Virtual Reality 101

Developing for Virtual Reality requires a fluency with several concepts not normally encountered in more traditional development frameworks.  We will continue to post educational reference resources to help aspiring virtual reality developers to begin to be introduced to fundamental concepts in virtual reality so that they can form a foundation of knowledge to begin to develop from.

The articles below are intended to provide awareness to those concepts, and a launch point for beginning to understand them in depth.

Designing For Virtual Reality
  • There are two core challenges for new designers with respect to starting work in virtual reality.  First, you are working with breakthrough technology.  The learning curve can be steeper, the resources are fewer, and a tolerance for iteration and ambiguity is required.  You simply come with little to no experience with what you are designing for, and it has been awhile since most folks have felt that feeling.  There is a very real chance that literally no one is doing what you are trying to do, and there is little to know chance even you have sen it before.
3D Graphics Rendering Pipeline
  • A virtual reality developer must posses a keen understanding of how code becomes a graphic, and how that pipeline plays out over and over again and is processed in mere miliseconds in the CPU and GPU.  There resources discuss how the computer builds a graphic and continues to manage a program through a graphics pipeline to ensure the end user is constantly served the latest and most relevant graphic.
Vector Math and Programming Motion
  • Any type of simulation, and especially a virtual reality enabled immersive 3D simulation, requires motion to be programmed.  The basic building block for programming motion is the vector, and and application of math to a vector allows a programmer to enable motion throughout their simulated environment.
Physics and Newton’s 3 Laws For Virtual Reality
  • Newton’s 3 Laws of motion must be maintained in order to deliver an exceptional end user experience in a simulated world.  Those 3 Laws are so fundamental they are often taken for granted in every day life and not well understood.  A developer needs a simple understanding of physics and mechanics, and the ability to apply that knowledge in order to create experiences that dazzle the imagination yet feel familiar and natural.