Thursday, January 30, 2014

Book announcement - Oculus Rift in Action

Manning Publications (creators of the popular 'in Action' series of books) is working on a new title on development for the Oculus Rift, titled "Oculus Rift in Action", by Brad Davis (<-- me!), Alex Benton and Karen Bryla.

This book will focus on driving understanding of the tasks required for developing for the Rift via a series of cross-platform examples written in C++ and OpenGL.  The intent is that regardless of your favored language and rendering API, these examples should be clear enough to allow you apply the lessons learned to your preferred environment.

In addition to the basics, we will cover topics such as best practices in developing immersive applications, integrating other VR elements, and working with the Rift in other languages.  A tentative full chapter listing is available at the end of this message.

As part of the publication process, the book will go through MEAP, the Manning Early Access Program.  Interested readers can purchase the book early (before it's finished) and get a look at material as it becomes available. They can provide feedback on how the book could better serve the needs of the community.  The MEAP will start with the first two chapters of the book and incorporate more material as it becomes available.  It should be live within the next couple of weeks.

I'm hoping that both beginner and experienced developers will participate.  We want to receive feedback on our methods of teaching so that we can build a resource to help create consistently great experiences with the Rift.  This will hopefully drive mainstream adoption.  A transformative product like the Rift needs to start with a great developer community.

Chapter listing [as of the date of this post]
  • Part 1: Getting Started
    • Chapter 1:  Meet the Oculus Rift
    • Chapter 2:  Creating Your First Rift Interactions
  • Part 2: Building Immersive Environments
    • Chapter 3: Getting input and changing the point of view: Working with the head tracker
    • Chapter 4: Sending output to the Rift: Working with the display
    • Chapter 5: Creating Rift viewable images: Transforming the image
    • Chapter 6: Rendering a scene
    • Chapter 7: Building an Immersive Environment
    • Chapter 8:  Improving the VR Experience 
  • Part 3: Building on the Basics
    • Chapter 9: Using the Rift with Other Languages
    • Chapter 10: Using the Rift with Body Tracking Hardware
    • Chapter 11: Accessing the Rift Hardware Directly
  • Part 4: Putting it into Practice
    • Chapter 12: Working with Unity: Getting a HUD of the Game
    • Chapter 13: Using the Rift with WebGL: Google Streetview
    • Chapter 14: Merging External Inputs with the Rift: Augmented Reality
  • Appendix A: An OpenGL Primer
  • Appendix B: Sample Values
  • Appendix C: Recommended Reading


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