Unreal Engine is a powerful game development platform, renowned for its versatility and robust toolset. However, it’s not limited to creating games; you can also develop small applications using this engine. In this article, we will walk you through the process of creating a simple app in Unreal Engine, complete with some basic code examples using Blueprints.
Step 1: Install and Launch Unreal Engine
Before you begin, download and install the latest version of Unreal Engine from their official website. Launch the engine and create a new project using the “Blank” template under the “Games” category. This template provides a clean slate to start building your application.
Step 2: Set Up the User Interface
For this simple app, we will create a basic user interface (UI) consisting of a button and a text element. To do this, navigate to the “Content Browser,” right-click, and create a new “User Interface” widget blueprint. Name it “SimpleAppUI.”
Open the “SimpleAppUI” widget blueprint and use the “Palette” to add a “Button” and a “Text” element to the canvas. Position the button and text element as desired, and set the text content to “Click the button!”
Step 3: Create the Button Functionality
With the UI set up, it’s time to add functionality to the button using Blueprints. In the “SimpleAppUI” blueprint, select the button and navigate to the “Details” panel. Under the “Events” section, click the “+” icon next to “On Clicked” to create a new event.
In the graph editor, create a new “Print String” node by right-clicking and searching for “Print String” in the context menu. Connect the “On Clicked” event to the “Print String” node. Set the “In String” input on the “Print String” node to “Button clicked!” This will display a message in the output log when the button is clicked.
Blueprint Code Example:
Event On Clicked (Button) -> Print String (In String: "Button clicked!")
Step 4: Display the UI in the Level
To display the UI in the level, open the “Level Blueprint” by clicking “Blueprints” in the toolbar and selecting “Open Level Blueprint.” In the level blueprint graph, right-click and create a “Create Widget” node. Set the “Class” input to “SimpleAppUI.”
Next, create an “Add to Viewport” node and connect the “Return Value” output of the “Create Widget” node to the “Target” input of the “Add to Viewport” node. Finally, connect the “Event BeginPlay” node to the “Create Widget” node. This will ensure that the UI is displayed when the level is loaded.
Blueprint Code Example:
Event BeginPlay -> Create Widget (Class: SimpleAppUI) -> Add to Viewport
Step 5: Test the Application
Now you’re ready to test your simple app! Click the “Play” button in the toolbar, and your UI should appear on the screen. Click the button, and you’ll see the “Button clicked!” message in the output log.
This basic example demonstrates how you can create a simple application using Unreal Engine and Blueprints. By expanding on these concepts, you can create more complex applications and leverage the full power of Unreal Engine. Stay curious and keep exploring the engine’s capabilities to bring your ideas to life!