Five essential books for Virtual Reality coders
(VR resources part I)
As part of an ongoing series of VR resources (videos, websites, podcasts, tutorials), we’ve written a short list of VR development books; including at least the books that we think can help you start coding and immerse yourself quickly in VR development. If you think we’ve missed other essential ones, just post it on the comments!
So, in no particular order, here they are:
by Jason Jerarld, Ph.D.
Amazing book: an in-depth guide to understanding Virtual Reality Design. The author has around 20 years of experience in the VR field. Although it’s not a ‘coding’ book, we find this one indispensable to really understand the underlying concepts about VR design.
Including chapters about:
- VR history
- VR metrics for measuring the quality of the experience
- In-depth study of VR-related human perception
- Minimizing adverse reactions
- Content design and creation
- VR project management and Iterative design
Two — Learning Virtual Reality: Developing Immersive Experiences and Applications for Desktop, Web, and Mobile
by Tony Parisi
Three — Unity Virtual Reality Projects
Great book if you want to get the ropes of Unity engine and VR at the same time. If you are not interested in WebVR, and want to explore Unity, this is your book. You’ll learn by doing, since the book is a progressive coding example, in which you’ll touch upon important VR and Unity topics, such as physics, textures, Unity builds and First Person Characters.
Four — Oculus Rift in Action
by Bradley Austin Davis et al
To our understanding, the first book about The Rift (launched as Manning MEAP edition in 2014). Although a little bit outdated (mainly because of the evolution of Oculus SDK), the book is a direct plunge into the low-level Oculus SDK with some extras, including Augmented Reality development and Leap Motion controller. So, if you’re interested in low level details on how to access The Rift programatically, you can read this book. If you are more interested in higher-level programming (Unity, WebVR), we recommend the two books above.
Five — Holistic Game Development with Unity: An All-in-One Guide to Implementing Game Mechanics, Art, Design and Programming
by Penny de Byl
Yes, this book is from 2011. And yes, Unity versions are changing blazingly fast. But this book is a really a hidden treasure, and what really sets this book apart is that (a) you’ll understand all core Unity concepts effortlessly, and (b) it approaches game design as an art, explaining how all pieces, resources and roles fit together: game art, game design, mechanics, and coding.