I’m excited to announce that I have been accepted into the 2019 iteration of Oculus’s Launch Pad program!
What is Launch Pad?
If you’re not in the world of VR, Oculus is the world’s preeminent VR hardware company. They are known for building some of the world’s most popular VR headsets, including the Oculus Rift and the Oculus Quest, their amazing new standalone VR headset.
The purpose of Oculus’s Launch Pad program is to populate the VR ecosystem with new and diverse content. At the start of the program, one hundred developers from North America are invited to San Jose to attend a two-day VR bootcamp led by Oculus. They are also invited to Oculus Connect, Oculus’s flagship VR conference, that same week. After this initial training, Launch Pad members are provided technical support as they develop vertical slices of the projects they initially pitched to Oculus in the application stage. In early 2020, these developers will have the opportunity to pitch their vertical slices to Oculus again in hopes of gaining funding and ideally, launching their game on the Oculus store.
Some amazing projects have come out of Launch Pad in previous years, including Bizarre Barber, an awesome VR action game from NYU. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work towards creating a VR demo of the same caliber.
For my application to Launch Pad, I submitted Jukebox Beatdown, a VR boss-rush game in which every boss fight is a distinct interactive music video.
In Jukebox Beatdown, you play as Kleft and Kright, two up-and-coming alien musicians that are tied to the player’s left and right hands respectively. Your goal is to make it to the top of the Billboard Galaxy Top 10. To do so, you will need to battle the existing Top 10 musicians in a series of fast-paced, music-themed boss fights.
For more detailed information about Jukebox Beatdown, please read my initial post about the project.
So What’s Next?
Right now, I am exploring the best way to build an awesome vertical slice of Jukebox Beatdown. Since the game is made up of a series of boss fights, I think the most logical vertical slice would be a single boss fight.
To create this vertical slice, I will need to achieve the following:
Find or commission original music for the boss’s score.
Nail down the game’s mechanics as I outlined in the previous blog post.
Sync the game’s visuals to its music in a satisfying and clear manner.
If there is time, optimize the project so that it approaches the technical requirements for the Oculus store.
Most likely, I will not hit step four and not totally complete step three. However, I think the game should be able to stand on its own should that happen. In game producing, I believe you should find what makes your game fun first then build everything else around that element.