Oculus VR » Oculus-Ready Games http://www.oculus.com Oculus VR, a technology company revolutionizing the way people experience video games. Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:57:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Oculus Connect 2014 http://www.oculus.com/blog/oculus-connect-2014/ http://www.oculus.com/blog/oculus-connect-2014/#comments Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:34:40 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=6148 We’re thrilled to welcome nearly 1,000 developers from around the world to Oculus Connect, our first developer conference.

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If you’re not at the event, you can join us for the remaining keynotes live on www.twitch.tv/oculus. Michael Abrash will be speaking next starting at 10:30am PST, and John Carmack will follow him at 11:30 PST. You can see the full show schedule at www.oculus.com/connect.

Crescent Bay Prototype

We’re really excited to introduce a new feature prototype, Crescent Bay.

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Crescent Bay is the latest prototype headset on the path to the consumer version of the Rift. Crescent Bay features new display technology, 360° head tracking, expanded positional tracking volume, dramatically improved weight and ergonomics, and high-quality integrated audio.

These enhancements allow for a level of presence that’s impossible to achieve with DK2. If you’re here at Oculus Connect, you’ll be able to try Crescent Bay today.

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Along with the new hardware, we’ve created original demo content, which we’re calling the “Crescent Bay Experiences,” developed in-house by our content team specifically for Oculus Connect.

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The Oculus Content team in Seattle, not shown: Seneca, Tom, Kenneth, and Tyler.

The demo is designed to demonstrate the power of presence and give you a glimpse into the level of VR experience you can expect to see come to life in gaming, film, and beyond.

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This is still incredibly early hardware.  There are plenty of technical challenges left to solve for the consumer Rift, but Crescent Bay is truly the best virtual reality headset we’ve ever built.

Unreal Engine 4 & VR

Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) continues to be one of the best engines for virtual reality development. Epic has dedicated huge resources to optimizing UE4 for the Rift and making it incredibly easy to build awe-inspiring VR experiences.

Almost every major Oculus prototype announcement has been accompanied by a new Unreal Engine demo, like Elemental VR, Strategy VR, and Couch Knights. For Crescent Bay, Epic put together an brand new experience called Showdown.

unreal-engine4

Everyone at Oculus Connect will be able to try Showdown running on Crescent Bay. Nick Whiting and Nick Donaldson, who both worked on all of the VR demos at Epic, will also be giving a talk later this afternoon at 3:30 PST entitled Learnings from UE4 Engine Integration and Demos

Oculus & Unity Partnership

Unity has one of the most active developer communities building for the Rift, and today we’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with Unity to make Oculus an official platform and build target.

This means that Unity will now fully support Oculus and the Rift with a dedicated add-on that includes stereo imaging optimizations, 3D audio support, and other features specifically for virtual reality.

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Best of all, Oculus will be now be supported in both the Free and Pro versions of Unity.

We’ve seen a huge amount of incredible content built with Unity and Oculus over the last two years, including ground-breaking projects like Lucky’s Tale, Titans of Space, SUPERHOT, and DarkNet. We hope the partnership enables more developers to leverage Unity’s toolset to build the next generation of virtual reality games and experiences.

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Oculus Audio

Audio is essential for delivering immersive virtual reality. Along with the integrated audio in Crescent Bay, we’re working to build the hardware and software that developers need to create high-fidelity VR audio experiences for the Rift.

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People locate objects in the world using cues that arise from the interaction of sound with the scene, combined with the body of the listener (HRTFs) and head tracking. A great audio engine for VR has to reproduce these cues to fully convince the human perceptual system.

As part of our audio initiative, we’ve licensed RealSpace3D’s audio technology, a software stack developed over 10 years based on technology from the University of Maryland. RealSpace3D’s tech enables high-fidelity VR audio with a combination of HRTF spatialization and integrated reverberation algorithms.

If you’re at Oculus Connect, Brian Hook, our lead audio engineer will be discussing the unique challenges presented by audio in virtual reality, including achieving presence in sound design and performing 3D audio spatialization. RealSpace3D’s team will also be present to answer questions on their technology.

We’ll have more news around audio in the coming months. Stay tuned!

Developer Sessions

We have a whole day of developer sessions lined up from the Oculus team and some of the brightest minds in the industry. If you’re at the show, you can view the entire schedule here: www.oculus.com/connect. We’ll be posting the developer sessions online after the event, and we’ll let you know as soon as they’re online.

