Entry Two: 2D or Not 2D

I’m doing bits and pieces of the Paper2D tutorial for Unreal Engine. While the module itself is still in an alpha state, I’m running through what it can do, which at the moment is just recreating the 2D game template the engine comes with. I’m doing this instead of starting with the template, so that I can hopefully understand what’s going on.

The tutorials itself is a series of videos that you can find over here, that really walk through the basics of putting together a simple 2D gamemode. The total length of the tutorial (all videos) is a little over two hours, but I’ve been staggering lessons over a few days.

I’m doing that because I want to give each one time to sink in, but also to try and build up a habit.

I’ve gone this way with it because I want to get some really basic things worked out before I start experimenting with my own ideas, and also to understand what’s going on with the engine.

It’s a strange experience so far, and I know I’ve messed something up, as the game refuses to recognise the orthographic camera attached to the player character, instead constantly giving the player start as our viewpoint. Might be to do with perspective mode in editor, but I don’t know.

It’s interesting what stuff is possible, and how much further it comes with a few checkboxes. The way it layers bits and pieces gives me ideas for walkbehinds ala how the old AGI engine used to mimic 3d areas, and presumably if the Y axis wasn’t at 0, you could do some cool layering with bits and pieces.

The goal (once I’ve got the tutorial finished) is to do a very basic sidescroller, with three areas (well, rooms) that you can move between, an enemy (or two) to attack, and that’s about it. That’s my own proof of concept. At the same time, my son is scrawling down ideas he has for a game of his own that’ll force me into 3D stuff, but even there we’re limiting the scope to relatively simple (I hope) to start with. That’s a walk-around, attack a thing, in a single area. It’ll be staggered of course, and I know I’ll want to do some of the other tutorials before I try implementing it.

Either way, this is where I’m going with it.

If anyone else has thought about diving into Unreal Engine 4 now that they’ve gone an made it more accessible, shout at me 🙂

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