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  1. Hey @zsyed @Julien Merienne @oxygen4004, I am going to move this post over to the Vive Cosmos Support section so the right folks can get eyes on this.
  2. The VIVE family of virtual reality products proudly offers the only native support of wireless for PC VR and we’re excited to extend that distinction to the new Vive Cosmos. We’re fine-tuning performance of the Vive Wireless Adapter with Cosmos and are very close to releasing official support. We expect to deliver adapter compatibility with Cosmos in late October. For existing wireless owners, a new Cosmos Compatibility Pack will also ship in late October. The pack will ship with a new 21W power bank, the connection cable for Cosmos, and a new pad to attach to the headstrap. Due to the new inside-out tracking on Cosmos and other features, the headset draws slightly more power than the current Vive Wireless Adapter battery can support, so this battery is needed to power this headset wirelessly. In addition, Vive Cosmos processes all the camera tracking data solely in the headset and never sends the visual tracking data to the PC. While this means we are securing user privacy in their play space, this approach results in a higher headset power consumption. The compatibility pack will retail for US $49.99 or regional equivalent. Overtime, we’ll simplify the wireless adapter assortment so only the new battery is shipped to Vive Wireless Adapter customers. Thank you for being a part of the VIVE family. We will share the release date with you as soon as possible.
  3. Alright folks, let's keep this thread on topic.
  4. Hi @BIN, I checked into an answer for you on this and the Vive Pro is locked in at 90. I am not sure if there is a work around for this. I am going to move your post over to our Vive hardware side of the forums and see if something else pops up. Thanks, SNP
  5. Cory Corvus Dev Q&A In our Developer Blog Series, we sit down with many of our VIVE colleagues who work with developers daily to highlight our way of thinking and help developers best take advantage of all the opportunities available at VIVE and VIVEPORT. This month, we’re chatting with Cory Corvus in our San Francisco Office. Please introduce yourself. What do you do for Viveport? My name is Cory Corvus and I’m a developer relations engineer for HTC Vive. I work with the content team to help bring awesome VR titles to the Viveport store. Usually, I’m busy helping developers with technical assistance, improving our SDKs and documentation, and giving talks about our new products like eye tracking with the Vive Pro Eye. What attracted you to VR? I got started with mobile VR and was blown away when I first tried it with my phone and a piece of cardboard. I got a taste of what VR could be and was really excited by the future potential. Shortly after that I got a DK2 and Vive Pre and have been working on VR projects ever since. What is a normal day at the office for you? Normal days include supporting developers by answering questions about VR development, SDKs, and hardware. As a part of the content team I also get to help find and play new titles to bring to Viveport. How do you work with developers to bring and optimize their content for Viveport? It depends on the developer and their needs. Generally, I’m answering technical questions via email or the forums, providing design feedback, and sharing developer feedback with internal teams. Do you have any best practices to share for developers who are currently working on VR projects and thinking about distribution? Anything they can do to be better prepared on a technical level? Yes! VR is still a young industry and developers should expect fast paced changes so it’s important to think about supporting multiple HMDs and store platforms early. Best practice is to find ways of separating the core of your app/game from specific HMDs or store SDKs. For example, using wrapper functions or initializing your content for different HMDs before loading into the game. Planning architecture decisions early can really help make it easy to port between platforms and add support for new hardware. And for developers starting on a project, what should they keep in mind when planning out their scope and future development? Planning out the scope of a project or future development can be tricky for VR. Many common design decisions and best practices that work for 2D games may not apply to VR development. That being said, my suggestion would be to not try and reinvent every design choice for VR. It may be tempting to create a fully skeuomorphic UI with 3D objects for everything or creating a brand-new locomotion system for your game. But these design decisions can create a lot of work that may not improve the user experience that much so don’t be afraid to use a normal floating UI panel or teleport locomotion. Speaking of teleport locomotion, it’s important to remember that VR can cause serious motion sickness for a large number of players so always include comfort options and minimize artificial locomotion if you want everyone to be able to actually play your awesome game. What is that one-handy tip you find yourself often telling developers who are finishing up and putting that last layer of polish on their title? The most important thing to do when finishing a project is to spend some time performance profiling. For VR it is very important to hit a consistent frame rate and to not drop frames. Spending the time to improve performance can really help the quality of an experience. Also, improving performance is great for lowering the minimum specs