Epic Games launches virtual reality Unreal Editor

Devs can now build titles from within the game world itself, cinematics tool Sequencer also released
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Unreal Engine creator Epic Games has beaten rival Unity to the punch and released a virtual reality editor for games development.

The tech was announced last month as an experiment, but is available via GitHub as of today. Meanwhile, Unity Labs’ similar product is still in the prototyping stages, with no release date in sight.

The launch was announced during today’s State of Unreal keynote at GDC 2016, with the company promising that the entire source code is available from GitHub. A full binary preview is scheduled for June.

Members of the Epic Games team demonstrated the technology on-stage. Using the Oculus motion controllers, they were able to move, duplicate and scale in-game objects, drop in more from a 3D UI projected above their hands, and with a single button bring in the other windows from the Unreal Editor.

Epic promised that full Editor functionality will be available in the VR version, which can be activated from the toolbar.

CEO Tim Sweeney told attendees: “I’ve been using the editor in VR a lot recently. I’ve started having dreams about using it. Building a world [from within] and scaling objects - they’re not really tools, they’re superpowers. I feel disappointed when I wake up and have to grab things normally like a human.”

The company also launched the new Sequencer, a non-linear cinematic tool that allows devs to build cutscenes entirely within the game engine. Users will be able to introduce new effects for different shots, without having to change the entire scene, and can roll back to previous ‘takes’.

The Sequencer was demonstrated using a scene from Ninja Theory’s HellBlade and is also now available from GitHub.

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