It’s just over two weeks since we launched our futuristic VR racer, Neon Seoul: Outrun, on Oculus Early Access.
Today, we’re excited to be bringing the game to Steam Early Access as well—giving a new wave of speed freaks the chance to put their outrunning skills to the test.
Set in the cyberpunk city of Neon Seoul, the game invites you to weave a high-powered hoverbike through streets paved with danger. You’ll need to hug the racing line and avoid countless hazards if you don’t want your journey to come to a crashing halt, and—so far—players have been rising to the challenge. Our earliest outrunners have been racking up thousands of points and insane speeds in the battle to top the leaderboard and see their name up in lights in our weekly high score video. Do you have what it takes to surpass them?
Whether you jump into Neon Seoul: Outrun via Oculus or Steam Early Access, you’ll benefit from a stack of tweaks and updates we’ve just implemented.
The latest build of the game features enhanced visuals that add more life and polish to the world, as well as gameplay improvements that impact the scoring system, HUD, hoverbike calibration and more. For full details of the update, see the build release notes here—or let your trusty Neon Seoul liaison, Coach Kincaid, run you through the highlights.
If the above video is your first encounter with Coach Kincaid, you’ve got a bit of catching up to do. The ever-enthusiastic coach is here to keep you briefed on what’s new in the game, reveal weekly high scorers, and generally entertain you with his unfaltering energy. Be sure to listen carefully when he speaks—he might sound like a crazed wrestler from the future, but he knows what he’s talking about.
To keep up with all Coach Kincaid’s latest videos—as well as lots more from Neon Seoul: Outrun and the world of Playsnak—check out our official Facebook page.
Thanks to everyone who has played the game so far, shared videos of their efforts, and given us feedback on the Early Access build. We hope you’ll keep coming back for more and spreading the word as we continue to enhance the experience.
Playsnak invites gamers to step into a cyberpunk world where speed is a state of mind
BERLIN – 7 December, 2017 – Get ready for the rush of VR hoverbike racing in Neon Seoul: Outrun—an all-new IP from Berlin-based developer Playsnak, available now on Oculus Early Access.
Set in a sprawling cyberpunk universe, Neon Seoul: Outrun places you in the driving seat of a maxed-out hoverbike primed to clock up speeds of over 1,000km/h. You are an OutRunner—a rebel racer defying the AI overlords that control your world, and risking your life for the thrill of unfiltered, off-the-grid speed.
As you weave past rivals and seas of automated vehicles, an innovative control system invites you to lean into VR and steer your bike with intuitive body movements. No two track experiences are ever the same in Neon Seoul: Outrun, giving you endless challenges to overcome as you race to an atmospheric synthwave soundtrack featuring artists such as Isidor, Raphael Gesqua, and Noise Symphony.
The game is also the first installment in a larger cyperpunk saga from Playsnak, which will grow to include different types of VR experiences and storylines set in the same futuristic world.
Game Director on Neon Seoul: Outrun, Patrick Esteves, said: “The game really harnesses the power of VR to give an authentic sense of speed and control in a racing game. Players will enter a universe where the sights, sounds, and stories all combine to fuel the adrenalin rush of fighting for first place. We’re bringing Neon Seoul: Outrun to Early Access today so our community can make its voice heard right from the start and help us to shape not only the gameplay, but also the immersive cyberpunk world we’re building.”
Neon Seoul: Outrun is the second new IP announced by Playsnak this month, following on from news that story-driven adventure Shaman: Spirithunter will come to Oculus Rift in 2018.
Founded in 2015, Playsnak is a global next-generation games company with offices in Berlin, Germany and Los Angeles, USA. Playsnak strives to create groundbreaking experiences for the maturing VR and AR markets. For more information, please visit https://www.playsnak.com.
Last week, Berlin played host to hundreds of creatives from the virtual reality industry for the second annual VR Now convention.
The expo featured seminars, workshops, and an awards ceremony honoring outstanding VR projects from around the globe. There was also a dedicated exhibition space where innovative VR and AR devs could show off their latest work—and, naturally, Playsnak was on location to share a little something of our own.
