Job Simulator Goes Platinum!

We’re excited to announce that Job Simulator sold over one million units; we have officially gone platinum! Five years ago, during Job Simulator’s humble beginnings in the frozen wilds of Winnipeg, we never imagined creating a platinum hit. We are truly honored that you, our fans, believed in us and in VR. This success shows that there’s a huge audience if you build a great game with the uncompromising vision of “VR for everyone.” We are in awe of how far VR has come and are excited for the future we will all make together! See below for full press release.

-Owls

Even JobBot has gone Platinum!

Job Simulator Surpasses 1 Million Units Sold! Goes Platinum!

Owlchemy Labs Inc.

January 7, 2020

Austin, TX – Virtual reality industry leader Owlchemy Labs today announced that its flagship multi-platform virtual reality game, Job Simulator, has sold more than 1 million units. This achievement places Owlchemy Labs in rare company, establishing Job Simulator as only the second “made for VR” title to achieve this milestone.

“We first developed Job Simulator as something that could only exist in VR. It was built for hardware that wasn’t yet available to consumers and was a very risky product.” says Owlchemy Labs CEOwl Devin Reimer. “Job Simulator going platinum shows that the consumer VR market is capable of generating huge hits. We’re delighted that Job Simulator has found a diverse audience that enjoys our game.“

Since 2010, Owlchemy Labs has combined its deep love of game design, user experience, narrative, and humor to create compelling experiences for current and next-generation VR platforms. Their original title “Job Simulator” has been hailed as one of the defining VR experiences, debuting as a bundled game with the HTC Vive, as a launch title for Oculus Touch, as a launch title for PlayStation VR, and most recently as a launch title for the Oculus Quest. Since launch it has maintained a position on the top seller charts across platforms. This includes being on the top 10 PSVR games every month since its release on the platform in October 2016, and being the #1 game 3 years in a row.

“We feel that part of the appeal of Job Simulator is how accessible and comfortable the game is to players,” says Reimer. “Whether you’re in the middle of your virtual office cubicle or watching the action from your couch the game speaks to the magic of VR. Our players experiment with something and ‘it just works’—much to the delight of those watching and playing. Building content that has deep interaction in a format that is welcoming to all players creates a mainstream experience that has proven staying power.”

About Owlchemy Labs

Owlchemy Labs is a creative studio with a passion for polished and unique VR experiences and games. Founded in 2010 and based out of Austin, TX, we believe that interaction and using your hands is what truly makes virtual reality the most incredible place to build unique content that blows players minds. We love building experiences oozing with style and full to the brim with our unique brand of humor. Our titles include the award-winning VR quadruple launch title “Job Simulator,” the Emmy-nominated “Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality,” and our latest VR title “Vacation Simulator.” Owlchemy was acquired by Google in 2017, and continues to share VR knowledge with the community as speakers on VR around the world.

More information about Owlchemy Labs can be found at https://owlchemylabs.com

Vacation Simulator Now Available on Oculus Quest!

Greetings, Vacationers!

Vacation Simulator is officially available on the Oculus Quest! We’ve been working hard to make something special, and we’re delighted that you can all finally enjoy it. Purchase it on the Oculus Quest Store

The Owls really [SCIENCED] their best on this one to meet the unique requirements of this new hardware. After many experimentations and significant technical wizardry— Vacation Simulator runs beautifully on the Oculus Quest


The game is jam-packed with tons of optimizations that make Vacation Simulator shine on Quest. Here are a couple of the more amusing things we did when working on the game:


When you’re looking at the handheld camera, we increase the “Foveated Rendering” to “Highest.” In other words: more of the screen is rendered at a lower resolution, but since the player’s eye is focused on the camera, they never notice the change (it’s magic!). This is just one of the many tricks we employ that allow you to have the camera on screen and still render at full framerate!


