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    State of Gear VR

    Hey Everybody,

    I wanted to give an update on our progress with GearVR. While we're not always as active as we could be here in the discussion with you all, we spend a bit of time gathering info from your posts to help guide our internal decision making. Here's a look into where we are at with Gear VR and where we are going.

    Controller Support
    Controller support is on it's way but this is not just being built for Gear VR but for Android as a whole. We are also re-working the way the engine interfaces with controllers in general to make things like having a player with two input devices easier to achieve.

    MSAA Support
    MSAA on mobile isn't currently officially supported in the engine. We provided an alternative implementation on GitHub, but as most of you know, Lollipop broke that implementation. We're investigating a proper implementation with our Mobile team, and will hopefully have an ETA soon.

    Swipes & Example Content
    We do have some tasks and time set aside for creating an example Gear VR project that shows you how to set up a lot of the things you are asking for. However the Learning Resources team has had to shift focus for the time being but this task has not been forgotten and will be picked up again once we get a few other tasks off our plate.

    Gear VR Global Menu
    Last Thursday a new section to the Gear VR docs was added that shows you how to get a very basic global menu to come up. It is very basic but it will give you a better idea about to call the global menu in your game. It should go live with the next doc update so be sure to check the Gear VR docs.

    Oculus Audio SDK
    Unfortunately, in general, UE4 does not support spatialized audio on Android. Our audio programmer is currently in the process of overhauling the audio engine across all platforms, which will in turn bring Android into more feature parity with other equivalent platforms. In the meantime, the current Android audio engine support wouldn't be able to support the Oculus Audio plugin without significant work, and it would be questionable on whether or not it'd be performant enough for the device. Also, as an FYI, if you were to use the fMOD hack to get Gear VR to have specialized audio you would also need to acquire a license for fMOD as it is not free to use.

    Documentation
    The Learning Team has been making updates to all the Gear VR docs as new things come on line. However I must admit that during the time that I have been using Gear VR modifying .INI files has never come up. I will talk to Nick W more about this so that I can better understand what Gear VR specific .INI settings there are and how to best use them and then document my findings.

    As the staff here are passionate VR fans, I can assure you that we are working on these problems and all of your concerns relating to Gear VR have not fallen to the wayside. I know that this might not be the answers you are looking for, but we really appreciate your patience and are thankful for the feedback you have given.

    #2
    Thanks Sam for finally giving us some feedback - transparency is always best even if it isn't the shiny package we were hoping for

    One thing missing from your list is the distribution build bug - when exporting with Distribution build ticked the app crashes when starting it.

    Originally posted by Sam Deiter View Post
    Hey Everybody,
    MSAA Support
    MSAA on mobile isn't currently officially supported in the engine. We provided an alternative implementation on GitHub, but as most of you know, Lollipop broke that implementation. We're investigating a proper implementation with our Mobile team, and will hopefully have an ETA soon.
    This is really a must have and very disappointing 4.8 did not have it already as the competitor engine does - I hope we get a github branch soon with it working and we don't have to wait for 4.9 ...

    Originally posted by Sam Deiter View Post
    Swipes & Example Content
    We do have some tasks and time set aside for creating an example Gear VR project that shows you how to set up a lot of the things you are asking for. However the Learning Resources team has had to shift focus for the time being but this task has not been forgotten and will be picked up again once we get a few other tasks off our plate.
    Does that mean it is already possible in 4.8 without code modification? Looking forward to seeing that ...

    Originally posted by Sam Deiter View Post
    Gear VR Global Menu
    Last Thursday a new section to the Gear VR docs was added that shows you how to get a very basic global menu to come up. It is very basic but it will give you a better idea about to call the global menu in your game. It should go live with the next doc update so be sure to check the Gear VR docs.
    Could you drop a quick note in this thread when it's live? Saves a lot of pressure on our F5 keys

    Originally posted by Sam Deiter View Post
    Oculus Audio SDK
    Unfortunately, in general, UE4 does not support spatialized audio on Android. Our audio programmer is currently in the process of overhauling the audio engine across all platforms, which will in turn bring Android into more feature parity with other equivalent platforms. In the meantime, the current Android audio engine support wouldn't be able to support the Oculus Audio plugin without significant work, and it would be questionable on whether or not it'd be performant enough for the device. Also, as an FYI, if you were to use the fMOD hack to get Gear VR to have specialized audio you would also need to acquire a license for fMOD as it is not free to use.
    dam I guess it's a while off then - thanks for the note about FMOD - as an approx ETA for spatialized audio on Android, is 4.9 realistic?

