Requirements: Computer supporting Unity and Autodesk Maya; 3 button mouse; mobile phone.

All communications should be established through the course's Slack, barring extenuating circumstances. This is to keep communication channels consistent and avoid confusion.


The course has 5 studies:

  • Scale - due week 2: Tuesday, 9/4 by noon;
  • Distance & depth - due week 3: Tuesday, 9/12 by noon;
  • Immersion - due week 4: Tuesday, 9/19 by noon;
  • Physicality - due week 5: Tuesday, 9/26 by noon; and
  • Agency - due week 6: Tuesday, 10/3 by noon.
Each study goes over an integral part of a virtual reality experience and is supplemented by extensive readings on the subject as well as relevant VR experiences to try. A study is not meant to be a full project; instead, it is meant for students to experiment freely according to the subject and get the student acquainted with new techniques. Think of these as studies for paintings: drawings or sketches done in preparation for a finished piece.


Read carefully: All studies must be submitted promptly by noon, the Tuesday before class. To submit, send Jas & Zhong a link to a Dropbox zip, Google Folder, or GitHub Repository with: a ReadMe file, executable files, and bibliography. Any project that is late will be penalized as follow:

  • After submission deadline, but before class: -10%.
  • After class, but before friday: -30%.
  • Friday: -50%.
  • Any time after Friday: failure.
If you believe you cannot submit a project on time, please contact Jas as soon as possible so that we can discuss how to move forward (or how to solve the problems at hand).


Studies are gradedly evenly between how well the project treats the study's subject (50%) and how much the student has challenged themselves technically in the study (50%). You should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How is the project engaging with the readings for this week?
  • What technical knowledge have I learned through the assignment?
  • How have I gone beyond my previous experience?
  • Does the project run smoothly, and, if not, did I reach out to the instructor?
As students may enroll in Virtual Reality (ARTTECH 4135) multiple times or have additional experience from other courses, such students are expected to create more advanced pieces for the studies and final project, in accordance with their existing skills. This is to ensure that the course remains a challenging and fruitful experience for all.

Be sure to frequently test your models, textures, and studies with an HTC Vive or Google Cardboard. You should target a framerate of 90 fps (180 hz) minimum for the HTC Vive and 60 fps minimum for the Google Cardboard; any dips below these values will penalize you (acquaint yourself with the Unity Profiler). Do not test a project in VR only the day before its deadline. It's ok if there are minor bugs, but take into consideration polygon counts, number of lights, heavy scripts, etc. If you are heavily experimenting with a concept and cannot meet the framerates mentioned, please let Jas know.

Any study presented through Unity's Editor Mode will be refused and result in failure for the project. This applies for the Final Project, but is fine for biweekly updates.

If you are having any difficulties, please feel free to contact Jas and/or Zhong before an assignment's deadline. We are here to help you learn and solve problems, so don't feel shy or silly for having questions. Jas is especially free throughout the week to meet and go over projects in person. If comfortable, please post questions on the Slack: odds are other students have the same question as you!


Students are expected to include a bibliography in MLA format detailing all resources they have used (in other words, proper citation). The bibliography must be presented as a webpage or PDF to be turned in with a study. Zotero is recommended while working on your studies, and the University of Chicago Library created a great resource on choosing a citation manager. Feel free to include citations for anything that inspired you (literature, film, etc.), but you will not hurt if you don't: such inclusion helps Jas & Zhong provide thorough critiques with suggested materials to look at.