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WTF Happened June 2024

Mon, 01 Jul 2024, by Syrsly

This is the third recap post, affectionately titled "WTF Happened," so hey, Syrsly here! This is a monthly news post of sorts. I'll use these recaps to briefly cover cool, exciting and also not-so-good and downright terrible events which happened in and around the past month. I'll cover things like world news, movies, TV shows, tech, VR, personal projects (like this blog), cool game releases, and anything I find out during the month that I personally think is worth mentioning. I ask around on social media toward the end of each month for ideas, and I may or may not steal credit for the news I place here! I will cite references when it suits me! Moving on....

In the first two WTF Happened articles, I separated news into categories. I think this was a mistake, because it adds unnecessary effort trying to make everything fit into broad categories and makes it too easy to focus on one type of news when the whole point is to recap everything noteworthy! What do you mean, "Stop screaming"? Well, let's change things up. From now on, this blog series will start with something good - at least something I *think* is good - alternate between good and bad news, and end with something else that's good!

At the start of June, Ikea brought jobs to Roblox. I was just disappointed they didn't use VRChat for this. Potential applicants had until June 16th to get in on this promotional gig. You can still check out the promotion and game material at the promo site,

In the usual Twitter/X fashion, a feature of the site was scaled down for little reason and everyone just had to be cool with it. I am of course talking about the likes becoming private. For those in the future and the rare person who never used Twitter and is living under a rock, likes were public info for the life of this social media platform up to this point. There were a lot of funny reactions, but the biggest highlight for me was that Mark Hamill was making it his mission to oppose the private likes by announcing every since tweet he likes with another tweet. This all happened around my birthday, so "happeh burfdeh to meh," I guess!

Valve started rolling out changes to their shopping cart system to support private purchases so nobody knows you bought that questionable game.... I can't say this matters much to me, but it's a nice feature to have since Steam allows adult games on the platform. I'm unsure at this time when the feature will be officially live for everyone, but they're had the ability to mark games in your library as private for months now.

Discord also had a rather important and long-time-coming update. Discord finally added support for PS5 voice chat: "Starting today, you'll be able to join a Discord call directly from your PlayStation 5 console - no mobile app needed!"
- Discord Update June 20, 2024.

Mid-June, I was still heavily invested in the Deadlink game, and I managed to get past wave 50 of the endless "Extant Existance" mode with the highest diffficulty character class, the Juggernaut. The reward for this was pretty disappointing, but it was a fun challenge. If you haven't checked out Deadlink and are looking for a new single player shooter with tons of replay value, it's worth a look.

Cyan, developer and publisher of Myst and Obduction, released the Riven (sequel to Myst) remake this month! I was a big fan of Riven in my formative years, so this was a day one must-buy for me. Highly recommend grabbing it during the launch discount and grabbing the original Riven with it since the bundle is cheaper than just the new game.

I managed to 100% the game in less than 2 days and did most of it live. 100%'ing this game took me about 14 hours without a proper guide. It was great fun to figure out, but the game was overall a bit tame and disappointing in the end. I found a lot of the changes were taking the lazy way out. The dumbed down the wrong parts of the game and didn't utilize FMV like the original, which to me was a mistake. The classic version of Riven is still my fave, but this remake is still pretty decent.

Logo card for Metal Hellsinger VRSome other new game/demo releases to be excited about include Metal Hellsinger VR (demo), Fumes (demo), Conscript (demo), Light Reforged (free), and a meme game, StreamerBeater. Okay, maybe skip that last one. I haven't had a chance to play VR recently and therefor also haven't tried the Metal Hellsinger VR demo, but I loved the non-VR version of the game, and I'm a big fan of the rhythm shooter genre.

Fumes' demo is absurdly long and extremely grindy and already has Steam achievements! It may as well be an early access title. The demo is pretty fun, and I love the concept. I just hope the full game adds a lot more customization and more challenges and more achievements.

VRChat reduced their staff by 30% and made one of those image tweets which were kind of popularized by the Unity exodus last year. Here's a link to the announcement: link.

The mixed reality team at LIV is hiring Unreal devs and also made a pretty big partnership announcement. They're in a multiyear partnership with Meta!

It remains unclear what this means for the mixed reality studio tool/app, LIV Mixed Reality. However, it should be a promising future for the team. They started publicly seeking Unreal devs for the team yesterday.

If you haven't seen LIV's app in action, don't be too sure. I used LIV quite regularly for many years when Beat Saber blew up. It had a mod for Beat Saber that let your chatters place bombs in your beat maps dynamically in realtime with the chatters' names on the bombs. That wasn't even advertised as a feature, which was crazy. LIV provided a SDK for other games to use their mixed reality effects for the purpose of providing a more viewer-friendly way to show off virtual reality games and apps. Tilt Brush in mixed reality was a treat as well.

Remember Neos VR? It kinda died a slow death over the years, and Resonite kinda replaced it. Tahvo on Twitter/X presented something I thought was really promising today: a hover racing level with custom hover cars! I've not had a chance to check Resonite out yet, but the more I see of its offerings and really chill community, the more I really want to check it out. Here's the tweet/post.

All this social VR news makes me think back to when I had eye tracking on the Vive Pro Eye and thought it was amazing but then nothing used it outside of Neos.

Inseye Lumi attached to a Quest 2.

Inseye Lumi is aiming to make eye tracking easier to get and more standardized across all headsets, which should help solve the problem of software adoption. I hope it gets traction, because eye tracking is extremely important for social VR as well as realtime mocap and could one day truly help performance with foviated rendering, like how the PSVR2 already does things! Source: UploadVR

It wouldn't be the news recap without some depressingly stupid, political news, and of course, Donald Trump is at the center of all of it. I'm just stealing this tagline from a blog post, because I can't be bothered to spin it any other way: "The Supreme Court has ruled for the first time that former presidents have broad immunity from criminal prosecution for official acts, extending the delay in the Washington criminal case against ex-President Donald Trump." Source: Associated Press News

The story of our nation, of course, continues on and on as the days go by, and it's not something I can do justice with a mention in this recap article. I, for one, will not turn into a politics major and will only cover such nonsense as a small part of the news recap. If you'd like to stay in-the-loop regularly, go to my linked sources and consider using an aggregator like Grounded News #notsponsored

In game dev news, we have a few new Unity assets I think are worth highlighting: Crest Water 5, The Visual Engine, Retarget Pro, and a new Miami Beach scene by Art Equilibrium. Crest ocean water system has always been one of my favorite ocean systems for Unity, and Crest 5 is looking to finally bring something to Unity to rival Unreal's water offerings! For example, it has a "shallow water" extension that gives you sim-like fill-in effects which would help a ton for beach scenes... wink. The Visual Engine is a new redesigned version of Vegetation Engine, which was becoming about way more than just vegetation. Retarget Pro looks pretty promising for what it is, and it should help keep you competitive with Unreal devs if you're going for advanced character animation. The beach scene, well, it's just amazing, like all of this author's work.

I'm getting older and more fragile and want to get back into ergonomic hardware to protect my well-being. I recently got a cheap ergo mouse from Temu and it got me hooked on the idea of getting a full ergo setup going for my work station. Looking for a really lightweight ergonomic mouse? Try this one by Anker! It's bound to be better than what I got, which was the Dareu LM138, but I got mine real cheap, so it's fiiiiiine.

Okay! That is all I got for the third "WTF Happened" post. I'll see you all again in a month!

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