    Originally posted by Sam Deiter View Post
    Documentation
    The Learning Team has been making updates to all the Gear VR docs as new things come on line. However I must admit that during the time that I have been using Gear VR modifying .INI files has never come up. I will talk to Nick W more about this so that I can better understand what Gear VR specific .INI settings there are and how to best use them and then document my findings.
    This is a really important feature actually - see the chart in the section "Fixed Clock Level API" in the Oculus doc: https://developer.oculus.com/documen...ower-overview/
    Very important for a power hungry engine like UE4 - without this setting many of us struggle to keep 60FPS! Would be great to have it outside of ini files and in the gearvr plugin settings for example


    Thanks, and looking forward to hearing your ETAs - fingers crossed the ETAs still make UE4 viable for the GearVR - the first commercially launched VR device, which for VR freaks like ourselves is already a great entrance and something we want to get in on while still on the ground floor!
    Headgear - VR/AR solutions

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by aussieburger View Post
      One thing missing from your list is the distribution build bug - when exporting with Distribution build ticked the app crashes when starting it.)
      I must have missed this one when doing my R&D. Thanks for bringing it up and I will talk to Nick W about it and see what we can do to get that sorted. If I have missed anything else please let me know. Ohh and yes I will make sure to update this thread when the global menu goes live.

      Comment


        #4
        I appreciate the message. Thank you for staying in touch with us.

        Comment


          #5
          I don't really understand why it took a month to give us an update that basically says "we got nothin' so far". This post would have been much appreciated early June though, since the state was apparently the same...

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by spire8989 View Post
            I don't really understand why it took a month to give us an update that basically says "we got nothin' so far". This post would have been much appreciated early June though, since the state was apparently the same...
            Exactly, not a lot more than what we already knew, unfortunately :-/

            Comment


              #7
              With E3 coming and going I am quite sure they have been very busy with all aspects of the engine. Now that alot of these big shows and competitions are over I feel it is safe to assume that we will be seeing some more gear feedback in the near future.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Sam Deiter View Post
                I know that this might not be the answers you are looking for, but we really appreciate your patience and are thankful for the feedback you have given.
                Thank you, Sam. Appreciate the update.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for the update Sam Deiter! Appreciate you taking the time to lay this out, it at least gives us future prospects for using UE4.

                  -Peace

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks for the update, Sam. Epic has been silent for quite a while on this, and VR in general. Here's hoping that GearVR support will be brought up to spec soon. I'd like to release Circumpaint to the Oculus store, but need most of these fixed before I can.

                    Originally posted by Sam Deiter View Post
                    Hey Everybody,
                    Swipes & Example Content
                    We do have some tasks and time set aside for creating an example Gear VR project that shows you how to set up a lot of the things you are asking for. However the Learning Resources team has had to shift focus for the time being but this task has not been forgotten and will be picked up again once we get a few other tasks off our plate.
                    This implies that touchpad swiping works right now but its implementation is obscured, or hasn't been figured out by the community yet. Has this been true since the first GearVR release? It is something we never got an answer to during, or following, the Jam. Any hints on how to do it without having to put together a whole Learning Resource?

                    Thanks!

                    - Dave
                    Latest Demo, Turtle VR: http://www.turtlevr.com
                    Mobile VR Jam 2015 Entry: Circumpaint
                    VR game, Here Come The Dead: http://www.herecomethedead.com/
                    Main web site: http://www.gnometech.com/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Sam Deiter View Post
                      Hey Everybody,

                      I wanted to give an update on our progress with GearVR. While we're not always as active as we could be here in the discussion with you all, we spend a bit of time gathering info from your posts to help guide our internal decision making. Here's a look into where we are at with Gear VR and where we are going.
                      This Gear VR status update is much much appreciated, Sam. Thanks!
                      Continuous communication - especially with the most passionate/vocal ones - is so crucial to building a strong developer community. Happy to read that attention is given, hopefully reflected in a solid 4.9 update.

                      There was a feature that I was missing in your post, though. -> Mobile HDR for Gear VR, but it seems that there's some movement on that front as well.
                      Mimicry Games is a small indie studio based in Portugal.

                      We have recently launched our first Steam title, a competitive social multiplayer arcade game for VR, about cats, in space, eating sushi called: Ganbatte!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Mimicry Games View Post

                        There was a feature that I was missing in your post, though. -> Mobile HDR for Gear VR, but it seems that there's some movement on that front as well.
                        Mobile HDR never worked with Gear VR to begin with due to hardware limitations. However like you said there does seem to be some movement in that direction. When I know more I will make sure to update the relative documents and examples.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Yes, I knew Mobile HDR never worked on Gear VR but hardware limitations you say? Could you elaborate on that?
                          I can see hardware being the reason for a certain part of Mobile HDR related features not working, but certainly not all. Basic post processing seems to work with fine in other engines. Or is there a work-around for PP effects like fog for Gear VR?

