This is the 2019 edition of this curriculum, and as such, it won’t be updated any further. The evergreen edition can be accessed through our subscription here.
Welcome to the world’s most comprehensive online curriculum on VR game development, where you will learn and master the foundations of C#, Unity and VR by building practical projects.
Featuring the latest VR developments of 2019, whether your goal is to make VR games for fun, start a business in this exciting field, or become a professional Unity developer, this online curriculum contains everything that you need to reach your goals.
Learn with fully authorized courses
This curriculum has been extensively reviewed and authorized by Unity Technologies, the company behind the Unity Engine.
As an Authorized Learning Partner, our approved Unity courses satisfy the highest standards in terms of both quality and relevancy.
BONUS: 3 Interactive C# courses
By enrolling in the Virtual Reality Mini-Degree you’ll get access to three interactive courses on our mobile app Codemurai (available on Android and iOS) so that you can cement your knowledge of C# and Unity fundamentals while on the go.
- Code in C# and build immersive games with Unity
- Locomotion in VR: teleportation, cabin experiences, arm swinging and much more
- User interface design in VR
- Utilizing hand tracked controllers, including Unity 2019’s new XR Input Mapping system
- Working with 360° media (photos and video)
- Preventing simulator sickness
- Performance and industry best practices for mobile and desktop VR
VR platforms covered
The Virtual Reality Mini-Degree covers development for all modern VR platforms, including:
- Oculus Rift
- Oculus Go, Gear VR
- Oculus Quest
- HTC Vive / SteamVR-compatible headsets
- Google Cardboard (Android and iOS)
- Windows Mixed Reality
Pablo Farias Navarro is a certified Unity developer and founder of ZENVA, where he has taught game development to +1,000,000 students and authored +100 courses. As part of his work in game development education, Pablo was invited to join the Intel Software Innovator Program, and has run game programming workshops in San Francisco, Brisbane and Bangalore. Pablo has been making games since 1996 and has been obsessed with VR since he saw The Matrix.
Unity Basics – Learn Unity and C# by Building a Multi-Level 3D Platformer
This module aimed at those with no prior Unity or C# experience. You’ll be introduced to the Unity Editor and the basics of Object-Oriented Programming as you build a fully-functional Mario-style game with different screens and levels.
- Unity Editor basics
- Transforms and game objects
- Unity Scripting in C#
- Object-Oriented Programming
- Multi-level functionality
- Canvas UI
- Importing external assets from Blender
VR Platform Experience and Platform Setup
In this module, we create a VR experience that consists of a platform that flies to different destinations. We make this project run in all the platforms and cover some performance basics.
- VR flying platform experience
- C# arrays
- Basic setup on all platforms: Cardboard (Android and iOS), Gear VR, Oculus, HTC Vive (OpenVR)
- Performance and light baking basics
VR Hand Tracked Controllers
Take your VR skills to the next level by learning how to develop Virtual Reality applications that feature hand tracked controllers. By taking advantage of Unity’s natively supported features, this application works on all the main desktop and mobile VR platforms.
- Headset and controller tracking
- Controller position and rotation
- XR input mapping (registering which buttons are being pressed)
- Adapting the project for different platforms
Space Station App with VR Pointers
In this module, we build a reusable pointer and interaction system while creating an educational experience about the International Space Station and its various components, usable on all major platforms.
- Interactable VR objects
- VR pointer system
- Adapting to controllers and reticle
- Working with Events
- Combining everything into a VR experience
VR Forest Experience with Mosquitos
In this module, we create a VR experience where a peaceful night in the forest is interrupted by giant mosquitos. We use the VR Standard Assets from Unity to create a reticle for gaze-based interaction. This game is also adapted to work with SteamVR-compatible controllers. This includes the HTC Vive, Oculus Touch and other vendors.
- VR Standard Assets overview
- Reticles and VR Eye Raycaster
- Randomization of trees scale and rotation
- Particle effects
- Creation of the mosquito game
- Adaptation for SteamVR-compatible tracked controllers
Creating VR Experiences with 360 Photos
In this module, we cover the creation of a VR experience using 360 photos. We start from the ground up, covering what 360 photos are, how they are stored and what we need to do in order to prepare them for Unity. This module includes also a discussion around UI in virtual reality. By the end of this module, you’ll have built a 360 photo experience that can be easily re-purposed for any kind of application. You will also end up with reusable UI components you can drop into any Unity project.
- Working with 360 photos in Unity
- UI in VR: the importance of Spatial UI
- Diegetic UI (UI elements located in the game world) vs non-diegetic UI
- Gaze interactions: clicking and hovering
- Building reusable UI components
Interactive VR Quiz with 360 Video
In this module, we build an interactive quiz that uses a 360-degree video to create an immersive environment. Questions and their correct answers are loaded from the cloud, so that the content of the quiz can be modified even after the game is built. 360-degree videos are covered assuming no prior experience with them. This game uses elements developed in previous modules such as spatial UI panels and buttons for gaze-based interactions.