Thanks again for making this possible.

– The Oculus Team

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Introducing the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition http://www.oculus.com/blog/introducing-the-samsung-gear-vr-innovator-edition/ http://www.oculus.com/blog/introducing-the-samsung-gear-vr-innovator-edition/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 13:48:42 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=6079 We’re excited to announce the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, a new mobile virtual reality headset using the Galaxy Note 4, created by Samsung and powered by Oculus.

Over the last 12 months, we’ve been collaborating with Samsung on the future of mobile virtual reality. The project actually began as an experiment to see if great VR was possible on next-generation mobile hardware. Oculus CTO John Carmack and the mobile team at Oculus were able to blow everyone away in an extremely short amount of time, quickly proving that we were on to something special.

The culmination of that work is Gear VR Innovator Edition, an add-on to the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4, using the phone’s GPU/CPU to power the device and the Quad HD low-persistence 5.7 inch 1440p AMOLED screen as the display. One of the best aspects of mobile VR is the completely untethered, easy-to-use experience: you connect the Note 4 to the headset, you put it on, and you’re in. That level of accessibility, combined with Oculus software to easily launch and transition between VR applications without taking the headset off, really makes the experience magical.

The Gear VR’s initial release is an ‘Innovator Edition’. It’s an early-access, beta-version of the device for developers and enthusiasts rather than a final consumer product. Content creators can experiment and build totally new experiences while users explore the bleeding edge of mobile VR as it’s being pioneered.


John Carmack sporting the latest Gear VR Innovator Edition at Samsung Unpack

John Carmack and the mobile team here at Oculus have spent the last year spearheading this effort. That time was split between developing a new Oculus Mobile SDK and optimizing Android and the underlying GPU drivers for virtual reality. Several of the key improvements include:

  • Allowing custom calibrated sensors to talk to a dedicated kernel driver
  • Enabling real time scheduled multithreaded application processes at guaranteed clock rates
  • Context prioritized GPU rendering, enabling asynchronous time warp
  • Facilitating completely unbuffered display surfaces for minimal latency
  • Supporting low-persistence display mode for improved comfort, visual stability, and reduced motion blur / judder

The Gear VR is powered by the new Oculus Mobile SDK, and also uses variations of the Oculus Tracker and firmware built into the headset for extremely accurate, ultra low-latency 3DOF tracking. It’s impossible to deliver a high quality mobile experience without this kind of deep end-to-end hardware, software, and firmware optimization. As a result, we’ve been able to achieve sub-20 millisecond motion-to-photons latency, roughly equivalent to the most highly optimized experiences on DK2.

The Innovator Edition is also launching with four new experiences built by Oculus: Oculus Home, Oculus Cinema, Oculus 360 Videos and Oculus 360 Photos.


Screenshot from Oculus Cinema

  • Oculus Home is a simple interface for connecting to the Oculus Store, where you can discover, download, and launch VR content.
  • Oculus Cinema is a virtual movie theater, where you can playback your favorite 2D and 3D movies in a variety of theater environments.
  • Oculus 360 Videos and Oculus 360 Photos are experiences that allow you to playback panoramic content in VR.

These are effectively beta versions of these applications, and we’ll continue to update them as we go. We’ll share more details on all of the projects as we draw closer to the product’s launch.


Screenshot from Oculus Home

It’s still early days for mobile VR. Some of the key challenges include a lack of 6DOF positional tracking, limited CPU/GPU bandwidth with today’s hardware, thermal management, power consumption, and overall ergonomics, but we’re making progress quickly and the Innovator Edition is only just the beginning. Still, the experience on the device today is pretty astounding.

The magic of a completely portable and wireless VR headset is easy to underestimate until you have experienced it. We don’t have the raw horsepower of a high end gaming PC (yet), but there are valuable compensations that make it a very interesting trade off, and many developers will thrive on the platform, especially as it improves at the rapid pace of the mobile ecosystem.

At it’s very core, virtual reality is about being freed from the limitations of actual reality. Carrying your virtual reality with you, and being able to jump into it whenever and wherever you want qualitatively changes the experience for the better.

