How to optimize collaboration in VR

Published on

July 12, 2022

Why collaboration in VR content creation is so difficult

Collaboration is crucial in many aspects of life. This is also true for virtual reality content creation, which often requires different teams and experts to work together. However, despite the importance of successful collaboration, teams regularly encounter difficulties when working together on VR projects, such as developing VR training applications. These difficulties are often caused by the fact that communication takes place at different levels, making it difficult for developers and non-developers to understand each other. This makes it all the more important to have a tool that enables interdisciplinary teams to understand each other better and reduce friction within the teams.

To illustrate the difficulty of communicating on multiple levels, I will use a simplified example of creating a VR training application. Let's say there is an automotive manufacturer that has previously only produced cars with internal combustion engines. Now that the automotive industry is becoming increasingly electrified, the management wants to change its production line to manufacture electric cars. However, this requires their employees to acquire completely new skills and knowledge. For this reason, the company hires a digital agency to develop a VR application to train its workforce on how to use the new technologies for assembling electric cars.

Creating this VR training application requires the input and expertise of multiple experts:

  • Electric car development experts must verify that the processes modeled in the VR training application are correctly represented and meet the latest production standards.
  • Trainers are tasked with ensuring that the VR training process is effective and immersive so that users remain engaged and motivated.
  • Agency project managers are responsible for fully understanding the task and educating the client on VR best practices.
  • Designers/Animators/3D Artists are in charge of designing and modeling the virtual environment to meet the automotive manufacturer's specifications, including the look and feel.
  • The VR developers must understand what needs to be developed in VR, the workflow of the VR training application, and what interactions are required.

Many more stakeholders from both companies might be involved in the development process. Nevertheless, this example is just to illustrate the complexity of developing this VR training application and that this behemoth project requires multi-layered communication between the different teams and departments. It is therefore not surprising that this constellation offers great potential for friction, headaches and frustration among teams.

How you can improve collaboration in VR content creation with VR Builder

As the above example makes clear, we need a tool that promotes mutual understanding and reduces friction between interdisciplinary teams. Fortunately, there is a tool that can eliminate this bottleneck: VR Builder. VR Builder is great for collaborative VR content creation because it facilitates communication between developers and non-developers, like 3D artists, trainers and project managers.

Taking the example from above: Let's assume both teams have agreed to use VR Builder to develop their VR training application. Moreover, the project details have already been shared. In addition, several experts have started working together to define the framework of the VR training application. Then a collaboration could look like this:

  • The electric car development expert explains the electric car manufacturing process to the agency project manager.
  • The agency project manager models the workflow using VR Builder's graphical interface. He then adds VR Builder's VR-ready interactions to the scene. Then he shows the process in virtual reality to the trainer.
  • After the trainer tries out the process and interactions in VR, he suggests a change to the workflow and rearranges the steps in the VR builder's graphical interface. The trainer further suggests that a simple clicking movement should be replaced by a more sophisticated one, like a drill.
  • After the trainer, the electric car development expert and the agency project manager have jointly agreed on the workflow and interactions in VR, the project is handed over to the VR developer.
  • The VR developer directly identifies what the workflow should look like and which VR interactions are required. This helps him to develop the missing VR interactions, which he provides to the agency project manager via an API.
  • The agency project manager implements these new VR interactions and shows the new workflow to the electric car development expert and the trainer.
  • Together, they begin iterating the workflow until it is returned to the VR developer to implement new features. This iterative process continues until the final result is ready.

This process can be even more complicated in a real scenario than what we described here. Still, this example gives a good understanding of how development teams can benefit from VR Builder - because by facilitating communication between developers and non-developers, VR Builder promotes collaboration in VR content creation.