New framework built for easier VR development in Unity

by Ian Hamilton • October 13th, 2015

A new framework for Unity made by Wisconsin-based Arch Virtual aims to make VR development easier for beginners, providing tools that should make it easier for those with even just a basic knowledge of Unity to build interactivity into a VR experience.

The “Immerse Framework” promises drag and drop ease for adding interactive and multi-user functionality to VR experiences. The idea is developers can use the framework to add menus or create objects that can be selected in VR with the click of a mouse, touch of a button on an Xbox button controller or with a gaze.

Arch Virtual was founded by Jon Brouchoud, who has been building on his background in architecture to make VR software for a number of clients, like the Sacramento Kings, dating back to the first Oculus development kit.

“Every project brought a lot of common feature requests, so it seemed logical to organize a modular framework we could use to speed up our development time,” Brouchoud wrote in an email. “It grew from there, and earlier this year we decided to package it as an asset for other developers to use.”

Here’s a video overview of the framework:

Brouchoud hopes the toolkit will be used by anyone with a basic understanding of Unity to “add interactivity to their projects in a few minutes,” offering a shortcut for people who “lack the time, money or ability to climb the entire learning curve of VR development.”

The software will be put on sale “soon” but pricing hasn’t been finalized. However, Arch Virtual is opening up the software to a small group of developers “for early discounted beta access.” Sign-up is on the Immersive Interactive website. Apps built with the toolkit are also said to be easily toggled into a non-VR version.

According to Brouchoud, depending “on the level of adoption and interest we see” the toolkit might become part of a much larger roadmap.

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