#132: Mobile VRJam Milestone 1: App & Experience Highlights with Josh Farkas

Josh Farkas is the CEO of Cubicle Ninjas, and he was tweeting his highlights from reviewing all the Milestone 1 submissions for the Oculus Mobile VR Jam, and so I invited him to come onto the Voices of VR podcast to discuss some of the highlights of what he found interesting and compelling.

I also reviewed all of the experiences in the App and Experience track, and noticed that it’s a bit hard to get a quick overview of the submissions without clicking through over 500 times. So I decided to create an Unofficial Spreadsheet of VR Jam Milestone 1 submissions that included the title, the tagline, URL, Game or App Track, Team Size, and names of all of the team members. I also included a separated sheet all of the names of the participants and all of their related projects for quick reference.


At the recording of this podcast, there were 534 total apps with 316 games and 218 apps / experiences on the submission page. Note that Erisana from Oculus said on Reddit that they received 342 games and 238 apps or experiences, but they were going to filter out some of the ones that didn’t fully qualify, and so those numbers are not final.

NOTE: This spreadsheet is unofficial may not have all of the active submissions. Some may be waiting to be approved, and there may be some that have since been disqualified. Feel free to e-mail kent@kentbye.com if you’re not on this list and would like to be.

The VR Jam will be rated by an initial panel of judges from the Oculus developer relations team on it’s potential to be of interest to the wider VR community as well as what types of innovations that they’re contributing.

Josh quickly read through all of the entries and noticed some genres and themes that emerge including gaze shooters, co-op games, relaxation experiences, speaking to virtual audiences, first-person puzzlers, first-person fliers, and adaptations of one medium into another whether painting galleries or writings. Josh also saw these two themes emerge: “This is a dream world” and “This is occurring in your mind.”

I only had time to read through all of the App and Experience submissions, and so most of our conversation focused on the highlights from this track. Links to the specific experiences that we were discussed are included below.

Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio

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Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello and welcome to a special edition of the Voices of VR Podcast. Today we're going to be talking about the mobile VR game jam that Oculus and Samsung is sponsoring over the next couple of weeks here. And we just had all of the 534 submissions were revealed today. So this is the first time that we've been able to really start to dive in and check out what all is out there. And so I'm joined today here with Josh. And Josh, why don't you just go ahead and introduce yourself and tell me a bit about what you were seeing.

[00:00:46.088] Josh Farkas: Absolutely. So I'm Josh Farkas, and I'm CEO of a company called Cubicle Ninjas. And so I actually started kind of pawing through the entries because, you know, we're an entry in ourselves. And so I was curious to see what other people were working on. what turned into, oh, this will be like 30 minutes of looking around, really ended up being, for me, just two to three hours of trying to read every single one and learning about them. And I would say, the big takeaway on a high level is just beautiful work, really inspiring stuff that ranges from simple, quick, fast games to things that are crazy ambitious for a jam like this. So it's really exciting.

[00:01:23.927] Kent Bye: Yeah, my approach was to, of course, scrape all of the data and put it into a spreadsheet and start to do some data analysis of different types. And so I went through and opened up all the tabs, exported those, and then downloaded them with cURL, and then started grepping through all of it to extract the data in terms of the title and the subtitle. For me, the sort of tagline and subheader gives you a lot more context. And the way that it's displayed on the website is kind of cut off, so it's kind of hard to see. what the pitch is without actually clicking through on everything. So I just wanted to see that as well as how many apps and games there were. So just a quick tally, there was 534 total submissions and 218 of those were either apps or experiences and then 316 of those were games. And so within this competition, Oculus has said that they're kind of looking for two things that they're going to be rating it on. They're really looking for kind of the overhaul cohesiveness of the experience and whether or not it would be interesting to the wider VR community, but also innovation in terms of just trying to put forth some either multiplayer mechanics or using the head tracking in unique ways or just trying to kind of spur new ways of interacting with virtual reality experiences on this mobile platform. And so So Josh, maybe you could talk a bit about, you know, as you were going through, what were some of the things that were kind of jumping out as being really interesting to you?

