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Sams Teach Yourself Unreal® Engine 4 Game Development in 24 Hours

Book Description

In just 24 lessons of one hour or less, learn how to start using Unreal Engine 4 to build amazing games for Windows, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android, the web, Linux—or all of them!

Sams Teach Yourself Unreal Engine 4 Game Development in 24 Hours' straightforward, step-by-step approach shows you how to work with Unreal Engine 4’s interface, its workflows, and its most powerful editors and tools. In just hours you’ll be creating effects, scripting warfare, implementing physics—even developing for mobile devices and HUDs. Every lesson builds on what you’ve already learned, giving you a rock-solid foundation for real-world success.

  • Organize new projects and work with the Gameplay Framework

  • Master Unreal’s units and control systems

  • Import 3D models and work with the Static Mesh Editor

  • Create new landscapes and use Unreal’s foliage system

  • Bring characters and creatures to life with the Persona Editor

  • Apply materials and build lighting

  • Integrate and modify audio with the Unreal Sound Cue Editor

  • Craft particle effects and simulate physics

  • Set up and react to player inputs

  • Build levels and entirely new worlds

  • Get started with powerful Blueprint visual scripting system

  • Script an arcade game from start to finish

  • Create events that respond to player actions

  • Spawn Actors during gameplay

  • Design and create action-based encounters

  • Optimize games for mobile devices and touch-based inputs

  • Build menus with Unreal’s UMG UI Designer

  • Prepare your game for deployment


  • Step-by-step instructions carefully walk you through the most common Unreal Engine 4 game development tasks.
    Practical, hands-on examples show you how to apply what you learn.
    Quizzes and Exercises help you test your knowledge and stretch your skills.
    Notes and tips point out shortcuts and solutions.

    All the project files and assets you'll need are available for download, including "before-and-after" files demonstrating initial setup and proper completion for every exercise.

