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)

What types of VR Technology are available to developers?

Knowing that Unreal Engine 4 works with the vast majority of VR technology, our next step is to choose the type of VR headset we would like to use. There are many factors that can contribute to this decision. The first is knowing who the target audience for our experience will be. Start by researching previous games that are similar to our design. By doing so, we can find out what segment of gamers will purchase our style of game and see whether we can interview a few players who fit this demographic. With this information, we can make informed design decisions as we go through the process of development, which will result in a game that really appeals to its player base.

Understanding the demographics as well as the likes and dislikes of your player base is an essential part of designing a commercially successful video game. It is also the first step in the Human-Centered Design process, a creative approach to problem solving that always keeps the user's needs and wants central to design decisions. Have a look at and for more information.

The next factor we need to be aware of is what type of experience our design is most suited for. VR experiences fall into a few distinct categories:

  • Room-scale VR
  • Seated VR
  • Mobile VR

Room-scale VR

The first is room-scale experiences.

These are active experiences that require the player to move, jump, and perform actions inside a predetermined area covered by sensors. An example of the room scale pay space covered by the lighthouse sensors that come with HTC Vive is as follows:

Room-scale VR

Seated VR

For experiences that may not require that particular level of activity, there are seated VR experiences. An example of the space needed for a seated-or standing-only VR experience is as follows:

Seated VR experience

Seated experiences are built around the idea that the player remains stationary and that only the headset's orientation data is needed.

Mobile VR

Finally, there are mobile experiences. These experiences are formatted specifically for mobile devices, such as the Samsung Gear VR and the Oculus Go. The original version can be found on the following link:

Mobile experience

Mobile experiences are designed to take advantage of the accelerator and gyroscope found in smartphones to provide an immersive experience and to control gameplay. For our game, we will likely have the player stand in a small area with their tools for the task close at hand, though some movement may be required. With this in mind, we will design Server 17 to be a room-scale experience.