The interview was prepared before Unreal Summit 2017 to introduce the features of Epic Games' VR game 'Robo Recall' and discuss the future technology development. Nick Whiting Technical Director, Nick Donaldson Lead Designer, and Jerome Platteaux Art Director attended the event.
First, about VR's attractions felt while developing 'Robo Recall' with VR platform, Nick Donaldson pointed out that giving the feeling that the virtual environment is unfolded before the eyes, unlike 2D as the biggest attraction of VR. He also introduced the case that it becomes difficult to return to the previous 2D monitor environment after his friend, who did modeling, first checked the result in one to one size through a VR headset during development.
In addition, Nick Whiting answered to the question about what advantage Unreal Engine 4 has in developing VR games that, "In development, without enough understanding, the progress will become slow. However, rather than simply applying VR function, it could be possible to present an improvement by applying know-how gained from developing games to the engine. What's more, through a visual script blueprint allows as many people as possible to quickly share and try ideas."
Next, to the question about differences between the game and movie, Jerome Platteaux answered that the movie tries to put all possible scenes in one scene while the game has a completely different working method as the camera freely moves. Also, in the case of VR games, careful attention should be paid to lighting and others in terms of programming.
Nick Donaldson answered to the question about the plan to use a sequencer function of Unreal Engine 4 to create a movie-like VR game that, "We do not have a plan to create it right now, but we have seen a lot of things created by other companies such as Oculus VR. It was possible to get a feeling different from the usual cinematic when performing an experimental work in the intro scene of Robo Recall." And, Nick Whiting expressed his opinion that "It could be a true VR cinematic by adding interactions about users' reaction to increase the immersion."
Meanwhile, in regard to 'Robo Recall', the company have gotten a number of feedbacks related to controllability such as "there is a difficulty in controlling rotation" and the feedbacks related to details such as "the city in the game is too much cleaner than the actual San Francisco". It is introduced that the company is applying the updates like skipping the cutscene and 360-degree tracking and planning a partnership with a partner related to MOD function.
In addition to the question about the future of VR, Nick Whiting said, "Although many people have skeptical views on VR equipment, VR has not been long since its emergence and think that there will be masterpiece contents that will make you feel the necessity to purchase after 2-3 years. Personally, I do not think that AR and VR will be combined into one, but as I believe both of them have the same problem, if we first dominate VR market, it will be easier to adapt to AR."
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