Game Developer - Level Designer - Environment Artist - Author - Tutor - 18 Years of experience with Unreal Engine 1, 2, 3, 4
Log In | Cart        


About: This tutorial will attempt to answer some of the most basic and most frequently asked questions people have regarding Unreal Engine 3 and developping for UT3 and GOW.
Target Audience: Unreal Engine 3 users – beginners
Platform: Unreal Engine 3 (GOW/UT3/UDK)
Last Update: November 2009

How do I start the editor? – UT3/UDK

    The editor is started by running the game’s exe with the editor parameter. Create a short cut and add “editor” behind. The Gears Of War editor requires additional parameters.


    C:\UnrealTournament 3\Binaries\UT3.exe editor
    C:\GearsOfWar\Binaries\Startup.exe editor -cookededitor -installed
    G:\UDK\UDKExampleGame\Binaries\Win32\UDK.exe editor

    What are some of the most frequently used short cuts? – UT3/UDK
    Space bar: Cycles through between the movement/rotation/scaling tools.
    Home: Focuses the camera on the selected actor.
    A: Hold down and click a surface to add the selected actor on that location
    L: Hold down and click a surface to add a light on that location in the level.
    S: Hold down and click a surface to add the selected Staticmesh in the Generic Browser to that location in the level.
    Alt+a number: Cycles through the different render states of a viewport. Only works with the typewriter section numbers (the left upper row).
    Ctrl+a number: Sets a camera bookmark on that location.
    A number: Recalls a camera bookmark.
    Ctrl+drag: Moves or rotates the selected actor without using the widget.
    Ctrl+Shift+drag: Moves the selected actor while keeping the camera focused on the actor. The camera moves along.
    Ctrl+W: Duplicates the selected actor.
    Hold down U: Simulates Maya camera movement.
    O: Toggles volumes off and on.
    F: Toggles distance fog off and on.
    Q: Toggles BSP off and on.
    W: Toggles StaticMeshes off and on.
    G: Toggles everything off that cannot be seen in game.
    B: Toggles the red builder brush off and on.
    P: Show AI paths
    ] and [: Adjust grid size.
    F4: Actor properties.
    F5: Surface properties.

    Do NOT use Ctrl+S to “save” the level, as it will not save, but subtract a brush.

    How can I access advanced debug options while playtesting the level? – UT3/UDK
    In the in-editor game, open up the console using the Tab key, and enter the command “rc”. Rc stands for RemoteControl and will pop up a dev window with dozens of options.

    How tall is a character? – UT3/UDK
    This depends from game to game. Developers can freely configure the size of a character. A UT3 character is roughly 90-96 units high, a GOW character comes in at 160.

    What are common sizes for rooms and corridors? – UT3
    Regular corridor: 320 width and at least 256 high
    Width corridor: around 384 to 416 width
    Small corridor: 128 width and 192 high
    Medium room: 1536 width and at least 512 high

    Medium to large room: around 3072 to 4096 width and at least 384 high
    Regular corridor: 440 width and 384 high
    Staircase: at least 225 width

    The grid is not visible in the viewports. – UT3
    Either you have the grid disabled and you can re-enable it in the drop down menu of every viewport. The drop down menu can be accessed through the downward triangle in the toolbar of every viewport. In UT3 this is roughly in the middle of the toolbar, in UDK this is on the left. It may also be that you are using certain ATI 3D cards. As far as I am aware, there is no solution to the ATI grid rendering issue yet, but a search online may help you further.

    No staticmeshes show up in the viewports. – UT3/UDK
    Activate the offending viewport by flying around in it for a second, then hit ‘W’ on your keyboard. If that wasn’t it, press ‘W’ again to re-enable the setting, and try again with the ‘H’ key.

    My custom textures/materials/staticmeshes/anything do not show up in game and/or after having restarted the editor. – UT3/UDK
    You might have forgot to save the package the assets were in. Manually save the assets package in the Generic Browser, rightclick the package – Save.
    If that wasn’t the solution, you might have duplicate file names. The Unreal Engine cannot see file extensions, and thus will get severely confused if two files share the same name, even if it are two entirely different type of files.

