VR Dev – Part 6: Crouch, Materials, UI Investigation

Posted: April 1, 2013 in Hydra support in UDK, VR Dev
Tags: , , ,

Hey VR Heads!

So, this past week has been lots of random tutorials and reading the documentation in the newly opened Oculus Developer Center. Not a whole lot new to show off, but I definitely feel like I am making progress!

I got crouch working with the Hydra. Yet again, UDK is simpler that what I make it out to be. No need for Pawn.ShouldCrouch(bool bCrouch) or StartCrouch(float HeightOffset). Just use bDuck. Here’s the code from my HydraGamePlayerController.uc:

function LeftTriggerPress()
if(bDuck==0) bDuck = 1;

function LeftTriggerRelease()
if(bDuck==1) bDuck=0;

Also, I have been slowly but steadily learning more about the UDK editor. Kismet and Matinee are not terribly intuitive, but I am getting the hang of it.

Finally, after several recommendations, I ended up watching the anime series Sword Art Online on CrunchyRoll. It is a really cool show about gamers stuck in a VRMMO. The battle scenes and story were pretty fantastic.
I was impressed with how they presented the player UI in the show. It has a really clean design, and is gesture based. You can see an example here (skip ahead to 8:45):

Also in this vid (skip ahead to 5:52 and 18:45):

I began investigating how I would do such a thing in UDK. As it turns out, Scaleform has 3D UI functionality in UDK! Awesome! I have no idea how the layering of 2D objects will look in the Rift, but I am going to attempt to throw together a UI mock up that is similar to SAO.

Other than that, I am still working on binding the arms/hands of a Pawn to the position of the Hydra controllers. I have been slowly working through the info on this page: http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/UsingSkeletalControllers.html
Once I have that done, I will put together a comprehensive tutorial for adding Hydra support to UDK on a separate page, so future devs don’t have to go digging through blog posts.

Hoping to receive my dev kit this week!



  1. jayoh says:

    interesting update! thinking about the ui stuff, and sword art, do you think it’s possible to attach the ui to the wrist (left hydra) for example?

    i spent most of the weekend in my rift and i think the micro interactions are going to be a huge challenge to tackle. being present in the world is one part, but being able to control it is another.

    look forward to your future progress.

    • I was thinking floating screens like Sword Art, but touching the right icon may be a challenge.
      I really like some of the ideas in Steve D’s video here:

      He has a target that activates on proximity, and gets smaller as you approach the panel. That might make things easier. The wrist panel is cool too! Still, I think any icon or button that the user has to touch will need to be pretty large.

      Placing the UI on the wrist/arm might be doable – like a pip-boy style thing. However, it seems like real estate would be limited if you have to have text rather large in the Rift. Maybe use it for only a few things, like a UI shortcut? Or something the player can flip their wrist and glance at, like a watch.
      Also, I haven’t learned enough about Scaleform and its possibilities within UDK. So far, I am looking for examples of persistent UI attached to the player’s body that can be accessed in real time, kind of like Hawken does with the mech.

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