Oculus at GDC 2013

The Oculus team will be at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week, Wednesday, March 27th through Friday, March 29th. You’ll find us at booth 218 on the GDC Expo floor (South Hall).

Joe has been working on the booth non-stop since he arrived and it’s starting to look great. If you have a chance, come check out a demo and say Hi.

On Virtual Reality

We’re giving two talks on virtual reality while we’re here: the first on the challenges of designing and implementing great VR games; the second on what the future of VR gaming may look like.

“Running the VR Gauntlet – VR Ready, Are You?” with Michael and Nate
Wednesday, March 27 @ 2:00PM – 3:00PM (Room 302, South Hall)

Virtual reality may be poised to revolutionize the way we play our favorite games, but creating a great VR game is surprisingly challenging. Developers have to carefully consider latency, user input, rendering performance, UI design, and overall user experience. We’ll discuss what developers need to know about supporting the Oculus Rift, how to tackle the major technical hurdles associated with truly immersive virtual reality, and what we’ve learned so far from building a new platform for VR games.

“Virtual Reality: The Holy Grail of Gaming” with Palmer and Brendan
Thursday, March 28 @ 11:30AM – 12:30PM (Room 301, South Hall)

For years, developers have strived to make immersive virtual worlds, and gamers have spent countless billions on the systems that play them best. Software, hardware, and input devices have all leapt forward, but the connection between the player and the virtual world has remained limited. We’ve dreamed of stepping inside of our games, but the best we’ve been able to do is puppet characters through a tiny window! Technological progress in a variety of fields has finally brought immersive virtual reality within reach of gamers. We’ll discuss VR’s false starts, what’s different this time, and why virtual reality is poised to revolutionize the way we play games.

Valve is also giving two talks on virtual reality you won’t want to miss:

“Why Virtual Reality Is Hard (And Where It Might Be Going)” presented by Michael Abrash

Thursday, March 28 @ 5:30PM – 5:55PM (Room 2014, West Hall)

“What We Learned Porting Team Fortress 2 to Virtual Reality” presented by Joe Ludwig
Thursday, March 28 @ 6:05PM – 6:30PM (Room 2014, West Hall)

Oculus-ready Demos

In the booth, we’re demoing the latest Rift development kits that start shipping on Friday with our most immersive demos to date. We’ll be cycling through these demos in 2-hour blocks throughout the show, so you may have to stop by more than once to see them all.

Hawken

Adhesive and Meteor have been cranking on the Oculus-ready version of Hawken and it looks fantastic. Even though it’s an early build of the integration, piloting your very own mech over the stereoscopic cityscape of Hawken in virtual reality is awe inspiring.

Team Fortress 2

Valve announced the new “VR Mode” for Team Fortress 2 last week and we brought the latest Oculus-ready build of the war-themed hat simulator with us to GDC. One of the coolest looking games in Valve’s arsenal, the feeling of actually being Heavy, looking down and seeing the mini-gun in your hands, is worth the trip alone.

Razer Hydra Demo + Special Offer

We’ve been collaborating with Sixense on a Oculus + Unity + Razer Hydra sandbox demo and the early results are pretty cool. With the Hydra, you can interact with objects in the Oculus World demo (Tuscan Villa) with basic hand-position tracking, including throwing furniture, lighting books on fire, and trying to juggle baseballs.

Razer is actually launching a VR promotion today where they’re offering the Razer Hydra or the Razer Hydra Bundle (w/ Portal 2) for 50%-off to all Oculus developers and VR enthusiasts. We’re big fans of the Hydra — it’s impressive tech, especially in conjunction with the Rift. If you’re interested in learning more, check out www.razerzone.com/vrpromo. Special thanks to Razer for this great offer.

Unity 4 Integration

We have all our Unity 4 integration demos with us, including DriVR, which was built in just a few hours using content from the Unity Asset Store, and the Oculus World Demo, a little virtual vacation to Tuscany included with the Oculus SDK. Peter, who can be seen driving very poorly above, will be happy to walkyou through the basics of the Oculus – Unity integration at the booth.

Our best lap on DriVR is still 1:09. We’re searching for a new heir to the DriVR throne.

Unreal Engine 3 Integration

And, of course, the infamous ‘snowy’ Epic Citadel demo built using Unreal Engine 3. If you’re interested to see just what’s possible with the upcoming Oculus-ready version of the UDK, look no further.

We’d like to thank all of our partners for their extra efforts leading up to GDC! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@Oculus3D) for live Oculus updates from the show.

We’ll see you at GDC tomorrow!

– Palmer and the Oculus team

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