Developing for the Oculus Rift

Developing for the Oculus Rift

Developing for the Oculus Rift


Incubator developer Cardboard Keep received their Oculus Rift development kit this week. After spending some time exploring the default 3D environment the team booted up Unity 3D and started to experiment. Their initial findings are below.

Our engine of choice is Unity 3D and luckily enough, thanks to the great folks at Oculus, it has day 1 development support for the Rift. Not just token support either, this stuff is robust and documented. 

You can download the OVR library from the Oculus dev portal, and it plugs into Unity as easily as any Unity Package, a double-click and you’re away.

Oculus provides prefabs for their two-camera setup, including one with a basic character controller. Adding basic Rift support to your games is as easy as choosing which prefab to add. 

Unfortunately the Unity preview window can’t go full-screen, so unless you like headaches, testing your game with the Rift requires a quick build. The Oculus plugin provides a button to make this an express procedure.

There are a few issues to be aware of regardless of the game you make; camera clipping through your avatar’s shoulders, the low resolution making distant detail and text difficult to read, and rendering everything twice from two cameras. Like any hurdles in game development these can be addressed with time and effort. 

Overall the process is essentially painless. Kudos to Oculus and Unity Technologies for this great integration.  The Oculus Rift news doesn’t stop here. 

To find out more about how their development is progressing and to explore the future of Virtual Reality development head over to http://cardboardkeep.com, follow @cardboardkeep and like them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/CardboardKeep