required or if you are targeting mobile VR it is very important to be efficient which can improve battery usage. I know you are also heavily involved with enabling developers to integrate eye-tracking with the Vive Pro Eye. At a high-level, how can a developer get started with eye-tracking? Obviously getting a Vive Pro Eye HMD is helpful for development and testing eye tracking applications. But ambitious developers can integrate features such as foveated rendering with just the game engine plugins we provide. Besides the hardware, it’s required to install the eye-tracking runtime which is necessary for running any applications which support eye tracking. Foveated rendering plugins have a special requirement of currently needing a NVIDIA Turing GPU but isn’t necessary for other eye-tracking uses. If you’re interested in eye-tracking, you should download the SDK from our developer resources site and we have a Unity plugin on GitHub or the asset store. · https://developer.vive.com/resources/pc-vr/ · https://github.com/ViveSoftware/ViveFoveatedRendering · https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/tools/particles-effects/vive-foveated-rendering-145635 What kind of experiences does a feature like eye-tracking enable? The most important eye tracking feature that all VR apps and games can use is foveated rendering. Foveated rendering can improve performance by reducing the resolution in the user’s peripheral vision or with super sampling it can increase the resolution and quality where the user is looking. The technology required for foveated rendering is pretty advanced but we’re providing plugins for Unity and Unreal which make integration quick and easy. Other use cases can range from improving training and analytics to scrolling menus or text by just looking at the edge of a UI. What is the coolest thing you’ve seen using eye-tracking that you can talk about? Besides foveated rendering (which is a pretty awesome feature), my favorite use case is enabling aim-assistance in any experience that has throwing or shooting. Throwing objects and shooting guns or bows is popular in many VR games and since people always are looking at their target using eye-tracking can give a really nice aim-assist. For example, the game QuiVR has a special power up that enables eye tracking arrows which will snap mid-air towards where you’re looking and feels really satisfying! We’re gearing up for the imminent release of the Vive Cosmos. We’re all quite excited here at Viveport. What are you looking forward to with the release of the Cosmos? I’ve been using the Cosmos a lot recently and really enjoy the flip up design and screen quality. Being able to flip up the HMD to check my monitor and do work is very convenient for developers. The screen resolution is really great for improved clarity and being able to read text in VR. Also, being able to setup and use the Cosmos without base stations is great when I’m giving demos or setting up in a new location. You’ve been helping as many developers as you can get ready for the Vive Cosmos release and make sure their titles are compatible. For most cases, what can developers expect to be compatible out-of-the-box and what will they need adjust? Cosmos works with the OpenVR SDK and SteamVR runtime so if your title already works with SteamVR then it’s going to be easy adding support for Cosmos. The main change from the Vive Wands is that there’s a joystick instead of a trackpad. There is also more buttons and a trigger bumper so developers will need to think about how they can use these extra inputs to make the user experience even more intuitive. Any resources a developer interested in ensuring compatibility with Vive Cosmos should check out? Check out the blog post and forums to get the latest Cosmos developer info: · https://developer.vive.com/resources/2019/06/04/getting-started-with-cosmos-development/ · https://forum.vive.com/forums/forum/77-vive-cosmos-developer-faqs/ Alright, the penultimate question! Any excuse to use that word from when I studied for the SATs forever ago. What are one or two of your favorite experiences in VR? What do they do well? Recently I helped with the launch of Westworld Awakening developed by Survios and was so impressed by the quality of characters and animation. Besides being a fun game with good controls and based on a show I really enjoy, I was blown away by the lifelike quality of each NPC in the game. You can really get close and appreciate the fine details in their faces and movements. And finally, if you could tell all VR developers out there one thing, what would you tell them? VR development can be very challenging. Since it is still a young industry and a small developer community, I think it’s very important to reach out to your fellow developers, share any useful knowledge you’ve learned, and don’t give up! Thanks for taking the time to chat, Cory! You can connect with Cory Corvus at LinkedIn here and if you want to get started with Viveport, head off to the Developer Console. Next month, we’ll chat with another member of our developer-facing team.
  6. HI @SnowySquid, I have converted your post into a ticket for our Customer Care team. They will be able to help you dig into this more and see what can or needs to be done. Thanks, SNP
  7. Hi @KGSnake24, When it comes to RMA situations, our Care folks are usually pretty on time when it comes to time frame for replacement. Unfortunately, this is the only way to replace your adapter.
  8. I would definitely jump in with Pixel Ripped 1989, Torn, Transpose, A-Tech Cybernetic, Job Simulator, Vacation Simulator, Blind, and Westworld.
