Book Image

Learning Unreal Engine Android Game Development

By : Nitish Misra
Book Image

Learning Unreal Engine Android Game Development

By: Nitish Misra

Overview of this book

<p>Have you ever wanted to create games that will get users hooked to their phones? Unreal Engine 4, with all its tools and power, will help make your dreams come true! Designed to get you working with Unreal Engine 4 from the very first page, this book will quickly guide you through the basics in the first two chapters. Once you get the hang of things, we will start developing our game—Bloques!</p> <p>Bloques is a puzzle game with four rooms. Each room will be more challenging than the previous, and as you develop, you will graduate from movement and character control to AI and spawning. Once you've created the game, you will learn how to port and publish your game to the Google Play Store.</p> <p>In addition to building an Android game from start to finish, you will also discover how to generate revenue, and how to optimize game performance using the tools and functionalities the engine provides. With this book, you will be inspired to come up with your own great ideas for your future game development projects.</p>
Table of Contents (15 chapters)
Learning Unreal Engine Android Game Development
About the Author
About the Reviewers


The first Unreal Engine was launched in 1998 by Epic Games. A great feature about this engine was that, because of UnrealScript, the engine became quite popular with the community, as it made modding quite easy and accessible. Then, in 2002, Epic released their next engine, Unreal Engine 2, which was a great improvement over the first engine. It came with something called UnrealEd 2 (and later, UnrealEd 3), which was essentially a level editor that you could use to create levels for Unreal. This, along with UnrealScript could be used to create entirely new games. The engine offered better rendering, better physics, and better collision than its predecessor. It also supported the then current generation consoles, namely PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. In 2006, Epic released their next, and, probably, their most popular and widely used engine, Unreal 3. It was a giant leap in terms of technology. This is where Unreal Engine started picking up steam. However, perhaps the most significant feature offered by Unreal Engine 3 was Kismet. Kismet is an extremely powerful visual scripting tool. The way it works is that there are various nodes, which can be connected to form a logical sequence, kind of like a flowchart. The best part about Kismet is that you do not require any programming knowledge. You can make an entire game without writing a single line of code using Kismet. It is an extremely handy tool for artists and designers, since they can make quick prototypes or experiment with a certain feature on their own and not have to rely on programmers.

We now come to a more present time. In February 2012, Epic unveiled Unreal 4, which was finally released on March 19, 2014. Unreal Engine 4 had been in the works since 2003. This Engine was a huge step up from the previous one. For one, it totally removed UnrealScript and replaced it with C++. In earlier versions of Unreal, if you wanted to modify the engine to develop your game, you had to do so using UnrealScript, which meant learning a new language. But now, if you wish to modify the Engine, you can do so with C++. This was a huge improvement for engine programmers, since this meant they could modify and tweak anything they wish using a language they already know and love.

Not only that, the engine's source code is also available for developers and can be downloaded from the GitHub repository. This means that developers have full control over the engine and can tweak virtually anything, including the physics, rendering, and UI.

It also offers something called the Hot Reload function. Normally, when you want to make changes in the code of a game, you have to stop the game, make the desired change, and then run it again to see how it affects the game. However, with the hot reload function, you can make changes in the game without having to stop or pause the game. Any change you make in the game's code is instantly updated and you can see its effect in real time.

You can also develop games for a wide variety of platforms on Unreal 4, including Xbox One, PlayStation 4 (including Project Morpheus), Windows PC, Linux, Mac OS X, HTML 5, iOS, and Android. It also offers support for Oculus Rift.

Another major change made by Epic is the licensing model, aimed at smaller, indie developers. To be more specific, to license Unreal Development Kit (UDK), which was the previous version of Unreal Engine, the developers had to pay a $99 licensing fee and 25 percent of the royalties made after the company had earned at least $50,000 from sales. In Unreal 4, however, they have changed the structure. As of early 2015, Unreal Engine 4 is now completely free to download and use. No licensing fee, no subscription, nothing. You can download it, develop a game on it, and publish it, without spending a single penny on the engine. You only pay 5 percent of the royalties after you have earned more than $3000 in revenue.

Another great feature that Unreal 4 provides is the Marketplace. The Marketplace is a great place to buy and upload assets. These assets can be Animations, 3D Models, Materials, Sound Effects, Premade Games, and so on. This is also good news for aspiring developers, who do not have the resources or manpower to develop these assets. They can simply buy the required assets from the Marketplace and use them in their game. Developers can also upload their own work onto the Marketplace and earn some money.

This book is aimed at beginners who have little to no knowledge regarding Unreal Engine 4, and it covers how to develop games for Android using it. This book will cover all that you need to know in order to get started. From the very basics, such as how to download and install the engine, to the more advanced, such as how to upload your finished product on to the Google Play Store, are going to be covered. We will do this by making a game of our own using UE4, step-by-step. Each chapter can be thought of as a step in making our game. The book has been structured in such a way that each subsequent chapter is a continuation of the previous chapter to give a sense of flow to the readers.

This book will also not use any other software (apart from the Android SDK), so that the readers do not have to first download dozens of software in order to get ready, and focus solely on the engine. All of the assets, such as materials, static meshes, and so on, will be the ones available in the Engine itself.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Getting Started with Unreal 4, teaches you how to download and install Unreal Engine 4 and the launch client.

Chapter 2, Launching Unreal Engine 4, discusses what a project is, how to create a new project, what the Editor is, its UI, and some hotkeys you should be aware of.

Chapter 3, Building the Game – First Steps, deals with BSP Brushes, teaches you how to block out the level using them, how to create materials in the Material Editor and the Content Browser, and how to use lights in UE4.

Chapter 4, Using Actors, Classes, and Volumes, looks at the various types of classes offered in the Modes panel. This includes Basic Classes, Visual Classes, and Volumes, and how to implement them into our game.

Chapter 5, Scripting with Blueprints, looks at how to script in the game using Blueprint. Scripting is an important aspect of UE4, since a game without interactivity is not really a game. We will also look at the most commonly used types of Blueprint.

Chapter 6, Using Unreal Matinee, looks at another power tool offered by UE4, Matinee. We will use Matinee to create cutscenes and other animations essential for the game.

Chapter 7, Finishing, Packaging, and Publishing the Game, completes the only thing left after having a fully functional game. That is to finalize the game, package it, and publish it on the Google Play Store.

Appendix, What Next?, suggests where to go from here. It deals with various places where you can find documentation and tutorials to further develop your skills in UE4.

What you need for this book

For this book, you require:

  • Unreal Engine 4

  • The Android Development Kit

The main aim of the book was to use as little software as possible, so that you can only focus on the Engine, and do not have to first download dozens of other software and programs to get ready.

Who this book is for

This book is aimed at developers, who have little to no knowledge of how to use Unreal Engine 4, and wish to use it to develop games for Android.


In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text, database table names, folder names, filenames, file extensions, pathnames, dummy URLs, user input, and Twitter handles are shown as follows: "The next step is finalizing the game, packaging it into an .apk file, and publishing it to the Google Play Store."

Any command-line input or output is written as follows:

keytool –genkey –v –keystore -*name of your project*.keystore –alias *alias_name* -keyalg RSA – keysize 2048 –validity 10000

New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: " From the home page, click on the Get Unreal button on the right of the screen.".


Warnings or important notes appear in a box like this.


Tips and tricks appear like this.

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