The Blog of a Compulsive Creator, Game Developer and Photographer.

UE4 C++ Code Sleuthing

This is a short article with a few tips on how I hunt down engine code in UE4. There’s no big secret here, just a series of tools that can be combined by anyone with a little motivation.

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Triggering Overlaps for Level Streaming Actors

In our game we use streaming levels to load the player into various interior buildings. The player enters an airlock, which is just a loading screen that they can move around in while they wait for the level to load around them.

This allows us to keep our interiors in separate maps. One problem that we encountered is that we have some custom volumes that we use to change camera parameters. When the player pawn overlaps a volume, we add it to the list of camera parameter volumes in play and those get sorted and used based on a priority value (similar to how post process volumes work).

The problem is that when we stream a level in, OnBeginOverlap events don’t fire for any intersecting actors. This was a big problem for us since without the overlap, our new camera parameters don’t get registered and that left our camera out in no-mans-land, showing all our seems.

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Vive Motion Controller UE4 Bindings

Getting the Vive motion controller buttons and axis bound in UE4 is one of the first steps to playing around in VR.

I had to dig into the UE4 code a bit to find out what these bindings were. I’m throwing them out in the open here for future reference.

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Emitter Not Following Skeletal Socket

There’s a major bug in our project that is exhibited by beam particles that are not correctly emitting from the socket location that the emitter is attached to. The problem has been seen in every version of UE4 going back to 4.5. Although the problem is exhibited using beam particles, my guess is that it has nothing to do with beam particles and more to do with the entire skeletal transform being a frame behind.

The current way to produce the issue is:

  1. Attach a skeletal mesh to a physics simulating body
  2. Attach a particle system to some socket in the skeletal mesh
  3. Move the physics body around
  4. Observe that beam emitters are lagging behind the skeletal transform
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The 5 Golden Rules of Input

Imagine for a moment that you are out car shopping. As you reach out to open a car door you realize there’s no handle?!? The salesman says “oh yeah, you have to crawl through the window in this one”…

Doors that open, this is a car feature that everyone has come to expect in consumer vehicles. Similarly, there is a base feature set that players are going to expect from your game. If you don’t hit this base feature set, players could exit your game early out of frustration before they even see the cool stuff.

This article will give you easy to follow rules on how to support gamepad and mouse/keyboard like a world boss. To do this we’re gonna do 3 things, first we’re going to talk about the high-level logic of detecting which input device the player is using. Next we’re going to cover the 5 rules that will provide a great player input experience. Finally, we’re going to see how a few AAA games hold up against these rules.

This article is primarily aimed at single player PC games that support gamepads, so if you’re doing couch co-op or splitscreen you will need to take this with a grain of common sense.

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