Experiencing mobile VR is like when you first tried a decent desktop VR experience — There is a sense that you are glimpsing something from the future. This is science fiction made real, and it’s only just the beginning. – John Carmack, Oculus CTO

You can learn more about the Gear VR Innovator Edition at http://www.samsung.com. The headset will be available to developers and enthusiasts starting this fall. The Oculus Mobile SDK will be available publicly on the Oculus Developer Center before the end of October. We’ll let everyone know when it’s online.

We want to emphasize that the mobile project doesn’t change our plans for the Rift or our commitment to (and love for) the PC. We’ll continue to push the boundaries of performance and presence on the Rift for PC, while making VR available to the widest audience possible entrance at the lowest barrier to entry by leveraging the strengths of mobile as a platform.

We encourage developers who are already working with the Oculus Rift to try the Gear VR for themselves as soon as they have a chance. We believe mobile is a key part of VR’s future, and we’re looking forward to seeing what you build with the device!

It’s been an adventure keeping this project under-wraps for so long, and we’re thrilled to finally share it with you. Now that the word’s out, we’ll have more mobile VR news in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

– The Oculus Team

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Jason Rubin Joins the Team and Oculus at E3 2014 http://www.oculus.com/blog/jason-rubin-joins-the-team-and-oculus-at-e3-2014/ http://www.oculus.com/blog/jason-rubin-joins-the-team-and-oculus-at-e3-2014/#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 14:00:32 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=5796 Jason Rubin Joins Oculus

We’re thrilled to announce that Jason Rubin, co-founder of Naughty Dog and games industry veteran, has joined Oculus as head of worldwide studios!

Jason is a former game programmer and director, best known for his work on the Crash Bandicoot® and Jak & Daxter™ series at Naughty Dog, a team that helped pioneer high-frame-rate 3D console games in the earliest days of PlayStation®. Jason has shipped over a dozen games across multiple console generations, working with some of the best game developers in the world.

“There have only been a handful of times in my life where I saw something that I knew would change everything. The awe-inspiring tech Oculus is building is a portal into an incredible world that my daughter will one day consider to be normal. The moment I put it on, I wanted to help define that future.

After decades of game innovation on traditional screens, the longtime dream of true presence inside a virtual world is finally here. Virtual reality requires an entirely different approach; from systems and protocols to game design and storytelling, everything is being reimagined from the ground up to deliver experiences that are entirely new and magical.

The team at Oculus has been working to push the boundaries of what’s possible with hardware and software. I’m excited to bring together a new division dedicated to building high-quality VR content that helps define the platform and inspire others to do the same.

Thanks to the Oculus community for making this all possible and for having me as part of the team!”

Jason will be heading up the Oculus first-party content initiatives in Seattle, San Francisco, Menlo Park, Dallas and Irvine. If you’re interested in working with Jason and the talented and growing development team, let us know by checking out open roles at www.oculus.com/careers.

E3 2014 Starts Today

We’re at E3 this week, talking virtual reality and next-generation gaming with some of the best game developers from around the world.

The second Rift development kit (DK2) represents a significant step toward true consumer virtual reality. It opens up all sorts of new possibilities for game designers and content creators, and we’re thrilled to unleash it upon the community when it begins shipping next month.

The very first glimpses of what’s possible with DK2 are playable in our booth here at E3. We’ve been working closely with a few developers with pre-production kits, and we’re excited to showcase some of the incredible games they’ve been building with the new headset.

If you’re at the show, swing by the Oculus booth (West Hall #5222) to check them out!

SUPERHOT is a unique first-person shooter game where time moves only when you move, making each level a deadly puzzle fueled by fluid time mechanics and relentless foes. It’s one of the most fun experiences we’ve seen on the Rift.

“The project started out during last year’s 7 Day First Person Shooter game jam, where we decided to make something that really stood out in the genre – a title that felt satisfying, while not requiring superhuman reflexes. Something like a game of real-time chess, except that all the pawns are out there to murder you.” – SUPERHOT Team

SUPERHOT’s Kickstarter campaign is actually live right now at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/375798653/superhot, so if you like the game, contribute to making it a reality!

Lucky’s Tale is a new made-for-VR adventure by the team at Playful. Introduced in last week’s blog, Lucky’s Tale is a “delightful platforming adventure game” designed exclusively for the Rift that reimagines the genre from the ground up.

Lucky’s Tale is premiering for the first time here at E3 2014, so be sure to swing by the booth and check it out on the Rift!

Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation™ is a new survival horror game set in the Alien™ universe. A terrifying experience, particularly in virtual reality, Isolation is all about survival.

