Oculus Connect 2 Speaker Schedule: Wednesday, 23rd September 2015

The very first day of this year’s Oculus Connect event, Hollywood, will play host to a number of different speakers, ranging from indies to representatives of Facebook and even team members from Oculus VR itself. The full line-up of sessions follows below:



Making Great VR: Lessons Learned from ‘I Expect You To Die’

Game & App Design | Jesse Schell (Schell Games)

Jesse Schell has been creating VR experiences for over 20-years. In this talk, he shares what he has learned about creating great VR over the years, including many specific examples from ‘I Expect You To Die’.

Duration: 25 min


New Techniques for Streaming VR Video

VR Engineering | David Pio (Facebook)

More content creators are filming immersive 360-degree VR video content than ever before. However, VR video today requires high resolutions and high bitrates that stress the limits of video decoders and modern CPUs. These requirements make it challenging to stream high-quality VR video over typical wifi. We’ll reveal new techniques and transformations you can use to reduce the resources required to stream and decode high-quality VR video for playback on Rift and Gear VR.

Duration: 60 min



Game Design Un-Rules: Examining Design Failures in ‘Time Machine’ VR

Game & App Design | Patrick Harris (Minority Media)

Learnings and design rules. Lessons and best-practices. Countless talks, articles and books have been written in an attempt to codify design and provide game designers with a rock solid foundation that they can depend on to deliver high quality experiences. This is not one of those talks. Instead, this talk will offer an honest look at some of the “safe” design decisions that failed spectacularly in Time Machine VR in an attempt to un-learn fundamental design rules in order to make a better game in VR.

Duration: 25 min


Hearing With Our Eyes: Interactive Music for VR

Game & App Design | Justin Moravetz (ZeroTransform), Jake Kaufman (ZeroTransform)

From gameplay to relaxation, music can turn a good experience into a great one. This talk will share techniques on designing VR experiences to sync with music and offer tips and tricks for Unity and Unreal. The talk will dissect Proton Pulse, Pulsar Arena, Vanguard V, and NUREN and discuss how these VR experiences deliver visuals and gameplay that blend seamlessly with pre-recorded audio. Attendees will also get a sneak peek at how music and VR is genuinely helping people in need.

Duration: 25 min



3D Audio: Designing Sounds for VR

Game & App Design | Tom Smurdon (Oculus)

3D audio is critical for creating a believable virtual world, and sound design for VR is very different from traditional games or movies. This talk will cover VR audio techniques including building immersive ambiences, attenuation curves, mixing and player focus. You’ll hear some of the sound design tricks used in the Oculus demos, and learn more about how to work with the Audio SDK to create authentic and compelling experiences.


Duration: 60 min


From Paper Cutouts to Virtual Cards: Making the Tabletop Interface for Lost Cities

Game & App Design | Lesley Klassen (The Campfire Union)

Discover the process used to design the virtual interface for the card game Lost Cities on Gear VR. Examine the mistakes and assumptions made in designing the tabletop interface, and review a few “do’s and don’ts.” Review how scale, field of view, typography, art style, and the use of grids can affect tabletop design to improve readability and avoid neck strain. Finally, learn how a little arts and craft time can make all the difference.

Duration: 25 min



Perception in Low Light VR Environments

Game & App Design | John Thorp (Horn & IVRY)

Low light environments provide challenges for VR presentation. The brain relies on the eye’s rods and cones differently than in higher light situations. Designing realistic immersive virtual reality environments will utilize non-foveal area of the eye, as well as sound queues and memory. This talk will review these issues and discuss how they have been addressed in two Oculus Share apps.

Duration: 25 min



Maximizing Performance for Mobile

VR Engineering | Chris Pruett (Oculus)

Flawless mobile VR demands careful coding and significant optimization. Come learn what it takes to build great experiences for Oculus Mobile. You’ll learn how to maximize the performance of Unity apps on Gear VR and how to master development activities such as mesh design, scene organization and rendering. You’ll learn tips and tricks (and maybe even a few vulgar hacks) that will help Gear VR apps run at maximum speed.

Duration: 60 min


Navigating New Worlds: Designing UI & UX in VR

Game & App Design | Kristoffer Brady (Oculus), Richard Emms (Oculus)

When you’re building new experiences, they have to be intuitive to be truly immersive. We’ll discuss the challenges of designing user interfaces and interactions for an emerging medium and how we approach the constraints and possibilities of VR. We’ll cover design patterns, how to create ideal user experiences in VR, and our vision for the future of VR UI.

Duration: 60 min


Stories and Learnings from the Forefront of Virtual Shared Presence

Game & App Design | Forest Gibson (Pluto VR)

We are at the beginning of a new era of communication. Instead of speaking through a phone or screen, we will soon be able to remotely communicate, collaborate and connect as if we were in person. The team at Pluto VR has been hard at work building towards this future and will share their learnings around self-representation, voice, body language, trust and personal space to create better shared presence in VR applications.

Duration: 60 min



Shipping Hardware: The Evolution of the Rift

Hardware | Caitlin Kalinowski (Oculus), Stephanie Lue (Oculus)

Step behind the scenes and learn about the gritty side of developing the Rift. We’ll talk about the hardest elements in designing hardware for VR and the challenges we faced turning a 3D computer model into reality. You’ll learn about the difficult design decisions we made to get the Rift ready for people everywhere.

Duration: 60 min


Designing Amazing Games for Gear VR in Unity 

Game & App Design | Holden Link (Turbo Button)

Learn the tools, tricks and practices that Turbo Button uses to build their fun and engaging games for Gear VR. Get a sneak peek at scenes from an upcoming adventure game, and see the ways Turbo Button tackled the design challenges to meet Gear VR’s specific hardware needs. Hear how the collaboration and workflow among art, design, and engineering made it possible to hit 60 FPS and how to improve on those workflows via select third-party resources.

Duration: 25 min


Post-Mortem: Building the First Crescent Bay Experiences

Game & App Design | Kenneth Scott (Oculus), Per Vognsen (Oculus)

The Crescent Bay demos from Oculus Connect 2014 were designed to demonstrate the magic of presence and show people the power of virtual reality. The result was a series of 10 experiences with unique perceptual, visual and auditory goals. We’re taking you behind the scenes of the Crescent Bay demos, where you’ll learn how we breathed life into an alien creature that reacts to your presence, how we conveyed scale and distance to create a sense of vertigo, and how we optimized VR content for Unreal Engine 4.

Duration: 60 min