Virtual Reality Development

Virtual reality development puts us inside the game world with presence, the sense that we are really there.

How do you learn VR development?

You can develop VR experiences most easily with Unity.

Desktop VR

You can get started with desktop VR if you already have a VR headset like HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

Desktop VR is best supported on Windows, so it is best to install Bootcamp on a Mac and to do VR development under Windows that way.

Mobile VR

You can also do development with just a phone using an inexpensive $5-20 Google Cardboard headset or the newer Google Daydream if you have a Google Pixel phone.

VR Quickstart in Unity

Here’s the quick-start guide to VR development with Unity for destop or mobile headsets:

  1. Start by learning the basics of Unity development.
  2. Follow our tutorial for making a first-person shooter type of game.
  3. Install Unity 5.6 beta with the Android and/or iOS modules (for whichever you have).
  4. Make a new project in 3D.
  5. In Project Settings / Player / Other, choose VR Supported.
  6. Choose your VR SDK:
  7. For Cardboard:
    1. In VR SDK, choose Google Cardboard.
    2. For iOS:
      1. In File / Build Settings, choose iOS as target platform.
      2. Save the scene and add it to the build settings scenes list.
      3. Make a build and run.
      4. If XCode halts with an error message:
        1. Your phone is locked?
          1. unlock your phone to the home screen and unplug it, plug it back in.
          2. Hit the Play button.
        2. Device unsupported?
          1. If it says Generic, click the menu and choose your iPhone.
      5. Plug in your phone.
      6. Once the app appears on the phone, put the phone into the Cardboard.
      7. Try looking around.
    3. For Android:
      1. In File / Build Settings, choose Android as target platform.
      2. Make a build and run.
      3. Plug in your phone.
      4. Once the app appears on the iPhone, put the phone into the Cardboard.
      5. Try looking around.
  8. For HTC Vive:
    1. Install the SteamVR SDK.
    2. Choose SteamVR.
    3. Hit Play.
    4. Try walking around.
  9. For Oculus Rift:
    1. Install the Oculus SDK.
    2. Choose Oculus SDK.
    3. Hit Play.
    4. Try looking around.

VR classes

There are several places that teach VR development.

VRBridge at Noisebridge Hackerspace

  • VRBridge is the Noisebridge hackerspace virtual and augmented reality learning group in San Francisco and is part of the Gamebridge game development group.
  • WHERE: Noisebridge Hackerspace at 2169 Mission St. San Francisco, CA
  • WHEN: We meet every Tuesday 6-8 PM.
  • WHO:
    • VR enthusiasts: You’re welcome to play on the headsets we have.
    • Aspiring VR developers: Come to learn about VR development.
  • CLASS: We specialize in teaching Unity game development and you can stick around till 8PM for the Gamebridge Unityversity’s CodebridgeUnity game programming class.
  • BUYING GUIDE: We have a guide to buying VR equipment.
  • MORE ARTICLES: We have a category for VR-related articles.

Upload VR Collective Workshops

Upload VR hosts VR development workshops in their San Francisco Upload Collective events. Check out some of the amazing games created by their first graduates.

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