June 21, 2023

Virtual reality (VR) technology places users in entirely new worlds with the help of a headset. VR has rewired gaming development and has the potential to transform industries as diverse as healthcare, sports, retail, education, entertainment, aerospace, automotive, real estate, military defense, manufacturing and more.

VR professionals are increasingly in demand today. Fortune Business Insights reports the global VR market was valued at $19.44 billion in 2022, and is projected to grow to $165.91 billion by 2030. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 31%.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the market for software developers in general is rapidly growing. Between 2021 and 2031, the job market for software developers is projected to grow 25%. That’s much faster than average, compared to all jobs.

If you’re interested in working in virtual reality, here are essential skills gaming studios are looking for today.

1. Game Engines

Game engines, also known as game frameworks or game architecture, provide the software framework to design and develop VR-enabled games. Experience with game engines makes it easier to develop video games across different types of programming languages. 

A game engine might include:

  • Artificial intelligence that automatically responds to player actions
  • A sound engine to control sound effects
  • An animation engine
  • 3D graphics rendering
  • A physics engine that simulates real-world activities

When game developers use game engines, the game development process becomes more efficient and effective. Some of the most popular game engines that are in-demand for open VR gaming roles include Unity and Unreal Engine.

2. Digital Asset Creation & Management

VR pros may be tasked with creating and/or managing VR objects and experiences in VR environments. This requires knowledge of skills and tools that assist in this process, which may include:

  • VR video creation: Immersive video experiences in VR worlds require: filming scenes with omnidirectional/360 cameras, stitching and processing videos with 360 stitching software, and editing videos with 360 video editing software.
  • VR asset creation: To create VR assets, the process may require skills that include concepting, sculpting, UV mapping, baking/texturing and lighting/editing, using tools like art programs (Adobe Photoshop) and 3D modeling programs (Autodesk Maya, 3ds Max, Blender). VR assets can also be created using 3D scans of real spaces and objects, by using tools like Matterport and Canvas.
  • VR digital asset management: To organize and manage VR assets, pros use project management software and tools like Shotgrid, Perforce Helix Core, AWS Version Control and Helix DAM.

In addition to knowledge of technology and tools like the ones listed, soft skills like organization and time management help make digital asset creation and management more effective. VR pros need to be familiar with project management workflows to ensure the correct assets are used, and projects stay on track.

3. Computer Science/Computer Programming

Specific skills related to game development, web development (HTML, CSS) and/or mobile app development may also be required, depending on the studio product.

Online courses can help those who don’t have formal computer science training learn in-demand skills. VR pros should be familiar with a variety of computer programming languages, including:

  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • C#
  • Swift
  • Java

VR pros may also be required to have expertise in software engineering concepts, which may include loops, control-logic, object-oriented programming principles (inheritance, encapsulation, abstraction) and Big O notation.

4. Problem-Solving & User Experience

Throughout the VR design and development process, VR pros must focus on the problem they’re trying to solve for users, the solution that will work best and how to deliver that product through an exceptional user experience (UX).

UX skills include storytelling, design thinking process, usability, interaction design principles, accessibility and other UX concepts. UX knowledge facilitates better design and collaboration among VR and gaming studio teams, and helps result in a better product for customers.  

VR pros can use platforms like GitHub to collaborate on projects and build a portfolio of projects that demonstrate problem-solving, solution-building and UX skills.

Want a Job in VR? Connect With ggLocators

If you want to work in VR, there’s a lot of potential for professionals with in-demand skills. The recruiting experts at ggLocators  help VR professionals and other gamie pros find jobs where they want to work. Register with our platform today to get relevant job alerts and assistance in finding a VR job.