Unreal Engine 4 is a suite of powerful game development tools designed to make game creation process available for everyone. Epic Games released the Unreal Engine 4 on March 19, 2014 with the c++ source code for. Subscription cost was 19$ per month and there was 5% revenue from any commercial earnings from game made with UE4. Then, in the beggining of the March 2015 UE4 became free to use, and now you have all the power of the Unreal Engine, source code and different assets for free.
You can download and install the Unreal Engine using the Epic Games launcher that can be found on their official website. First of all you need to register and then press "get unreal" in the top right corner of website.
From the very first versions of the Unreal Engine it showed itself as a very flexible engine, easy to modify and adjust to your needs. For an example Vengeance Engine that was used in games like Tribes: Vengeance and SWAT 4 was based on the Unreal Engine 2.5, but with improved physics (Havoc 2.0) and HDR lighting. You dislike something in the editor? - No problem, because you can always change as you need. But even if you will not change the engine core, the Unreal Engine 4 itself is not limited to the certain game type. From the 2d platformer to the open world space simulator - there are no borders except your imagination. Other thing is that Unreal Engine 4 can compile games for different platforms, even for Android and iOS. It contains functions to work with touchscreens and joysticks.
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You can split the process of creation into two parts - developing content and using created content in creating levels of your game. First part mostly will not depend on your knowledge in Unreal Engine, more luckily you will need to know how to work with 3d-modelling programms or create textures / sprites. In the second part you will have to make your content ready to use in UE4 and then add it to your levels.
The main question that worries the beginners about any Development Kit or Game Engine is how easy is to get started with it and learn. Unreal Engine 4 is very popular with game developers, which means that there are a lot of different tutorials, tips, manuals and discussions about the Unreal Engine on the Net. It will not take you a long time to learn how to use the Unreal Engine 4 if you already had worked with other game engines. The other thing is that Epic Games were not lying when they claimed that in Unreal Engine 4 you will be able to create a game without typing a single line of code. Blueprint system provides you an opportunity of visual programming, simply adding nodes and connecting them within the blueprint. You can see with your eyes the work flow of the program and easily debug it. Using this technology even a teenager can create a game on his own.
With this tool you are able to create different 2d sprites and 2d animation sets to set up your 2d environment. A lot of options and features are included to keep your designing process depend on only your imagination.
As mentioned above, with this blueprint system you will be able to create different programms, scripts, AI and more without deep knowledge in c++ programming language. The intuitive interface is suitable for both professionals and newbies. Material Editor Using Material Editor you can make materials using the power of Unreal Engine 4: from the simpliest textures to the advanced dynamic and physics materials. Persona Editor Main animation editor of Unreal Engine. It is used for editing and creating animations and skeletal meshes.
Cascade is needed for making and editing Particle systems. Because of it's real-time feedback and modular effects editing the process of creationg particle systems becomes easy and fast.
Menus, HUDs and other interface can be created with the UMG UI Editor.
Resource Libraries are often used by beginners in their learning process, but sometimes even proffesionals use pre-made resources in projects. Unreal Engine 4 has it's Unreal Store where you can find some free content or buy the ones you need. Unreal already has some pre-made scripts for different gametypes and simple models such as chairs or blocks of different shape. Unluckily - it will be hard to find content to create whole game, so you will have to create your own content.
As for graphics, it depends on your skill and needs. Unreal Engine has a lot of powerful features that will help you make your game look good. Unreal Engine 4 offers you amazing shadows, reflections and so on. To show the power of Unreal, Epic Games created some demos that you can see on screenshots below.
Level design is performed with simple drag&drop system. Many engines of the past (like Source Engine) used the brush system to create world geometry, models played decorating role in the level design. In modern engines like Unreal 4 or CryEngine your game will be probably made mostly using models. It makes your game look much more detailed.
Unreal Engine 4 is created to be easy to use with other programs, so it is not a problem to import something to UE4. You can import animations, UV - maps, textures, models, normal maps ans so on.
- Q: Can you create models in Unreal Engine?
- A: Unreal Engine by itself is not dedicated to create models, so no, you can't. But you always can create a model in program like blender and then import it.
- Q: Can you animate in Unreal Engine?
- A: Unreal Engine 4 has some sort of Animation editor, but the best way to make the animations is to create them in standalone 3d modelling program.
- Q: Can you sell games made with Unreal Engine?
- A: Yes you can, but if earnings from game made with UE4 will be higher than 3000$ you will have to pay the developers of the Engine the 5% revenue.
- Q: What language does the Unreal Engine use?
- A: To make programs for Unreal Engine you will have to use the C++ language.
- Q: How big is Unreal Engine 4 for download?
- A: It differs from the version to version. Also Unreal Engine 4 has not very optimised version system, so you will have different versions of program installed separatly. For me it is near 15 GB of disk space.
There we will cover some of the problems that you can face working with Unreal Engine 4 and their possible fixes to make your developing process soft and easy.
Probably that problem appears when you upgrade your Unreal Engine version from 4.9 to 4.10. It happens with code projects (or blueprint projects converted to code projects) when you haven't installed Microsoft Visual Studio 2015. It is because last Unreal Engine 4 versions stopped supporting older versions of Visual Studio. Try to install latest Visual Studio to fix the error. If it not helps try copying the Epic Games/4.9/Engine/Source/ThirdParty/IntelTBB/IntelTBB-4.0/Lib/Win64/vc12 directory to Epic Games/4.10/Engine/Source/ThirdParty/IntelTBB/IntelTBB-4.0/Lib/Win64/
When creating UV map for a model you can make overlapping UV islands if you will want some repeating parts, but you can not create lightmap UVs with overlapping UV islands because every UV island will have it's shadows baked individually for it. If you will do so it can cause some visual shadow problems. If it is not bothering you, you can do not pay attention to this problem.