Vision VR/AR Awards 2016 Finalists Announced!

The votes have been cast and tallied, and the results are in! The first-round judges for the Vision VR/AR Awards 2016 have been working tirelessly at testing nearly 250 submissions, determining which ones will be presented as finalists at the Awards Ceremony. The Ceremony will be held on the evening of February 10th at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Purchase your ticket today to see the winners announced live!

Reviewing the Vision VR/AR Awards 2016 entries made the panel of judges even more excited about the maturity of virtual and augmented reality technology. Although a few ambitious projects caused some slight dizziness, all are pushing the boundaries of immersive content and breaking through to new levels of storytelling, socializing, and entertainment.

The 250 submissions we received are a true-cross section of the industry, as are the impressive finalists. We saw game projects, visual simulations, 360 videos, and a variety of experiences that defy traditional categorization. Our experienced judging panel had their work cut out for them in narrowing the huge number of innovative, engaging, and fun experiences down to only 21 finalists. These finalists were chosen because they are exceptional examples of virtual and augmented reality content.

We are pleased to announce the finalists for the Vision VR/AR Awards 2016:

Vision Inspire Award

Fantastic Contraption by Northway Games & Radial Games

Fantastic Contraption was originally a building game made way back in 2008. Millions of people played it obsessively and saved over 12 million contraptions. You can still play it for free. For years we loved the idea of a three dimensional Fantastic Contraption but just couldn't figure out how it would work. Then we tried the Vive.

The new Fantastic Contraption has been designed from the ground up to be a room-scale VR game. Imagine walking around a grassy island floating in the sky making a contraption the size of a horse with your hands then watching it roll out into the world. It's a VR experience you and your friends will play for hours.

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Faster Than Light by Anomaly Productions

Faster Than Light is an augmented reality monthly comic available at local comic retailers and Comixology. Our free companion AR app takes the reading experience to a new level. Watch the captain's log, interact with aliens, read an encyclopedia's worth of backstory and much more. With each monthly comic released, new content is added to the app for an ever expanding universe.

The VERY near future: We discover the secret of faster-than-light travel. Suddenly, the universe is wide open to us, all thanks to genius SAUL FREDRICKS, who made the breakthrough and is touted as the Einstein of our era. His face is everywhere.

With the new technology, we hastily refit the nearly complete first manned Mars Explorer mission with faster-than-light engines and boldly go where no man has gone before. A new hope is felt across all mankind as the IGS DISCOVERY sets off.

But Saul has a dark secret. You see, he's not the genius everyone believes him to be. He was merely the first to successfully interpret a signal we received from outer space in the 1940s. The message contained every bit of technological knowledge from an advanced alien civilization...and a warning...

"It is too late for us. Use our knowledge and flee your world. They are coming..."

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I Expect You to Die by Schell Games

Made for Oculus Rift, I Expect You to Die is a virtual reality (VR) puzzle game that lets you step into the world of an elite secret agent to attempt to survive a series of deadly situations. The goal is to complete the mission using brain power, cunning and a top secret device that gives you the power of telekinesis.

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Honorable Mentions: BRAVEMIND Military Sexual Trauma (USC Institute for Creative Technologies), Job Simulator (Owlchemy Labs), Lucid Trips - Whateverland (VR-Nerds)

Best VR Experience

Fantastic Contraption by Northway Games & Radial Games

Fantastic Contraption was originally a building game made way back in 2008. Millions of people played it obsessively and saved over 12 million contraptions. You can still play it for free. For years we loved the idea of a three dimensional Fantastic Contraption but just couldn't figure out how it would work. Then we tried the Vive.

The new Fantastic Contraption has been designed from the ground up to be a room-scale VR game. Imagine walking around a grassy island floating in the sky making a contraption the size of a horse with your hands then watching it roll out into the world. It's a VR experience you and your friends will play for hours.

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Job Simulator by Owlchemy Labs

A tongue-in-cheek virtual reality experience for motion controlled VR platforms. In a world where robots have replaced all human jobs, step into the "Job Simulator" to learn what it was like 'to job'.