    Table of Contents

    1. About This E-Book
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright Page
    4. Contents at a Glance
    5. Table of Contents
    6. Preface
      1. Who Should Read This Book
      2. How This Book Is Organized and What It Covers
    7. About the Authors
    8. Dedication
    9. Acknowledgments
    10. We Want to Hear from You!
    11. Reader Services
    12. Hour 1. Introducing Unreal Engine 4
      1. Installing Unreal
        1. Downloading and Installing the Launcher
        2. Downloading and Installing Unreal Engine
      2. Creating Your First Project
        1. The Project Browser
      3. Learning the Interface
        1. Menu Bar
        2. Modes Panel
        3. World Outliner Panel
        4. Details Panel
        5. Content Browser Panel
        6. Viewport Panel
      4. View Modes and Visualizers
        1. Show Flags
        2. Navigating a Scene in the Perspective Viewport
        3. Level Editor Toolbar
      5. Playing a Level
      6. Summary
      7. Q&A
      8. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      9. Exercise
    13. Hour 2. Understanding the Gameplay Framework
      1. Available Resources
        1. Play in Editor (PIE)
        2. Project Folder Structure
      2. Asset References and the Reference Viewer
        1. Saved Folder
      3. Gameplay Framework
        1. GameMode Class
        2. Controller Classes
        3. Pawn and Character Classes
        4. HUD Class
      4. Summary
      5. Q&A
      6. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      7. Exercise
    14. Hour 3. Coordinates, Transforms, Units, and Organization
      1. Understanding Cartesian Coordinates
      2. Working with Transforms
        1. Transformation Tools
        2. Interactive and Manual Transforms
        3. World and Local Transforms
      3. Assessing Units and Measurements
        1. Grid Units
        2. Snapping to the Grid
      4. Organizing a Scene
        1. World Outliner
        2. Folders
        3. Grouping
        4. Layers
        5. Attaching
      5. Summary
      6. Q&A
      7. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      8. Exercise
    15. Hour 4. Working with Static Mesh Actors
      1. Static Mesh Assets
      2. Static Mesh Editor
        1. Opening the Static Mesh Editor Window
        2. Importing Static Meshes
      3. Viewing UV Layouts
        1. Assigning a Material to a Static Mesh Asset
      4. Collision Hulls
        1. Viewing Collision Hulls
        2. Editing Collision Hulls
        3. Convex Decomposition
        4. Per-Poly Collision
      5. Static Mesh Actors
        1. Placing Static Mesh Actors into a Level
        2. Mobility Settings
        3. Changing the Mesh Reference for a Static Mesh Actor
        4. Replacing the Material on a Static Mesh Actor
        5. Editing Collision Responses on a Static Mesh Actor
      6. Summary
      7. Q&A
      8. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      9. Exercise
    16. Hour 5. Applying Lighting and Rendering
      1. Learning Light Terminology
      2. Understanding Light Types
        1. Adding Point Lights
        2. Adding Spot Lights
        3. Adding Sky Lights
        4. Adding Directional Lights
      3. Using Light Properties
      4. Building Lighting
        1. Swarm Agent
        2. Mobility
      5. Summary
      6. Q&A
      7. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      8. Exercise
    17. Hour 6. Using Materials
      1. Understanding Materials
      2. Physically Based Rendering (PBR)
      3. Material Input Types
        1. Base Color (Albedo)
        2. Metalness
        3. Roughness
        4. Normal
      4. Creating Textures
        1. Texture Sizes
        2. Powers of 2
        3. Texture File Types
        4. Importing Textures
      5. Making a Material
        1. Inputs and Outputs
        2. Value Nodes
        3. Instances
      6. Summary
      7. Q&A
      8. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      9. Exercise
    18. Hour 7. Using Audio System Elements
      1. Introducing Audio Basics
        1. Audio Components
        2. Importing Audio Files
      2. Using Sound Actors
        1. Creating Sound Cues
      3. Controlling Sounds with Audio Volumes
      4. Summary
      5. Q&A
      6. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      7. Exercise
    19. Hour 8. Creating Landscapes and Foliage
      1. Working with Landscapes
        1. Landscape Tools
        2. Creating Landscapes
        3. Landscape Management
      2. Sculpting Shapes and Volumes
        1. Tool Menu
        2. Brush Menu
        3. Falloff Menu
        4. Painting
        5. Landscape Materials
      3. Using Foliage
        1. Placing Foliage
      4. Summary
      5. Q&A
      6. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      7. Exercise
    20. Hour 9. World Building
      1. Building Worlds
        1. Environmental Narrative
        2. Anatomy of a Level
      2. World Building Process
        1. Establishing Scale
        2. Establishing Scope
        3. Shelling and Blocking
        4. Placing Props and Assets
        5. Lighting and Audio Pass
        6. Playtesting and Refining
      3. Summary
      4. Q&A
      5. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      6. Exercise
    21. Hour 10. Crafting Effects with Particle Systems
      1. Understanding Particles and Data Types
      2. Working with Cascade
        1. Using Emitters and Modules
        2. Using the Curve Editor
      3. Using Common Modules
        1. Required Module
        2. Spawn Module
        3. Lifetime Module
        4. Initial Size and Size By Life Modules
        5. Initial Color, Scale Color/Life, and Color Over Life Modules
        6. Initial Velocity, Inherit Parent Velocity, and Const Acceleration Modules
        7. Initial Location and Sphere Modules
        8. Initial Rotation and Rotation Rate Modules
      4. Setting Up Materials for Particles
        1. Particle Color
        2. SubUV Textures
      5. Triggering Particle Systems
        1. Auto Activate
        2. Activating Particle Systems Through Level Blueprints
      6. Summary
      7. Q&A
      8. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      9. Exercise
    22. Hour 11. Using Skeletal Mesh Actors
      1. Defining Skeletal Meshes
      2. Importing Skeletal Meshes
      3. Learning Persona
        1. Skeleton Mode
        2. Mesh Mode
        3. Animation Mode
        4. Graph Mode
      4. Using Skeletal Mesh Actors
      5. Summary
      6. Q&A
      7. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      8. Exercise