  9. Hi @Calvoon, I've gone ahead and created a Customer Care ticket for you. You will receive a confirmation associated with the email address tied to your forum account. Thanks, SNP
  10. Are you ready to head for the Cosmos? The Cosmos pre-orders begin September 12th. This week on our Twitter channel, we'll be sharing more on COSMOS, Vive Reality System, & media previews. Don't forget to visit www.vive.com/cosmos on the 12th to get all of the information you need about the Cosmos as well as pre-ordering your very own.
  11. The good news is 1060, 70, and 80s are dropping in price pretty good. To give you an idea, a 1080 has been as low as 400 and 1060s have been down to 150. So there is room to play around and still get a good to great VR experience. Soon enough, you will be all up in the world of VR.
  12. In this new Developer Blog series, we’re interviewing many of our VIVE colleagues who work with developers daily to highlight our way of thinking and help developers best utilize all the opportunities available at VIVE and VIVEPORT. First up is Kris Severson from our San Francisco Office. Thomas: Hi Kris! Even though I already know, can you tell us a bit about your role and responsibilities at VIVE? Kris: Sure! I’m the Director of Global Content Partnerships, which means I work with the development community worldwide to bring the best content possible to Viveport. This includes everything from premium games to compelling narrative storytelling and other cool things you never thought you’d experience in VR. Thomas: How did you end up at Viveport and in the world of Virtual Reality? Kris: I started out in gaming, working for Sony PlayStation back when it was a little start-up. I got a real birds-eye view of the industry, working with every major PC and console publisher/developer. After PS2 launched, I joined the team at Rockstar Games right around the time they were releasing Grand Theft Auto 3, which was a heady experience. Working at both a hardware platform company and then moving to the other side of that as a game publisher gave me a lot of insight into the pain points of both sides of the game business. This is one reason I love working at HTC, helping to evangelize amazing new hardware technology and collaborating with content creators in a whole new medium. Thomas: So, you must talk to a lot of developers? Kris: I do talk to a lot of folks who are passionate about ridding the world of zombies 🙂 Thomas: What is the #1 question you get from developers? Kris: Ha, right now it’s: “When can I get a Cosmos?” and “When can I get a Pro Eye?”. Really, it’s amazing to see how everyone is so passionate about the hardware innovations happening in the XR world, and it’s great working at a company that is always on the forefront of that. It’s fun to see developers get really inspired by the possibilities of things like eye tracking and volumetric video capture. The creative world is on fire right now, and the consumer is the big winner of that. Thomas: We’re seeing a lot of that creativity publishing onto Viveport. For a developer who is considering Viveport, why should they publish with us? We’re growing rapidly but we don’t have the user size yet of Steam or Oculus Store. Kris: I have more than one answer for that! We do some of the best marketing campaigns in the business. We work with each developer on an individual basis, figuring out the best marketing opportunities tailored to their particular content and collaborate on any crazy and unique ideas they may have. We go the extra mile, from painting the storefront red for the SUPERHOT’s launch, to creating some pretty stellar MR videos for games like Angry Birds VR and Takelings. Viveport has a broader demographic than just the traditional gamer audience on Steam, so it’s a chance for a larger variety of content to get more visibility with the consumer. We have a great blend of both games and apps, and we’re passionate about promoting all kinds of VR content. Not only by genre but hardware too. We support content for not only Vive headsets, but also Oculus and Windows Mixed Reality. Add to that our mobile storefront for WAVE devices, and you can see how we’re establishing Viveport as the destination storefront for everyone. We also have our location-based business, Viveport Arcade. When you launch your content on Viveport, it’s a simple click of a button to also launch with our arcade operators worldwide, increasing your reach instantly out into the LBE world. This provides a whole other revenue stream for your content and is much easier than trying to negotiate commercial licenses individually with operators. Lastly, Viveport is the only store to have a subscription service, which sets us apart from everyone else in the VR world. Thomas: Subscription is a pretty big deal for us – for a new developer, what is our Subscription service briefly? Kris: Viveport Infinity is our subscription program where a user pays a flat monthly fee and has unlimited access to titles opted into the service. We’ve got an impressive collection of titles that is growing every day. Thomas: And why should a developer opt-in for Viveport Infinity? Kris: I always tell developers there are multiple ways to use our subscription service to their advantage. For one, it’s a great way to launch your title and get increased buzz in the community. We really focus on amplifying new content coming into Infinity, so you get maximum exposure with the consumer right out of the gate. For multiplayer games, it’s an amazing vehicle for user acquisition. A significant amount of our traffic happens in Infinity, so this can greatly increase your overall user base and cross-platform play. Subscription is also great for content that is out of the mainstream; consumers get to try as many games and apps as they want and are more willing to experiment with an unknown title. Titles that have out