On Wednesday and Thursday, we invited expo attendees to go hands on with an alpha build of Neon Seoul: Outrun—an all-new IP that combines a futuristic setting with white-knuckle hoverbike racing. We’ll be sharing more info on the game very soon, as well as offering everyone a chance to experience it for themselves through Rift Early Access. For now though, you can grab a glimpse of players trying it out for the first time and hear what they had to say in our VR Now round-up video below.
But VR Now wasn’t the only thing keeping us busy last week. On Wednesday, we also announced details of Shaman: Spirithunter—a new VR adventure coming to Oculus Rift in 2018. The game invites you to assume the role of a fledgling shaman whose people have been wiped out by a never-ending winter. Immersing yourself in a beautiful world and a captivating story, it’s up to you to hunt depraved spirits, master shapeshifting powers and overcome the elements on your way to restoring nature’s balance.
Playsnak brings its story-driven VR debut to Oculus Rift in 2018
BERLIN – 15 November, 2017 – Master shapeshifting powers and break the curse of eternal winter in Shaman: Spirithunter—a captivating VR adventure coming to Oculus Rift in 2018.
Created by Berlin-based developer Playsnak, Shaman: Spirithunter casts you as a fledgling shaman whose people are wiped out when winter grips the land and never departs. Only by levelling-up your abilities and becoming the ultimate hunter can you uncover the truth behind nature’s deadly imbalance and restore harmony.
As you traverse snow-bound environments, you’ll solve challenging environmental puzzles and hunt depraved spirits using a combination of stealth and skill. Along the way, you’ll discover your greatest gift lies in the ability to shapeshift and take the form of wild animals—each one offering creative ways to overcome the world around you. The more your shaman powers grow the more creatures you’ll transform into, placing all their strength, agility and instincts at your command.
Fully capitalizing on the power of Oculus Rift and its Touch controllers, Shaman: Spirithunter invites you to truly become one with your surroundings. Take center stage in stunning cut-scenes, witness haunting visions of your fallen tribe, and feel a new level of immersion as Touch replicates the motions of your hands and forearms 1:1 in-game. Stalking your prey and mastering a virtual bow and arrow never felt so real.
The game also introduces an innovative camera system that offers a whole new perspective in VR. You’ll track your foes from a third-person point of view, take down corrupted spirits with your bow and arrow in classic first-person, and explore aspects of the environment through the high-angled locomotion view. Each perspective is designed to maximize presence and give you the level of control you need for every moment of gameplay.
Shaman: Spirithunter’s Game Director, Martin L’Heureux, said: “We set out to create a game that blends immersive storytelling with innovative ideas. VR gives us the ability to explore largely uncharted territory, and Shaman: Spirithunter shows not only the team’s development know-how, but also—we hope—our desire to take players somewhere they’ve never been before. We look forward to bringing Shaman: Spirithunter to Oculus Rift first, and to exploring the potential of other VR platforms in the future.”
The team at Playsnak includes former Crytek veterans who played a major part in shaping some of the most notable VR experiences to date, including The Climb – the top-selling VR game on Oculus Rift – and Robinson: The Journey, a sci-fi adventure praised for its unique setting and immersive storytelling.
Founded in 2015, Playsnak is a global next-generation games company with offices in Berlin, Germany and Los Angeles, USA. Playsnak strives to create groundbreaking experiences for the maturing VR and AR markets. For more information, please visit https://playsnak.com.
