Virtual Reality Gaming. Has it Arrived?

Virtual Reality was new to the market in 2016. But now has it come of age in 2017?

Virtual Reality, VR, AR, Headset, Tech, Games, Gaming,

At GDC in 2016, one, Patrick Walker peeped into the future to predict what is now occurring, see link below. He indicated the huge investment in VR of over a billion dollars in 2015/16 and this got a lot of game developers interested. But is it possible to prise the market away from the big boys? Probably not? Just look at the 2017 best selling VR games with games from Rockstar, Epic, Impulse Gear and Capcom all with big titles and new iterations of popular franchises in VR.

2016 VR hype shifts to reality thanks in no small measure to PSVR. It’s got good immersion and is now accessible widely and buy to entry is cheaper than rivals. PSVR has at the moment first to market advantage and will be an entry point for early adopters of VR.
All the big players want in and interesting to see the situation today as a gold rush. Suffice to say you need deep pockets to enter this market. Walker provides insightful market analysis on the non-VR gamers and their expectancy on the price of entry with just about 50% unwilling to pay over $350 for the kit. So unit price must drop to attract a critical mass.

Price is everything

He points to the price problem of upgrading your hardware to handle the VR. Understandably if PSVR can do this without it using a unique console it makes sense. So it transpires the players need deep pockets as well. What’s new?
He outlines the product providers with marketing stats research reviewing their ability to compete and how they are seen. These stats are from the time of his talk but are still very pertinent today.

Let’s look at a few VR providers.  HTC Vive (Steam VR) – Thought of as expensive with average content availability. Oculus Rift Considered expensive with not too many games. PSVR is cheaper with a good bank of content. Viewing the VR game charts of today ( Feb 2017) the game content for all platforms has increased considerably as developers are trying for first to market advantage, with whichever system prevails. So there is more choice on all systems.

In Nov 2016 the Walker said the market was saturated but predicted more of the same with new entrants waiting for VR to become financially viable for their brand. Again it’s a balancing act between console or PC with consoles being preferable. A disadvantage for non-console VR is that the system requirements for VR are expensive because VR requires high refresh rates pushed to two displays, it’s going to be fairly demanding.

Below are the recommended system requirements for the Oculus Rift, which are likely fairly similar to what you’ll need to support Steam VR. — NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater— Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater— 8GB+ RAM— Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output— 2x USB 3.0 ports— Windows 7 SP1 or newer.

What the players think

Reviewing VR games by existing or potential customers seem to highlight that gamers value user review as opposed to price, unlike mobile games. Logical really as the entry point into VR is so high that gamers expect to pay a premium price for a premium experience.
Other stats that were interesting is the correlation between VR user score and minutes playing which is not indicative of popularity, unlike other platforms, maybe because of the sea sick syndrome? However, retention is a good indicator and it is marked by players returning again and again. So varied metrics for VR games should be used to assess their popularity.

Walker gave some predictions regarding new entrants to the race, some of which has come to pass. He is also predicting Facebook and Apple entering the market and the technology advancing rapidly. He also sees Microsoft having an interest specifically in Augmented Reality or AR, seeing it as the preferable experience in the future.       But judging by todays parameters, he thinks mobile and social VR seem to provide the biggest potential for future growth. Walker provided a good overview of the market which is still in flux as we speak but consolidating by the day. As a marketer of games, I found it very informative and advise you to watch the virtual space.

VR talk VR focus Nov 2016 Watch it here
Patrick Walker EEDARTrack / Format Games & Entertainment Overview
http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1023900/Data-and-Insights-in-the

Advergaming, Branded Games and Marketing Games

Games Irish Digital Marketing

Advergaming, branded games, marketing games as part of the marketing mix are increasingly making their presence known world wide. This kind of marketing connects with the consumer in a fun but casual way, on all types of devices, but primarily on mobile devices. It seeks to provide positive experiences for the players or players, this in turn reflects on the specific brand or product connected to the game. Consumers are introduced to the brand or product in a positive and exciting way using this medium. They will learn about the brand and have a pleasant recollection of the experience via the games.

The usual array of internet marketing options like banners, pop ups, have their place; however they can be easily blocked by savvy consumers. Advergaming provides an effective and more interactive method way to engage with consumers. People increasingly use the mobile phone as their primary touch point with the internet. We feel its inevitable that marketing through these devices will become crucial to the successful placement of products or brands. Gaming has expanded its reach to beyond the traditional male audience. It is now a popular entertainment activity with the general public, with games now played equally by male and female players. Increasingly your customers as casual users can connect to play games on their mobile devices or phones.

