You don’t have to be a developer to have heard of Epic Games and Unreal Engine. The studio is well known for titles such as Paragon or its recently released virtual reality (VR) project Robo Recall. Both of which have been created using Unreal Engine as well numerous other videogames by developers around the world. This week the company released a preview of the engine’s next update, 4.16, so that studio’s can start experimenting with the new features and report any issues.
Epic Games continue to advance the VR side of the engine, adding several new tool updates like the VR Mode’s UI and interaction, access to the Sequencer Editor, Smart Snapping and physics simulation.
The studio hasn’t stopped there either. ‘Unified Console Commands across VR platforms,’ means that there is now a shared layer for common interfaces that developers can work from, rather than separate ones for each platform, and the mobile multiview path now supports Gear VR.
Back in February Valve launched the Steam Audio SDK as a free beta for developers. The SDK included a range of features such as HRTF-based binaural rendering, occlusion, physics-based reverb, real-time sound propagation and baked reverb and propagation to enhance VR applications. With Unreal Engine 4.16 Preview 1, Epic Games has fully-integrated the Steam Audio SDK whilst utilising the capabilities of the new Unreal Audio Engine.
As with any preview this is just for developers to test and experiment with. Epic Games always states: “Please be aware that the preview releases are not fully quality tested, that they are still under heavy active development, and that they should be considered as unstable until the final release. Developers should not convert their projects for active development on preview releases.”