The development of a VR experience is neither an easy, nor a quick process. I have already talked about how the whole development process looks, so today, we are taking a closer look at how we can save money by properly approaching the planning stage of VR development.
VR Experience can be an enchanted forest or a dark bottomless pit…
If you are used to working on medium to long term projects, chances are, you are already familiar with the concept: The project appeared so simple in the beginning. Then this was added and you couldn’t really anticipate that. And your co-worker thought of this and your developer said that this other thing cannot be done. The whole project ran long and everybody was getting restless. You managed to put everything together at the last minute, but if only you planned for everything ahead…
The same thing can be true for virtual reality. Developing a VR Experience can be a fun, exciting and very profitable project or it can be a monster project feeding on our nerves, patience and your money. It all depends on how you approach it.
Always keep your goal in focus
The planning stage is used to prepare the necessary documentation, that will keep the ideas during the project grounded. A VR Experience, like any longer project, can quickly grow from a simple idea with an elegant execution into a complex maze of decisions, conflicts, and issues.
It is extremely helpful to prepare a short document with a few basic sentences and questions inside. Questions like:
– What are we trying to achieve with the VR Experience?
– Who is our target audience?
Questions like these help as a reference point during the development phase. So whenever you run into a dilemma – and you will run into a dilemma – you can ask yourself these questions and get a quick and easy answer to your dilemma.
For example, let’s say you are working for a shoe company that wanted to build an interactive VR showcase. The user is able to enter a virtual world and look at different shoes you are selling. During the development, your colleague has an awesome idea, that he would like to talk over. He says it would look cool if the shoes were on fire. You can simply refer back to the original project brief and find out, that although this might actually be cool, the shoes on fire would not get you any closer to your target audience, nor would this help you promote your brand. So you can quickly reject the idea, without spending unnecessary time and money on meetings, development,…
Optimize the experience, increase return on investment
Once you have a detailed project brief, it is also a lot easier to see the clutter that might have accumulated after everybody had turned in their ideas. Perhaps you will notice the entire initial idea was elegant and smooth, but things got out of control during the brainstorming part and the whole project is now far too complex. Complexity, of course, costs money.
It is important to have a partner in a VR developer in these cases, as a developer can look over the ideas, find the ones that are expensive or difficult to develop and propose more cost-effective alternatives. Choosing the right VR partner can be the best money saving decision you will ever make.
Have developers do their research
The planning stage is also where research comes into play. Was a similar VR experience already done? If so, how did they do it? Is the end result similar to what you are looking for?
Looking at other companies and how they managed to convey the message can be eye-opening and can quickly lead to better, faster solutions that either improve your execution of an idea or shorten the development process as you don’t need to invent the running water again.
Do the planning
All in all, like any long term project, a VR experience development should start with careful planning. Planning can help you foresee any potential (and expensive) mistakes during the development, it can help eliminate the costly ideas that you might not even need and it makes sure the project will run smoothly and finish on time.