XR Through Virtual Worlds | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

XR Through Virtual Worlds

Explore the world of augmented reality and immersive experiences through this exciting digital media course from your home.

student using VR

Apply now for Summer Online.

And, join us for a LIVE Webinar Wednesday, May 27, 5pm EST with Prof. Ahmed Ansari, who will lead XR Through Virtual Worlds. Meet Prof. Ansari and his team to hear more about the program and what you can expect to learn and experience. Email k12.stem@nyu.edu for details and link.


person testing AR techNYU Tandon's Summer Program for Extending Reality Through Virtual Worlds is a two-week online summer program that introduces high-school students to the fundamentals of designing and developing augmented reality (AR) based video games that focus on telling choice-driven stories. Over the course, students will learn to create narrative-based games with engaging and interactive stories driven by rich stories that unfold in the real world via AR, and that emphasize players making choices and driving the narrative through blurring the boundaries between the virtual and real.

Students will learn essential skills for becoming a great storyteller through interactive technologies through a series of individual and collaborative projects. This course builds up the skills necessary for world-building and scripting necessary to create visual interactive narratives, and AR-based virtual worlds through a variety of software tools and platforms.


Students will begin with designing simple non-linear narratives for the web using open-source tools like Twine, where they will develop skills in developing characters and worlds, and scripting plots and stories where players will have choices that open up new avenues of gameplay. They will also be exposed to practices and skills in creating visual storyboards and moodboards, and developing 2D and 3D art and sound assets for their games in Adobe Creative Suite and Blender.

computer showing vr tech

Later, students will progress to developing more complex game worlds and narratives with dynamic variables and conditions and learning how to code for platform-specific (iOS and Android) tools like ARKit, ARCore and Blippar. They will learn how to create games as an AR experience, allowing for greater flexibility and player choice in gameplay, by turning real objects into virtual, in-game objects, allowing users to tie the game experience to real world locations, giving them multiple options that unlock different parts of the story, interact with AR characters, and embed media and online content. An understanding of programming or 2D art asset creation is not necessary for this course.

Who Can Apply?

  • Rising 9th, 10th and 11th grade students interested in learning at the intersection of art, design, and technology
  • Highly motivated, curious, and passionate students who are willing to work on collaborative projects
  • Students with a passion for learning software and hardware skills and tools and applying them to developing creative expression

*International students are welcome to apply but should be aware they are required to submit proof of English language proficiency. For more information, check our Informational Page.  

How will online learning happen?

Instructors and students will expect to spend at least 5-6 hours a day in online instruction. Instruction will be both synchronous, i.e. face-to-face via Zoom and other platforms, as well as asynchronous, i.e. time spent watching videos, playing videogames, and engaging with other content created for the course. Instruction will be a mix of online lectures, brainstorming and ideation exercises, and lab sessions where instructors will lead students through the specifics of code or art creation tools. There will also be sessions where students will share the content they’ve created, playtest their games with each other, and participate in online activities. 

By the end of this semester, students should have:

1. Gained useful skills in storytelling, worldbuildingvr object, and lore-building, developing characters, and storyboarding;

2. A handy grasp of a variety of development tools used in narrative-driven game design, as well as 2D-3D design tools, and audio editing tools;

3. Hands-on experience in coding and deploying augmented reality games for mobile (iOS and Android) platforms

Program Details & Materials

Program Sessions

Choose one of the following sessions when you apply *

  • July 13, 2020 - July 24, 2020  
  • August 3rd, 2020 - August 14, 2020

*Orientation for all sessions will be the Friday before at 3pm.

Applications accepted on rolling basis, preferred May 25th deadline. 

Program Costs

  • Tuition: $2,000 per two-week session


Augmented reality is a relatively cheap and easy way to make tangible games: we recommend that students have on hand scissors, glue, and access to a printer and paper. All software tools are free and downloadable online.

Refund Policy

If you have deposited before 4/17, and choose to withdraw, you will receive a refund of the tuition deposit. The deadline to withdraw will be May 15th. In order to withdraw you will have to log into the application portal where you can access the form to begin the process.

If you have deposited after 4/17, you will have up to 2 weeks before the start of the program to withdraw via the application portal to receive a full refund. 

Questions? Check out our Tandon Summer Program Informational Page, our FAQs, or contact us at k12.stem@nyu.edu or 646.997.3524 


Admissions decisions are accepted on a rolling basis, but we would prefer it by May 25th. 

Our programs are overseen by Tandon faculty, and we recruit current engineering and computer science students to serve alongside these experts as teachers and mentors.  Every classroom will have a minimum of one graduate student instructor, and at least one additional instructor will be assigned to each class of (maximum) 24 students.   

For additional information, check out our helpful Tandon Summer Programs Informational Page, contact us at k12.stem@nyu.edu or call us at (646) 997-3524.