You have a strong technical background and excellent IT skills? You understand the “big picture” and know how to create architectural approaches for software design and implementation? If that’s you, you might be just the right person for us. Our ideal candidate is experienced in designing and possesses the ability to develop a unified vision for software characteristics and functions that will result in high quality IT solutions. We are looking for someone who is equally Software Architect and Backend Engineer to come with us on an adventure wrought with untold dangers, chaos, and treasures. Still interested? Read below…
Collaborate with others to determine functional and non-functional requirements for new software and applications
Use tools and methodologies to create representations for functions and user interfaces for desired products
Develop high-level product specifications with attention to system integration and feasibility
Support the team by helping defining development aspects such as appropriate technology, workflow, and coding standards
Craft and scale elegant APIs that will be consumed by a multitude of applications
Implement security and data protection systems
Design and implement data storage solutions
Successfully communicate concepts and guidelines to the development team
Help oversee the progress of the development team to ensure consistency with the initial design
Provide technical guidance and coaching to developers and engineers
Help ensure that the developed software meets the requirements that have been defined (quality, security, modifiability, extensibility etc.)
Be part of the approval process for the final product before launch
2+ years of experience as Software Architect
Experience in software development and coding in various languages (C#, .NET, Java etc.)
Excellent knowledge of software and application design and architecture
Excellent knowledge of UML and other modeling methods
Vast knowledge of Databases (SQL and NoSQL)
Understanding of software quality assurance principles
A technical mindset with great attention to detail
High-quality organizational skills
Fluent in English
Self-motivated and reliable
Ambition for excellence
No drama and fun to work with
Experience in the games industry
Passion for playing and creating games
Outstanding communication and presentation abilities
MSc/MA in computer science, engineering or relevant field
Able to work in VR without getting sick (don’t worry we can test you during an onsite)
As gamers everywhere already know, this is gamescom week – when one of the biggest, busiest and best events in the industry calendar hits the beautiful city of Cologne, Germany. Expect big reveals, spine-tingling trailers, and more cosplayers than you can shake a mace at.
Gamescom is also a place to break new ground, and 2017 marks the first time Playsnak will have a full-blooded presence in the show’s business center. But who exactly are we, and why should you care? We’re glad you asked! If you’re going to be rocking a business or press pass this week, here are our top 5 reasons we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you stop by and say hello. And if you aren’t going to be in the area, well, consider it a list of stellar reasons to watch this space!
1. We’re out to take VR to new places
At Playsnak, we really like virtual reality. We couldn’t be more passionate about the possibilities of the medium, and we’ve assembled a team that can make magic happen. We’ve got developers and creative leads who’ve helped shape some of the most notable VR experiences to date, including The Climb – the top-selling VR game on Oculus Rift and a title that Kotaku called ‘the best game in VR’ – and Robinson: The Journey; praised as ‘the kind of experience VR headsets were designed for’ and the ‘best looking game on VR’. Those are just some of the places our team has been, and we can’t wait to show you where we’re going next.
2. People seem to like what we’re doing
As a start-up, it’s our job to convince investors that we’re worth backing – and we’ve had the great privilege of doing that successfully to the tune of $2.5 million since we were founded in 2015. We’re extremely grateful for the support of gumi Inc. and K Cube Ventures in our quest to make unforgettable VR experiences, and we hope that when you take a closer look at what we’re working on you’ll be right behind us too (although you don’t have to give us $2.5 million, don’t worry).
3. We’re as versatile as a Swiss Army Knife
Here at Playsnak, we don’t like to limit ourselves. Our ambitions in VR span AAA games for premium devices, location-based arcade VR, multiple games set in a single universe, and VR ports of 3rd-party titles. We’re also passionate about mobile and the part it will play in the future of VR – so we’ll also be acting as a publisher for great mobile games from talented partners. It might sound like a lot, but our team of 20 people (and counting) has worked across so many game genres, platforms and business models that we feel like it would be silly to shackle ourselves to just one way of working.
4. Playsnak Realms
We’re planning on bringing a whole lot of VR goodness into the world, and we figured you should be able to access all of it in one convenient place – a place we call Playsnak Realms. Playsnak Realms is a virtual reality eco-system that connects our players to a world of possibility, and will become a hub for launching and buying games, checking out 360° videos, 3D objects, stereoscopic screenshots, and much more. It’s your portal into the world of Playsnak, and a starting point for amazing VR adventures.
