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BUILDING MY (YOUR) OWN RPG GAME – IN UNREAL ENGINE 4


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To save you some time I will mention my 4 GOLDEN RULES OF SUCCESS with bullet points right in the beginning. However, if you are interested in explanations and the whole process + code examples, I would be happy if you continue to read the following pages.

Graphic showing how a rpg character fights against a monster

Figure 1 Fight Scene


4 GOLDEN RULES OF SUCCESS

  • Do not start with your “dream game”!
  • Start small (take your time)
  • Code quick and dirty
  • Focus on one point at time!

Graphic showing how a rpg character runs from a monster

Figure 2 Running Scene


Do not start with your “dream game”!

If you are reading this, you have probably an idea for a perfect game you would like to create on your own. Time is valuable and you do not want to waste any more of it? However, do not start with it unless you have finished several projects. You will keep making mistakes during the process and probably start with aspects of your game which are not that relevant in the beginning.


Start small

But why should I start small? In the long run you will learn much more from different and small projects which helps you to make less mistakes and more efficient code. Start with tutorials they sometimes provide you with new ideas for accomplish a certain aspect of your game. Take your time and learn.


Code quick and dirty

When I started learning from tutorials, I noticed that even people showing you how to do it, keep making mistakes. Moreover, there are several ways to achieve a certain aspect of a game. Sometimes it can happen that your code works fine for now but in the future new added features or elements will lead it to a dead end.

For example, I followed three different tutorials for a battle system. None of them were able to cover all my features or they seemed to be not that efficient. I ended up with an own system and added some of the stuff I learned from the tutorials.

So, all in all I had to redo the battle system four times. If you often write documents e.g., for school, you probably format your text in the end. Changes afterwards can break your format and you must redo the formatting. Same thing can happen to your code.

To save your time code quick and dirty – I mean do not focus that much on the visual aspect of it. If you write lines of code, indentations are always important! If you program with graphic elements (blocks etc.) do not focus on the alignment and so on, because there is a chance you missed something, or you will add more to it in the future.

Once you think the feature/element you worked on is done, you can start to format it and adding comments. This helps a lot to speed up the process and you can see whether your idea (code) works within a short amount of time.


Focus on one point at time and take your time

This is a tough one. Especially if you work on your own. You want to fulfill your ideas as fast as possible. During the development you get ideas for different elements of your game. I often wanted and did it… I stopped working on my current element and switched to another one. I was not able to resist, and I wanted to know immediately if it works or not. Often, I finished the current element I was working on with “no love” just to betray myself and work on the next one I had a brand-new idea for. This results in bad coding which also results in problems later.


In a nutshell

Start with test projects (tutorials), they will give you a variety of solutions for your project and you can benefit from them in many ways. Take your time and work if necessary, on one element until you are 100% pleased with it. It is likely that you will redo it several times, so code quick and dirty and clean it once you are finished with it.


by Dennis Wall


You can follow my progress on YouTube.

14.01.2021

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