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5 Tips for New VR Developers

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Joshua Althauser
August 06, 2019

Joshua Althauser
Joshua Althauser has written 1 articles for WebKnowHow.
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VR is gradually becoming a more profitable endeavor. Sony, Google, and Facebook have released competitively priced VR systems, which have made the potential audience for VR much larger than previously imagined. Never before has developing virtual reality games and applications been so viable.


There are limitless ways to enter this exciting emerging technology. All of the opportunities VR presents can be overwhelming, however. You may even feel lost among all the choices.


Thankfully, there are some tried-and-true formulas to find direction as a VR developer and help kickstart your VR projects.


Here are 5 tips to help guide new VR developers with their first projects:


1. Study Success Stories

Learning from success stories is a great way to begin shaping your own VR journey. Read about success stories from all over the VR industry. Don’t restrict yourself to your interests, either. Whether you’re interested in video game development, VR prototyping, or creating a virtual reality oasis for your friends, stories from every corner of the industry will be useful to you.


VR video games, films, and social media applications have a variety of projects to emulate and learn from.


Too much research never hurts. Look for lessons everywhere. L’Oreal’s makeup genius app, for example, is a masterclass in revamping your marketing and advertising with new tech. The app utilized augmented reality technology to allow users to test virtual makeup with just their cameras is an example of an innovative and successful use of AR. Search for intriguing stories like this to power your own innovations.


2. Choose Your Role

After getting to know the industry a little bit by studying success stories, you’ll want to figure out what your role will be as a VR developer. Will you be lead programmer? Team lead? Software architect?


If you’re going to be doing a great deal of the programming yourself then you should consider learning object-oriented programming at an advanced level. Currently, C# and C++ are the most widely used object-oriented programming languages within the VR community, so you should strongly consider learning one of them, especially if you are interested in video game development.


3. Define Your Audience

Defining your audience is a much harder task than you might think. Development means nothing without deploying the technology appropriately. This means you may want to take the time to define who it is you’re making VR applications for.


Begin with a few questions to help narrow your audience?

  • What am I building?
  • What purpose does my VR application serve?
  • What need is my VR application addressing? Who has this need? What’s their age range, location, etc?
  • How can my VR product better address the needs of my target audience?


Use the questions above to both help you define your target audience and continue to refine and narrow that definition as time goes on.


4. Pick a Platform

After you’ve made your initial definition of your target audience, you’ll be ready to pick the right platform. Ideally, the platform that you use should connect you to your target audience in the best way possible. The platform you choose should also be in line with the VR hardware you believe suits your needs.


VR Hardware to consider:

  • PS4 VR
  • HTC Vive
  • Oculus Rift
  • Samsung Gear VR
  • Google Daydream View


Some of the large VR programming platforms are:

  • Unity
  • Unreal Engine 4


5. Test Extensively

The first draft of your project, whether it be a game or application, is only the beginning. The key to crafting a wonderful product is revision, revision, and more revision. This means you lose any of that early motivation just because a VR project didn’t come out like you imagined. That’s totally normal -- you’ll need to test, observe, and revise in order for your VR project to be successful. Reach out to users, gather data about their experience, and use that data to perfect your VR projects.


Developing virtual reality applications is an exciting prospect, a prospect that you can achieve with some research, motivation, and a little bit of C++ programming skills. Study success stories from all over the industry to learn as much as you can about VR applications that work. Then, choose your role within a VR development team. From there you’ll be able to define your audience, which will allow you to choose your VR platform. Finally, test and revise extensively to make an amazing finished product.


With these tips, you’ll be able to create a viable VR application, even if you’re a complete beginner to VR development. Continue researching, stay up to date on the latest VR developments, and continue to stay motivated and you’re VR product is sure to succeed.

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