Is Virtual Reality Worth Your Money?

Two years ago, the new generation of VR glasses for home triggered a huge hype. However, they could not meet the big expectations: Too expensive, too immature and, above all, not enough attractive games. Where is the technology today? We are deeply immersed in it.

The good news: the industry has learned from teething problems. The manufacturers have adapted their hardware, the prices for VR headsets have dropped and new glasses are on the start. A lot has also happened with the software, there are more attractive titles today than two years ago: “Doom VFR” or “Fallout 4 VR” really boasted and really boosted the Christmas business with VR glasses.

Foreplay doesn’t turn on

The less good news: tangled cables. None of the glasses are working wirelessly yet, if you don’t want to trip over the cables at home, you have to put them on and take them off again and again. In addition, you spend a lot of time in the software settings: In order for the result to run optimally, a lot has to be optimized, which is quite complicated and frustrating depending on the system.

Another hurdle is the space requirement. Only the Playstation VR is designed for sitting and is frugal in this regard. But if you want to move around in the room (with the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift), you have to set up “Room Scale”, i.e. free at least 1.5 by 2 meters.

These preparations are not really a stimulating foreplay to get yourself in the VR mood. After all, you really earned the fun afterwards. Or better: Would have earned it. Because where there are only a few good vr game development there is also little fun to be earned.

That is the core problem of the current virtual world buried. Fortunately, there are exceptions. Here you are.

Car racing in VR is like a frenzy!

Cockpits are always good for a VR game because they minimize the risk of virtual reality sickness ─ at least if you don’t fly upside down in space in the cockpit, for example in «EVE: Valkyre VR».

In the car cockpit, the sense of balance is far less challenged, unless you lose your grip and fling off the track, which would also challenge the stomach area in reality.

Two full-blown racing games support VR in their latest offshoot. Firstly, “Project Cars 2”, a car racing game with the ambition of racing simulation. The makers have high demands to convey the driving experience as realistically as possible, and the VR glasses also help. “Project Cars 2” is not supported for the Playstation VR, it is said that you cannot guarantee a stable 60 FPS. For the PC version, however, the VR mode is fully available for the whole game.

The second racing game with integrated VR mode is «Gran Turismo Sport». Neither all routes nor the online mode are available there and there is only one opponent racing behind us on the racetrack. Nevertheless, racing with VR glasses is a lot of fun.

With a slight head movement you have the perfect overview in every curve, and you can feel the acceleration all over your body. Here the use of VR glasses really makes sense.

Surprise hits from the indie universe

Even in the indie game scene, the studios are busy trying out what they can do with this virtual reality. However, most VR indie titles with little content disappoint, which is also poorly implemented. We still found two titles that we liked:

Superhot VR

Superhot is a first person shooter that delivers what it promises because this game is really super hot! Time keeps running whenever we move. This works extremely well in virtual reality and so we move in the best matrix manner before the bullet fire of our opponents.

Superhot VR costs around 25 francs and is approved for ages 12 and up and runs on Playstation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality.

Polybius

This VR shooter is like a high. Polybius comes from a game design luminary famous for very fun games. On a dark background, glowing neon lines and retro pixels whiz around our ears, there is a cow mooing, here there is a modem noise and the finest 90s retro techno à la Underworld pulsates through everything.

Polybius costs around 20 francs, is approved for ages 12 and up and runs exclusively on Playstation VR.

Well adapted is half the battle!

With virtual reality, many players want to fulfill their dream of immersing themselves in their favorite games. That is why there are already some classics in a VR version on the market. However, this also poses many new problems for the makers, which they solve better and worse.

Doom VFR

“Doom” is a classic in the shooter genre. His makers know exactly how to ensure crazy action. The newest edition impresses with an enormous pace, besides you are always forced to fight on the front line and literally jump in the face of the monsters. The same applies to the VR version, in which you do not walk, but teleport yourself. The controls take some getting used to at first. But practice makes perfect and with a little skill you can virtually jump into the face of the zombies.

Doom VFR costs around 30 francs, is approved for ages 18 and up and runs on Playstation VR and HTC Vive.

Fallout 4 VR

Wandering through the wasteland for hours with full physical exertion is finally possible with “Fallout 4 VR”. You can choose how to get around. Either you push the controller forward, the virtual reality sickness is almost preprogrammed, or you teleport yourself from place to place. The controls are more complex than in any other game. However, if you control yourself, you will find your Pipboy on your left arm and hold a pistol in your right hand. As a Fallout fan, you can hardly ask for more.

Fallout 4 VR costs around CHF 65, is approved for ages 18 and up and runs on Playstation VR and HTC Vive.

Much remains to be done

The big problem is and remains the “crushing factor”: the stomach area begins to rebel again and again. Although you get used to virtual reality to a certain extent, this also means that the “VR wow feeling” that you still felt the first time becomes weaker and weaker.

Of course, even more has to be done with the hardware. New glasses have been announced. However, it is questionable whether they will bring the decisive breakthrough. Anyone hoping for the perfect VR feeling at home is well advised to be patient.

In the meantime, if you don’t have this strength, you can book a real “ VR wow experience ” with one of the VR providers who specialize in using VR technology outside your own four walls.

 

10 useful tips for developing apps

 

Not without reason, because the market for mobile applications and their use is growing rapidly. There is still a lot of potential here. Nevertheless, many people are not aware of which areas to consider. This article describes 10 tips for developing mobile apps.

