In a unique bout of transparency, Epic Games makes publicly available their internal to-do list for Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) development. The company has an entire category of the list dedicated to virtual reality features; support for Samsung Gear VR and Google Project Tango is expected within the next month or two.
“Each card represents a varying amount of work towards implementing a mid-to-high level feature in the engine,” reads the company’s public Trello list for UE4 development.
Yesterday, two new tasks—’Samsung Gear VR’ and ‘Google Project Tango Support’—were added to the VR category which had remained empty since the company recently finished work on Oculus Rift and Sony Morpheus integrations. The tasks are tagged with ‘September’ and ‘October’, signaling when the company thinks it will complete support for the new devices, enabling developers to create experiences that utilize them. The tasks were added by Ray Davis, General Manager at Epic Games.
Though Unity was largely the engine of choice for virtual reality game developers out of the gate, Unreal Engine 4, the latest version of Epic Games’ game engine, has been swiftly gaining favor thanks to the engine being easier and more powerful than ever, along with an aggressive new pricing scheme that’s struck a chord with many developers: $19/month + 5% of gross revenue on game sales. The company also has been quick to update UE4 with support for forthcoming VR hardware.
Gear VR, a VR smartphone adapter developed in partnership with Oculus, was announced at the beginning of September. The device will work with the soon-to-launch Galaxy Note 4 which features an impressive 1440p display. Samsung says Gear VR will be available before the end of 2014, with some rumors pointing to a Fall release date.
The goal of Google’s Project Tango is to “give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.” The project aims to collaborate with hardware and software designers to create an affordable and robust platform for tracking 3D space using sensors and machine-vision. Google has made available a Tango phone device to select developers and plans to release a 7-inch Tango tablet development kit later this year. Interest in Tango from the VR community comes from its potential to provide accurate ‘inside-out’ positional tracking as well as environmental recognition and motion input.