Epic Games’ popular Unreal Engine has just received a major update with version 4.12 now sporting Google VR ‘Daydream’ and OSVR native support. It also ships with a preview of the company’s impressive VR Editor, which allows developers to natively build their 3D applications entirely from virtual reality.
Allowing developers to build virtual reality applications from within VR itself is one of Epic’s many goals to help accelerate and drive forward immerse creativity with its Unreal Engine – and from what we’ve seen so far, they’ve done a hugely impressive job.
With the latest release release of Unreal Engine 4 (version 4.12) Epic have included a preview version of the VR Editor they first unveiled in February and more recently at GDC 2016. at GDC in March, Epic Senior Designer Nick Donaldson schooled us on some of the intricacies of Unreal’s new VR Editor, modifying a pre-built demo scene using the Oculus Rift and Touch controller in the Epic booth at GDC.
Clearly in the above demo, Donaldson is immersed with the Oculus Rift and using Oculus Touch controllers, but the original unveiling was done on the SteamVR powered HTC Vive. An important note as Oculus have only handed out prototype Touch controllers to a limited number of developers (although it’s impossible to say how many). The HTC Vive of course, ships with motion controllers and is available to buy now (give or take a week or two).
In the original unveiling, Epic founder Tim Sweeney was visibly proud to emphasise that the Unreal Engine VR Editor is no half-arsed, cut down tech demo – it exposes the full Unreal editor inside virtual reality, albeit expect some teething troubles and caveats here and there. As such, this release is a major milestone for VR development, with UE4 one of the most popular and capable engines out there.
Also at GDC 2016, Unity’s Principal Designer Timoni West showed off the latest prototype of Unity’s new Virtual Reality Scene Editor that lets you build VR applications and games as if you were a god, demonstrating this hugely popular VR development engine isn’t too far behind its biggest competitor on immersive development tools.
Elsewhere, UE4 4.12 also brings native support for the Razer backed Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) platform, as well as the recently unveiled Google VR ‘Daydream’ initiative, bringing UE4 bang to date with current and future VR systems.
You can get full details of what’s included in this latest update over here.