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How to Get Started in VR Development

517 bytes added, 11:41, 4 January 2017
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Ask yourself: do you want to develop for a computer-driven headset like the Vive, or are you more interested in mobile applications such as GearVR or Google Cardboard? If you don't already own your hardware of choice, do some research and think about what would be best for both your target market and most practical to develop on. If your idea requires motion controls or high-end graphics, stick to computer-driven VR. A list of currently available hardware that is supported by Unity, Unreal, and VR web implementations:
<includeonly>=</includeonly>===PC VR===<includeonly>=</includeonly>
* '''[[HTC Vive]]''', $799 - motion controllers ship with product. iFixIt will show you [[https://www.google.com/search?q=vive+ifixit&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 what it looks like]] when you take it apart.** [[http://learn.vrdev.school/courses/vive-developer-mini VR Dev School's Vive Mini Course]]* '''[[Oculus Rift]]''', $599 - motion controllers won't be available until fall. iFixIt [[https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Oculus+Rift+CV1+Teardown/60612 has also autopsied a Rift]].**[[https://developer.oculus.com/documentation/ Oculus Documentation Pages]]**[[https://rifty-business.blogspot.com/ Oculus Rift in Action]], a blog about designing for the Rift
*'''[[OSVR HDK 1.4]]''', $299 - no motion control
*'''[[Razer Hydra]]''', $599 - general-purpose wired motion tracking controller for PC
(can use a smartphone as HMD)
* '''[[Gear VR]]''', $99
** [[http://learn.vrdev.school/courses/gear-vr-developer-mini VR Dev School's Gear VR Mini Course for Unity]]** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpqBzYdxaow Fuseman's Introduction to Gear VR development in UE4]]** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNjDsNYvgfk E4 Developer Livestream: Up and Running with Gear VR]]
* '''[[Google Cardboard]]''', available as cheap as free
(can use a smartphone as HMD)
* '''[[Mozilla A-Frame]]''' is a markup language (as are HTML and XML) for making cross-platform VR software. To see it in action, visit their site on your smartphone, turn off orientation lock, and press the VR button that appears.
* '''[[Vizor]]''' is a web app that allows you to construct 3D scenes and view them across numerous platforms, including from mobile devices. Although it isn't as powerful as a game engine or open-source web platform, it is very straightforward and a great way to start creating in VR without an expensive headset. The [[http://blog.vizor.io/ Vizor blog]] has several tutorial posts.* '''[[Responsive WebVR]]''' is a cross-platform, web-based VR platform [[https://github.com/borismus/webvr-boilerplate available for modification on GitHub]]. You'll probably want to brush up on [[Three.js]].
<includeonly>=</includeonly>===Unreleased, but preliminary development possible===<includeonly>=</includeonly>
Outside of game engines, you may opt to develop interactive VR webpages using [[Mozilla's A-Frame]] markup language, or by using JavaScript (hack around with [[Three.js]]!), HTML5, and/or WebGL in the vein of web experiments recently put out by [[Chrome]] and [[Mozilla]]. Developing for web has the convenience of using a smartphone as the display, so you won't need an expensive headset starting off. You also won't need to compile or package any code, and can easily share your creations with your friends who also own smartphones. If this sounds like a lot of work, maybe try the easy-as pie VR scene editor [[Vizor]], which allows you to design VR imagery on the computer and then view it from mobile.
Once you've chosen an engine or web application, the next step is to get familiar with it. Learn the basics of whatever programming language your tools use -- whether it's [[C++]] and [[Blueprints Visual Scripting]](UE4), [[C#]] (Unity), or a custom markup language for web applications. If you're developing for Android, download [[Android Studio]] and try [[https://developer.android.com/training/basics/firstapp/index.html deploying a basic app]]. For Cardboard and Unity, check out [[Google's SDK]].
The /[[learnVRdev wiki]] has links and resources that you will find useful when trying to learn how to use an engine. It's best to follow through with some tutorials to get a feel for the engine, how to manipulate objects in space, and so on. Both Unity and Unreal offer built in VR support, so you can preview your creative works directly in VR!
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