We also created Bob! Bob is our 100% Professional Automated Testing Rig™. Bob help us hold the headset in the center of the playspace while the game jumps from zone to zone looking around and measuring the performance. It even takes the camera out to verify the “worst case”— most technically intensive— scenarios. Just look at this powerful spreadsheet of [METRICS]:

Oh wait! There are no spreadsheets on Vacation!

If you’re still interested, you can read about more optimizations on Twitter!

We’re so excited for you to experience the joys of Vacationing wherever you want!

We’d love to hear all about your simulated [VACATION] on social media. Be sure to use #VacationSimulator so we can check them all out!

Happy Vacationing,

-Owls

Vacation Simulator Coming to Oculus Quest December 12 – Pre-Order Today!

Congratulations, Humans!

After putting in so many long hours in the Job Simulator, you can soon take some hard-earned [TIME OFF]! As promised, we are happy to announce that Vacation Simulator will be available on Oculus Quest just in time for this holiday season on December 12. Pack your virtual luggage, put in your PTO requests, and prepare to [VACATION]!

Eager vacationers can pre-order Vacation Simulator today on the Oculus Store: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/quest/2393300320759737

We’ve been busy bringing this ultimate Human vacation experience to Oculus Quest, concocting code and polishing performance to make Vacation Simulator run seamlessly on standalone hardware. It’s been awesome bringing VR to so many new players with Job Simulator on Quest, so we’re incredibly excited for everyone to enjoy [RELAXATION] soon!

For all the holiday shoppers and/or anyone that can’t wait to share their VACATION excitement, we’re excited to share a new batch of Vacation Simulator merchandise with The Yetee! Head on over to our Official [VACATION] Collection at The Yetee to peruse the most stylish leisure garments you’ve ever put your eyes on out of VR. Collect them all, or buy a Vacation Hawaiian shirt for every day of the week! Vacation is truly where you make it.

As we eagerly await December 12, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, where we will be posting Vacation Simulator hype and sharing the excitement and anticipation from fans. Mention us or tag your posts #PrepareToVacation and let us know what you’re most looking forward to with Vacation Simulator on Oculus Quest.

Until then, keep putting in that hard work at JOB, Humans!

-Owls

See What We Said? Vacation Simulator Subtitle Update + Language Support!

Vacation Simulator Subtitles Update and Language Support featured graphic
Vacation Simulator Subtitles Update + Language Support Press Release

Greetings, Humans!

We’ve been hard at work in the labs on something pretty special… Subtitles! At Owlchemy we strive to make VR for everyone, and we always knew subtitles could bring VR to more people than ever before. As with any Owlchemy update, though, we had to get it just right.

When we set out to create subtitles we knew it was going to be an ambitious feature to address. The elements of space and presence in virtual reality added a whole new dimension to the challenge that demanded we tackle things with a fresh perspective. After a boat load of research, prototyping, and user feedback, our subtitle system defines a new standard for VR. We are incredibly proud of the result and are confident our players will love it!

Our subtitles are both functional and playful. No matter where you look, the subtitles are always visible and can help guide you back to the speaker.  Transparency helps keep them unobtrusive and integrated into the world, while high contrast ensures they’re legible no matter what you’re looking at. Step away from the speaker and they’ll enlarge; turn your back and icons ensure you know exactly who’s saying what.   

Having subtitles feel like they “belong” in the world was a huge priority, so their use of space and seamless presence was vital. 

Using Subtitles in Vacation Simulator

To toggle subtitles, we’ve added options at the start of the game in the Museum, as well as in-game via the player’s backpack. 

Both options allow players the flexibility to toggle subtitle options from the start of the game, or anytime while playing if needed!

Subtitle Localization

We’ve also included multiple language support for subtitles. Supported languages include English, German, Spanish, French, Korean, Japanese, and the lost-but-then-recovered language of Binary (use at your own risk). 

Localization is never an easy task, and proved even more challenging with a script that has So. Many. Puns. Luckily, we had some fantastic assistance from Oculus (thank you!), and the end result is well worth the effort, allowing even more players to enjoy the ridiculous characters in Vacation Simulator!

