Epic Games today revealed their efforts to aid the progression of virtual reality (VR) videogame development with the new VR Editor suite, coming soon to Unreal Engine 4. While VRFocus remains cautiously optimistic about the project, it’s the development community that will make the real difference. The response from VR developers? Unanimously positive.
Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO of nDreams Ltd., is currently developing multi-format VR title The Assembly. After having converted the title from Unity 5 to Unreal Engine 4 last year, O’Luanaigh is enthusiastic about this new progression: “VR Editor is a hugely exciting step forward for game engine tech which highlights how good VR will be as a tool for level designers, artists and building prototypes.”
Matt Sonic, founder of San Francisco VR (SFVR) meetup and developer of the forthcoming Perma is realistic in his assessment of the Unreal Engine 4 VR Editor, stating: “We desperately need proper tools for building VR experiences. There is no lack of talent, but we are limited in our means of expression. Immersive experiences are the next major technological medium. It’s only natural that VR’s authors should have the same advantages enjoyed by VR’s consumers.
“I’m overjoyed that the folks at Unreal clearly understand this. I can’t wait to see how they develop this portion of their platform.”
Jonathan Perry, former Cinematic Director at BioWare now working on an independent VR project, has views directly aligned with both the UK and US west coast based developers. Already keen to get his hands on the technology, Perry believes in Epic Games’ efforts to help the VR development community.
“Once again Epic [Games] has shown how committed they are to VR and enabling their users to create the best VR experiences possible,” stated Perry when speaking to VRFocus.
Vincent Martel, IP Producer at Frima Studios, is also enthusiastic, but somewhat more cautiously so than his peers. Currently working on FATED: The Silent Oath, Martel commends Epic Games for their commitment to VR development, but waits to get his hands on VR Editor before making judgement.
“Once more Epic [Games] is showing that they are fully dedicated to support virtual reality and help developers with new tools that are more suiting for this new medium,” states Martel. “Honestly, it’s a bit hard to evaluate the real production value of this tool before we can test it, but I’m definitely looking forward to play with it.”
Eugene Chung of Penrose Studios, creators of acclaimed VR story The Rose and I, is convinced that VR is an incredibly powerful medium. Possibly the most positive of all developers VRFocus has spoken to regarding Epic Games’ VR Editor, Chung sees this new asset as an opportunity for more than simply making the process easier, but actually being able to reflect upon your work in new ways.
“VR hits right to your human core. And while this feeling is powerful simply as an observer, it is heightened all the more when we create natively in VR,” offered Chung. “From our team’s experience, native VR creation has been one of the key force multipliers in the Penrose creation process. We’re thus excited to see the great developments that Epic Games are making on this frontier. Native VR creation is a key part of thinking in VR, a crucial part of architecting compelling VR content.”
Summing it up rather succinctly, Ikrima ‘Yeezus’ Elhassan, self-proclaimed genius co-founder of Kite & Lighting, currently working on Bebylon Battle Royale and aspiring to be VR’s first Kanye West, had one simple comment: “FUCK YES BITCHES. THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVED.”
VR Editor is currently expected to be available for Unreal Engine 4 users later this year, with a release date announcement confirmed for 16th March 2016. VRFocus will keep you updated with all the latest details on the VR Editor and Epic Games’ other efforts in VR.
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