UDK Tutorials Creating a basic level Pt 1

Open UDK Editor from Programs – Unreal Development Kit – UDK-2011-XX

1.Start off by clicking the ‘Create a new level’ button. This makes sure everyone is on the same starting point.

When you hit ‘Create a new level’ a menu comes up saying Choose a map template. Just click blank map. We’ll get into templates and how to create your own template at a later stage.

2. You should now see a screen like this

Click on the red box in any of your viewports. This is the builder brush, it will be your biggest friend when creating levels and can do a whole host of jobs. Remember: the red builder brush is not part of your level, you will not be able to see it when in your game, it is just a place holder for creating different things which can be placed in the game.

3. Working in the viewports. To move backwards and forwards in the UDk editor viewports hold down LMB and scroll around. To look around hold down the RMB and scroll around. To move up/down/left/right hold down LMB + RMB.

4. So let’s create our first room. Right click on the ‘Cube‘ button down the left hand toolbar under the Brushes heading. The Brush Builder – Cube menu should now appear.

5. Inside the Brush Builder – Cube menu you have XYZ values along with 4 other settings. You only need to pay attention to the XYZ values pretty much all the time. You only need the other options for specific things which we may touch up on at a later stage. X + Y axis are your horizontal axis and Z is your vertical. Do not get this confused with Maya! Now change your X value to 1024 and your Y value to 1024. Change your Z to 32

Note: All values should be multiples of 2 to keep things aligned. Eg 128, 256, 512, 1024.

Your red builder brush should now look like this

 

6. Remember, this still isnt actually added to your level yet. We need to add the brush to the level. There are two ways to do this. The easist for me is to have the red builder brush selected and hit Ctrl + A. Alternatively you can press the CSG Add button down the level hand tool bar under the CSG menu. This builds an Additive brush in your level. Your viewport should now look like this.

Your additive brush shows up with a blue line in your orthographic viewports. It also shows up as a solid brush in your perspective viewport with a default checker material.

7. Next we will skip to a step that we normally do later but it’s just as easy to do now whilst we are using our red builder brush. So make sure your red brush is selected in one of the viewports as it is in the image above. Now change your Z axis in your Brush Builder – Cube to 1024.

Your builder brush should now look like this. Next we need to right click on the Add Volume button down the left hand toolbar under the Volumes menu. This should bring up a menu with a full list of volumes that you can use. Select LightmassImportanceVolume from this list. If you move your red builder brush out of the way now you should see a Yellow box around the area where your red brush was.

You do not need to worry too much about why you have a LightmassImportanceVolume around your level. You just need to remember that you need one. Lightmass is Unreal’s lighting system. More information can be found here http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/Lightmass.html. Lightmass can be turned off but most of the time you will want it turned on. So just make sure you always have anything in your level surround by a Lightmass importance volume.

8. Next we need to get a light in to our scene. For a very basic light hold down the L key somewhere on your blue and gray checkerboard additive brush and click LMB. This should have added an additive light to your scene.

If the light is black and inside the floor just lift it up a bit using the blue arrow on your move widget. Once you have something that looks like the picture above press make sure your light is selected and press F4.

9. These are the properties of your light which you can change. For now you only need to worry about Radius in the Point Light Component section and the Brightness and Light Colour in Light Component.

Note: You may have to expand the Light tab to get these properties like this.

I changed my light colour by clicking on the white box along from Light Colour and picking a colour from the colour wheel. You can also change the Brightness. 3 is a good value to use for now. And I changed my Radius to 512 for this demonstration.

10. Next we need to add a player start to the scene. This allows you to play your level! Right click on your additive brush and select Add Actor – Add PlayerStart

Which should look like this

11. The last thing to do before we play our basic level is to build our lighting. This is so that the engine doesn’t have to calculate every single light in the game which speeds up the game play.

Hit the build all button on the top toolbar

This will do 3 things. Make sure you don’t press anything (apart from Swarm) whilst these processes are working otherwise it will crash UDK.

Start building your level

Then bring up the Swarm Agent. Make sure if Windows asks if you want to allow this program to run you press Yes. We will go into more about what the SwarmAgent is later.

The once the SwarmAgent has finished running it will bring up a list of errors (if your level has any) for you to fix.

Just press the close button on the right hand side of the Map Check box and you can also close Swarm Agent now also.

12. The only thing for you to do now is to press the Play this level in an editor window located on the top toolbar.

You should now be able to run around on your square Island!!! Watch you don’t fall off the edge though! When you’re done just press Esc to exit the play mode.

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2 responses to “UDK Tutorials Creating a basic level Pt 1

    • Trying pressing the B button to hide/unhide the builder brush. Or click on an actor in the world and left click the cube builder brush, the brush should jump to that actor and be visible.

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