The VR Job Hub: Vertigo Games, Wevr & Immersion

VR Job Hub

Every weekend VRFocus gathers together vacancies from across the virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) industry, in locations around the globe to help make finding that ideal job easier. Below is a selection of roles that are currently accepting applications across a number of disciplines, all within departments and companies that focus on immersive entertainment.

LocationCompanyRoleLink
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesSenior Gameplay EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesGameplay EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesSenior Software Engineer .NETClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesGraphics EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesVR Interaction Gameplay EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesAudio EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesNetworking EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesSenior Networking EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesSenior Automation EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesSenior AI EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesSoftware Quality EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesPerformance EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesSenior Physics EngineerClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesTechnical ArtistClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesVFX ArtistClick Here to Apply
Rotterdam, The NetherlandsVertigo GamesSenior AnimatorClick Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CAWeVRSenior Technical Designer (UE4)Click Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CAWeVRSenior Software EngineerClick Here to Apply
Warsaw, PolandImmersionGame UI ArtistClick Here to Apply
Warsaw, PolandImmersionGraphic DesignerClick Here to Apply

Don’t forget, if there wasn’t anything that took your fancy this week there’s always last week’s listings on The VR Job Hub to check as well.

If you are an employer looking for someone to fill an immersive technology related role – regardless of the industry – don’t forget you can send us the lowdown on the position and we’ll be sure to feature it in that following week’s feature. Details should be sent to Peter Graham (pgraham@vrfocus.com).

We’ll see you next week on VRFocus at the usual time of 3PM (UK) for another selection of jobs from around the world.

Gnomes & Goblins v1.2 Update Continues Gameplay Improvements

GNOMES & GOBLINS

When Wevr’s Gnomes & Goblins arrived back in September it didn’t quite live up to expectations for a number of reasons. Last month the team released an update focused on addressing the performance issues and now it’s launched a second, further smoothing performance whilst adding new gameplay features.

Gnomes and Goblins

When Gnomes & Goblins launched it was one of the most demanding virtual reality (VR) videogames, demanding an i7-9700K or higher, 32GB RAM and at least a GTX 2080. That no longer the case, dropping down the 16GB RAM and a GTX 1080. The new v1.2 update adds optimizations to the visual quality across the high, medium and low graphics settings.

There are the other performance enhancements:

  • Further improvements to particle systems’ performance
  • Reduced excessive VRAM usage to improve texture streaming
  • Reduced frequency and size of hitches caused by garbage collection
  • Reduced lightmap memory usage by forcing all LODs to share lightmaps
  • Fixed lightmap popping in LOW and MED graphics settings
  • Reduce muddiness of textures on LOW introduced in 1.1

As for the new gameplay features, Wevr has added a standard teleportation system to move around the forest – it won’t work moving between tree floor interiors. There are also new Art and Animation Galleries so you can see the designs that went into Gnomes & Goblin’s development. These galleries are accessed via the Quest Log once you’ve unlocked “Goblin Life” mode.

Gnomes and Goblins

Here’s the full gameplay changelog:

  • Added Teleport Traversal option accessible via options menu (Experimental!)
  • Added Art & Animation Galleries accessible via Quest Log portal after reaching Goblin Life
  • Added hint books to Goblin Life
  • Fixed light pop on on characters
  • Removed some props from where the bucket spawns
  • Fix audio being lost when game doesn’t have focus
  • Fix audio being lost after Gnome Maze
  • Converted items to incremental achievements so their progress is tracked
  • Achievement descriptions are no longer hidden

With these improvements, Gnomes & Goblins should be more accessible to players, or simply encouraging those who were disappointed with the initial release to come back and give the videogame another whirl. For further updates from Wevr, keep reading VRFocus.

Gnomes & Goblins Releases On Steam Four Years After Enchanting Preview

The full release of Gnomes & Goblins is now available to buy on Steam four years after a preview release.

The full Gnomes & Goblins experience launches for $29.99 from Wevr and Madison Wells Media Interactive with a main story that lasts less than an hour. G&G also requires a beefier PC than the one needed for Half-Life: Alyx. The minimum specification for G&G seeks 16 GB of RAM compared to 12 GB on Half-Life: Alyx, and G&G also requires fairly high end GPUs and CPUs as well.

“From the start of the project, G&G has been intended/designed as a high fidelity experience requiring a powerful GPU/CPU. The best experience is on a 2080+ desktop PC with an Index or Vive Pro,” WEVR co-founder Neville Spiteri explained in an email. “Video/Graphics settings can be set to High on a Recommended Spec machine, and Medium or Low setting for lower spec PCs.”

