Oculus Rift News Bits: GTTV Hands-on With Rift, Cliff Bleszinski Leaves Epic Games, Palmer Heads to South Korea, and More

It’s time for another Oculus Rift News Bits update! On the agenda: We’ve got a video from GameTrailers TV who got their hands on the Oculus Rift; iJustine provides some thoughts. Cliff Bleszinski has announced his departure from Epic Games after a lengthy tenure, fortunately Unreal Engine integration is not affected. Palmer Luckey and friends from Oculus LLC have landed in South Korea to spread the good word of the Oculus Rift at KGC 2012.

If you are just learning about the Oculus Rift head mounted display click here to quickly get up to speed.

GameTrailer’s iJustine Hands-on with the Oculus Rift

A recent episode of GameTrailer’s weekly show, GT.TV, has a segment where iJustine tries on the Oculus Rift and gives some thoughts. Is she really as impressed as she seems or is it just hyperbole? You decide! Skip to 8:35 to watch:

Cliff Bleszinski Leaves Epic Games

Gaming industry veteran Cliff Bleszinski is departing from Epic Games after 20 years with the company. Why is this relevant to the Oculus Rift? Epic is the creator of the Unreal Engine which is one of two game engines thus far to have announced official support for the Oculus Rift and Oculus Rift SDK. Bleszinski was featured in the Oculus Rift Kickstarter video and announced that the Unreal Engine would be be among the first with official Oculus Rift support.

James Iliff, the Project Holodeck producer, asked Oculus LLC whether or not Bleszinski’s departure would affect the company’s decision to support the Oculus Rift with the Unreal Engine. Fortunately it will not, according to Oculus LLC.

“No changes. The Oculus-Unreal integration is coming along well. We wish Cliff all the best with his future endeavors!” the company said in a tweet.

As always you can find my list of Oculus Rift specs and compatible games here.

Bleszinski was the lead designer for the Gears of War franchise and was involved in many other games during his long stay at Epic.

With Bleszinski vowing, “Mark my words, VR is coming back,” in a recent GT.TV episode and his public endorsement of the Oculus Rift, I can’t help but wonder whether or not his future projects will focus on something involving virtual reality games. So far he’s only said that “it’s time for a much needed break.” His departure from Epic appears to be amicable as a number of executives in the company have wished him well on future endeavors.

Palmer Luckey and Oculus LLC Head to South Korea

Oculus Rift Creator Palmer Luckey (left) and CEO Brendan Iribe (right) demonstrate the Oculus Rift HMD at KGC 2012 in South Korea. Image courtesy Inven.co.kr.

Palmer Luckey (the creator of the Oculus Rift), Brendan Iribe (CEO), and Nate Mitchell (VP) caught a flight to South Korea to demonstrate the Oculus Rift developer kit at the KGC 2012 conference.

The team also gave two presentations :

  • Bringing Your Game Engine into Virtual Reality with the Oculus Rift
  • Developing Great Games for Virtual Reality with the Oculus Rift

Oculus LLC clearly wants to establish firm roots in the South Korean gaming industry. Back in August the company announced that they were opening offices in South Korea with operations headed by Dillon Seo. You may have also noticed that the official OculusVR.com website is now available in a Korean translation.

New Oculus LLC Jobs Available

Oculus LLC is looking for hires and has opened several new positions, most of which deal with the upcoming Oculus Rift SDK. Think you’ve got the talent they want? Here’s a taste of what they’re looking for:

  • Build/Release Engineer
    • Responsibilities:
      • Manage, develop, and improve the Oculus SDK build process from start to finish across all platforms
      • Support and improve our tools for continuous integration, automated testing and release management
      • Champion build and source code management best practices to facilitate parallel development and code sharing
      • Integrate automated testing into the build and deploy tools to ensure latest build/deploy always is always working
      • Ensure Oculus SDK is moved efficiently through deployment pipeline, packaged appropriately, and delivered with a repeatable and auditable process
      • Manage source code repository and administer source code and build servers for several software projects
  • Senior Research/Software Engineer – Pose Tracking
    • Responsibilities:
      • Design and implement techniques for human pose tracking (objects, limbs) from stereo cameras for the Oculus SDK
      • Work with the software engineering team to integrate the algorithms into the Oculus SDK
  • Senior Software Engineer – 3D Tools Integration
    • Responsibilities:
      • Lead the charge to add VR support to 3D authoring tools through the Oculus SDK.
      • Investigate a range of 3D tool integrations such as Maya, Max, AutoCAD, Revit, SolidWorks, Cinema 4D
      • Develop new “VR ready” UI to support viewing and editing in 3D tools, leveraging the different input systems
      • Write clear, manageable, and testable code C/C++/C# within Oculus’s coding standards
      • Work with the developer community to identify and improve the integrations.
  • Senior Software Engineer – Unity Integration
    • Responsibilities:
      • Develop, manage, and improve Oculus’s Unity integration, ensuring a high-quality, easy to use platform for building great virtual reality experiences
      • Write clear, manageable, and testable code C/C++/C#/JS within Oculus’s coding standards
      • Contribute to development and architectural design of general our SDK, particularly in regards to engine integration
      • Write great documentation for our SDK and the Unity integration
      • Support Oculus developers using Unity
  • Senior Research/Software Engineer – 3D Optical Flow
    • Responsibilities:
      • Design and implement techniques for optical flow and structure from motion from stereo cameras
      • Work with the software engineering team to integrate the algorithms into the Oculus SDK
  • Art Director
    • Responsibilities:
      • Lead the creative direction and art development process for the Oculus brand, website, and product
      • Create great-looking marketing materials, both print and digital (e.g. ads, packaging, emails, brochures, booth design, etc.)
      • Contribute to artistic strategy and vision to maintain and improve visual integrity, brand standards, and consistency
      • Apply user experience and design principles in the execution of high-fidelity mockups and interaction flows
      • Incorporate the Oculus brand and aesthetic in all designs, consistently and efficiently

Oculus LLC Confirms Kickstarter Shipping Addresses

Last but not least, Oculus LLC has sent out messages to all Kickstarter backers to collect shipping addresses for the Oculus Rift developer kit. Dev kits from the Kickstarter are expected to ship to backers in December. The Oculus Rift is now available for pre-order directly through OculusVR.com. Direct pre-orders through the site are expected to ship in January.

That wraps up this edition of Oculus Rift News Bits!

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