Providing “access, support, and savings” to qualifying indie developers, the new Oculus Start program hopes to encourage and enable the development of great apps from those just getting started in VR. The program, which was introduced in a brief post on the Oculus developer blog, has begun to accept applications via this form.

Oculus is aiming to reduce the barriers to entry into VR development for small teams. “If your first app is underway, we can help you optimize for more success in this project and your next,” writes the team. “Just as we’re scaling VR through our devices, we’re scaling support to the developer ecosystem.”

The three pillars of access, support, and savings are detailed above the application page, including examples of what benefits they “may include”, such as development kits for new and existing hardware, access to beta tools and services, dedicated technical support, 1:1 meetings with Oculus’ veteran VR team, one year free Unity Plus license or a royalty free Unreal license, and Oculus wallet credits to “get to know the Oculus Store better.”

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The terms page reveals some eligibility details, for instance applicants must have published an app on the Oculus Store or other VR platform by the time they apply, and must not have received previous VR funding of over $10,000 “from a platform (e.g., without limitation, Oculus, Google, Microsoft, Valve, Steam, HTC)”, venture capital, or crowdsourcing.

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The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • LeiteNeto

    I don’t understand something… they say “if your first app is under way, we can help…”.
    Right, this is my case. But then, in the conditions for participation, they say “by the time of application, you must have published one app in the Oculus store”.
    So, what’s wrong here, I didn’t get it. If it’s my first app, how come I need to have published and app there? :/ Is any typo somewhere?

    • NooYawker

      This is a case of miscommunications between… everyone. The business end has one idea, the dev team has another. But what’s in writing stands, so write some angry email until they change this.

      • LeiteNeto

        Yup, I’m gonna contact them to see what’s happening… If they are willing to help us small teams or solo devs start on VR, we can’t possibly have an app already published in their store… makes no sense.

  • dk

    oculus start …is a go :P

  • Jason Mitcheson

    This is awesome! I received my gratis Oculus Rift as part of the developer program already. If they pay my Unity license fees as well, I think I may fall in love.

    I continue to be disappointed in Google’s (lack of) strategy here.

    • Guest

      There’s no amount of money that could pay programming in c++ with Windows that Oculus requires. Google only breaks reverse-compatibility and increasingly bogs down the CPU, not all the above.

  • Nadim Alam

    I was so excited when i heard this, then my heart sank a little when it read that i must have released an app already :(
    I need help with my first app, not my second or third. People who have already released an app probably already know what they are doing!

    • Elizabeth

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    • Laurence Nairne

      Generally speaking, most people still don’t know what they’re doing after releasing their first app – that’s why things like Steam Greenlight exist. That being said, I totally agree that requiring an already released application is a shame – I imagine they want to be sure those who apply are serious about developing for their ecosystem before spending time assisting.

  • What is the sense of requiring an already released app on the store???

  • oompah

    buy headset only if its 100-130$