In the E3 Rift demo, you’ll use every tool at your disposal to escape from a ruthless Alien in the wreckage of your spaceship. Underpowered and underprepared, you’ll scavenge resources and improvise solutions; not just to succeed, but to survive.

EVE: Valkyrie is the highly anticipated multiplayer, space-dogfighting shooter being developed by CCP and co-published by Oculus. Valkyrie, running on the Rift HD Prototype, was a contender for Game of Show at last year’s E3. It returns, but with an all new style, running on the graphical horsepower of Unreal Engine 4.

These are just a handful of the ground-breaking experiences the community is developing today. We have 190+ games on Oculus Share with more being added every week, all of which were developed using the original development kit — We can’t wait to see what the world does with DK2.

We’ll see you at the show!

– The Oculus Team

©2014 – Oculus VR, Inc. All rights reserved. Oculus and Oculus Rift are trademarks for Oculus VR, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owner(s).

Alien: Isolation, Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 TM & © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Twentieth Century Fox, Alien, Aliens, Alien 3 and their associated logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Alien: Isolation game software, excluding Twentieth Century Fox elements © SEGA. Developed by The Creative Assembly Limited. Creative Assembly and the Creative Assembly logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of The Creative Assembly Limited. SEGA and the SEGA logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of SEGA Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Jason Holtman, New Hires, Lucky’s Tale, and E3 http://www.oculus.com/blog/jason-holtman-new-hires-luckys-tale-and-e3/ http://www.oculus.com/blog/jason-holtman-new-hires-luckys-tale-and-e3/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 15:42:19 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=5744 Please welcome Jason Holtman, Oculus’ new Head of Platform!

A driving force behind Steam since its earliest days, Jason brings incredible experience building entertainment platforms for both users and developers. At Valve, Jason was a pioneer in the digital distribution revolution that’s taken place over the last decade.

“When I was a kid, I loved arcades. I converted most of my allowance into quarters and couldn’t wait to get to the mall on Saturday. For me, it was all about Battlezone — Simple, bright line geometry, enemy tanks, and mountains off in the distance. That feeling when you grabbed the dual joysticks and pressed your face to the viewfinder was transformative. It was unlike anything else you could play.

Battlezone, although simply rendered, made you believe that you were in that world and that there had to be something beyond those mountains.

Battlezone is widely regarded as one of the first VR games, and looking back, those mountains still excite me. I want to fly, walk across alien landscapes, and nose around the Great Pyramids. And that’s the most telling thing about VR: the possibilities are obvious, immediate, and endless.

So, I’m humbled to become a part of this team. I’m not one of the pioneering scientists or engineers in virtual reality, but I am one of the people that can’t stop grinning every time I see something new inside the headset, and I’m looking forward to helping shape the transformative experiences that inspire the next generation of developers.”

Jason will be spearheading the business development and partnership side of the Oculus platform working closely with Marshall, head of platform engineering, and David, head of worldwide publishing, with a focus on building the world’s best developer and player VR ecosystem. We’re thrilled to welcome him to the team.

Building the Dream Team

The Facebook deal supercharged our recruiting efforts, and we’re always looking for the absolute best and brightest in the world. It’s been a while since we announced any new hires in the blog, so we thought we’d include a handful (or two) of the incredible people who have joined the team since March:

  • Neil Konzen, former engineer at Valve and one of the original Microsoft employees
  • Brian Hook, former engineer at RAD (Telemetry) and the original author of 3Dfx Glide
  • Adrian Wong, former lead systems engineer at Google[x] (Glass)
  • Ian Field, former engineer at ARM and co-inventor of Cortex-M
  • Raul Corella, former head of supply chain at JawBone, Monster, and Leap Motion
  • Laura Fryer, former GM of Epic Seattle and WB Seattle
  • Paul Pedriana, former lead engineer at EA
  • David Moore, former engineer at RAD (Granny)
  • Kenneth Scott, former art director at 343 Studios (Halo 4)
  • Seneca Menard, former technical artist at id Software
  • Paul Pepera, former environment artist at Valve and 343 Studios
  • Brian Sharp, former engineer at Bungie
  • Aaron Nicholls, former engineer at Valve, 343 Studios, and Microsoft
  • Matt Alderman, former engineer at Valve and ArenaNet
  • Cass Everitt, former GPU architect and engineer at Nvidia
  • Ross O’Dwyer, former at head of development support at Havok
  • Douglas Lanman, former research scientist at Nvidia Research and MIT Media Lab
  • …and many, many more: Scott Boyce, Gayan Ediriweera, Michael Berger, Khoi Nguyen, Aaron Toney, Bruce Cleary, Anusha Balan, Sagy Wiessbrod, Christopher Taylor, Soh Tanaka, Matt Mojica, Hyo Jin Kim, Steve Arnold, Dan Moskowitz

