Oculus Rift Musings: Part 1 – Oculus at GDC2014

I’ve played with the initial SDK and unlike some folks I don’t get motion sickness and the lag was barely noticeable. It was a solid 1st effort and I was looking forward to trying out Crystal Cove, Oculus VR’s 2nd gen hardware which I talk about here;

At GDC 2014 I got a chance to try it out. oculusGDC2014

From a recommendation from a friend who works there I played Couch Nights, which is a simple Unreal Engine game about two tiny cartoon knights running around a living room. Using an Xbox controller I was quickly able to quickly to grasp movement and attack, and my “opponent” and I quickly set about destroying the living room before turning on each other and ending the experience. It was a great deal of fun.


It was also an order of magnitude better than the original SDK experience and adding in both the changes to the visual display (documented here) plus the HMD tracking puts you into an incredibly immersive experience.

The consumer version will have even better resolution than Crystal Cove, but with the 2nd gen SDK (DK2) not even being available till “summer”, devs will needs at least some lead time to make viable games for the consumer hardware. That said, I’ve already ordered my DK2. I’ve done a lot of 3D real-time interactive development – either data visualization or 3D games – both require low latency and high interactivity. I see the hardware that’s been developed in the last 10 years allowing for some really compelling applications/demos. The one thing that I see as being crucial to the success of any dev platform is the ability to allow the creative independent devs to take it in a new, unforeseen-by-the -original-creators direction – and by this I mean the ability to provide a dev platform that is as unrestricted and open as possible. UDK, Unity, Cocos2d, Android, iOS – all provide a dev platform so that folks who are creative and have an idea can run with it and present it to the masses. Twitter, Instagram, and Waze are all platforms that take advantage of the mass of connectivity that we’ve been blessed with the through the Internet and allow folks to connect up and share information in a way never before possible. I find it extremely compelling and I’m enough of a sci-fi geek to have a good idea where the possibilities are. This is awesome. Let the Metaverse begin!




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