Create A Parasite Platformer Game In Unreal Engine Part 1: Creating The Game Level

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Create A Parasite Platformer Game In Unreal Engine Part 1: Creating The Game Level

Reading Time: 9 minutes
Level: Beginner
Version: Unreal Engine 4.26

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In this tutorial series you are going to create your very first Unreal Engine game.

This is a complete beginner tutorial so no prior knowledge about Unreal Engine is required.

However, it is required that you download Unreal Engine and get yourself familiar with the Editor, tabs and tools that we will use the most.

You can do that in our Downloading Unreal Engine And Taking A Look At Its Interface lecture.

I always aim to make these first games as simple as possible while implementing all the basic stuff we learned about Unreal Engine.

The goal of the game is to get to the end of the level avoiding obstacles along the way while you run away from an enemy monster that is chasing you.

If the enemy catches you then you lose and you can play the game again. When you reach the end of the level you win and you have the option to play the game again.

Here is a preview of the game that we will create:


Download Assets And Complete Project For This Tutorial

Create A Parasite Platformer Game In Unreal Engine – Complete Project And Assets

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In the first part of this tutorial series we will create the level for our game.

You can download the complete project for this tutorial by clicking the Download assets button above. The assets are also included but I will show you how to download the assets online as we will use 3D models from mixamo.com

Let’s get started.

Creating A New Unreal Engine Project

Create a new game project from the Project Browser:

Select a Blank project:

Make sure that you select Blueprint project and With Starter Content. Give your project a name ParasitePlatformer, chose where to store the project and click on the Create button:

Organizing The Project

Inside the Content Browser Right Click -> New Folder, this will create a new folder in your project hierarchy:

Img 4
Give the folder name Levels and inside we are going to store the levels we create for this game.
 
We are going to have only one level though, but I am always teaching the habit of organizing the project in folders so that you always know where you store your levels, audio files, 3D models and so on.
 
This might not be an issue with smaller projects but as soon as you start adding more stuff and making your project bigger it can get messy pretty quickly.
 
Next at the top left corner click on File -> New Level to create a new level:
 
Img 5

From the New Level window click on Default to create the Default level which only has a simple floor inside:

Img 6

Before we proceed to add the elements in our level, save the new level in the Levels folder by CTRL + S (Windows), CMD + S(Mac OS) or File -> Save Current.

From the new window select the folder where you want to save your level, give it a name Gameplay and click the save button:

IMG 7 - 80%
If you go inside the Levels folder you will now find your saved level:
 
Img 8


Grouping Actors Into Folders In The World Outliner Tab

Select the floor Actor that came with the level inside the Level Editor or World Outliner tab and press the Delete button on your keyboard to remove it from the game:

Inside the World Outliner tab we can create folders to group the Actors that we place in our level.
 
Right Click -> Create Folder and give it a name Other:
 
Img 10

Inside the Other folder I am going to drag all the current Actors that where created along with our new level:

Same as how we can organize our project, we can also organize the Actors we place in the level as well.

This way the level will not get messy and we will know where every Actor is located if there is a need to edit it.

Inside the World Outliner Right Click -> Create Folder and give it a name Level.
 
Inside of this folder we are going to group all the Actors that will form our game level.
 
Starting with the grounds for our level Right Click on the Level folder and create a new sub folder and give it a name Grounds.
 
This will create a new Grounds folder and place it as a child of the Level folder.
 
From the Place Actors tab, click on the Geometry tab and drag the Box Actor inside the level:
 


Resizing Actors

There are two ways how we can resize an Actor.
 
One of the ways we already saw and that is using the Scale property of the Transform component of the Actor:
 

When you want to resize an Actor using the Scale propertu, you can click on the Lock icon on the right side of the Scale property, and when Locked, if you change the scale for any axis all other axis will follow that change e.g. if you set the X scale to 0.5 then Y and Z axis will automatically change to 0.5:

Img 12

If you want to have different Scale values for every axis, then click the Lock icon again to unlock it.

Another way is to change the size of every axis inside the Brush Settings in the Details tab for the selected Actor:

Change the name of the Box Brush Actor to Ground, move it inside the Ground folder.

Next, set the value of every axis for the Location property of the Transform component to 0:

Img 13

And lastly, change the size of the Ground Actor inside the Brush Settings:

Img 14

This is how the Ground Actor now looks like inside the Level Editor:


Applying Materials To Actors

With the current state of how the Ground Actor looks, it seems like we are creating a game of chess, which of course, is not the case.

Let’s apply materials to the Ground Actor to change its appearance.

Inside the Starter Content -> Materials folder you will find a lot of premade materials that come along with the Starter Content.

Search for the material called M_Ground_Moss inside the Materials folder, Left Click and hold, then drag it on the Ground Actor and release the Left Click to apply the material to the Ground:

You can play around and apply other materials to the Ground and see the outcome.