there for a while can benefit by coming into Infinity, adding another marketing cadence to their content and revving up the sales cycle again. We’ve seen titles make as much (if not more) with ongoing Infinity revenue than they do in the paid download sections of stores. A lot of this depends on price point, stickiness of content, and re-playability…we work with developers to figure out the best strategy for every piece of content. If it isn’t optimum to launch in Infinity, we still welcome you into the paid download section of the store. Bottom-line is that we want this to be a win-win situation for everyone…we want developers to make the most money they can so that they can go on to create more great content down the line. Thomas: From your perspective, what is the #1 challenge VR developers face today? Kris: I come from the console gaming world, so I’m used to having millions of installed units across mass market consumers. Right now, we all need more headsets on heads. We need to collectively evangelize the technology and get the word out that VR is not just a phone strapped to your head playing 360 videos. Part of what makes HTC great is that we have the best hardware experience, and we’re dedicated to partnering with the development community to bring the best content to consumers. We know it’s hard for developers to keep the lights on right now, so we’re investing with our partners for the long haul. Thomas: And speaking of investment, conversations I often have with developers often include the word “funding”. Can you outline funding opportunities that come up at HTC that you’re directly a part of? Kris: As I just mentioned in regards to keeping the lights on, yes, we are actively funding a highly curated selection of content for both PC and Wave devices. We want the best content for Viveport customers, particularly for Infinity subscribers. While Viveport does not operate in the sense of a first-party publisher and first-party budgets, we do function as a third-party supplemental funding source for developers. Also, there is the Vive Studios program where developers can apply. Thomas: Any tips for a developer approaching HTC or other companies about funding? Kris: Have a fully fleshed-out proposal. Come with different levels of potential funding options, opening a dialog to discuss various ways in which to partner together. Keep in mind that support can come in different forms as well, from hardware seeding to marketing opportunities with significant in-kind value. Thomas: What do you hope to see VR developers focus on in the future? Kris: I also head up HTC’s VR for Impact initiative, so I always love seeing projects with a real social impact. Earlier this year we launched Tree, which generated donations to the Rainforest Alliance in support of reforestation around the world. We all love doing good. Thomas: Down to the last question. If you could tell all VR developers out there one thing, whatever that may be, what would you say? Kris: Be a little crazy. For instance, who would have thought shooting fruit in a supermarket would be that much fun [i.e. Shooty Fruity]? Be a little simple. Beat Saber surprised everyone…sometimes it’s the easy-to-learn, hard-to-master ideas. And be a whole lot optimistic. We are just getting started and I know there are so many mind-blowing VR experiences yet to come. Thanks Kris for taking the time and doing what you do for developers! And developers, thanks for reaching! You can connect with Kris Severson at LinkedIn here and if you want to get started with Viveport, head off to the Developer Console. Next month, we’re sitting down with Jennifer Bullion, Developer Marketing Manager at Viveport, to hear about what she is seeing are the most successful strategies reaching VR customers and all the marketing opportunities available to developers.
  13. In our Developer Blog Series, we sit down with many of our VIVE colleagues who work with developers daily to highlight our way of thinking and help developers best take advantage of all the opportunities available at VIVE and VIVEPORT. This month, we’re chatting with Thomas Gratz in our San Francisco Office. Please introduce yourself. What do you do for Viveport? My name is Thomas Gratz and I’m a Senior Manager here at HTC, leading Developer Marketing for Viveport, which is HTC’s content distribution platform and storefront for virtual reality. When I describe my role, I always split Developer Marketing into two sides. First, we try to reach as many VR developers as possible and bring their titles onto Viveport. We work hard to earn developer trust and participation in our programs like Infinity or Viveport Arcade. Second, we aim to provide the best marketing support in the VR industry by helping titles get discovered by VR users. We line up promotions and amplification of announcements, releases and sustainment after launch. And you’ve been at Viveport practically longer than anyone else in the San Francisco office, right? That’s true and a bit crazy to think about when you put it that way. I’m celebrating my 3-year anniversary at Viveport this month. When I joined, there was essentially Rikard Steiber who is our President and a few VPs. The VP of Marketing had been hired two weeks earlier and he quickly brought me on board as we needed to launch Viveport globally in just a few months. I was the first marketing hire at Viveport and it has been quite an experience watching the team and product evolve since. What made you want to join the Viveport team? I was at Microsoft prior to joining HTC. At Microsoft, I had my first experience with XR using the HoloLens. I got to take a device home for a few weekends for testing prior to the developer kit releasing. As soon as I had hands-on time, I knew I wanted to work in this emerging industry. I had my first experience with a VIVE when a buddy of mine gave me a demo of “theBlu” when he went to go work for a VR startup in downtown Bellevue. My experience at Microsoft also pushed me toward creator communities and empowering others. This role on the Viveport team checked all the boxes and it was an opportunity to get on the ground floor of a brand-new business unit at HTC. The Vive had just been released and developers were just starting to dig into VR content creation. What does a typical day at the office look like for you? It changes all the time and is hard to predict even 3 years in. I just came back from a trip to Europe where we filmed 3 different developers telling their story of VR development. My team has this Viveport Developer Story program where we produce a 3-to-4 minute video asset which can be used to market both the developer and Viveport. Our goal is to inspire other creators, provide interesting insights and recognize a growing community of VR developers across the world of different cultures, backgrounds and motivations. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job. In a normal day, I’m speaking with a lot of developers – coordinating their release dates, collecting assets needed for marketing, etc. I’m working with our Customer Marketing team on store programming, newsletter placements, making sure we’re highlighting great titles and talented developers. I work with our Content team so they everything they need to talk with developers 1-1. I decide which developer events we choose to sponsor and decide our messaging, logistics and outreach at events we do participate in. And in quiet moments (not often), I work on our strategy as a team, sit on the greenlight committee for Viveport funding opportunities and share input on the Viveport leadership team on the direction we’re taking and goals we have. How do you work with developers to promote their content? Most of the time, developers are referred to the Developer Marketing team by our Content Operations or Content Acquisition teams. They either have submitted their title to the Viveport Developer Console and are expecting to release in a few weeks or are having conversations about coming to the platform. With the introduction, we’re usually called upon to look at the title and evaluate how much marketing support we may be able to provide, depending on the title, distribution plan and release date. After a call and some emails back and forth, we usually have a game plan in place – general timing and what each side needs to execute effectively. We outline all the opportunities to promote across Viveport channels and provide a list of needs from developers (most of the time, information and assets). Once we receive what we need, we turn it around as fast as possible and prepare internal teams to execute. Post release, we remain in contact with all developers on the platform and let them know about future promotion opportunities we think their titles are well suited for. Of course, developers also reach out directly about their latest updates and plans and we do our best to support. There’s no shortage of titles on Viveport from all the good work our content team is doing (check out last month’s blog with Kris Severson, Director of Content Partnerships). How can developers prioritize themselves and make your job easier? Ha, it didn’t used to be that way. We launched Viveport with roughly 75 VR titles. The service has grown so much since then. We’re over 2000+ titles now including high quality games and apps across all territories that Viveport supports. You are correct that we can’t support everyone now in the way that we used to and there are things developers can do to be prioritized and get our attention. First and foremost, developers who can consistently lock in their release dates and hold to them are a rare unicorn in my experience. A lot of marketing must be planned prior to builds getting submitted or finalized and developers who can deliver on their initial plans that we work towards are easily prioritized. If dates slip, our bandwidth and inventory changes and it could mean the marketing scope of our campaigns are impacted. The importance of quality marketing assets can’t be overstated. A quality asset has art that is both unique and conveys immediately what the VR experience is like. It catches the eye and is easy to digest at a glance. It is often a user’s first and only impression of a title and bad assets will ruin a good game’s chance to be discovered. Titles that distribute to all available territories make our lives a lot easier as we can plan for universal messaging across all our channels without worrying about some customers not having access. Compatibility across all the headsets that Viveport supports is also very helpful as we’re pushing to audiences with any VR device, not just VIVE. Finally, titles that opt-in for Viveport Infinity are always prioritized over non-Infinity titles. Most Viveport customers today come to Viveport as subscribers and we want to highlight the titles relevant to them. Infinity is our key differentiator as a content platform and titles that opt-in to the subscription service are guaranteed increased marketing support. For those developers considering submitting to Viveport, what is the best way to get connected and work with the marketing team? As mentioned, most developers get in contact with marketing through our Content Acquisition and Content Operations teams. Of course, I’m always happy to hear from developers coming or considering coming to Viveport and you can shoot me a message over LinkedIn. I can also be found at a decent number of industry events (I’m kind of short so you’ll need to keep a good look out). We have several program opt-ins / business models for developers to participate in like Viveport Infinity and Viveport Arcade? If they participate, does this change how you go about marketing their title? Definitely. Viveport