Oculus seeks VR developers for Launch Pad diversity and inclusion programme

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Oculus is looking for VR developers and creators from diverse backgrounds to join its Launch Pad programme for 2020

Quick read

➨ Launched in 2016, the Oculus Launch Pad programme supports up to 100 promising VR developers and content creators from diverse backgrounds
➨ This year’s Launch Pad participants will join a virtual boot camp in September. Ongoing development support will be available as they work to finalise their prototype in the coming months
➨ Interested developers and creators have until 20 August to apply

The story

Oculus is once again seeking up-and-coming VR developers and creators from diverse backgrounds to join its Launch Pad programme.

Launched in 2016, the Oculus Launch Pad programme supports up to 100 promising VR content creators from diverse backgrounds with hands-on training and support, so they can iterate on their unique ideas and bring them to market.

This year’s Launch Pad participants will join a virtual boot camp in September. Ongoing development support will be available as they work to finalise their prototype in the coming months. This includes VR experts, as well as a growing online community of peers to support their fellow Launch Pad developers.

Interested developers and creators have until 20 August to apply.

To get an idea of the kinds of projects that Oculus has supported in the past, check out some of the graduates of the 2019 Launch Pad programme below.

Luna: Episode 1

Charlie Wannissorn

Luna is an interactive animated VR series about the journey and friendship between you and a little girl who becomes a cyborg after a life-saving surgery. Her life takes a turn when the AIs become infected by an OS update and start killing humans. Hunted by the droids and rejected by the humans, Luna has nowhere to go. You, a commercial droid, encounter Luna and somehow become uninfected. As you fill in the role of her parent to protect her, Luna’s purity starts to shine in this hopeless, apocalyptic world.

Mementorium

Dylan Paré, Scout Windsor and John Craig

Discover how gender bias affects identity development through an interactive, first-person narrative experience where your choices shape the environment. Transform the space to show who we can become when we tap into our memories through interactions with meaningful objects and re-story our lives and our world towards belonging.

MEND

Justin Palmer, Jonathan Schrack, Jonathan Marlin, Elliot Boyette, and Kathryn Hicks

MEND is an asymmetric, cooperative platformer. Two players work together to explore the game world, complete challenges, and solve puzzles. One VR player, and a friend with a controller, must take advantage of their unique perspectives and abilities to progress through the realm. Can’t quite make that jump? Ask if your VR buddy can help bridge the gap! Suspect something sneaky your fellow platformer may have missed? Reach out with the Touch controllers and investigate the scene for invisible secrets! Teamwork and collaboration are the cornerstone of MEND’s gameplay.

Neverboard

Jasmine Bulin, Austin Krauss and Dave Dorn

Neverboard is a social space for hanging out and playing your favourite board games in a whole new way! Filled with easy to pick up 2-4 player games and delightful interactions, there is something for everyone to discover. Friends can join from anywhere, you can eat virtual pizza, and you can even flip the table. Through the magic of VR never will you have to explain the rules, shuffle cards, or clean up, and most importantly—never will you have to play alone again.


Immersive technology, like the wider industry, needs to do more to encourage diversity and inclusion, and programmes such as Oculus Launch Pad will certainly help to create opportunities for underrepresented groups.

Do you know of any other programmes like Oculus Launch Pad that would benefit from promotion? Let VRWorldTech know via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or editor@vrworldtech.com.

Main image: Oculus Launch Pad 2019 winners Luna, Mementorium, MEND and Neverboard (Editor’s note: both Luna and Mementorium images have been brightened slightly to aid readers’ comprehension)

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