Riding the wave of excitement over Google’s new VR platform, Daydream, Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri announced on the Google I/O stage today that the gaming giant has brought support for Daydream to Unreal Engine 4.
Daydream will bring Android VR Mode – high-performance mobile VR features built on top of Android N – to a slew of new phones coming around September and will place new demands on mobile VR, including higher resolution and improved graphics performance. In addition to the platform advances, Daydream introduces a new headset that comes with an intuitive wireless motion controller to ship with every unit. One of the first motion controllers for mobile VR (the other one of note is the Samsung Rink, for which a release date has not been confirmed), the Daydream controller is a major step in terms of crafting high-quality gameplay mechanics and exploration for VR on a mobile device.
The developer of Unreal Engine 4, a free game engine driving some of the most advanced CG visualizations in existence, Epic Games has been an early supporter of VR, developing content for the Oculus Rift prototype Crescent Bay years ago. Epic has released internal projects such as Couch Knights, Showdown and the VR Editor for free to developers and it continues to optimize and exhibit its Bullet Train demo for DK2, a polished execution of motion control VR gameplay, complete with Matrix-style slow-motion gunfire.
In just a couple of weeks, Epic Games principal artist Shane Caudle built a small-scope dungeon RPG for Daydream, using Unreal Engine 4 Blueprint visual scripting and simple fantasy-themed assets (screenshots below).
In a collaboration with Hardsuit Labs on the plugin, Epic Games has made Unreal Engine 4 support for Daydream available now. The integration is available now on GitHub (login required), and it’s coming to the binary tools in the full Unreal Engine 4.12 launch, which is on track for release on June 1, 2016.
“At Epic our mission is to give developers the very best tools for building immersive and visually impressive experiences with great performance on every platform we support”, Libreri said. “We have been creating VR experiences for many years now that not only push visual fidelity but what’s possible in terms of input, interaction, characters and gameplay mechanics.
“Every project we work on extends the capabilities of Unreal Engine, and we pass these improvements to developers on a daily basis. Today we’re proud to be part of this new chapter in VR history.”
Stay tuned to VRScout for an in-depth profile of Epic’s VR and AR Technical Director, Nick Whiting, who will explain his and the company’s history and vision for VR in more detail.
More information on UE4 support for Daydream is available on the Epic Games blog.