Scary VR experiences to try this Halloween

BY KAYLA NOBREGA

 

A short time ago I shared that I am a sensitive movie viewer; along with that I have to be careful of what games I play as well. With Halloween coming up, though, I decided to try spooky VR experiences.

1. Killing Floor
This game was developed by Tripwire Interactive, and released in May 2009. It is available across many VR platforms including Oculus Rift and Sony Play Station VR.

The game is set in England after chaos has broken out due to military cloning experiments gone horribly wrong. You and your team, should you choose to play co-op, have to fight through waves of monstrous mutants using any of the weapons available to you.

This game received a 9/10 on Steam, and has grown into Killing Floor 2, and Killing Floor: Incursion.

 

2. Wilson’s Heart
Haunted 1940’s hospital. A stolen heart replaced by a mysterious device. Often unidentifiable inhabitants. Do you need any more information to know that this is a psychological thriller waiting for you to lose yourself in its world?

It was developed by Twisted Pixel exclusively for Oculus Rift, and launched in April 2017. It is in black and white!

The adventure takes you through different experiences as Robert Wilson who has undergone heart surgery. It is filled with suspense and is highly interactive as you discover who stole your heart.

3. Affected, The Manor
Another psychological horror walk-through! Enjoyable to play yourself, as well as to watch friends face the jump scares and terrors that lie waiting at every turn.

It was released in October 2017, by Fallen Planet Studios, and has updates for 2018. It is available on Oculus Go, as well as Samsung Gear and HTC Vive.

It has alternative endings to keep you on your toes, and the challenge is to make it all the way to the end…can you?

4. Dreadhalls
This game is available on Steam for VR Gear and Oculus Rift.

You wake up in a dungeon with the goal to escape. You are not alone though, and have to find your way out while facing different creatures with limited cover. The greatest thing about this game is that the map will be different every time you play it, so you will never know what to expect. You have hours of suspense and entertainment to look forward to!

Developed by White Door Games, Dreadhalls received a 9/10 on Steam, and a 4.4/5 from Oculus.

5. Late Night Shop
I’m not the only one who finds mannequins creepy in general, right? Total Monkery released a VR game in 2016 set in a store at night. The goal is to escape the store without getting caught by the mannequins, also called “creeps.” Appropriately so.

The thrill is furthered by the fact that anything outside your line of sight moves and changes. The environment – doors, props, and walls change positions – and the mannequins only move when not in your sight. One moment everything will seem alright, the next moment you are no where near an exit and there are creeps right on your tail.

The best part is the game can be multiplayer as well, with one player controlling the creeps, able to swap between mannequins to chase the player who is trying to escape.

Successful horror films work because the emotions they stir up in you make you feel that you are inside the story and that what is happening is real. VR is a powerful tool in the world of terrors and scares because of its immersion capabilities!

I was not able to handle these games…try them out and let us know how you did!

The benefits of high quality visual content

BY KAYLA NOBREGA

 

Throughout the years I have been a photographer, I have found that a lot of business owners do not see the point of budgeting for a good photographer. It seems that not that many people are aware of the benefits of high quality visual content.

With almost every business in the world needing to make sure they are present on social media, high quality photography and videography has become a necessity; and here is why:

1. First Impressions
You have also been told that first impressions matter, right? We live in a time where often a client’s first impression is formed through encountering a company online. Whether it is through your website or your social media profiles, they encounter your brand and portfolio online before physically meeting you.

This means that whatever content they are presented with shapes their impression of your company. Bad quality images, terribly worded captions, and amateur videos give exactly that impression. Bad quality. Terrible. Amateur.

High quality images taken by a professional who understands lighting, composition, and colours allows your brand to share images that capture an audience’s attention and makes your company look the part. High quality. Professional. Captivating.

2. Trust
A basic level of trust is automatic when a brand presents itself well. High quality content that is aesthetically appealing and easy to engage with attracts viewers to a brand. If content is managed properly, eventually attention turns into loyalty.

You cannot gain a customer’s loyalty without first gaining their trust, and a brand with poor visuals is usually avoided. The negative connotations of poor quality advertising is that whatever the brand is offering must be of poor quality too, and so they cannot be trusted.

How many times have you turned away from a company’s site, and so their brand, because of how it strained your eyes? How many times do you think someone has felt this way when it comes to your brand?

Visual content has always been needed and used by businesses – in newspapers, on billboards, and now online. It has almost been important that businesses share creative, well-thought out, high quality content; now even more so that everyone is digital.

Film Review: Venom; a good VR concept? (SPOILER ALERT)

BY KAYLA NOBREGA

I must be honest, I was not particularly looking forward to the release of Marvel’s latest production; Venom. I did not think anything of it until I was invited to watch it.

One look at the trailer and I felt like I would spend the majority of the film with my eyes closed (I am the most sensitive movie viewer on earth).

I was proven wrong. I enjoyed so much about the film, and will share my experience in the form of spoilers. So if you have not seen the film, now is the time I ruin it for you.

1. Characters
Venom is amazing! A Symbiote who uses Eddie Brock as his host goes from wanting to kill people, to helping save them from his kind. In hindsight, I do not remember being able to see this transition within the character. One moment he was all, “I will kill you if you do not co-operate,” and then all of a sudden, “Let’s stop that spaceship to save mankind!” However, the change shed my shame for liking him.

Of course, we all walked into the film expecting a hardcore super villain, but I did not leave the film with that perspective. I left with a soft spot for Venom. (I also could not stop imaging him as a Tekken character; I feel like he could put up some pretty cool juggling combos).

2. Conversation
The dialogue of the overall film was not impressive in any way. I felt that there was chemistry missing between Annie and Eddie – I thought she was his PA at first, and only realized they were engaged when she broke up with him.

I thoroughly enjoyed, though, the interaction between Venom and Eddie. It was comedic. The best part of their interaction is the first moment Venom speaks after inhabiting Eddie Brock’s body. Venom calls out Eddie’s name which is followed by a high pitch scream and Brock falling over into the bathtub. I got a fright when Venom spoke, but Eddie’s reaction had me laughing immediately.

3. VR
Now this may just be me, but whenever I watch movies I imagine different scenes as levels in a game. I think Venom could make an exciting VR game. From walking through Life Foundation’s laboratories and encountering Symbiote-possessed people, to high speed motorbike and car chases with bullets flying and drones exploding. Even fighting Carlton Drake and his men as Venom! I would definitely immerse myself into that game.

Before I started writing this I could not understand why it is only rated a 4 by IGN, but I have had to admit the film’s flaws. None of the flaws took away from the entertainment value of the film for me, though. I laughed a lot and did not flinch nearly as much as I thought I would.

What did you think of it?