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Hello World but in VR

By :

The mission was simple- create some interactive objects and also a futuristic environment. I stood at the crossroads, uncertain where to begin, so the first thing that I did was open YouTube and type-” how to build your first game in VR”. After watching a couple of videos, one thing was definite-” Oculus “. Oculus is the hardware used for most VR applications. So, I went ahead and placed an order for the Oculus which took around 15 days to get delivered. The unboxing felt like I had the key to the future, and now what? I ended up playing some games to understand how VR works and also just playing games.


Imagination part I

Then, I got a call from my manager-” Vignesh, Where is my metaverse?” 

The burgeoning weight of expectations compelled me to set aside gaming and delve into development. So, hopped onto my laptop which at times was a little specced out. Nevertheless, I started to do some research on how to build VR apps on YouTube, Oculus development page, Unity development page, and a few others. The information was quite overwhelming at the beginning and most of it bounced over my head. Took some time to understand the terminologies used in game engines, effective workflows, and finally how to import 3D models from Blender. I made some test Models in Blender with some free source files “sketchfab.com” because that was the fastest way to run a trial in Unity and Blender. Once I got the free resources, I tried to export it to Unity but for some reason, it was not working. So you guessed it right, YouTube became my refuge, and YES I found the solution. The feeling of successfully importing the 3D file to Unity was like I had accomplished 70% of the task but in reality, it was just 10%. There were a lot more things to figure out, like UV unwrapping, texturing, baking, emission materials, and baking animation which I still need to discover. A month’s time had already passed and I had made no major progress just as I grappled with this, a message from my manager appeared:“ Vignesh, when can I see the metaverse??”



Imagination part II

This is when I realized I needed to learn faster and work more efficiently and by chance I ended up on this amazing YouTube channel called Dilmer Valecillos where he teaches and explains VR development fundamentals and also shares the source code for some tutorials. That’s when I came across Oculus Interaction SDK. SDK (Software development kit) is a framework which apps and software are built upon. Thankfully Oculus development site provides their SDK which helps to develop games for Oculus. Having all the necessary knowledge and resources for development, I began to create 3D models in Blender, import them to Unity, and use the interaction SDK to make the models interactable. 

ALL was fine until I had to install the game into Oculus. The game would simply not install on Oculus. So I did some research and found that I had to change some settings in Unity for it to install.

Finally, I donned the Oculus on eagerly waiting for the game to start, when the loading screen disappeared I could see the environment created in VR but I wasn’t able to move or interact with the objects. This was a huge setback after spending nearly 4 months learning different tools and software needed for the development.


OK! Reality

This setback ushered in introspection and I realized my focus was not on learning the software extensively so, made a plan with the guidance of my manager to focus on one tool at a time and to understand it at the fundamental level. The tools were Blender and Unity, I previously had some experience in 3D so Blender was a bit easier to learn compared to Unity which has coding and I don’t know how to code. The fear of coding was hindering my learning curve in Unity but I figured not everything requires coding. Also, my fellow colleague was kind enough to help me out with coding. We decided that I would be focusing on creating 3D environments and some basic interaction on Unity and Rabi would do the coding. So, we set sail and within a few weeks we were ready to finally show the prototype to our manager. We tried our best to get it as expected but it was far from that and it needed more creative inputs, quality renders, and intuitive interactions. These were a few key pieces of feedback we got from presenting the prototype to the manager.

These experiences will undoubtedly shape my growth as a VR developer and provide valuable insights that extend beyond the world of virtual reality. I hope it resonates with many aspiring people who venture into the world of virtual reality.

P.S. The Project Metaverse is still ongoing.

About the Author: Vignesh is a creative visual designer and quirky art director! With a heart full of innovation, he crafts designs that tell vibrant stories and leave lasting impressions. Beyond design, he’s an adrenaline junkie seeking excitement in life.

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