Facebook Shares Two Oculus App Lab Experiences Aimed at Developers
These free new Facebook demos provide a showcase of Oculus Quest hand-tracking for devs.
Both of these experiences are free for download through the service but are not yet fully-fleshed out gaming experiences.
There is a new version of its First Steps showcase that uses hand-tracking tech. The First Steps showcase is an extension of the introductory app that users will get to experience when they boot their Oculus Quest headset for the first time. The current First Steps app focuses on controller interactions but the latest edition brings Quest’s hand-tracking features to the fore. The content of the app, however, doesn’t change and will provide users with a range of items and experiences which they can interact with. It enables users to play with toy rockets, shoot different types of guns, hold ping pong paddles and so much more. All of these interactions have been reconfigured and can work without the use of a controller.
A description on App Lab says this experience showcases “how hand tracking can replace your Touch Controller experience.” However, emphasis has also been placed on the fact that this is an experimental version for developers which is why the app is available on App Lab and not on the official Oculus Store at this time.
The other showcase released yesterday is Tiny Castles. This is an all-new experience that includes various new interactions. Players are cast as a god that has to save their followers from some evil entity by deploying various mechanics that have been built around hand-tracking functionalities. These mechanics include picking up tiny characters via a pinch, grabbing objects from afar and tossing these into the battlefield or using some gesture to shoot fire from your fingers.
Tiny Castles is also a showcase and isn’t a fully-fleshed out game. Facebook says it thus lacks “real challenge and difficulty balancing.” Both of these apps have been developed by Facebook’s internal ‘Strike Team’.
The App Lab platform has been primarily built for third-party developers to publish their apps or titles on without the need to sideload content or pass through Facebook’s stringent content curation policy. Apart from these two apps, a few other apps have been released on the App Lab platform since its launch last month.