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The ghost howls

A blog of virtual reality, startup and stuff

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reviews

Gorillaz’s Saturnz Barz 360 music video review

Some days ago I read an article on RoadToVR about Gorillaz’s latest video: Saturnz Barz (Spirit House). But why one of the most important sources of information about virtual reality has talked about a song? Well, because it is the 360 videos making the most views at his debut on Youtube.

Youtube 360 video view Saturnz Barz music
Stats about Saturnz Barz views, compared with other 360-videos on Youtube. As you can see, they outperformed all the others (Image by Youtube, taken on Road To VR)

I got curious about this, so I decided to give a look to this video using DeoVR. And well, my impressions are pretty mixed.
Continue reading “Gorillaz’s Saturnz Barz 360 music video review”

In.Block review: a nice 3D prototyping app for Oculus

In this period, an idea popped into my mind: why can’t I develop an app for fast 3d prototyping in VR? I know that there are cool drawing apps like Oculus Medium or Quill, with which awesome products have been made (fantastic Dear Angelica experience has all been made with Quill), but I wanted something really simple, really fast. Something like the Paint 3D of VR, with just cubes to sketch things in VR. As always happens when I have a great idea… well, it already exists.

The app is called In.Block and has been made by Run Dot Games. You can download it for free on the Oculus Store.

It is exactly as I thought it should be: a simple environment within VR, where using your Oculus Touch you can paint mega-voxels in space. Voxels can be of different colors and size. Stop. This is the simple concept of the app: draw cubes with your hands.

Continue reading “In.Block review: a nice 3D prototyping app for Oculus”

Transported review: visit the house of rich people in VR

Transported is a nice app on Oculus store that lets you take tours of awesome houses from all over the world. This has two purposes:

  • If you’re rich, you can take a tour of the house from wherever you are in the world and then decide if buying it.
  • If you’re poor, you can see how is it living in a big house and then cry in a corner. I belong to this group, of course.
Transported VR rich houses tour
Look at all these rich people stuff I’ll never have in my life!

Obviously the target of this app is the first category of people: buying a house is a very complicated process and you have to visit lots of houses to decide which one is the best one and this makes you lose a lot of time. I’ve friends that have just gone through all this process (not for millions-worth houses, unluckily) and this is just a nuisance. So, why don’t make all this better doing the tours in virtual reality? This is surely the idea that got the guys of Transported… an idea that is surely interesting. I’m sure that no virtual tour can substitute at the moment the action of going inside a house and feel how it is from the inside, but virtually one could go even to 100 houses in few time and then going actually in real life only to the 2-3 ones that seemed the most interesting. Continue reading “Transported review: visit the house of rich people in VR”

Ghost in The Shell VR experience review: I expected something better

I just tried Ghost in The Shell VR review on The Oculus Store. And I admit I’m a bit disappointed.

I’m not a huge fan of Ghost In The Shell (not because I don’t like it, but because I barely know what is it), but since I’ve friends fond of it and because this movie is having lots of attention by the media, I was very curious about its VR experience that was available on the Oculus Store. After having seen it, I can say that I liked it a bit… but I expected something more.

First of all, you have to know that there is not Scarlett Johansson in this experience. This is the first turndown: my dream was being next to her, at least in VR… but even this has been ruined. FFFFFF. So, if I had to give a score for this experience, I would start from -10 just because of this big issue :D.

In the experience (that is not a 360-video, it is a Computer Graphics VR short movie) you start on a skyscraper of a futuristic town and then you move forward until you reach the main character (the girl who is not Scarlett Johansson). Here you notice one of the problems of this experience, that you will feel all the time: motion sickness. Every scene makes you move forward and this is surely not comfortable, at least for newbie users. There is a reason why Ghost In The Shell has been flagged as “moderate” comfort on the Oculus Store. Continue reading “Ghost in The Shell VR experience review: I expected something better”

Freedom Locomotion System Review

I finally had the chance to try the super-praised Freedom Locomotion System by ZapTruder (or Huge Robot, as you prefer). Freedom Locomotion System is this new locomotion method invented by this Japanese guy, that works this way:

  • You stand in the VR experience (so, you’re not seated);
  • You use the VR controller that you hold in your hand to decide the direction you want to go. You do not decide this by pointing the controller, but by pointing simply a thumbstick on the controller with your thumb;
  • You walk in place to walk in virtual reality towards the direction that you specified at the previous point. The faster you walk-in-place, the faster you move in virtual reality.

