Book Image

Unreal Engine Game Development Blueprints

By : Nicola Valcasara
Book Image

Unreal Engine Game Development Blueprints

By: Nicola Valcasara

Overview of this book

With the arrival of Unreal Engine 4, a new wonderful tool was born: Blueprint. This visual scripting tool allows even non-programmers to develop the logic for their games, allowing almost anyone to create entire games without the need to write a single line of code. The range of features you can access with Blueprint script is pretty extensive, making it one of the foremost choices for many game developers. Unreal Engine Game Development Blueprints helps you unleash the real power of Unreal by helping you to create engaging and spectacular games. It will explain all the aspects of developing a game, focusing on visual scripting, and giving you all the information you need to create your own games. We start with an introductory chapter to help you move fluidly inside the Blueprint user interface, recognize its different components, and understand any already written Blueprint script. Following this, you will learn how to modify generated Blueprint classes to produce a single player tic-tac-toe game and personalize it. Next, you will learn how to create simple user interfaces, and how to extend Blueprints through code. This will help you make an informed decision between choosing Blueprint or code. You will then see the real power of Unreal unleashed as you create a beautiful scene with moving, AI controlled objects, particles, and lights. Then, you will learn how to create AI using a behavior tree and a global level Blueprint, how to modify the camera, and how to shoot custom bullets. Finally, you will create a complex game using Blueprintable components complete with a menu, power-up, dangerous objects, and different weapons.
Table of Contents (14 chapters)

What is Blueprint?

Blueprint is a high level, visual scripting system that provides an intuitive, node-based interface that can be used to create any type of script events in the Unreal editor. The tools that are provided can be used by level designers, artists, and any non-programmer person, to quickly create and iterate gameplay (or even create entire games) without ever needing to write a line of the code:

For those of you coming from UE3, Blueprint is the evolution of Kismet. It inherits most of the strong keys of the Kismet system, adding the full range of concepts and tools that are generally only available to programmers.

Through the use of Blueprints, anyone can virtually prototype, implement, or modify any gameplay element. Here, we are going to discover how to create most of them. The following is a list of common uses that are covered by this guide:

  • Games: Sets up game rules and tweaks gameplay conditions

  • Players: Creates variants with different meshes and materials, or allows character customization

  • Cameras: Changes the camera dynamically during play

  • Inputs: Handles the inputs that are passed by the player

  • Items: Includes weapons, pickups, triggers, and so on

  • Environment: Creates randomized props or procedurally generated items

In order to understand Blueprint, we first need to understand its structure. The following image is an extremely simplistic graph that shows where Blueprint is collocated in a game and who are its parent and child:

Each of these elements can have multiple children and each element has its different type and behavior.