tool. Everything was tested by non-developers, so we really worked hard to make the process as simple and smooth as possible for them. And we are improving it everyday!”

SpatialStories also allows for a gap to be bridged between team members without coding knowledge and experienced developers. The interactive interface helps creatives focus on the creative work while programmers can build their own code embedded into SpatialStories to build custom functionalities for the creative team to use.

ARKitapelab plan on adding new features to SpatialStories in the coming months. As stated above, support for ARKit and ARCore is on the way, but also AI, voice recognition and machine learning are technologies currently being researched for incorporation.

“We’re building a future where computers seamlessly fit in our lives, designing digital worlds that fit seamlessly over the physical world. SpatialStories is an important tool that will let today’s storytellers build the stories, movies and games of the future,” said Timoni West, Head of Authoring Tools at Unitylabs, who recently joined apelab’s advisory board.

Early next year, apelab will release SpatialStories Studio, a standalone software through which designers and creatives will conceive and build interactive content directly within a VR or AR environment. VRFocus will continue to keep you updated with all the latest details on SpatialStories.

Apelab and Technicolour Team For Development of VR and AR Content

The Technicolour Experience Center and Apelab are partnering together in order to make the future of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) content even easier to achieve for new developers, with the launch of SpatialStories, a full production suite for VR and AR content. Hopefully this will ease more curious content creators into the world of VR and AR development.

SpatialStories is being launched to make VR and AR development creator-friendly, aiding the creation of both VR and AR content for a variety of head-mount displays (HMDs).

Brian Frager is the Lead VR and AR producer at the Technicolor Experience Center, and he believes education on VR and AR is the way forward; “A large part of the Technicolor Experience Center’s mission is to educate the community on this brave new world of immersive media.”

Frager continues; “In order to thrive, VR and AR must have a wide diversity of voices contributing content and pushing the boundaries of creative possibility. We are thrilled to partner with apelab on their SpatialStories platform because it promises to democratize interactive content creation and make these tools accessible to anyone with a story to tell.”

Apelab’s SpatialStories SDK is available now for Unity and offers a simple interface that eases VR and AR content creation. Using it you can create VR and AR apps from within your HMD – removing the boundaries that usually hamper VR and AR development.

Developers interested in the SpatialStories suite and SDK should head on over to their website.

For more on the latest in VR and AR creation tools, be sure to stick with VRFocus.