Everyone pretty much knows at this point that Virtual Reality is finally starting to take off in a big way and develop into the uber-cool piece of futuristic awesomeness that we’ve drooled over in sci-fi movies and TV shows for decades. One of the companies that has a lot to gain from these advances and is also actively adding to them is Unity, creators of one of the top game engines around today. Unity has finally released it’s highly anticipated suite of VR editing tools in a free download for developers called EditorVR, and it’s incredible.
Building Virtual Reality inside VR
If you’re not a developer, the simplest way to describe EditorVR is as a VR game for VR developers. When a gamer plays a VR game, they get to interact with their surroundings in an almost real way, picking things up and moving them around as they move their real hands and arms to do the same. That fun interactive experience is possible because the game developers spent endless hours with a mouse and keyboard programming it to work that way, then switching to a VR headset to check and make sure it worked right. Then switching back to the mouse and keyboard. And back to the headset. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
With EditorVR much of that switching is a thing of the past, meaning that developers will be able to accomplish more and in less time. And it’s a lot more fun for them too. So instead of spending a lot of time programming a cup to sit on a desk and then checking it in the VR world, EditorVR lets them open a toolbox and just place the cup on the table while they’re in the VR world. So much simpler. And cooler.
I’m a Developer, You’re a Developer, We’re All Developers
EditorVR isn’t an end product for Unity VR development. It’s only the beginning. In fact, down the road it might be possible that just about anyone could develop their own unique content with the Unity engine. Make your own VR game? How cool would that be? For now, it’s new. So developers should definitely back up everything they do with it in case of bugs in the system. It only works currently with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets, but more are coming, as are more 3rd party apps to add to those which are already integrated like Tvori.
The future for Unity is even brighter with their recent hiring of Dr. Danny Lange to tackle the AI and machine learning aspects of the company and software. Lange was poached from Uber, where he worked for just over a year. Before that he worked on machine learning projects for both Amazon and Microsoft. The employment opportunities in this story are far-reaching. AI and machine learning types would love to work with Dr. Lange, and the area is sure to broaden at Unity. Current developers could try to get on with Unity, but their opportunities are much wider with the release of EditorVR to work anywhere, including independently. And if the future comes really quickly, any avid gamer could create the next great game using a future version of the editing tools. Where do you fit in?