Creation of a Virtual Reality Game using Unreal Engine 4

Author: 

Merli Lall

Degree: 

B.Sc.

Supervisors: 

Date: 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Thesis language: 

Estonian

Abstract: 

The purpose of this thesis project was to create a virtual reality video game experience. Along the developing process the author learned the aspects of the Unreal Engine 4 game engine, of which insights are also presented in the thesis. The solution can be considered as a learning material on one specific example of how to create virtual reality game in Unreal Engine 4. The game was designed based on the client’s idea of a virtual reality experience around one of the company's symbols represented by an oak tree. The game was developed by 3 students of Tallinn University of Technology in the Mektory Virtual and Augmented Reality Laboratory. The author’s tasks in the team were level design and programming the game logic using the Unreal Engine 4 blueprint scripting language. The game logic had to cover all the necessities of a functioning game: general flow of the game, creating interactive objects, game pawn, level switching logic and implementation of game point acquisition system (scoring). The result was a virtual reality game which uses the HTC Vive headset for the input and output interfaces. The player’s objective is to collect as many objects as possible within the given time limit. Each object has a specific point value. One of the most important decisions during development was putting a virtual time counter on the player’s wrist thus making use of the interactive potential of the virtual reality. In this case the countdown did not disturb the player while the player always had an option to check the remaining time. Audio cues were additionally given at specific moments to remind the user of the remaining time. Therefore, the 3D virtual reality user interfaces should exist within the game space and use more senses to provide a more realistic experience. It was also concluded that if the player has an objective within the defined space it is less important for the player to find out what happens outside of the defined area. Therefore, less foliage was used in the level design in order to gain higher frames per second rate of the game. A tutorial level was created before the actual game in order to learn about the mechanics without the time limit. The main game experience was enhanced greatly by the development of the tutorial level. However, the instructional aspect could be improved by presenting the user with less information and having interactive guides or even an  artificial intelligence companion as the guide. The development of the main level and tutorial level is described along with the Unreal Engine 4 blueprints. This virtual reality game successfully performs its task. A working system has been created to allow the player to register, learn and successfully complete the game. The game is being used in all Baltic countries as an introductory application for virtual reality by Swedbank. In Estonia, the game has been used in larger events like Robotex, Võti Tulevikku and Night of Scientists.

Electronic version: