We accept this Truth…

…to be self-evident:

If it performs wonderfully on GearVR:
then it will be a dream on the Oculus Rift,
and take little or no effort to port, other than input harness*

If it performs adequately on the Rift + PC,
it may or may not work well on GearVR.
In fact, it may take both a massive re-factoring as well as a
total re-thinking of graphics, models, textures and code.



Be smart : Mobile First.

Develop for the Gear. Port to the Rift. WIN.



* a few words on input harnesses:

Designing input mechanisms for the GearVR touchpad is a tricky business… its a VERY limited input surface, and we tend to use both gestures AND a lot of “gaze detection” combined with taps…

for the Rift, we often take the easy way out : keyboard input. At dSky, we are especially fond of the following, which are easy to “find” for “blind” VR users:

  • space bar (easiest to find… big and central and edge)
  • cursor arrows at lower right (2nd easiest to find blind)
  • ESC key (far upper left, also “feelable”)

Truth be told, we should ALL be designing for
a) gamepad, and
b) natural hand tracking devices,
c) with keyboard as a “fallback”
d) oh, did i fail to mention the venerable mouse? ooops!

as the long-term goal for natural and intuitive VR input streams.


We don’t always use hand control at dSky, but when we do… we choose Hydra

Madame Hydra

Yes, Marvel did have video long before the Avengers re-start. Oh, good ole G.I. Joe…

With Hydra, we get to use BOTH our hands in VR,
just like Madame Hydra here…

Keeping it simple... because the best part of the hydras is... you move your hands, and your VR hands... well, they move precisely where they should.

Keeping it simple… because the best part of the hydras is… you move your hands, and your VR hands… well, they move precisely where they should. Buttons not included.

and here are the hydras at play:


finally… HANDS

and finally, we have hands… in VR land. Tuscany, to be precise. coming soon to an HMD near you…

the first time seeing my hands in VR on our own development rig.

the first time seeing my hands in VR on our own development rig.

Thank you so much to Sixense, and Razer Hydra, for making this possible. And to BitCoin, without which we wouldn’t have obtained the hardcore PC to drive this sim.

Controllers, Controllerism, Controrgasm?

virtual xBox 360 controller - high fidelity modelMy god. I haven’t installed this many device drivers and intercept layers in… well, in my entire life. VR exploration and 3D creation require whole new methods of interacting with a universe, and tho the Apple Magic Mouse — essentially, a crazy-accurate optical mouse with a curved multi-touch surface fused to its carapace — is still my go-to interface after all these years, I find myself asking: What is the best interface for navigation and manipulation?

In the past month, I’ve configured my lovely MacBook Air LightWarrior(TM) to accept ALL the following input streams:

  • LeapMotion — “AirHands” pointing and gesture tracking
  • xBox360 wireless game controller — 8 buttons, 2 joysticks, 2 pressure sensitive triggers, 1 D-pad… all in the palm of your hand
  • 3Dconnexion 3d mouse — an amazing piece of kit that should be standard for all 3D design rigs.
  • Unity xTUIO iPad multi-touch simulator — enables one to use a bluetoothiPad to send multi-touch signals in real-time to the Unity application.

and, of course:

  • Oculus Rift Optical Head Tracking — explore the Multiverse simply by looking around, i.e. moving your torso, head, neck, and eyeballs. CAUTION: may cause a very bizarre form of RSI (repetitive strain injury), a.k.a. a VSN (Very Sore Neck)

Curious to know more about my explorations?

Follow Rift Adventures, updated daily!