Subtitle Details

Plenty of subtle polish went in to the subtitle system. Everything from the character icons to the font size were designed to make them comfortable to read while still fitting within the game world. 

All the little touches are what really make the subtitles shine! In-game speech bubbles appear at the depth of the speaker so they feel anchored in the space, and players don’t need to refocus their eyes when looking between the characters and their dialogue. No matter which way the player looks, the subtitles always face them and has an arrow that points back in the direction of the speaker. Subtitles also go semi-transparent when they’re obscured by another object in front of them. This softer appearance allows subtitles to be larger and more centrally placed, which reduces eye strain, helps issues with eye convergence, and keeps subtitles out of the periphery where they could cause motion sickness. All of these small details add up to a deeply tested and natural feel in VR. 

For our content creators, subtitles appear on-screen in Spectator Mode, making it easy for anyone outside of the headset to follow along with the audio. 

It’s not just Bots, either! We added subtitles to any object with voiceover audio! See what the sea shell has to say, or chill in front of the television in the Resort all day. 

Subtitles was a much-requested feature, and we gained a ton of knowledge building it that we hope other VR development teams can learn from, as well. We’re very excited to hear what everyone thinks, and hope subtitles allow even more players to [VACATION] to the fullest!

The subtitles update for Vacation Simulator is available now on SteamVR and Oculus, with PlayStation VR coming soon. Subtitles will be in the Oculus Quest version of the game at launch as well—more to come Soon™ on our holiday launch date for Vacation Simulator on Quest!

-Owls

[Vacation Simulator Subtitles Update Press Kit]

Valve Index Release Day— Support for Vacation Simulator + Job Simulator!

Greetings, Humans!

Index hype! The Valve Index is arriving in player hands today, and we are happy to announce Valve Index support for Vacation Simulator and Job Simulator! We launched Index support for Vacation Simulator yesterday along with other changes and bugfixes— you can view the full patch notes here.

Today, we’re excited to share a few things about the Valve Index that we’re excited for with Vacation Simulator…

More frames! More pixels!

We’re proud of our colorful destinations in Vacation Simulator, and the Valve Index really shows off the beautiful scenery of the game. With an increased refresh rate, and improved display, we’re eager for players to experience our vibrant world through the Valve Index. We definitely put all those pixels to use!

We do want to say that this feature alone really blows us away. The comfort of the Index plus the beautiful screen makes us want to spend all day on Vacation Island. The feeling of being immersed and transported to the various destinations of the game makes it easy to lose track of time— and we made the game!

Amazing Audio!

Another feature of the Valve Index we’re excited for is the high quality positional audio. The importance of audio in VR can’t be understated— it’s a huge piece of the immersion puzzle, and something we spend a lot of time on to get just right. The positional audio sounds great on the Index, so players can enjoy the expert audio work of Daniel Perry, our Audio Director and Emperor of Soundwaves!

Close your eyes and let all of your worries float away with the sounds of the waves on Vacation Beach, the birds chirping in Vacation Forest, or the sound of a crackling fireplace in Vacation Mountain.

Index Controller Support + Gestures!

Of course, our support for the Valve Index wouldn’t be complete without full support for the Index Controllers! In Vacation Simulator, we introduced a camera for players to capture their memories of [RELAXATION] and express themselves with a fully-customizable avatar. We’ve seen delightful selfies from our fans so far, and are excited to see even more photos from our fans expressing themselves with our Index Controller support for gestures. Strike a pose for your selfies!


For Job Simulator, we’ve pushed Index support to a beta branch for players to check out— check out our post here for details on how to access this branch! We will take Index support out of beta and publish for players next week, and are excited to share some awesome extra updates with this patch.

We’re super excited for the Index launch, and hope all the new headset owners will check out the immersive experiences we’re proud to bring to the Index. JOB your heart out, then go on a VACATION!

Bot Voyage,
-Owls