To help make Playsnak Realms a reality, we’ve teamed up with Rocketbike ARVR, an insanely innovative crew who have blown us away with their work on booomVR, a user-friendly, real-time platform that aggregates all the latest and best VR and 3D content on the web. You can read the full press release about our collaboration here.
5. We’ve got something awesome to show you…
Alright, we’re bending the rules a little here, because technically you’ll have to wait slightly beyond gamescom to find out full details of what we’re working on right now. What we can say, is that we’ll be officially announcing our first VR game and giving you a proper look at what it has in store at Oculus Connect this October.
But if you’re simply too curious to wait that long, or you’re still mad at us for breaching the sanctity of the sacred list, here’s a little exclusive just for you: Our upcoming IP is called Shaman: Spirithunter, and we think you’re going to like it…
Thanks for taking the time to get acquainted with Playsnak. Business visitors and press attending gamescom this week can track us down in rooms 3 and 4 of the media:net BB stand in Hall 3.2, booth C-014 D-015 of the business center. We’ll also be keeping the wider world right up to date on our week in Cologne via Facebook and Twitter.
BERLIN – 30 May, 2017 – Virtual reality gaming start-up Playsnak today announced it has secured an additional $1.2 million USD seed investment from global publisher and developer gumi Inc. This investment completes its initial seed funding round with a total of $2.5 million from backers, including an investment of $1.3 million from South Korea’s K Cube Ventures last year.
Playsnak, which was founded in 2015 and has offices in Berlin and Los Angeles, will leverage the funding from this latest round for its development pipeline.
Tokyo-based gumi Inc. said the investment reflected both the scale of its global ambitions and Playsnak’s early promise in the VR spaces. CEO of gumi Inc., Hironao Kunimitsu, said: “We’ve been extremely impressed by what Playsnak has been able to achieve in the short period of time the company has been up and running. Its focus on creating first-class VR experiences fits perfectly with our own portfolio of products and ambitions to break new ground for gamers, and we believe this strategic partnership opens the door to exciting opportunities for both parties.”
Playsnak CEO, Paha Schulz, said: “Investment from a well-established partner like gumi offers further affirmation that our vision for innovative VR content is on the right track. This funding will bolster our position and expand our capabilities as we build towards the announcement of our first VR game IP in the next weeks. We’re grateful to all our investors for their faith in us, and we look forward to giving players a first look at what we’ve been working on very soon.”
To read more about Playsnak and stay up to date with all the company’s latest news as they prepare to unveil their debut title, visit http://playsnak.com.
Founded in 2015, Playsnak is a global next-generation games company with offices in Berlin, Germany and Los Angeles, USA. Playsnak strives to create groundbreaking experiences for the maturing VR and AR markets. For more information, please visit http://playsnak.com.
About gumi Inc.
Founded in 2007, gumi Inc. (Tokyo Stock Exchange: 3903) is a leading global mobile game publisher and developer headquartered in Japan, with overseas operations in France, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. The company has proven success in launching titles worldwide, such as the widely popular role-playing games Brave Frontier and Phantom of the Kill. With ongoing publishing and development projects on various platforms, including iOS, Android, and more, gumi aims to change the world through innovative entertainment products and services, including both original content and collaborations with popular IP. For more information, please visit http://www.gu3.co.jp/en/ .
Are you an experienced Front-End Web Developer who knows how to combine the art of design with the art of programming? Well you may just be the right person for us. Our ideal candidate has a deep understanding of how to translate UI/UX design wireframes into actual code that will produce visual elements within mobile, desktop and VR environments. We are looking for the right people to come with us on an adventure wrought with untold dangers, chaos, and treasures. Still interested? Read below…
Collaborates with designers to bridge the gap between graphical vision and technical implementation
Develops new user-facing features and layouts
Builds reusable code and libraries for future use
Ensures the technical feasibility of UI/UX designs
Knows how to tweak applications for optimized speed and scalability
Assures that all user input is validated before submitting to back-end
Fun to work with
3 + years of experience as a Front-End Web Developer
Strong interest to develop features for VR applications
Proficient understanding of web markup, including HTML5, CSS3
Good understanding of asynchronous request handling, partial page updates, and HTTP(RESTFul) API
Proficient understanding of cross-browser compatibility issues and ways to work around them.