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Thunderbird: The Legend Begins by Innervision Games

Thunderbird: The Legend Begins is the first chapter in an epic cinematic series designed exclusively for Virtual Reality. Embark on an interactive journey to discover the hidden secrets of an ancient legend shrouded in mystery. This puzzle-based adventure features advanced interactive game mechanics and stunning visuals to create a deeply immersive and compelling experience.

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Honorable Mentions: Apollo 11 VR (Immersive VR Education), Classroom Aquatic (Sunken Places), Modbox (Alientrap)

Best AR Experience

Eleanor of Ayer by Gelly Bomb Games

"Eleanor of Ayer" is a augmented reality, multiple ending mystery puzzle game that follows the murder case of Shovi, the vocalist of the fictional rock band LUNACY. Before his last breath, Shovi leaves a dying message reading "Wa", leaving the band's drummer Walrus to become a suspect. Customers of the cafe may request a tablet from the waiter and use it to solve various puzzles that will reveal the true murderer.

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Faster Than Light by Anomaly Productions

Faster Than Light is an augmented reality monthly comic available at local comic retailers and Comixology. Our free companion AR app takes the reading experience to a new level. Watch the captain's log, interact with aliens, read an encyclopedia's worth of backstory and much more. With each monthly comic released, new content is added to the app for an ever expanding universe.

The VERY near future: We discover the secret of faster-than-light travel. Suddenly, the universe is wide open to us, all thanks to genius SAUL FREDRICKS, who made the breakthrough and is touted as the Einstein of our era. His face is everywhere.

With the new technology, we hastily refit the nearly complete first manned Mars Explorer mission with faster-than-light engines and boldly go where no man has gone before. A new hope is felt across all mankind as the IGS DISCOVERY sets off.

But Saul has a dark secret. You see, he's not the genius everyone believes him to be. He was merely the first to successfully interpret a signal we received from outer space in the 1940s. The message contained every bit of technological knowledge from an advanced alien civilization...and a warning...

"It is too late for us. Use our knowledge and flee your world. They are coming..."

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Table Zombies by SRG United Solutions

Table Zombies is an augmented reality, where the player plays the role of shooter from the rescue team chopper. The primary objective of the game is to stop the zombies from reaching the survivor base and you are not all alone: you have the survivors team to back you up at Ground Zero and stop the zombie infestation.

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Honorable Mentions: Clandestine: Anomaly (ZenFri Inc.), Kraft Interactive Placemat (Gravity Jack)

Technical Achievement Award

EasyAR Engine by EasyAR

EasyAR - Easy to use and free AR engine which offers cross-platform support.

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Modbox by Alientrap

Modbox is a physics sandbox game where you completely set and control your environment. You create your own Holodeck to play with, and to share with others

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Residential Condominium: Architectural Visualization by Arch Virtual

This is an architectural visualization of a residential condominium, built from a Revit (BIM) model translated into Unity and built for Oculus Rift DK2 PC.

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Honorable Mentions: Fantastic Contraption (Northway Games & Radial Games), Kraft Interactive Placemat (Gravity Jack)

Artistic Achievement Award

Lucid Trips - Whateverland by VR-Nerds

Lucid Trips a Virtual Reality experience which takes places in planetary dream worlds. You explore artistically designed planets with a completely new concept, defining and navigating your avatar in a distinctive way, using hand motion controllers.

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SENS by Red Corner

SENS is the first project to ever adapt a comic book into VR.

SENS tells us - without a word - about a man's initiatory trip. The anonymous wanderer roams in a stripped down yet labyrinthine universe. All around him, arrows in ever changing shapes show him the way to go. His adventure is an invitation to question the unknown and let go of codes to perceive beyond the limits… of a page, of an angle or of imagination.

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TECHNOLUST by IRIS VR Inc

TECHNOLUST is a Virtual Reality Adventure set in a near-future Cyberpunk world.

The world and style of TECHNOLUST are inspired by 1980's and 90's Cyberpunk fiction like Blade Runner, Neuromancer and Robocop.

Virtual Reality technology allow a player to deeply explore a fully realized, living, breathing world and truly be present in the game, rather than just controlling an avatar.

Join the resistance and help bring down the oppressive corporations… or just hang out at home and watch a movie with your artificial intelligence. Go to the arcade and experience new worlds or hack into secure networks and fight to set the truth free. As in the real world, the choice is yours.

