To understand Oculus’ advantage in the VR space we have to compare it to Steam as one of their biggest competitors.

Steam as a video platform

When Steam allowed VR creators to submit 360° video apps, they seemed to make a real effort to extend their entertainment offerings beyond just games. Even though flat videos have been available for years, they never really took off. With 360° being a new medium and an integral part of VR, Steam had the chance to position itself in the minds of early VR adopters as a video platform.

However, as of January 8, Steam does not support new video apps unless directly related to games or software and on February 19th store pages of all non-qualifying videos will be removed from the video hub.

The demand for content will only grow in 2019 and turnaround times keep getting shorter. Making use of stock libraries and asset stores can save you hours and hours of time and money. If you haven’t started your own asset library yet, I highly recommended you start now. Reusing your own work as much as possible is the key to grow your business. …

Just over a week ago in the beginning of November 2018 our first kickstarter campaign for SMOSH MOSH came to an end. Thank god it was a success! (Thanks to all our backers!).

Over the last couple of months, I learned everything I could about crowdfunding. Great starting points are official best practice guides that you can find on kickstarter or indiegogo’s webpage.
But there are also other great studies available online that give your more insights and statistics. Medium, reddit and talks on GDC Vault (games developer conference) are super helpful as well.

So here is what I *think* I learned. Hopefully all these tips will be confirmed once our kickstarter for the cartoon series SMOSH MOSH is successful.

1. Pre-sell your perks ahead of launch day

According to this article, you are very likely to succeed if you manage to get 40% of your funds over the first 72h by just using your email list. There is no harm to share your preview page and ask for feedback ahead of launch to find out what people are likely to buy. So start writing emails and get everyone lined up for launch day. If you feel uncomfortable asking for money, let somebody else do it who doesn’t have the personal connection you have! …

Even though I started my career in the nascent VR industry well over four years ago, last week I attended my first Oculus Connect.

As it is with every conference, you’ll hear nostalgic stories about past installments of Connect on every corner. The event is better organized and queues are longer they say. To me it felt a bit like a very small GDC. You meet friends and see familiar faces everywhere.
Everyone attending feels and shares the same passions and it creates an intimate atmosphere. The greatest thing about Connect is the spirit of the developer community.

The first keynote on Tuesday confirmed the rumors. Release date and price of Project Santa Cruz was revealed. The name “Quest” came as a surprise to me and it immediately struck a nerve. It promises excitement, is understood almost everywhere and it’s short. It also carries more emotional value than Oculus “Go”. …

SONAR has been around for a while. Some people might remember it from Oculus Share or our website in 2014. Some of you saw it at Sundance or other festivals / conferences / VR cinemas and even more people installed the GearVR app in 2016 or bought it on Daydream and Steam the year after. …

Over the past four months, I helped my girlfriend Janina build a small community for her crowdsourcing cartoon “Smosh Mosh — Everything can be a movie”. Even though I usually create virtual reality experiences, it was a good practice to improve my marketing skills in preparation for my next project.

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Smosh Mosh fan page
  1. Start early — it’s a long path.
    The concept behind Smosh Mosh was to ask the community for their input on story, characters, setting etc. We wanted to build a community even before we start to write the script! I know a lot of people who create a Facebook page after they finished their film and are then surprised that they don’t have any reach outside their social bubble.
  2. Decide and focus on two platforms that fit your project.
    It makes no sense to build a cartoon community for young adults on twitter because it doesn’t have the right demographic and it is not really a visual network. We also don’t intend to distribute Smosh Mosh ourselves through a Youtube channel. The quality should be a lot higher than the average web-series and what youtubers are producing. We decided for Facebook and Instagram to focus on building a community. …

Why ‘being there’ is not enough.

Todays head mounted displays offer a large field of view and low-latency head tracking, the two most important factors for presence.
A single panoramic image can already induce a feeling of being somewhere. Our visual sense is strong enough to trick our brain.

We can improve the sense of presence by improving the technology and content quality: Better ergonomics, increased resolution, higher frame rates, binaural audio, stereoscopic content, interactive environments, positional tracking, motion controllers... …

The harsh sunlight on one side of the comet and the infinite darkness on the other was of magnificent beauty.

When I started thinking about my next project in April 2014, those images have been a great source of inspiration.

“The smallest and most mysterious objects in space, drifting endlessly between worlds, could potentially carry a horrific truth no one dares to imagine…”

I wanted to create an animated scifi-horror short film that felt like Jim Cameron’s ALIENS or THE ABYSS, or Kubrick’s 2001. At the time, I had no idea the short film was going to turn into a virtual reality experience... …


Philipp Maas

Director of VR short SONAR. Former Oculus Story Studio. Founder of scope - virtual content studio. Marketing at

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