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Dive into VR development with a new Pathway

September 1, 2022 in Community | 10 min. read
VR Development Pathway - Unity Learn, hero image
VR Development Pathway - Unity Learn, hero image
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Shopping in the metaverse. Socializing as a custom avatar. Fully immersing yourself in games. Virtual reality (VR) is changing how we work, play, and interact with each other, and the industry boom means VR developers are in demand.

So, how can you confidently add VR creation skills to your resumé?

Start with our new learning Pathway on VR Development. This free, six-week course teaches you how to build compelling VR experiences and provides ample opportunity to practice your skills. The Pathway also offers valuable industry insights from established creators. Along the way, you’ll complete eight unique projects, collect XP points, and earn a Pathway badge to display on your LinkedIn profile. It’s the perfect way to dive into VR.

Read on for more information about VR, the new Pathway, and tips for completing it.

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What is virtual reality?

Virtual reality, or VR, uses a head-mounted display worn over the eyes to replace the world around you with a digital experience. If you turn your head, your view of the environment changes, too, in a way that feels natural. The addition of handheld inputs and other motion sensors can expand VR even further, giving you more control over your character or perspective in the immersive digital world.

Check out the video below for some exciting examples of VR games made with Unity.

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What’s the difference between VR, AR, MR, and XR?

You’ve likely seen these terms floating around. Here’s what they mean:

  • VR (virtual reality) – A digital environment that completely replaces the real-world environment and responds to movement, immersing you via a head-mounted display.
  • AR (augmented reality) – Digital content overlaid onto the real-world environment, achieved with a phone, tablet, or head-mounted display that still allows you to see the world around you.
  • MR (mixed reality) – A broad term referring to a spectrum of hybrid VR-and-AR experiences that may use a headset, cameras, gloves, and other tools to merge the physical and digital worlds.
  • XR (extended reality) – The umbrella term that encompasses VR, AR, MR, and future technologies that haven’t been invented yet.

VR career opportunities

“The XR market was valued at USD 25.84 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 397.81 billion by 2026.” – Mordor Intelligence

Countless industries are adopting VR to improve how they communicate, collaborate, train, and create, and the wide range of applications for this evolving tech is leading to rapid growth in demand for candidates with VR development skills.

Add these skills to your repertoire and, on top of increasing your earning potential, you could make a career designing medical training simulations to improve patient care, helping architects visualize their projects, creating immersive video games, building the metaverse, and more.

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5 tips for completing the Pathway

1. Check off prerequisite skills

To learn how to develop with VR, it’s important to have some prior knowledge of programming and working with the Unity Editor. If you’re brand new to Unity and/or programming, we suggest you complete these two free Pathways before you begin:

  • Unity Essentials – Start with a strong foundation. This guided learning Pathway covers all the Unity basics and prepares you to move into more specialized areas with confidence.
  • Junior Programmer – Get comfortable with coding. Here, you’ll learn the basics of programming theory and explore how C# code opens up a world of project possibilities.

If you don’t have any programming experience but still want to create cool VR projects, we suggest starting with our Create with VR course, as it does not require coding.

2. Get the right tools

VR development calls for some specific software and hardware. First, you’ll need access to the Unity Editor so you can build your projects. If you don’t have it installed, get started with a free copy of Unity Personal.

Ideally, you’ll also begin the Pathway with a VR headset on hand. While it is possible to complete the VR Development Pathway without a headset, we strongly recommend that you invest in one. Then, you’ll not only be able to create and test your own VR projects, but can also explore games and experiences created by others – hopefully finding inspiration and having fun along the way.

3. Stay motivated

One of the best ways to learn and retain new skills is to connect with your peers. Surround yourself (physically or virtually) with fellow creators to help stay motivated, and reach out to experts for advice if you get stuck. Here are some great Unity and VR communities to join:

Learning something new can be time consuming and takes a lot of commitment, especially when it’s complex. Seeking out inspiration is another great way to keep your enthusiasm up as you navigate around obstacles and forge ahead.

If you’d like to be reminded of what you’ll be able to do with your new skills, sign up for our Social Impact mailing list, visit our Changemakers showcase, browse VR experiences, and keep up-to-date with the Unity blog for regular stories about creators who’ve built amazing projects with Unity.

4. Practice, practice, practice

Practice is essential to becoming a VR expert. Creating and experimenting in Unity will allow you to fine-tune your skills, discover what types of projects you enjoy working on, and build up your portfolio.

When you take the VR Development Pathway, you’ll work through eight projects that allow you to apply what you’re learning. To go further, try replicating areas of your home, workspace, and the world around you. Or, challenge yourself by dreaming up unique worlds and translating them into VR environments. As long as you’re pushing yourself, you’ll keep improving.

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5. Take breaks

Learning a new skill is an intense process, so don’t forget to take care of yourself and step away when you need to. Sometimes, coming back to your projects with fresh eyes can be a big help.

When it’s time to unwind, consider playing through some VR games on your new headset. This can provide some much-needed rest and help expand your understanding of VR at the same time. Here are a couple that were made with Unity to get you started:

  • Tentacular – In this game by Firepunchd, you manipulate a kraken-like creature’s tentacles to construct projects for an island community.

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The new VR Development Pathway joins over 750 hours of free, on-demand content on Unity Learn – designed for creators of every skill level. Ready to take the first step toward a career in VR? Start the Pathway today

September 1, 2022 in Community | 10 min. read
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