We just launched a new Nanodegree Foundation program: Learn Unreal VR!

Unreal VR - Udacity

With every expansion of our VR offerings, we get more and more excited. Today is no exception, as we are thrilled to announce our newest Nanodegree Foundation program: Learn Unreal VR. No programming experience is required, and you can enroll today, and start building Unreal VR apps right away!

Built in collaboration with Epic Games

If you’re interested in pursuing a rewarding career in VR, knowing Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) will give you a significant advantage. UE4 is used by more AAA game studios than any other engine, and we’ve built the curriculum for this program in collaboration with Epic Games, the creators of Unreal Engine!

Did you know that Fortnite, Epic’s first Unreal Engine 4 game, hit a huge milestone in December of 2017, with 40M players in total?

The world’s most successful video game engine

To give you a quick bit of perspective on just how big a role Unreal Engine plays in the VR ecosystem, check out this (partial!) list of recent industry awards:

SIGGRAPH 2017 – Best Real-Time Graphics and Interactivity
2017 Develop Industry Excellence Awards – Best Game Engine
RedShark Awards, 2017 NAB Show – Best CGI
Polycount Greentooth Awards 2017 – Exceptional Software
TIGA Awards 2016 – Technical Innovation
SIGGRAPH 2016 – Best Real-Time Graphics and Interactivity
2016 Develop Industry Excellence Awards – Best Game Engine
2015 3D World CG Awards – Software Innovation
SIGGRAPH 2015 – Best Real-Time Graphics and Interactivity
2014 Guinness World Record – Most Successful Video Game Engine

Yes, you read that last one correctly—the Most Successful Video Game Engine! This is why we’re so excited to partner with Epic Games to bring you the Learn Unreal VR Nanodegree Foundation program; we want you to have the opportunity to learn the most valuable and in-demand skills, from the most innovative and influential experts.

“Unreal Engine 4 is the top choice for professional content development, and we’re excited to work with Udacity to help equip developers with marketable skills that are sought after by all of the industries tapping into VR.” —Luis Cataldi, Director, Education & Learning Resources at Epic Games.

What you’ll learn

The skills you’ll acquire in this program will have broad value, because the development tools you’ll master are used for much more than just video games. The engine is being used to create everything from car commercials and education platforms, to enterprise applications and cinematic experiences.

As a graduate of this program, you’ll be able to build and produce your own Unreal Engine 4 games, VR experiences, architectural visualizations, animated scenes, and more.

What you’ll build

Udacity embraces a learn-by-doing approach, and your experience in the program will be hands-on from day one. In your very first project, you’ll start learning to use Blueprints, Unreal’s powerful node-based, visual scripting language that is the backbone for all Unreal Engine 4 projects.

As you proceed through the program, you’ll explore additional topics including audio and sound effect usage, plugins, animations, and performance optimization. You’ll even delve into additional topics like Oculus Audio plugin usage and VR design and interaction theory.

What you’ll need

More than anything else, you’ll need imagination, curiosity, and a strong work ethic. VR is all about expanding the boundaries of what is creatively possible, and Unreal Engine is all about giving you the tools to turn your most creative ideas into real-world experiences.

What you won’t need is programming experience (although you should be comfortable thinking about data organization and structured processes). We will not be covering any C++, C#, or Java. Instead, you’ll be focusing on mastering Blueprints, UE4’s powerful built-in node-based visual programming language. With Blueprint, you don’t write lines of code, you work visually, dragging and dropping nodes, and dragging wires to connect them.

Finally, you’ll need the right hardware. This program requires that you possess, or have consistent and reliable access to, an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, and a VR-ready PC. To be sure you have a VR-ready PC, you can reference HTC Vive PC Specifications or the Oculus Rift PC Specifications.

Did you know? Unreal Engine revenues doubled last year, and developers have made over $10B with Unreal games!

An efficient, effective, and economical approach

Our Learn Unreal VR program is a Foundation program. Foundation programs are a specific type of Nanodegree program designed to enable you to sample new areas of learning, enhance an existing skill set, move forward into deeper and/or more advanced academic studies, or prepare for a career move that requires a fuller understanding of certain technologies and concepts.

Given that Unreal Engine 4 is a widely used tool for VR creation, and is considered a “stackable” or “additive” skill that layers in a key competitive differentiator to your existing skill set, our goal with this program is to ensure you enter your next career phase in VR in full possession of these very valuable and in-demand skills.

Benefits and features

As with all our Nanodegree programs, you’ll benefit from expert project reviews, and become part of a dynamic Udacity student community. You’ll also have an assigned in-classroom mentor who will monitor your progress throughout the program. Upon graduation, you’ll receive a Nanodegree Foundation credential affirming your readiness to apply your newfound skills.

The program is two months in duration, and the total cost is $399. (Note: Udacity does not supply or subsidize any of the hardware requirements detailed above.)

Essential skills

Tim Sweeney is the founder of Epic Games, and creator of the Unreal Engine. He was recently honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards. In a recent interview with James Batchelor, the UK editor of GamesIndustry.biz, Sweeney said:

“If we can help bring killer apps to VR, that’s going to help the high-end VR audience grow from about 2m today to the next 10m.”

Learning the fundamentals of building VR applications using Unreal Engine is the beginning of you making your distinctive mark in the incredible world of VR; of helping to grow the field, and contributing to the next generation of boundary-defying creative content. In this program, you’ll master everything necessary to be an in-demand VR developer skilled in Unreal Engine 4.

Enroll today!