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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest Blog: My First Excursion Into the Unreal Editor

0 comments by Gamieon on Aug 18th, 2014

While in-between major projects that use the Unity game engine, I decided to give the Unreal Editor a spin to see what all the hype was about. For those of you who just want to see the cool stuff first, here's a video of my first playable Gauntlet-like dungeon crawl prototype finished in about twenty five hours of work.

The assets were all imported from Unreal's marketplace. All I did was put everything together.

Getting Started

After getting through the first hour of "I have no idea what is going on" and then watching Unreal's tutorial videos, I started setting little goals for myself to learn how to do things. The first of these was figuring out how to turn off "Realtime" editor rendering since I didn't like my computer fans going full blast while I was idle. The second was to resign myself to do something simple yet neat looking.

Spotlight Test

My first accomplishment was adding a spotlight to a third-person tutorial scene and having it follow the player character. If the character stood on top of a button, the spotlight would turn off. If they got off, the spotlight turned back on. I briefly thought about developing an evade/infiltrate kind of game, but was more interested in making my own Mineralz/LoL/Tower Defenese game that took place in the old Wild West. Lets just call it "Lone Star Guns."

Lone Star Guns

The next accomplishment was prototyping the home base for Lone Star Guns. The heart of the base was a campfire. Surrounding the base and taking up most of the playfield would be rocks that you carve out to expand your base and create additional lanes for enemy zombies to come in from (thereby relieving pressure on the default lane). For prototyping purposes, I added only a few rocks around the base. There are also three resources you can have workers "mine" from: Food (crops), wood (trees), and a mine (metal). My interest faded after making a basic inanimate scene; I felt like I was borrowing too many ideas from other games and I wasn't doing any serious development anyway. I then decided to help my friend with a prototype for his version of "Gauntlet" by creating my own prototype first.

Gauntlet Clone

I set a goal to make my Gauntlet prototype resemble a Diablo 3 level. This was done by creating a landscape and carving out paths in it. I failed to make the landscape look like the bottom half of a cave (I'm pretty sure it wasn't designed for that) so I did a Google search for anything related to the Unreal Editor and caves. Lucky me, I found that Unreal had a Cave Effects demo on their marketplace. It was beautiful, and I wanted those assets in my scene! As I downloaded it I also noticed the Mixamo Animation Pack for character prototyping on the marketplace as well...PERFECT.

To keep a long story short: I replaced the landscape with a collection of rocks, added neat looking particle effects and materials all over the place, figured out how to make a flaming sword and put it in a character's hand, make the character throw fireballs, and make enemies spawn and get hit by fireballs.

After about twenty-five hours of playing with the Unreal Editor since installing it, I actually had a functional gauntlet-like prototype! I admit I took a real hack-and-slash approach to learning, but I wanted to see what I could accomplish by tinkering with the Unreal Editor at my own pace.

What's next?

Though I'm tempted to finish developing a game in Unreal, I'll be going back to Unity development once the studio I'm working with finalizes the design document for the new Paper Cowboys. Until then I'll probably do one or more of the following in my free time:

  • Look at what other features UE4 has to offer and put them in my own list with two measures: One for "difficulty level" and one for "coolness factor."
  • Look at UE4's asset importing. I'd like to know more about what file formats it supports and its thought process when importing meshes with textures
  • Learn more about materials and particle systems
  • Learn more about landscape generation
  • Create some basic AI

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Post comment Comments
ArtisanCodesmith Sep 24 2012, 7:38am says:

I'm new to IndieDB and ModDB and wish to invite a few people (random people picked from the online list lol) to view my game and start generating a few opinions, do you mind taking a quick look? The game is called Arkanius. Thanks, Artisan Codesmith. :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
AlexVSharp Jan 30 2012, 6:07pm says:

Wow, well written. You should include this article in the Unity Dev's group. ;)

+3 votes     reply to comment
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Latest tweets from @gamieon

Posted new images plus the video on Reddit #screenshotsaturday as well T.co

Aug 23 2014, 12:00am

Got prototype bots and a soccer ball on the field for my Unreal game T.co #indiegame #indiedev

Aug 22 2014, 11:36pm

Starting a new prototype for a #indiegame I came up with a few days ago. Unreal makes it easy to do! T.co

Aug 21 2014, 8:52pm

Also posted some screenshots for Screenshot Saturday on Reddit T.co

Aug 16 2014, 12:03am

Spent a few more hours making another zone in my Unreal game prototype. Good content, good engine! T.co

Aug 15 2014, 10:47pm

Decided to learn Unreal Editor 4 development for fun. Made this in about 20 hrs from scratch w/ their assets T.co

Aug 15 2014, 5:50pm

Taking a long break from Unity development. Tinkering with Unreal Engine while I try to form a team for #papercowboys

Aug 1 2014, 8:12am

Total number of downloads for all my games released since Nov 2010: 271,505. Feels good!

Jul 24 2014, 7:58pm

#hamsterchase officially held a featured spot on the Windows Phone store! Now back to fixing bugs... T.co

Jul 11 2014, 7:37pm

#hamsterchase is now on the Windows Phone Store! T.co

Jun 29 2014, 12:08pm

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