Basic understanding of server-side CSS pre-processing platforms, such as SASS and LESS
First experience with VR environments
Basic knowledge of image authoring tools, to be able to crop, resize, or perform small adjustments on an image. Familiarity with Photoshop is a plus.
Inquisitive attitude, interested in contributing to cross-departmental discussions
Accustomed to use task management software such as JIRA, Bugzilla or Hansoft
Interest in innovative technologies and software
Basic understanding of SEO principles and ensuring applications will adhere to them
Able to play VR games without getting sick (don’t worry, we can test you during an on-site)
Experience with distributed version control systems such as Git, Mercurial, etc.
Experience with module loader/bundler such as, Webpack, Rollup
Last week, we attended the Playsnak & Friends VR Web Summit in Berlin. A 3 day meeting of the minds, the summit brought together a hand picked selection of some extremely talented VR content creators and developers to talk shop, share and pitch their projects. Investors from K Cube Ventures, Seahorn Capital and Stonebridge Capital were also in attendance.
Day 1 – Playsnak Day
On the first day, Playsnak presented their company and their upcoming VR game projects. This included a very insightful VR market report, their publishing strategy, R&D and prototyping culture approach, and their VR Investment strategy, both today & into the future.
Upcoming Playsnak Games
Spirit Hunter – Set in a world of eternal winter, you play a Shaman Hunter that is trying to bring balance back to nature by ridding the land of evil spirits that have taken over the wildlife. With the ability to change animal shapes and move around the open world, you must eventually find and defeat the Great White Stag who has been infected, bringing nature back in balance, thus ending the eternal winter.
Neon Seoul – A fast-paced hoverbike game set in a neon cyber-punk universe, where the player is trying to weave through through the cities highways to deliver a package for the mob. In your way is the Seoul City Cops trying to stop you dead in your tracks.
Escher: A mind-bending 1-2 Player Co-Op puzzle game where one player manipulates the world in VR while another player with a gamepad, outside of VR, tries to platform their way to the escape zone.
We will share more info about these games as it becomes available. All we can say for now is that they look AMAZING!
Day 2 – Friends Day
On the second day, we had a chance to hear presentations from:
Reality Reflection is a VR studio located in Seoul, South Korea. They are currently working on a number of VR games as well as a collaborative project called Private Concert, where they scan popular musicians (Kpop star HiNi) into 3D and recreate an interactive private VR concert.
booomVR is a virtual reality web browser and content aggregation platform. This is a project that I am personally involved in and it was great to get a chance to show it off to a room full of VR industry professionals. We received some great feedback and lots of news will be coming soon!
InnerspaceVR is a VR development studio based in Los Angeles, CA, with production offices in Paris, France- They are focused on creating premium VR entertainment and we had a chance to see a demo of some of their really beautiful VR experiences including Firebird, a Fantasia-inspired musical franchise as well as their new Dollhouse Development Framework
Untold Games, which is based out of Italy presented some upcoming games, including a really twisted but slick looking mystery / film noir adventure where you play both detective and killer. The video below is from their last year’s VR release of Loading Human.
Stratosphere Games is a Berlin based AAA mobile development studio. They gave us a preview of some of their most recent games, including Warzone and Nemesis. Although their games are currently mobile, they mentioned that they are experimenting with VR. More news when that becomes available.
Wonderlamp Industries gave us a demonstration of their new software App for Gear VR called DJINNI. Based on it’s patented CINE-ENGINE® technology it is designed to make Virtual Reality (VR) content production available to anyone. The App puts you in a virtual world and lets you direct virtual actors inside this virtual setting without having to be an animation expert.
Booster Space is an event-specialist and brand-builder based in Berlin with a global network of partners and contacts. They gave us a preview of their upcoming VR game Duel VR.
apelab creates interactive, story-driven VR and AR content and development tools. We were given a preview of some of their amazing looking cinematic VR experiences as well as an overview of their upcoming SpatialStories development platform, for creating story driven concepts easily in VR.