- Working with 360 videos in Unity
- Interactive quiz in VR with gaze-based interaction
- Loading data from the web
- Introduction to Coroutines
Space Invaders VR
In this module, we build a complete space invaders game in VR from scratch, where players have to defend a city from an alien attack in a post-apocalyptic world. After starting the game by shooting at a graffiti wall, enemy formations will appear in the sky which the player will have to shoot down. The score will be shown on a graffiti wall, while all dead aliens will fall to the ground and accumulate as piles of junk. This game runs on all VR platforms.
- Gun/tool positioning in VR
- In-game HUD
- Game state machine to manage the game flow
- Object pooling technique
- Adapting the game to work with SteamVR-compatible tracked controllers
Exploration Game with Fixed Teleportation
In this module, we build a game where the player can move around in a VR environment using fixed teleportation, hop onto moving platforms, and has to avoid enemies. Throughout this module, students will build a complete fixed teleportation system that can be dropped into any Unity project.
- Types of teleportation in VR
- Implementing a teleportation system with pods that activate on player proximity
- Creating an exploration game with enemies to avoid
- C# and Unity concepts: lists, finding objects, managers, invoking methods at an interval
- Linear interpolation and easing functions
In this module, we cover the creation of a puzzle game where the player has to drag and position pieces in their correct location. When the puzzle is successfully completed, a giant pyramid emerges from the ground. This module includes intermediate C# concepts such as Delegates and Events.
- Creating a full puzzle game in VR
- Reusable component to drag and position elements in VR using the reticle
- Intermediate C# concepts: Delegates and Events
- Using Events to notify game objects
- Working with local and global coordinates
VR Fitness Game
In this module, we cover the creation of an infinite runner in VR where the player has to jump in “reality” in order to jump in virtual reality! The mechanic of this game is that of an infinite runner, where new environmental objects and platforms are created during gameplay. The player has to jump over ditches full of water while running in a low-poly world. The game is also adapted to headsets with no position tracking such as the Google Cardboard.
- Creating a unique and completely original game mechanic using position tracking in VR
- Implementing infinite runner game mechanics
- Detecting jump in VR
- Using object spawners with pooling techniques to keep the game efficient
- Make distant objects disappear
- Using images to represent distant geometry for efficiency
Ever wanted to pilot your own spaceship, like Han Solo? In this module, we’ll create an aircraft piloting experience, where players can fly over an abandoned city located on a floating island in a virtual vehicle that can be controlled entirely with the buttons on the dashboard. This project demonstrates good practices when it comes to motion sickness and diegetic UI.
- Creating an aircraft cabin experience in VR
- Controlling a virtual vehicle using game-world UI elements
- Importing models from Blender and MagicaVoxel
- Creating custom events and delegates
- Occlusion culling to optimize the rendering of objects in your VR experiences and unlock more performance
VR Platformer Game
In this module, we’ll adapt the platformer game we built when learning the basics of Unity into VR. This will involve several changes to the game, including modifying the home and game over screens so that they are suitable for VR, modifying the player mechanics and HUD, mapping buttons on an external gamepad (we’ll use the Xbox 360 controller, but the skills are applicable to any gamepad), and manually triggering events in the Unity VR Standard Assets.
- Adapting an existing 3D platformer game to VR
- Adaptation of UI screens and HUD
- Changes to the platformer mechanics and “cursor key” type of movement
- Mapping buttons for the Xbox 360 controller and other gamepads
- Manually triggering events in the VR Input class so that we can utilize it with any external device (making our games and your skills future-proof)
Build a complete underwater experience in VR, where the player can dive underwater, chase fish and run into dangerous sharks! This experience covers many different aspects such as terrain generation, underwater look and feel, animations, performance and motion sickness considerations.
- Build a complete underwater experience: light, colors, fog usage, visibility challenges
- Developing Unity terrains and addressing performance considerations
- Preventing spikes in CPU usage by adding randomness to player proximity detection
- Using the Animator and creating Animation Clips in the Editor
- Creating a cleaner code-base using C# inheritance and method overriding
First-person shooters are hugely popular and this curriculum wouldn’t be complete without one. In this module, build your own VR FPS game from scratch, where the player can move around the scene using a free-range teleportation system similar to that seen in games such as Arizona Sunshine. The enemies consist of zombies that feature rig animations, allowing them to realistically walk or fall when shot down. The player can collect ammo cartridges and the gun displays how much ammo it has left.
- FPS mechanics in VR: shooting bullets, recharging ammo, killing enemies
- Developing a free-range teleportation system
- Reusable collectible items
- Adding humanoid rig animations to a model using the free cloud service, Adobe Mixamo
- Using the Unity Animator to create transitions and blend animations
Ever wanted to create your own RPG? In this module, we create an impressive RPG in VR, where the player can explore dungeons, fight skeletons, collect weapons and health, and interact with non-player characters (NPCs). The game uses free teleportation and a reticle-based system to interact with the different elements.
- Modular level design
- Exploring with free teleportation
- Collecting health and weapons
- Animator State Machines
- Enemy AI: Path Finding using NavMesh
- Light baking
- Occlusion culling