[00:02:49.194] Josh Farkas: Yeah, I would say, you know, on a high level there's some clear genres and there's some also themes that are becoming interesting trends. So on the genre end, you know, there was everything from, you know, traditional gaze shooters or on-rails experiences to what I was surprised by is the number of both co-op and kind of relaxation applications. Lots of things about virtual audiences, so either learning how to speak to virtual audiences or being comfortable meeting with people in virtual places. First-person puzzlers were a common trend. And even things like, I have a genre here called flying as a future vehicle, moth, bird, or butterfly. So that was a really common one. And another thing too, which I thought was very, very cool, was adaptations. So taking existing artwork and then trying to find a way that they translate to VR. And so that could be, whether it was van Gogh's paintings or, you know, the work of an author. So it was cool to see just that diversity in type of approach. And when it comes to themes, two things that I kept seeing over and over just in terms of like kind of topic were, you know, this is a dream world or some sort of ethereal kind of almost spiritual aspect. And then the secondary theme that I saw was constantly, you know, this is occurring within your mind sort of things. And so whether that was, you know, an example of a horror game or whether that was a music Unreal's experience, that kind of story element kept popping up again and again.

[00:04:13.668] Kent Bye: Interesting. Yeah, there was some stuff that jumped out at me in terms of like virtual worship, going to different sort of sacred places, a lot of meditation mindfulness applications, like you mentioned. Of course, you know, Cubicle Ninja has done your own meditation app. So I'm curious, you know, from your perspective, you've kind of done that already. What are your take in terms of what you think would be interesting and doing something that might be innovative in that space since, you know, you've kind of already been exploring that a little bit?

[00:04:42.151] Josh Farkas: Yeah, I think it's a challenging one. You know, I can see why people kind of may feel a little tired of the genre, just to some degree. And so I think you really do need to do something to kind of stand out, just due to the sheer volume. So the ones that got me excited were the example of virtual worship, where they were trying to put different, you know, asks in terms of, you know, mindfulness. It was mindfulness, but kind of focused on prayer. Or, you know, maybe it was there were actual tasks to do in those spaces. But I do think it's hard to innovate in something which is meant to be simple.

[00:05:16.091] Kent Bye: Yeah. Another thing that I saw a lot of was viewers for photos and videos and bringing in social media. Totally. What were some of the things that jumped out for you?

[00:05:26.733] Josh Farkas: Yeah. Specific applications for me that I thought were interesting and fun were interesting documentaries or actual narrative journalism experiences. So there was one that was kind of about the Korean Demilitarized Zone and it was called DMZ, Memory of No Man's Land. And so it's a mixture of film with 3D objects. And I thought that looked really kind of interesting and engaging from my point of view. One other one that I thought was kind of cool and stood out to me was one called Pig Simulator. And so it had you experience what the reality of factory farming might be like from the point of view of, you know, an animal within that. So those are two that stood out to me. I mean, there were literally hundreds I could mention, and it's exciting to see so much diversity.

[00:06:11.173] Kent Bye: Yeah, the challenging thing at this point is that the minimum entry for kind of entering the game jam is basically a pitch and maybe some concept art. And so as the game jam develops, I think we'll start to maybe filter down a little bit in terms of what's actually going to have legs and grow corn in terms of being able to be brought to fruition. So it's a little hard as I was going through a lot of the different entries. It was very difficult to kind of judge at this stage in terms of whether or not something's going to really sort of develop into something that's really going to be compelling. The other thing I would say is that There's been these different Q&As in the Reddit forums, and one of the things I had an issue with was that we're creating a VR experience, but yet the first round of judges are going to be just looking at a 2D representation, like a video and screenshots in the description to be able to select the finalists. I had a little, I still have a little bit of issue with that because, you know, there's some of these things that may not look very compelling. But yet when you're in there, I think they will probably be surprising to people. One of them that jumped out at me was someone that's sort of putting these motion capture balls and somebody who's dancing. And it's basically like this, you know, dancing around. And, you know, it's just a screenshot with balls, but I could sort of see the potential of how that might be really compelling to see human motion in 3D really up close. But, you know, that may not translate to a 2D video. So it's a little difficult to be able to be, like, looking through all these submissions and to point out, like, oh, yeah, this is going to be amazing. Because in some ways, we don't really know until we actually get in there.

