Oculus made a couple of announcements today, including the acquisition of middleware game-network technology provider RakNet, which powers cross-platform voice chat, SQL logging, secure connectivity and more for a number of indie companies and bigger devs, including Mojang and Sony Online Entertainment. Oculus also announced its first developer conference, the Oculus Connect event, which will take place September 19 and 20 in Hollywood, Calif.
Oculus Connect will give developers access to sessions with in-house Oculus engineers and other VR industry pioneers, including labs where devs can get direct feedback and hands-on time with their software and Oculus employers.The conference will begin accepting applications from perspective attendees on July 10, and will send confirmations to those accepted the following week. Oculus also promises news from the forefront of its development queue, letting people know about “upcoming Oculus technology,” (new Rift prototype?) without specifying what exactly that might mean. Keynotes from Brendan Iribe, Palmer Luckey, John Carmack and Michael Abrash will also all be part of the show.
Oculus’ acquisition of RakNet comes after the company has used the latter’s tech for its own projects for years. Acquiring and open-sourcing RakNet’s tech means that Oculus can provide both itself and its key development partners with more tools to build software for their upcoming VR platform. RakNet offers a C++ class library that had previously been available to games with under $100,000 gross revenue for free, but will now be made freely available to all.