Oculus Rift

My virtual reality house

‘House party! House party!’ Arkwood screamed, clutching his testicles. Through his corduroys, I hasten to add.

‘Okay, okay,’ I replied, ‘Let me put some doors on the house first.’

I opened my Microsoft Visual Studio C++ application (with OpenGL graphics library and the Oculus SDK for Windows) and added some doors to the house.

Live air traffic on Oculus Rift

Arkwood is an airspotter, if there is such a word. He was once arrested for impersonating a pilot.

So you can imagine his excitement when I told him that I had created and air traffic control centre for my Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Here’s how I did it…

First I added an OpenGL point light and a spotlight as per my post OpenGL multiple lights. The spotlight takes the form of a flashlight attached to my head.

Materials and light on the Oculus Rift

I was trying to explain a fragment shader to Arkwood.

‘It is a little program that can run many times in parallel on a GPU. It helps put the pixels into the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, so you can see pretty virtual rooms.’ Yes, condescending I was.

Arkwood scratched his head. ‘A bit like Hegel then,’ he replied.


‘Hegel,’ he went on, ‘you know, The Phenomenology of Spirit. I was turning a few pages last night, for fun. This fragment shader of yours, it’s like the consciousness of many beings feeding the big beast.’

OpenGL basic lighting on Oculus Rift

Reading a paperback by candlelight might sound romantic. Alas, it is a fucking pain.

‘I can’t read the unmasking,’ I told Arkwood, ‘cos a wax dripping has sealed the last few pages.’

Arkwood twisted the hem of his nightgown and frowned. ‘Perhaps I will fetch a pail of water from the well and boil us some hot potatoes on the grate.’

I was angry. ‘Or perhaps just phone and electrician and get us back into the 21st century!’

OpenGL specular lighting on Oculus Rift

Arkwood disrobed, tossing his T-shirt onto the BBQ. ‘Oh, it is sooo hot outside!’ he lamented. Keen for the neighbours not to spy his scrawny bones and faint, I suggested he leave the back garden for the house.

‘But I love the light,’ he continued, crying.

‘Dont worry,’ I empathised, ‘Put on the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and I will pipe in all the light you desire.’


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