There’s also a mode that lets you explore the goblin village and collect things. I found the main story to be a delightful look into the village, the goblin culture, and their tension with the gnomes. A definite highlight was an incredibly relaxing ride down a creek listening to the goblins making music all around. The story was over extremely fast, however, and the collecting and exploration part of the game didn’t grab me afterward.

“The open world mode affords a very broad range of play styles and experiences,”  Spiteri explained. “The open world game loop involves layered interactions of farming, harvesting, and brewing, and an entire collection loop tied to Achievements. The average for open world mode is around 4 hours, but can take even longer for the core completionists.”

We haven’t spent enough time with Gnomes & Goblins to prepare a review just yet, but we wanted people who were intrigued by the free preview four years ago — which was pitched by Iron Man director Jon Favreau — to know what to expect from the paid release. The default movement system in G&G is smooth locomotion with snap turning enabled. There’s a virtual “Magic Eye” tool that allow for long-range teleport to different areas of the forest, and a “bump” mode “intended to simulate walking by tapping the A button” — but there’s no medium range teleportation option built into the game for those sensitive to simulator sickness.

‘Gnomes & Goblins’ Review – A Beautiful World Hiding an Inscrutable Game

Four years after the release of a preview of the game, Gnomes & Goblins is finally here. Pitched as a “fantasy adventure VR simulation” with direction by film director Jon Favreau, Gnomes & Goblins delivers a beautiful appetizer with a rotten main course.

Gnomes & Goblins Details:

Available On: Oculus PC, SteamVR, Viveport
Release Date: September 23rd, 2020
Developer: Wevr
Reviewed On: Valve Index

Gameplay

If you only played the first 45 minutes of Gnomes & Goblins, you’d probably walk away happy for the experience.

The game’s prologue drops players info a beautifully rendered woodland realm inhabited by little green goblins. To them, you’re a giant. But soon enough you’ll befriend one which will lead you around their little realm and introduce you to the others. And in short order you’ll be taken along a largely well directed, and at times, beautiful little journey. I won’t spoil anything, but it’s an effective little bit of world building that makes it feel like the goblins really live in the forest and that there’s some history to their world.

Photo by Road to VR

Having a little NPC to guide you around and point out things to do or look at is a smart way to direct the player’s attention. Throughout the prologue this works well; it’s done in such a way that the game needs no voice instruction or text instruction to help you figure out what you need to do.

It’s everything after the prologue—when the game turns you loose to explore the woodland realm without any guidance—where it all breaks down.

Image courtesy Wevr

After the 45 minutes of prologue, the game becomes part walking sim, part farming sim, and part scavenger hunt. And you’re left entirely on your own to figure out the game’s inscrutable mechanics. The result is several layers of frustration.

Gnomes & Goblins fails to clearly lay out a core gameplay loop or even an overarching goal for the player. There’s clearly something about farming and crafting brews—but it’s unclear as to why you’d want to do this, let alone how.

Gnomes & Goblins asks you to go scavenge hunting for things without first explaining what you are looking for or why. And when you do find the thing you’re looking for, there’s nothing interesting to do with it; you just touch it and it disappears in a flash. This is made worse by the fact that it’s never clear at a glance which objects in the world are interactive. There may be a table full of 50 books, but only one of the books can be interacted with.

See all these lovely objects? You can’t touch any of them. | Photo by Road to VR

It should have been a hint to the game’s developers that the necessary inclusion of an always-accessible ‘hint fairy’—which highlights through walls anything the player can interact with—might be a sign of a design issue.

I could go on any tell you about the game’s various issues with player direction—like the entirely unexplained inventory system, or the inexplicable teleporting stone, or the seemingly random disappearance and reappearance of a key player ability—but it’s easier just to tell you that it took a little over three hours for Gnomes & Goblins to frustrate me to the point of deciding I was done with the game.

Make no mistake. I’ve played and enjoyed many games where the player is given little information about how everything works, and ‘mechanical discovery’ actually brings a positive sense of ‘exploration’. If that’s what Gnomes & Goblins was going for, it unfortunately missed the forest for the trees.

The lack of clear direction was so detrimental to the experience that I actually thought maybe there was a intended to be a voice-over narration explaining what I should be doing but it had simply failed to play correctly.

