Virtual Reality in the Classroom
How do our students learn how to optimize their games in virtual reality in the classroom? AIE is a college of the interactive entertainment arts, so it is natural for our team to embrace virtual reality in our studio-modeled classrooms. As virtual reality reaches new heights as a platform in the video game industry, the amount of VR games created by students each year.
A safe, dedicated space for virtual reality development.
For practical solutions, we must first look to the scale of the room, as it’s important to consider whether a standing or seated environment is best. In the classroom, we primarily focus on the seated experience for safety precautions, as a good majority of students are developing their first game. For those who are more experienced with the platform may opt for a standing experience, and we have a safe dedicated space for just that. Our VR Lab on campus gives ample standing space to develop any physically-demanding games. This dedicated space also allows young developers who are interested in exploring certain game mechanics, since not all game design techniques translate well into virtual reality. The VR Lab is also open during break time hours for students who wish to become more acclimated to the headset, and the occasional AIE Beat Saber tournament.
All options are the industry standard.
For the most effective VR learning experience, it requires both capable hardware and software. While not every virtual reality headset is optimized for every operating system, it’s still important for our Game Programming students to learn from a variety of hardware. The Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the Playstation VR are just a few of the headsets our students learn to develop with. While we allow our students to work with the industry standard software of their choice, we primarily use Unity for its flexibility. Creating a VR game in Unity allows students to apply the knowledge to any platform they want to target due its convenience. Thanks to the VR developers in our Advisory Committees, it’s easier for AIE to stay up to date on the latest trends, allowing us to move in the direction that virtual reality is heading.