Articles by: Lucy Becker

C/C++ and Unreal Engine FAQ’s from our Kickstarter Campaign

C/C++ and Unreal Engine FAQ’s from our Kickstarter Campaign

Our successful Kickstarter campaign funded the creation of a C++ and Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) online video course. This is a Q&A based on the C++ questions asked during the campaign. What version of the Unreal Engine are you going to use? We are starting the course with version 4.10 and we’ll keep an eye on major releases and changes for newer projects in the course. However, one of the beauties of Object Orientation in C/C++ programming is that you can change the internals of the Engine and the Editor without affecting the developer/designer interfaces. Indeed, these parts of the Engine’s scripting system and the Editor, at least at the beginner level, tend to remain unchanged. I’m impatient. Can you recommend any good C++ tutorials to get a jump start? There are a lot of books out there and it can be very confusing which to pick. For the impatient beginner I really like “C++ programming in easy steps”. Note that strictly speaking C++ programming is a very different job compared with C programming, even though C++ build up on concepts from C and the two can be and are always intermixed.So the sister book “C programming in easy steps” would also give a […]

Read More

How to Call C++ Functions from Blueprint in Unreal

How to Call C++ Functions from Blueprint in Unreal

Blueprint is a wonderful tool, letting you visually assemble code. However there is a point at which its beauty turns into spaghetti, and you’re better-off coding the behaviour in the more powerful and more flexible C++ environment. Here I briefly show how you can call a C++ function from a Blueprint in Unreal Engine. You start off by using the UFUNCTION macro directly above the declaration of the function you want to call from Blueprint, as seen below. In this case the type we are taking in is UChildActorComponent*, a pointer to a child actor component type. We call this variableTurretFromBP. Once you have compiled your code, head over into blueprint. Find something of the same type that you specified in the code, in my case the turret of my tank is a child actor for flexibly. We drag a pin from Tank Turret BT, and in the menu that pops-up there will now be a function called “SetTurretChildActor”. Remember to trigger this set event by using the white execution lines, in this case I’m setting the reference on BeginPlay. So now the reference to the asset has been “soft coded” as opposed to “hard coded”. This means we can rename parts Blueprint […]

Read More

How to Add a Background Image to the UI Canvas of Your Unity Game

How to Add a Background Image to the UI Canvas of Your Unity Game

In my last article, I promised that I would cover inserting a background image. Start your game engines! Let’s go! In the Complete Unity Developer course lecture “Adding 2D User Interface Text”, our instructor, Ben Tristem, shows us how to add a background image to the UI (User Interface). Let’s learn how to do this, step by step. Create the Background Image Element 1). Click on the Game Object Menu, which is located at the top of Unity’s interface. 2). Scroll over UI. 3). Click on the Image option, in the side menu that slides out. (Please refer to picture below). Linking Your Image to Source Image & Re-sizing the Image A thumbnail (small picture of your image) will appear in the Assets section of the Project Tab, at the bottom of your Unity interface. A white blank box will also appear in the canvas, which is in the middle of your screen. We want the image to take the place of that white blank box, and for that to happen we must do the following steps: 1). Go to the Project Tab, which is located on the Bottom-Left. Make sure you have selected Assets, which is located on the […]

Read More

Resources for Learning Unity and Game Design

Learning how to learn something as complex as the Game Engine Unity can be quite overwhelming. I personally wanted to learn Unity for a year before I actually was able to. I’m still continuing to learn about it to this day. The following is a list of courses, videos, and other resources that I personally used to learn Unity and related topics. Note that while this is posted on a website for The Complete Unity Developer, they aren’t giving me anything for what I write below. Every one of the courses that I mentioned I have paid for at my own expense. For my bio, see the end. My first real attempt in to the world of Game Development was the Complete Unity Developer Course. I found it to be an excellent introduction to Unity. I, being already a reasonably good programmer, found the introduction quite slow, but I managed to avoid this mainly by skipping through the first introduction sections to the parts that focused more on using the UI elements with minimal pain. It will get you started with basics like 2-D game development, physics, C# programming, building for mobile devices, etc. It has a good project approach, […]

Read More

Contributing to an Open Sourced Game

Contributing to an Open Sourced Game

One way to learn game development, especially on a large scale, is to contribute to an open sourced project. Recently I’ve been contributing to the Project Porcupine, a project to build a base building game set in space, similar to Rimworld or Dwarf Fortress. So far it’s still in the really early stages, which allows for setting the direction of the game. Currently, the game looks like this: So, what are some things you need to know in order to join an open sourced project? The first task is to find one. Search for one, look for an existing project, get a group of people of similar minds to start one, or even start one yourself! In my case, I’ve been watching Quill18’s videos I previously mentioned learning Unity by making an early version of this game. Okay, you’ve found your project, now what? You might be tempted to start making changes right away, but if there are a lot of people on the project, you probably don’t want to do that. Most large projects, open sourced or not, have some guidelines for contributors. Project Porcupine has a few things to note, depending on if you are doing artwork or […]

