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Start VR development with the right toolkit

More or less one year ago I have started with developing in VR and tried several plugins and tools in Unity to implement all the basic stuff like teleporting, grabbing, triggering and so on.

The first thing you will probably try or see in Unity is the official SteamVR plugin from Valve if you have a Vive like me. Basically this SDK has everything you will need to realize your project, but it's really a very hard start if you try several things with the SteamVR SDK directly. There is no much documentation or example scenes where you can have a look at. For me it was more frustrating than helpful, so searching the Unity Asset Store and also the internet you will maybe find the VRTK (Virtual Reality Toolkit) from Harvey Ball (aka TheStoneFox).

It's the best toolkit you can get if you are try to do something in Unity for VR. You get tons of documentations for nearly all use cases you can imagine. Furthermore he has created lots of examples where you find nearly all that stuff sorted and splitted in different scenes to show you how to use them. Every single script he has written is licensed under the MIT license and can be studied directly in the SDK or in his GitHub repository for the toolkit.

A very active community is discussing stuff at its own Slack channel. Even a Youtube channel exists where he posts tutorials or doing a live Q&A session to answer your questions.

But why do I tell you this? Because Harvey Ball has done an absolute astonishing job on this toolkit. You don't have to fiddle around with each single SDK for each vendor, you don't have to think about grabbing an object, teleporting around, using an object, realize a button, realizing an usable door or anything you can think of. You can such use the VRTK and use nearly all available VR headsets out there directly and start to code your idea or project right away.

And the best thing, he has decided right from the beginning that he give this away all for free! This is even more astonishing if you see all the effort which is behind such a toolkit. These are all reasons to give something back to Harvey. How? You can decide to become a patreon on his patreon page, start contributing directly in the toolkit if you are a coder, contact Harvey and ask how you can help. Right now he is really looking for some donations to go on with the development of VRTK. It would be a shame if VRTK is dying just because of the lack of support. So give and show him a little bit of love and help for this really useful and totally necessary toolkit for VR development in Unity!

Look at all the links I have posted here and decide on your own how important this project is.


  1. How well does it work on Arch?

    1. Can't tell you. Didn't tried VR on Linux at all, so I don't know. The toolkit itself should work without any problems because it's using running inside Unity and this runs under Linux, but without a working VR setup under Linux you won't have any chance to try it.

    2. Oh I see. Why post to Planet Arch Linux then?

    3. Because my blog is listed at the planet aggregator. I have no influence of what is shown on the ArchLinux planet, by default it shows just everything from my blog and I'm writing not only stuff about ArchLinux, so you have to live with such topics or complain at the maintainer of the planet.


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