Book Image

Unreal Engine 4 Virtual Reality Projects

By : Kevin Mack, Robert Ruud
Book Image

Unreal Engine 4 Virtual Reality Projects

By: Kevin Mack, Robert Ruud

Overview of this book

Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) is a powerful tool for developing VR games and applications. With its visual scripting language, Blueprint, and built-in support for all major VR headsets, it's a perfect tool for designers, artists, and engineers to realize their visions in VR. This book will guide you step-by-step through a series of projects that teach essential concepts and techniques for VR development in UE4. You will begin by learning how to think about (and design for) VR and then proceed to set up a development environment. A series of practical projects follows, taking you through essential VR concepts. Through these exercises, you'll learn how to set up UE4 projects that run effectively in VR, how to build player locomotion schemes, and how to use hand controllers to interact with the world. You'll then move on to create user interfaces in 3D space, use the editor's VR mode to build environments directly in VR, and profile/optimize worlds you've built. Finally, you'll explore more advanced topics, such as displaying stereo media in VR, networking in Unreal, and using plugins to extend the engine. Throughout, this book focuses on creating a deeper understanding of why the relevant tools and techniques work as they do, so you can use the techniques and concepts learned here as a springboard for further learning and exploration in VR.
Table of Contents (20 chapters)
Title Page
About Packt
Where to Go from Here


In this chapter, we looked at what VR is and some of the ways it can be used in the real world. We talked quite a bit about immersion and presence. Let's recap for a moment here.

Presence, we said, is a physiological sensation of being in a place, and is really the point of VR. We create VR to create presence. Immersion is the means by which presence is brought about, and involves taking over the user's senses completely enough that they can begin to believe the virtual world around them.

We discussed a number of currently-held best practices for creating good VR. The most important of these was the need to keep latency as low as possible and the need to be very careful of how you move the user's viewpoint. Simulator sickness is largely caused by conflicts between a visual sense of motion and the lack of motion felt by the inner ear. Breaking up movement and being aware of the types of movement most likely to trigger simulator sickness are important for keeping your users comfortable in your experience. We also talked about safety—the need to be conscious of the kinds of movement you're asking your users to perform, about designing to avoid eyestrain, and the need to be careful about triggering photosensitive seizures.

Finally, we outlined a process for planning a VR project and iterating on its design to make the best project you can and ensure that it succeeds at what you intended it to do.

In the next chapter, we're going to dive in and start getting our hands dirty with the Unreal Engine, and from here on out, the rest of this book will be hands-on. We hope that the ideas outlined in this chapter will stay with you as you develop, and help you to succeed, not just in making running VR applications, but in making them well.

With that out of the way, let's get to work.