How to make a game with Unreal Engine

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Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
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Preliminary information

Before going into the details of the procedure on how to make a game with Unreal Engine, I think it may interest you to know more about the latter.

As already mentioned, Unreal Engine is one of the graphics engines most popular in the world videogame industry: think that, often, the tech demo made to show the potential of console and PC hardware are made using this engine.


To be clear, in 2020 Epic Games has left many players speechless, unveiling one first demo of Unreal Engine 5, which is expected to be released in 2021. The “Lumen in the Land of Nanite” demo was running on PS5 and was meant to show what can be done with Sony's XNUMXth generation console hardware.


In short, Unreal Engine is a cutting-edge graphics engine in terms of the technical sector. Of course, even solutions like Unity allow you to create not bad titles, but generally video game enthusiasts usually “associate” the Unreal Engine with a “cutting edge” graphics engine from this point of view.

This is obviously a not insignificant advantage, but it also involves possible "limitations". In fact, while solutions like Unity generally require minimum requirements that are, after all, "negligible" for many users and types of use, Unreal Engine has instead some somewhat higher requirements, if you want to use it properly.

Since there are not a few who want to create titles with an excellent technical sector with this graphics engine, I would therefore like to explain the recommended requirements by Epic Games (find them below).

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit;
  • Processor: Quad-core Intel or AMD 2,5 GHz or better;
  • RAM: 8GB;
  • Video card and DirectX: DirectX 11 or DirectX 12 compatible GPU.

In short, clearly in these cases it is always good to have a performing gaming PC to be able to do everything as it should. In any case, I remind you that to be able to create a game it takes a lot of dedication.



In fact, although nowadays it is actually possible to download and use particularly powerful tools such as the Unreal Engine for free, I remind you that video games represent a medium with a thousand facets.

It is no coincidence that the great software houses put in place millionaire budget to be able to make your own triple AAA. It is not enough to know how to use a graphic engine: the professional roles involved in a video game range from developer al music composer, Via Game Designer and much more.

I wanted to clarify it, as there are not a few who approach tools such as the Unreal Engine thinking of being able to master them after following a single tutorial.

No: no one will actually tell you how to make a full game like the one you're thinking about. You will have to commit yourself and use your original code, Per non parlare di music, 3D models and so on.

In short, you understand well that, especially if you are alone, the time required to achieve your goal will be high (trust me, even setting yourself "low" goals and trying to make a simple complete game, you will still have to take everything very seriously).

In any case, this does not mean that it is not possible, taking the right time, to make small "pearls", even without a budget, through the use of Unreal Engine. In fact, in this field creativity matters a lot and there are people who, often carrying out the project for years, have managed to make valid productions.


In short, it seemed right to warn you: obviously this guide, as indeed all those present online, it cannot teach you to fully use the graphics engine by Epic Games. However, it can provide you with useful indications to understand how to start approaching this world in a "quick" and fun way.


How to make a game with Unreal Engine 4

Now that you are aware of the general situation, I would say that it is time to get “to the heart” of the tutorial. In fact, below you can find the directions that will help you familiarize yourself with the graphics engine by Epic Games. It doesn't matter if you want to use 3D or 2D: I will try to direct you to content that may be useful to you.

How to install Unreal Engine

First of all, I would like to point out that for download Unreal Engine su Windows just connect to the official Unreal Engine portal and press the button DOWNLOAD NOW for the version of the engine you prefer (). By doing so, you will get the EpicInstaller- [version] -unrealEngine.msi. Therefore, you just have to open the latter and follow the instructions proposed by the installer (usually just press the buttons Install e Yes).

As for, however, MacOS, a first volta sul pulsating DOWNLOAD NOW you will get the EpicInstaller- [version] -unrealEngine.dmg. To proceed, just start the latter and drag Epic Games Launcher in the folder Applications.


Once you open the Epic Games Launcher for the first time, which by the way is also the program that allows you to access the games and the Epic Games store, you will have to perform the login with your profile to get started.

After that, you just have to go to the tab Unreal Engine, present on the left and complete the download for free of the latest version of the graphic engine, by pressing the appropriate button at the top right and waiting for the download to finish.

Create a 3D game with Unreal Engine

I know: your will is probably to create a 3D game from the cutting-edge technical sector. I have already illustrated in the preliminary chapter that this It takes a long time and that obviously this tutorial cannot explain how to create your dream title, but I can still show you how to start getting familiar with Unreal Engine right away and give you the right indications to get started.


