Meet Ilan! He’s working with instructor Shawn, over in Valley Stream, as part of Game-U’s New York Accelerate program. Ilan’s recently begun learning the professional-level Unreal gaming engine. To practice using the Unreal toolkit, he and Shawn created an awesome endless runner. Check it out!
Ever play Temple Run? Mario Run? Sonic Dash? Plenty of games, including these, involve a lot of running and quick thinking. Ilan’s is no exception. His Unreal runner leads the player through a series of platform types that spawn randomly, forcing the default player (AKA the Stormtrooper lookalike) to stay alert, ready for gaps, turns, and surface changes! The goal of the game is stay on track for as long as possible. When you can’t see the next platform until it’s almost beneath your player’s feet, that’s not an easy goal to achieve!
To get the runner working as well as it does in the video, Ilan practiced with Unreal’s Blueprints as well as its event sheet. Events, in coding, mean specific circumstances that trigger code to execute. These circumstances can include a click, a collision, a countdown timer, a proximity sensor alert, a certain level of health, and much more. In Ilan’s case, the relevant event is the player reaching the end of the current platform. When that happens, the “brain” of code behind the game randomly spawns the next platform at the edge of the previous platform. The platforms themselves derive from the Blueprints Ilan created. Each type of platform has its own blueprint, allowing the computer to select a random blueprint each time it needs to spawn a new platform. Unreal produces the object from the blueprint, spawns it, and voilà! An endless, ever-changing track for Ilan’s runner!
Cool stuff here, Ilan! Thanks for sharing your work and giving us the opportunity to see Unreal in action. We’re excited to see you develop as a game designer!