Applying Materials To Geometry Actors

When it comes to the Geometry Actors that we can drag from the Place Actors tab there are a few ways how we can apply materials on them.

If you just drag a Box Brush in the Level Editor and try to apply a material to it, this will happen:

If you just try to drag the material it will be applied only to one side of the Box Brush.
 
To apply the material to all sides you need to double click on of the sides of the Box Brush, then inside the Details tab under Geometry property, click on the drop down list where it says Select, and from there click on Select All  Adjacent Surfaces.
 
This will select all the sides of the Box Brush, and now when you apply the material it will be applied to the whole Box Brush:
 
There is also a third way to apply the material to all sides of the Box Brush and that is to first select the material you want to apply, and then drag the Box Brush inside the Level Editor:
 

This is important to know because we will use Geometry Actors a lot in our development to create or prototype levels or to create obstacles and so on.

Creating The Walls For The Level

Moving forward, inside the World Outliner Right Click on the Level folder and create a new sub folder and name it Walls.

Inside the Starter Content -> Materials folder click on the material named M_Brick_Clay_Beveled and then drag a new Box Actor from Geometry inside the Place Actors tab.

This will apply the selected material to all sides of the Box Brush.

Rename the Box Brush to Start Wall and move it inside the Walls folder.

Now change the axis values for the Location property of the Transform component for the Start Wall Actor:

  • X = -9990
  • Y = 0
  • Z = 105
Change the size of the Start Wall Actor inside the Brush Settings to:
 
  • X = 20
  • Y = 2000
  • Z = 200
This is how the Start Wall Actor looks like now:
 
Next we are going to create a duplicate of the Start Wall by selecting it and holding ALT on your keyboard for Windows, or Options key on Mac OS.
 
Now move one of the axis arrows to create a duplicate Actor:
 
Rename the duplicate Actor to End Wall and set the following values for every axis for the Location property of the Transform component:
 
  • X = 9990
  • Y = 0
  • Z = 105
This is going to move the End Wall Actor on the other end of the Ground Actor so now our level looks like this:
 

The size is going to stay the same as the Start Wall so we will not change the values for the axis inside the Brush Settings.

Next, duplicate the Start Wall again by selecting it, holding ALT and moving one of the axis.

Rename the new duplicate Actor to Right Wall and change the values for the Location:

  • X = -10
  • Y = 990
  • Z = 100
For the axis inside the Brush Settings set the following values:
 
  • X = 20000
  • Y = 20
  • Z = 200
 Duplicate the Right Wall by selecting it, holding the ALT key
 and moving one of the axis.
 
Rename the duplicate Actor to Left Wall and change the values for the Location:
 
  • X = -10
  • Y = -993
  • Z = 100
This is how the level looks like after these changes:
 


Creating The Wall Obstacles

Next we are going to create the walls who act as obstacles and the Player Actor will have to navigate them to pass them by.
 
Right Click on the Level folder and create a new sub folder and give it a name Obstacle Walls.
 
Inside the Starter Content -> Materials folder select the material named M_Brick_Clay_Old and then drag a Box from the Geometry inside the Place Actors tab.
 
Rename the new Box Brush Actor to Obstacle Wall 1, move it inside the Obstacle Walls folder and set the following values for the Location property:
 
  • X = -7224
  • Y = 485
  • Z = 105
For size axis inside the Brush Settings set the following values:
 
  • X = 140
  • Y = 1000
  • Z = 200
This is how the Obstacle Wall 1 Actor looks like after these changes:
 

To create more Obstacle Walls we can simply select the current one and duplicate it by holding ALT and then adjust the position of the newly created Obstacle Wall:

You can reposition the Obstacle Walls right next to each other but leave a little gap between them where the Player Actor can pass by, like you saw me doing in the video.

And since we named the first Obstacle Wall Actor with Obstacle Wall 1 every duplicate that we create from it will be named with the next number e.g. Obstacle Wall 2, Obstacle Wall 3 and so on.

You can also change the Position Grid Snap value to a higher or lower value to make it easier to position the Obstacle Walls.

To create a new row of Obstacle Walls you can select all the previous ones that you crated and duplicate them, and move them at the next part of the level:

You can also mix it up and make the Obstacle Walls larger and that will be more challenging for the Player Actor as it will take him more time to pass them by:
 
You can also create additional Obstacle Walls like you saw me do in the video and reposition them along with the other Obstacle Walls.
 
Just make sure that there is a gap between the first row of Obstacle Walls and the second row of the Obstacle Walls because we will add additional obstacles between them.
 

Where To Go From Here

In this tutorial you learned how to work with Actors by adding them in the level, reposition them, resize them, and apply materials on them.

We also learned how to work with the Geometry Actors that you can find in the Place Actors tab and how to use them to create levels for our games.

In the next part of this tutorial series titled Game Modes, Player Character, And Setting Up The Input you will learn how to create Blueprints, what are Game Modes, and how the Input system works.

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