Essential reading for Oculus Rift developers

Michael Abrash and John Carmack are both 3D graphics living legends. Both massively experienced and super-bright. When they say that VR has very difficult challenges, you’d better believe them!

From Abrash’s recent Game Developers Conference talk…

I’ve just spent 25 minutes telling you how hard VR is – and that’s certainly true. But realtime 3D was equally hard – just check out Chapter 64 in my Black Book about the lengths John went to in order to solve the potentially visible set problem, or think about how crude the early 3D accelerators were – and over time all that has worked out amazingly well.

This is the kind of opportunity that everyone in the gaming industry should dream of; if you want to do challenging work that has the potential to affect almost every game written in five or ten years, VR is a great place to be right now.

It really is like when I was working on Quake – a new world is emerging.

Both have written some great articles that describe VR implementation challenges in detail. If you are developing for the Oculus Rift you really need to read and understand these.

Michael Abrash

John Carmack

Oculus Rift first impressions (

A top quality Oculus Rift first impressions review here by Oliver Kreylos, a very smart and experienced VR/3D developer.

It is interesting to note how highly he rates the Rift lenses. I have been surprised at how much people have written about the display and head-tracker compared to how little has been written about the optics. The very wide field-of-view (FOV) is the key factor that provides the immersion that makes the Rift stand out from other low cost HMDs – similar FOVs were previously only available in high-end systems. To get such good optical performance in such a low cost device is a major achievement.

It is definitely worth spending time looking through his blog and YouTube channel and homepage.

You may well have seen his cool Kinect hack from a couple of years ago (it has had 2.5 million views!).

Oculus Rift – Skyrim

More vicarious thrills as Cymatic Bruce tries out the Oculus Rift with Skyrim.

He’s been super-busy this week testing various titles, but this is my favourite report. Love the running commentary.

Keep up the great work Bruce!

How the eye functions

I have been reading up on head-mounted display (HMD) optics, and over at VRtifacts I came across these marvellous educational videos from 1941.

No-nonsense explanations along with great diagrams/animations.

Build your own Oculus Rift-style HMD

Great guide to building your own Rift-like display by Rod Furlan at BitCortex

Build your own Oculus Rift-style HMD

There are more details on this MTBS thread.

If you are interested in DIY HMD, then also check out the FOV2GO project.

Oculus Rift teardown (iFixit)

The iFixit guys do a full Rift teardown with lovely photos and a pretty comprehensive component list.

Oculus Rift teardown (iFixit)

Oculus Rift first impressions

Nice first impressions video from Cymatic Bruce.

Oculus Rift teardown

A couple of adventurous/foolhardy guys pull their brand new Rift to bits.

Do not try this at home.

The bit where they lever out the LCD display made me wince…

For the record, the display is an Innomedia HJ070IA-2D:


Unofficial Oculus Rift order tracker

Unofficial Oculus Rift order tracker

My order number is 46170, so according to this I’m looking at a shipping date around end May…