    My widget (the movement/rotation/scaling thing) disappeared. – UT3/UDK
    At the top toolbar on the left side is a button with a strange cross on it. Make sure it is enabled. It is on the left of the three regular Move, Rotate, and Scale buttons. It says ‘Show/use the widget’ when you hover over it.
    If that wasn’t it, expand the viewport menu by clicking the button with the arrow that points down, roughly on the right of every viewport toolbar, and make sure ‘Mode Widgets’ is enabled.

    My widget is rotated strangely. – UT3/UDK
    You have ‘Local Space’ enabled. Hit the ‘~’ key on the keyboard. This is also an option in the top toolbar.

    There is no light when I play the game. – UT3/UDK
    You either did not place a light actor (do so by holding the ‘L’ key, and clicking a surface), or you forgot to rebuild lighting. Lighting must be compiled or it will not appear in game. Click the button with the lighbulb at the top toolbar, on the right side. It says ‘Build Lighting’ when you hover over it with the mouse.

    My builder brush menu is empty or some property windows do not show up. - UT3/UDK
    Some settings got messed up. Close the editor, and remove UTEditor.ini in C:\Documents and Settings\YOURNAME\My Documents\My Games\Unreal Tournament 3\UTGame\Config or C:\UDK\UTGame\Config.

    I am having trouble selecting surfaces or objects, and accessing the rightclick menus. – UT3/UDK
    You might have anti aliasing enabled. The editor does not like that. Disable AA, or set it to application preference, in the properties of your 3D card. Commonly found by rightclicking the desktop.

    I hate the annoying My Documents setup, can I get rid of it? – UT3
    Yes you can. Run both the game as the editor with the additional parameter ‘-nohomedir’. You might want to manually move your setting ini’s and custom files out of My Documents, and into the game’s install directory if you want to keep on using them.

    Example: C:\UnrealTournament 3\Binaries\UT3.exe editor -nohomedir

    Does MyLevel still exist? – UT3/UDK
    Yes it does. Mylevel is now the name of your level. If you want to save an asset inside your level, the name of the package must now be identical to the name of the level. You do not need to save this package manually and the package will automatically rename itself when you rename the level.

    Example: DM-AmazingPlaygroundWithChainSaws_Beta-Floorplantest14 would have a MyLevel package with the name ‘DM-AmazingPlaygroundWithChainSaws_Beta-Floorplantest14′

    Should I use an additive or subtractive world space? – UT3/UDK
    It is almost always a better idea to use additive world space than subtractive. Subtractive world space would not allow you to add a sky to the world, nor make use of sunlight. It also compiles a lot slower. Note that subtracting brushes in an additive level is however totally OK!

    The camera is so incredibly slow for large levels, can I speed it up? – UT3/UDK
    There is a blue button at the top of every viewport to speed up the camera, three of those in UT3 even. However, usually even those are not fast enough. To speed it all up even more enter “mode speed=80″ at the command-in at the bottom, or in the log window

    I can’t assign textures to my brushes and I don’t know how to create materials. – UT3/UDK
    Have a look at my material tutorial series available here.

    How do I import a custom model? – UT3/UDK
    I have a tutorial available on this subject.

    My custom model has no collision! – UT3/UDK
    That is because you did not enable per poly collision, or applied a simplified collision to the model. I have a modeling tutorial available that also covers mesh collision.

    Are there tips available regarding modeling for UE3? – UT3/UDK
    Yes, see my advanced UE3 modeling tutorial.

    I made a level with Speedtree trees and when I build lighting it crashes – UDK
    Turn off lightmass calculations for those trees.

    Copyright 2006-2017 - UDK, Unreal, Unreal Engine are trademarks or registered trademarks of Epic Games, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners

    Website Design by
    Powered by Wordpress