Book Image

Unreal Engine Virtual Reality Quick Start Guide

By : Jessica Plowman
Book Image

Unreal Engine Virtual Reality Quick Start Guide

By: Jessica Plowman

Overview of this book

With the ability to put players directly in the game, virtual reality gives users the chance to experience digital worlds directly. Nevertheless, many designers are unsure where to start when working with this amazing technology. With this book, you will learn user experience design processes and create immersive gameplay experiences designed for entertainment and player comfort. Using the power of Unreal Engine 4’s Blueprint visual scripting language, you will build player interaction and locomotion systems from scratch and use these flexible systems to create a sample game, as well as develop functional 2D and 3D user interfaces for players to interact with. And also learn the best practices for creating game art for virtual reality. Finally, you will learn how to test your application with your target audience and finalize your game for distribution. By the end of this book, you will have the knowledge to be able to make the leap from traditional game development to creating immersive virtual reality experiences using Unreal Engine 4.
Table of Contents (8 chapters)

Introducing VR Technology in Unreal Engine 4

Virtual Reality (VR). These words call to mind images of movies from the 1980s and 1990s, such as characters such as The Lawnmower Man, people strapped into equipment that covers their entire bodies, and computers that take up entire rooms, as well as digital vistas that stretch forever and basic geometric shapes that were meant to simulate the real world. The term VR came about in the 1980s to refer to the systems of gloves and headgear that are used to interact with these computer-generated worlds. Since then, advances in electronics and digital displays have allowed for the creation of smaller, more powerful devices. In 2010, Palmer Lucky's discovery that mobile phone display technology had reached a high enough resolution to be used in VR led to the creation of the first Oculus Rift headset. This event would kick-off the technology arms race that has since given us the Oculus Rift, the Samsung Gear VR, the HTC Vive, and the new Windows Mixed Reality headsets. With the prices coming down every year, VR has found its way into the hands of 171 million users around the world.

For many of you, this book represents the first steps down the path to creating your very own VR title. You may have recently grown interested in getting started with the technology, or you might already have a complete design, and you are ready to begin developing. In either case, this book will lead you through the process of choosing your target hardware and audience, the unique design, locomotion, and gameplay concepts specific to VR, creating art for your virtual world, and finally the process of testing and prepping your game for distribution. Through the creation of our sample game, Server 17, we will discuss some of the problems VR developers face, such as optimization and how to help players deal with VR sickness.

This book assumes that readers have a working knowledge of Unreal Engine 4 and access to VR equipment. If you are just starting out with Unreal Engine 4, I recommend checking out my other title, 3D Game Design with Unreal Engine 4 and Blender, or any of the other great game development titles from Packt Publishing before coming back to this one.

In this chapter, we will cover the following topics:

  • Why use Unreal Engine 4 for VR?
  • What types of VR technology are available to developers?
  • Pros and cons of popular VR headsets
  • Limitations of VR
  • Introducing our sample project—Server 17