Star Wars ‘Mos Eisley’ Realised in Staggering Detail on UE4, VR Version Coming

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An environmental artist with a passion for Star Wars has realised the iconic location of Star Wars’ Mos Eisley space port in jaw-dropping detail via Unreal Engine 4. What’s more, it’s coming to VR soon and you can download the demo now.

John Lewis is an Environmental Artist for Obsidian Entertainment, developers behind games such as Neverwinter Nights 2 and Fallout: New Vegas. On a whim and as a Star Wars fan, he decided it’d be cool if he could a virtual build the docking bay (No. 94 as any Star Wars fan should know) located in Mos Eisley, Tatooine, the “hive of scum and villainy” from the original (sorry, ‘fourth’) Star Wars instalment. That’s how it began.

However, Lewis’ his ambitions for the project soon expanded, and eventually he realised that he really wanted to wander beyond the docking bay into the rest of Mos Eisley and visit the other iconic movie set, the Cantina where Luke Skywalker, Obi-wan Kenobi meet the Falcon’s owners, Han Solo and Chewbacca, for the first time. He needed help, so he enlisted his co-workers from Obsidian, quite rightly all Star Wars super-fans too, to the point where up to 17 people have now contributed.

“In addition to myself, the other artists working with me on this project all currently work for Obsidian as well, from additional senior artists, to mid-range and junior artists as well, ” says Lewis, writing for 80.lv, “We even have someone on the QA team contributing some artwork as well. In total there are 17 people contributing to this project in varying capacities. This is a just-for-fun personal project that we are all contributing to for no reason other than we are all a bunch of super Star Wars fans and with all the Star Wars awesomeness going on these days, we all thought it would be a good time to jump in and produce a quality fan art project. In addition to just being a bunch of super Star Wars nerds, several of us have been wanting an excuse to learn Unreal 4 for some time now, so we figured that this was a perfect opportunity.”

The resulting environments, rendered capably using Epic’s Unreal Engine 4, are some of the most detailed and realistic recreations I’ve ever seen. Indeed, Lewis admits that his ambitions were lofty on this front.  “… my goal was to build the most highly detailed real-time Falcon that anyone has ever seen, and I think I have pulled it off, except for maybe the Falcon model from the recent ILM X-Labs VR demo …”. Tie fighters, X-Wing fighters and an Imperial Shuttle are all to be found whilst wandering around the environments.

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You can find download link mirrors in the description of the video over on YouTube. I’ve included them below for reference, but it’s likely that (being Google Drive links) these will hit limits soon enough.

Mirror#1 – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B48A…
Mirror#2 – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzdD…
Mirror#3 – https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9zH…
Mirror#4 – https://drive.google.com/folderview?i…
Mirror#5 – https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwT…

The icing on the cake of course is that, being built in UE4, the demo should be relatively easy to add virtual reality support to, and indeed this is next on the horizon for the team. “We are also working on a VR version as well as several people in the group have been playing around with Occulus and Vive VR kits,” says Lewis, “and we thought it would be cool to have a version that runs in VR, so we are currently trying to get that finished as well.”

The team have made the demo available to the public to download now. Although be quick, this kind of super-high quality work will likely draw the eye of new Lucasfilm (and therefore Star Wars) owners Disney. In the mean time, checking out Lewis’ full blog on the project is highly recommended.

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  • J.C.

    So, I’m confused. At the top of the article it says it’s running in VR right now, at the bottom it says it’s coming soon. Which is it?

    • RoadToVR

      Article corrected – originally it was thought VR support was already in place. This turned out not to be the case.

      • J.C.

        I am curious if Disney will send a c&d. It’s not like they’re making money on it, but just from the screenshots it clearly is a far, far more impressive Star Wars environment than their own Trials of Tattoine.

        • Ed

          To be brutally honest, my impression of ILMxLAB is this:

          – LucasArts gets mismanaged for a long time and ultimately flushed down the toilet.

          – To fill the void, a bunch of technical artists with a film background but no experience in game development go “Hey, VR is cool, lets make VR experiences! They’re totally not games, though, it’s a new medium… It’s interactive storytelling! Totally not games.”

          – They proceed to learn the basics of game development and release interactive experiences which demonstrate their lack of experience in developing interactive experiences (aka game development)

          I think they might be kidding themselves a little bit. As VR gamedev gets through it’s awkward puberty (which includes stubborn avoidance of traditional locomotion mechanics) and the talent and maturity in game development is fully brought to bear in the VR space, newcomers in the field will have a lot of catching up to do in order to be noticed among all the rich content that will be available.

          Maybe Obsidian are vying for a chance to make a VR Star Wars RPG. Sounds cool to me…

      • Buddydudeguy

        You can force VR by adding it to steam as a non-Steam game and adding -vr launch option.
        https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/523fao/experience_mos_eisley_in_vr/

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Damn, if I had know this before I wouldn’t have deleted the package. haha…

  • Dobba

    I’ve been to this Tatooine where the original Star Wars set is. It’s out in the desert in Tunisia and you can go in all those buildings. Quite amazing to see. It’s just there – miles from nowhere in the middle of the desert, still standing.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Not really ‘stil standing’, but completely rebuild/refurbished for the tourists…

  • DiGiCT Ltd

    UE4 really shows good render results.
    Im waiting for UE4 engine to have a stable blueprint to c++ compiler.
    It will make it more easy to develop in UE4.
    Good job guys the art looks amazing !

  • Buddydudeguy

    Absolutely amazing. But in VR I’m getting oversaturated brightness kind of like when you first come out of a dark cave and your eyes havnt adjusted, but they never do. And in VR, there’s a annoying red reticle which is in a cross eyed…placement. It is in a different spot with both eyes opened vs closing left or right eye. Not quite perfect but jaw dropping all the same.

    • Dean

      Disable Post Processing

    • DougP

      Are you running in VR on Rift or Vive?

      Brightness –
      I saw suggestion in that reddit thread to turn down the post processing to help with the lighting/brightness issue?

      Also saw mentioned, a Vive user, saying unable to click *play*.
      I’m going to try this later on Vive.

      • Buddydudeguy

        I heard you turn down post processing helps, ya. Now if only there was a fix for the stupid red reticle in the sort of upper left.

  • Rayza

    Anyone got a working link?

    • Buddydudeguy

      The link works. It’s Google Drive which is a PITA but it works fine.

  • Buddydudeguy

    Someone know how to get rid of the off center red reticle in VR? Other than that and how it forces you to stand or your avatar crouches if you sit, it’s glorious!!…but the red reticle ruins it :( It’s off center, Total eye sore.