Photo by Road to VR

It’s a shame that the game’s inscrutable gameplay kept me from wanting to come back, because the woodland realm of Gnomes & Goblins otherwise is a beautiful and mysterious one that would be a lovely backdrop for rich gameplay.

Immersion

Image courtesy Wevr

It’s hard to be immersed with poor gameplay direction, but putting that aside, Gnomes & Goblins does offer up a very pretty world that feels like you’ve been dropped into a richly illustrated storybook—assuming you have the PC to run it (more on performance in the Comfort section below).

Especially in the prologue, there’s strong world building that strikes a nice balance between subtlety and curiosity. There’s a feeling that the world is larger than just the slice that you’re standing in.

There’s some definite immersion breakers though. For one, the game always shows a silhouette of your VR controllers instead of hands or something more thematically appropriate like a wand. There’s also many areas in the game where you’ll be walking down a perfectly clear and open path only to be met by an invisible wall. You’ll also find yourself blocked by as little as blades of grass, such that you’ll need to find your way around to a dedicated path to reach a clearing that would otherwise take two steps through the grass.

One of the biggest immersion breakers is object interactions, or the lack thereof. Gnomes & Goblins is filled with hundreds and hundreds of detailed objects. Cups, plates, plants, berries, bags, flowers, seeds, books, tools, etc, etc, etc. But 95% of the objects in the game cannot be interacted with, and unless you’re constantly sharking the ‘hint fairy’, figuring out what objects are actually interactive (and therefore possibly useful) is purely trial and error.

Comfort

Gnomes & Goblins has some strange controls out of the gate. Luckily you can dive into the Options and quickly configure something sensible, as long as you can figure out the menu which uses a few non-standard terms.

As far as I was able to find, the game supports both smooth movement (controller and head based) and a sort of shift movement (called ‘Bump’), but the latter moved in such tiny increments that it seemed unusable. Seated and standing play are both supported.

Assuming you are ok with smooth movement, Gnomes & Goblins is mostly comfortable. There are times where sensitive players might find issue, like when moving at full speed through a tunnel, but you can always choose to walk slower to keep this more comfortable.

Pretty views are a welcomed reward after dealing with the game’s iffy ladders. | Photo by Road to VR

Climbing ladders is frustratingly slow, and climbing down them generally requires walking off of the virtual edge and then leaning down to grab the ladder and then pulling yourself down. It’s… awkward.

For a game with a friendly, fantasy atmosphere, Gnomes & Goblins is surprisingly demanding in terms of performance and has a Minimum Specification which is higher than even the Recommended Specification of most VR games. Even on my machine, which surpasses the game’s Minimum Specs but doesn’t quite make the Recommended Spec, I had to play on Low graphics settings to prevent constant, uncomfortable stuttering. That’s a shame because the game world looks so good that I often found myself temporarily switching to the High setting—just to see how the world looked—before switching back to Low so that I could play comfortably.

Recommended Spec Minimum Spec
OS Windows 10
Processor i7-9700K or equivalent i7-6700K or equivalent
Memory 32GB RAM 16GB RAM
Graphics GTX 2080 or equivalent GTX 1080 or equivalent
DirectX Version 11
Storage 35GB

The post ‘Gnomes & Goblins’ Review – A Beautiful World Hiding an Inscrutable Game appeared first on Road to VR.

Gnomes & Goblins Is Coming PC VR Headsets On September 23

Gnomes & Goblins is launching as a “multi-hour” experience for PC VR headsets later this month, more than four years after its intriguing enchanted VR forest debuted as a free preview.

A new trailer for the project shows off more of the world you’re likely to see in the project created by filmmaker Jon Favreau and director Jake Rowell. G&G is produced in partnership with MWM and Golem Creations four years after startup Wevr partnered with Favreau to debut the short VR project on Steam. Debuting early on as a free VR experience in 2016, lots of PC VR early adopters introduced themselves to the showcase of room-scale movement freedom in a magical forest, and the interactions you can have there with its mysterious inhabitants. G&G resurfaced earlier this year and is now scheduled to launch on September 23 for Steam, Oculus, and Viveport.

A press release announcing the release date promises “magic artifacts, mini-stories and mini-games interweaving adventure and endless exploration as players discover the underlying myth and mysterious goings-on in the enchanted world of G&G….and explore an enchanted forest world where interactions with the realm’s denizens shape the story’s evolution….Encounter goblin inhabitants, become part of their society, and save them from their foe. Freely roam the enchanted forest to discover deeper layers of their mysterious ways and reap the rewards of this magical world.”