In this case, it makes little sense to tell you how to make a 3D game from scratch, but I think it is more useful to start from a preset proposed directly by Epic Games, given that the creators of the Unreal Engine know the graphics engine better than anyone. In fact, many users make the mistake of starting with an ambitious project created from scratch, then losing the desire to carry it out in no time at all.

Epic Games makes available to free samples that can be modified (thus creating a complete 3D game, even if made only to learn), so I don't see why not starting from the latter, which among other things can be fun to try and "stimulating" for your creativity .

In this context, a preset that I think is very well done is Vehicle Game. In other words, it is a 3D video game with a pleasant technical sector that allows you to become familiar with the tools offered by the Unreal Engine 4 to create a racing game.

Vehicle Game is a project already complete with his own, which you can open with theeditor at Unreal Engine to “sift through” the elements used and understand how they were made. The sample was made by epic Games and it is completely free.

To download it, start theEpic Games Launcher, tap on the item Unreal Engine, present on the left, click on the tab Learn, scroll down the page and press on the box Vehicle Game, found in section Ranges. After that, press the button first Free e poi quello Create progetto.

You will then be prompted to type the project name, select the folder in which to save it, if necessary confirm the version of the Unreal Engine to use (you can leave the last available) and press the button Crea.

The download for free of the project (the weight is usually 1,4GB). Once the download is done, you can close the Epic Games Launcher. Open, therefore, Unreal Engine, waiting for initialization to take place.

After that, press the button More, present nella sezione Recent Projects, to access the sample you previously installed. At this point, select VehicleGame and fai clic sul tasto Open project.

The editor will then appear on the screen. Don't be "scared": the program initially offers a “Tour” of the possibilities offered, so now everything will be explained to you. If you don't know theEnglish, do not worry: I'm here to help you in this first initial part (but it counts that knowing English will be of fundamental importance later on).

You will have noticed that thegraduation cap icon. Press first on the latter and then on the button Next to get familiar with the Unreal Engine interface.

The first screen will tell you that the editor is made up of several panels. These can be move away, blocked, closed and so on: in layman's terms, it's possible customize the screen of the project in the way you prefer. In case you make something "disappear" by mistake, you can restore it using the option Windows, present at the top left.

The main window, the one in which you are viewing the game track, is called Level Editor. The latter is the main element of Unreal Engine - you'll need it for test the game, create levels, place the elements and essentially fixing everything.

move in 3D within the game, that's enough hold down the right mouse button and use the classic keys WASD. You can try right away: you will see that you can move around the track. Gods are enough mouse movements to go, for example, up or down. Press the button Next to continue.

- elements present within the scenario are called Actors from Unreal Engine. I buttons present at the top right of the Level Editor are used, for example, for to shift, rotate e climb what is present in your game. Click the button Next to continue.

I keys present at the top left are used instead for manage the scene (Viewport). Put simply, you can set the way items are shown. For example, you can choose one cinematic view or disable lights and so on. Remember to press the button Next to continue.

Now the program will show you the Modes Panel, which has a selection of tools for the editor. From here you can change the operating mode of the Level Editor, for example to place properly new items in the game world or for create landscapes and so on. Click the button Next to advance.

The lower left section of the editor is called Content Browser. Here you can manage all fillet related to your project, give it asset ai sounds. Long story short, this is a little bit of the Unreal Engine File Explorer: you can rename, add, remove and generally arrange everything you need. Click the button Next to continue.

What the program is pointing to you now is the Details Panel. The latter provides you with all details of the case onelement you have selected. From here you can manage several options related to Actors, for example move them, rotate them and so on. Press the button Next to advance.

At the top right, the World Outliner, which groups all the Actors present in your game. can select the elements and modify them directly from here. Click the button Next to continue.

By default, they are only shown in the World Outliner name and type of the object, but you can press onicona della freccia verse il basso, located at the top right, to get further information, for example related to layer. Press the button Next to advance.

At the top is the Toolbar. Epic Games has positioned the main ones here instruments related to the editor. From here you can save, start the game and perform all most common operations which will come in handy during the development of the title. Press the button Next to continue.

La Menu Bar obviously represents the section where you can manage the classic options offered by all the programs. For example, you can upload projects or save the current one. Press the button Next to advance.

