CaveUDK: A VR game engine middleware
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Authors: Lugrin, J.L., Charles, F., Cavazza, M., Le Renard, M., Freeman, J. and Lessiter, J.
Journal: Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST
Previous attempts at developing immersive versions of game engines have faced difficulties in achieving both overall high performance and preserving reusability of software developments. In this paper, we present a high-level VR middleware based on one of the most successful commercial game engines: the Unreal® Engine 3.0 (UE3). We describe a VR framework implemented as an extension to the Unreal® Development Kit (UDK) supporting CAVE™-like installations. Our approach relies on a distributed architecture reinforced by specific replication patterns to synchronize the user's point of view and interactions within a multi-screen installation. Our performance benchmarks indicated that our immersive port does not affect the game engine performance, even with complex real-time applications, such as fast-paced multiplayer First Person Shooter (FPS) games or highresolution graphical environments with 2M+ polygons. A user study also demonstrated the capacity of our VR middleware to elicit high spatial presence while maintaining low cybersickness effects. With free distribution, we believe such a platform can support future entertainment and VR research. Copyright 2012 ACM.