Weber State University’s department of Engineering, Applied Science and Technology hosted a virtual reality boot camp from Jan. 24 to Jan. 26 as part of their Coding and Creativity Series.

The three-day event acted as an outlet for WSU and high school students to create a virtual world by using a cross-platform game engine software called Unity. At the end of the camp, the 19 students participating were able to explore their own work by virtually walking through it.

The students’ projects were brought to life through the use of Oculus technology. The virtual system was connected onto every student’s computer, a process which took several hours.

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Students learn about and design virtual reality experiences. (Joshua Wineholt / The Signpost)

“Since this is the field that I’m aiming towards, this event was definitely something that I wanted to be in,” computer science major Seth Corbran said. “Especially being able to use an Oculus to explore my project.”

The first day of the event was an introduction to Unity and the coding software that the students would primarily use.

“Everyone needs to be on the same page because we have art and coder students that are all trying to learn the same thing,” Adjunct Professor of computer science Kim Murphy said.

The first thing that students created on Unity was a sphere, of which they were instructed to build anything around. The students had different ideas on what to create. Some built a castle around the sphere, while other designs included a forest, Andy’s room from “Toy Story” and an entire town.

Assistant Professor of art, Molly Morin, spoke about form and design to give students an idea about how to express their interests through technology.

“It’s very important that people should have access to different ways of using technology,” Morin said. “Not so much that everybody becomes an amazing coder.”

According to the CEAST website, the boot camp helps students navigate the Unity development environment and by creating virtual experiences and scripting for interaction.

The next event in the Coding and Creativity Series will be held Feb. 21-23. There will also be two conferences this weekend, Lingo Fest and The Fourth Utah Symposium, that will contain more information about boot camp events at Weber.

“What I love about these boot camps is that they are pure learning experiences,” event organizer Dana Dellinger said. “Nobody is getting credit. They’re coming here to learn.”

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