How to Build a VR Game?

create a vr game
Aran Davies
Blockchain Expert | Developer | Writer | Photographer

Wondering how you can tap the growing market of the virtual world and build a VR game? You need to know how to make such virtual reality games successfully.

We, at DevTeam.Space, have adequate experience in executing complex projects, and we can guide you.

Dive right in, as we explain how to build a VR game!

Examples of popular VR games

Check out the following prominent VR games to get ideas:

1. Trover Saves the Universe

Trover Saves the Universe is a popular VR game. It’s available on PlayStation VR and Oculus. This virtual reality game supports the single-player mode.

Squanch Games, Inc. developed and published it. The release date was June 2018, and there are plenty of positive user reviews.

The Oculus webpage of this game displays the available space requirements. This webpage helps you to buy the game or add it to your wishlist. You can find this VR gaming option on Steam too.

2. STAR WARS: Squadrons

STAR WARS: Squadrons is a well-known VR game that’s available on multiple platforms. You can play it on VR headsets and PCs with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.

It supports both single-player and multiplayer modes. The webpage of this game displays key requirements like available space.

You can find out about the processor requirements like Intel, AMD, etc. The webpage mentions the graphic card requirements, e.g., NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070, etc. 

3. Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx is a prominent VR game. Valve Corporation created it, and the release date of this game was March 2020.

Half-Life: Alyx works with SteamVR. The game works on popular VR headsets like Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift, furthermore, it supports Microsoft Windows Mixed Reality. 

4. No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky is a popular VR game. Hello Games, a UK-based company has built it. It supports the multiplayer mode. You can play it on PlayStation 4, PCs, Steam, and Xbox One.

5. Superhot VR

Superhot VR is a well-known game. It’s available on Steam, Microsoft Windows, and PlayStation VR. The SUPERHOT team developed and published this single-player game, and the release date was July 2017.

Use cases of VR other than gameplay

While VR games are popular, VR has many other use cases too. This technology creates an immersive experience for users with the help of specialized computer hardware and software.

Users temporarily suspend their real-world interactions when they use VR.

The global market for VR is growing. A Mordor Intelligence report estimates that this market will grow from $17.25 billion in 2020 to $184.66 billion by 2026.

That translates to a healthy CAGR of 48.7% during the 2021-2026 period.

A few prominent VR use cases are as follows:

  • Media and entertainment companies can use VR to create engaging content.
  • Education institutions can use VR for teaching. E.g., VR-based realistic physics courses can help students to learn better.
  • Companies can use VR for prototyping complex products.
  • VR can help organizations to impart training to professionals in complex job roles. E.g., VR simulators can train doctors and fire extinguishers.
  • Marketers can create VR-based ads to engage potential buyers.
  • Businesses can use VR to let potential buyers try their products virtually.
  • VR can help organizations to manage meetings better.

The VR ecosystem, e.g., VR headsets and leading companies

There’s a thriving VR ecosystem around. A good example is the wide range of powerful and feature-rich VR headsets. You can choose a VR headset from the following:

  • Oculus Quest, Quest 2, and Rift S;
  • PlayStation VR from Sony;
  • HTC Vive Cosmos from HTC;
  • Valve Index from Valve Corporation.

Key players in the technology space have invested in VR, e.g.:

  • Facebook acquired Oculus in 2014.
  • Microsoft created HoloLens.
  • Intel has created an end-to-end VR support solution named True VR.
  • Valve has provided SteamVR. This allows you to play VR games on different headsets like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, etc.
  • NVIDIA offers GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) for VR.
  • Asus provides GTX graphics cards for VR.

Several companies develop VR gaming applications and other VR apps. A few examples are as follows:

How to develop a VR game?

Do the following to develop a VR game:

1. Form a small team to define and plan the project

You need to form a small team to define and plan the project. Onboard a project manager (PM) to lead this team. The team should have a software architect (SA) and a few business analysts (BAs).

This team should do the following:

  • Define the project requirements;
  • Formulate a software development approach;
  • Choose appropriate software development tools and technology stack;
  • Plan the project.

2. Document the functional and non-functional requirements

Business analysts need to gather the functional requirements. These should include the following:

  • Content, e.g., gameplay scenarios, characters, background scenes, etc.;
  • Other features, e.g., career mode, downloadable content (DLC), sandbox mode, etc.;
  • Target platforms, e.g., Oculus, HTC, PlayStation VR, Windows Mixed Reality, etc.

Note: Consider factors like latency if you plan to offer a web app. Do you want to offer your VR game on mobile platforms? Think about constraints like lower processing power. 

The architect needs to decide on the non-functional requirements (NFRs). The following are a few examples:

  • Usability;
  • VR gaming performance;
  • Security, if you plan to offer web and mobile VR games.

The PM, architect, and BAs need to manage requirements effectively. They need to do the following:

3. Identify the features to be included in the MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

How well do the VR game players accept your game? Do you need to alter the course vis-à-vis the content and presentation? Do you need to enhance the game with more content?

You need to know all of these, and you need market feedback for that.

We recommend you launch an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). The concept of MVP has gained massive popularity along with the Agile development methodology.

An MVP is a functional product, however, it has fewer features than the final product.

Businesses can get market feedback and test their validations using an MVP. They can decide the next course of action depending on market feedback.

Which features and content should you offer as parts of the MVP? As described in our MVP guide, use tools and techniques like the “pain and gain map” and prioritization matrix.

