Who's Leading the Race in Virtual Reality?
Unreal Engine – Leading the Way in Virtual Reality
Aspiring VR developers and industry veterans alike have discovered that there are no shortcuts to creating immersive experiences that are believable to the human mind. As developers, Epic Games knows first-hand that VR requires complex scenes rendered at very high framerates. Because Unreal Engine is designed for demanding applications such as AAA games, filmmaking and photoreal visualization, it meets these requirements and provides a solid foundation to build content on all VR platforms – from PC to console to mobile.
Unreal Engine’s VR capabilities are on display in Robo Recall, the company’s first fully featured VR game, which was released for free to all Oculus Touch owners in March 2017. In creating the action-packed first-person shooter, Epic developed a new Unreal Engine 4 rendering solution specific to VR. The UE4 forward renderer supports high-quality lighting features, Multisample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) and instanced stereo rendering to produce crisp, detailed images at 90 FPS.
The full Unreal Editor runs in VR with advanced motion controls so that users can build in a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” environment
“VR provides a level of immersion like never before. Our goal with Robo Recall was to take advantage of these new tools to provide an over-the-top, memorable and replayable experience that defines a new generation of shooter,” said Epic’s VR producer, Tommy Jacob. “Robo Recall builds on what we learned from our Bullet Train demo in regard to creating an exciting, visceral and comfortable VR experience. We’ve refined and expanded our Touch integration and interaction mechanics, added free movement teleportation that allows the player to explore the environments and made significant improvements to our art quality.”
Best of all, the Robo Recall Mod Kit, which was released for free alongside the game itself, enables developers to dive into the world of building VR content on top of a triple-A game. Leveraging the workflows and power of Unreal Engine 4, new weapons, enemies, maps and other content of all kinds can be made and loaded up into the VR title.
With the Robo Recall Mod Kit, modders are feverishly making new gameplay assets and mechanics that allow players to fight all new enemies and experience amazing new weapons in the place of their standard weapon loadout.
Since VR is all about immersion, the Unreal Editor has been designed to let developers reach out, grab and manipulate objects in VR mode with the power of Unreal Engine at their fingertips. The full Unreal Editor runs in VR with advanced motion controls so that users can build in a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” environment. It’s the most robust, feature-complete and capable VR development solution in the world.
Robo Recall was built in part using Unreal’s VR Editor and during GDC 2017 Epic Games Principal Technical Artist Ryan Brucks narrated a demonstration, driven by Epic Games Tools Programmer Lauren Ridge, in which together they showcased a stunning new beach scene designed by Brucks.
Released during last year’s GDC, the VR Editor has expanded by leaps and bounds since launch to include a new asymmetrical controller setup, improved smoothed lasers and an updated radial menu. Other recently added features include updated teleport simulated physics in VR mode, Smart Snapping and Sequencer editing in VR mode.
As a grand finale to the VR Editor demo, Epic showcased a scene from Pixar’s animated film Finding Dory, which took home top honors in the 2017 People’s Choice Award, as a fun way to reveal that Unreal Engine now supports Hollywood’s popular Universal Scene Description (USD).
“We built USD to enable a flexible and unencumbered exchange of assets in diverse pipelines and to promote large-scale collaboration among artists of various disciplines. We’re therefore thrilled to add Epic’s incredible Unreal Engine to the expanding set of USD-compatible tools,” says Alicia Mooty, Project Manager for the USD project.
Plus, as a pure C++ engine designed for high performance that features advanced CPU/GPU profiling tools and a flexible renderer, Unreal equips developers to efficiently achieve the highest quality VR experiences.
So, what are you waiting for? Unreal Engine 4 is widely used by everyone from indie developers to the world’s top studios and distinguished creators. It includes native state-of-the-art Blueprint visual scripting which is scalable for building complete games, and includes complete C++ source code via GitHub, where the source community also contributes to and extends the engine’s feature set.
Everyone can use it for free, and custom license terms are available as well.
Find out more and begin your project today by visiting unrealengine.com.