If you’re an up-and-coming gaming developer and want to make a breakthrough, VR could be your best bet. Thanks to heavy involvement by Sony, Google, Microsoft, and other tech moguls, virtual reality is slowly turning into an incredibly powerful platform. And right now, while the demand is higher than the supply, VR may very well be the ticket to success for a struggling team working on a new game.
This technology can be used to create gaming content that will become popular in the blink of an eye. Again: for startups in the gaming industry, virtual reality is a very powerful instrument. So, let’s go ahead and talk about that in more detail. We’ll go over the main benefits of implementing VR into your game, the possibilities, opportunities, and everything else in between.
How Can a 3D Game Creator Use VR to Their Advantage?
The most important thing to understand about virtual reality is that it doesn’t really have much to do with the more traditional experiences and environments. To put it simply: VR is an entirely different thing, and instead of just adding it to a “normal” game, you have to develop a new project from the ground up, with VR in mind. Partially, that’s the reason why there aren’t many VR games on the market. At the same time, it does have a pretty big market in 2021.
According to official statistics, right now, there are 16 million hardcore gamers that own at least one VR device. As for the total number of VR users, the estimate is 171 million. So, yes, if you find a way to create an exciting game for this platform, you’ll have instant access to a rather big audience. Originally, VR was developed for games + entertainment, by the way; today, it’s also popular in other industries like healthcare, business, and education, to name a few.
VR Game Development: The Ins and Outs
The biggest downside of the VR technology – it’s got a pretty steep learning curve. Unless you know your way around this platform, it’s gonna take you a lot of effort to master it. Effective product prototypes can be challenging to develop as well. However, once you get through the basics, you’ll see that it’s actually pretty intuitive. Now, the most significant appeal of VR is the possibilities that it brings.
It’s all about the immersive experience that no conventional platform can provide. Players get a full, 360-view of the surroundings and a strong feeling that what they’re seeing on the other side of the VR device is real. And when the headset is used in combination with hand controllers, special gloves, and other extras, the feeling of presence becomes even more evident and pronounced.
If you’ve ever seen a VR 360º Video or even photo, I bet you know what I’m talking about. VR gaming, in turn, makes it possible to not only see the video but actually control what’s happening in the virtual world. You can move around, interact with objects, and do so much more.
What does the Industry Hold for a VR Game Maker?
As I already mentioned, virtual reality is a relatively new technology, and that’s what makes it so appealing to young, striving developers. VR enhances the gaming experience for the players, taking immersion and interaction to the next level. With VR, you can create not only purely gaming content but also interactive tours. Museums, stadiums, hotels – with the right device and application, people from around the world can participate in these virtual tours.
It’s important to say that VR is a great platform for marketing as well. Showrooms, art exhibitions, and the launch of new company products: virtual reality apps can “lure” potential clients in. Once they experience what the business has to offer through the virtual world, they’ll most likely want to check it all out in the physical world.
And, since most of these exhibits will be heavily based on a 3D gaming environment, a game developer can partner up with one of these companies and earn big bucks. Sometimes, VR is used for promoting a game that’s about to be released, but this doesn’t happen very often right now.
Finding the Right Place to Start
Arguably, the best way to reach out to a potential audience is through crowdfunding. Virtual reality solutions are in high demand in military, retail, social media, and other industries. And there’s a number of platforms that specialize in VR (and not only games). So, if you’re looking for an investment to get your VR gaming project going, you might want to check those out. Kickstarter is arguably the biggest platform right now.
In fact, it helped fund Oculus Rift and Unyte – one of the most advanced virtual reality devices to date. For a startup, SeedInvest and Indiegogo are also worth checking out. The biggest downside of VR is the price tag. You’ll have to pay 400+ US dollars for a headset. For the ultimate experience, gloves will also be necessary. And let’s not forget that VR requires a powerful PC to run properly.
But, as virtual technology is evolving at a rapid pace, the cost of decent-quality equipment is slowly dropping.