Chris Kairalla – chris @
Fall 2015
Mondays 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Office Hours

Public GitHub Repo


Part 1- Creating new worlds. Dreaming, meditation, and psychedelics are all challenges to what we think of as reality. So what better theme to start with for a class about creating new realities! We will begin by building worlds from the ground up, in spaces where we make the rules. Our first experiments will likely be abstract and strange, and we will embrace “happy accidents” as we learn new skills.

Week 1, Sept 14- The first steps

Get set up with Unity and do a “Hello World” project

Week 2, Sept 21 – Hello VR

Work on first project – Create a “self portrait” scene.

Week 3, Sept 28 – Moving

Week 4, Oct 5 – Rapid Prototyping Worlds

Week 5, TUESDAY OCT 13,  Networking

Week 6, Oct 19 Midterm workshop

Week 7, Oct 26 Midterms

Part 2- Remixing the real world. VR is great for creating and exploring new worlds, but what about the world we already live in? For the next 3 weeks we will re-visualize the world around us, and use VR for commentary on culture, society, and politics.

Week 8, Nov 2 – Networking, Continued

Week 9, Nov 9 – UI

  • UI in VR
    • Interacting with a VR scene
    • Using the Input API
    • Interaction techniques
      • Fuse button
      • gaze and tap
      • external Input
  • Homework:
    • Read at least 2 chapters of “Mythologies”.

Week 10, Nov 16 – navigation

  • 3D – Physics, joints, and springs
  • Shaders, Particle Systems and Effects

Week 11, Nov 23 – Milestone 2 Projects

  • Show Remix projects (or next milestone on midterm project)

Week 12, Nov 30 – Final Projects Workshop, part 1

  • Special Guest: David Lobser

Week 13,Dec 7 – Final Projects Workshop, part 2

Week 14, Dev 14 – Final Presentations

Class Requirements

There will be no “Incompletes”. In order to pass this class you must meet the following criteria:

  • The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality – Michael Heim
  • Understanding Comics – Scott McCloud
  • Mythologies – Roland barthes
  • Ways of Seeing – John Berger

Class Participation and Attendance:

  • Please contribute to class discussion. Your comments are valuable and should be shared.
  • Attendance is mandatory. Unexcused absences could be grounds for failure.
  • Interactive Virtual Reality requires a diverse range of skills, and not everything will be covered in class. In order to get the most out of the class, you must be proactive about learning new skills.


  • Excessive lateness is unacceptable. Don’t be late.


  • This class will have weekly homework assignments, readings, a midterm, and final project. All are required.
  • Failure to do assignments or participate in class discussion on readings will jeopardize a passing grade.
  • Assignments will be posted on the syllabus each week. Please check syllabus for current assignment even if they aren’t mentioned in class.


  • Virtual Reality is a fast moving medium that changes almost daily. Virtual Reality also has a longer history than you might expect, and has had dramatic influence on culture. Unfortunately, 14 weeks is not enough time to cover all of the emerging technical aspects nor the rich cultural and societal impact that VR has had. In order to add more variety into the course material each student will give a short (10 minutes maximum) presentation on one historical, cultural, societal or emerging technical aspect that we are not covering in course material.

Personal Progress:

  • Your success is based on your own personal progress in the class. You are not judged against the progress of your fellow classmates.


  • Laptop screens down while other students are presenting. Laptops may be used for note taking or class related work during lectures.