                          We very much look forward to those updates when you know more. Thanks again.
                          Mimicry Games is a small indie studio based in Portugal.

                          We have recently launched our first Steam title, a competitive social multiplayer arcade game for VR, about cats, in space, eating sushi called: Ganbatte!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks for the update Sam, but none of the answers allow me to make the informed decisions I need to because there is no indication as to when these things will be fixed. At the moment I'm just blindly hoping that you've got things covered and that's not really a sensible way to plan for the future of my app. Despite your update I still feel like I've been left hanging. After investing so much time in Gear VR on UE4 it is really very frustrating. The release package 4.8.2 does not allow us to publish and sell our work and so is pretty unusable at the moment.

                            That said I spotted that Nick Whiting had made this https://github.com/EpicGames/UnrealEngine/commit/d12a40e61918b5771abc0cd21a4ba1bce16b5f90"]commit.

                            Does this mean the distribution build bug is fixed on master and that we can theoretically sell our VR apps now even if there'd be no AA or controller support?

                            If so that's great and welcome progress! Is that fix likely to make it in to the next minor update - 4.8.3? I could do without building from source again but if there's other fixes that I've missed in master too then I may well build from master again.

                            Also I spotted that J.J. Hoesing appears to have departed from Epic and joined Envelop VR and so this goes some way to explaining the recent lack of progress. I think it would behove you guys to just come out and say 'Yep, sorry guys we lost a key member of staff and that has slowed us down quite a bit. We've replaced/we're in the process of replacing him and so things should improve for Gear VR within X months/weeks' People get it that staff can leave and that this can affect progress, they don't get it when there's no real progress over three months and no explanation as to why that is.

                            So Sam please can we get a new update with some idea as to when we'll actually see progress on each of the issues outlined in this thread? Two weeks since your last update and two weeks is a long time in VR :-)

                            I eagerly await another update and it'd be even better if we could hear from Nick Whiting too. I think a message from him saying 'Don't worry guys we'll have you covered in plenty of time for the Consumer GearVR launch' would calm some nerves here. It'd really do you guys some good here given the slightly bruised nature of the relationship that has come to develop between Epic and UE4 Gear VR developers.

                            Also I'd be very happy if you guys told me I didn't need to bother waiting for this soon to be released 3rd party plugin for Google Cardboard because you've got it covered :-)

                            As I've said before mobile VR is where I think the market is going to be in the near term. I hope we start to see much better support and communication from Epic surrounding mobile VR in the future.

                            I think there'll be far more mobile HMD's out in the wild by the end of 2016 than the Rift, Morpheus and Vive combined. Longer term I expect this to change, but it'll be low cost devices like these that switch masses on to VR initially:

                            Gameface
                            Lockheed's Wearality - 140 degree field of view for $50
                            Cardboard suppliers like Knoxlabs
                            Homido

                            & of course Gear VR

                            Thanks for reading and sorry about being so grumpy yet again!
                            Last edited by Fiasco Lemlaw; 07-19-2015, 10:06 AM.
                            My Gear VR app got through to the Oculus Mobile Jam 2015 finals. Hurray!
                            Check out the latest video and download the installer by visiting:
                            The Curator's Mini-Museum of Natural History - http://imnh.org (Built with UE4)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by robeastham View Post
                              Also I spotted that J.J. Hoesing appears to have departed from Epic and joined Envelop VR and so this goes some way to explaining the recent lack of progress. I think it would behove you guys to just come out and say 'Yep, sorry guys we lost a key member of staff and that has slowed us down quite a bit. We've replaced/we're in the process of replacing him and so things should improve for Gear VR within X months/weeks' People get it that staff can leave and that this can affect progress, they don't get it when there's no real progress over three months and no explanation as to why that is.
                              wow how'd you spot that? Would also be interested to know more details and if that is why gearvr development slowed down ...

                              Originally posted by robeastham View Post
                              Thanks for the update Sam, but none of the answers allow me to make the informed decisions I need to because there is no indication as to when these things will be fixed. At the moment I'm just blindly hoping that you've got things covered and that's not really a sensible way to plan for the future of my app. Despite your update I still feel like I've been left hanging. After investing so much time in Gear VR on UE4 it is really very frustrating. The release package 4.8.2 does not allow us to publish and sell our work and so is pretty unusable at the moment.
                              Agree with this as well - which is why I asked alot of ETA related questions in the 1st reply above - without an ETA there is no plan - even if the ETA is only ballpark it would help us immensely ...
                              Headgear - VR/AR solutions

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