Unity releases EditorVR preview build

December 16, 2016 // 9:05 a.m.

Tags: #editorvr #game-engine #htc-vive #oculus-rift #oculus-touch #unity #virtual-reality #vr

Game engine specialist Unity has launched a preview build of its EditorVR tool, which allows developers to create and edit content for virtual reality within virtual reality.

One of the most powerful features of the current raft of virtual reality systems is the ability to use them not only for content consumption but for content creation. Tools like Google's Tilt Brush take the act of creation directly into virtual reality itself, using motion-sensing controls to build a scene without ever having to take off the headset and go back to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Unity's EditorVR, then, represents the company's attempt to allow game developers to build objects and scenes for virtual reality gaming directly within virtual reality, just as Tilt Brush allows artists to draw and shape objects therein. Shown off in demo form at the Unite conference last month, EditorVR lets designers actively inhabit the scene on which they are working and drag, drop, and conjure up objects on demand. Compared to previous methods of building virtual worlds, which rely upon 2D projections of a 3D space on a planar monitor, the experience should be more immersive, feel more natural, and lead to better environments for gamers - at least, that's Unity's overall goal.

The release this week of a preview build marks the first time developers outside Unity's closed trial have had a chance to play with EditorVR. While much work has been done to get it ready for public consumption, including the development of a unified control system compatible with both the HTC Vive and Oculus Touch controllers, the company is clear that the tool isn't production-ready. 'It’s important to note that EditorVR is an experimental feature. As such, there is no formal support offered,' Unity has warned. 'To help ensure you have a good experience, and to help us answer your questions we encourage you to try it out first with a small VR-ready Scene. Please use life-sized objects, nothing too big or small. Dive in and have fun just playing around, instead of trying to use your existing project.'

Details on how to install the test build of EditorVR into Unity can be found in the official documentation.
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