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VR Software Development – what do you need to know?

VR Software Development – what do you need to know?

VR has become one of the important technologies that can bring huge benefits in the real world. Recently, the improvement of software and hardware of computer leads to develop and improve the VR technology and its applications.

What is VR Software?

The system of VR essentially has four basic elements:

  • Virtual World that consists of objects and principles of 3D space
  • Immersion, or the sense of presence, that included mental and physical engagement
  • Sensory feedback (visual, aural, haptic and more)
  • Interactivity.

VR systems, and as a consequence, VR software tools,  can be classified according to the level of technological supply and immersion they provide. In our main article, we mentioned that usually all VR systems are divided into content management systems, VR SDKs (software development kits), game engines, and others. Every VR environment is created and constructed by many aspects  (modelling, coding, and then executing) and these aspects should be integrated into a single package. Some of those VR applications belong are considered as frameworks, while others are complete development environments. For example, the main features typically provided by a game engine include a rendering engine, collision detection, sound, scripts, animation, AI, streaming, multithreading, support localization, and others. Top key players in the field of VR game engine software include Unity Technologies, Unreal Engine, Epic Games, Crytek (CryEngine) and others. 

VR SDKs provide fundamental tools for designing, creating and testing VR experiences. In short, this is a plugin that you add to the engine of your choice, which includes resources, content and methods specific to the engine that are forming a common native experience for each device. Most of SDKs include the basic drivers, an interface to access tracking data and call graphical rendering libraries. The developer can start with basic software development kit from a VR headset vendor and build their own virtual space from scratch. It’s important to define the requirements of your project before choosing a proper tool. For example, Google VR SDK can be used only to build apps for Daydream and Cardboard. 

Additionally, the market offers ready-made virtual world generators (or full-fledged development applications) for particular VR experiences with options to add personalised scripts. 

How does VR work?

In order for users to accept an artificial, virtual environment as real, it has to not only look real, but also feel real. This feeling can be achieved by wearing a head-mounted display (HMD), or VR headset, that displays a recreated life-size, 3D virtual environment without the boundaries usually seen on a computer or tablet screen. The primary subject of VR is simulating the vision. Each VR headset puts up a screen in front of eyes that eliminates any interaction with the real world. Two autofocus lenses are placed between the screen and eyes, so they are adjusting based on individual eye movement and positioning. The visuals on the screen are rendered either by using a phone or HDMI cable connected to a computer.

In order to create a truly exciting virtual reality, there are certain values – the frame rate is at least 60 frames per second, and the minimum field of view (FOV) is 100 degrees. The frame rate is the frequency at which the GPU can process the image per second, and FOV is the degree to which the display can support eye and head movement.

Immersiveness can also be achieved with portable input devices, such as motion trackers, which base interactivity on user movements. By stimulating many of the same feelings that could be used for navigation in the real world, VR environment can be felt more like a natural world.

How to develop VR software?

The level of skills and specific requirements is unique to each platform that is used for VR apps development. Ordinary, a good virtual reality developer has to possess a certain set of skills:

  • software engineering (C/C++/C# programming languages)
  • 3D design skills
  • video/sound production skills
  • game development
  • UI/UX.

Similar to most software development projects, VR starts with design.  Sometimes, for prototyping or educational purposes, this step is skipped, so developers can use assets from community-run libraries. You also can find online backgrounds or textures that can improve a project without any additional effort. Nevertheless, 3D modelling is obligatory for customised experiences.

The second decision you should make is the type of platform. Any development requires VR team to pick the starter SDK to shape a virtual experience around. Among community-provided APIs and tools, it’s advised to start with each brand’s official SDK.

For those who want to integrate VR solutions into their businesses (for example, create a remote 3D space or show the clients a prototype of your design project) without having all of the skills above, the best option is to use ready-made software designed specifically for the industry you are working in. It doesn’t require any specific knowledge and allows to add 3D models into virtual space on your own. Let’s say, you are a designer, and wants to present to stakeholders your concept with VR. Here you can see how to make it possible step by step if you have downloaded the app Virtualist created by our team:

  • Import your 3D model from popular software packages in FBX, OBJ, DAE and 3DS format. We are also working on native SketchUp integration.
  • Customize it to your needs
  • Start collaborating by inviting the participants for VR tour. 
  • No programming or game development skills required. Only VR headsets and the dedicated app are necessary.

What is the cost of VR software development?

If you don’t have VR development team at your company and want to build a customised software from the beginning,  you can expect to spend between $40,000 and $75,000 for a non-gaming mobile VR application. For a mobile VR game, it may between $50,000 and $100,000. Moreover, it requires plenty of time. Each development process should start with detailed project documentation. It is the guarantee that VR software will exactly meet the needs of your business. Usually, project planning is done by the software development company and takes about 1-2 weeks, and this is just the first step of developing your own application.

If you are limited with resources or want to use VR only for one particular project that doesn’t require huge costs, the ready-made software mentioned above becomes the best option in terms of time and budget costs. Our app price starts from 44 eur/month with 14 days of free trial. This price already includes multiplayer, English-speaking support, Amazon hosting and other necessary features.

Virtual Reality – what you need to know?

Virtual Reality – what you need to know?

Czym jest Wirtualna Rzeczywistość?