Advergaming is not considered intrusive and can lead to positive social and viral marketing of your product. One great innovation in the online gaming area is the use of web gaming and HTML5. This allows cross platform game activity, working on all devices. You can play anywhere and even use devices interchangeably. Imagine starting the game on the train to work and finishing it on your PC in work (at lunchtime of course).

At Fierce Fun we provide full advergaming, branded and marketing gaming solutions. We can create a complete branded games solution for your business. Because the process includes building a storyboard visual,  you are fully involved in designing your own game. Also our developers and animators create a digital emulation using critical data on potential user flow. This will ensure you get a highly effective marketing solution, in addition to a great game. This approach can transform your brand and move your products to a new audience. So if you want to take advantage of the marketing potential of online gaming in the Irish, UK or European markets, please contact us.

ADVERGAMING

http://www.warc.com/News/Default.aspx?ID=34948

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advertising_in_video_games

 

 

 

 

 

Fierce Fun at CoderDojo Coolest Project Dublin 2016

CoderDojo Coolest Projects 2016 was so special! Our games Terminus and QuizTimeTrivia were a big success with the little Ninjas CoderDojos!

They were playing and giving us their feedback all the time!

We are working on Terminus game so keep up with us for more news and the free preview version!

But the most popular with the adults was Quiz Time Trivia, it is a generational thing. Check it out freeplayhttp://fiercefun.com/quiz-time-trivia/

Here are a few more snaps of the CoderDojo Coolest Projects in Dublin: see the full album here

CoderDojo Fierce Fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bespoke Custom Games for business – Works every time.

As the gaming community has known for a long time, a game is not just about winning or losing, its far more important than that. Games are increasing in complexity all the time and are now firmly rooted in our everyday lives. Recent daily news reports about the invasion of PokemonGO players to such diverse locations as The White House to Ayers Rock, causing mayhem in their wake, are proof of this. To ignore the power of games to influence people and create market share would be a mistake for business especially those involved in building their brand. The future of marketing is complex and apps and games are a very useful vehicle and tool to drive business forward. This is not surprising to us at Fierce Fun, but what does surprise us, is the amount of companies both large and small, that are completely unaware of the marketing potential a bespoke game can have to their bottom line. Not only do games have the power to influence our lives but they are a powerful force for marketing and in the area of education and learning.

capture5

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Connacht on a Rugby Rampage

connacht-rugby

The fates often conspire to challenge us and confuse us. When the three sister from Greek legend, (that represent the fates), attended the birth of professional Irish rugby in Connacht you would wonder what they had in mind? One sister spins the thread the other allots the fate and the other makes it unturnable. Well Connacht seem to have unravelled the thread and turned it around as only they can do in this wild western province. After all this is the place of other famous fighters who made their own luck such as Queen Maeve and the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley. In Connacht people dictate their own fate and Connacht Rugby, proved this as they went on a spectacular rugby rampage in the Guinness Pro 12 championship this year. Defeating all comers and trouncing their old rivals Leinster in the final. They went on to win the Guinness Pro12 title in Murrayfield, Scotland proving you never can write off Connacht rugby.

Curious then back in 2003, the IRFU were all set to do just that, disband Connacht after the team hit financial difficulties and seemed to lose every three matches in four. The IRFU backed down but not out of love for the team or the west. It was primarily a device to prop up the other three provinces, that is using Connacht as a feeder province for the more successful Munster, Leinster and Ulster teams. But Connacht was having none of it, with steady resolve and a young strong team they decided to fight their way back. In 2006 they restored team belief by defeating Glasgow Warriors again in their first season in the Heineken Cup a heartening win against Toulon seems to have created a mystique about Connacht rugby as potential giant killers. Big teams were wary of Connacht, they were capable of unleashing a rugby rampage on the game and turning over the odd giant or two.

Up and under, the relentless rugby rampage of Connacht had not yet hit its peak in the mid noughties. It took time and patience for Connacht to reveal their great intention, that they were were not just there to make up the numbers, they intended to win. An able defeat of the multi million euro team Toulouse in 2013, shocked the rugby pundits and delivered a message to the european rugby elite, Connacht represent a clear and present danger do not underestimate them. This seems to have worked in the team’s favour as all comers give them their best game, and this has honed the Connacht from mere, also rans, to champions.

