Designing virtual reality (VR) content is no easy process even if you are well versed in creating standard videogames, with all sorts of other factors to consider. Today, Oculus has unveiled a new system called Virtual Reality Checks (VRCs) offering technical recommendations to developers to help them build compliant VR software for Oculus Quest and Rift S.
The Oculus Store has strict standards when it comes to launching content – unlike Steam, hence the difference in available titles – and that’s especially so for Oculus Quest. It’s one of the reasons SideQuest has done so well as a way of getting early builds to players. With these new VRCs it seems as though the company is trying to smooth the process out by offering as much information as possible early on so studios know if a project will be accepted.
Oculus has outlined these recommendations in a new blog post today, noting that they: “focus on audio, visuals, interactions, locomotion/movement,” supposedly to: “make your app more compelling to more people.” New developer documentation is now available with these guidelines, a video (seen below) on ‘Designing Accessible VR experiences’ and “Accessibility & Inclusive Design in Immersive Experiences” with best practices across five disability categories.
This should certainly help many indie developers looking to get onto the Oculus Quest platform and Oculus Quest 2 in particular which has surpassed Facebook’s expectations and with studio like Fast Travel Games already seeing a surge in sales across its videogames.
While Oculus says that these are recommendations, implying that these aren’t hard and fast rules, elsewhere that isn’t the case. In the developer portal, it notes: “Your Quest VR app must meet or exceed these guidelines to be considered for distribution on the Oculus Store.” So devs will know right away if there’s going to be a problem.
This could be part of Oculus’ previously announced plan to help developers distribute Oculus Quest apps without any sideloading. More details on this plan are expected to arrive in 2021. As Oculus releases further updates on the VRC’s and what developers can do to get on the platform, VRFocus will let you know.