  • A virtual space
  • Immersion: mental (a deep engagement state) and physical (physical engagement  makes our mind to suspend disbelief that we are in a virtual environment.)
  • Sensory feedback: visual, aural, haptic
  • Interactivity

Every VR device places one or two screens in front of users’ eyes and thus eliminates any possible real-world interaction. Two lenses that are auto-focused, are placed in between the eyes and the screen. These adjust depending on the positioning and eye movement of the user. It makes you feel like you are there mentally and physically.

How can VR be used for business?

Many businesses find Virtual Reality as a cost-effective way of developing a product or service. For example, this enables them to test a prototype without having to develop several versions of this which can be time consuming and expensive. Companies are able to use VR to better visualize and design the product that they are developing like never in various fields. Here are some of them:


VR has an important role in the manufacturing industry due to its unique applications in the prototyping process and design. Manufacturers such as aerospace giants Boeing and Airbus use the technology to eliminate the need for costly full-scale prototypes of their designs.

Architecture and construction

VR platforms enable architects to walk customers through their designs before they have been built, providing vital opportunities for feedback and changes. Architects and engineers use this technology to represent structures so that they will have a plan for construction that shows them where the flaws are in the architectural plan and any changes that need to be made.

Korzyściom z wirtualnej rzeczywistości w architekturze poświęciliśmy osobny artykuł


VR in retail is predicted to reduce product returns, marketing costs, and offer efficient analytics and data. Audi, BMW, Porsche and other automotive brands are opening up virtual experiences in dealerships and rolling out mobile apps. Online shopping giant Alibaba has also introduced their version of full VR shopping experience – the concept is a virtual reality device that allows to walk through a store and buy products.

Business meetings and collaboration

In today’s world where coworkers can be continents apart, the subtleties of this information may be hard to convey using a flat monitor screen and a voice on a telephone or messenger connection. VR solutions allow professionals to gather in a virtual space to jointly review 3D models. From a technical point of view, it has voice over IP, collaborative markups and synchronised cloud models to allow for easier sharing of information.

How to develop VR software?

Experts who work professionally with VR and develop the right software should feel experienced in working with programming languages (such as C ++ / C #), prototyping models, the 3D game engine (the most popular of which is Unity), testing and not only. Thus, virtual reality may seem like a complex field with a high bar for entry. The good news is that currently customers can interact with objects that are already created by developers and use applications that allow creating VR space with just a few clicks. For example, architects can simply import a 3D model, use predefined editing tools to place the model in a virtual space, and then start a VR tour with other participants.

What is  VR software?

As the virtual reality market continues to move forward, more tools are created for VR developers. Although it is difficult to classify all VR systems, some experts divide it into content management systems, VR SDKs (software development kits), game engines, and others. Some solutions provide high-level functions where applications can be created using custom scripting languages and graphical tools, and the system itself takes most of the responsibility for computing, geometry, and interaction. Others are just above the hardware level, using well-known graphical APIs and programming languages to provide a better perfomance for users.

The most suitable option for enterprises that want to use VR solutions are full-fledged development environments, such as Virtualist app.

What is VR hardware?

Any VR experience starts with a headset, or head-mounted display (HMD). It is a device that brings a computer-simulated content in front of your eyes, imitating presence in real environments. The decision to buy a VR hardware system has to be based on your personal use case, the amount you are willing to spend, and the following factors: immersion ( user’s feeling of presence in a virtual environment), comfort, and content. Most popular headsets so far are:

How VR can be used in education?

Many dangerous and simply high-risk operations on Earth also employ virtual reality as part of their practice. Military, firefighter, railway maintenance, and many more simulators are used to prepare trainees to make quick decisions in stressful situations, and all without harming or endangering people as it used to be with traditional training. In 2015, Google announced its new service Expeditions and offered free headsets along with teacher-assisting software to all schools that decide to implement the technology. Using virtual field trips, teachers can take students to travel around the world, explore underwater flora and fauna, and enrich lecture with immersive and engaging experiences.

Is VR safe?

Most VR headset manufacturers say the device is not suitable for children under age 12/13. Although there are no long-term studies, ophthalmologists agree there is no reason to be concerned that VR headsets will damage eye development, health or function. Nevertheless, viewing an image involving motion gives the brain the same visual signals it receives during actual physical motion. That’s why VR headsets usage can lead to dizziness. If you’re susceptible to motion sickness on a boat or rollercoaster, you’ll likely to feel virtual motion sickness as well. In order to use VR without health harm, users are recommended to take breaks frequently and adjust the fit of the headset by tightening or loosening straps before starting the virtual experience.

What are VR games?

Virtual games use a 3D image that can be viewed interactively on a computing device using the keys, mouse, or touch screen. More immersive examples include the headsets mentioned earlier or even virtual reality rooms. Genres such as shooting games, adventures or simulations got enhanced thanks to this technology. Virtual reality games can be played on standalone systems, specialized game consoles, or on laptops / PCs that can be connected to a headset. VR games can be either solo- or multi-played:

  • First-person games. The player is in a physical environment. For example. players experience presence on the battlefield with appropriate sound and visual accompaniment (flying bullets, explosions, etc.).
  • Games with less confrontational activities: auto racing, as an example.
  • Challenging games or missions – to explore new places, solve problems.

Moreover, online game operators (such as casinos) also use VR technology to their advantage