The Oculus Rift has been used to transport people everywhere from Jerry Seinfeld's fictional apartment to another human's body, and over the weekend, one developer began taking gamers someplace even a bit further from reality: to the bridge of Star Trek: Voyager's famous ship. The new virtual reality demo lets you walk around a fairly accurate recreation of the Voyager's bridge and even allows you to stare out into space as you whiz past distant stars. You'll be exploring the ship alone, however — unfortunately, no familiar crew members will be around for you to bump into, though you may just hear their voices off-screen.
"In a matter of minutes you can come up with an implementation that looks really amazing."
Road to VR believes that this is the first Oculus Rift demo from an independent developer that was made using the recently released Unreal Engine 4. Because the game engine includes support for the Rift, it could allow developers to create complex and graphically impressive virtual-reality worlds with an ease that wasn't afforded to them in the past. Speaking with Road to VR, the demo's developer, Thomas Kadlec, says just as much. "I almost have the sensation of being a 'movie director' when working with Unreal Engine 4," he says. "I can come up with an idea and in a matter of minutes you can come up with an implementation that looks really amazing."
We'll certainly continue to see developers use virtual reality to warp people into familiar fictional environments as they learn to code and create for the Rift and other VR platforms. As for why Kadlec started with the Voyager: "I’m a huge Oculus Rift fan, Star Trek fan, and Unreal Engine 4 fan," he tells Road to VR. "So I just figured I’d mix those all together!"