Unreal Engine: Basic Terminology

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Last time we looked at the User Interface, but today we’ll be taking a little look at terminology. You’ll need to understand this moving forwards so today is a great time to start learning some of the common terms.


It’s a single unit that contains all of the content and code that forms a single game. You can create as many projects are you like which can all be developed at the same time.



Any object that can be placed around a level is called an “Actor”. They can be transformed meaning they can be rotated, scaled and translated. As expected, there are many types of actors including ones that mark where the player will spawn and blocks.



These are the basic building blocks in the Engine. It’s used to implement features and is the basic functions for your game assets.



This defines the behaviour and property of an Actor or Object. Each Class in the Unreal Engine will inherit information from the parent Classes it’s a sub-class to.



A Component is a specific function which can be added to an Actor however, they cannot exist on their own. For example, a Light component can be added to an Actor to make it shine light however the light cannot survive on it’s own.



This special subclass of Actor is an in-game avatar or character which can be controlled by the player or the AI.



This subclass of Pawn actor is for the player to use as the “Player Character” model. It includes a range of functions of bipedal movement and additional coding for movement.



A level is the user defined area of gameplay. Naturally they can be created, modified and viewed. While each level is a saved as a separate file called a “.umap” so they might also be called “maps” sometimes.



This contains a list of all the Levels which need to be loaded. You don’t need to directly interact with it as it handles the spawning of all dynamic Actors also but you can provide a few specific reference points to help it.



This is an Actor that places a 3D volume on something in the level. However, people mostly use them to ‘block’ areas of a level for gameplay testing.



Next time we’ll take a more in-depth look at what GameModes, GameStates and PlayStates are in addition to Player/AIController


This post was provided by Clare from Lunawolf Gaming

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