Getting to grips with Unity & VR

At work, I have been tasked with investigating Virtual Reality and what can be done with it.  The results went in to a Lab Report to that was sent to the rest of the business.  When thinking about building any VR proof of concept (POC), Unity just makes sense due to how easy they make it to enable it (a single tick box).  Out of the box, they support the main headsets (Rift, GearVR, Vive) to a useable level.  All of my POC’s where targeted at the Samsung GearVR as currently that’s the only commercial headset available.  This does give you some challenges due to the lack of user interaction possible and performance.  That’s been my major struggle recently, gett the FPS up.

Unity do offer some very nice and pretty VR samples in the Asset store, its recommended for anyone to take a look at how they are put together.  They also show you have to pickup taps / swipes etc on the GearVR touch pad.

Another challenge I have faced with being a programmer, and not a designer is making stuff look awesome, luckily in the Lab we have someone who knows Unity a lot better than I do and has a eye for detail, which most developers lack.

All in all I have enjoyed learning Unity and hope to use it with some proper VR hardware (Vive / Rift), I also hope that if I do get to do a larger project in it, that I have a more powerful machine.  Even my fairly new MacBook Pro struggles with Unity.

I have also learned a lot about good but mainly bad uses of VR,  the key message here is, don’t use VR for everything, use it for its strengths


3D Stereoscopic demo for iOS

So the main reason I created a GitHub account was to upload my work on BurfWorld3D (Sorry for the rubbish name).

I have a keen interest in virtual reality and I decided to buy a (they also sent me one as I signed up as a developer.) This allows you to turn your Android/iPhone in to a head mounted display giving the user a virtual reality experience for a small cost. The issue I had was that the Durovis OpenDive SDK is for Unity only and so I started the hunt to find something I could use or convert so that native OpenGL apps could be made.

I also got for Christmas a DuoGamer iPad controller which was made for Gameloft games only, however luckily someone had made their own SDK for it which I found on GitHub. I thought this would be a great way to move around in the 3D space.

So, I created a simple 3D demo where you can walk around buildings, up stairs, etc. Has collision control and gravity, still needs a lot of work but may help others.

2014-03-20 17.52.00

BurfWorld 3D on GitHub

Thanks to mringwal for the Duo Gamer SDK.

Thanks to sphereinabox For the initial OpenGl iOS split screen view for the iPad.