Todays captain John Muldoon started his professional career, during this turmoil in 2003 at Connacht Rugby, as did many of his team mates. They collectively learned through adversity, and like a phoenix rising from the ashes they flew the only way allowed them, upward. Helped by the inspired vision of the team’s coaches, led by Kiwi legend Pat Lam, and former Ireland international player and local Galway lad, Eric Elwood and Nigel Carolan (Academy manager) they have supported and seeded young talented players bringing us the champions we see today.

The good people of Connacht can thank this talented bunch for keeping the west’s honour intact, and causing the western rugby rampage that we have all enjoyed over the last few months, long may it last.

Connacht Rugby

Generation Z and Social Media

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In a recent U.S. college survey by Fluent marketing and insights, conducted in March 2016, students between the ages of 17-24, (a.k.a. Gen Z)  were asked about the social media platforms they use most. The results are not surprising with Facebook getting a resounding, 67%, Snapchat at 51% and Instagram at 50%. Predictably the Snapchat phenomenon is continuing unabated with the steady rise of this platform worrying the Facebook executives.  33% of respondent stated they have increased usage of Snapchat and no major increase in the use of  Facebook.

However, it was found that Facebook retains its dominant position in the social media sphere, being the favoured platform for friends, family, and brands. But the findings indicate it needs to keep evolving if it is to keep its position as the default social media platform of choice. Snapchat and Instagram appear to be used by Gen Z for tighter close-knit friendships or groups.

The survey’s most interesting findings revealed what the platforms are being primarily used for.  

Facebook is the Daddy. Primarily being used for general digital profiles and regarded as necessary. Regarding advertising on Facebook, respondents indicated they preferred display ads as opposed to news feed ads. Despite Facebook heavily promoting  video lately, respondents still favour using specific video platforms like You Tube.

Snapchat & Instagram: The good buddy platforms. These platforms are used several times a day by the respondents and are used to communicate with close friends and their campus community. They are open to ads on these platforms if they are brief and not pretending to be content which is perceived as disingenuous.  

YouTube & Pinterest are brand central. Respondents follow brands and celebrities on all channels, but they seem to favour interaction with  brands on Youtube and Pinterest. They also like following celebrities on these platforms. Twitter is also popular for following celebs. Respondents expect  ads on these platforms, as they seem more brand oriented.  Adverts that service a need or address issues they care about are usually clicked on. The quality of visual content in Snapchat and You Tube, promote repeat visits, in contrast,  branded stories or celebrity endorsements do not engage respondent enough to buy a product.

Time is of the essence, but video is king.   Most respondents (74%) spend more than two hours a day on social media with just under half  (44%)  spending more than four hours a day. Video is popular on all platforms with You Tube, as expected being the top provider. Two-thirds of respondent watch up to two hours of video a day for entertainment, this may happen over several visits during this time. Unusually live streaming video conversation were not as popular as these figures would suggest, with in-person contact being the preferred method of communication.

 

QuizTime Trivia has landed – Try it free on Android now


Fierce Fun Apps

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.quiztimetrivia&hl=en

Download URL  http://fiercefun.com/quiztime_download/download.html

Video  https://youtu.be/qD3wZNSuUo8

QuizTime Trivia Rapid Fire Fast Paced Quiz

Quizzes, like University Challenge, Trivial Pursuit, Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, have been tricking us with trivia, puzzling us with puzzles and probing our knowledge on the most obscure topics you can find, and we never grow tired of it. The fact is we love it. But why?  Quizzes are not new, they are the age old test of acquired knowledge. Well here at Fierce Fun we want to offer something new to the genre, with our new generation trivia sensation, QuizTime Trivia. It offers the player endless trivia quiz fun and is the fastest game online to test your trivia knowledge. If you are a fan of trivia quiz games and want to test your knowledge? Then look no further and try this, it never gets dull.

The Quiz reflects the highest form of human achievement.

So why is the quiz, such an essential part of the human condition?  People are natural exhibitionists and posers when it comes to what they know (or think they know) and seek the validation of their intellect by their peers. This is our basic competitive nature and is one of our unique human traits. I see the quiz and quizzes in general as the zenith of human development and it is a key ingredient in what separates us from the animals.

Some say that our ability to manage fire, speak, develop agriculture, write, and cooperate are the benchmarks for human evolution. These are indeed great achievements. But I say the quiz is our greatest. One of the most important human achievements is the pursuit of knowledge and the retrieval of it when needed. This along with our imagination, which we may use to create scenarios for our challenges is unique to humans, and has allowed us to make sense of our world and find answers to all the problems that assail us as a species.

