Oculus’ Mobile VR Jam begins today with prizes totaling $1 million. The company is incentivizing the creation of virtual reality games and experiences for the Samsung Gear VR headset, which Samsung built in collaboration with Oculus.

The Oculus Mobile VR Jam 2015 starts today, and challenges developers to create compelling mobile VR experiences for the Samsung Gear VR, that fall into two tracks, ‘Game’ or ‘App/Experience’. Developers in the ‘Game’ track will compete for a top prize of $200,000 while those in the ‘App/Experience’ track are battling it out for $100,000. Beyond that, 24 other developers can win smaller sums of the remaining $700,000.

Oculus’ previous VR Jam event, aimed similarly at encouraging developers to create compelling new experiences for the Oculus Rift, was a huge creative success, uncovering buckets of talent from the VR community and giving rise to multiple subsequent VR development ‘celebrities’, not least of which include E McNeill and his winning entry Ciess (now known as Darknet and available on Gear VR) and Tomáš Mariančík for his entry Sightline.

As for this year’s Mobile VR Jam event, here are the milestones developers need to follow:

Milestone 1 Submission: The Pitch – Due by 4/20 9:00 am (PT)

  • Initial description of your project
  • Images that show concepts or planning
  • Track selection: “Game” or “App or Experience”
  • Entrant type selection: Organization, Team, or Individual
  • If entering as a Team, enter all team members’ ChallengePost ID’s
  • Oculus ID’s required for each person
  • (optional) Video embedded from YouTube or Vimeo (5 min max)

Following Milestone 1, we will email the terms of this competition to each individual, organization, or each person on a team. If these terms are not electronically signed within 4 days, you will be disqualified.

Milestone 2 Submission: Screenshots – Due by 4/27 9:00 am (PT)

  • Screenshot(s) of your “Game” or “App or Experience”
  • Updated description and track
  • (optional) Video of current build embedded from YouTube or Vimeo

Milestone 3 Submission: Video – Due by 5/4 9:00 am (PT)

  • Video of current “Game” or “App or Experience” running
  • Updated screenshots, description, and track

Milestone 4 Submission: Final Build – Due by 5/11 9:00 am (PT)

  • Upload your final APK, and post the link to your globally-signed build
  • Updated video, screenshots, description, and track

Developers taking part in the event should already have registered to take part and will need personal access to a Gear VR unit for development (unlike 2013’s VR Jam where Oculus made DK1 units available in ‘Playtest Hubs’ in various major cities).

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Official rules can be found here. The Mobile VR Jam FAQ notes that Oculus reserves the right to deem what subject matter is or isn’t appropriate, “including but not limited to pornographic or extremely violent content.”

Given the wealth of creativity that sprang forth from Oculus’ 2013 VR Jam event, we’re really looking forward to see what developers come up with in the Mobile VR Jam. It’s fair to say that truly groundbreaking creative uses of Samsung’s Gear VR seem to have been thin on the ground since the device’s official release last year.

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  • Don Gateley

    Will the final .apk files all be downloadable for owners to try out or will access be curated through their store?