Rift Updates @ OC5: New Games and Core Software

Oculus Blog
Posted by Oculus VR
September 26, 2018

At OC5, we gave you a first look at the latest Rift updates and a glimpse of what’s next. From groundbreaking titles like Lone Echo II and Stormland to an all-new core software experience, Rift is the place for VR games. It’s year three, and the best is yet to come.

Preview: The Latest Games Coming to Rift

Ready At Dawn, creators of the beloved Echo VR universe, announced Lone Echo II, the long-awaited sequel to the award-winning title, Lone Echo.

Join OC5 attendees in getting a first look at the new 360° trailer, where Liv and Jack are reunited and mystery lurks in the atmosphere. You can see an extended version of the trailer in 360° at oculus.com/lone-echo.

The team also revealed how the Echo VR franchise is expanding and announced that its zero-gravity shooter Echo Combat will launch worldwide on November 15. Attendees got hands-on with the latest build, which includes the new Combustion Map and Capture Point Mode.

Defector, the first-person spy thriller from Twisted Pixel Games, debuted a new level and trailer that takes you from gambling parlors to parkour chases through India. Your mission begins in 2019.

Launching today, Vox Machinae is the ultimate giant robot warfare experience for you and up to 15 friends. Customize your mech with a powerful arsenal of lasers, missiles, cannons, and more as you’re pitted against rival squads in an escalating war.

A prime example of VR’s thriving indie scene, Vox Machinae was originally created by two people at Space Bullet and was one of the very first studios to receive a content grant from Oculus. Click here to learn more about this inspiring developer story.

Strategy fans got a taste of the single-player campaign in Final Assault, a WWII-themed RTS game from developer Phaser Lock Interactive. With classic base-building and item-gathering taken out of the equation, players get straight to the action and tower over the battlefield as they take direct command of troops, enemy engagement, and resource management. Final Assault releases later this year.

Ubisoft’s upcoming arcade shooter Space Junkies enters its second Closed Beta today! For this beta window, the jetpack-fueled competitive shooter debuts a new mode (2v2 King Mode, where players compete to hold the crown as long as possible), maps (Canyon Chase and Dark Ice), equipment (the Medkit), characters (Templar and Cray-Cray), and a team-based feature where players can jump in with a friend and play against other matched teams.

New: Oculus Mobile App Adds Rift Support

Today, the Oculus desktop app is your gateway to the Rift community, but we want to help you stay connected when you’re AFK, too. That’s why we’re excited to share that the Oculus mobile app now supports Rift! Discover events, connect with friends, and browse the store right from your phone. You can even buy and remote install games to your PC on the go. No need to wait—they’ll be ready to play when you’re back in Rift.

The updated Oculus mobile app is available starting today on iOS and Android.

Core 2.0 Exits Beta: Home and Dash Officially Come to the Rift Platform

After months of work, Core 2.0—Rift’s updated system software—is out of beta, rolling out to the Public Test Channel today and to the entire Rift community in early October. This new version delivers performance improvements, user interface changes, and a wealth of new features. Rather than a static storefront, Home is now a customizable social space you can share with friends. Your new system interface, Dash, brings your apps and PC display to your fingertips across the Rift platform.

Home Highlights
Oculus Home is now your corner of the metaverse, a personal space to design and decorate to your heart’s content. Throughout the beta, we gathered feedback to improve the overall experience, tweaking everything from locomotion to the user interface. For more, check out highlights from the release below.

  • Performance: With dynamic lighting and physically-based rendering, Home packs a visual punch. To ensure optimal performance, we’ve retooled Home from top to bottom to make sure the experience runs smoothly on minimum and recommended spec machines.
  • Custom Asset Import: You can import your own 3D models and objects to decorate your space. Now, you can also import models with skinned animations to bring your space to life!
  • New Decor: Home comes with hundreds of themed items and environments to customize your space, including a new tropical modern theme and summer decorations (so you can enjoy vacation all year round).

Custom Developer Items
Items from your favorite games and apps are coming to Home! Later this year, developers will be able to create Custom Developer Items, like animated objects, sculptures, trophies, and avatar clothing. Display these new items proudly and share them with friends!

We’ve started testing with a small group of developers, and beginning today, you can earn achievement objects in these games:

We won’t spoil them all, but we count the Titan from Brass Tactics among our favorite items, while Quill, the star of Moss, looks pretty darn cute on a shelf, too. And if you’ve already earned the achievements, just head to your inventory in Home—your items will be waiting! The Custom Developer Item pipeline will open to all developers later this Fall.

Social in Home
Friends are central to Home. You can host up to eight friends simultaneously for hangouts and even stream your desktop to the party using Dash. These hangouts are just the beginning—we've got much more in the works, so stay tuned!

Expressive Oculus Avatars
Oculus Avatars form the backbone of social presence in Home and across the platform. In today’s OC5 keynote, we showcased our new Expressive Avatars, which feature simulated eye and mouth movement and subtle micro-expressions. The end result is a blend of behavioral science and animation that lets you feel like you’re really there with others.

We’re excited to make Expressive Avatars available to all developers via the Avatar SDK later this year.

We’ve made major improvements and refinements to Dash since the beta launch, giving you more control over Rift and your virtual desktop from anywhere in VR. With the latest update, Dash’s performance has improved, too, so there’s no impact to games and apps while it’s running in the background.

We’ve redesigned the Dash belt for better ergonomics and surfaced the most popular features. You can now glance at the clock, adjust sound, and check your controller battery directly on the belt. It’s also easier to manage and organize multiple windows.

Last but not least, today’s release introduces Experiments, a new way for us to test and iterate on upcoming Dash features. You can try virtual desktop pullout panels, wristwatch, and other experimental features right now. To get started, just toggle Experiments via the Settings Tab within Dash.

An Early Look at Hybrid Apps

Dash’s virtual desktop brings the power of your PC into VR. And today, we’re announcing a new, experimental technology to help developers bring their traditional desktop apps to VR: Hybrid Apps. Hybrid Apps let developers leverage Dash’s virtual desktop tech to build applications that transition more seamlessly between 2D and VR.

To demonstrate this, we worked with Allegorithmic Labs, the research team from the makers of Substance Painter, to create an experimental demo build. With Hybrid App support, a user can seamlessly move from desktop to VR painting, instantly scaling and manipulating the model’s colors and textures. You can imagine how the process of painting particularly complex objects, like concave surfaces and minute details, will improve in VR.

We’re excited to see what developers create using Hybrid Apps. It’s early days, and this is just a glimpse of where Dash—and Rift—can go. We’re in exploration with a small group of partners, and developers interested in learning more can reach out to the team at oc5riftdevs@oculus.com.

See You in Rift

It’s been less than three years since Rift first made its consumer debut, and we’re still going strong. Let us know which updates you’re most excited about in the comments!

— The Oculus Team