MiriquidFilm (Couldn’t find a link) presented an interactive 360 VR film concept for HTC VIVE where the user takes a “choose your own adventure” approach during WWII Germany. The concept will mix 360 video, 3D and video capture into an interesting historical adventure. We will definitely share more when it is available.
Day 3 – Fraunhofer Institute Visit Day
On Day 3 we had a tour of Berlin’s Fraunhofer Institute of Technology, including and overview of their immersive technologies, volumetric video and a demo of their OmniCam which is a mirror based panoramic camera.
We also had a visit to their TIME-Lab which is a stunning 180° cinema experience. The TIME-Lab videos were shot with their OmniCam, which is impressive enough in itself, but wow… the audio in this room is amazing.
Official Dinner – (Korean BBQ!)
Of course, we had to top off the summit with an official dinner at Arirang Berlin. I’m still full! In summary, we had a great time, saw some amazing upcoming VR projects, and met a lot of talented people.
A special thanks to Playsnak for the invitation and their hospitality! We are definitely looking forward to next year’s summit and will keep you updated if we hear any news.
Founded in 2015, Playsnak is a global Next-Generation game company based in Berlin, Germany & Los Angeles, California. Playsnak is targeting to systematically building a true global next-gen game company in the time of maturing global mobile gaming market and shift to VR & AR immersive gaming market. Playsnak focuses on publishing 3rd party mobile games from Asia in the Western market and developing high-quality VR games to become a leading next-generation game company. For more information, visit http://playsnak.com.
About K Cube Ventures
Playsnak is funded by K Cube Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm, founded in April 2012, with the vision of harnessing the power of startups to change our world. As an investment arm of Kakao Corporation, K Cube Ventures has focused on investing in promising ICT/SW startups, primarily in mobile, tech, and game categories, between $100,000 and $2 million per startup. K Cube Ventures believes that early-stage startups not only need financial support, but they also need experienced mentors. With this in mind, K Cube Ventures assists startups in the areas of business development, networking, team building, strategy consulting, investment and financial affairs, HR and PR, and management. K Cube Ventures will continue to contribute to the creation of the virtuous circulation of venture ecology by permanently supporting various resource projects as well as financial support to portfolio companies. For more information, visit http://kcubeventures.co.kr/en.
Are you an experienced User Acquisition Manager who understands mobile user lifecycles in ways that allow you to profitably manage customer lifetime values against the effective cost of acquiring users? The perfect candidate will work closely with our publishing team to find new and cost-effective ways to attract and maintain users, while constantly optimizing existing channels. We are looking for someone to exhibit the right balance between data driven decisions and non-conventional attitude to achieve aggressive goals in the mobile space. Sounds like you? Read below…
Monitors, optimizes and reports performance of self-setup campaigns on an ongoing basis
Develops test plans, measures performance and makes result-based recommendations
Identifies the highest impact testing opportunities, prioritize, execute, track results and communicate to the publishing team
Has strong analytical skills and experience working in metrics-based companies
Helps shape the development of technical tools designed to streamline UA operations and analysis
Blends creativity and analytical skills with a strong results-oriented, metrics-driven approach to problem solving
Helps cultivate external partnerships with ad networks and media agencies
2-3 years of experience managing UA campaigns, preferably in the mobile games realm
Experience in performance-based marketing with demonstrated understanding of CPA, CPM, ARPU and LTV
Must be very comfortable with data analysis and enjoy working with data to understand performance, optimize campaigns, drive decisions, and measure results
Ability to juggle projects across multiple networks and platforms
Knows how to efficiently operate under a flexible marketing budget with multiple projects in mind
Proficient in MS Office Suite, advanced usage of Excel
Familiarity with various ad platforms/networks/channels in mobile industry and technical integration needed to support them
Experience in managing mobile self-service platforms like Facebook and Google
Good understanding of the free-to-play business model
Passion for video games
Interest in new technologies and software, especially VR related