Many founders and entrepreneurs are interested in creating mobile apps. Not without reason, because the market for mobile applications and their use is growing rapidly. There is still a lot of potential here. Nevertheless, many people are not aware of which areas to consider. This article describes 10 tips for developing apps.

  1. The conception

Many believe the concept is the most important part of creating a mobile application. Without a thorough elaboration of a conception, the subsequent steps make little sense. Questions like:

  • Who is the user?
  • What does the customer really need?
  • How do we create a high added value?
  • What do we have to do to keep the app on the smartphone and not delete it?

As part of the concept, it is advisable to write a specification. This can be done together with an experienced developer or agency. It also makes sense to involve the potential users from the beginning.

Some agencies create interactive PDFs before programming, which already displays the buttons and screens. This gives the user the ability to see the application before it is finished, so it can provide valuable feedback even before it starts programming.

  1. Mobile versus Native

Not all cases require a native app based on Android or iOS. If no device-specific functionalities are required, it is also possible to use browser-based applications based on HTML5.

The big advantage of this is that, once developed, they run on all devices. This reduces development costs immensely, as the native operating systems require programming separately for each one.

With online magazines, for example, HTML5 already provides the option of using the touch and memory functionalities of smartphones and tablets. However, if it needs functionalities, for example, a lot of processor capacity or the motion sensor (called gyroscope) use strong, then you should rely on native operating systems such as Android or iOS, as they are better tailored to these functions.

In terms of costs, programming for mobile browser solutions is much cheaper. However, you have to think long term here. Questions to ask in this context:

  • Will users be satisfied with the limited functionality that HTML5 or other browser-oriented solutions offer?
  • Will functionalities be required in the future that are not covered by HTML5 or similar solutions?
  • Is the application being developed very computationally intensive and does it require many hardware components?
  • Does it make sense to calculate higher costs, but to have long-term investment security?
  1. Less is more

The screens on mobile devices are small, so it often makes sense to focus only on the essentials. For example, the flirting app Tinder, which connects flirt partners in the simplest way, also proves to be successful with reduced functionalities.

Whether a reduction makes sense, however, should be weighed individually. In an online shop, this could even lead to competitive disadvantage; Higher functionality can help stand out from the competition.

  1. Planning in the long term

Usually not the full application is created, but a first prototype. Advantage: Only after receiving the first customer feedback, the app can be further expanded. This procedure has the advantage that it can be planned for the long term and extended at any time.

  1. Usability and Performance

Each application should be easy to handle for the user’s benefit. Therefore, sufficient time should be scheduled for the design of the user interface.

There are usability experts who can design such an easy handling before the whole thing goes into development. Even the potential user group can provide important feedback beforehand, which can be used to make further improvements to the workflow (also called Paper App Testing).

Also important: users today require storage and battery-saving applications on their mobile phone.

  1. Press and marketing

Marketing is underestimated. With so many different applications, it is no longer enough to have the best programming available today. It also needs a good marketing concept.

One way to pay close attention, with relatively little effort, is to collaborate with the press. There is currently much interest in reporting on the latest mobile applications. This can be used in marketing.

In order to get the necessary attention, it is particularly important to contact industry-related journalists. Every PR action should also be planned for the long term and be carried out by experienced staff. Press work should be top priority!

An exciting press release can also spark further interest. A matching PR kit will cover the following areas:

  • App name
  • Application Distinctive Features
  • Link to the Website
  • Link to the App Store Page
  • Screenshots of the main functionalities
  • If possible an explanatory video
  • Sales pitch or brief description
  • The press release, if available should be added to the short description in the email.
  • Free activation code, so that the journalist can use and rate the app in advance
  • Contact information
  • Links to the social media appearances

Other exciting areas in the marketing: App Store Optimization (the optimization of keywords in the app stores to positively influence the ranking), online banner advertising, Google AdWords, blogging & social media, contact and collaboration with the platform operators Google and Apple.

  1. Monetization

In addition to providing a new and groundbreaking user experience (user experience), monetization is also the focus of every founder. There are various approaches for this. The following are briefly described:

  • Paid Apps: The application can only be downloaded for a pre-paid amount. However, this only pays off if the application offers a very high added value and is tailored to a specific customer segment.
  • Free Applications: The goal with this form is to get as many downloads as possible. The users get to see advertisements from time to time. The operator receives a small amount for each click on this advertisement.
  • In-App Purchase: This is currently the best way to monetize mobile applications. The user can buy additional functionalities or levels in games. Mostly the initial program is provided free of charge. This increases the chances that the user will make the in-app purchases if they like the program.
  1. Legal

For larger projects, legal advice makes sense and has these contracts checked with third parties. Many programmers only pass on the rights to the application, but not to the source code. This can entail high follow-up costs. Therefore one should inform oneself in the beginning to the legal topics exactly.

An appropriate consultation can be found at lawyers specialized in IT law. They have the necessary knowledge from the areas of copyright, trademark law, contract law and many more to provide competent information to the future operator.

  1. Testing

The rating in the various stores is significantly influenced by the correct functioning of the application. Therefore, the app should be tested in advance by various groups.

  1. App Lifecycle

Programming the application is only one of many tasks. Areas such as marketing, maintenance and further development of programming are further very important components. One should already consider the different subareas in the conception phase.