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VR development and preview without HMD

Hi i am starting out with VR development and wanted to know if it is possible to move forward with VR development without HMD, because I cannot afford it.

The short answer is yes! But it takes tweaking, and its 10000% worth having your base VR functionality (like loco, grabbing, teleporting, etc) established beforehand.

In past projects ive set up functionality for a VR player pawn that doesnt require the HMD. What it looks like on screen is a camera view with the left and right controllers floating in front of it and the player uses WASD for strafing, QE for vertical movement and RF+CV for vertical/horizontal rotation respectively. To do this I built on from existing functionality for Oculus/SteamVR HMD compatibility that used a switch node and a ‘Get HMD Device Name’ function. The function returns a string, the switch node changes controller offsets and inputs based on which HMD is being used, and when the function returns ‘None’, I set up the player pawn for non-VR use.

Youll also need gamepad or keyboard controls for inputs, but everything will work in exactly the same way as with a HMD, with the obvious exception that you wont be able to do, like, hand velocity-based stuff or test how far/hard you can throw stuff.