I am very honored, once again, to be asked to join the jury for the prestigious 2018 Epica Awards. Last year was the first time that a Virtual Reality category was added to the awards and AR/VR Magazine was asked to be on the jury.
The Epica Awards, which are often referred to as “the Golden Globes® of the communications industry,” had a lot of great participants last year and it was a tough call trying to pick the best of the best. Here are the results from last year’s winners.
I will share more about the 2018 participants on AR/VR Magazine when all the submissions are received. If you are interested in submitting your work to be considered for the awards, click the link below to sign up.
The registration period lasts until September 30, 2018. See you there!
Epica is the point where the creative industries (advertising, design, media, PR and digital) meet the world’s marketing and communications press.
Established in 1987, Epica is unique in the crowded awards sector as it is the only prize judged by journalists working for marketing and communications titles. More than 200 magazines and websites from around the world are on our jury.
Epica’s aim is to reward outstanding creativity and help agencies, production companies, media consultancies, photographers and design studios to develop their reputations beyond their national borders, attracting thousands of entries from more than 70 countries.
Today, we announced the launch of Playsnak’s latest VR game, Wanted Killer VR, available now on Steam Early Access. Based on the popular mobile game, Wanted Killer (more news on that soon) the game is an action packed VR first person shooter, which also encorporates booomVR technology in the game’s game lobby.
The game has a unique cartoon-style, cell shaded look, which makes it feel like you are inside a comic book, or an old GI Joe cartoon. It is super fun to play, very physical and so far, we have been getting a ton of great feedback and reviews. It is very exciting to finally get this game out and the guys at Playsnak did an awesome job!
Moving forward, I will be working with the publishing team to do quite a bit of marketing and promotion for this game, so expect great things!
Read the full press release below:
Wanted Killer VR Hits Steam Early Access Today
BERLIN – 23 May, 2018 – Serve up sweet revenge as old-school action and futuristic firepower collide in Wanted Killer VR – an intense arcade-style shooter available now on Steam Early Access for $9.99 or equivalent in local currency.
From Berlin-based developer Playsnak, Wanted Killer VR invites you to leap into combat and take down the evil GENETIC MINDS Corp. before their dreams of world domination become a reality. At your disposal you’ll have an arsenal of upgradeable weapons and a crew of hard-boiled heroes with unique gunslinging traits.
You’ll also have the game-changing ability to teleport from one target to the next in the heat of battle, stealing their guns and making them your own. These unique skills create a fast-paced combat experience that merges breathless action with subtle strategic possibilities. Think fast to rack up killer combos and enter a state of deadly, totally immersive bullet-time flow.
Further setting Wanted Killer VR apart from the crowd, the game has a unique visual style that truly comes to life in virtual reality. Get ready to feast your eyes on a host of spectacular settings as you stalk your prey across skyscrapers and through subway stations – all the time closing in on the awful truth behind GENETIC MINDS Corp.
You can sample Wanted Killer VR right now on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality by downloading it on Steam Early Access. You can also see more of the game in action and hear from some of the team behind it in this trailer:
Founder and CEO of Playsnak, Paha Schulz, said: “We couldn’t be happier with how Wanted Killer VR is shaping up, and we’re really excited to continue development with input from Early Access players. The team has done an amazing job of creating a world where frenetic gameplay and individual tactical choice go hand in hand, and we can’t wait to hear what people think.”Game Director on Wanted Killer VR, P.J. Esteves, said: “Our goal is put players right at the heart of white-knuckle action sequences. You really are free to find your own flow and get creative in how you put the game’s innovative weapons to work. We had the chance to show the game at gamesweekberlin this month, and the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive. Early Access will give an even wider audience a full-blooded taste of Wanted Killer VR, and we’ll be listening to everything they say as we keep working to make the game something really special.”
Wanted Killer VR is out now on Steam Early Access and coming soon to the Oculus Store. Find out more at the game’s official website and stay in touch with all the latest news on Wanted Killer VR at facebook.com/WantedKillerVR.
Founded in 2015, Playsnak is a Berlin-based, globally-connected next-generation games company. Playsnak strives to create groundbreaking experiences for the maturing VR and AR markets. For more information, please visit http://playsnak.com.
This week, I am proud to announce the launch of Neon Seoul: Outrun, a VR hoverbike racing game for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The game was developed in partnership with Playsnak and incorporates some of the technology from my other project, booomVR, to power the game’s game lobby and marketing portal. The game was launched on Oculus store with Steam and Viveport support will be coming very soon.
You can read the full press release below:
Take a White-Knuckle Ride Into The Future in Neon Seoul: Outrun – Available Now on Oculus Early Access
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.
As I mentioned in my last post, I recently joined a new startup called Rocketbike ARVR as CMO & Creative Director. Last fall we pitched and received funding from the Vienna AWS Impulse XS to build a functional prototype for our first VR concept, which I am excited to say, is now completed!
booomVR is a virtual reality web browser and content aggregation platform. It allows for easy browsing, organizing and sharing of 2D, 3D, stereoscopic and 360 VR content within the same user interface.
booomVR is targeted towards brands & VR content providers who need a marketing platform to reach VR end users: (aka the current 1.5 Million VR headset owners) We provide them with a solution that can: increase visibilty, discoverablity, engagement & time spent on content. Plus we can be platform agnostic, so it will work on any headset.
Our primary revenue models are providing licensing and advertising solutions to brands, content providers & advertisers. This includes:
White Label Licensing – Basic, Power, Premium & Distributor Liscensing Packages for brands that want their own app, powered by our software
Licensing Branded Content Channels, Portals / Environments in the Main booomVR App, which we will be launching later in the year
Advertising Opportunities within the app.
