Getting started in the videogame business can seem like a daunting prospect, even more so when it comes to figuring out virtual reality (VR). But those first steps don’t necessarily need to be as difficult as they may seem thanks to videogame development engines like Unreal Engine. Epic Games’ popular middleware is used by teams, both amateur and professional alike, to build the latest VR experiences (Robo Recall, Ace Combat 7, ARK Park, Moss) and getting started is free. So over at Intel’s Developer Zone the company has put together a quick guide on VR development using Unreal Engine.
The ‘How To Get Started in VR with Unreal Engine‘ guide doesn’t look at Unreal Engine as a whole – it’s way too big for a brief guide. Instead it focuses on one particular mode that Epic Games has been developing over the last couple of years, the VR Editor. The idea goes that while creating VR content on a normal 2D screen is difficult, being able to put yourself in the actual virtual world you’re creating can make the whole process that little bit easier, especially for newcomers.
It makes more sense that visualising a virtual world and where things go can be helped by being in it, donning a headset and then seeing what works and what doesn’t. With Unreal Engine’s marketplace and strong community it’s also straight forward to find and use assets – some free some paid – to help bring your creation to life.
Now if you are developing content for VR the guide does surmise that you’ll have a head-mounted display (HMD) of some sort – otherwise what’s the point – with the instructions based on the HTC Vive, although headsets like Oculus Rift can also be used. Once you’ve got Unreal Engine downloaded and installed – an easy free process – plus your headset is all up and running, Intel then goes through the basics of building your first scene.
After that you’re on your own – well not quite, there’s plenty of other literature online – with Intel wisely suggesting a look at Unreal Engine’s visual scripting system “blueprints.”
During last weeks Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2018, Epic Games held its annual State of Unreal keynote, detailing future plans, showcasing the latest videogames as well as new features for the engine. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Epic Games and Unreal Engine, reporting back with the latest announcements.