Become a Detective in THE SINKING CITY’s Lovecraftian World

Frogwares has released a new video for their upcoming horror investigative adventure The Sinking City, which will be hitting PC and consoles later this year. The video, which you can watch above, dives into the mechanics of the game, specifically when it comes to using the main character’s sleuthing abilities so as to solve mysteries and crimes. Fans of Frogwares’ Sherlock games will see something that will almost certainly make them very happy!

Tortured by his past and otherworldly visions, Charles W. Reed, a private investigator finds himself in Oakmont, Massachusetts, seeking salvation from the creeping insanity that afflicts him. Once a trade harbor, known for its lucrative smuggling business, Oakmont now lives in secluded isolation from the rest of the world, under a flood of supernatural origins. In this place of decay and superstition; players will have to deal with the dregs of mankind, follow clues they wish they had never found, and unveil a cosmic horror threatening the world itself.

We’ve been covering The Sinking City for a while now and it’s still up there as one of our most anticipated games of the year. If you want to see something really creepy and cool, check out these photos of sculptures used by the dev team for inspiration that we premiered last year.

The post Become a Detective in THE SINKING CITY’s Lovecraftian World appeared first on Dread Central.

Bigscreen Patches Potential Hack That Could Have Spelled Disaster for the Platform

A team of researchers at the University of New Haven recently uncovered an exploit that could mean a serious security threat to apps built on the Unity game engine. Bigscreen Beta, the Unity-based social VR platform that lets you stream you monitor to others and chat in virtual reality, was particularly vulnerable before being patched last week.

Bigscreen founder and CEO Darshan Shankar says the exploit was “reported to us and has been fixed already” and that it was “not exploited by hackers, and no one is currently vulnerable to this issue. It is fixed.”

The security patch was also publicly noted in the app’s most recent update log, among which included a number of new features such as real-time raytracing lighting effects, new environments, new avatars, and new user interface.

Before the vulnerability was patched in a recent Bigscreen Beta update, University of New Haven researchers were able to accomplish a dizzying list of bad deeds using their own ‘command and control’ tool in effort to not only render the platform unsafe for private conversation, but also potentially infect computers with any type of malware by using Unity’s OpenURL command.

Unity has since issued a warning to developers who use the OpenURL command in their games, saying “you must be extremely careful that you do not provide a string to this function which could possibly be maliciously crafted or modified by a 3rd party.”

The researchers say in a news update that without a user’s knowledge and consent—and even without tricking users into downloading software or granting access to the computer—they were able to:

  • Turn on user microphones and listen to private conversations
  • Join any VR room including private rooms
  • Create a replicating worm that infects users as soon as they enter a room with other VR users
  • View user computer screens in real-time
  • Send messages on a user’s behalf
  • Download and run programs – including malware – onto user computers
  • Join users in VR while remaining invisible. This novel attack was termed as a Man-In-The-Room (MITR) attack
  • Phish users into downloading fake VR drivers

“Our research shows hackers are able to monitor people day in and day out – listen to what they are saying and see how they are interacting in virtual reality,” said Dr. Ibrahim Baggili, founder and co-director of the University of New Haven Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group. “They can’t see you, they can’t hear you, but the hacker can hear and see them, like an invisible Peeping Tom. A different layer of privacy has been invaded.”

The team also created a video showing just what deleterious effects the exploit could have wrought on users if they didn’t find it and report it first.

Thankfully, what could have been a disaster for the platform’s users, which use the app both as a virtual desktop and shared viewing platform, was averted before any harm could be done.

“Working alongside security researchers and our internal security & QA practices will help us stay ahead of malicious hackers,” Shankar told Road to VR.

The post Bigscreen Patches Potential Hack That Could Have Spelled Disaster for the Platform appeared first on Road to VR.

Criterion brings “BLUE VELVET” and “FUNNY GAMES” to Blu-ray in May; details and art

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

Two of the most disturbing and provocative films in history are coming to Criterion Collection Blu-ray; read on for the complete specs and cover art.

Criterion releases Michael Haneke’s original FUNNY GAMES May 14 and David Lynch’s BLUE VELVET (pictured) May 28; both titles will be issued on new DVDs as well. FUNNY GAMES, Haneke’s study of violence involving a family terrorized by a couple of cleancut young men, will be presented in a new 2K digital restoration supervised by the director, presented in 1.85:1 widescreen with 5.1 Surround DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray. Special features are:

  • New interviews with Haneke and actor Arno Frisch
  • New interview with film historian Alexander Horwath
  • Press conference from the 1997 Cannes Film Festival featuring Haneke and actors Susanne Lothar and Ulrich Mühe
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Bilge Ebiri

Retail prices are $39.95 for the Blu-ray, $29.95 for the DVD. BLUE VELVET, Lynch’s classic plunge into darkness pitting Kyle McLachlan’s naive young hero against Dennis Hopper’s memorably maniacal antagonist, has been given a new 4K digital restoration in 2.35:1 widescreen, with 5.1 Surround DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray, both supervised by Lynch. The bonus features are:

  • “BLUE VELVET” REVISITED, a feature-length meditation on the making of the film by Peter Braatz, filmed on set during the production
  • “The Lost Footage,” 51 minutes of deleted scenes and alternate takes assembled by Lynch
  • MYSTERIES OF LOVE, a 70-minute documentary from 2002 on the making of the film
  • Alternate original stereo soundtrack
  • Trailer

And more. Retail prices are $39.95 for the Blu-ray, $29.95 for the two-DVD edition. Both titles can be pre-ordered at discounts at the Criterion website.

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE’s Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.