The Oculus Rift sure is super, super neat, but outside of mods to existing games, it's still a bit light in the custom-made software department. And that's exactly why Oculus is ponying up $50K in prizes and teaming up with IndieCade this October for a game jam competition specifically meant to bolster that software support. One lucky dev / team will snag the grand prize of $10K and a chance to debut their game at this October's IndieCade Festival in Los Angeles -- they'll also head out to Orange County to meet with the team at Oculus, including wunderkind Palmer Luckey.

Should you wish to get in on the VR-centric action, you've got the following three weeks to get things going (starting August 2nd and ending on August 25th). And if you don't have one of Oculus' Rift dev kits just yet, you'll have access to playtesting at various "playtest hubs" set up worldwide (NYC and LA locations are the only two confirmed thus far, with "more locations to be announced soon"). For the full stipulations on the contest, head below.

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Welcome to VR Jam, Presented by Oculus VR™ & IndieCade!

To participate in the Slow Jam please sign up for the Oculus Developer Center if you haven't already.

At Oculus, we're working on a next-generation platform for VR gaming, but we can't do it alone. We're looking for talented game developers to build the made-for-VR experiences that will define it.

We're thrilled to announce VR Jam, a long-format, worldwide game jam presented by Oculus and IndieCade. We're putting up over $50,000 in prizes and a showcase exhibition at IndieCade Festival 2013 for the best VR games and experiences!

Participants are challenged to build the most innovative virtual reality games and experiences designed specifically for the Oculus Rift. Each grand prize winner receives a $10,000 cash prize, a trip to demo their game at IndieCade Festival 2013, and an invitation to visit Oculus HQ to meet the Oculus team.

The IndieCade Festival is the largest annual celebration of independent games and game developers from around the world. IndieCade takes over Culver City (Los Angeles) from October 3-6 with a public exhibition. as well as workshops, panels, keynotes, social events, meet-and-greets with game creators, and hands-on gameplay with the top independent games of the year, destined to change the course of entertainment.

Details:

Everyone is welcome to participate in the jam.
Games will be judged on innovation and virtual reality design.
This is a long-format jam, so you'll have 3-weeks to develop your game or experience (Aug. 2 - Aug. 25th).
Oculus will open a special VR Jam developers forum just for participants on the Oculus Developer Center.
If you don't yet have a Rift, but would still like to participate, we've set up "Playtest Hubs" in select cities around to world where participants can share and playtest their games. See the "Playtest Hubs" section below for more details).

Key Rules:

Games must be explicitly designed for virtual reality using the Oculus Rift and SDK.
Games must be expressly developed for the competition.
All games should be playable using an Oculus Rift with a keyboard/mouse or XInput-compatible gamepad (e.g. Xbox controller).
Full legal rules, terms, and conditions will be posted before Aug. 2nd.

Key Dates:

Aug. 2 - VR Jam begins
Aug. 9 - Milestone 1 (image and game description)
Aug. 16 - Milestone 2 (video of progress)
Aug. 25 - VR Jam ends (final build submitted)
Sept. 13 - Finalists announced
Sept. 19 - Winners announced
Oct. 3-6 - IndieCade Festival 2013

Prizes:

VR Jam is divided into two developer groups:
Open Call - Open to all Rift developers. If you'd like to participate, you can sign up at www.oculusvr.com/slowjam.
Selected Developers - A handful of previous IndieCade developers.
Prizes will be awarded to both groups individually. The jury will select up to 10 games/experiences from each developer group as finalists (for a total of 20 finalists). The jury will then award grand prize, 2nd place, and 3rd place to the best games from each group of finalists (for a total of 6 official winners).

Each grand prize winner will receive:

$10,000 cash prize.
Oculus will pay for travel and lodging for 1 member of the winning team to attend IndieCade and exhibit at event (up to $2,000).
An invitation to visit Oculus HQ to meet the Oculus team.
Oculus will promote the content through social channels.
Opportunity to exhibit winning content at IndieCade 2013.
Coupon for submission to IndieCade 2014.
A limited edition Oculus + IndieCade VR Jam 2013 t-shirt.

Each 2nd place winner will receive:

$5,000 cash prize.
Oculus will promote the content through social channels.
Opportunity to exhibit winning content at IndieCade 2013.
Coupon for submission to IndieCade 2014.
A limited edition Oculus + IndieCade VR Jam 2013 t-shirt.

Each 3rd place winner will receive:

$3,000 cash prize.
Oculus will promote the content through social channels.
Opportunity to exhibit winning content at IndieCade 2013.
Coupon for submission to IndieCade 2014.
A limited edition Oculus + IndieCade VR Jam 2013 t-shirt.

Each finalist will receive:

$500 cash prize.
Oculus will promote the content through social channels.
Coupon for submission (any game) to IndieCade 2014.
A limited edition Oculus + IndieCade VR Jam 2013 t-shirt.

Playtest Hubs

Los Angeles, University of Southern California
New York, New York University
More locations to be announced soon.
More Information:

Sign-up and details: http://www.oculusvr.com/vrjam
Oculus Developer Center: http://developer.oculusvr.com

FAQ

Where do I download the Oculus SDK, Unity, and UDK integrations?
You can download all the software you need to develop for the Oculus Rift from the Oculus Developer Center: http://developer.oculusvr.com.

Questions?

Don't hesitate to reach out and let us know at jam@indiecade.com.