As the latest Oculus Rift development kits begin shipping, Oculus VR has made a pair of important announcements for up-and-coming virtual reality developers. First, the company will be hosting a new VR development conference later this year. Called Oculus Connect, the conference will feature "sessions and workshops led by Oculus engineers and industry pioneers," as well as keynotes from Oculus founder Palmer Lucky, CEO Brendan Iribe, chief scientist Michael Abrash and, of course, John Carmack. Oculus Connect 2014 runs September 19-20, and registration begins July 10.

Alongside Oculus Connect, the company also announced the acquisition of RakNet, a C++ networking middleware system for game development. Essentially, the system provides developers the essentials for implementing online multiplayer (voice chat, object replication, etc). The system is currently used by companies like Sony Online Entertainment, Mojang and even Lockheed Martin. More important than the acquisition, however, is Oculus VR's decision to make RakNet open source, starting today. Interested developers can snag it right now from Oculus' GitHub.

If you decide to develop any online-enabled, virtual face touching, let us know.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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