High School Arcade Game Project Beat Em Up

Hey guys! - ( I know this is a great community!)

This year for my high school game design class that I teach we are constructing a coin-op arcade machine for the cafeteria at our school so students can showcase their games! The first game we want to build is going to be a sidescroll beat em up like most fantastic multiplayer arcade experiences. I expect to have lots of questions and the students will too. I am planning to document my experience and write curriculum about what we are doing.

So to get to my first question: Is there a difference when creating a 2d sidescrolling game, where you can move up(back) in space i.e. golden axe, between locking your camera straight ahead or straight down?


Have you checked out the templates for side scrolling and top down game types already in the UE4? Check the camera settings in First person, 3D person, side scrolling and top down.

Yea, I have worked with these. They all make sense, I just didnt know if there was a reason to set the camera as top down as opposed to using a side scroller camera setup. It seems the only difference would be the axis its locked to but just figured I would check to see if there was anything I was missing in terms of a more advantageous set up… Thanks

Mainly just comes down to the type of game you want to build, many factors. The main thing with side scroller and top down camera FOV is you lock the players movement to certain axis, to allow the game design to control certain mechanics and progress through the game. Do you want multiple leveled buildings, elevators, jumping across cliffs, etc… this would be mainly for a side scroller. Top down view is for games like RTS, old school dungeon crawler RPG, space shooters, etc…

awesome… thanks!

Still having trouble figuring this out and cant find a good solution anywhere really…??? Could still use some help.

Side Scroll Beat Em Up - Character needs to move left right up down and jump. I enable flying or potentially use a top down approach but then i lose jumping?

Anyone out there doing this? No side scroller tuts touch on up down movement.

Thanks… We tried attaching sprites to 3d but then we run into capsul probems …thanks


@prockoe : What exactly are you looking for?

Using a 3d environment or a sprite based approach is fundamentally different in terms of initial setup. What are you going for? Full 3d or full sprite?

Even the control setup (aka 3d animations versus flipbooks/sprites) is already different. So your class should first decide, what you want to do, because it also will be a huge investment in terms of ressources. Sprites, which needs to be animated, need a ton of digital drawing. A 3d approach would need a fully rigged and skinned model, which also has animations.

I personally find your project cool, but I doubt you want to have stuff running on the arcade machine, which just showcases placeholder models and such. If you have a clear goal in mind and you keep the (first) project relatively small, neat and tidy, you will have a blast with your class and don’t run into something called “development hell”, which means never finishing a project :).

If you sorted that out, I can potentially help more :).

Oh yea we have a game design document and everything. We have this weeks and next week for nailing down post production and figuring out what we are going to do.

With th that said our work flow setup right now is for a 2d Sprite approach but we are questioning the best movement approach. If we use side scroller plans we have trouble accessing the up movement. It works in fly mode but jumping becomes a problem.

The other problem then becomes with collision. I’m looking into trying to see how walkable type collision polygons would work? Also trying to see if fly mode could be called upon if walking up/down and not jumping but then it seems you would just fall afterwards.

one student set up sprites along a 45 degree ground plane and you move up and back at the same time but still problems arise here.

we are just brainstorming and figuring stuff out. Great learning! But doesn’t seem to be any good setups or tuts on beat em ups.

Would love help! And yes a 2d Sprite work flow would be our number one plan. But also considering having some of the animators dog up a player character in case we can’t figure out the 2d movement.

The other thing we are looking into is creating a custom movement. Then maybe we can deal with creating a true false for “on ground” and a y movement that creates a value for determining overlap.


I see.

EDIT: If it is ok for you, I will make a tutorial tomorrow. But I need to get to sleep in a bit. Can you hold on until then? There are more things to cover and I think I know exactly, why is isn’t working for you :).

Oh man that would be amazing to get us headed in the right direction!!! Your visualizer stuff looks great too!

Ok, I will make it the first thing on my schedule :). BTW, thanks for the compliment.

@prockoe :

It took quite some time to make the video, because my dog kept interfering and barking. But it’s done and I hope it is easy to follow and understand.

Hey! - I can’t begin to express how grateful I am of people like you that reach out to help people. So thank you! I owe you and can repay u in digital art.

hmmm- I need to test this tomorrow. It’s very similar to what we are doing at the moment. But I think we may have had our up movement on the z instead of y or something because we were having problems with our collision hitting objects while jumping. This seems to be an issue with your method when you get close to the top but I have some ideas I may try to solve this.

my next concern over keeping it in 2d is placing objects on the ground. Does this become a huge pain? What suggestions for populating the scene when all your sprites have to be placed on a slope?

finally how would you deal with the background? Turn off visibility of the plane and stick the background flat behind it?

more to try tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes! Thanks for the help. Will keep you posted and probably have some more questions.

@prockoe : I’m glad that it helped somehow.

The difficult part here is that there are tons of ways to achieve the result you want. Choosing a method over another will introduce a different set of problems, so every approach has its up and downsides.

I personally am not too keen on using the paper 2d approach, but that is my personal opinion and I am one of the people, who actually likes to reinvent the wheel and build my own tools around it :).
When I revisited the tutorial, I found some issues I did not like.
I just thought it would be nice, if you can utilize the inbuilt sprite editor for your purposes :). That is the reason, why I took the paper 2d approach.
I might think of a better approach and make a tutorial about it.

Also the plane ground I showed in the video was just meant to be a placeholder of a sprite with collision. Because the sprite tool already has documentation, I linked it in the youtube video description.

In regards to the slope thing: If using this approach, all your character/enemy objects (atleast the ones with character movement components) need to change the walkable floor angle to 80-90 degrees. All others objects and actors should not run into problems, as long as you don’t use a slope higher than 40-45 degrees, because then gravity will kick in and push your stuff down (atleast when you have physics enabled).

For the background stuff: I would always use something just for the collision and then put something behind it (like you real background) with no collision. Because you have access to the sprite tools from unreal, you can load your sprites in and edit their collisions. You can even make collisions for you background sprites. I just didn’t get into that topic, because I frankly never used the sprite tool. That’s why I linked the sprite tool documentation in the youtube video description. I should have said that in the video, so I apologize for that :).

I am pretty busy, but I am glad to help, if I can.

Yea, ive got this up and running and locking sprites to the floor is no problem and the falling off the top can be stopped by having a a 90 degree background at the back of the slope and set the climbable slope to something like 60 then jumping isnt stopped.

Everything is working pretty good now except im running into collision problems. I cant get away from using the capsule so im trying to add a box collision in addition to handle all of the enemies and obstacles but it seems to keep grabbing from my capsule and not the box collision. if i turn capsule off im falling through the floor.

So i will see what i can do here…

ok… i think capsule will end up working ok at least for now… Now my problem is dealing with the up and down jumps. because im on a 40 degree ground plane when i jump down its WAY down and up is short. so trying to figure out a good way to deal with this.

you are a legend. I would chuck “beat 'em up” in your title / description to make it easily searchable, took me a alot of filtering through searches to find this… I thought something similar to this would be the way to do it, but was struggling to find anything to guide me. Awesome work. Thank you