The Unreal Engine is synonymous with high-end, AAA games. With titles like Ark: Survival Evolved, Final Fantasy VII Remake, Gears of War 4, Street Fighter V, and Tekken 7 all using Unreal Engine 4, it appears that Epic Games, the company behind it, has signalled its intent in virtual reality (VR) game development with the VR Unreal Editor.
Usually game development requires a keyboard, mouse, and a computer. While this approach works for most experiences, it isn't the most intuitive way to make games for virtual reality. In order to tackle this problem, Epic Games will let developers create virtual reality content within virtual reality itself.
"Now you can go into VR, have the entire Unreal editor functioning and do it live," Tim Sweeney, Co-Founder at Epic Games said to Engadget. "It almost gives you god-like powers to manipulate the world."
What this means is developers can make VR games using the Unreal Engine with a head-mounted display and motion controllers to manipulate objects in a 3D space. "Your brain already knows how to do this stuff because we all have an infinite amount of experience picking up and moving 3D objects," Sweeney said. "The motions you'd do in the real world, you'd do in the editor and in the way you'd expect to; intuitively."
The implications of this move are immense in terms of taking game development and VR forward simply because it lowers the entry barrier of game development tremendously, to the point where almost anyone can go ahead and make games. Furthermore, while Unity seems to be the engine of choice for developers looking to jump into VR, this might just be the boost VR game development needs to see more content released faster. A release date will be announced at Epic Games' Game Developers Conference event on March 16.