New Unreal VR Editor Out Next Month
Ashley Allen / 4 weeks ago
Epic Games made a big splash at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2017 last week and, following its presentation, the company revealed that it is releasing a new VR editor for Unreal Engine 4 next month. The feature will give developers access to a plethora of virtual reality tools, all accessible while wearing a VR headset.
Epic Games’ Technical Director Mike Fricker told UploadVR that direct VR headset access to the new VR editor allows developers to appreciate realistic scale, lighting, and effects, and that the tool was used to help create Epic’s Robo Recall, which is out now for Oculus Rift.
“As soon as they started using it, they realized what the most beneficial use cases were to them,” Fricker said, regarding the Robo Recall development team. “Inspecting and tweaking was one of them, but sometimes they just want to throw in things really quickly and see it at scale without having to constantly take the headset off and on.”
“They asked us to give them the power to use these additional features so that they can stay in VR longer,” he explained. “That’s not to say that we’re trying to replace desktop. If they’re going to go and do blueprint scripting or material editing, you can get to that stuff in VR and you can make some progress if you knew you were going to tweak something or make a quick change to something. If you’re going to develop a function library or a new game system, you’re probably not going to do that in VR today. But the fact that you can go and see it and inspect it without having to leave VR, that’s the feedback that we got from the team.”
Fricker thinks that in-VR editing will make the process of making virtual reality games quicker and more efficient.
“It’s much faster to navigate a scene in VR than it is with the desktop, where you’re constantly using the combinations of the mouse and keyboard and modifier keys to orbit around an object and zoom the camera around,” Fricker said. “In VR, it’s one-to-one. I know exactly where I’ll end up at any point. Once you get used to it, it’s super fast.”
Lauren Ridge, Tools Programmer at Epic Games, added that they have added a number of safeguards to prevent developers working directly in VR do not experience motion sickness issues when using the tool.
“We have various levels of safeguard settings that will do things like turn on a grid for my tracking space or dissolve the sky into grayness,” Ridge said. “For example, in real life, I don’t have the ability to grab the world, turn it like a steering wheel and see the sky change. To some people, that’s instantly not good, so we’ve looked at all the different cases people have and added safeguards for them. You also can’t tip yourself over.”
The Unreal Engine VR Editor is out 17th April.