Last month’s Steam Dev Days saw developer Valve committing to and promoting virtual reality in a big way. Now all of the virtual reality talks from the conference are available for your viewing pleasure.
Valve promised to post all of the Steam Dev Day presentations online for the world to see and indeed they have delivered. All of the virtual reality talks are listed below and well worth a watch. You can find every presentation from Steam Dev Days here.
Michael Abrash (Valve): What VR Could, Should, and Almost Certainly Will Be within Two Years
We’ve figured out what affordable VR hardware will be capable of within a couple of years, and assembled a prototype that reveals that that level of VR hardware is capable of stunning VR experiences. That hardware is almost certainly going to appear in that timeframe, and it will be worth starting to develop for it now. This talk will discuss what that hardware is, and what it makes possible. A few attendees will be randomly selected to try out the prototype after the talk.
Palmer Luckey (Oculus VR): Porting games to Virtual Reality
The team at Oculus has spent time helping a variety developers bring their existing content to virtual reality across multiple platforms. This talk will cover many of the best practices, technical hurdles that VR developers should be aware of, and some of the counter-intuitive approaches we’ve seen work.
Joe Ludwig (Valve): Virtual Reality and Steam
Come and hear what Valve is working on in Steam to support and promote Virtual Reality games. This includes discussion of the Steam Overlay in VR, Steam store changes for VR, and our VR plan for Steamworks.
Devin Reimer and Alex Schwartz (Owlchemy Labs): Wild West of VR – Discovering the Rules of Oculus Rift Development
Through the development of Aaaaaculus!, one of the first commercially available Oculus Rift games, the team at Owlchemy Labs has come to the realization that 2013/2014 is truly the Wild West of VR development. Like the days of early consumer touchscreens, the best practices and rules of VR are still to be determined. We’ll cover the many key VR revelations we’ve had during development, such the importance of respecting the player’s head direction, reduction of motion sickness, the complete reversal of UI and HUD paradigms, the introduction of developer fatigue, and realizations about subtle visual cues and the sensitivity of the inner ear.
Through trial, error, boatloads of testing, and caffeine, we arrived at a playable and immersive sky-diving experience for Oculus Rift. The methods employed will need to be explored heavily as we move forward into this new era of VR game design. We hope to begin the discussion on establishing standards, bit-by-bit, so that years from now we can look back on the early days and chortle at the seemingly “obvious” VR faux-pas made before the rules were clearly defined.”