//How to Create and Publish Oculus Go Apps

How to Create and Publish Oculus Go Apps

How to Create and Publish Oculus Go Apps

Oculus Go is the impressive new standalone VR headset from Facebook’s Oculus division. You can read more about it by clicking here.

InstaVR Pro users (and shortly, Free users too) can publish to the headset today. Below, we’ll give you the instructions on how to do so. This guide should look somewhat familiar if you’ve read our Gear VR, iOS/Android, and VR180 how-to guides.

Use the menu below to choose if you’ve already authored a VR application using InstaVR before or if this is your first time.

As always, if you have any questions, contact our Customer Support team over Live Chat (weekday, US business hours), via email (24/7), or at our live weekly trainings.

Good luck with your Oculus Go applications! We’re excited to hear all your success stories.

  1. Quick FAQs on Publishing to Oculus Go
  2. If You’ve Already Published an App Before Using InstaVR (Specific Oculus Publishing & Distribution Info Only)
  3. If This is the First App You’re Building With InstaVR (Full Authoring, Publishing, and Distribution Info)

1. Quick FAQs on Publishing to Oculus Go

Question: If I’ve already published an app using InstaVR, do I need to do anything different in the Authoring section of InstaVR?

Answer: No! All you need to do is re-package and follow the instructions below for loading the new app onto your Oculus Go. But there is one authoring change you may want to make — disabling the gaze-based navigation trigger, so you only use the hand controller. We cover that in the last FAQ below.

Question: If I’m a Free InstaVR user, can I still publish to Oculus Go?

Answer: Yes! You’ll just be subject to our standard Free user limitations… 1 GB per account, 100 MB max app size, 5 scenes per app, and InstaVR watermark added to your project. Also, if publishing to Go, you can publish via ADB or Oculus Store method, but you can’t use the Release Channels to distribute your app. (that’s Pro users only!)

Question: If I’ve published a Gear VR app before, do I still need to re-package my application?

Answer: Maybe. Though Gear VR and Oculus Go run on the same Oculus software, the distribution is slightly different. So you will need to re-package to use Facebook’s preferred method of app distribution — through the Oculus Store Release Channels. Even if you’re using ADB methodology, it’s best to re-package, as you’ll want to remove the gaze trigger since the Go comes with a hand controller.

Question: Do I need to obtain a Device ID and Oculus Signature File, like with Gear VR apps?

Answer: No! For Oculus Go, unlike the Samsung Gear VR phones, Device IDs and .osig files are not necessary.

Question: If no .osig file, how do I distribute outside of the Oculus Store?

Answer: We’ll answer that in the section below. Basically, you’ll need the Oculus registered email address of the headset user, and you can add them to your Release Channel after uploading to the Oculus Store.

Question: Will the Go hand controller work with my InstaVR created applications?

Answer: Yes! Same as Gear VR, you can use gaze-based interaction or hand controller interaction. Please read below on how to make the gaze-based navigation disappear in the Oculus Go.

Question: Does my Oculus Go have to be connected to WiFi for the InstaVR applications to run?

Answer: No! As long as you package for Offline, and download to Go instead of Stream, your application can run on the Go without any WiFi access.

Question: Can I package up my Oculus Go app for distribution via the Oculus Store?

Answer: Yes! Though InstaVR certainly can’t guarantee acceptance of your app on the Store, as they have rigorous content guidelines. So unless you have created a compelling VR application, it’s not going to be as easy to get your app on the Store as it would be for iTunes or Google Play. You’ll also have to upgrade to Pro to submit widely to the Oculus Store proper.

Question: Why do I see two triggers when my Oculus Go app loads? 

Answer: Gear VR allows for both gaze-based and hand controller-based navigation. Because the package for Oculus Go is the same as for Gear VR, your app will appear with two triggers by default.

To remove the gaze-based trigger, you’ll have to make a couple changes in the Authoring portion of your app creation. This is currently only available to Pro customers. See instructions and screenshot below.

A.) Click on Global Settings in the lower right of your Authoring console

B.) Change Marker Link/Hotspot/Action Duration to its maximum – 10 seconds

C.) Change Crosshair size to its minimum – 0.1

D.) Upload (“Click to Add File”) a transparent .png file as the custom icon for the trigger. Here is a link to download a transparent .png file.

If… You’ve Already Created an App Using InstaVR Before

If you’ve already built an app using InstaVR before, you’re 90% of the way to publishing your app on the Oculus Go.

