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Unreal Development Kit Game Design Cookbook

Thomas Mooney

Over 100 recipes to accelerate the process of learning game design with UDK book and ebook.
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Book Details

ISBN 139781849691802
Paperback544 pages

About This Book

  • An intermediate, fast-paced UDK guide for game artists
  • The quickest way to face the challenges of game design with UDK
  • All the necessary steps to get your artwork up and running in game
  • Part of Packt's Cookbook series: Each recipe is a carefully organized sequence of instructions to complete the task as efficiently as possible

Bonus Recipes

Color Images

Who This Book Is For

This book is meant for game artists who are getting used to UDK but may feel the need for guidance on matters of implementation. It also targets brave beginners who are struggling to find an all in one package for getting started with UDK, and want a ready to hand reference. Level designers can use this book to gauge their understanding of the editor, check for specific problems, and discover gems they may not have come across before.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Heads Up—UDK Interface Essentials
Installing UDK and folder structure
What content comes with UDK?
Beginning, building, and testing a new level
Deciding on your preferences
UI survival steps
Navigating the Content Browser
Accessing assets in the Content Browser
Creating and managing packages
Importing your own content
Cooking a map in Unreal Frontend
Mobile device emulation
Kismet debugging
Chapter 2: Notes From an Unreal World—Constructing Game World Elements
How to handle BSP geometry
Building a hollow room
Adjusting surface properties of BSP
Generating volume from the BSP brush
Handling StaticMesh actors in the scene
Setting collision in the Static Mesh Editor
Creating Terrain, Deco Layers, and Material Layers
Creating a Landscape
Scattering meshes on a Landscape using the Foliage tool
Creating a steamy plume in Cascade
Chapter 3: It Lives!—Character Setup and Animation
Installing ActorX and exporting skeletal animation
Importing SkeletalMesh content into UDK
Morph targets and .FBX importing
Setting up sockets
Attachments to SkeletalMeshes without using sockets
Setting up a custom AnimTree
Defining animations in your AnimTree
Configuring your character to use your AnimTree
How to use a single bone control chain to correct an offset crouch animation
Setting up a physics asset using PhAT
Adding limits to physics asset joint rotations
Adding a physics-driven tail to a key framed SkeletalMesh
Enabling the head to face in a given direction for tracking purposes
Setting a LookAt target for head rotation in code
Setting morph weights in code
Calling up SkeletalMesh animation using Matinee
Associating sounds with character moves in Matinee
Sound for non-Matinee controlled animation
Chapter 4: Got Your Wires Crossed?—Visual Scripting of Gameplay in Kismet
Kismet UI essentials
Creating a simple enemy Bot
Event-based movement of scene objects in Matinee
Trace actions in a shooting situation
Revealing and hiding scene actors during gameplay
Producing sounds through Kismet
Using Take Damage events to produce explosions
Understanding the usage of Named Variables
Tidying up Kismet networks using Sub-sequences
Tidying up Kismet networks using Remote Events
Toggling Materials through Kismet
Toggling lights through Kismet
Animating PointLights in Matinee to mimic texture animation
Making a comparison following a countdown
Using Integer Counter to count enemy deaths
Controlling node flow using a Gate action
Making Bots follow a path
Chapter 5: It Is Your Destiny!—Scripting Complex Gameplay Flow in Kismet
Prefabs including Kismet references
Swapping control of a Bot using Possess Pawn
Ways to stop a recurring loop
Setting up cinematic cameras
Animating cinematic cameras
Obtaining a trigger event off a RigidBody
Creating a firing pattern based puzzle
Allowing the player to pick up, carry, and place an object
Exploring 'following' and 'attracting' behaviors
Creating a regenerative health shield
Creating a per-session checkpoint series
Chapter 6: Under The Hood—Configuration and Handy Tweaks for UDK
Groundwork for adjusting configuration defaults
Enabling the remote control for game inspection
Changing the Play in Editor view resolution
Removing the loading hints and similar articles
Editing DefaultEngineUDK to allow 4096x4096 texture compression
Setting the preview player size reference object
Binding a keyboard shortcut to a player action
Adjusting player speed
Creating your own Kismet node for speed
Changing the default player sounds
Replacing the HUD
DrawText and GameType concerns
Handling level content streaming
Spawning objects from a hit impact
Chapter 7: Hi, I'm Eye Candy!—Ways to Create and Use Particle Effects
Editing the color graph of a particle over time
Animating particles using SubUV charts
Adding one particle's movement to another
Making collision detection work for particles
Controlling sort order for translucent Materials
Making animated textures using particle systems
Making trails with AnimTrail TypeData
Assigning Level Of Detail (LOD) to a particle system
Leaving a bloody trail
Chapter 8: Then There Was Light!—Manipulating Level Light and Shadows
Emissive lighting
Comparison of static and dynamic lighting
Light exclusivity using channels and levels
Adjusting shadows through light environments
Distance field shadows
Penumbras and hotspots
Accessing the main PostProcessChain
Ambient occlusion
Depth of field
Ensuring shadows work with translucent or alpha based materials
Enabling and controlling light shafts
Enhancing sunrays using lens flares
Creating caustics using projected imagery
Translucent colored glass
Chapter 9: The Devil Is In The Details!—Making the Most of Materials
Animating a Material Instance Constant in Kismet
Forcing a mesh to always face the camera
A cloth-like effect using WorldPositionOffset
Creating murky liquid
Creating a scanning effect
Quick glass
Creating transitions between Materials
Static Cubemap creation and real-time reflection
Wet surface reflections with dynamic actors
Making a holographic effect using Bump Offset
Interactive Foliage Actors
Getting varied hit impacts off models using a PhysicalMaterial
Chapter 10: The Way Of The Flash UI—Scaleform, CLIK, and Flash Interfaces
Setting yourself up to work with Scaleform
Working with images to skin a button
Cursor design and script for cursors
Importing SWF content to UDK
Placing an SWF on a BSP using Render to Texture

What You Will Learn

  • Insights on essential editor functionality
  • Handling of custom assets
  • Assigning properties to level content
  • Determining the best approach to lighting
  • Setting up custom character assets
  • Implementing classes that handle your character's behavior
  • Required steps to configure UDK to work well for your game
  • The functionality of Kismet to drive events and actions
  • Ways to use Cascade to create impressive visual effects
  • The essentials of UI design with Scaleform and Flash
  • Handling of material editor networks
  • Ways to introduce animation into your level design


In Detail

UDK is a free, world class game editing tool and being so powerful it can be daunting to learn. This guide offers an excellent set of targeted recipes to help game artists get up to speed with game designing in UDK.

Unreal Development Kit Game Design Cookbook contains everything you need to jumpstart your game design efforts. The lessons are aimed squarely at the artist's field of production, with recipes on asset handling, creating content within the editor, animation and visual scripting to get the content working in gameplay.

Unreal Game Development Kit Game Design Cookbook exposes how real-time environments are built using UDK tools. Key features are examined – assets, animation, light, materials, game controls, user interface, special effects, and game interactivity - with the view of making UDK technically accessible so users can transcend technique and focus on their creative design process. The book has well prepared recipes for level designers and artists of all levels. It covers core design tools and processes in the editor, particularly setting up characters, UI approaches, configuration and scripting gameplay. It is a technical guide that allows game artists to go beyond just creating assets, and it includes creative, extensive demonstrations that extend on mere functionality.


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