The three virtues of a programmer: Laziness, Impatience, and Hubris. – Larry Wall
UE3:Setting Up a New Game Project Tutorial (UDK)
- 1 Setting Up a New Game Project in the Unreal Development Kit
- 2 Step 1: Use nFringe
- 3 Step 2: Setting Up Your nFringe Project License
- 4 Step 3: Setting Up Your nFringe Project
- 5 Step 4: Configuring Your nFringe Project
- 6 Other Must Read Tutorials for Beginners
Setting Up a New Game Project in the Unreal Development Kit
This is a step-by-step tutorial explaining precisely how to setup a new Game Project for the UDK immediately after installing the software.
This tutorial was created using the January 2012 version of the UDK.
Things to remember
- I'll say it again, this tutorial was created using the January 2012 version of the UDK. There is no guarantee this will work for previous releases or newer ones that come down the pipeline. The UDK is still technically in Beta, and the basic setup can and most likely will continue to change somewhat over time. I will attempt to keep this guide updated as new editions are released.
- This tutorial assumes you know how to download and install the UDK, and have already done so.
- The UDK isn't designed for multiple games to be developed from one installation. This is something I had to find out by reading random guides around the internet. I don't believe the online documentation mentions this, and I believe this still holds true.
- Don't be afraid to start over. This means fully uninstalling the UDK and starting from scratch; if you don't have anything you want to keep, don't hesitate to blow everything away and begin again until you get it right. It took me quite a few attempts to get this right, while piecing together information from outdated tutorials around the web with incomplete and out-dated online documentation from Epic.
- I'm assuming you want to setup your game as an extension of the already provided code-base and configuration files that come with the UDK. This is how most people will setup their new game project.
- I'm not an expert yet, so if I make any mistakes, please correct them and comment as to why on the discussions page.
Step 1: Use nFringe
Forget about Notepad++. It doesn't exist as far as I'm concerned. I've found it immensely helpful to get acquainted with a shell extension for Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Shell Edition called nFringe.
First, download and install the Visual Studio 2010 Shell from here: [Visual Studio Shell Download]
- If the link is broken, search Google for "Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Shell (Integrated) Redistributable Package"
- You MUST restart after installing the Visual Studio 2010 Shell, before doing anything else
Second, download nFringe from here: [Pixel Mine nFringe]
- The current version at the time this document was created was 126.96.36.199
- If you don't have Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, download it here: [.NET 3.5 SP1]
Third, install the copy of nFringe you downloaded and, once finished, launch Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.
- Don't look for nFringe in your list of programs, it just runs along with Visual Studio 2010.
Step 2: Setting Up Your nFringe Project License
You should now be looking at something like this:
Before anything else, you'll want to activate the nFringe license to unlock all of the features.
- First, go to "Help" -> "nFringe License Manager"
- In the window that opens, select "I am using nFringe for a non-commercial project" and fill out all of the available fields. You will need a valid email address to activate.
- You should receive an email that you will need to confirm your email address, and eventually the product will activate. I'm not sure exactly how long it takes or if you have to restart Visual Studio for it to get the license, but eventually it will come through.
- This product is not free to us on a commercial project. I am assuming you are only learning at this point, and not working on anything commercial. If you are making a product, do the right thing and purchase a license or submit for an evaluation.
Step 3: Setting Up Your nFringe Project
New Project Window
- Once back at the Start Page of Visual Studio, click "New Project" and you'll see a window like this:
- You should change the "Name:" field to the name of your new project.
- You MUST change the "Location:" field by browsing to your UDK Src directory, which should be something like "C:\UDK\UDK-2012-01\Development\Src"
- You should also UN-check the box on the right that says "Create directory for solution"
- Now you should see something like this:
- Press the "OK" button
- If all went well, your project will be created and loaded. You should see something like this:
Moving the project files and creating the proper file structure
- Close Visual Studio and navigate to the UDK Src folder you just created the project in. Should be similar to "C:\UDK\UDK-2012-01\Development\Src"
- You should see a sub folder with the same name as your project. nFringe created this folder and put the project files into it, but you will want to move them, so the project will be able to see the other folders in the Src folder.
- Move the *.sln *.suo and *.ucproj files up one level to the Src folder. Don't copy, make sure you cut and paste them up to the Src folder.
- If you don't see the *.suo file, you'll need to show hidden files and folders.
