Virtual reality (VR) applications are making a big entrance into the consumer market. It will help developers to have an introduction to VR technology, to get a sense of the capabilities and to take the first step in developing a VR app based on the characteristics of user behaviors and the interests of customers.
Three-dimensional environments have been around for many years now; gaming developers have used 3D graphics to render the fantastic worlds that gamers enjoy. The difference between traditional gaming environments and VR is the addition of a head-mounted display that makes the experience immersive.
VR Platforms In Three Layers
Like game development, there are three programming aspects that you will need to build when you create a VR app; these are the game logic, the hardware input, and the rendering loop. As a developer, you will take all three of these layers through the development lifecycle of definition, design, build, test, and release as one integrated application.
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Definitions And Scripts Within The VR Game Logic
The game logic is the encoded framework that sets the character and performance of your app; it defines the shapes and textures that the engine will render on-screen. The game logic includes the scripts that dictate the physics of virtual reality action. The game logic is independent of the hardware.
The game logic interacts directly with the hardware, remaining alert for any status changes at the machine level; this is the layer of the application at which you craft the look and feel of the game within your app. You may build for only one user platform or many; the scripts and definitions that you apply to the game logic will be the same across all platforms.
Match Intentions To Actions In The Hardware Input Layer
In VR apps, the system has the added burden of determining where the camera should point at any given time, and then how each object should appear in the frame. The hardware layer updates the variables in play and monitors the environment to trigger changes in the scene in real-time.
Generating Frames In The Rendering Loop
A VR headset has to interact smoothly with the world, point the camera where the player is looking and generate the changes initiated by player behavior. Virtual reality needs a much faster refresh rate on the screen than other devices; where television can get away with 24 frames per second, console gaming - 30 /sec, and the screens of PCs can render at 50 to 60 frames per second, VR headsets require the high rates of between 75 and 120 frames per second.
If the frame rate renders too slowly and lags, it can cause motion sickness that ruins the experience for your users. In each frame the rendering loop determines the scene for the orientation of the headset, keeps the scene changing for 3D effects such as shadows, and draws the resulting image in the display, applying any effects each time before repeating the cycle.
Creating A Convincing Presence In Virtual Reality
The quality of a user’s presence in VR relates to the quality of the rendering; it should be comfortable and immersive, without any disruptions or discontinuities that distract from the experience; it determines how realistic the experience feels to them. It is vital to respect the actions of the user / player, to make their presence feel natural and automatic, without having to stop to adjust settings.
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Virtual Reality Construction Tools
There are three predominant approaches to developing VR apps:
The best method to begin developing apps for VR is to jump in. Learn new skills with an attitude of curiosity and experimental exploration and then apply the lessons to guide the products you want to deliver to your customers. Or better bring your VR solution to a professional 3rd party developer with appropriate experience and available VR/AR development skills!