Epic Games has unveiled a new feature of its VR-native development platform Unreal Engine 4, the ability for VR developers to build their applications and games from within virtual reality. Here’s what it looks like.
The VR renaissance has inspired flocks of developers to build immersive content, and the tools to allow you to do that have evolved rapidly to match pace with the fledgling industry.
Unreal Engine 4 shipped out of the box with native support to preview in-progress projects within an attached VR headset (the Oculus Rift in that early case) and the engine has added support for more and more devices as they’ve appeared.
Previewing your project and building for VR from an engine which supports VR headsets was a big step forward, but the ultimate goal and ideal situation for many developers would be to build their virtual worlds and applications from within the medium they’re developing for.
Now, Epic have revealed that Unreal Engine 4 has had just such a feature in development for some time, and the results look impressively mature. Unreal Engine 4 will soon let you build within VR and this is no half-arsed gimmick either.
In an early preview video, Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney and Mike Fricker give a first glimpse of VR content creation using the first VR Editor for a game engine. “Using the Unreal Editor in VR mode developers can create content in VR using the HTC Vive and Oculus motion controls.”
The video demonstrates the intuitive nature of Epic’s VR take on their own platform and it’s stressed throughout the demonstration that all the tools and menus you’d expect from UE4 are present, correct and controllable with motion controls. Although the equipment used in the video is an HTC Vive Pre with SteamVR controllers, the system will work similarly for Oculus’ forthcoming Oculus Touch controllers.