Infinity can be used as a dedicated marketing channel. We’ve seen Infinity give a second life to titles as they get rediscovered by those who may have missed these titles when they first came out. Our Infinity members aren’t worried if a title is brand new or 3 years old, just as long as it is an enjoyable experience. They are an engaged audience looking to discover and sample new titles every month. And as I said, we prioritize our titles in our Infinity catalog for marketing opportunities. For Viveport Arcade, our position is to market the title to operators so they choose to feature the best titles fitting their venue. We focus on custom-built arcade titles that have thought out the flow for a user such as 1) easier, quick tutorial 2) high-action/fun 3) 10-15 minute session lengths with replayability 4) fun to watch with a social element. One program that we work on together is the Viveport Developer Awards or VDAs. For developers who don’t know, what is it? The Viveport Developer Awards is our annual program to recognize and reward some of the best developers on the Viveport platform. Winners and finalists can earn prize money, VIVE hardware, trophies, tickets to GDC, and a Viveport Developer Story video. It’s one of the coolest things I get to work on. Why do we have Viveport Developer Awards? We know we’re asking a lot for developers to build for VR and for our platform. It’s an emerging market and they could be spending their effort on traditional or mobile gaming platforms with a much larger audience. They are taking a risk on us, with us. We want to encourage developers to build for categories that don’t often translate to the highest sales but show off some of the greatest potential of VR. As one of the leading platforms, it’s our responsibility to give back to this community of developers. Our recognition through the VDAs can really highlight some of the amazing things developers are doing and also legitimize their work. Do you have a favorite experience working with developers so far? Personally, I had a great experience earlier this year at GDC 2019. We sponsored really late but the show somehow came together in the end. It takes an excellent team to pull something off at the scale we did and I’m fortunate to work with such talented folks. We had our first ever Developer Day with 6 different speaking sessions for developers running back-to-back. We also featured 13 of our own invited developers & internal teams at the VR Play area in the Expo, the highest number of featured developers I’ve ever had at an event I’ve ran. It all came together to be a great platform to connect with existing developers on Viveport and meet new developers who are VR or Viveport curious. For me, we kick off GDC with one of the best developer mixers for VR, open bar and all. We invite all our Viveport Developer Award winners and the wider developer community. It’s honestly a blast and I just love connecting with everyone over a drink (or two) and delicious food. And finally, if you could tell all VR developers out there one thing, what would you tell them? Right now is a great time to be developing for VR. This is still early days. The most important thing developers should be focused on as a studio is building an internal skillset for VR and iterating on that skillset with each project, slowly increasing the scope of projects over time. At the same time, build a brand around your studio and titles. New brands/IP are difficult to establish in mature markets so now is a great opportunity to accomplish that. The studios that create a reputation of quality with a focus on VR today will ride the incoming wave of mass VR adoption at the highest point in the future. Thanks for taking the time to chat, Thomas! And thanks developers for reading! You can connect with Thomas Gratz at LinkedIn here and if you want to get started with Viveport, head off to the Developer Console. Next month, we’ll chat with another member of our developer-facing team
  14. In our Developer Blog Series, we sit down with many of our VIVE colleagues who work with developers daily to highlight our way of thinking and help developers best take advantage of all the opportunities available at VIVE and VIVEPORT. This month, we’re chatting with Thomas Gratz in our San Francisco Office. Please introduce yourself. What do you do for Viveport? My name is Thomas Gratz and I’m a Senior Manager here at HTC, leading Developer Marketing for Viveport, which is HTC’s content distribution platform and storefront for virtual reality. When I describe my role, I always split Developer Marketing into two sides. First, we try to reach as many VR developers as possible and bring their titles onto Viveport. We work hard to earn developer trust and participation in our programs like Infinity or Viveport Arcade. Second, we aim to provide the best marketing support in the VR industry by helping titles get discovered by VR users. We line up promotions and amplification of announcements, releases and sustainment after launch. And you’ve been at Viveport practically longer than anyone else in the San Francisco office, right? That’s true and a bit crazy to think about when you put it that way. I’m celebrating my 3-year anniversary at Viveport this month. When I joined, there was essentially Rikard Steiber who is our President and a few VPs. The VP of Marketing had been hired two weeks earlier and he quickly brought me on board as we needed to launch Viveport globally in just a few months. I was the first marketing hire at Viveport and it has been quite an experience watching the team and product evolve since. What made you want to join the Viveport team? I was at Microsoft prior to joining HTC. At Microsoft, I had my first experience with XR using the HoloLens. I got to take a device home for a few weekends for testing prior to the developer kit releasing. As soon as I