I’m really glad I wrote this script.
But I don’t think I’ll need the one above it anymore.
I should probably just delete it.

Keys-Only-Unity-Window

I’ve chatted with several Oculus Staff. They have reaffirmed that my game is approved and that I can generate Keys to distribute to whomever I would like. They have also said encouraging things like:

we’d be happy to take a look at your next project!

I asked a bunch of questions about what I can do. If I can distribute my game for free. I’ve cited other games that… aren’t great, but are at least listed on the store page. I’ve asked if I fix this or that, if it would make a difference. Then I went to the analytics, and I was shocked. The time that they spent actually playing my game is pretty surprisingly low. Which means it was based on the first impression of about 5 people. So, tell me that. Tell me that they looked at my store artwork, and played for about 20 minutes, and didn’t really get how to play. I can address that. That’s not difficult to provide that much feedback. And then I realized the kicker:

I didn’t even get an e-mail from them after the review was completed. They didn’t even e-mail me saying my game was done being reviewed. I happened to see it in the dashboard on a Friday afternoon. I e-mailed them on Monday because I was confused. They got back to me on Wednesday.

Some interesting full quotes:

The content review team decided that Dragon Flight did not meet the standards to be included in the Oculus Store.

As I mentioned, we’ve enabled Oculus Key generation on your submission so that you can distribute your content through the Oculus platform. Due to the volume of submissions, we can’t offer specific feedback at this time. To get an idea of the content standards required for the Oculus Store, please take a look at our publishing documentation, especially our Best Practices and Publishing Requirements. You can also look through the games and applications that we currently feature.

We’re always looking for great new apps and games, so we’d be happy to take a look at your next project!

Here is my response:

Jared Judd Today at 14:15
My analytics show me that 21 Oculus staff/people installed my game. 13 of them played for 30 minutes without loading a single level. (Are they doing their job?) None of the players loaded my favorite level (flying a dragon in between islands). Only 5 of the 21 content review team that installed my game accomplished the first step in the game (flying through a ring).

K – I get that there isn’t real specific data that you can provide, but I get the sense that my game was rejected(?) on a very limited first impression. Which to me says Store Artwork, and maybe the lack of a tutorial? (13 of 21 users internally didn’t load a level after 30 average minutes of game play?)

You get on the back of a dragon, and you fly through a big floating ring in the sky to load a level. There are 4 rings. 13 players played for an average of 30 minutes without making it through one of the rings.

I know my game needs more polish. Might need a tutorial. Might need new store artwork. I’m self conscious about parts of it. I understand that you can’t give me specific feedback. But I don’t understand the feedback of “we’d be happy to take a look at your next project!” You barely took a look at my first project, and you haven’t really told me what you thought about it. I didn’t even get an e-mail after the content review team finished. I reached out to you 3 days later to ask what the next steps were, and was told simply that I can generate keys to distribute my game.

Honestly. After submitting my game, I didn’t even get an e-mail.
Think about that.

So after the realization that the only way to sell my game is on my own…

I’ve posted to Facebook to all of my friends. Oculus = Facebook after all, so let’s start there. None of my friends have the GearVR, and I’ve had 0 keys redeemed.

I’ve posted across a dozen different VR forums and said, hey, here’s my game’s website, and a bunch of free keys. All the VR forums I’ve been able to find have very few active users, and the post has had 2-3 views each, and 0 keys redeemed.

I’ve posted to Twitter, with as many hashtags as I could think of. Trying to give away free copies of my game, just to get usage statistics for Oculus, or as feedback on what I can change in my game. Honestly if somebody is just giving away copies of their unpublished game… I’d think it was a scam, or a waste of time. My trailer video has more retweets than me trying to give the game away for free, and as such I’ve had 0 keys redeemed.

I’ve given out Keys to all my developer friends in the space that have a GearVR, and none of them can use the keys. Why you might ask? Because they are already Alpha users of my game, and so their statistics don’t count(?). And thus, using this method, I also have 0 keys redeemed.

My discover is that I’m not good at Distributing Games. I can’t give away my game to players. You know who is really good at selling VR games? Oculus. They have a lot of users, and a lot of visibility, but I don’t have any ideas as to what I need to do to get published on their platform, and am left outside of their walled garden. It’s cold and lonely out here.

KHW9W-R9GAC-JCCYK-7GKCW-MJK93
GWC4F-4R3R9-XXTWA-4FQP9-PKC93
9KGQ6-J6TGW-YEA6K-GTC33-HCYEG
ANTH7-TE64F-JP9PY-XTEYT-KWYWE
Y3N7P-NC9T6-ET3JG-MYH7H-JNMYN

1. Launch the Oculus app.
2. Tap the menu icon in the upper left.
3. Tap the settings (“gear”) icon in the lower left.
4. Redeem Code
5. Enter one of the codes above. Odds are they still available :)

I’m pretty sure this is a very polite rejection letter, with no chance for repeal.

Keys-Only

So, my interpretation is that my only alternative is to distribute the game myself, and hope to find players which like my game, and produce impressive Usage Statistics, and then Oculus might reconsider helping to distribute my game.

Man, I wish I had a distribution partner, who had a bunch of users, and was willing to take a cut of the sales for my game. Really would make things easier for me.

DragonFlightApproval

I happened to be looking at something in the oculus dashboard and saw this! I haven’t gotten an e-mail yet, and I’m not sure what the next steps are, but either way, that looks really exciting!

(Edit: Turns out this is a deceiving way in which Oculus tells you that they dislike your product, and will rarely consider it for public distribution thereafter…)

I’ve submitted Dragon Flight to Oculus 3 times now. The first two I had entitlement issues, and I think I’ve finally got those figured out. It’s really exciting though, to see the status of my game passing all but the entitlements validation technical checklist items. So many green pretty checkmarks. I think it’s really neat how transparent Oculus is about exposing their automated technical tests.

Can’t wait to hear back on the rest of the review