Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Top Down Stealth Toolkit Tutorial: How to create a new level

1. First, ensure that the default Game Mode & Game Instance class parameters in the Project Settings are set to 'BP_GameMode' & 'BP_GameInstance' classes respectively.

2. Now create a new map, open it, & lay down the floor meshes. Add a Nav Mesh Bounds Volume & extend it to encapsulate all the floor meshes. This will ensure that the AI agents/bots, once added will become capable of traversing across the level.

3. Add a Lightmass Importance Volume around the core game space.

4. Now drag & drop the following blueprints as actors into the level: BP_AISensoryManager, BP_AISurveillanceController, BP_GlobalAlertLevelController, BP_PatrolGuardSpawnPoint (multiple, if necessary), & BP_ExitPoint. Before moving on to the next step, here is a brief overview on what each of these actors bring to the toolkit:

  • The AI Sensory Manager continuously evaluates all stimuli against various agents & dynamically assigns new objectives to the AI agents based on the results. It basically is kind of like a task manager for the AI, functioning at a level higher than each of the individual agents.
  • The AI Surveillance Controller directs the activation of all AI agents within the level. This system can be leveraged to create different starting situations for each level, choosing to activate all security measures by default or have them activated dynamically based on the overall threat perceived by the AI.
  • The Global Alert Level Controller uses event dispatchers to continuously listen in on new stimuli being perceived by AI agents across the level, & updates the Global Alert Meter based on the threat rating of the perceived stimulus. This meter enables the aforementioned AI Surveillance Controller to dynamically increase the AI presence in the level in order to counter the threat posed by the player.
  • The Patrol Guard Spawn Point as the name suggests, act as spawn points to bring in additional Patrol Guards as back up. Unlike the other four actors on this list, these spawn points can be added in multiple spots across the level.
  • The Exit Point essentially serves as a sort of final objective marker for the level & gets activated once the player collects all the gems placed in the level.

Together, these five actors drive the core logic that is essential for the toolkit to function as intended.

4. Now it's time to add in the various AI agents & interactive actors into the level. These include collectible Gems, Patrol Guards, Cameras, Motion Sensors, Automated Turrets, Gadget Pickups, etc.

That's all there is to it. You should now have a fully functional level at your disposal. If you have any queries regarding the workflow, feel free to let me know in the comments section.

If you're interested in the toolkit, it's now available for purchase through the Unreal Engine Marketplace: