Why Perforce is a Great Virtual Reality Development Tool

Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone
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Last updated on March 4, 2024

You may be familiar with Perforce as a top version control tool for game studios, but it also offers a robust set of features to accelerate VR development. Virtual reality (VR) content is any object or experience made for a virtual reality environment. This includes interactive content, like games, or passive content, like videos.

Perforce’s VR Content Creation Tools

Perforce is the number one version control for game developers because it supports massive binary and graphics files. The size and number of binary and graphics files only increase when teams tackle VR development. Perforce offers several tools teams can leverage to manage their source code control, file versioning, and digital assets – and best of all it supports integrations with tools VR developers are already using.

Helix Core

Helix Core is the version control system at the center of Perforce’s VR solutions. Helix Core supports all file sizes and types, including binary files, and handles 10,000+ concurrent commits at speed with its optimized network. With Helix Core, you get a single source of truth, which helps protect your IP. Perforce servers can scale to meet your demand as your project grows in size and complexity.

For distributed teams, visibility into what others are doing is critical to collaborating effectively without overwriting or duplicating each other’s efforts. With its support for multiple file types, Helix Core is the ideal choice for game and VR studios that need to coordinate with many types of partners – from artists and designers to engineers and VFX studios. With Helix Core, you can assign different parts of your project to each team and individuals can check files out and lock them to prevent conflicts.

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Helix DAM

Helix DAM is a digital asset management solution that works with Helix Core to track your digital assets – including 2D, 3D, audio, and video files – in a single location. Helix DAM tracks changes and gives you rich version history and advanced search capabilities so your team can easily find the latest file version and avoid duplicating assets. This is especially critical for globally distributed teams that need to collaborate virtually.

Helix DAM gives you the ability to grant access to specific team members on a per file basis, limiting the risks of leaks without slowing down your team. Helix DAM also streamlines the review process by bringing reviews into the tools where your team works. It tracks comments and revisions, making it easy for everyone to understand why changes were made or roll back to previous versions if needed.

How to Make a VR Game with Perforce

Creating VR game assets is similar to creating 3D game assets, with the intent to use them on a larger scale that allows for more direct interaction with players. This blog post gives an overview of VR content creation, and emphasizes that one of the main differences between PC/console and VR assets is the polycount. “VR assets need to have a much lower polycount than objects in a PC/console game. That is because everything must be run at a higher framerate on VR (in order to prevent motion sickness) and because they need to be rendered twice (one for each eye).”

One of the ways to achieve low-poly models is to convert high-poly models, through a process called baking, using 3D modeling software such as 3ds Max or Blender. Another way is to use tools included in game engines such as Unity, Unreal, and CRYENGINE to create or import and modify your 3D models. For a more in-depth look at low-poly models, check out this article from Game-Ace.

Integrations

Perforce is ready to support your VR game efforts with integration support for many of these popular industry tools. Your designers and artists can continue using Maya, 3ds Max, Unreal Engine, Unity, and many more while safeguarding your projects by using version control and digital asset management from within their normal working environment.

Additional VR Development Tools

Simplygon is one of the leading 3D game content optimization tools. It includes several features that help reduce memory footprints and increase performance, including material baking. Simplygon also supports plug-ins for many standard game design tools including Blender, Maya, 3ds Max, Unity, and Unreal Engine.

VR Software Development Kits

Designing an immersive and realistic world also requires hardware that makes the experience come alive for players. In order for your game to work properly with VR hardware you must leverage an appropriate SDK. Here are a few hardware options with links to their corresponding SDK(s) or developer resources: HTC Vive, PlayStation VR, and Oculus. There are also SDKs that can be used for multiple platforms, such as OpenVR and Google VR

How Assembla Can Help Your VR Development Cycle

As the leading provider of cloud-hosted Perforce Helix Core, Assembla is ready to support your VR development with secure source code management and reliable hosting, overseen by our dedicated Perforce DevOps team of experts. Perforce hosted by Assembla provides a faster and more responsive development environment than an on-prem setup, especially for developers working with large files. Under our custom Enterprise solution, we also set up cloud hosted Helix DAM, Helix Swarm and up to 100TB of storage.

Start a Free Trial with Assembla

If you’re ready to try cloud-based VR development with Perforce, start a free 14 day trial of Assembla. Our team would love to talk with you about how a cloud solution can meet your development needs.

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Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone
Allison Bokone is an instructor at Miami University in Ohio for the Computer and Information Technology department, specializing in process and DevOps. Prior to teaching, Allison worked at Microsoft for 18 years, first as a Technical Writer, then as a Program Manager and Director at Xbox. In her last role she was a regular contributor to MicrosoftGameDev.com.

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