There’s two methods of publishing currently. For both, you’ll have to set your headset to Developer Mode. To do so… Open the Oculus App on your Phone -> Select Your Go Headset -> Select More Settings -> Select Developer Mode -> Turn on Developer Mode.

There are two methods for loading explained below. Please note the Oculus Store Release Channels approach is the one recommended by Oculus and the easier method for beginner users.

A.) Through the Oculus Store Release Channels (RECOMMENDED)

***Note: using this method will NOT publish your app to the general Oculus Store. Your app will still be private.

If you haven’t already, you’ll have to set your headset to Developer Mode. To do so… Open the Oculus App on your Phone -> Select Your Go Headset -> Select More Settings -> Select Developer Mode -> Turn on Developer Mode.

Oculus Go Home

Sign in to Oculus Developer Portal. https://dashboard.oculus.com

Create a new Oculus Store app.

Select Mobile.

Find “App ID” of Oculus Store app. Copy it.

In InstaVR: Open InstaVR>Package>Advanced Options

Method: Select “Oculus Store”

Paste: “App ID” from the Oculus Store here

Re-Package Gear VR / Oculus Go app.

Upload app to Oculus Store from your app name>Manage Builds>Submit Your App>Upload Your Build

Free Users: You can only select Oculus Store for the packaging in the Console. Not the distribution channels. So when you upload to the actual Oculus Store dashboard, select Oculus Store as your channel.

InstaVR Pro Users: You can package to the Release Channels and easily distribute that way. So select ALPHA, BETA, or RC in the packaging section of InstaVR. Then when uploading, select the corresponding ALPHA, BETA, or RC channel in the Oculus Store.

After Oculus has completed uploading, the Test Status should say “Complete” with a blue dot. That confirms your app meets Oculus standards.

For InstaVR Pro customers utilizing Release Channels:

You’ll then have to add yourself to the channel to access your app.

Under “Users”, click the oval of the channel your app was uploaded to (that oval should be in black, the oval of channels you’re not using will be in grey).

Add the email address associated with your Oculus account. Check the box you agree to Terms of Service. Then hit “Add Users”.

You’ll then get an email from Oculus where you’ll have to click the link to confirm.

You’re app should then appear in your Go for you to download or stream! (if you can’t find it, you can search by name in your Go)

To Invite Others to Download Your App to their Oculus Go: 

Using their Oculus Store Email ID, add them to the Release Channel you assigned your app to. They can then access and download your app over WiFi. Your app will appear on their Oculus Go home menu after downloaded.

B.) Using adb (android debug bridge) command lines

This is basically the equivalent of sideloading your app. To use this method, you will need access to the Go headset and a computer containing the physical .apk file created by InstaVR.

Scroll down to watch a video that contains all of the instructions for loading using a Mac with adb installed. We’ve also summarized those instructions here:

  1. Connect your Oculus Go to your Mac using a USB cable
  2. Package up your application in InstaVR using the “Inhouse” selection
  3. Download the InstaVR generated .apk file to your computer
  4. Launch “Terminal” on your computer, found in the “Utilities”
  5. Type “adb install” and then drag-and-drop your apk file into Terminal. Hit Enter.***
  6. On your Go, use the hand controller to select Library -> then Unknown Sources
  7. Click your app to launch it on the Go!

***If you don’t have ADB on your computer already, you’ll have to install it. Rather than re-print all those instructions here, we’ll point you towards the best web resources.

Installing ADB on Mac OS X

Installing ADB on Windows

How to Create & Publish an Oculus Go App (for new InstaVR users) 

The first step in creating an Oculus Go application is authoring the app experience.

Sign up for a Free InstaVR account

Signing up for InstaVR is both free and easy. You can either click the “TRY FOR FREE” button in the top right corner or visit https://console.instavr.co/signup. With a free InstaVR account, you can publish an unlimited # of practice or Proof of Concept apps. (subject to a few limitations, such as 100 MB max app size)

Upload your 360-degree images and videos to InstaVR

The first step in creating your app is to upload your media files to our File Manager. You can organize them on your desktop and upload them all at once. Or do it sequentially.

Yoga File Manager

Select the correct type of media you’ve uploaded

On the lower right side of the Authoring screen, you’ll then select the correct media type you’ve uploaded. This could include 360 Mono Spherical, 360 Stereo Spherical, or any of a number of 180-degree media types.