Favreau said in a prepared statement: “I’m incredibly happy to see how Wevr has brought my original vision to life in virtual reality. From the earliest days of rough sketches and abstract concepts, Wevr’s entire team committed to fostering the kind of emotional connections that I believe will allow Gnomes & Goblins to occupy a special place in the hearts of players around the world. We worked hard to create the mood and feeling that Gnomes & Goblins is like a virtual theme-park ride, where magic and meaning are waiting around every corner.”

A small portion of G&G is being shown in connection with the 2020 Venice International Film Festival running through September 12.

We’re looking forward to seeing what the finished G&G project looks like later this month and will have impressions for you as soon as we can.

The VR Job Hub: Somnium Space, Wevr & Circuit Stream

VR Job Hub

Every weekend VRFocus gathers together vacancies from across the virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) industry, in locations around the globe to help make finding that ideal job easier. Below is a selection of roles that are currently accepting applications across a number of disciplines, all within departments and companies that focus on immersive entertainment.

LocationCompanyRoleLink
Prague, Czech Republic or remoteSomnium SpaceVR DeveloperClick Here to Apply
Prague, Czech Republic or remoteSomnium SpaceServer EngineerClick Here to Apply
Prague, Czech Republic or remoteSomnium SpaceBlockchain DeveloperClick Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CAWevrPart Time Community ManagerClick Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CAWevrEnvironment ArtistClick Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CAWevrSenior Technical Designer (UE4)Click Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CAWevrTechnical ArtistClick Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CAWevrSenior Software EngineerClick Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CAWevrBusiness Development InternClick Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CAWevrTechnical Designer/Artist Intern (UE4)Click Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CAWevrPSVR ProducerClick Here to Apply
Calgary, CanadaCircuit StreamNative Applications EngineerClick Here to Apply
RemoteCircuit StreamFull-Stack DeveloperClick Here to Apply

Don’t forget, if there wasn’t anything that took your fancy this week there’s always last week’s listings on The VR Job Hub to check as well.

If you are an employer looking for someone to fill an immersive technology related role – regardless of the industry – don’t forget you can send us the lowdown on the position and we’ll be sure to feature it in that following week’s feature. Details should be sent to Peter Graham (pgraham@vrfocus.com).

We’ll see you next week on VRFocus at the usual time of 3PM (UK) for another selection of jobs from around the world.

Gnomes & Goblins ‘Coming Soon’ After Years In Hibernation

Nearly four years after a small but charming preview project called Gnomes & Goblins appeared on Steam, WEVR is planning to release an expanded version later this year.

WEVR shared its latest trailer for Gnomes & Goblins with us for the UploadVR Summer Showcase, offering glimpses of this magical world only hinted at in 2016. You can see fields, rivers and congregations of creatures in new environments that may finally give us a deeper understanding of the relationship between the goblins and gnomes, as well as the world they inhabit.

The project was originally conceived in collaboration with Jon Favreau, the actor and director who has since gone on to incorporate virtual reality deep into the production of movies and TV show like The Lion King and The Mandalorian. In the case of the latter, it is no coincidence the now-famous “Baby Yoda” Star Wars character resembles the goblins in this earlier VR project. That’s because Favreau himself originally sketched the big ears and expressive eyes for WEVR’s Gnomes & Goblins. In other words, you might think of the cute character who reacts to your behavior, and picks up an acorn in this trailer, as a kind of proto-Baby Yoda.

Check out the new trailer here: 

WEVR is the studio behind theBlu — a project that started as one of the earliest demos for room-scale consumer VR while offering an up close encounter with a gigantic whale. More recently, that project was expanded and became an attraction at Dreamscape Immersive.

We’ll bring you details as we learn more about the expanded version of Gnomes & Goblins.

Check out every trailer, article, announcement, interview, and more from the UploadVR Showcase right here.

The post Gnomes & Goblins ‘Coming Soon’ After Years In Hibernation appeared first on UploadVR.

The VR Job Hub: inXile Entertainment, Wevr & PwC

It’s hot in the UK at the moment, a little too hot for some. Tempers can flare in the office, especially when the air-con stops working (never existed) or the fridge hasn’t been closed properly so the milk begins turning to cheese. When that final straw happens and it’s time to look for employment elsewhere you can be rest assured VRFocus’ VR Job Hub has got you covered.