Team volleyball and BBQ at Crystal Cove State Park

We’re hiring for all roles in Irvine, Dallas, Seattle, and Menlo Park. If you’re interested in being part of the team, check out the Oculus Careers page at oculusvr.com/careers.

Publishing Lucky’s Tale

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with Playful to publish Lucky’s Tale, a new made-for-VR adventure designed exclusively for the Oculus Rift. The full details behind the title will be revealed next week at E3, and attendees will be able to check out a playable demo of Lucky’s Tale in the Oculus booth next week.

Playful’s founder, Paul Bettner (who’s best known from his work as co-creator of Words with Friends) was one of the original $5,000 Kickstarter backers who believed in the Rift from the beginning. Paul actually visited the original Oculus office in October of 2012 when we were still just a small team hand assembling prototypes — We’ve been collaborating with Playful on software, hardware, and VR research ever since.

“We love VR. We founded Playful because of VR, and we’re thrilled by Oculus’ breakthrough progress bringing VR to life. It’s a dream come true to partner with their team to create truly native, made-for-VR games.”
- Paul Bettner, Founder, Playful

We’re excited to be officially involved with this project, and we’re looking forward to seeing them refresh one of our favorite genres.

Oculus in the News

If you get a chance, pick up a copy of this month’s Wired, featuring Palmer on the cover and an in-depth, 18-page article about Oculus inside.

The story is the result of months of interviews by Wired’s Peter Rubin who’s been tracking the Oculus team, getting the behind the scenes of the DK2 launch, the backstory of how Palmer’s prototypes came to life, and how Oculus is bringing consumer VR to the world. It’s a great brief history of Oculus so far, revealing a few new tidbits.

You can read the full story online at Wired.com here: http://www.wired.com/2014/05/oculus-rift-4/

We also recommend checking out Michael Abrash’s recent CMU talk on “Why VR Isn’t (Just) the Next Platform” but perhaps the last. The talk provides a great overview of presence, along with a deep-dive on DK2’s tracking techniques from Dov Katz for the engineers out there:

E3 and Beyond

Over the past month, we’ve been all over the globe, sharing DK2 with developers and artists at TriBeCa Film Festival, SVVR, Nordic Games Conference, Unite China, Unite Korea, and other community meetups. If you have a VR gathering planned, let us us know about it at events@oculusvr.com!

Next week, the team is heading up to E3 in Los Angeles. We’ll be showing the second Oculus Rift development kit (DK2) running some of our favorite games and experiences at Booth 5222. If you’re at the show, stop by the West Hall and say Hello!

If you’re a developer planning to show a VR game at E3, please let us know at developer@oculusvr.com. We’d love to stop by and try your latest VR creations.

We’ll see you at E3!

— The Oculus Team

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EVE: Valkyrie, Open Source Hardware, and the Best Practices Guide http://www.oculus.com/blog/eve-valkyrie-open-source-hardware-and-the-best-practices-guide/ http://www.oculus.com/blog/eve-valkyrie-open-source-hardware-and-the-best-practices-guide/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 16:42:20 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=5122 The intersection of transparency and open collaboration between Oculus and the development community often leads to amazing content and inspiring breakthroughs. Today, we’re excited to share a few great examples.

Oculus Co-Publishing EVE: Valkyrie for the Rift

First, we’re thrilled to announce that the first Oculus co-publishing project is none other than EVE: Valkyrie, making Valkyrie an exclusive Oculus Rift launch title.

EVE: Valkyrie, developed by the team at CCP Games (creators of EVE Online and DUST 514), is one of the first AAA games designed exclusively for the Rift. The project, initially called “EVE-VR”, was born from a small, passionate team within CCP who supported Oculus during the Kickstarter campaign.

