We thought we’d kick GDC 2013 off right, starting with some great news for Oculus developers.
Today, we’re announcing that we’ve partnered with Epic Games to release a custom, Oculus-ready version of the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), the free edition of Unreal Engine 3 (UE3). The Oculus-ready UDK will be available to all Oculus developers. We’re also releasing an Oculus integration for UE3, available to the full source Unreal Engine 3 licensees out there.
The Unreal Engine 3 Features Highlight for 2012.
Unreal Engine is a world-class game development platform that’s powered classic franchises including Gears of War, BioShock, Mass Effect, Borderlands, and Infinity Blade. The engine is also behind indie hits like Hawken (which we’re showing at GDC!),Antichamber, Killing Floor, and Primal Carnage.
We’ve been working with Epic since the launch of the Kickstarter campaign to make the Oculus integration for Unreal Engine as high-performance as possible. With the Oculus-ready version of the UDK, you’ll be able to start building incredible VR experiences with the Unreal Engine toolset the moment you receive your Rift development kit (or even right now, if you’re so inclined).
Hawken, developed using UDK, will be shown at the Oculus GDC booth. Come take it for a spin in VR!
The Oculus-ready UDK includes a few sample levels, including one of our favorites: the ‘summer’ Epic Citadel tech demo (shown below). The feeling of soaring over Epic Citadel’s medieval village and castle in the Rift is nothing short of unreal. We’ve also added a “VR Mode” to the Unreal Tournament sample game, included with this exclusive UDK release, to help you get started quickly.
A few of the optimizations included in the Oculus – Unreal Engine integration:
- Added roll and z-depth to shaders
- Optimized low latency VR rendering – sensor update on the render thread, disabling GPU buffering and adding full scene super sampling (1.5-2x)
- Made UI and videoes work with head tracking and z-depth
- Players can now head-look during Matinee sequences
- Added console commands and config settings for all parameters
Showcase for the Epic Citadel demo included with the UDK. Note that the map and content for the ‘summer’ version are included with the UDK, but the ‘snowy’ version of Epic Citadel that we showed on Jimmy Fallon is not included.
A huge ‘Thank you!’ to Epic for making this happen. The Oculus-ready UDK will be available from the Oculus Developer Center in early April. We’ll let everyone know as soon as it’s live.
If you’re at GDC, we have two fantastic UE3-based demos at the Oculus booth this week: Hawken and Epic Citadel. Come by and check them out!
We’re really looking forward to exploring your UDK-based VR creations inside the Rift. Get ready to build something Unreal!
– Palmer and the Oculus team