Entry 5: Once More Into The Breach

I started looking into Unreal Engine again.

Aside from my writing goals, working with games has been a big want-to-do since I was younger. It’s also been a while since my last entry, but I’m recalibrating my focus on it as part of a wider, long-term plan. My biggest stumbling block has been what-to-do once the tutorials end, because I haven’t really adopted the concepts or knowledge as my own, so much as following a recipe.

Trouble is, that’s not how I cook either. I sort of make up most of it as I go, with a few recipes I’ve done enough that I know how to do them without directions. Part of the problem is also EVERY tutorial these days seems to be a video. I hate following a video.

This time I’m looking into it from a more exploratory standpoint, which means more investigation/experimentation with concepts I already know, rather than trying to follow a tutorial. To get this happening, I came up with a simpler concept that sort of mirrored my once-preferred genre – the humble adventure game. To get this working, I’d need to have a different interface (just simple point and click), and work out how to interact with objects. I knew enough about blueprints from past tutes to tell me that I could use them this time (and I’ve had troubles in getting Visual Studio to run without crashing so yay blueprints are my saviour).

My first proof of concept goal – a scene that you interact with using the mouse. There are some gaps (think of them as exercise goals) on the latter end of the instructions. Lots of try/fail on this, but here’s what I did. The end result was a scene of red cubes, that you could click on, and turn them blue. Simple, yeah, but the first step in an interactive scene for doing a point-and-click game.


Actions:

  • Made a new Level “Start”
  • Added a camera actor to Level
  • Added a cube to Level
  • Added a player start to Level
  • On Player Start, Set auto-receive input to player 1
  • Dragged existing camera actor (in scene object list) onto Player Start (it becomes a component)
  • Added a directional light to Level
  • Added blueprint classes:
  • GameMode “ClickGame”, Actor “ClickObject”, Pawn “PlayerView”,
  • PlayerController “PointAndClick”
  • On settings for ClickGame:
  • Set default pawn class to PlayerView
  • Set player controller to PointAndClick
  • Project settings->Maps and modes –
  • Set default levels (both kinds) to Level “Start”
  • Set default gamemode to ClickGame
  • On settings for PointAndClick:
  • Tick show mouse cursor, enable click events, enable mouseover events
  • Set default cursor to crosshairs
  • On PlayerView, set AI controller to Pointandclick
  • Add BP_Sky_Sphere and Atmospheric Fog to level. Edited colours on each to liking

Vaguely remember doing the next bit:

  • Added a Cube component to the ClickObject.
  • Created two materials (redsy and bluesy) that had colours set by a Vector3 Constant (as red and blue respectively)
  • Edited ClickObject blueprint – construction sets material to redsy
  • Edited Clickobject blueprint – event, an OnClick (or whatever they call it) changed the material to bluesy
  • Added some of these ClickObjects to the scene.
  • Ran. Click on some, they turn blue. The starting (non-ClickObject) cube doesn’t.

That’s it.


From here I have a few different goals, almost wholly on the interaction side. Wouldn’t mind turning the scene/level into some kind of room, with some objects that could be interacted with, to reveal a key, that let you go to another scene/level.

Just really, a simple point-and-click puzzle.

Hopefully I’ll have an Entry 6 on the sooner side!

4 thoughts on “Entry 5: Once More Into The Breach

  1. I completely agree that video tutorials are usually annoying. Things may be too small to see, the pace may be bad, or there may be a different version where the UI looks different and confuses things. Lists of steps (with optional screenshots) are the best way to go.

    Have you tried Unity? I’m curious which has an easier learning curve.

    1. I tried a little of Unity (and have a friend that swears by it though he’s planning to check out UE soon), but the workflow it starts with didn’t fit with what felt natural for me. There’s definite similarities, and I’ve seen UE does a “UE for Unity Developers” guide to help transition.

      They’re both accessible enough that you could try get started with each, and see what works best for you – alternatively dive into whichever you like the looks of because learning curve becomes moot over time.

        1. I know UEs Paper 2D stuff is still experimental, but that’s what I was working with when I followed my first UE tutorial. There’s also a quick-start 2d project that’s basically the outcome of that tutorial

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