Since its debut at EVE Fanfest last year, Valkyrie has been a brilliant showcase for the power of VR and hands-down one of our favorite Rift games. At E3 2013, Valkyrie came away with a half-dozen awards including Best Game of E3 from PC Gamer and Most Innovative Game from IGN. Valkyrie was also a key part of the award-winning Crystal Cove demos at CES this year.

The original EVE-VR team.

“We strongly believe the best VR experiences are going to be the ones built from the ground up for VR, and we’ve kept that in mind whilst developing Valkyrie.

We wanted people to really feel like they were there – to sense the vastness of space, feel the confined area of the cockpit and get that adrenaline rush as you see an exploding fighter whizz past your head.

In a very short amount of time this passion project became a full fledged CCP project which we’re now working on in Newcastle. It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come in a year!”

– CCP EVE Valkyrie team members Robert Clarke, Programmer, and Sigurður Gunnarsson, Senior Programmer

We couldn’t be more excited for the future of Valkyrie, and we’re thrilled to help CCP bring the best possible made-for-VR experience to the Rift.

We’re looking for more great developers to partner with on made-for-VR content. If you’re interested in potentially teaming up, email us at publishing@oculusvr.com to learn more!

Open Sourcing the Latency Tester

A key part of the Oculus culture is a drive for openness. We believe that making Oculus more open and transparent will ultimately accelerate and improve virtual reality technology for everyone.

As part of this effort, today we’ve released the Oculus Latency Tester as open source hardware. This includes the firmware as a CooCox project, the schematic and board layout in Eagle, STLs of a 3D printable enclosure, and documentation of the interface. The entire package is available to view, download, and fork in a GitHub repository.

The Latency Tester is now under permissive licenses that let you freely use, modify, distribute, tear apart, and even sell the project or pieces of it to your heart’s content. The firmware, excluding vendor libraries, is released under the Apache 2.0 License. The schematic, board layout, and enclosure are available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0. These licenses make working with the Latency Tester source as convenient as possible.

The Latency Tester contains a Cortex M3-based microcontroller, a digitally interfaced RGB color sensor, and a 3 digit 7 segment display. Testing the latency of the Rift is just one use case. You could build a display color calibrator, an ambient light detector, a general purpose tester of video game latency with external trigger input, or a myriad of other projects with a little hacking on the firmware or hardware.

The files are available for you to build your own, but if you don’t want to break out the soldering iron or toaster oven, you can order a Latency Tester here. A new production run was just completed and will be shipping out shortly.

We’re always looking at open-sourcing other aspects of the Oculus hardware and software stack that can be useful to the community. We’ll keep you posted on future developments!

Best Practices Guide

Photo courtesy Dave Oshry.

At Steam Dev Days, Palmer announced that we’ve released the Oculus Best Practices Guide, a collection of suggestions and basic guidelines for developing VR content. The guide is the result of months of research, prototyping, and testing by the Oculus team along with key members of the community.

If you’re interested in developing VR games or experiences, we highly recommend giving it a read. Here’s a very brief section from the introduction for inspiration:

“VR is an immersive medium. It creates the sensation of being entirely transported into a virtual (or real, but digitally reproduced) three-dimensional world, and it can provide a far more visceral experience than screen-based media. Enabling the mind’s continual suspension of disbelief requires particular attention to detail. It can be compared to the difference between looking through a framed window into a room, versus walking through the door into the room and freely moving around.”

You can download the guide now from the Oculus Developer Center here:

http://static.oculus.com/sdk-downloads/documents/OculusBestPractices.pdf

The Best Practices Guide is an ever-evolving document, and we’re always reviewing and adding emerging insights from the developer community. If you have suggestions, let us know by emailing bestpractices@oculusvr.com!

What’s Next?

The team will be at a ton of upcoming events, including at IndieCade East, SXSW, and GDC. If you’re at one of the shows, swing by and say “Hi”. Brendan and Palmer are also giving a talk on the future of virtual reality on Thursday at 2:30pm PST from DICE, which will be livestreamed at http://www.twitch.tv/DICE.

Finally, as always, we’re recruiting the best and the brightest, especially:

- Senior 3D Artists and Modelers

- Senior Animators

- Senior Gameplay Engineers

…to help us build next-gen VR content!

You can find all the latest opportunities for Oculus’ Irvine, San Francisco, and Dallas offices at www.oculus.com/careers.

Hope to see you soon!