Over the last two months, since we went public, there has been a whirlwind of activity and interest, including our first whitelable partnership, which I will be announcing very soon.
We have currently entered closed alpha release for Oculus Rift, with a closed beta coming soon and our main app launching later in the year. In the meantime, we are having a lot of discussions with investors, content partners and brands for both the main app and white lable projects.
If you are interested in more info on booomVR or how you can get involved, please get in touch!
Since i’m pretty busy these days and don’t have a lot of time for my personal blog, I encourage you to stay up to date on all the latest info on booomVR and Rocketbike ARVR via the links below and by joining our mailing lists.
Update: The following is an article I wrote prior to the 2016 Presidential Elections. It discusses the state of social media momentum at that time based on each candidate. I think overall, my estimations were pretty relevant.
We are at a very critical time in history and the result of the upcoming US elections could have DRASTIC effects on both the future of our country and the world. The decisions in November could mean the difference between peace, security, economic prosperity or even, depending on the political climate of your particular country, life or death for you and your family. Things are that serious.
The time has come to ignore the cat pictures, the Oscars or whatever Kanye says and pay very close attention to the important topic at hand. It is time to take action and to take responsibility for your actions.
What I want to talk about here is a social strategy that will help your candidate win the election in 2016 and it’s very simple.
You do want them to win, right? Well, if so, keep reading.
Social Media is a Powerful Tool, But…
Social media is currently the primary driver for expressing, changing & manipulating public opinion on a global scale. What we do and say on social media has tremendous power and can directly effect how people share and develop opinions.
In this case, how it effects voting decisions.
The dark side of social media and politics is that what we say on social media is analyzed by government organizations, financial institutions, PR firms, corporations and most importantly, political parties to identify patterns of opportunity using software algorithms and analytics tools. Based on what they discover, they use either teams of people or automated software (bots) to manipulate social momentum on a mass level to promote their business or political agendas.
Despite the powerlessness we can feel by such a massive, corporate-political machine, social media still offers us a great advantage. What I am talking about here is the basic human interactions and opinions with which we can share between friends, family and social connections.
It’s the power of persuasion with people you have personal connections with and who trust your opinions.
Think, Before You Share!
I would encourage everyone to think very seriously about what you post on social media right now regarding politics and how it could potentially impact election results.
One simple post may not seem like much to you, but on a mass, collective level, it has a lot of power.
Unfortunately, WHAT you post, regardless of your intentions, also might have powerful reverse effects.
It begins with a simple process of repetition, where the brain begins rewiring itself to release certain chemicals based on a seeing or hearing repeated phrases, actions or stimulus. We see this in marketing with brands such as the red color of Coca Cola, aligning a perfume with sexual imagery, an annoying catchy melody in a terrible pop song, or in this case, political names and slogans.
Conditioning is a core tactic in hypnosis, brainwashing & propaganda, which over time, physically changes the brain chemistry so that it builds patterns of alignment & dependency to whatever has been repeated, even if the subject of the repetition is negative.
It is the first step in building an addiction.
In regards to politics, simply by repeating a candidate’s name, political slogan or sharing a MEME, even if it is negative and you oppose them, causes a conditioned response that gives leverage to that candidate
Sometimes negative MEMEs are even intentionally created to generate exposure to a brand because just by repeatedly seeing a name or image, creates subconscious patterns in people’s brains in connection with that brand or candidate.
The reason is that even a strong connection to a repeated “negative” creates a stronger bond than a non repeated “positive.” The result is that the brain becomes more comfortable by the chemicals it creates by being surrounded by the negative than the confusing, discomfort it feels when faced with the unfamiliar positive.
These patterns of alignment create herd mentality, which then becomes a social norm, which leads to people accepting, or at least living with the idea of a candidate that they don’t support.
We are literally building and spreading a chemical addiction to them on a mass scale, even if we hate them.
Here’s a simple example of how much conditioning is happening per candidate as of the time of this post. Despite political opinion, the numbers make it pretty clear who is in the lead, just by sheer volume.
Not happy with those results? Then you have to change the momentum. Here’s how:
The point here is to understand what is happening and don’t fall for the oldest trick in the book. Resist the urge to participate in the addictive skinner box mentality of sharing every little political “ha ha” moment on social media. Use it as an advantage, not as a virus, not as your controller.
Here’s how to apply this to social media and politics:
If you want your candidate to win, then don’t contribute to building patterns of momentum for the opposition.
Stop posting the names of the opposition and reposting their negative material. Let people know the name of the winner.
Build strong patterns by focussing only on who you want to win and only post positive info on them.
Fear is a stronger motivator than pleasure. (Sucks but it’s true.) Don’t focus on how bad the opposition is. Instead focus on the benefits of how your candidate will protect from the bad.
Create your own posts, MEMEs and hashtags and share them instead of reposting others. If you don’t do it, the bots will and they sometimes have an alternative agenda.
Follow your candidate. Unfollow the opposition. Post about them often. Numbers count.
Use every social platform at your disposal. Facebook, twitter, Instagram, pinterest, forums, chats and messengers, dating sites, etc. Any place where you can potentially reach a lot of people. If it is on a personal and emotional level, even better.
Make #hastags that promote your candidate, not the opposition.
Spread your message globally. Some countries dont use or have access to the same social platforms we use in the west. China uses WeChat and Weibo for everything. In Japan, Line is popular. Global opinions matter.
Don’t contribute to the problem, contribute to the solution. Generate positive patterns that build strong chemical bonds which align to your chosen candidate. In a world where we feel powerless to determine world affairs, we still hold the power of our connections and our ability to influence them.
Thats how you win with technology and thats how you win elections.
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If you like this post, then please share it or retweet it using the hashtag #howtowin2016
Let’s see what happens and best of luck in the elections.