Today in a busy keynote speech at Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, California virtual reality (VR) as well as other forms of immersive creation were very much on the table for discussion for Unity Technologies. Who revealed a number of announcements, as well as guest speakers (including Job Simulator developers Owlchemy Labs) to a packed hall of developers. A recurring theme throughout was the desire to make developing easier and reduce the experience level required by users to do so.
One such project is EditorVR which VRFocus previously reported on at it’s announcement at the end of last year. In an update Principal Designer for Unity Labs, Timoni West revealed that the Alpha version of EditorVR has been since been downloaded over 6000 times and that a number of additions have been made to it, not by Unity but by developers who have created their own tools which have then gone back into the code. “We’re amazed by what’s been done so far.” West said, before revealing Unity had been inspired to see what else could be developed, and launching a contest to find the best original tool to add to the EditorVR toolkit. The successful entrant will be given a cash prize (the exact value was not disclosed) and will be able to showcase the tool at Vision Summit. The deadline for entries will be May 1st.
However that was not the only announcement to help bridge that gap. “We know that making immersive experiences is one of the most difficult things you can do in 3D right now.” West explained, “The tools are just being made. The hardware is still first generation. And there are no standards yet. This is fun, and this is empowering, but let’s be honest it can be really difficult. Especially when you have to re-code the same thing over and over again from scratch.”
West then unveiled the XR Foundation Toolkit or the XRFT for short, a new software accessory by Unity.
“It’s a framework for XR developers that allows anyone – not just programmers – but artists, and directors, random people who want to get into immersive design. We want to empower you to quickly get up to speed and start making experiences without needing to start from scratch. We want to give you the building blocks for interaction and locomotion and everything else you need.”
Unity have declared that they will be operating a public road map for the software and announced that an open source Beta for XR Foundation Toolkit will be released sometime in the next few months. Further details will be available on the Unity blog when available. VRFocus will bring you further news on the development of both the XRFT and continue to bring you news from Unity and GDC.