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Introduction to Unity's EditorVR

March 21, 2016 in Technology | 2 min. read
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At Labs, one of our primary VR projects is building out Unity’s functionality for work in VR HMDs, which we’ve dubbed EditorVR. Work is underway, and we’ve demoed the technology publicly, first at Vision Summit in Los Angeles earlier this year.

The first demo of EditorVR, at Vision Summit in February 2016.

The initial demo included manipulating PRS with a familiar-looking 3D gizmo, as well as the ability to directly pick up an object, move it around, scale and rotate.

We also have a sneak peek of a large 3D inspector in VR, but the implementation you see above has some key usability issues. It gets tiring to move your gaze between the object you’re moving and the updated values in the Inspector pane. Over the next few months, we’ll be experimenting with having numeric overlays directly on the object you’re manipulating instead. Scale and size issues are typical problems in VR, so if you’re new to VR design, this is a good example of the kind of UX issue that routinely come up.

At GDC, we included new functionality that substantially increases how quickly you can move full-scale objects around in a scene: an interactable minimap we call the chessboard.

The updated EditorVR demo with the chessboard, March 2016.

So how are we building out EditorVR? In the near term, we are targeting three types of users for EditorVR: the developer, the level or scene designer, and the game designer or director. We’ve noticed patterns in what each wants out of EditorVR.

Developers generally ask for the ability to edit values, see the console and profiler, and edit code. Level and scene designers want the ability to create, access, and place game objects. Game designers and directors want to preview and play sequences, adjust lighting, particle systems, and audio, make tweaks to the scene, and so on.

Of course, there’s a lot of overlap here as well: at some companies, these roles might all be the same person. But generally, we’ve identified a set of key features we’re focusing on first, with the idea that they should be customizable and extensible, just like Unity itself.

We don’t have a release date for EditorVR yet, but appreciate that users would prefer to have limited functionality now rather than wait—taking the headset off, typing, hitting play, and putting the headset back on is just not a sustainable workflow. So stay tuned, and we'll be announcing updates as soon as we can.

March 21, 2016 in Technology | 2 min. read
Topics covered