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Best engine to create Rift experiences?

Level 2
Hi all,

I'm looking for some guidance here.

I bought the Rift to play games like many on this forum, and found the experience so compelling that I decided to learn to create my own content.

Now the thing is, I had zero experience with programming or 3D modelling a few month ago. Not really knowing where to start, I started looking at various tutorials and online courses and picked up some 3D modelling/animation skills over time. Now I am at the point where I have a decent grasp on how to make meshes and animate them, create materials, textures, environments etc.

I am looking forward to the next step, which would be to transpose those environments I create into a game engine so that I can make it a playable experience. I am not completely naive, I know I am not going to create a real game - I just want to be able to walk around the environment I create in VR mode and add a few simple interaction with it - opening doors... rotating stuff... I don't know.

Obviously I am not going to learn C++. I don't have the time or skill for this. I was checking UE4 and they have this visual scripting system called blueprint which seems to be sufficient to achieve what I want. I wouldn't call it simple for a total beginner like me but it seems to be something I can learn quickly. They also have built-in Oculus support so it seems that developping a demo in UE4 is as simple as create, pack, play and it auto-detects your Rift.

So the question is, is there a catch? Am I right in assuming this is as simple as it looks and I will be able to create demos with UE4 in the fashion I described above? Or should I be looking elsewhere? (Unity?)

Any other tool/technique/resources I should look at?

Any advice I can get from real developpers is much welcome! Thanks in advance.

Level 3
Don't let learning programming languages stand in your way, learn as you go. YOU WILL need to know how to program to a certain degree. I'd recommend using Unity and start messing with the Tuscany demo to kind of get a feel for how c# works. C# is very similar to C,C++ Doing that skips all the hard programming 🙂

Level 2
"molton" wrote:
Don't let learning programming languages stand in your way, learn as you go. YOU WILL need to know how to program to a certain degree. I'd recommend using Unity and start messing with the Tuscany demo to kind of get a feel for how c# works. C# is very similar to C,C++ Doing that skips all the hard programming 🙂

Thanks for your answer - Is it to say that visual scripting is not enough to accomplish what I want? UE4 templates already have a built-in first person view that lets you move around the scene you're creating, so I was under the impression I could almost skip completely having to code and rely on blueprints alone.

As for Unity... UE4 costs me 19 euros a month, it's hard to beat that. What are the advantages of Unity compared to UE4, in a nutshell?

Again thank you for answering 🙂

Level 3
The asset store.

And no matter what visual scripting an engine has, you will need to know how to program to an extent, even if for that one thing you want to do that the visual editor is not capable of. I know from experience :evil:
Current WIPs using Unreal Engine 4: Agrona - Tales of an Era: Medieval Fantasy MORPG

Level 3
"saviornt" wrote:
The asset store.

There has to be more then that, surely?
Or is this why the Unreal Engine 4 community is full of so many former Unity developers? :?:

If cost is going to be an issue, then I would suggest UE4.
$19 a month is only if you continue to subscribe.
You can just pay $19 once, get the current build (including full source) and then unsubscribe.
This will net you everything you need.
If at, at a later date, you want to get all the latest updates etc, just resubscribe.

This may change if Unity 5 comes up with a similar subscription plan, which at this point is almost a certainty.
Rule#21: Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

Level 2
Thank you both for the answers. Well it looks like I will have to bite the bullet and look at basic C++ programming concepts... Folks on UE4 forums told me the same thing you have, in essence.

As for the asset store, I can get by making my own meshes and textures for the time being. By the time I need to purchase assets for my projects (hint: it's going to be a looong while), UE4 marketplace will be full of content for sale.

Level 4
I definitely recommend UE4 because it is just so much cheaper than Unity. If you were already a skilled C# developer with a huge wad of cash to blow, then Unity might make sense. But if you are only just starting out it only makes sense to use the engine that isn't prohibitively expensive. For that matter, I am a skilled C# developer with considerably less C++ skill, and even I am leaning very strongly toward UE4 because of the price.

Level 2
I had the same kind of problem recently. Continue using Unity, with my c# knowledge, or convert my project to UE4, and learn C++ ? I still have to buy the Unity licence, so it was something I had to think about. Here are the reason why I'm staying with Unity.

First, it's not only 19$ vs 1500$. it's 1500 vs 19 + 5% of everything you make from the game. If with your full game you make 40 000$, Unity is cheaper. I'm not sure that I'll make any money from my game, but if I do, at least the game engine is already paid. Now, UE have modified some little things in their licence, so if you make 3000$ every 3 month, you don't have to give them anything. Well, just do the math, if you plan on making money, Unity might be cheaper eventually. As I have a main job, this was not the main concern to me.

But the real reason why I chose Unity was the performance. Unity can make great games on mobile phones, so you can make nice things even for low-end hardware. UE4 is geared toward AAA titles, ressources demanding graphics. Even a simple rollercoaster in the rift made with UE4 needs a great graphic card to keep the fps high. In the rift, the fps are important : you'll want to keep the count above 75 on the DK2, and possibly higher with the commercial version. It is easily doable with Unity, but not so easy with UE4. For information, someone on reddit tried one of the UE4 demo at a 4K resolution with the rift mode : he got less than 1 fps with an nvidia 780ti. ( ).

Oh, and you have the asset store, and the tutorials are great. I'm not saying that Unity is better than UE4, but everyone keep saying "go for UE4 it's cheaper and look at the lights, no brainer !" and that's not entirely true, especially for the rift.

Level 2
About the asset store, isn't UE4 markeplace going to be just like that in the near future?

And as far as tutorials go, so far I find Epic tutorials, well, epic. There are a ton and most are easy to follow even for total beginners like me.

Your points about performances are interesting... But then again for the foreseable future I am just going to create content for myself and I update my gear on a regular basis.

I guess I will stick to UE4 🙂

Level 2
To get better performance for UE4 there are a few settings that really effect performance. Including how you actually run the game.

UE4 still is very much in development, there are a lot of features still under construction and some known issues that are being worked on. But a lot of it works amazingly and you can basically just ignore the problems till they are worked out. Then things like the Behavior tree and Blueprint makes it easy to visualize and debug.

Plus to get started you can just pay 19 bucks and get the full engine. Get started and put things together then in a couple of months signup again and get the updates.

Maybe just signup for a month for that 19 bucks and give it a try.