Advice on setting up non-humanoid pawns and thinking ahead to AI controllers, animation etc

A lot of Unreal seems geared towards humanoid characters and movement (ahem: character). So I was curious, as I’m working on a non-humanoid protagonist/avatar, if I can still ‘cherry pick’ functionality from Character/Persona/Behaviour Trees to apply to my avatar or if by choosing non-humanoid I have to recreate everything from scratch.

Here are things I have in mind that I’d like to take advantage of:
-sensory systems
-navigation - AI should know what is an obstacle and what isn’t (navmesh??)
-behaviour trees
-movement modes
-rigging/animation tools
-AI using the same basic pawn movement as the player, so I can test/record/playback input behaviours and create an ‘attract’ mode like old school arcade games etc

Bearing in mind, my game is 2D on a single plane, no 3D navigation needed.

I really appreciate any insight that will save me time as I move forward, thanks!

You don’t specify in what way your avatar should behave differently to a humanoid character. Is a capsule not feasible as the collision shape? Does it need to slide around with realistic momentum? This kind of thing will define how easily it can fit into the UE4 idea of a character.

Regardless, most things on your list will be fine. Generally, at most you would need to write your own movement component, and possibly path following component.

What makes something “humanoid” really isn’t apart of a pawn or even character as much as you may think. A Character (which is a sublevel of a Pawn with most movement functionality built in) really only limits you to anything that stands on a floor and moves around. If you want flying, or ceiling crawling you have to rework a few things, but even then you can still use Character and modify it a bit through your subclass to attach those skills/functions.

Everything else would just be an animators tricks really, smoke and mirrors.

Basically it’s a bird in a 2D movement plane and I’ve already got the movement prototyped and basic control stuff going on in the pawn. So as I’m looking forward to hooking up animations etc, I was just curious as to what my tradeoffs were so as not to paint myself into a corner. But it seems like most things are overrideable in a flexible way so I think it’s looking ok. My main concern was the animation system because all the examples are humanoid using their humanoid rig etc. I’m surprised there are no quadraped examples. Thanks!