Book Image

Virtual Reality Blueprints

By : Charles Palmer, John Williamson
Book Image

Virtual Reality Blueprints

By: Charles Palmer, John Williamson

Overview of this book

Are you new to virtual reality? Do you want to create exciting interactive VR applications? There's no need to be daunted by the thought of creating interactive VR applications, it's much easier than you think with this hands-on, project-based guide that will take you through VR development essentials for desktop and mobile-based games and applications. Explore the three top platforms—Cardboard VR, Gear VR, and OculusVR —to design immersive experiences from scratch. You’ll start by understanding the science-fiction roots of virtual reality and then build your first VR experience using Cardboard VR. You'll then delve into user interactions in virtual space for the Google Cardboard then move on to creating a virtual gallery with Gear VR. Then you will learn all about virtual movements, state machines, and spawning while you shoot zombies in the Oculus Rift headset. Next, you'll construct a Carnival Midway, complete with two common games to entertain players. Along the way, you will explore the best practices for VR development, review game design tips, discuss methods for combating motion sickness and identify alternate uses for VR applications
Table of Contents (12 chapters)

The history of virtual reality

The development of virtual reality has been driven by the confluence of three improvements to display technologies:

  • Field of View: the size of the area that we can see
  • Stereoscopic 3D: the depth cue from viewing the world from two different horizontally separated viewpoints
  • Interactivity: the ability to change the virtual environment in real time

In this chapter, we are going to illustrate the history of virtual reality and how earlier designs have served as inspiration for today, even a few older ideas that we have not quite duplicated with our current generation of VR hardware.

We will investigate the following:

  • 19th century panoramic paintings
  • Cycloramas and Sensoramas
  • NASA Moon Landing Simulators
  • Nintendo Powerglove
  • Hasbro Toaster

Static 2D images, whether paintings or photographs, are poor representations of reality. As such, people have striven to enhance their images, to make them more realistic and immersive since the first flickering shadows added motion to cave paintings 20,000 years ago. Simple puppets added motion and then depth. More complex solutions were designed: motion and audio effects were added to Greek and Roman temples to give a complete sensory experience. Doors would open without apparent human interaction, thunder would rumble overhead, and fountains would dance: all designed to create an augmented experience beyond simple static statues and paintings.