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Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
Developer kit for the Oculus Rift - the first truly immersive virtual reality headset for video games.
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Oculus-ready Unreal Development Kit Coming in April

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

Comments

    1. Steven Langevin on March 25, 2013

      This is great news, thanks for all your hard work Oculus team !

    2. Missing avatar

      Modeus on March 25, 2013

      UDK is clearly the engine of choice. Thank you Epic for supporting the little guys. I've been porting my stuff over to UDK and it's great so far.

    3. Missing avatar

      Marc Olivier Chouinard on March 25, 2013

      Some of you need to understand that what is announce here is the possibility to develop game by yourself. Not the ability to use a game someone else did.

      So if you want to experience the Snow version... There is no reason there won't be a binary of it at lunch for you to give it a try... It just that you won't be able to get the source and modify it.

    4. Missing avatar

      Dave Coleman on March 25, 2013

      Excellent news! It's nice to see that hobbyists won't be left out in the cold. I guess that makes UDK the engine of choice for the time being.

    5. OlivierJT on March 25, 2013

      Snow ? hey guys, it's easy to make, volume emitter in UDK, there is a preset with falling leaves if I am correct.
      More in tune with the "no snow" version.

    6. gannebamm on March 25, 2013

      I dont want to rant here, seriously I am not interessted in that since there is more than enough of that in these comment sections.
      But it is not that special that you could develop with UDK for "free" (= as long as you meet the "free of charge" conditions of there license). It is Epic´s way of distrubute their engine and Level Editor. It is cool to read that the UDK implementation of the Rift is working as expected by former updates and the kickstarter press videos (which stated that: Unity, UDK and C++ will very likely be ready to use as the Rift ships). So, I am still happy to get that confirmed.
      Unity is still more of a "kickstarter" (not in terms of kickstarter.com but in terms of going somewhere fast) gamedeveloper framework than UDK in my very honest oppinion - but that is just me.

    7. Cory Gott on March 25, 2013

      @Ryan: ...and codpieces?

    8. John Arne Birkeland on March 25, 2013

      Bye bye Unity, hello Unreal..

    9. Missing avatar

      Hannes K on March 25, 2013

      This sounds very nice, UDK is the best development kit out there I think and they are really beginner-friendly as well.

      But I'd love to also have a single player game rift ready, Doom 3 would have been such a nice game to experience in VR.

    10. Real O'Neil on March 25, 2013

      Also...Hawken in VR...I think I may cry.

    11. Missing avatar

      jack on March 25, 2013

      Well I guess I know which engine I'll be using.

    12. Real O'Neil on March 25, 2013

      And thanks to Epic as well for being cool.

    13. Real O'Neil on March 25, 2013

      Okay, while still bummed out about the Unity thing(as I still love its toolchain and approachability), this makes up for it. You won me over again, Palmer, damn you ;)

      And now I at least know what to figure out/learn while waiting for the hardware.

    14. Niklas Wahrman on March 25, 2013

      Cool. How come the snowy version isn't included? Any luck we could get access to that one? Everyone says the snow effect is really cool - would be nice to experience that!

    15. Missing avatar

      tetriandoh on March 25, 2013

      I want a scene with Winter Citadel! Why not include it in the package, too?

    16. Martin Vigneron on March 25, 2013

      Was does "Free" mean in this case? Same conditions as developing with Unreal SDK without OR?
      @the rest of people who want snow: I had enough snow for the rest of my life, how about a japanese garden with cherry blossom petals flying?

    17. Missing avatar

      AlexLF on March 25, 2013

      Fantastic! I guess I'll start on a game tonight!

    18. Nadim Alam on March 25, 2013

      Some good news at last! Well done for coming to terms with Epic and achieving this when you couldn't with Unity and had to include it in the payed Pro version instead!

      One question though, is there any specific reason why the Winter Citadel scene is not included and only summer one is? The snow effects in the winter version were a must have for 3D VR!

    19. Ryan McClelland on March 25, 2013

      Excellent!

      Now to figure out how to add snow and knights...

    20. Caillin Peacock on March 25, 2013

      Great work guys :)