 Origins of the Quiz

So what is the origin of the Quiz? Testing of ability has always been a feature of human society. The testing of knowledge, was common in early civilisations as far apart as Ancient Egypt in the Mediterranean to the Han dynasty in China.Most ancient societies offered education to certain members of the populace and passing tests of knowledge was a way of advancing yourself in society, just as it is today. Testing and examination through the ages came under a variety of names but the term quiz is relatively new. The use of the word Quiz for an intelligence test was first recorded in mid 19th century, when first used as a verb for interrogate. Later in that century it came to mean what it does today, i.e. an entertainment based on a testing of someone’s knowledge.

Earlier uses of the word conveyed that of an odd or eccentric person, as used by the English novelist, Fanny Burney  in a diary entry by her in 1782. The most interesting origin theory of the word is a Dublin tall tale, whereby the Impresario Richard Daly, bet he could introduce an unknown and nonsensical word to the English language and let the public decide its meaning within 48 hours. He had people graffiti the word all over the city and in two days it was the talk of the town and entered the English language. Whether or not the meaning was agreed upon by the Dubliners of the day is unclear but the meaning eventually evolved into the Quiz, we understand today.

Change of use.

How has the quiz changed over the years. Initially a parlor games for the middle classes it eventually gained respectability, when it was used as the basis for the IQ test. Intelligence Quotient or IQ as we more commonly know it, was devised to measure the ratio of the mental age of a person to their actual age. This was carried out by what came to be known as Mensa. Also known as the international high IQ society, Mensa, provide a forum for people of high intelligence, as judged by their quiz or test, to become members and to show off to each other, seriously, they do.

So the quiz had attracted the super brainy people. Mensa was set up in 1946 and was advertised as a club for those with high IQ’s, no dummies need apply. It was was set up by a British psychologist named Cyril Burt. The problem with Burt was that he was a eugenicist, meaning he believed intelligence was hereditary and that society could enhance the human race by allowing the brightest and best to breed. Eugenics had it roots in the selective breeding movements, popular at the time in Germany and Sweden. So is that why he set up this social club? For the intelligentsia to copulate? Possibly, but the interbreeding of the ruling Royal families of Europe over centuries, never produced one Einstein. So the evidence suggests it is codswallop. Mensa now say they are a social club of intelligent friends.

So dont worry if you cannot get into Mensa, all intelligence can be learned and help is at hand with QuizTime Trivia. This quiz is ready to take your brain on a rapidly moving roller coaster ride of unparallelled dimensions. You will be examined on your knowledge of, news, sports, music ,films, history, science, celebrities and much more. There are 150 levels of ultra fast rapid fire rounds. You will have to react with speed dexterity and wit, and every level you climb will get just a little bit more difficult. QuizTime Trivia takes no prisoners. Survive this and a Mensa test will be a walk in the park. Now you too can show off, take on the Bag Man in QuizTime Trivia.

When you reach the top level in QuizTime Trivia you too will believe, the Quiz is the highest form of human achievement.

 

The Olympic Gamers and E-sports

The Olympic Gamers

2016_summer_olympics

The Olympics games for gamers is near at hand my friends. Not a separate Olympic Games but the actual one. Remember you heard it first here at FierceFun.Com. While Game developers like us at Fierce Fun have tried to emulate the excitement of live sports with our ground breaking animations and technology, check out our Rugby Rampage game, by the way. We never thought that the games themselves could become a sporting competition. But then when one thinks of it. Why not? Many seemingly strange pursuits have become Olympics sports over the years of its existence. I was surprised to see the following being regarded as feats of herculean effort.

Walking, I mean come on almost everyone, fortunate enough to have full use of their legs can walk, how is that a sport? Trampoline jumping, that’s just fun, so very dubious in my eyes. Synchronised swimming, hard yes, but a sport? I don’t think so. Roller Hockey, like ice hockey, but on wheels. Sounds a bit contrived. Live Pigeon Shooting, now that’s just wrong, at least us gamers only shoot at pixels. And what about this extended list which I will try not to pick apart as their combined silliness speaks for itself, Obstacle swimming, Tug of War, Le Canne (cane fencing), Club swinging, and Beach Volleyball. Oh sorry my mistake Beach Volleyball is actually very acceptable in my eyes.

