For the past year, we’ve been working on a top-secret book project: Unity AR & VR by Tutorials!
Today, we are excited to announce that the book is available now on our store, with 16 chapters in the first early-access release!
To celebrate this newest book in our Unity lineup, we’ll be giving away a few free copies, and we’ll also let you know how you can get a free sample of the first four chapters of the book to see what it’s all about, so read on!
Read on for all the details!
What is Unity AR & VR by Tutorials?
The world of augmented and virtual reality has grown so much in just a few years. There are lots of options available to game developers, including the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, HoloLens, ARKit, ARCore, Windows Mixed Reality, and more!
But documentation on all these technologies can be spread far and wide and difficult to understand. That’s where Unity AR & VR by Tutorials comes in!
This book is for both beginner and intermediate Unity developers interested in AR and VR, who already have some experience working inside Unity with C#.
You’ll cover the following topics in the book:
- HTC Vive: Learn how to use the HTC Vive in your games.
- Oculus Rift: Explore the possibilities of the Oculus rift in your VR environments.
- VRTK: Learn how to use this framework to leverage your assets and code on multiple headsets and technologies.
- ARKit: Discover how you can use ARKit inside of Unity and create some cool games.
- ARCore: Dive deep into the internals of ARCore and learn how to use it with Unity.
- Windows Mixed Reality: Learn how to create a virtual pet game in mixed reality from scratch.
- And much more, including the history of AR and VR, how to avoid motion sickness in your games, and how to create fluid user UI!
After reading this book, you will have all of the tools you need to create amazing, immersive AR and VR apps and use them on the major hardware platforms available today.
Here’s a sneak peek of what you can look forward to in the full release of the book:
Section I: Introduction to VR
In the first section of the book, you’ll get your feet wet by learning about the various features of augmented reality.
- New Realities: Before diving off the deep end, take a moment to reflect on how we got to these exciting times for virtual reality. Learn about the history of VR and its humble beginnings.
- VR Platforms: Explore the different virtual reality platforms and learn about what sets them apart from each other. If you’re not sure what hardware to get, this will make your decision a lot easier.
Section II: Working with VRTK and Game Mechanics
In this section, you’ll set up everything for VR and learn about VRTK and its advantages over straight up using the plugins. You’ll also implement some very interesting mechanics that you can easily use in your own games and experiences. To top it all of, learn all about increasing performance and the dangers of virtual movement and its effect on the human body.
- VRTK Setup: In this chapter you’ll learn about VRTK and its alternatives. You’ll also set up the needed devices and your development environment.
- VR Movement: Moving around in VR is lots of fun, but you’ll need to keep some things in mind to prevent you and your players from getting sick. This chapter explains how to get around in a virtual space using different types of input and covers what to watch out for.
- Interactions – Coming Soon: A game or experience wouldn’t be worth its salt without allowing the player to interact with its surroundings in immersive ways. In this chapter you’ll learn about implementing basic interactions.
- User Interface for VR – Coming Soon: Most games need some sort of user interface, whether it’s to keep score or show a health bar. Learn how create a world space UI in this chapter.
- Optimization & Motion Sickness – Coming Soon: This chapter explains how to make your games and experiences nice and snappy while avoiding motion that affects the player negatively.
Section III: Advanced VR Interactions
If you want to take your VR skills even further, this section is for you. Delve into advanced topics like special interactions and interesting ways of getting around in the virtual space. Create natural feeling user interfaces around the player and their virtual hands. Lastly, explore how VR goes further than just entertainment.
- Advanced VR Interactions: Take your VR skills to the next level by using VRTK to create satisfying interactions with objects in the virtual world. In this chapter, you’ll dive deeper into VRTK and the tools it provides.
- VR Movement: Now that you’ve mastered basic movement, it’s time to take a look at some other options. This chapter delves into several ways of locomotion and shows how to use them in practice.
- Advanced VR User Interface: This chapter explores more advanced ways of showing user interface elements with a curved canvas and a menu that’s attached to the controller.
- VR in Interactive Media: VR is used in more than just games; there’s a wide range of industries out there utilizing virtual worlds and objects to save time and express concepts and ideas. In this chapter, you’ll get an introduction to different ways of using VR.
Section IV: Introduction to AR
Get up to speed with the current AR technology in this section. Learn about the history of AR from its humble beginnings up to the current day and compare the available hardware so you can make a concise decision on what to use for your next project.
- Augmented Reality: Explore the history of augmented reality and find out the differences with VR in this enlightening chapter.
- Augmented Reality Platforms: If you’re wondering what AR hardware to get, this chapter will get you up to speed on the current options and summarizes the pros and cons for each.
Section V: Working with ARKit and ARCore
In this section you’ll discover what ARKit and ARCore have to offer in the AR landscape. Get to grips with how to prepare these platforms and how to use them to create virtual objects right in your living room. Learn how to create a dynamic user interface in AR and how to detect the physical space around you and use that in your games and experiences.