[00:07:52.399] Josh Farkas: Yeah. I mean, I think if we take a look at the VR applications that have been successful over the past, you know, year to two years, I think Most of the things that sound on paper like they'd be fun, you know, may either get you sick or may not be. And until you experience it, I completely agree. You know, a good example of one for me like that was like, there's a fun silly game called narwhal catch donut, right? And it's about a narwhal and he catches donuts on his horn. And for me, the thing is, it's a funny picture. It's got a funny name, but the concept of actually trying to move my head around and catch things that may not actually work. So I think what's cool about the jam is I think those folks who actually take those ideas into fruition and make them and we get a chance to experience them. But for those folks who don't get that opportunity and get excluded because of a picture or they weren't as good as editing a video, I agree with you. I mean, I think it's a real challenge.

[00:08:43.666] Kent Bye: Yeah, when I was looking through a lot of the submissions, I was actually looking through a lot of the apps and experiences first and spent probably about three hours just going through those and didn't really get to dive into the games as much. But another big thing that I saw kind of coming up was a lot of education stuff out there. I think that's some of the stuff that I kind of get excited about either diving and flowing into like the human you know, circulatory system or, you know, I think the virtual reality reviewer, Sandra and her partner, they have a one about, you know, visualizing the ears for, you know, talking about why people get motion sick. So it's kind of a meta like within VR, you're talking about and learning about. the parts of our sense system that sort of regulates this motion sickness. And so lots of different stuff in terms of like, I saw at least a couple of them going from like very small scale to very large scale. Phroxus, the developer of Sightline, has a Neos, the universe. And there is another one called Powers, which is a very similar going from, you know, very small to very large scales. So were there other sort of educational experiences that jumped out for you?

[00:09:54.783] Josh Farkas: There was one called the Presence Experiment that was less educational, but still in the scientific realm that I thought was kind of interesting. And what it was trying to do is help to understand how presence works in virtual reality. And so it would have the ability, it sounds like, to switch either between a more realistic world and kind of a not-so-realistic world, and then provide feedback to that. So less educational. But that one definitely stood out to me. The Powers of 10 ones as well looked really cool. And there was one called Little Leaf Interactive, and it's an interactive kid's storybook. It kind of didn't go into much detail about what the actual, you know, kind of topic might be, but it looked really engaging for little kids. Another trend that I saw as well was kind of focusing on language. And so there were two different ones that were about, you know, language learning. One was focused, it looked like, towards younger children with kind of a little raccoon that had a hat. It just looked like a beautiful experience. And another one kind of looked more professional in terms of, you know, adult oriented. But all of those ones, for all of that, I would say, you know, the powers of 10 style experiences and the language ones just get me so excited about an area that I hadn't really thought about in VR before.

[00:11:08.510] Kent Bye: Yeah, and I think that there's certainly a lot of sort of narrative, interactive fictions, things that I saw pop up as well in terms of, you know, trying to have either based upon your look or your gaze, have a little bit more of a branching or maybe not branching, but perhaps sort of paced at a different scale and jumping around and looking through a narrative. The one that my team is working on is kind of based upon a overlapping narrative. So you kind of have like three rooms happening at any one given time, and you have to kind of like choose between which room you're going to watch. And there's like three acts. And so by the end, you're only really able to see like a third of it. And you know, you can kind of jump around and try to piece it together, but it would kind of require watching it multiple times. It's kind of based upon the concept of an immersive theater like Sleep No More, where you kind of choose a character and follow that character throughout the entire time. And then at the end, the interesting thing that I think happened there was that you were only able to capture a fraction of the story so that you would either have to watch it again a number of times, or you'd have to really talk about it with your friends and sort of unpack it as a group. So at this stage, it's a little difficult to see what type of other things that people are trying to do with interactive fiction and storytelling in VR, but I'm excited to see some of the different ones that are out there. I know that one called Peekaboo, which is an interactive short film, there's a woman named Anastasia Devana, who is an audio engineer, and I know, I'd imagine that there's going to be pretty amazing audio within that experience. She just did a whole write-up exploring five of the major Unity plugins in terms of the 3D positional sound and kind of did a big write-up on that. And so, yeah, when I saw her name associated with that, I was like, oh, wow, better watch out for that one, because that's going to sound really good. the interview that Reverend Kyle did with Viridio, they were talking about some of the things about 360 degree video and just in terms of how important the binaural audio is to be able to kind of take it to the next level rather than just focusing on the visuals. And so it'll be interesting to see how many of these 360 degree videos are actually also doing 360 degree audio. And if, in the context of this situation, if that's something that the judges are going to be trying to look at, you know, in terms of the innovations that are being put forward.