Some buttons have a additional section which allows you to get more details about the associated functionality. In this case, the program recommends moving the mouse cursor over therotation icon and press Ctrl + Alt. In this way, a will appear on the screen window with further information.

Press the button Next to continue: the “tour” of the Unreal Engine interface is over. Now you know what all the elements of the editor are for. Then click on the button Home and the program will advise you to follow many others tutorial (if you close the window, you can access the tutorials again from the path Help> Tutorials).

There is everything, come on basics of the interface al code, passing by animations and so on. However, all the tutorials are in English: I warned you, you need to know this language well to use Unreal Engine properly. In fact, in addition to these useful internal tutorials, which of course I recommend you to complete to familiarize yourself with the tool, the portal dedicated to the documentation is also totally in English.

Perfect, now you know where to find a little bit of everything you need to start creating your 3D game using the Unreal Engine. In any case, after having explained the editor interface to you, the funniest moment has come: using the sample you downloaded earlier. Then press the button Play, present at the top, move the mouse over the Level Editor and press on the latter, in order to start playing.

Just use the buttons W, A, S e D to complete the circuit created by Epic Games. As you can see, this is simply a mini-game that "invites" you to beat your own record time in a simple track that doesn't take long to complete.

Put simply, you already have a "complete" title of its own. This allows you, starting for example from the World Outliner, of analyze the way in which the elements who created the game, so you know how to handle it when you decide to create your game.

Obviously, the variables involved are many and therefore it is not possible to provide you with precise indications: you will necessarily have to follow the documentation and use your creativity to make the game you have in mind. Obviously the Web will then be your "friend" (after all, which developer does not search online, especially at the beginning?).

However, just to "stimulate" you a bit 'to continue, now I show you how to quickly edit this sample having fun. Well, you will have noticed that, taking the road on the right in the only one crossroads proposed by the game path, you can make a jump, which may not always go very well.

The first idea that came to my mind is therefore that of realizing a sort of "easy mode", adding a bridge" to the title created by Epic Games. In this case, the sample makes everything very simple: to proceed, hold down the right mouse button on Level Editor and move the camera, using the buttons WASD, in the place of the jump.

Press, therefore, on the part of the Plot present just before the jump, hold down the left mouse button on green Arrow e move the item in order to "cover" the hole. To be clear, the green Arrow represents theenough Y, That blu is l 'Z axis is that red is l 'X axis.

Once you have positioned this element correctly, it is time to increase its size, so that the user can pass with the car without jumping. So take a look at the Details Panel, present at the bottom right. After that, type 2 in the box Z related to the option stairs I awarded Submit.

This way, you will double the size of this element, allowing the user to simply go straight, without having to worry about the speed for the jump. In any case, it is also necessary to go to the section Collision and set the option Collision Presets su Default, so that the car does not pass through the "bridge". Then press the button Play and you will see that, if everything has been done correctly, you will be able to reach the other side without problems.

Perfect, you have successfully implemented a "bridge" within a game and managed to modify your first "full" title on Unreal Engine. Compliments!

Create a 2D game with Unreal Engine

How do you say? Are you going to create a 2D game with Unreal Engine? No problem: although this graphics engine is mainly known for projects with a particularly advanced technical sector, in reality it can also represent an excellent tool for other types of titles.

If you're going to go the 2D route, obviously basic indications that I gave you in the previous chapter are equally valid, but in this case I recommend starting with a preset different. More precisely, I think the sample called Unreal Stick Figure 2D may be useful (you can access the latter from the menu Epic Games Launcher> Unreal Engine> Learn> Legacy Samples).

Sure, maybe using Unreal Engine for a 2D title may not be the best of moves, since there are not a few who prefer Unity for this type of use, but the choice is up to you and of course it is also a matter of taste.

In any case, in addition to becoming familiar with the graphic engine through all the indications I have previously provided, it is of fundamental importance to use your creativity and dedicate the right time to the project.

In fact, I remind you that later on you will most likely have to try your hand at programming in C ++, as well as with the creation of models. In short, creating a game using Unreal Engine is not a walk in the park, but you must know that, starting from the tools I have indicated and doing some research (for example on YouTube), you can actually reach your goal (obviously with the right dedication).

A striking example is titles such as Bright Memory, made by a single person with Unreal Engine 4 and particularly popular with PC gamers (as evidenced by the evaluation on Steam).

In short, I hope I have convinced you to delve into this interesting world. For the rest, let me give you another big good luck for your game!

How to make a game with Unreal Engine

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