Yoga VR File Type

Create a menu OR select the initial scene

After your files are in our cloud, you can in the Authoring tab select which panorama you’d like your app to launch into first. Whichever image or video you have as the top selection in your Authoring tab will be the one that loads first. There’s two approaches that our clients generally take for initial app launch, partially dependent on what platform they’re publishing to.

  1. Use an initial image as your “Menu Page” – Some clients will want to allow their users to select between a number of different images or videos off of a de facto Menu Page. To do that, you’ll select a 360 image you’ve uploaded as your menu background, and then add multiple Navigation links off that main menu for the user to choose from. (more on Navigation Links below) This approach is good if you have multiple distinct VR experiences for your audience or if you’d like to give them a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style experience.
  2. Launch right into a 360-degree image or video – Rather than allowing your user to choose their narrative direction via a Menu, you can have them automatically open on an image or video-based scene. This is good if you want to have a linear experience for your users where they go scene-to-scene, without needing an initial multi-choice Menu.

Yoga First Scene

Add Navigation between scenes

Once you’ve established if you’re using a Main Menu or a linear approach, you need to give your users the ability to navigate from scene to scene. App users can initiate navigation either through gazing at Navigation links or by pointing at them using the hand controller that comes with the headset.

Setting up navigation depends on if your VR scene is image based or video based.

Adding Navigation to 360-degree images (For images, you’ll have to add a navigation link — or multiple ones — somewhere within a scene to allow users to navigate to a next scene)

Select “+Link” from Bottom of Authoring Platform ->

Press Update Position ->

Select Location in Pano You’d Like Navigation Link to Be and Click ->

Select Destination Scene You’d Like Navigation Link to Go To ->

Override Nav Link Label, Change Nav Link Icon, Change Text Color, and Change Icon or Font Size (All Optional) ->

Press Complete

Yoga VR Nav

Adding Navigation to 360-degree videos (Videos require a different approach than images. There are three options for what happens after a video plays. All of them are found in the lower right corner of the Authoring view, under the “Transition Options” drop-down)

Loop – Loop plays that video over again and again. This is a good choice if you only have a single video.

Stop – If you’d like to give your users options after a video plays, select Stop. You can add Navigation Links to the scene, as discussed above, and the user can choose the next scene they’d like to go to.

Navigate – This choice allows you to choose the next scene or video that automatically loads after the video plays. This is a good choice if you want your VR to be passive, and you want to control the navigation flow of your app users.

Yoga Video Nav

Adding Hotspots to your 360-degree media

VR Hotspots are 2D media (images or videos) that can overlay directly on your 180 media. They can be initiated by the user (via gaze or hand controller), or can automatically be displayed if you’re a Pro user.

The steps for adding Hotspots to your VR scenes are:

Select “+Hotspot” from the bottom of the Authoring view ->

Press “Update Position” in upper right hand corner ->

Select location in 180 media where you’d like the Hotspot to appear ->

Select the 2D image or video from the File Manager you’d like to appear as the Hotspot ->

Add a Label that will appear in the 180 media below the Hotspot icon ->

Change Hotspot icon, Icon/Label color, or Icon/Label size (All Optional) ->

(Optionally) Pro users can change when Hotspots appear and if they play automatically ->

Hit Complete

Overall, Hotspots can be used for educational purposes, for close-up views of things, for adding a video component to a still image, and much much more. Hotspots are a great way to make your app interactive. You can also track Hotspot initiation by adding a Google Analytics id marker to the Hotspot, and viewing the counting stats related to that in Google Analytics.

Half Tortoise Hotspot

Creating a Narrative to your VR experience

Authoring a VR app is as simple as creating a series of scenes, and ensuring your users have a way to navigate from scene-to-scene. This is what we call creating the narrative. You want to ensure that users can intuitively figure out the navigation of the app. Because they’ll be wearing a headset, you want them to experience a logical narrative flow without having to involve you in the process.

Other VR Authoring Options with InstaVR

Above, we’ve listed the basic components of creating a VR application… uploading media, adding navigation between scenes, and placing Hotspots. There’s many, many more options possible with InstaVR, particularly for InstaVR Pro users. Below are just a few of them. We highly suggest you attend our Thursday live trainings, which you’re invited to over email after signing up for a free InstaVR account.