had hands-on time, I knew I wanted to work in this emerging industry. I had my first experience with a VIVE when a buddy of mine gave me a demo of “theBlu” when he went to go work for a VR startup in downtown Bellevue. My experience at Microsoft also pushed me toward creator communities and empowering others. This role on the Viveport team checked all the boxes and it was an opportunity to get on the ground floor of a brand-new business unit at HTC. The Vive had just been released and developers were just starting to dig into VR content creation. What does a typical day at the office look like for you? It changes all the time and is hard to predict even 3 years in. I just came back from a trip to Europe where we filmed 3 different developers telling their story of VR development. My team has this Viveport Developer Story program where we produce a 3-to-4 minute video asset which can be used to market both the developer and Viveport. Our goal is to inspire other creators, provide interesting insights and recognize a growing community of VR developers across the world of different cultures, backgrounds and motivations. It’s one of my favorite parts of the job. In a normal day, I’m speaking with a lot of developers – coordinating their release dates, collecting assets needed for marketing, etc. I’m working with our Customer Marketing team on store programming, newsletter placements, making sure we’re highlighting great titles and talented developers. I work with our Content team so they everything they need to talk with developers 1-1. I decide which developer events we choose to sponsor and decide our messaging, logistics and outreach at events we do participate in. And in quiet moments (not often), I work on our strategy as a team, sit on the greenlight committee for Viveport funding opportunities and share input on the Viveport leadership team on the direction we’re taking and goals we have. How do you work with developers to promote their content? Most of the time, developers are referred to the Developer Marketing team by our Content Operations or Content Acquisition teams. They either have submitted their title to the Viveport Developer Console and are expecting to release in a few weeks or are having conversations about coming to the platform. With the introduction, we’re usually called upon to look at the title and evaluate how much marketing support we may be able to provide, depending on the title, distribution plan and release date. After a call and some emails back and forth, we usually have a game plan in place – general timing and what each side needs to execute effectively. We outline all the opportunities to promote across Viveport channels and provide a list of needs from developers (most of the time, information and assets). Once we receive what we need, we turn it around as fast as possible and prepare internal teams to execute. Post release, we remain in contact with all developers on the platform and let them know about future promotion opportunities we think their titles are well suited for. Of course, developers also reach out directly about their latest updates and plans and we do our best to support. There’s no shortage of titles on Viveport from all the good work our content team is doing (check out last month’s blog with Kris Severson, Director of Content Partnerships). How can developers prioritize themselves and make your job easier? Ha, it didn’t used to be that way. We launched Viveport with roughly 75 VR titles. The service has grown so much since then. We’re over 2000+ titles now including high quality games and apps across all territories that Viveport supports. You are correct that we can’t support everyone now in the way that we used to and there are things developers can do to be prioritized and get our attention. First and foremost, developers who can consistently lock in their release dates and hold to them are a rare unicorn in my experience. A lot of marketing must be planned prior to builds getting submitted or finalized and developers who can deliver on their initial plans that we work towards are easily prioritized. If dates slip, our bandwidth and inventory changes and it could mean the marketing scope of our campaigns are impacted. The importance of quality marketing assets can’t be overstated. A quality asset has art that is both unique and conveys immediately what the VR experience is like. It catches the eye and is easy to digest at a glance. It is often a user’s first and only impression of a title and bad assets will ruin a good game’s chance to be discovered. Titles that distribute to all available territories make our lives a lot easier as we can plan for universal messaging across all our channels without worrying about some customers not having access. Compatibility across all the headsets that Viveport supports is also very helpful as we’re pushing to audiences with any VR device, not just VIVE. Finally, titles that opt-in for Viveport Infinity are always prioritized over non-Infinity titles. Most Viveport customers today come to Viveport as subscribers and we want to highlight the titles relevant to them. Infinity is our key differentiator as a content platform and titles that opt-in to the subscription service are guaranteed increased marketing support. For those developers considering submitting to Viveport, what is the best way to get connected and work with the marketing team? As mentioned, most developers get in contact with marketing through our Content Acquisition and Content Operations teams. Of course, I’m always happy to hear from developers coming or considering coming to Viveport and you can shoot me a message over LinkedIn. I can also be found at a decent number of industry events (I’m kind of short so you’ll need to keep a good look out). We have several program opt-ins / business models for developers to participate in like Viveport