Ok so anything can potentially become an Olympic sport with the right amount of money and pressure, I imagine. So next thing we need to do is explore the concept of the Gamer as an Athlete. Athletes are normally ultra-healthy. They need perseverance, fitness, stamina, single mindedness and determination. In fact athletes seem to be the complete opposite of gamers. Are not gamers anaemic, obese, house bound nerds that cannot even get up to make food, hence the need for copious amounts of take outs, which compounds the problem with regard to fitness. Well not necessarily. Gamers come in all shapes and sizes these days. The demographic has changed. “People of all ages play video games. There is no longer a ‘stereotype game player,’ but instead a game player could be your grandparent, your boss, or even your professor.” —Jason Allaire, Ph.D., Psychology, North Carolina State University and co-director of the Gains through Gaming Lab. In fact research has shown there is nearly an equal split in gender terms with today’s gamers. Yes guys the fairer sex likes gaming just like you do.

Okay, after discounting the stereotype view of gamers, let us look at the facts – Gamers do possess stamina as anyone who has done a 24 hour marathon session of gaming would know. In my case it was, GTA followed by HALO 4 then a few hours of Assassin's Creed. Gamers are dedicated for the same reason as athletes. They have determination to win at all odds, they are definitely single minded and with regard to fitness they may possess a unique dexterity and hand to eye coordination that is unique to their game playing. In other words they are very fit for performing in the gamer’s world or fit for purpose.

E-sports – As far back as 2015 E-sport has been sowing the seeds for its inclusion at some level in the Olympics games of the future. Initially a South Korean idea, this was an initiative brought about by their highly evolved E-sports network, the South Korean International e-Sports Federation (IeSF). But the critical event that points to E-sports becoming more mainstream is that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has agreed to look at the idea of competitive e gaming as a sporting activity. This is monumental, we all know how EA and other developers use the world of sports as a template for their games, but now the games themselves will be the sport.

So this is the playing field at the moment, excuse the pun, there is some interest by some reputable sporting bodies in providing a competitive sporting platform for E-sports. But the IOC , International Olympic Committee, are still some way away from allowing us gamers into those hallowed halls of Olympic respectability. But favourably, the gaming community has shown, they can host massive events and run them in a fair and professional manner such as the World Cyber Games (WCG) an international E-sport event in South Korea which attracted pro gamers from across the planet. Soon pro gamers will become the new elite sports men and women of this E-sports world. And just as pro athletes inspire amateurs in their chosen field. Pro gamers, will inspire ordinary gamers to go pro.

BOOT CAMP FOR THE BRAIN

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‘It’s a boot camp for the brain, well that’s the way I like to look at it’ said my good friend Donal as we both played the pre-release version of the Big Bad Quiz. He is right about that if you like questions about trivia and a good cerebral work out take up the challenge and register now for the free apps trivia download or sign up on our facebook page Big Bad Quiz.

As part of the Fierce Fun family of games this free trivia app promises to raise the bar of mobile trivia games worldwide. Big Bad Quiz gives you questions and answers, so whether you have been a fan of quizzes such trivial pursuit,  jeopardy, mastermind or an egg head or even a university challenger there are questions here to test your knowledge and to suit all tastes. The random selection of  competitive trivia questions is a challenge to test all ranks of quiz masters and remember this is a free apps trivia game.        

So what are the defining and differentiating characteristics of this fascinating new trivia quiz game?  It is not just The Bag Man with his razor sharp repartee. Other trivia games may have that. It is not the fact that he will guide you and encourage you if you deserve it. Or that if you don’t deserve it he will cut you down to size. It is not even the quiz itself extending over a fuller range of topics than most others including celebs trivia, sports trivia,  history trivia, movie trivia  places trivia, tech trivia, to name a few.

The main differentiating characteristic of this trivia game is – None of the above, this game is different because of the heightened level of competition, it revels in it. Or should I say The Bag Man revels in it. He has thrown down the gauntlet to quiz masters around the globe. Are you clued in or clued out?  Find out! Vindicate yourself, we insist upon it.

Take on the Bag Man and stand out as a quiz master with no fear. But do not unduly fear the Bag Man, it is true, he does not suffer fools lightly, but he has his heart in the right place. You will live to fight another day, with more questions for you to answer, more risks to take and more trivia quiz magic to enjoy. See how high can you go? Can you hit the high score table, will you be a global ranked numero uno? Can you handle the boot camp for the brain?

Try and see, believe it or not it is actually free.

http://apps.facebook.com/bigbadquizgame/