Location Company Role Link
London, UK PwC Marketing Manager – Technology & Investments Team Click Here to Apply
London, UK PwC VR/AR Business Development Lead – Senior Manager Click Here to Apply
London, UK PwC VR/AR Unity Developer – Manager Click Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CA Wevr Character Rigger Click Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CA Wevr Senior Animator Click Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CA Wevr Senior Technical Designer (UE4) Click Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CA Wevr VR – VFX Artist Click Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CA Wevr Senior Software Engineer Click Here to Apply
Los Angeles, CA Wevr Game Tester b- Neuroscience Internship Click Here to Apply
Newport Beach, CA inXile Entertainment Senior Unreal 4 Multiplayer Engineer Click Here to Apply
Newport Beach, CA or New Orleans, LA inXile Entertainment Graphics Engineer Click Here to Apply
Newport Beach, CA or New Orleans, LA inXile Entertainment Senior Unreal 4 Engineer Click Here to Apply

Don’t forget, if there wasn’t anything that took your fancy this week there’s always last week’s listings on The VR Job Hub to check as well.

If you are an employer looking for someone to fill an immersive technology related role – regardless of the industry – don’t forget you can send us the lowdown on the position and we’ll be sure to feature it in that following week’s feature. Details should be sent to Peter Graham (pgraham@vrfocus.com).

We’ll see you next week on VRFocus at the usual time of 3PM (UK) for another selection of jobs from around the world.

Jon Favreau’s VR Adventure Gnomes & Goblins Might Not Be Dead

Iron Man director Jon Favreau just wrapped up work on the live-action remake of The Lion King. It looks like his next project could finally be a full version of Gnomes & Goblins.

This compelling VR experience released in preview form back in 2016. Favreau produced the piece alongside Wevr and Reality One. In it, you met a cutesy little gnome and eventually gained his trust as you explores his forest habitat. It was an amazing early example of character interaction in VR, and how captivating it could be. Two and half years on, though, we have heard a peep about the full version. Until today.

Wevr just suspiciously posted a link to the experience’s full webpage. The site itself still says ‘Coming Soon’, but its resurgence suggests we’ll be getting more news soon. The piece appears to have MWM Immersive and Golem Creations attached to it too. For now you can sign up to hear more about the project.

The timing certainly matches up. Favreau’s take on The Lion King released last week so hopefully he’s found a little time for this promising project. In fact, the director ended up using VR to film the Disney remake. His crew created a multiplayer VR game that helped them set the stage for the big screen.

It’ll be interesting to see how Gnomes & Goblins has developed with nearly three years of progress in the VR space since we last saw it. Could we perhaps see it launch on other VR platforms like Quest and PSVR? Perhaps we could see some experiments with Valve’s Index controllers?

The post Jon Favreau’s VR Adventure Gnomes & Goblins Might Not Be Dead appeared first on UploadVR.

Gnomes & Goblins Set to Make a Return

Those who’ve been following the virtual reality (VR) industry since at least 2016 may remember a beautiful looking title called Gnomes & Goblins, created by Wevr, MWM Immersive and Jon Favreau (director of films such as The Jungle Book and Iron Man). A free preview was released and then nothing, with the title seemingly dropped and never to return. Three years later, however, and Gnomes & Goblins has sprung back into life with a dedicated website appearing

Gnomes & Goblins

Wevr recently sent a teasing tweet linking to the website which lists one important piece of information ‘Coming Soon’. While that is a little ambiguous, the tweet and site point to a positive outlook for the interactive, story-driven videogame.

The site describes Gnomes & Goblins as a ‘fantasy adventure VR simulation’, were you can “Encounter inhabitants of a fantasy land, build a relationship with them, become part of their society, and save them from their foe.” The initial 2016 preview put you in the middle of a wooded area, allowing you to interact with a tree-dwelling resident. As it’s free on Steam and compatible with HTC Vive and Valve Index VRFocus recommends giving it a look.

“The appeal is to have somebody who is not a gamer and never had a VR experience, be able to enjoy this without feeling that they need to have a certain skillset, but we also don’t want it to be passive cinematic experience where people just sit and enjoy it like a ride,” says Favreau. “It needs to be something where you engage in the way that you would in life. It should feel like you’re developing a relationship with these characters.”

Gnomes & Goblins

As yet no new content has been shown, and while the concept was original back in 2016 the art of an interactive story has been well developed in 2019. The most notable of which is Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Serieswith the first episode released in May for Oculus Quest (followed by Oculus Rift/Rift S), plus new details unveiled last week.

Hopefully, more information will be released soon for Gnomes & Goblins. When that does happen, VRFocus will let you know.