[00:13:39.274] Josh Farkas: Agreed. And, you know, it was mentioned on the recent QA that it sounds like the target experience length for these that the judges will have access to them at the very end will be, you know, five to ten minutes in length. So, two, even just from a focus perspective, if to your point, does that stuff show up and how deep into an experience before they start to notice those things.

[00:14:00.936] Kent Bye: Yeah. And it'll be interesting how they're going to judge the multiplayer co-op games because, you know, they'll have to actually be playing them at the, at the same time. There's a number of experiences that I started to question whether or not, you know, they were really abiding by the rules in terms of, you know, different input devices that, you know, they're doing sort of biometric input. And, uh, yeah, it'll be kind of interesting to, to see if those sort of get past the future rounds, because they've basically said that. They're gonna what have maybe a controller and some Bluetooth audio, but no sort of special input devices beyond that Agreed.

[00:14:39.713] Josh Farkas: Yeah, it'll also be interesting to in just in terms of date some of the ones, you know Some some people actually just admitted that they'd been working on it for much much longer beforehand, you know Is that allowed and then or instances where they actually have video of it being in use, you know for customers from a marketing video I found one that was from last year and so it's like Well, does this count? So it'd be curious to see how some of those things get enforced, if they do at all.

[00:15:06.363] Kent Bye: Yeah, the, you know, when they announced it, they basically said that the contest starts right now. And then there was different rules in terms of, you know, I don't know. I don't, I hadn't started anything, so I didn't dive into the, uh, the details, but, uh, yeah, it'll be interesting to see if they'll be enforcing that. It's sort of a wild West right now, and maybe it'll just sort of, that'll get filtered out and it won't be an issue once the judges kind of make their, their first pass. a lot of different music visualization stuff as well. I noticed that sort of coming up over and over, kind of interactive music visualizations. And so because that's such a popular topic, I think if you're in that realm, curious to see if it's, you know, they're able to pull something off that's super immersive or engaging. Or again, if that's something that is going to be kind of like seen as not innovative enough, or if the context of that, they're going to have to want to see something a little bit more engaging using some sort of mechanic within VR.

[00:16:06.782] Josh Farkas: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I think the challenge, too, for them is a lot of them pick the same similar art styles in terms of very abstract colors and shapes. And I think what ends up happening is after you go through 500 different entries, they all blend together. I cannot honestly think of more than maybe one or two that stood out just because of that. One that stood out to me just because of its weirdness and no no other kind of app really tried to do this was, there was a stock trading app called PanoTrader. I don't know if you had a chance to see that.

[00:16:37.524] Kent Bye: Yeah, I took a quick look and yeah, that was interesting in terms of, I'm just curious what they're going to actually show or do in terms of the stock trading. But yeah, just sort of a meta comment on the app and experience is that there seemed to be a pretty broad range of use cases and applications. I mean, everything from the stock trading and then there was at least a couple of them that were like advertising backend. And when you look at it, it's like, okay, how boring, like a backend for advertising in VR. But at the same time, that could be super helpful or have a very specific use case for certain people. There's some of these apps and experiences that are gonna be extremely useful for some people, but again, I start to wonder in terms of what the judges will be looking for in terms of kind of rewarding what they're doing there. I agree.

[00:17:30.462] Josh Farkas: Yeah, two that stood out on that end is one, it looks like there may be an official CNN app, and it looked really beautiful and was an interesting way, and in the comments it actually mentions that it would be able to stream 360 video from CNN, that one. And then there were actually multiple gaze tracking apps in terms of retail space. And that for me kind of was really awesome and exciting just to see if you're rolling out a new product to test how it can compete on a shelf or how those shelves might be organized to actually incent buying. But I agree, it'll be curious to see if any of those more kind of business focused use cases outside of the CNN app actually have legs here.

