Has anyone made a "fake" VR plugin that allows limited VR development without any hardware?

Okay, so this might sound a little crazy, but has anyone written a UE4 VR plugin that simulates having a HMD + 2 motion controllers in software only?

I’m thinking this imaginary plugin acts like a software-only substitute for the Steam/Oculus/Gear VR plugins. When enabled, it tells UE4 that a valid headset + motion controllers are connected to the machine, and feeds the engine the necessary transforms + input from the virtual HMD + motion controllers. It allows the game to run in VR mode (stereo view), and creates a virtual HMD transform with motion controllers placed in the front left/right of that transform (so they can be seen easily in the HMD view). The player can slide the HMD around in virtual roomscale using WASD/cursor keys + mouse look, as well as adjust height with CTRL/SHIFT. It could also map some shortcuts to common motion controller inputs.

“Why!?” you ask? Mostly because I’m lazy and like flexibility. I develop VR stuff in UE4 at work, but every now and then I’ll get the opportunity to work from home. If I know in advance I’ll bring a headset home with me, but sometimes I’ll only find out at the last minute (eg. extreme weather), and I don’t have the hardware with me. Something like this plugin would allow me to continue developing in VR without needing an actual headset a lot of the time. You’d obviously still need the hardware for some stuff, but for a lot of scripting, gameplay logic, testing flow etc., I think it’d be really useful.

I could also see it being useful to people who can’t afford VR headsets, but still want to play around with VR in UE4.

I don’t imagine it would be a particularly complex plugin to write. What do you think?

I like to know about this too, as I am waiting for the actual device (which fortunately we can borrow from our client) delivered to me. In the meanwhile, I like test out stuff, but it seems UE4 doesn’t simulate without the actual headset.

You can quite literally do this with a first person pawn and a little custom logic. Why would it need to be a specialized plugin?

IE: First person pawn, map mouse buttons to your gripping logic and assign buttons to move your virtual hands around. I do this with a subclass of my main VR character that I override some functions in.

There is also the -EmulateStereo command but again…why would you want it to actually be in stereo for 2D testing? You won’t be seeing it in stereo so any perceived depth or scale won’t exist anyway, no reason to not run gameplay testing as flat and confirm in VR at that point.

but would is method work if I’m trying to see if everything works in the VR Preview?

You can use Microsoft’s WMR Simulator: Using the Windows Mixed Reality simulator - Mixed Reality | Microsoft Docs