Read More

How To Make Rotational Arrays In Blender

How To Make Rotational Arrays In Blender

Over on the course we have many students asking great questions.  Often the topic they’re talking about is covered in the course but not specific enough for their task. Alec wanted to know how to do a rotational array… so here we go! First of all we’ll open up Blender and delete the default cube and add a plane. Next we can subdivide the plane just once. This gives us enough vertices to play with to create a basic petal. Grabbing the vertices we can move them to form a petal shape, feel free to experiment with different shapes! Next we need to move the base of the petal to the centre of our scene for ease of rotating. Selecting the base of the petals vertex and holding SHIFT S, we can move the 3D cursor to the vertex. In OBJECT mode you can then move the origin to the 3D cursor. Finally we can move the cursor back to the centre of our scene with SHIFT C, and then once more with SHIFT S we can move the selected object to the Cursor. Let’s make the petal a little more 3D by quickly hopping into Edit Mode and dragging […]

Read More

How to Slice Objects into Parts Using Face Loop Cut in Blender

How to Slice Objects into Parts Using Face Loop Cut in Blender

As vicious as it sounds, there’s going to be a time when you need to slice up a model into smaller parts. Maybe you’re going to want to create a face to extrude, maybe you decide that you want lines about which to separate the object into two. Maybe you just watch too many movies, who knows. Either way, the answer is the slicing tool. Luckily it’s super easy, all it takes is the command Ctrl + R (Same on a Mac too!!) while you are in Edit Mode (press Tab to quickly change between Edit mode and Object mode). This is the Face Loop Cut feature which first creates a loop around the object then cuts through the faces intersected by the loop.   Let’s use this loaf of bread as an example. You might have guessed where I’ll be going with this… Now, press the Tab key to get into edit mode And press Ctrl + R to bring up the slice command. If you get the mouse in the right place you should have a pink cross-section appear, thus: Either left click, or press enter, to confirm, and you should be able to move the slice up and down the length of the loaf: And that’s it! Except… […]

Read More

Do People Still Use The Ancient Assembly!?

This post is a response to a comment posted on the Facebook group made for the C++ and Unreal Engine 4 course at http://ww.facebook.com/groups/unrealcourse/ on the news I shared about the C programming language being the most important language according to the IEEE. The comment was “Assembly is the closest to machine code and is used surprisingly often. C is pretty close too though, but has made some major compromises for the sake of readability.”. I would like to add to this a little specially given my last post here was about choosing a programming language. I write Assembly sometimes for my day job. C/C++ or high level compilers are better at optimising code of course and they save time… Having said this, Assembly will always be needed for this one not-so-unusual situation: When your bare-metal Hardware has features that are so new or too rare that they don’t exist in a C or C++ compiler yet. Mobile and other hardware manufacturers have this problem all the time and if you are a big software/game developer who works with mobile or other Hardware vendors then you certainly need Assembly programmers in your team 🙂 Quite often hardware vendors who design CPUs or GPUs introduce new and very specific […]

Read More

How to Install Blender 3D Animation Software

How to Install Blender 3D Animation Software

You say, “Blender! I already have one of those in the kitchen!” We’re not talking about that kind of Blender! We are talking about the cool 3D Animation program, Blender! In the Complete Blender Creator course lecture “How to Install Blender”, our instructor, Michael Bridges, teaches us how to install this powerful 3D animation software. Blender is open source and free for commercial and personal use. It also has all of the tools we need to reach the sky, as animators! Now, let’s get started, with some tips and tricks for installing Blender on a Mac and PC. How to Install Blender on a PC 1).  Go to Blender’s official download page: https://www.blender.org/download/ 2).  Scroll down to the Windows download section. If you have a 32 bit operating system: Choose the 32 bit download by clicking on either “NL 1” or “NL 2”, in the 32 bit column. If you have a 64 bit operating system: Click on the 64 bit download by clicking on “NL 1” or “NL 2”, in the 64 bit column. 3). Wait a few minutes for the download to complete. We are going to save your download to your Desktop. To find your download in […]

Read More

Unity Course Student Converts Pen & Paper Role-Playing Game into a AAA Video Game

Unity Course Student Converts Pen & Paper Role-Playing Game into a AAA Video Game

It’s truly awe-inspiring, and humbling, for us to hear, see and read what our students get up to while taking our course. Here’s the story of James “Cheshire” Clayton’s dream of turning his paper and pen role-playing game into a AAA video game. We can’t wait to play it! My name is James “Cheshire” Clayton, and I am a 41 year old reformed knock-around guy, turned artist.  After working as a bouncer, bodyguard, private investigator, and even as head of security for a professional wrestling company, I learned the hard way that some jobs don’t make for an easy retirement.  After years of moonlighting as an artist and writer for pen and paper roleplaying games in the 90s, I wrote my own and payed the bills with bumps and bruises.  It wasn’t until many years later that my love of gaming and art (and project management) came together again when I discovered Blender 3D, Zbrush, and Unity.   Everything that I learned after 3 years of hard practice and finding some friends to help me in my insane dream led me to the Unity Development Course, and after a year (I’m an artist with a day job, don’t judge me) it is paying off […]

Read More