[00:18:14.532] Kent Bye: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, like I said, because it's such a broad umbrella that you are getting a really broad range of different applications. A couple of things that I also saw that was interesting was the kind of ebook reader apps, which At first pass, I thought, oh man, that's going to be terrible. But Metatron and Everyday VR did something called the Virture Reader. And I'm not sure if you've seen spritz, but it's kind of like this specific type of reading that is able to basically focus the words in a way that you can look in one spot and you don't have to move your eyes. And it's just like kind of blazing the words right in front of you. And, you know, they're using VR, and the problem with those open spritz is that it's hard to kind of look forward or backwards. But it's also kind of like you can start to read up to 300 to, you know, 500, 600, up to 1,000 words a minute pretty easily. And it's super effective. And so, you know, stuff like that, again, is something that may be flying underneath your radar in terms of like, why would you want to do a reading app in VR. But it turns out I'm really looking forward to see how they pull it off. And yeah, I'm curious to see if it's actually more effective in VR. It could be actually very useful.

[00:19:35.209] Josh Farkas: Agreed. There was a cool one with comics, too. I mean, there were a few kind of text-focused one. And there was one that was interesting. And I'm trying to remember the name. But it actually allowed, it had some parallax sort of movement of different panels. And so that was another one that kind of stood out to me Similar thinking in terms of not just a CBR reader, but in how it handled it, looked like a really cool way to tackle it for the medium.

[00:19:58.899] Kent Bye: Yeah, I think that was called the comic book reader revolution. That was it. Putting you at the center of the story, literally. Yeah, and that one, it looked like they would need to do kind of a special format in terms of actually kind of laying out the 3D stereoscopic kind of layout of each of the panels and panes, which, you know, I think that it'd be interesting to see how that works. It's, you know, there's another one that, like you mentioned, kind of translating mediums to another. kind of a novel adaptation. Just seeing how that process works of taking comic books as a medium and trying to kind of tweak it a little bit. Definitely would have to require a little bit of from the source, you know, from the actual content creators to be able to actually lay it out. But Perhaps in the future, there'll be a layout where you can actually kind of get some of those effects to start to see that in 3D. And yeah, that other one was called the number 34, number 27, The Count of Monte Cristo VR. So it's an adaptation of a chapter from Alexander Dumas' classic adventure novel. And another one in Alice in Wonderland VR, and a couple of other ones that I saw that were taking books and different scenes and start to play them out.

[00:21:11.207] Josh Farkas: One that looked really kind of fun and interesting was he jests at scars that never felt alone. And so what it sounded like it was, it was still usage of that material, but it was kind of acting out, you know, a scene, a balcony scene for Romeo and Juliet in virtual reality. And what it sounded like they were aiming to do was have different options for the script and that you as the kind of the reader is as the participant would try to choose the correct one. And so it felt like a neat way to kind of make that a little bit more interactive and yet still give you the fun experience of that piece.

[00:21:44.743] Kent Bye: Yeah. And another one that jumped out for me was the Share the Science climate change experience done by Otherworld Interactive. They're a development shop. They did Sisters, which was a cardboard app that was the top Google game app for a while. And they also had another one, I think, that might have been Starport as well. that looked really, it was very highly produced kind of motion graphics and stuff. A lot of promise in terms of doing different social games to kind of interact with different people from an anonymous perspective kind of doing these. It's actually kind of hard to see how it actually plays out because the concept video is so well produced that it's hard to tell how well it's actually implemented and pulled off in the actual experience. But Yeah, in a spreadsheet, I was trying to put together the team size and yeah, just to see if some of the experiences that have a lot of people working on them may be kind of jumping out. So yeah, some of these teams that have a lot of people, I'm curious to see if those end up being significantly better, or if it's really a competition where it could really be a single entry and kind of be right up there. I know that Justin Morovitz, you know, he's got a game that looked pretty epic in terms of what he must have had to do in order to optimize that for the Gear VR. That was called Pulsar Arena, which looked like a really great game. What else? What else jumped out for you?