- AR Platform Setup: Learn what the requirements are for ARKit and ARCore and how to set it all up. In this chapter, you’ll find out what you need exactly for smooth start with AR.
- Adding Virtual Objects: Create objects and spawn them into a virtual space for your players to interact with. You’ll learn all about placing objects and interacting with them in this chapter.
- User Interface & Interactions: Discover how to display text and other UI elements in AR. In this chapter you’ll be explained how to handle user interfaces elegantly in augmented reality.
- Anchors & Planes in AR: Map out the world around you with planes and anchor game objects to them in realtime. This chapter covers world tracking and goes over the concept of planes in AR.
Section VI: Advanced ARKit and ARCore
Explore more advanced AR topics in this section. Insert physics and lighting in your scene to add some polish. Find out how to use ARKit to do real-time face tracking and discover why scaling content may be a bad idea depending on the situation. As a cherry on top, learn how to connect your game to the web.
- Physics & Lighting: Ground your objects in the world with physics and lightning. This chapter covers how to use physics and add lightning and shadows in augmented reality.
- Scaled Content – Coming Soon: This chapter discusses the advantages and disadvantages of scaling content in augmented reality.
- Multiplayer AR – Coming Soon: Getting your games connected and playing with others is a wonderful experience. In this chapter, you’ll share game data and locations between devices.
Section VII: Mixed Reality and the HoloLens
The Microsoft HoloLens is an inside-out tracking AR headset with many innovative ways of handling input, sound, and room mapping. In this section you’ll discover what the HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality are and how they can be developed in Unity. You’ll create a small virtual pet game from start to finish featuring a cute bear.
- Deploying Your First HoloLens Project: Find out why you should definitely consider the Microsoft HoloLens and Windows Mixed Reality for your next game or mixed reality project.
- Navigating Around Spatial Maps: Learn about the different ways of handling input with the HoloLens. This chapter explains how to create an user interface and interact with it using gestures.
- Persisting Real-World Locations: Add immersion to your AR games by leveraging sounds, animations and game states. Take it to the next level with assets and shaders in this chapter.
- Mixing Media – Coming Soon: Explore voice input, the camera and using web services for spectacular results. Create sweet photos in AR and share them on the internet in this final chapter.
Introducing the Authors
Come meet the amazing author team behind the book here:
Jonathan Ogle-Barrington has been programming since he was 8 years old, when he recieved his first BBC Master. Starting off in large scale intranet development, he pursued his love of games by starting his own mobile game and app company before taking the role of Lead VR Game Developer at Wolf & Wood. In his role he has worked on the release of 3 multi-award winning VR games including A chair in a Room and The Exorcist: Legion VR on Oculus, SteamVR and PlayStation VR.
Jimmy Alamparambil is a veteran of the game industry, having worked for companies like EA, Ubisoft. Jam City and others on franchises as varied as Medal of Honor, Spyro, GoldenEye, CSI, Spartacus, Petz, Just Dance, Rocksmith, etc. More recently, he has worked on the well received Unity ARKit Plugin, which has been used to create the vast majority of ARKit apps on the AppStore. He currently works in the XR team at Unity, where he is helping to architect and develop the latest AR APIs.
Matt Larson is a lifelong gamer and developer of scientific visualization software. He is also the creator of the mixed-reality app, Titan MR, which allows users to explore the surface of Saturn’s moon, Titan, and was a finalist for the 2018 Windows Developer Reality Mixer of the Year award and the featured in the Unity HoloLens Contest.
Eric Van de Kerckhove is a Belgian hobbyist game developer and has been so for more than 15 years. He has made a fair share of games over the years, mostly free ones for fun and as learning experiences. Eric is leading the Unity team for raywenderlich.com.
Free Sample Chapters Available!
There are two ways you can get your hands on the first four chapters of this book, at absolutely no cost to you:
- Head over to our store page here, where you can download the sample package of the first four chapters from the book.
- If you’re a subscriber to the RW Weekly newsletter, then tomorrow you’ll get an invitation to receive the first four chapters of the book via an easy-to-follow email series, right in your inbox!
Not a subscriber to the rawenderlich.com RW Weekly newsletter? No worries: you can sign up here:
Unity AR & VR by Tutorials Giveaway!
We’re giving away ten copies of Unity AR & VR by Tutorials to help celebrate this launch! And it’s incredibly easy to enter the giveaway.
All you need to do is leave a comment at the end of this post, to answer the following question:
What project would you most love to build in AR or VR?
We’ll be choosing ten winners at random at the end of our iOS 12 Launch Party, which ends Nov 2, 2018. Good luck to everyone who enters!
Where to Go From Here?
The final piece of good news is that you can take advantage of our early-access discount on the book and get it for only $44.99. That’s a discount of $10 off the cover price!
To take advantage of the special discount and get early access to the book while it’s in development, head over to our online store and grab your own copy today!
The Unity AR & VR by Tutorials book team and I are so excited to share this with you; we hope you enjoy this release and the updates to come!