4. Evaluate VR development tools and choose one to build a VR game

You can use appropriate VR development tools to expedite the project. Check out the following tools:

Open 3D Engine

Open 3D Engine is a powerful cross-platform game engine for developing games. You can create VR games with it. You can connect your VR game to the AWS cloud, furthermore, you can use Twitch.

Open 3D Engine supports popular headsets and platforms like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It supports PCs, Android, and iOS too.  

O3DE offers comprehensive tutorials. These include documents and videos. The popular game engine company offers detailed guides to create VR projects.

Amazon Sumerian

Amazon Sumerian is a prominent offering from AWS. It allows you to create apps with 3D, AR, and VR experiences.

Amazon Sumerian supports popular VR headsets and web browsers. You can use Amazon Sumerian for popular VR use cases like VR games, VR simulators, etc.

AWS provides extensive documentation for Amazon Sumerian. Check out the Amazon Sumerian pricing information for details.

Unity

Unity is a very popular platform for creating 2D, 3D, and VR apps. This platform offers a powerful editor to create 3D and VR game assets.

You can use the tools for artists and designers, furthermore, Unity offers collaboration tools.

Unity supports key VR platforms like Oculus, PlayStation, etc. You can access the comprehensive documentation and tutorials offered by Unity.

Unity caters to all key VR use cases like VR games, simulation, media and entertainment, etc. Businesses of different sizes can find Unity products that cater to them.

Others

You can also explore other popular VR development tools and game engines. Check out the following:

  • Unreal Engine 4 (UE4), which has a rich ecosystem;
  • CRYENGINE, which is very popular with 3D game developers;
  • 3ds Max, a VR development tool from Autodesk;
  • Maya, another VR development tool from Autodesk;
  • Oculus Medium, which is from Oculus.

5. Decide on the technology stack if you plan to offer web and mobile apps

Are you offering web and mobile apps? We recommend you use the following technology stack:

  • JavaScript and/or JavaScript-based framework: You can use JavaScript, HTML, and CSS for web app development. You can also use popular web frameworks like Angular or React. Use Node.js for backend development.
  • Java/Kotlin: Use Java or Kotlin for native Android development.
  • Swift: Develop your proposed native iOS app using Swift.
  • MySQL/PostgreSQL: These open-source SQL databases are great choices if you need an RDBMS (Relational Database Management System).
  • MongoDB/Apache Cassandra: These open-source NoSQL databases are great choices if you need a NoSQL database.

You need to choose a suitable cloud computing platform. AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform are all great choices. Select one based on your organizational requirements.

6. Plan the project

Now that you have defined the project and chosen your technology stack, you need to plan the project. Focus on key aspects, e.g.:

  • Scheduling the various software development lifecycle phases;
  • Mitigating application security risks;
  • Estimating the project;
  • Human resource planning;
  • Managing the project risks and issues;
  • Managing project stakeholders;
  • Quality management, including testing and review;
  • Managing the deployment of the VR game across various platforms;
  • Post-deployment support and long-term maintenance.

7. Hire a complete software development team to build a VR game

You now need to hire a complete software development team. Hire the following roles:

  • VR developers;
  • UI designers;
  • Web developers;
  • Mobile developers;
  • Testers;
  • DevOps engineers.

Which hiring platforms should you use? You might opt to hire freelancers. Several freelance platforms can help you to hire freelancers with low hourly rates. However, you need to contend with the following risks:

  • Part-time freelancers might not devote sufficient time to your project.
  • You might find it hard to manage the work of part-time freelancers working remotely.
  • Freelancers might leave the project mid-way. You need to hire replacement developers.

We recommend you hire developers from reputed software development companies. These companies implement appropriate screening processes, therefore, you get high-quality developers.

Software development companies offer full-time programmers. They offer management support. These companies offer replacements if developers leave a project mid-way.

8. Execute, track, and control the project to build a VR game effectively

You need to execute the development, testing, deployment, and maintenance phases. Appropriate tracking and control are important. We recommend you use the Scrum framework.

Build a Scrum team. A Scrum Master leads such teams, which are cross-functional teams. Scrum Teams plan Sprints, i.e., iterations in meetings named “Sprint Planning Meeting”.

These teams conduct “Daily Stand-up Meetings” to discuss the project status. They use these meetings to resolve project issues.

Scrum teams demonstrate the functional product to the business stakeholders in a “Sprint review meeting”.

They conduct a lessons-learned exercise named the “Sprint retrospective meeting” after a Sprint. Scrum teams deliver sustained value to clients with the help of collaborative teamwork.

Ready to build a VR game?

We explained how to build a VR game. Projects including the latest technologies of virtual reality and augmented reality can be complex.

If you need help executing such projects, please contact DevTeam.Space. Our experienced teams will help you develop a VR app.

FAQs on How to Build a VR game

1. How does DevTeam.Space ensure that its VR developers are motivated enough?

DevTeam.Space has an involved screening process. Only competent developers can join this community. On top of that, DevTeam.Space consistently encourages programmers to upgrade their skills. Therefore, DevTeam.Space developers have sufficient VR experience and are highly motivated to develop VR PC and console games, including game objects and scenes.

2. Can DevTeam.Space provide management support for my VR game development project?

DevTeam.Space has comprehensive processes, methods, and tools. We provide management support to our clients. Our dedicated account managers work closely with our clients to facilitate the smooth execution of software development projects.

3. Does DevTeam.Space provide only individual VR developers or a complete VR development team?

DevTeam.Space provides both individual developers and development teams. We understand that sometimes our clients don’t want to integrate the work done by different developers from different companies. We support the requirements of our clients.


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