John Carmack's App Reviews Become Regular Series

John Carmack’s “brutally honest” VR app reviews are returning as a regular series.

Carmack, originally Oculus CTO, has been a technical guide for VR since before its 2014 acquisition by Facebook and, on occasion over the years, he’s offered direct feedback to VR developers seeking ideas that could help improve their software. The feedback from the long-time game developer isn’t just useful to the developer seeking it, though, as many VR creators dive into his comments for ideas that may be applicable to their own work.

The series debuted with a look at a recently released Oculus Quest App Lab game called Space Shooter. As an example of kind of feedback devs might get, Carmack wrote on the Oculus developer blog about Space Shooter that “Sending the world spinning on death is uncomfortable. Motion sickness should not be used as feedback in a game; it lingers and doesn’t go away when you restart.”

This is the first time we’ve noticed the new title for Carmack — Facebook Reality Labs Executive Advisor. In 2019, Carmack started dedicating the majority of his time to personal artificial intelligence research outside of Facebook, changing his title to “Consulting CTO Oculus VR” even though the startup once known as Oculus remains little more than a brand within the larger VR and AR efforts at the newly minted “Facebook Reality Labs.”  The “Consulting” title is apparently a reference to Sherlock Holmes being a “Consulting Detective” and Carmack commented on Twitter that he likes the former title but “Executive Advisor” is a “more accurate description” of what he does.

“Note that I never did have any executive authority even when I was formally the CTO of Oculus, because I didn’t actually have direct reports (by choice),” he wrote.

Facebook has a form developers can fill out to submit their application for Carmack’s review.

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