Taming the wild west of VR: 5 technical lessons learned making the serious game Art Sort in VRChat
by Nathan Hahn
Last semester, I partnered up with fellow game design classmate Oliver Page to develop a serious game for the social VR platform VRChat. VRChat is sometimes referred to as the wild west of VR due to the experimental ethos of its development community, but I wanted to explore the possibilities of serious game development on the platform. We learned a lot from the experience, but we also noticed there hasn’t been much research on the possibilities of social VR platforms for serious games. I hope that this blog post spurs more interest in researching the applicability of these platforms for serious game development in the future.
The VRChat platform has many characteristics that make it a promising way to develop games. VRChat allows users to upload their own custom avatars and worlds through the Unity game engine for free (although it lacks a way to monetize available content). VRChat is also a cross-platform social VR application where users can play with mouse and keyboard, PC-enabled VR, or on the Oculus Quest. VRChat has a flourishing community development mindset, and there have been some very impressive user-created games already made within the platform.