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Interesting, I did find the reference to that, though not in the rules. It was in the Discord #general channel (3/3/17 by liu.archiact):

Hey @linojon we're just focusing on GearVR and Cardboard, and unfortunately we won't be using controllers as well

Definitely feel the restriction of the square viewport, but even between headsets the visible area does vary somewhat.

That is good to hear, because I'm well into development now and opted for a purely gaze-driven control system!

I thought I had read earlier that the GAJ wouldn't be accepting games using controllers, is that right? This might be a concern for the arcade controls you've mentioned.

I thankfully have obtained a non-Google Dodo Case (cardboard-like) headset and a more robust VR One plastic, strapped headset from a friend to develop with. While the comfort of the VR One is unquestionably a better experience, I've also observed that the field of view differs between them, and suppose I need to consider this into my game's viewport.

With the many different variations on the Cardboard headsets, do people favour a certain brand or type? During development I am evaluating the necessity of the single button/click usage at all, as sacrificing this for pure look-based controls means the game can be played hands-free for headsets that provide a head strap. This is appealing for prolonged immersion without arm strain and seems to be semi-common among currently Play Store games.

Secondly, with performance playing an important part in gaining valuable frames for VR, is there a minimum (recommended) spec people adhere to for preferred optimal experience?

Hey there GAJ, I'm participating for the first time this year! I'm a developer (and generalist to an extent) pursuing this solo, but I'm open to forming or chatting with the right team. Please PM me if you want to discuss further.

I have made a start a functional Unity prototype for Cardboard based on the "Is it too late?" theme and will be proceeding with that pending any interest in other options.