Oculus VR » Oculus-Ready Games http://www.oculusvr.com Oculus VR, a technology company revolutionizing the way people experience video games. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:30:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6.1 EVE: Valkyrie, Open Source Hardware, and the Best Practices Guide http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/eve-valkyrie-open-source-hardware-and-the-best-practices-guide/ http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/eve-valkyrie-open-source-hardware-and-the-best-practices-guide/#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 16:42:20 +0000 Oculus VR http://www.oculusvr.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.oculusvr.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.oculusvr.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.oculusvr.com/blog/shipping-update-replacement-rewards-vr-meet-ups-and-half-life-2-in-vr/ http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/shipping-update-replacement-rewards-vr-meet-ups-and-half-life-2-in-vr/#comments Sat, 18 May 2013 06:41:14 +0000 Oculus VR http://www.oculusvr.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.oculusvr.com/blog/team-fortress-2-in-the-oculus-rift/ http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/team-fortress-2-in-the-oculus-rift/#comments Mon, 18 Mar 2013 23:45:37 +0000 Oculus VR https://www.oculusvr.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.oculusvr.com/blog/hawken-to-launch-oculus-ready-december-2012/ http://www.oculusvr.com/blog/hawken-to-launch-oculus-ready-december-2012/#comments Tue, 28 Aug 2012 01:26:08 +0000 Oculus VR http://www.oculusvr.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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