An interview with Dan Page, a virtual reality consultant
What does a virtual reality consultant do?
I do internal and client consulting at a studio called Opposable Games. My role includes brainstorming and determining what will work and will not work until virtual reality . You can advise a client on gestural input tools or haptic feedback or gaze direction. Virtual reality is a learning curve for the entire industry right now, but due to my contacts and the fact that I have tried many of the available demonstrations, attended various conferences and read a lot on this topic, I am often called upon to advise.
How did you become a virtual reality consultant?
I initially saw the vacancy in the Bristol Games Hub newsletter; it was indeed a part-time marketing position. But I’ve always been passionate about virtual reality, and Opposable Games was already in technology – I’ve already created an Oculus game called Tear Bears, which was one of the first on the Oculus Share site. I was able to get quickly involved in that part of things and do my own work.
What initially attracted you to virtual reality?
She goes back to being a kid and reading a lot of science fiction books and I never lost interest in her. Once it appeared Oculus Rift Kickstarter, I started to pay close attention to what was happening. When a local VR developer came to a Bristol Games Hub social network with a development kit, I had the chance to test it. Since then I have become addicted to VR news and that is a big part of my job now. I run SouthWest VR social media accounts and publish a regular virtual reality newsletter. I’m watching him Oculus Forum on Reddit , and my TweetDeck borders on the ridiculous.
What technical skills do you need?
Approximate starting salary: GBP 30,000
I wouldn’t say mine is a technical role as such, I’m not trained as a developer, but I work with people who are technically crazy, so I need the ability to understand what is and what is not possible with hardware. and software.
For example, if a customer wants to do something for Google Cardboard, they should know that it will not be high resolution or very good in terms of latency. For something high resolution, I could recommend a Samsung Gear VR experience; It won’t be able to handle a high-load 3D loading, but it could use 360 videos and look great. Basically, if someone is planning a virtual reality project, they might call me to find out what is and what is not feasible.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to take on a similar role?
It is a very interesting moment for virtual reality. There are startups everywhere that deal with hardware and software specialists. However, startups often do not have the money to pay recruitment agencies; When looking for a position, they can post on Twitter or post something on Facebook. So it’s really about keeping your eyes on the ball.
Also, try to find your own niche – you may want to find out what you can about using virtual reality in machine design, engineering or architecture, or even medical training. Or maybe you just want to focus on creating games, whatever it is, read what you can and try to get as much practical experience as possible. For virtual reality to make sense, you have to try.
What opportunities are there for career advancement?
Average earnings: £ 47,000
Virtual reality is an emerging market right now. It’s the Wild West there; a kind of land grabbing situation. So there isn’t much logical progression – it’s more about seeing what can be done and using your imagination to see where things can go.
In my case, shortly after I joined the Opposable games, I came to the conclusion that maybe we should host a conference on virtual reality. I did it; All the great players showed up and everything went very well. I was proud of that. I think as the company expands, things will progress naturally and my journey will continue. Which is the same for everyone in this industry right now.
What’s not so great at work?
Right now, because VR is completely new and exciting, it’s an incredibly friendly industry, where everyone helps each other. In a few years, I think this will end, it will be quite fierce in terms of competition. It is a sin, but inevitable in any industry.
How’s the money?
Permanent jobs (itjobswatch.co.uk): 19
I gave up a full-time job and started part-time, so the money was a little tight for starters. But now, when I have been participating in opposable games for over a year full time, life is good! There is still no standard salary in virtual reality; I’m not so sure there are many people who even share the position. What you gain in the realm of virtual reality, in different roles and different companies, will be everywhere for a while. It’s a new world now. It really is a new industry.