Written by Micah Blumberg March 19th 2016 : I got to try building VR in VR with Unreal Engine 4 wearing an Oculus Rift with Oculus Touch controllers.
I have to say that getting to try this was definitely the highlight of the entire GDC show for me. I also found out that the version I tried is available now for download, it comes with the latest version of Unreal Engine 4.
So as soon as I get my HTC Vive Pre fixed (a firmware update stopped the headset from working) I be downloading it to my computer to begin building actual Virtual Reality worlds from inside VR, essentially it is like stepping inside the computer screen, it’s like being inside the world that before you could only create from the outside.
I could shrink the world by holding a button on each hand and bringing my hands closer together. Like pinch and zoom, I could make the game world and the old Western town I was building ultra small like a miniture. I could cross my arms over each other to flip the world around, I could drag the world left, right, up and down, and of course make it bigger so now I was able to see the game as gamers would see it in VR.
I could teleport to any point with a laser. Basically my controllers used lasers for navigating anything, for selecting 3D objects from menus and dragging them from the menu into the game world, repositioning objects, resizing objects, putting new textures on 3D models.
For me designing a game world, creating a city, just became a whole lot more natural in VR than it ever was before on a flat screen. It is even possible to turn on physics and throw stuff high up into the air, watch it fall, bounce, even catch stuff out of the air with your laser selectors.
It makes me wonder why anyone would ever touch those games that let you build inside the game again after getting access to this, because you can literally use the entire Unreal Engine inside VR to naturally create the most amazing world with all of the tools and effects that Unreal Engine offers to Game Developers.
The tool is still at the Alpha stage as of GDC so there were some glitches with certain categories of objects that I tried to import with the laser pointer from the menu system, but I was told that all of that will be fixed in future versions.
If you have a Vive Pre Developer kit you can download it right now it comes with the latest version of Unreal Engine 4. So go get it and tell me what you think.
Micah Blumberg is a researcher, scientist, and entrepreneur and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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