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Honorable Mentions: Arizona Sunshine (Vertigo Games), Jake and Tess’ Finding Monsters Adventure (Black River Studios), Residential Condominium: Architectural Visualization (Arch Virtual)

Best Game

Budget Cuts by Neat Corporation

Budget Cuts is a VR stealth game, putting you in the shoes of a spy at a company undergoing budget cuts.

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Classroom Aquatic by Sunken Places

Classroom Aquatic is the world's first trivia/stealth game for the VR Headsets. Players play as an exchange student in a school of dolphins, taking a test that the player is in no way prepared for. They must resort to cheating in order to pass it!

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I Expect You to Die by Schell Games

Made for Oculus Rift, I Expect You to Die is a virtual reality (VR) puzzle game that lets you step into the world of an elite secret agent to attempt to survive a series of deadly situations. The goal is to complete the mission using brain power, cunning and a top secret device that gives you the power of telekinesis.

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Honorable Mentions: Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games (Turbo Button & Cartoon Network Games), Jake and Tess’ Finding Monsters Adventure (Black River Studio), Vanguard V (ZeroTransform)

Best Film/Interactive Story

Apollo 11 VR by Immersive VR Education

On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon. You can now experience this event by becoming Neil Armstrong and boarding the Saturn V Rocket which is still to this day the most powerful machine ever created by humans.

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The Fabulous Journeys of Teo & Leonie by Kenzan Studios, Switzerland

Lost in the middle of the Renaissance following a bizarre incident, two young children from the early 20th Century want above all else to find their way back to their own time and their parents.

Greatly moved by their quest, Leonardo da Vinci takes them under his wing and tries to return them to where they belong, some 400 years later

However the brilliant inventor occasionally makes mistakes, and all three characters will be drawn into gripping adventures that will place them right at the heart of some of the great events that changed the course of history.

Thanks to the two children, the ageing Leonardo, who believed he'd seen it all, embarks on the most active period of his life.

The quirky perspective of this unlikely trio presents us with an original vision of the everyday life of people from other eras and places, the way they communicated, cooked, played, invented and lived.

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The Shoebox Diorama by Daniel Ernst

The Shoebox Diorama is an ongoing series of interconnected fantastical dioramas for VR devices. Each diorama is a fantastical handpainted place to visit in which Interaction is used to enhance the sense of presence and tell a story, not to go from point A to B or save a princess.

The series consists of 'Blocked In', 'Der Grosse Gottlieb' and 'The Marchland'.

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Honorable Mentions: Happyland360 (VOSTOKVR feat V3RA), Waves of Grace - Vrse (Gabo Arora & Chris Milk, United Nations, Vice, Vrse.Works, Vrse Inc.)

Best Live-Action Experience

Get Barreled in Tahiti with Samsung Gear VR by Rapid VR

Sydney-based Rapid VR has again explored new frontiers in the development of 360 degree immersive virtual reality video content with a new 360˚ VR film created in partnership with the World Surf League (WSL) and Samsung featuring former WSL World Champion CJ Hobgood, via agency Cheil Worldwide.

Directed by renowned surf filmmaker Taylor Steele at legendary surf break Teahupo'o, Tahiti, the film was captured using 360 degree camera technology. The immersive film features incredible footage that transports viewers right into the heart of Teahupo'o's most dangerous barrels, giving them the opportunity to experience the thrill of surfing one of the deadliest waves in the world.

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Sinking by Maren Demant

This short film has no linearity rather than a self-controlled view on an environment that can discovered differently each time. The viewer can find a representation of it´s own body in the media.

The viewer find itself in an empty cinema from where he dives into the screen, from day to dawn, from surface to subsurface, while a choreography of life culminates in its climax. It is an experiment of a poetic storytelling, where the viewer is driven by music and actions from all sides.

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U2 Song for Someone - Vrse by Chris Milk, U2, Apple, Universal Music Gropu, Vrse Inc., and Vrse.Works

Chris Milk and U2 came together to create a revolutionary new visual interpretation of U2's "Song For Someone." Milk takes singers from across the world and joins them together to create this reimagining of the music video.

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Honorable Mentions: Imago (Project Hypnos), Waves of Grace - Vrse (Gabo Arora & Chris Milk, United Nations, Vice, Vrse.Works, Vrse Inc.)

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