[00:23:16.938] Josh Farkas: There were a few that, you know, kind of on the edges. One was called Clouded Data Mentory. And so, you know, this one kind of stood out because it looked like it was 360 video with, you know, usage of kind of maybe text and other things overlaid over the top. The reason it kind of stood out was One of the authors actually had is it's kind of so personal to them that they went in anonymously. And so and it's about schizophrenia and how someone was being stalked. And it sounds like this developer was being stalked by a person with schizophrenia and maybe how that, you know, might might actually that experience might kind of play out. And so I thought that was a really cool, interesting, exciting use of kind of that, a personal story so close to them that they wanted to make sure that they shared it in a way where they didn't have to put their name alongside of it. The other one that I think looked really cool, there's one called Virtual Surreality. And so it was taking a look at the concept of, you know, a brash is like optical illusions. And so how can we explore that in VR? And so this is another one that is very hard to tell without further look into the next milestone. But at least on a concept level, I think Taking the optical illusions and running with that in VR and letting people experience both 2D and 3D ones is an exciting and relatively untapped area.

[00:24:37.590] Kent Bye: Yeah, just things that are able to kind of describe the flaws of our own human perception, I think are going to be interesting to kind of see those kind of play out and just kind of learn about our own limitations. There's, of course, Blair Reneau is taking his techno lust and doing you know, a lot of different photogrammetry with quantum capture and bringing in these really, you know, sophisticated looking avatars into his experience. And so that's sort of the Technolust. And it's kind of like as a player in Technolust, you are trying to escape the kind of the security guards. And I think in this one, it's like thought crime. So it's trying to You kind of flip the roles, and so you're actually playing within the inside of trying to use the AI to predict when some of these characters are going to commit a crime. And so that should be interesting, how they actually pull that off. But it looks really beautiful.

[00:25:35.617] Josh Farkas: Stunning. The other one that, just from a visual perspective, I don't know if you had a chance to see, I think it's Coloss. But that's by Nick Pittam, also Red of Paws. He kind of goes by in the community, and there's, I think, eight or so other folks that are helping out on this experience. It's an app or kind of the experiential route. But my goodness, like just for if we're judging things from a visual perspective, like it is one of the most stunning, beautiful pieces of artwork that they've shared that I've seen in a long time. It's really beautiful and yet totally different from where Technolust is going in terms of tone and yet still gorgeous.

[00:26:14.408] Kent Bye: Yeah, that's a colossal story and virtual reality. A story of colossal proportions, adventures, and immersive and innovative storytelling. So yeah, it'll be interesting to see. It sounded like they were doing a little bit more of interactive gaze-based story cues as the mechanism there to kind of... I guess, you know, there's things that are on rails, but these type of experiences, you just imagine that you give them to somebody and it may take a range of time, I guess, to get through the whole experience based upon when you actually hit the right cue. Yeah. Or, you know, perhaps there's even branches that you go down. I don't, they didn't necessarily, um, say that it was, I didn't get the sense that it was going to be that sophisticated.

[00:26:52.668] Josh Farkas: That's what's so exciting at this point is just being able to get a taste of them and yet still enough people are holding their cards close. So it's just exciting to kind of dream about what, you know, where they'll take this. And that's a really cool one. Another one that I'm not sure if it has interactivity as part of it, but that kind of stood out. as a really interesting experience is one called Soldiers of Heaven. And so it was kind of about an army drill sergeant with PTSD. And it looks like it's kind of Unreal Engine based, but the limited kind of screenshots that they've shared look really beautiful and interesting. And hopefully that's another one that maybe has a little bit of interactivity in it. They didn't kind of tell, but very hopeful for an experience like that to kind of bring some emotion to VR.

[00:27:38.786] Kent Bye: Yeah, yeah, and just on that line, there seemed to be, I don't know if their intention is to kind of have something to, have an experience to help heal from PTSD, but there was certainly a number of different experiences that seemed to have either a therapeutic, either dealing with phobias or being able to actually kind of deal with more interactive, getting feedback for psychological treatment. So PsyOS Tool Suite, I think was one of those that was a, a VR tool for a therapist to democratize VR mental care treatments. So yeah, like I said, the range of the app and experience one, it seemed to be really, really broad and far reaching. So yeah, I'm curious to see how things continue to play out. I certainly got some more ideas in terms of how we can, you know, perhaps tell a better visual story in terms of the screenshot, since that's the next milestone this week. And then the next week is going to be the video. And with that, in combination with the description is basically the first gate that the first round of judges, which is going to be the, it sounds like the developer relations team from Oculus is going to be taking a first pass and then the ten judges that they named are going to be you know like you said spending five to ten minutes and then I guess after like May 11th or 12th once the final deadline hits then they'll start to dive in and Everyone will be generating their globally signed apps. And it'll be a free-for-all to be able to actually play a lot of these. So I'm actually really excited to see how each week develops. And as we dive in and actually get to get our hands in some of these, then we can start to see what is actually really compelling versus what we expect or kind of get excited about just by looking at it.