– The Oculus Team

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Shipping Update, Replacement Rewards, VR Meet Ups, and Half Life 2 in VR! http://www.oculus.com/blog/shipping-update-replacement-rewards-vr-meet-ups-and-half-life-2-in-vr/ http://www.oculus.com/blog/shipping-update-replacement-rewards-vr-meet-ups-and-half-life-2-in-vr/#comments Sat, 18 May 2013 06:41:14 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=3428 We thought we’d share a short and sweet Oculus update to help kick off the weekend.

Shipping Update

Since our last update (May 1st), we’ve shipped roughly 2,500 dev kits, bringing the total number of dev kits in the wild to just over 6,000. We’re on track to ship the remaining 1,500 Kickstarter kits before the end of May.

Palmer, Nate, Michael and Brendan signing Rift dev kits for backers.

To everyone who’s still waiting for their Rift: Thank you for your patience! We’re almost there.

To everyone who’s already received their Rift: Thank you for your patience! We hope you’re enjoying it.

If you’re developing samples, demos or full ‘Made for VR’ games, please share them with the community on the Oculus Forums.

Replacement Rewards

The replacement rewards for Kickstarter development kits are available now via the Oculus Order Manager. If you’re eligible for a replacement reward, just login to the Oculus Order Manager and click the “Claim Code” button.

If you claim your Oculus Store Credit code today, it can be applied to purchases in the Oculus Store (including the upcoming Latency Tester) starting June 1.

Oculus SDK Update – v0.2.2

We just released Oculus SDK v0.2.2 on the Oculus Developer Center. Highlights of the release include:

- Added magnetometer drift correction support to Unity integration.
– The Unity sample’s HUD is now rendered in 3D with proper distortion.
– Added gamepad support and OculusWorldTiny sample on Mac OSX.

If you’re interested, you can read the full build notes for the release here.

Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Meet Up

The Silicon Valley Virtual Reality (SVVR) meet up held their first meeting last night, featuring organizers Karl KrantzCymatic Bruce, and the Sixense team. We snuck in to join the crowd of over 60 VR enthusiasts at the Computer History Museum in San Jose (which includes one of Ivan Sutherland’s original experimental 3D headsets from 1968) to check out a few of the community’s latest projects.

Photo by MarinoAlperon from www.reddit.com/r/oculus

It was awesome to see developers sharing their demos (and their Rift dev kits), discussing their work, and providing feedback to one another. A huge thank you to Karl and Bruce for organizing the event. We look forward to hearing about other meet ups around the world!

Half Life 2 (VR Beta) Officially in the Rift

Joe Ludwig dropped into the Oculus Forum to share the news — Valve has officially released beta Oculus support for their groundbreaking classic, Half Life 2 (including Episode 1, Episode 2 and OSX support)!

Just like Team Fortress 2, this port is intended as a testbed for Valve’s future VR projects. Joe mentioned that it’s “…a bit more raw than TF2,” but we’ve been having a blast playing it around the office.

If you’ve never played Half Life 2, or maybe it’s just been awhile since your last go, now’s your chance to step inside Ravenholm like never before. It’s pretty incredible to have Dr. Gordon Freeman’s story, arguably one of the best interactive experiences ever made, as a VR developer showcase. We can’t thank the team at Valve enough (again).

We have more good news queued up for next week, so stay tuned!

– Palmer and the Oculus Team

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Team Fortress 2 in the Oculus Rift http://www.oculus.com/blog/team-fortress-2-in-the-oculus-rift/ http://www.oculus.com/blog/team-fortress-2-in-the-oculus-rift/#comments Mon, 18 Mar 2013 23:45:37 +0000 https://www.oculus.com/?p=2957 Yes, it’s true: Valve announced today that Team Fortress 2 will have a new “VR Mode” that supports the Oculus Rift, available this week!

Team Fortress 2 is one of our absolute favorite games (it’s Palmer’s most-played game on Steam!), and we’re really looking forward to playing it in VR with you. We couldn’t ask for a better developer showcase.

Engadget has all the details, including a great interview with Joe Ludwig, one of the engineers at Valve who led TF2’s VR implementation. You can check out a video of the interview here: http://www.engadget.com/2013/03/18/valve-joe-ludwig-interview/

Exclusive Rift Dev Kit Hat for TF2

The icing on the cake? To commemorate this momentous occasion, Valve created an exclusive new TF2 hat: the Oculus Rift development kit.

Now you may be saying: “Wow. Could this possibly get any better?” The answer: A resounding “Yes”.

