Mail Bag: Getting Started

June 27, 2018

As we continue to communicate with our community of developers and creators, we get a lot of thoughtful questions posted to our Creator Portal. (Not a Creator Portal member? What are you waiting for? Sign up!)

This is the first part of an ongoing series we call Mail Bag, where we’ll post some of the most commonly asked questions being asked by our community. Today we’ve focused on “Getting Started” to help early developers on their creator journey.

Q: How do I get started developing for Magic Leap One, Creator Edition?

Magic Leap One welcomes developers familiar with development in Unity, Unreal, or in C++ using the native C++ API. Unfortunately, Python, PET and FORTRAN are not languages that can be used with Magic Leap One. Regardless of your entry point, you can find step-by-step instructions for getting up and running on our Getting Started Overview page.

You’ve never coded anything before, but you’re eager to start creating digital experiences for the real world? Perhaps, you are in theatre, film, advertising, manufacturing or any one of a thousand other fields that can see the potential for Magic Leap One in their craft? If you’re the DIY type, feel free to look into online courses for Unity and Unreal development (many free), and then use the resources we have in our Creator Portal to get your creation up on Magic Leap. Another option? Become good friends with a coder and start dreaming up big ideas together.

Additionally, make sure you’re using a relatively up-to-date PC or Mac as your development computer. If your Mac is running El Capitan or higher, or your PC is running Windows 7 or Windows 10, you’re all set to develop for Magic Leap One. (A few additional hardware requirements: 8GB RAM, 4 2.5GHZ or faster cores, and a DirectX 9 / OpenGL 4.1 compatible GPU.) More on developer computer specs.

Q: How can I develop for Magic Leap One without the hardware?

If there is one thing our community has made clear, it’s that they are very eager to get their hands on Magic Leap One, Creator Edition. We’re eager, too! Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Magic Leap One will be available this year. You can expect us to continue creating resources that give you a head start.
  2. In fact, you can start developing for Magic Leap now and use our simulator, Magic Leap Remote. Magic Leap Remote lets you build and test code without having to deploy the app to the device. In Unity or Unreal Engine, you can even make changes to the scene in Play or VR Preview mode and see the results immediately. Learn more.

Magic Leap Simulator

Q: What are some top tips you could recommend as I get started developing in spatial computing?

From working with Magic Leap One day-in and day-out, we’ve identified many best practices that we love passing on, as well as a few pitfalls that can be avoided. We’re all learning about spatial computing as we go. There is no end to the potential for Magic Leap One, and as you play, tinker and explore, we would love for you to share learnings with the rest of the community over in our Forums.

In mixed reality, less can be more. Since the backdrop for your digital experience is the user's real world, cluttering it up with too many elements can detract from the power and feeling of presence of a digital object in the environment. Fewer, simpler objects can feel more real and more magical.

Give thought to how digital elements appear and disappear from a user's environment. Having something just pop into existence 5 feet in front of you is, well, pretty jarring! (But, hey, if you're going for jump-scares...) Consider fading in and out, designing a door or portal for characters and elements to appear through, etc.

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