App developers and publishers are taking notice of the VR smartphone revolution. Using the Google Cardboard Unity SDK can make building an immersive mobile game a seamless endeavor. From Cardboard to code, the native integration of Unity with Google VR is a must for your next smartphone gaming app.
As smartphone games grow more innovative, gaming app developers and publishers need to take their user experience to the next level. That next level is VR.
Are you still on the fence about VR for your next mobile game? Well, according to Statista, the number of mobile VR users will steadily increase to 135 million by 2020.
How about revenue? Statistic Brain research estimated that global VR gaming revenue is $5.8 million in 2017. The numbers indicate that VR is profitable and may also have a mobile app marketing benefit as well.
Google VR SDK for Unity can help gaming app developers and publishers net their share of the VR revenue. Let’s take a look at how you can go from Google Cardboard to immersive smartphone game for innovative app success.
What is Google Cardboard?
Developing a VR experience for your app users is actually pretty simple in theory. You create an experience using two images on screen instead of one. The simplicity is just two cameras spaced apart giving users the VR experience they crave.
Fancy technology needed? Not really. In fact, you have what you need right next to you or in your hand at this very moment: your smartphone. This is what makes the Google Cardboard experience so easy, and yet innovative for mobile gaming.
Google Cardboard uses the sensors and display already in your smartphone to create the VR experience. Any newer smartphone model is a VR device, all you need is a bit of developer know-how, cardboard, and plastic lenses.
Getting Started with Cardboard Unity SDK
Before you begin developing your mobile VR game, you will need to have a few tools and assets ready to go. First would be to do a little more research about Google VR SDK for Unity.
You will also need:
- An Android device with Jelly Bean or later; or iPhone 5 or later
- Unity Personal Edition Version 5.x
- Cardboard viewing unit
The first two are pretty easy, but you may still need to buy a Cardboard unit. You can easily buy one online for no more than $50 with shipping, or make your own if you are feeling really innovative.
The best option if you go the purchase route is to search for V2 or Cardboard 2.0 units. These units are compatible with larger mobile devices, which is important because smartphones tend to be trending upward in terms of size.
Next, Integrate the SDK
Implementing Google VR SDK for Unity is a painless process for developers. Using Enhance mobile SDK solutions, you can implement a variety of third-party services to your app.
Developers find the drag-and-drop implementation user-friendly and seamless. You can implement any service in minutes. Enhance also makes updating in-app services easy as well with timely update alerts and single click updates.
You can also download the SDK from the Google VR Downloads page. First, clone the repo or use the direct download option. After you have the SDK, import it into your project using Unity.
Export Your VR Project Using Unity
To get your VR game up and running, you will need to connect your smartphone to your computer. From there, select Build and Run, and name your export folder. If you plan on developing more than one app right now, it is a good idea to name each folder something game-specific.
Unity takes it from that point, exporting your VR project and opening it in Xcode. Next, run it on your phone. You need to go through a short setup to check code for the Cardboard unit.
Once you have calibrated your Cardboard unit to your mobile device, you’re ready to start working on your first VR app.
Google VR SDK for Unity Features
Developing a VR gaming experience for smartphones is a great way to take your gaming app to the next level for users. Google VR SDK for Unity serves up a number of features to help with just that.
Unity native support integrated with Google VR lets developers:
- Create a VR Unity project from nothing
- Pair and adapt a Unity 3D app for a VR experience
- Build a gaming app that can be traditional or VR
Are you ready to give your app users an immersive VR smartphone gaming experience? The Cardboard Unity SDK makes it as simple and seamless as possible for gaming app developers. It’s clear by now that virtual reality is the future, so don’t be left behind while other devs take the leap. Take your gaming app to a third dimension with VR.