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Virtual reality has become an important buzzword in the Industry. It has become a lucrative career opportunity for people who want to be a VR developer. In this article, we take a look at how you can become a Virtual Reality Developer

Anish Acharya, Blogger

March 28, 2017

3 Min Read

Today Virtual Reality (VR) technology has become a stimulating field. Since 1987, when Jaron Lanier coined Virtual Reality, this technology has come a long way and is the next big thing in the gaming industry. New advancement in computing brings a lot of new experiences which was never felt before. VR is one of those factors, which unfolds possibilities of creativity for developers. This simply implies that building a career as Virtual Reality developer is quite rewarding. If you truly want to become a developer in Virtual Reality, you can attempt for VR designing and programming at any skill level. As Lao Tzu says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

For the very first step, you have to be a developer whether you’re a 3D artist or programmer. The simplest way to start creating VR apps or games is to use Unity game engine. It is because many skills required for VR game development is quite similar.

And if you are a beginner then Unity’s own tutorials are a good option to learn. If you are a game developer, it’s very beneficial to become a VR developer, developer from other fields can also transfer new ideas and solutions, though. Once you get the niche of Unity game engine, you can start creating apps for VR targeting one particular VR device. 

Here we have explained the simple way to build a career as VR developer.

The Stack
Apart from additional hardware and software, VR development is not much different than game development process as the basics tools for the development don’t vary. The required engines for VR development are the Unity3D game engine and Unreal Engine. Starting with Unity3D is much easier as it is less complex compared to Unreal Engine. Besides the game engine, you will also require the perfect SDK (software device kit) depending on the devices. Options for SDKs are like Google VR, Oculus and Steam VR. 

While developing any application or game for VR, you need to have a VR device. As the beginner, you can start with Google Cardboard as the other devices are way too expensive. But the difference between the Google Cardboard with HTC Vive or Oculus Rift is the DOF (degrees of freedom). Google Cardboard works on 3DOF, but Oculus Rift works on 6DOF, creating the room scale experience. In 3 DOF, you can see objects in X, Y, Z directions but you will not be able to touch or move any objects. This is the restriction in 3DOF. On the other hand, in 6DOF you will be able to experience 360-degree room view with all available options like touching or moving the objects. But it requires high-end graphics card and RAM which is not available on a standard laptop, and you need to have a desktop computer where for 3DOF you just need standard mobile. 3 DOF and 6 DOF devices are down below:

•    Google Cardboard (3 DOF)

•    Samsung Gear VR (3 DOF)

•    Google Daydream (3 DOF)

•    HTC Vive (6 DOF)

•    Oculus Rift (6 DOF)

It may sound little daunting in the starting, but once you understand the development process, you can easily create your own VR apps or games. There are many avenues to explore this field. Here we are sharing few helpful YouTube tutorials to learn to build VR apps easily.
•    Fuseman
•    Matthew Hallberg

Besides the tutorials, there are plethora of online courses and most of them are typically for two to four weeks. Check the courses:

•    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNC5YMUTcQ4&list=PLbMVogVj5nJSyt80VRXYC-YrAvQuUb6dh&index=1(Free)
•    https://www.udacity.com/course/vr-software-development--ud1014 (Free)
•    https://www.udacity.com/course/introduction-to-virtual-reality--ud1012 (Free)
•    https://www.udacity.com/course/vr-scenes-and-objects--ud1013 (Free)
•    https://www.udemy.com/cinematic-vr-crash-course-produce-virtual-reality-films/ (Free)
•    https://www.udemy.com/vrcourse/ ($95)

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