- Lastly, DELETE the project folder that nFringe created, which had the three files in it you moved to the Src folder. The reason we have to do this is Visual Studio will not allow you to re-create the folder structure if the folder is already there.
- Open Visual Studio 2010 and the project you just created by launching the *.ucproj file that is now in the Src folder.
- You should notice a bunch of folders are now in the "Solution Explorer" that weren't there before. All of these extra folders contain the UnrealScript code-base you will be using to create your awesome new game.
- If you see something similar to the following screenshot, then you've done everything correct up to this point.
- You should notice there is no folder for the project you are trying to create, so we have to create those folders from within Visual Studio 2010.
- Add a folder for the project by right-clicking on the project name and selecting "Add" -> "New Folder"
- Name this folder the same as your project name. This will create the folder both in the Visual Studio project and on your computer in the Src folder.
- If you didn't delete the folder that was created by Visual Studio when you first created the project, you will receive an error about a folder with that name already existing.
- If you receive the error, go back to the Src folder and DELETE the project folder.
- Right click on the folder you just created that has your project name and create a new folder once again (this will create a sub-folder within the first), but be sure to name this one "Classes" without the quotes.
- When you're done, you should see something like this:
- If everything looks right, congratulations, you've successfully setup your coding project in Visual Studio 2010. Once you've done this once, it should be much easier the second time. It's a bit strange at first, though, I must admit. Perhaps the people at Pixel Mine will make some changes to nFringe that will make this less manual, but until then, this is the way to do it.
- I plan on making some follow up tutorials that cover basic classes that are required for nearly every game, UDK configuration files, and finally compiling and testing.
- I hope this tutorial helps others out there like me that found other guides lacking.
Step 4: Configuring Your nFringe Project
- With your project still open, right-click on the Project's Name in the Solution Explorer and select "Properties"
- You should see the project's properties window show up in the workspace on the left of the screen. The "General" tab should be selected, and it should like this:
- If you don't see the "General" tab, click the "General" tab now.
- Click on the button to the right of "UCC Path:" and browse to "C:\UDK\UDK-2012-01\Binaries\Win32" or its equivalent on your computer.
- Double Click on "UDK.exe" to select it. You should see the "UCC Path:" field is populated with "..\..\Binaries\Win32\UDK.exe"
- What we're doing here is telling Visual Studio 2010 what program to use as your script compiler. There is a 64-bit version in a different folder, but stick with the 32-bit for now.
- Click on the "Debug" tab on the left of the properties window. Skip both the "Build" and "Build Events" tab, as that is for more advanced uses.
- You should see the Debug properties window, which looks like this:
- Click on the button to the right of "Start Game Executable:" and browse to "C:\UDK\UDK-2012-01\Binaries\Win32" or its equivalent on your computer. It will likely save the last location you were in, but if it doesn't, navigate there again.
- Double Click on "UDK.exe" to select it. You should see the "Start Game Executable:" field is populated with "..\..\Binaries\Win32\UDK.exe"
- What we're doing here is telling Visual Studio 2010 what program to use to launch your compiled game.
- You might see "Error: specified start executable does not exist." in the "Command Line" box near the bottom. I've never had an issue with that message being there, but if you want to have that go away, use an absolute path to the UDK.exe, such as "C:\UDK\UDK-2012-01\Binaries\Win32\UDK.exe" or the equivalent on your computer (without the quotes).
- If you check "Load map at startup:" and enter the name of some map, such as "example.upk" (without the quotes), then the launcher will add an option to the command line that overrides the defaults in the UDK Configuration files. Basically, it's an easy way to not have to find a Configuration file setting and quickly test your level setup. You most likely don't need to worry about this setting for now, I just wanted you to be aware of it, as it makes life a little bit easier.
- If you check "Start with specified game type:" and enter the project name and class file separated by a period '.' , you can override the defaults again, but this time specifying a given class that extends the GameInfo class. You most likely don't need to worry about this setting for now, I just wanted you to be aware of it, as it makes life a little bit easier.
- I would also suggest checking the options for "Disable startup movies", "Force windowed mode:", and "Open log window at position" until you have a startup movie to test, want to test in Full-screen, or don't want to see a log window. I suggest always having the log window open.
- Make sure to save your changes by pressing the save icon on the toolbar.
- If all has gone well, you're project properties are configured and saved. If you have run into any issues, re-read the entire guide and start over if needed with a new project setup.