October 5, 2015

Unreal at Oculus Connect 2

By Chance Ivey

Developers recently gathered in Hollywood for the second Oculus Connect to experience new VR content, learn from experts in the exciting new medium, and discover what’s next from Oculus and their partners. 

From Oculus Story Studio’s impressive Henry short film to the unveil of Epic’s new VR demo, Bullet Train, Unreal Engine was everywhere, on the floor and on the stage.

Wednesday saw a flood of virtual reality enthusiasts pour into the Loews Hotel to queue for the new VR attractions never seen before. Numerous titles built with Unreal Engine were to be found including the abovementioned Henry, as well as Toybox, another of Oculus’ groundbreaking internal projects. 


That afternoon, CCP Games took the stage to talk about their premier GearVR game, Gunjack, and to give the audience practical advice for targeting the mobile VR platforms when making games of their own. 


Later, Jake Kaufmann and Justin Moravetz of ZeroTransform discussed building audio-focused experiences in VR and showed off the Unreal Dev Grant-awarded NUREN: The New Renaissance. Down the hall, Patrick Harris from Minority Media shared lessons the team learned while building their UE4 VR game, Time Machine.


That evening, Kenneth Scott and Per Vognson from Oculus gave a heavily insightful talk about building the first Crescent Bay demos in Unreal Engine 4 for last year’s Oculus Connect. Their design approach coupled with the tools made it possible to deliver an impactful experience at every turn. 

Thursday, everything heated up, as the Oculus team took the stage for their annual keynote. Epic Games’ Founder Tim Sweeney joined Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe to present Bullet Train using the brand new Oculus Touch controllers. 


Attendees then had a chance to get their hands on Bullet Train at the conference, and they loved it. Everyone from Engadget to The Verge found it to lead the way in terms of VR design and use of input. 

Thursday also brought more talks from Unreal Engine developers. Ikrima Elhassan from Kite and Lightning participated in a panel on making movies in VR, Oculus discussed the creation of Toybox, and Oculus Story Studio used Henry as the basis for their presentation on filmmaking. Also, our fiends over Penrose Studios announced their upcoming  mobile-focused VR game, ROSE.

Friday saw the sunset of the conference, and our team enjoyed spending time with developers and talking through a number of concepts to make their VR projects look better and be more performant. 


Oculus Connect 2 was an energetic blast, and we’re sad that it’s already over. If we didn’t get to connect at the show (sorry for the pun), feel free to drop us a line on the forums.