Valve has generously donated these fashionable Rift hats to the Oculus developer community. If you backed the Kickstarter campaign at any level, or if you pre-ordered a Rift development kit from our website before April 1, 2013, (and haven’t refunded/canceled your pledge/order) you’ll receive a code to redeem your very own TF2 Oculus dev kit hat.

Wear it with pride. You earned it.

Team Fortressing in VR

Soon you’ll be cruising around in Team Fortress 2, wearing your dapper, limited edition dev kit hat, stealing intel, capping points, and fragging fellow Oculus developers.

“…it’s really impressive and easily the best use of 3D technology I’ve ever seen… At one point I shotgun a demoman in the motor pool of Badwater, then switch to my pistol whip a volley of shots over my left shoulder (yes, it really felt that way) to drop a soldier coming down the ramp. Watching him fall, I start to feel like VR is something I could get used to.”PCGamerN

Valve has done an incredible job bringing TF2 to virtual reality. That said, it’s a fast paced, intense experience. TF2 wasn’t originally designed for virtual reality and skirting around the map at super-speed in VR isn’t for everyone. You’re going to want to ease yourself in and acclimate over time.

Valve is also planning on sharing what they learned bringing TF2 to VR in two GDC talks:

  • Why Virtual Reality is Hard (And Where it Might be Going) presented by Michael Abrash.
  • What We Learned Porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality presented by Joe Ludwig.

We’d like to thank everyone at Valve for their hard work and generosity. We appreciate it!

This Week

We apologize in advance for the oncoming torrent of Oculus news. This week is stacked with exciting announcements, including news about Unity, Unreal, and the Oculus SDK, so stay tuned.

We’re looking forward to playing TF2 with you soon!

– Palmer and the Oculus team

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Hawken to Launch Oculus-ready December 2012! http://www.oculus.com/blog/hawken-to-launch-oculus-ready-december-2012/ http://www.oculus.com/blog/hawken-to-launch-oculus-ready-december-2012/#comments Tue, 28 Aug 2012 01:26:08 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=1752 With less than a week to go, we’re thrilled to share an exciting announcement with our Kickstarter backers: Meteor Entertainment and Adhesive Games have partnered with Oculus VR™ to launch their incredibly evocative mech shooter, Hawken, in virtual reality with the Rift on 12.12.12.

Check out our announcement video for the all details from Mark Long, CEO of Meteor, and Khang Le, creative director of Adhesive!

We’re huge fans of the mech genre and we couldn’t be happier to announce that the best-looking mech game in years will be running inside the Rift. Even more exciting is that Oculus developers will be able to experience Hawken in virtual reality from day one.

Now, with Doom 3 BFG Edition and Hawken, Oculus VR™ developers will have two incredible showcases demonstrating well-designed VR gameplay on the Rift right when they receive their developer kits.

Hawken in Virtual Reality

  • Everyone with a Rift will be able to pilot their Hawken mech in completely immersive, stereo 3D virtual reality.
  • An entirely new way to play Hawken which includes updates to gameplay, input, the cockpit, and the heads-up-display.
  • Hawken will feature an exclusive Oculus VR cockpit that let’s the player look around inside the mech, independant of the mech’s direction, in full stereoscopic 3D.
  • Hawken is free-to-play, which means that anyone with a Rift can try Hawken in virtual reality on 12.12.12.

As big fans of Hawken, it means a lot to us that Hawken will be the very first original new IP inside the Rift, especially as a great example of what’s possible when developers combine the power of Unreal Engine 3 (UE3) and the Oculus SDK.

Developing with the Rift

Since our Kickstarter is all about developers building great games for the Rift, we’ll be sharing details with the Oculus VR™ developer community throughout Hawken’s VR development. This may include extra notes on the initial integration in UE3, virtual reality gameplay design improvements, or general suggestions for making the best-possible VR game, all based on our experience with Hawken.

Thank you!

We want to really thank everyone who’s supported this Kickstarter so far. You’re the ones making all this happen. And special thanks to Mark, Khang, and the entire crew at Meteor and Adhesive for being some of the first to help us change gaming forever.

Only 4 days left… Talk to you soon, Kickstarter!

– Palmer

P.S. Don’t forget: I’ll be doing an AMA on Reddit tomorrow, Aug 28th, at 10am PST. Hope to talk to some of you then!

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