Facebook has plowed a lot of money into virtual reality (VR) content creation, helping fund Oculus platform exclusives like Asgard’s Wrath. But it isn’t just the big, attention-grabbing projects the company has helped foster. Since 2016 the Oculus Launch Pad initiative has helped a diverse group of budding VR creators, revealing this week the 2020 batch of recipients who’ve benefited from its funding and mentorship.
Some of these you may already be aware of whilst many you’ll be encountering for the first time. For instance, Tinker premiered at the Sundance Film Festival at the beginning of the year. Directed by Lou Ward, Tinker is a live, interactive performance piece that aims to convey the profound mental effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Others on the list have a far more conventional videogame setup but with their own unique twist. Take rhythm title Supersonic Rhyme Chamber by No Static Games, for example, blending rap into a VR experience for possibly the first time. Players must learn how to battle rap, encountering strong rivals across colourful environments in a bid to eventually become a legendary MC. It’s currently being developed for Oculus Quest.
Oculus Launch Pad 2020 saw 100 new VR developers take part in the three-day programme, helping them learn best practices and foster new ideas. Out of these, a total of ten projects were selected to be part of the scholarship programme, where Oculus provided additional support, guidance, as well as a combined $250,000 USD worth of funds to help make them a reality.
Alongside Tinker and Supersonic Rhyme Chamber the scholarship also selected:
- Red Giants, an interactive story by Dizzy Magnolia
- Our America, offering a branching experience about being black in America
- Noro & the Cosmic Coast, an adventure-puzzle title by Cody Kicklighter
- UNDR H20, a room defense videogame by Glasswork VR
- AfterNow Prez, described as “PowerPoint meets Zoom inside XR.”
- Hey Pops!, which “shines a light on an underrepresented community while engaging players in a compelling cooperative narrative experience.”
- Potluck by Kindred XR, all about providing a realistic cooking experience
- Vernacular, an immersive learning language experience
If you’re a budding VR creator then listen up, applications are now open for Oculus Launch Pad 2021. You’ve got until 30th July to submit your application. For further updates on the initiative, keep reading VRFocus.