[00:29:27.468] Josh Farkas: Totally agree. I agree. And I'm just thankful for Oculus for creating this jam. I mean, I think it's done. really what it needed to do, you know, show people can come together and build stuff for a new piece of technology and try to explore and innovate in different ways. And I mean, the fact that just kind of trying to name off things that I found interesting or I'd pay money for, you know, would take 30 minutes an hour, you know, is I think a good testament to all the care and effort that has gone into this. And that's all because of this awesome jam. So.

[00:29:59.197] Kent Bye: Yeah, maybe you want to talk a little bit about your project that you're working on, the Ramble VR, your app that is described as Wander On.

[00:30:07.021] Josh Farkas: Yeah, so Ramble is a mixture of two different things. It's really kind of like WarioWare meets Globetrekker. And so you have the ability to, from a video perspective, see these different locations, actually walk through. For example, we're focusing entirely on Venice for this. And so you can walk the streets of Venice. You can hop on a gondola and actually go through a 10-minute gondola experience. But for us, video is so passive. And that VR is awesome because it has an interactive element. And so we kind of have the ability, when you're looking at objects, to gaze and to actually pull up a little factoid and more information about it. So for example, San Marco Tower collapsed in 1904. And the only thing that it killed was a cat. Little things like that, where it kind of hopefully presents you the best possible experience of getting what VR travel might be like. But we're still playing with it. We'll see if it all comes together as well.

[00:31:02.334] Kent Bye: Yeah, VR and travel, I think, is going to be huge. And it's kind of like a no-brainer, just like kind of VR and real estate. I know there's a couple of apps there as well. But yeah, I'm excited. From your perspective, what's sort of the innovative things that you're trying to do with the app?

[00:31:17.364] Josh Farkas: Yeah, so I mean, I think it's a good mixture the video and the 3D components. And I think for us, the user interface is key. How do we make this kind of a very fast, seamless experience so that you can get these bite-sized little factoids and experiences in a very quick amount of time? So that's our hope. And so far, so good. I mean, it's definitely changed. We originally went in thinking it was going to be like a low-poly kind of experience and went a totally different way. So that's part of the fun of a Jam sort of situation.

[00:31:46.474] Kent Bye: Yeah. And it's also like the, just the UI component of things. I think at this point we can't count anybody out just because. Even though it may have not jumped out at us based upon the very little kind of description and maybe a photo or a concept art doing a really great user interface that just works really well. Um, I think that, so there's a lot of room to explore the best ways of, of interacting with these environments that's both comfortable and efficient and useful.

[00:32:16.677] Josh Farkas: We're hopeful and we'll see. I mean, I think the thing that surprised me about a lot of these concepts that may look similar is just when they come out from a totally different perspective in terms of style or interface, it does stand out. And so, you know, it gives me hope to see what the next milestone is. I can't wait to see what the photos are. I can't wait to see what these videos are because I think that will help kind of tell the story in terms of what actually here might turn into something that you'd want to use.

[00:32:41.872] Kent Bye: Great. Awesome. Well, do you have any other closing thoughts as we go through the next sort of milestones here?

[00:32:48.698] Josh Farkas: I'm just grateful to everybody for inspiring us. And let's keep building cool stuff and pushing things forward.

[00:32:57.140] Kent Bye: Yeah, and thank you, Josh, for taking the time. And I saw you really diving in and tweeting about a lot of stuff, and I was about to do the same thing. And I was like, oh, wow, we should just set a time to talk. And it really helped me and inspired me to actually dig in. And it feels good to kind of explore and see what's out there and just kind of chat about it. So much more. I can say that I only saw maybe two-fifths of all the stuff that's out there. A lot of games that I really didn't get a chance to even dive into yet.

[00:33:28.492] Josh Farkas: Well, thank you so much. My genuine honor. This has been a blast.

[00:33:32.295] Kent Bye: Awesome. All right. Well, thanks, everyone. And yeah, have a great rest of your day.

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