More and more people are starting to develop for VR these days. I’ve seen college students and even high school students asking for guidance on forums with wide-eyed wonder and limitless energy. We also started from scratch two months ago and within that time, we were able to make Picard’s Quarters, a UE4 demo that got featured on Oculus Share. I come from a web development background and my colleague recently graduated from college, so you don’t have to have years of game development experience to get started. These are a few simple but important strategies to help you learn quickly.
Watch the Tutorials
Epic offers ~200 professionally-made tutorials on Youtube. They are organized into playlists by topic, the narrator is witty, and you can easily skip around using your arrow keys. Don’t try to watch them all like you would a tv show on Netflix. When you need to be able to do something, say with blueprints, watch the series on that topic. Maybe watch it a few times and even follow along in your project.
Study the Free Stuff
There are “Engine Feature Samples” that give you how many of the features work in a real project:
There’s “Example Game Projects”, full projects that are playable with C++ and/or Blueprint code along with a wide variety of assets:
For example, ShooterGame is a great place to get materials and meshes for a sci-fi theme game. Finally, “Showcases and Complete Projects” are also full projects:
Here are some of the sample projects, the style, and what it covers:
- First Person Shooter – FPS, futuristic sci-fi, C++, online subsystem
- Platformer Game – 2.5D, urban city, lots of jumping, movies
- Xoio Berlin Flat – architectural visualization (archviz), modern, realism, materials
- Lightroom – archviz, modern, realism, foliage, materials
- Scifi Hallway – FPS, futuristic sci-fi, crazy good materials (Substance)
- Couch Knights – multiplayer, VR
- Vehicle Game – driving in the desert
- Tappy Chicken – mobile, just like Flappy Bird, all Blueprints
- Tower Defense
- Memory Game
- …and others
Obviously, you can probably find something useful whether you’re looking to learn how to use Blueprints or program in C++ or do multiplayer.
Use the VR Template
UE4 offers templates for FPS, 3rd-Person, Vechicle, and other types of games. It doesn’t offer a VR template yet (roadmap) but there’s an open source template on Github. It’s a great place to start, offering features like an in-game menu, sane moving speeds, and basic interactions.
Bonus: Settings to Make Your Demos Run Buttery Smooth
These settings were recommended by Epic during their Oculus Connect conference talk on September, 2014. They go in your DefaultEngine.ini. Note that some of these may need tweaking depending on what you need.
You can download the PDF of Epic’s conference talk slides here: OculusConnect_Epic_UE4_Integration_and_Demos