[GearVR] Tips for increasing iteration time with GearVR

Hi everyone,
I’m just beginning my journal with Unreal Engine and developing for GearVR, and I am finding that the largest bottleneck is the time spent packaging the game. I unchecked “full rebuild” in the packaging settings, but the wait time for packaging still seems to be well over a minute, even when I just make a small change like moving the position of a particle effect. Between the packaging time and then the deployment time to the S6, I feel like my overall iteration time is too low to be nearly as effective as I’d like to be. This becomes even more frustrating because a lot of the effects that run well on my laptop bring the gear to a halt- which makes sense, but makes it very difficult to efficiently develop for. Has anyone else in the GearVR dev community run into this issue? If so- any tips on how to speed up development and packaging?

Unfortunately the way you are doing it is about as good as it gets, from what I could find.

Something I was able to do was to test stuff on the phone without actually putting it in the Gear. I was using a DS4 controller connect via Bluetooth to look and control without the Gear sensors. Doing it this way also helped for getting debug information (e.g. draw calls/memory usage) when doing certain things in game, as I could display it on the screen and still just about read it (which I couldn’t do in the Gear).

It is also possible to set up wireless Android APK. Meaning you don’t need to plug phone in to PC to install the game every time. I have not tried this tho as it is apparently much slower so probably not of much use to you.

Thanks Drenmon, appreciate the response! Not actually putting in the gear will help somewhat for sure.

Unfortunately not a lot of tips that I know either, deploying apps on gear VR is still a pain. If you use the “launch” button instead of packaging the whole game, though, the editor is supposed to updated only the files that actually changed and iterations get a bit faster, especially if you have lots of assets.

I know this is probably a silly suggestion unless you have the hardware but I have been using a DK2 to test my project in editor which behaves exactly the same way as GearVR, this doesn’t help with performance tracking, I also run the editor is ES2 mode and do most of my performances tests there as the recommended drawcall/polycounts/texture memery are pretty straight forward to understand, this at least stops the amount of deployments fo

Over time it should be easier and cheaper to get hands on a dk2 which will make dev time more efficient.

On a typical hour of working for the Gear I can package the project around 4-5 times. The solution I found that helps me the most involves two steps:

  1. Buy a home pull up bar.
  2. Do 5-10 sets of pull ups while packaging and optionally while deploying to the phone.
    This way you’ll fix the core issue of feeling like you’re doing nothing for a few extra seconds. Alternatively, push ups work as well, and depending on how much you’re working on the Gear you might end up mixing the two to avoid fatigue.

That’s actually a great suggestion! I have one and have been doing that:)