Adding music or voiceover to your VR app

Advanced Global Settings features (eg changing crosshair/trigger size, shape, color, etc)

Adding Spatial Audio to your VR app

Importing Cubemaps for Use in your InstaVR app

Branding a Oculus Go App

Before publishing, you’ll want to add you or your clients’ branding to your app. This will include the icon that appears on your Oculus Go home menu and a small branded splash image that can play prior to the VR experience starting. (Similar to the one you’d see in a Gear VR headset)

Adding an App Icon

Your VR users will access your app through the Oculus Go home screen. The icon you choose will appear there.  InstaVR recommends a 512 x 512 square png file.

Adding a Splash Image or Video

The splash image or video will load just prior to your VR experience. This is a great branding opportunity. The recommended file dimensions are 1920 x 1080 png or 1920 x 1080 mp4.

Publishing an Oculus Go App

(Please note this section is the same as above, if you’ve already read it)

There’s two methods of publishing currently. For both, you’ll have to set your headset to Developer Mode. To do so… Open the Oculus App on your Phone -> Select Your Go Headset -> Select More Settings -> Select Developer Mode -> Turn on Developer Mode

There are two methods for loading explained below. Please note the Oculus Store Release Channels approach is the one recommended by Oculus and the easier method for beginner users.

A.) Through the Oculus Store Release Channels 

***Note: using this method will NOT publish your app to the general Oculus Store. Your app will still be private.

Sign in to Oculus Developer Portal. https://dashboard.oculus.com

Oculus Go Home

Create a new Oculus Store app.

Select Gear VR.

Find “App ID” in Oculus Store. Copy it.

In InstaVR: Open InstaVR>Package>Advanced Options

Method: Select “Oculus Store”

Paste: “App ID” from the Oculus Store here

Re-Package Gear VR / Oculus Go app.

Upload app to Oculus Store from your app name>Manage Builds>Upload Build.

Assign the build to an  ALPHA, BETA, or RC channel.

After Oculus has completed uploading, the Test Status should say “Complete” with a blue dot. That confirms your app meets Oculus standards.

You’ll then have to add yourself to the channel to access your app.

Under “Users”, click the oval of the channel your app was uploaded to (that oval should be in black, the oval of channels you’re not using will be in grey).

Add the email address associated with your Oculus account. Check the box you agree to Terms of Service. Then hit “Add Users”.

You’ll then get an email from Oculus where you’ll have to click the link to confirm.

You’re app should then appear in your Go for you to download or stream! (if you can’t find it, you can search by name in your Go)

To Invite Others to Download Your App to their Oculus Go: 

Using their Oculus Store Email ID, add them to the Release Channel you assigned your app to. They can then access and download your app over WiFi. Your app will appear on their Oculus Go home menu after downloaded.

B.) Using adb (android debug bridge) command lines

This is basically the equivalent of sideloading your app. To use this method, you will need access to the Go headset and a computer containing the physical .apk file created by InstaVR.

The video below contains all of the instructions for a Mac with adb installed. We’ve also summarized those instructions below:

  1. Connect your Oculus Go to your Mac using a USB cable
  2. Package up your application in InstaVR using the “Inhouse” selection
  3. Download the InstaVR generated .apk file to your computer
  4. Launch “Terminal” on your computer, found in the “Utilities”
  5. Type “adb install” and then drag-and-drop your apk file into Terminal. Hit Enter.***
  6. On your Go, use the hand controller to select Library -> then Unknown Sources
  7. Click your app to launch it on the Go!

***If you don’t have ADB on your computer already, you’ll have to install it. Rather than re-print all those instructions here, we’ll point you towards the best web resources.

Installing ADB on Mac OS X

Installing ADB on Windows

Analyzing and Improving Your Oculus Go App

There’s two main ways to analyze your Oculus Go app once you’ve published it: Analytics and Heatmaps. Both require the user to be connected to WiFi, so data can be passed back to InstaVR.

Analytics

Analytics require you to have a Google Analytics account already set up. You can then tag objects such as Navigational Links and Hotspots while authoring your app. If you include your Google Analytics overall account # when packaging, we’ll be able to send data into your analytics account for all your app users who are connected to the Internet when viewing it.

Heatmaps

Heatmaps will allow you to visualize where your users are focusing their attention. Our new Heatmaps 2.0 gives you access to Live Heatmaps, 3D Heatmaps, Grid-based Heatmaps and more. You can use this data to understand if users are looking where you intend them to look.

Heatmap

2018-06-22T19:43:04+00:00 May 4th, 2018|General|