Two years ago, Oculus teamed up with VR promoter Kaleidoscope to create DevLab, an incubator for independent VR projects. Now they’re back to do it again with DevLab 2018, also partnering with immersive mixed reality studio RYOT for an educational event and funding opportunity targeted at independent VR and AR artists.
Think of DevLab 2018 as a less public version of a reality TV contest. The partners will bring together 25 top VR/AR creatives to act as advisors to 10 participants, who will each arrive with an unfinished project concept, then spend two days participating in workshops, performances, and round table discussions to hone the idea. DevLab’s multidisciplinary group of advisors will include experts in architecture, immersive theater, magic, and storytelling, as well as game design.
Based on the event’s lessons, the participants will then go off on their own to create working versions of their projects. They’ll then exhibit their work at a 2019 “First Look” event that’s expected to be attended by 250 industry leaders — all with the prospect of securing funding. Projects from the first DevLab raised over $3.1 million in funds, notably including Sundance’s first seven-figure VR deal.
“DevLab is a unique way to support independent artists,” said RYOT CEO Bryn Mooser, “and we’re proud to support and provide mentorship opportunities for the next generation of content creators as they refine their craft, and use their art to change the world.”
Applications to participate in DevLab 2018 are open now through October 31, 2018; applicants are asked to submit examples of previous work and a 150-word description of the unfinished project, among other details. A selection committee comprised of Kaleidoscope, RYOT, and Sundance creatives will choose the 10 participants for the event, which will be held on November 10 and 11 in Los Angeles, California.