Infinity and Viveport Arcade? If they participate, does this change how you go about marketing their title? Definitely. Viveport Infinity can be used as a dedicated marketing channel. We’ve seen Infinity give a second life to titles as they get rediscovered by those who may have missed these titles when they first came out. Our Infinity members aren’t worried if a title is brand new or 3 years old, just as long as it is an enjoyable experience. They are an engaged audience looking to discover and sample new titles every month. And as I said, we prioritize our titles in our Infinity catalog for marketing opportunities. For Viveport Arcade, our position is to market the title to operators so they choose to feature the best titles fitting their venue. We focus on custom-built arcade titles that have thought out the flow for a user such as 1) easier, quick tutorial 2) high-action/fun 3) 10-15 minute session lengths with replayability 4) fun to watch with a social element. One program that we work on together is the Viveport Developer Awards or VDAs. For developers who don’t know, what is it? The Viveport Developer Awards is our annual program to recognize and reward some of the best developers on the Viveport platform. Winners and finalists can earn prize money, VIVE hardware, trophies, tickets to GDC, and a Viveport Developer Story video. It’s one of the coolest things I get to work on. Why do we have Viveport Developer Awards? We know we’re asking a lot for developers to build for VR and for our platform. It’s an emerging market and they could be spending their effort on traditional or mobile gaming platforms with a much larger audience. They are taking a risk on us, with us. We want to encourage developers to build for categories that don’t often translate to the highest sales but show off some of the greatest potential of VR. As one of the leading platforms, it’s our responsibility to give back to this community of developers. Our recognition through the VDAs can really highlight some of the amazing things developers are doing and also legitimize their work. Do you have a favorite experience working with developers so far? Personally, I had a great experience earlier this year at GDC 2019. We sponsored really late but the show somehow came together in the end. It takes an excellent team to pull something off at the scale we did and I’m fortunate to work with such talented folks. We had our first ever Developer Day with 6 different speaking sessions for developers running back-to-back. We also featured 13 of our own invited developers & internal teams at the VR Play area in the Expo, the highest number of featured developers I’ve ever had at an event I’ve ran. It all came together to be a great platform to connect with existing developers on Viveport and meet new developers who are VR or Viveport curious. For me, we kick off GDC with one of the best developer mixers for VR, open bar and all. We invite all our Viveport Developer Award winners and the wider developer community. It’s honestly a blast and I just love connecting with everyone over a drink (or two) and delicious food. And finally, if you could tell all VR developers out there one thing, what would you tell them? Right now is a great time to be developing for VR. This is still early days. The most important thing developers should be focused on as a studio is building an internal skillset for VR and iterating on that skillset with each project, slowly increasing the scope of projects over time. At the same time, build a brand around your studio and titles. New brands/IP are difficult to establish in mature markets so now is a great opportunity to accomplish that. The studios that create a reputation of quality with a focus on VR today will ride the incoming wave of mass VR adoption at the highest point in the future. Thanks for taking the time to chat, Thomas! And thanks developers for reading! You can connect with Thomas Gratz at LinkedIn here and if you want to get started with Viveport, head off to the Developer Console. Next month, we’ll chat with another member of our developer-facing team
  15. Hello everyone, Welcome to your new VIVE Community Forum. This is where you can now talk about all things VIVE. If you are new, it's great to have you here. We hope you enjoy your stay. Feel free to ask any questions you have and engage in any discussions you wish related to VIVE. For those of you who are returning members, you may notice a few changes. Ok ok, A LOT of changes. Here are some of the biggest changes; 1: Split communities. To make it easier to navigate through various VIVE discussions and sections, we have created to separate VIVE and VIVEPORT community pages. This will make it so we can make sure you get the content you are looking for as well as offer surface level help. 2: Easier to navigate UI. As you can see, in the upper right, you have a few icons that will help you with notifications, private messages, and you will be able to access all of your profile settings. We'd rather you be able to enjoy the community without any confusion. If you have any questions, please ask and we will help you to the best of our ability. 3: Cleaner and clearer design. A few mentioned it was hard to find what you wanted to read or navigate back to where you once were without having to completely start over again. We've taken care of that for you. Now, our forum directories are less cluttered and more attractive. 4: Emotes, GIFs, and YouTube options. As many of you mentioned previously, adding these types of links/files to the forums was confusing or lacking. We now have it to where you can easily add a video, a gif, or extended emojis with no problem. These are the more important ones that you. As we open up for fun apps, options, and features, we will let you know. Until then, have fun!
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