VRTK End of Life

There has been big news in the Unity VR community that Stone Fox has decided to stop developing VRTK, due to insufficient funding.

This open source VR Kit has been the corner stone of the popularity of VR development in Unity. The VRTK slack channel has upwards of 5000 members.

For the past year, I myself have developed well over 100 playmaker actions (scripts) to integrate playmaker with VRTK (another very popular asset for unity). I have been super happy with the community of playmaker users/developers around it as well.

It is interesting that unity hasent stepped up to somehow help this project, as once it is gone, many dev's are likely to choose Unreal and the analogs asset they have. (NewtonVR for Unity has also stopped development due to funding).

Here is the kit being shown at Unite 2017 (travel cost out of the creators own pocket):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbIiBrg8yT4

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VRTK is open source so it won't disappear and anyone can step up. That's how oss works. And Unity is said to be working on it's own VR Foundation Toolkit said to debut in 2018

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I aware of how option source works :) However, without someone leading the charge and no funding, most open source projects just die and wither. Also unitys kit was never meant to replace VRTK: https://www.reddit.com/r/Vive/comments/5wqe79/unity_is_developing_a_xr_foundation_toolkit_for/

Congrats on your first post.

It’s really a shame, VRTK has been a core aspect of VR development for a lot of people interested in VR and a big reason to choose Unity over Unreal. The slack community itself has been a great learning tool for gamedev in general.

I agree, it would be smart for Unity to step in and recognize the usefulness of VRTK before it’s gone. Without any active guidance, who knows what will happen but it’s likely to lose focus and slowly wither away as more and more bugs and issues pile up.

Hope somebody at Unity could see this as an opportunity and figure out a way to support or incorporate it the way they have for a number of other succesful assets.


I disagree, many open source projects are thriving. This is because the thriving ones are deserving of attention. That they are relevant. If it dies and withers as you put it, then it is because it isn't very likely to be of interest. Therefore you are saying that VRTK is not likely to garner any interest, which is interesting and conflicts with your other comments.

Or is VR itself in the post mortem stage? Unfulfilled consumer adoption, masses of investor dollars raised from 2013-2016 with essentially no return on investment, and now 2018 is here and we're still waiting for some breakthrough hardware like Magic Leap (maybe they need more money too?).

Are there profitable VR devs who disagree?

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Its not in its post mortem stage, it's in its cradle stage

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And it's an expensive cradle stage that currently only benefits facebook and valve / hardware manufacturers.

It's just selling shovels and maps - even if physically based sometimes.

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True, only sustainable for small teams sofar. Its going to change trust me. 2D games are for kids once you have tried proper VR :smile:

Tried it, it's fun but impractical for the majority of game types and I'll probably make a VR title when it's for fun and most people have solved all the issues (as it is for fun).


Solving the issues and setting the standards are the fun part ;)
edit: Problem is most games are not proper VR, they utilize the tracked controllers too little or in wrong ways.. Some even have reload buttons for the guns. wtf :smile:

You're saying WTF as if you've got the right to dictate that the game should be low level enough to have manual reloading, and claim you're part of setting the standards.

I'm here to remind you that any creative endeavour does not have standards.

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I tried VRTK but maybe I was using it wrong. I have had a hard time with the asset for sure, it was hard for me to extend. As other people have said, I feel like it's too early in the VR game to start adopting "standard practice" when we still haven't even figured out how locomotion is going to work.

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I hate manual reloading in VR. I got zombies after me and I have to touch my chest to reload which somehow equips another weapon because every game is doing this inventory on your body crap :)

VR libraries will end up like everything else in software dev. There will be multiple takes on it. VRTK is just one attempt that failed to gain enough traction for whatever reason (probably timing). Happens every week in web javascript land :)

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I highly doubt it's post mortem, it feels like it's going to stick this time around, but certainly will be a slow adoption unlike say smartphones a decade ago. It feels like the slow adoption is because V1 headsets weren't very good for casual people not because people aren't interested. I actually like the iteration the MR headsets took this year compared to the rift and the vive last year. On desktop there seems to a couple of things that aren't ideal but given a few more iterations should get there so maybe a few years.

  1. Wireless, TPcast is a good start but getting this baked into a product will be much better.
  2. Resolution. The MR headsets are much better for anything in the distance than the Vive or Rift. Another jump like what the Pimax is talking about is needed, but the graphics cards to run that resolution also have to come down in price. MR is better but still needs to improve.
  3. Inside out tracking. It's wonderful and makes setup so easy, but they need to add more cameras so that your hands can be tracked below and above you without losing tracking. The current generation already allows for much bigger play spaces
  4. A locomotion scheme without teleporting. This is the death throws to a lot of VR games. Perhaps running in place will be ok, perhaps not, but teleportation has to go. It's fine as a stop gap but it ruins any action game.

Obviously that's a lot of things, and it won't happen overnight, but nothing seems not achievable given a few years. Whatever system gets there first I think will get a ton of casual fans. Currently only the hardcore crowd has them and while it should keep things afloat it will be niche until the casual fans come. A profitable space for more than a select few will only come when things aren't niche.

To bring things back to VRTK, it's understandable, a niche market will only generate so much revenue. Especially trying to do that on the donation/patreon side of things versus a more traditional route. In a few years it should be a larger market.

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I'm REALLY sad to see the head of VRTK stepping down.. I just learned about the project 2 weeks ago and started working on a game with it. I wish I would've known there were funding issues, I would gladly give what I could to help out.

Oh well, hopefully Unity comes up with something as great as VRTK... otherwise I may need to look into Unreal. (I just love Unity community too much to switch right now)

In my opinion VR / AR hardware will merge and you as the user will choose the type of experience you want to have at that moment. The hardware will get cheaper and software will get better. AR will drive VR because its actually useful.

"Total spending on AR/VR products and services is expected to soar from $11.4 billion in 2017 to nearly $215 billion 2021, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 113.2% along the way."

https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS42959717


I have some Epson Moverio AR glasses, and while they are still clunky, they enable me to have both AR and VR experiences.

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Offcourse there are standards set by certain early games. Look at how Wolfenstein and doom set the standards that still in many aspects hold today.

Thats not manual loading. Manual loading is removoing the old clip, insert a new one, and depending on if you have a bullet in the chamber or not draw the action, or release the bolt if the weapon in question have a bolt catch

VRTK/newtonvr has alot of drawbacks. We based our game on NewtonVR but in the end we rewrote the entire thing. Our physics are a custom layer ontop of Unity/Physx because physx isnt accurate enough for VR interaction

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj8cJV1Xeug

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