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

Pages: 137-144

ISBN: 9781450314695

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.

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