    23. Hour 12. Matinee and Cinematics
      1. Matinee Actors
        1. Matinee Actor Properties
      2. Matinee Editor
        1. Tracks Panel
        2. Setting Sequence Length
        3. Play Head
        4. Groups
        5. Tracks
      3. Curve Editor
        1. Interpolation Modes
      4. Working with Other Tracks
        1. Sound Track
      5. Working with Cameras in Matinee
        1. Camera Groups and Actors
        2. Director Group
        3. Working with Matinee Data Assets
      6. Summary
      7. Q&A
      8. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      9. Exercise
    24. Hour 13. Learning to Work with Physics
      1. Using Physics in UE4
        1. Common Physics Terms
        2. Assigning the Physics Game Mode to a Level
        3. Project and World Physics Settings
      2. Simulating Physics
      3. Using Physical Materials
        1. Creating a Physical Material Asset
        2. Assigning a Physical Material to a Static Mesh Actor
        3. Assigning a Physical Material to a Material
      4. Working with Constraints
        1. Attaching Physics Actors
        2. Physics Constraint Actors
      5. Using Force Actors
        1. Physics Thruster Actors
        2. Radial Force Actors
      6. Summary
      7. Q&A
      8. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      9. Exercise
    25. Hour 14. Introducing Blueprint Visual Scripting System
      1. Visual Scripting Basics
      2. Understanding the Blueprint Editor
        1. Blueprint Editor Interface
        2. Blueprint Editor Toolbar
        3. My Blueprint Panel
        4. Event Graph
        5. Blueprint Context Menu
        6. Nodes, Wires, Execs, and Pins
      3. Fundamental Concepts in Scripting
        1. Events
        2. Functions
        3. Variables
        4. Operators and Conditionals
        5. Script Organization and Commenting
      4. Summary
      5. Q&A
      6. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      7. Exercise
    26. Hour 15. Working with Level Blueprints
      1. Actor Collision Settings
      2. Assigning Actors to Events
      3. Assigning Actors to Reference Variables
        1. Actor Components
        2. Getting and Setting Actor Properties
        3. Function Targets
        4. Activate Property
        5. Play Sound at Location Function
        6. Using Physics Actors to Activate Events
      4. Summary
      5. Q&A
      6. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      7. Exercise
    27. Hour 16. Working with Blueprint Classes
      1. Using Blueprint Classes
        1. Adding a Blueprint Class
      2. The Blueprint Editor Interface
      3. Working with the Components
        1. Adding Components
        2. Viewport Panel
        3. Blueprint Scripting with Components
      4. Working with the Timeline
        1. Timeline Tracks and Curves
      5. Scripting a Pulsating Light
        1. Deriving a Blueprint from an Existing Class
      6. Summary
      7. Q&A
      8. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      9. Exercise
    28. Hour 17. Using Editable Variables and the Construction Script
      1. Setting Up
      2. Making Editable Variables
      3. Using the Construction Script
        1. Adding Static Mesh Components
        2. Adding Static Mesh Components
      4. Summary
      5. Q&A
      6. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      7. Exercise
    29. Hour 18. Making Key Input Events and Spawning Actors
      1. Why Spawning Is Important
      2. Creating a Blueprint Class to Spawn
        1. Using the Construction Script
        2. Using the Expose on Spawn Variable Property
      3. Setting Up the Spawner Blueprint
      4. Spawning an Actor from a Class
      5. Summary
      6. Q&A
      7. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      8. Exercise
    30. Hour 19. Making an Action Encounter
      1. Project Game Modes
        1. Heads-Up Displays (HUDs)
        2. Game Timer and Respawn System
      2. Knowing Characters’ Abilities
      3. Using Blueprint Classes
        1. BP_Common Folder
        2. BP_Turrets Folder
        3. BP_Respawn Folder
        4. BP_Pickup Folder
        5. BP_Levers Folder
      4. Actor and Component Tags
      5. Summary
      6. Q&A
      7. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      8. Exercise
    31. Hour 20. Creating an Arcade Shooter: Input Systems and Pawns
      1. Identifying Requirements with a Design Summary
        1. Identifying Requirements
      2. Creating a Game Project
      3. Creating a Custom Game Mode
      4. Creating a Custom Pawn and Player Controller
        1. Inheriting from the Default Pawn
      5. Controlling a Pawn’s Movement
        1. Disabling the Default Movement
        2. Setting Up Input Action and Axis Mappings
        3. Using Input Events to Move a Pawn
      6. Setting Up a Fixed Camera
      7. Summary
      8. Q&A
      9. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      10. Exercise
    32. Hour 21. Creating an Arcade Shooter: Obstacles and Pickups
      1. Creating an Obstacle Base Class
      2. Making Your Obstacle Move
      3. Damaging the Pawn
        1. Using the Cast To Node
      4. Restarting the Game on Death
      5. Creating a Health Pickup
      6. Creating an Actor Spawner
      7. Cleaning Up Old Obstacles
      8. Summary
      9. Q&A
      10. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      11. Exercise
    33. Hour 22. Working with UMG
      1. Creating a Widget Blueprint
      2. Navigating the UMG Interface
        1. Designer Mode
        2. Graph Mode
        3. Setting the Resolution
        4. Anchor Points and DPI Scaling
      3. Creating a Start Menu
        1. Importing Assets
        2. Placing Widgets on the Canvas
      4. Sample Menu System
      5. Summary
      6. Q&A
      7. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      8. Exercise
    34. Hour 23. Making an Executable
      1. Cooking Content
      2. Packaging a Project for Windows
      3. Resources for Android and iOS Packaging
      4. Accessing Advanced Packaging Settings
      5. Summary
      6. Q&A
      7. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      8. Exercise
    35. Hour 24. Working with Mobile
      1. Developing for Mobile Devices
        1. Previewing for Mobile
        2. Optimizing for Mobile
        3. Setting Editor Targets
      2. Using Touch
        1. Virtual Joysticks
        2. Touch Events
      3. Using a Device’s Motion Data
      4. Summary
      5. Q&A
      6. Workshop
        1. Quiz
        2. Answers
      7. Exercise
    36. Index
    37. Code Snippets