With Playstation Experience showcasing Playstation VR and the release of Samsung & Oculus' GearVR in the news in the past two weeks, it's clear VR is becoming a hot topic with developers and the gaming press alike. We know that many Unity users are embracing this new platform and pioneering all manner of new experiences from games to interactive stories to virtual tools and more.
As more and more VR tech becomes available to developers at an increasingly reduced cost over the coming months and years, we at Unity are keen to help as many of you get started with VR as possible. We see VR as a huge opportunity to immerse your players and users in ever more engaging worlds, and along with our VR features in the Unity editor, we plan to ship content and learning material that supports you in taking the leap to VR as well.
Our first foray into this is our new VR Samples project, and our new Virtual Reality area on the Learn section of our website. These two offerings are designed not to showcase the most advanced things you can do in VR right now - we know many of you are already pioneering such projects - but the aim is rather to offer newcomers some low-nausea-risk game examples, and learning material to get you started with VR development.
VR Samples is a project that acts as a consumer style product consisting of a menu and 4 mini games. Provided on the Asset store, this package is designed to run with Unity 5.3 or greater, and for launch supports the Oculus Rift DK2 and Gear VR. We hope to support further platforms in future but for now we have opted to support those to get everyone started.
The user begins the project by being told how to interact with it in general with a short set of tutorial scenes before arriving at the menu, from which they can choose to play one of four mini-games -
The menu places the user in the center of a curved array of screens from which to choose a mini-game to play. Looking at any of the screens plays the stylised version of the game on the screen, whilst holding the fire button will charge the loading bar and launch the game.
The Flyer sees the player guide a ship through space, shooting asteroids and flying through gates to score points within a defined time
The Maze is a top-down-view tabletop game that uses a combination of head tracking and button input to guide our low-poly hero 'Lowman' to safety, without being destroyed by the evil Turret:
Target Gallery is a 180-degree gallery-style shooter in which you aim at targets using head tracking:
The Target Arena is a 360-degree arena shooter challenging you to take out spawning targets all around you in a domed arena, designed to be played on a swivel chair or in a standing position:
Each of the scenes mentioned above is completely commented throughout so you can see exactly how everything is done. We also include some additional scenes with simple setups to show some of the concepts and components in isolation - so be sure to check those out and reuse them in your own projects too.
As always our content is provided for your convenience for free on the Unity Asset store. Ensure that you have downloaded the required Unity 5.3 or greater - start a new empty project, and then click the link below to view the page on the Asset store website. Simply click the 'Open in Unity' button to jump to the download in the asset store window in Unity -
This sample project is backed by a new set of articles on the Learn area of our website. These articles cover details of how our VR Samples games were constructed, as well as advice for beginners getting started in VR. Check out these new articles here -
As with all of our example content, we welcome feedback and discussion as it helps both us and you to learn and make better things! We are happy to hear your throughts in the comments on this post, but to dig in to the topic, please use the dedicated forum thread within our VR forum for this project here -
We hope that they inspire you to take the plunge into VR development, and we hope this initiative brings many more of you to the new world of VR development!