March 21, 2014

Blueprint basics

By James Golding

As you may have gathered by this point, Blueprints are a pretty major feature of UE4. They allow designers and programmers to work more closely together, and allow non-programmers to create features (or whole games!) by themselves. Because they are such a big topic it can be hard to know where to start. I made a couple of really short videos to quickly show how to do some important, common things with Blueprints. Let’s get started!

Toggling Lights

Pretty much the most basic thing you can do with scripting is turn lights on and off. Here is how to do it in the Level Blueprint:

Spawning Crates

What would a game be without crates? Here is how to create a physics crate Class Blueprint and then spawn them from the Level Blueprint:

Making a Pickup

Reach out and overlap something! Here is how to make a pickup that causes the player to move faster:

Firing Projectiles

Some games involve shooting (its true!), so here is a really easy way to add projectile firing to a basic Character Blueprint.

Making Procedural Content

One of the powerful features of Blueprints is that they enable procedural content, using a feature called the ‘Construction Script’. Here we show how to use it to expose a simple setting (light on or off), and generate a slightly threatening random box arrangement:

Changing Things Over Time

Something you do all the time in games, and is actually quite painful using traditional code, is modifying values over time. This is where a Timeline node in a Blueprint can be super helpful. Here we use it to change a light brightness:

Communicating Between Blueprints

It’s good to talk, and things get really interesting when you get Blueprints to talk to each other. Here is a quick example of how to get a Level Blueprint and Class Blueprint to communicate.

Be sure to check out our growing list of Blueprints tutorials on YouTube. If you guys have any questions about this set of Blueprints tutorials or just want to chat, join me over on Twitter at @EpicJamesG!