Continue reading “Freedom Locomotion System Review”

Ashes To Ashes (VR short movie) review

Today I’ve seen a short VR movie: Ashes To Ashes. It is a movie made for VR by Dutch studio Submarine Channel, which has already won a gold prize at Dutch VR Awards. The video is accessible for free inside Jaunt App on lots of VR platforms (Oculus, Vive, etc..) .

The creators define it “a surreal tragicomedy in virtual reality about a dysfunctional family burdened with the bizarre final wish of their deceased grandfather”. Said shortly: a complete WTF in virtual reality 😀

The experience begins with the user immersed into water, like at the bottom of the sea (you’ll understand the sense of it at the end of the movie), with a girl looking at him from above the surface. I liked a lot this first scene because it grabs immediately the attention. It is super-original and makes you curious about the plot of the movie.

ashes to ashes vr movie review
The movie begins this way, with a little girl looking at you from above the surface… and the water waves distorting the visual of her face

Continue reading “Ashes To Ashes (VR short movie) review”

Just Relax (relaxation GearVR app) inter-review

I’ve been contacted by Paul, of Mostly Human Studios, to try his virtual reality relaxation tool: Just Relax. I was happy, because I’m super-stressed due to my startup life, so I just wanted to relax a bit. With DK2 I was a huge fan of Guided Meditation, so I was eager to try its app. But life is a b**ch and his app is not compatible with my phone (I’ve a Note 4 and the first GearVR… I feel so old) so I’ve not been able to try it.

So goodbye to my idea of a review and welcome to the idea of an interview. So I made Paul some questions about the Just Relax relaxation app and his experience in developing it. I found his answers very interesting… in a sense I’m more happy with this article than with a review 🙂 Continue reading “Just Relax (relaxation GearVR app) inter-review”

Sketchup Viewer for HoloLens review

Today I felt super-rich. It has been like the moment when I had the opportunity to take a lap inside a wonderful red Ferrari car thanks to EIA accelerator. I felt rich for some minutes and I looked at the other super-poor people envying me, like Paris Hilton looks at us standard people… and then after 3 minutes I was again Tony, the average poor guy :(. Today’s richness was due to the fact that I’ve been able to try Sketchup Viewer for HoloLens. Marketplace cost $1499,99.

I spent $0, of course. Thanks to epic university teacher Andrea Bottino (of Politechnic of Turin) and his right-wing Francesco Strada, I had a chance to try it and feel like Uncle Scrooge for some minutes. In ten minutes I’ve tried a $1500 app on a $3000 device: I’m like a gold-digger.

Anyway, I’m here to write my impressions about it. Continue reading “Sketchup Viewer for HoloLens review”

Monzo VR review: assembling model kits in VR is cool!

Some weeks ago I received an email from Madfinger Games that asked me to try their product MonzoVR. In the mail they defined their product in this way:

It’s called Monzo VR and it is something different than you might be used to.

It allows you to assemble and decorate a wide variety of models like animals, trucks, planes or even Da Vinci inventions.

It’s crazy, I know, but It’s also so cool to make all those things in ambient ZEN environments we prepared with LOVE.

I was perplexed… assemble models in VR? ZEN environments? LOVE?? What the hell are we talking about? A romantic adventure in ZEN environments when you assemble models with a girl you love?

As I always say, try something before judging it. So I downloaded the game and gave it a try on my Oculus Rift + Touch system (there’s also Gear VR version, if you’re interested).

When you launch MonzoVR, you find yourself inside a Japanese house (a Zen environment, as creators love to define it) and in front of you there is a table, with a model car box on it. A writing tells you to select the box to open it. This immediately got my curiosity… a box about a car model on a table… what are we going to do? Continue reading “Monzo VR review: assembling model kits in VR is cool!”

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