Getting Started: Engine Setup
Acquiring the proper version of Unreal Engine 3 or Unreal Development Kit is the first step in the actual development process. The process of acquiring and setting up Unreal Engine 3 differs depending on whether you are licensing Unreal Engine 3 or using Unreal Development Kit.
The team lead for studios licensing Unreal Engine 3 will need to connect to Epic's Perforce server and download, or sync, to the latest QA-approved build. Then a new game project needs to be created and added to the UE3 solution. The engine should then be compiled and scripts built before testing to make sure that everything is working as expected. With that done, the rest of the technical team can begin development work.
Developers using Unreal Development Kit (UDK) have a somewhat simplified process. First, the latest version of UDK must be downloaded and installed. Then, a new script project needs to be created and added to the engine. Once that is all complete, development is ready to begin.
Acquiring Unreal Development Kit (UDK)
Non-licensees can use the Unreal Development Kit (UDK) which is a binary-only version of Unreal Engine 3 for creating PC and Apple iOS games.
Acquiring UDK is extremely simple. Simply head over to the UDK Download page and download the latest version.
Setting Up the Coding Environment
Once you have acquired the appropriate version of the engine, the next step is getting your coding environment set up. Licensees have an extra step here as they must set up Visual Studio and the UE3 solution, including creating their custom game project. Users of UDK need to set up their coding environment for UnrealScript and set up their custom game project as well.
Setting Up UnrealScript
Any developer using Unreal Engine 3 or Unreal Development Kit will be using UnrealScript. This means setting up a coding environment and creating one or more UnrealScript projects.
UnrealScript Coding Environments
Gameplay programmers working with Unreal Engine 3 need to set up a coding environment for writing UnrealScripts.
There is no one single solution for coding in UnrealScript as far as text editors or IDEs. There are several options available ranging from simple text editors such as Notepad++ or ConTEXT, to full IDEs, such as nFringe or WOTGreal. Which of these you choose to use comes down to personal preference. Epic developers mainly use nFringe as it integrates directly into Visual Studio, which is already being used by the developers anyway.
Custom UnrealScript Project
In addition to setting up a coding environment, a new UnrealScript project must be created. An UnrealScript project consists of a separate package, or packages, to contain the game's UnrealScripts and making sure the engine knows to include those when compiling.
For a complete guide to setting up a custom UnrealScript game project, see the Custom UnrealScript Projects section.