How powerful is UE4's 2d game egine?

im new in this site so i dont know if a Question like this was already posted.

So how powerful is ue4’s 2d game engine, is it for isometric games, rpg top down style, side scroller, can i do 2.5d mixing 2d with 3d?
can i use java instead of c++?(well im learning c++ actually but java is more comfortable for me)
i want a list of powerful and known 2d or 2.5d games made with UE4.

You should read about Paper2D

I think Unity is more fleshed out for 2d games, but I think Unreal Engine is a perfectly fine choice as well. Like a lot of things, including 3D games, it’s likely not limited by much besides your own personal skill.

You can’t use Java, but you don’t have to use C++ :). You can use blueprints. They are capable of so much, especially in a 2d game which will always be relatively simpler compared to a 3D game.

To be honest Paper2D in UE4 is really a powerful tool to make 2d games and the thing is I won’t recommend you to move to unity or any other 2d game engine cause if you start with UE4 to make 2d games you will find all you need is your creativity to use blueprints to make your 2d game …they already have shown it you can download 2d game samples from UE4 Marketplace. btw if u move to unity or something it won’t make any sense but u stick to UE4 I am 100% sure in every upcoming UE4 updates u will find its getting better and better in providing tools to make 2d games and at that time u will find u are able to make 2d games very quickly and easily. UE4 is the future of 2d and 3d games. and imagine if u want to make VR games …u have to pay 1500$ for unity and for UE4 nothing. SO GO WITH UE4 without any doubt.

Gameplay programmer of Super Smash Ponies chiming in here.

If your 2D game is complicated in any way, expect to run into a myriad of problems. You can totally mix 2D and 3D, the perspective camera is awesome. There are lots of positives, and blueprints are super handy, here are some of the problems you will run into.

  • No 2D anim notifies.
  • No 2D state machine.
  • No way to reliably get or set the current frame of animation.
  • Orthographic camera is broken, no preview.
  • Difficult to setup ortho parallax scrolling.
  • Inconsistent and glitchy 2D hit traces/collisions.
  • Translucent sort order breaks for no reason.
  • Massive inconsistencies between preview vs. AMI vs. cooked versions of the game.
  • No frustum code of any kind. (this is misleading, there is frustum code, but not the kind you would find usable for a 2d game)
  • Must use console to control the actual resolution of the game. (forced scalability)

We have worked through most of these problems with the help of the Unreal staff, our engine programmer, and many, many hours of back breaking debugging.

I can not recommend Unreal for complex 2D games at this time. I have my fingers crossed that 4.8 will fix many of our problems, as 4.7 was a huge upgrade.

I am a huge fanboy and proponent of Unreal, I love everything Epic does and their business model is something to be proud of. These are just points to be aware of, and I hope soon to see them fixed.

Raigon, UE4 is FREE now, download it and see for yourself, as delvegamer sadi, you wont regret it

Yep, Go download it. You will not regret it as dreamlord420 said. Also Blueprints make this the best engine out there. :slight_smile:

Are these problems still present within last 4.7 updates ? Unreal 4 is a big wonderfull 3D engine, i see 2D as some bonus only.

As a 3D engine, it is insane. I wouldn’t use anything else. As a matter of a fact, even with those problems (minus the get and set frame, the devs patched that up) we STILL use it. Ultimately, the Paper2D is still experimental and it was our choice to tackle that. This being said, yes most of those problems are still present. We got around allot of them by using blueprints, which should speak for how powerful the blueprint system is.

Most 2D games these days are for phones, and needs to be a relatively small size. Right now, Unreal cooks very large. A blank project - without content - will compile to around 50mb last time I checked.

We had to be hacky, but it is workable. Depending on what type of 2D game, it can be allot of work.

We may end up pushing a plugin that addresses most of these problems.

Any chance you can throw a plugin that allows multiple sprite sockets pertaining to what direction your moving… i trying my damnist to get this and finaly got movement working and getting a south facing hat in but doesnt seem to have a great format of allowing the other directions without changing the WHOLE sprite setup

IE naked man where hat and jacket thats
4 sprites for naked player char
4 with hat
4 with hat and jacket
4 with just jacket?

This is alot of changes and ppl say UE4 vs Unity but least they have that part down…
UE4 SIDESCROLLER only and ROTATION based character TopDown??

No Zelda Style Sprite Usage

Is THIS powerful: The Siege and the Sandfox - Pre Alpha Promo - YouTube

Siege and Sandfox was made with Paper2D in UE4. One of the designers of this game made a talk that you can see here: PIXEL ART in UNREAL - Building a Metroidvania - YouTube
He explains his experience making a 2D pixelart game in Unreal and his conclusions. Hope it helps!

We had to write a custom quad handler and animate the sprite manually to get accurate frame-time. Unreal just isn’t capable of doing a good job with getting and setting the exact frame of an animation. Additionally, instability issues combined with a really rigid workflow forced us over to Unity. We still had to finagle the animation system there, but it let us accomplish what you’re trying to do much easier.

We setup an object array that took in an “animation” object, each “animation” took a sprite, an X, Y offset, a hitbox array, a hurtbox array (for multiple hitboxes and hurtboxes per frame), and another sub object array called “clip points”. Each animation had a string name so we could get and set by string. Each “clip point” object had a string name so we could get and set the clip points by name. (It’s faster by enum, but we weren’t focused on performance at the time.)

This is all a little confusing to type out, but it worked something like this. We even built a custom inspector to let us set this up easier.

  • Add to array.
  • Name animation “walk”, walking animation is 27 frames.
  • Make sub array for “walk” 27 long.
  • Drag each walking animation frame into each of the 27 slots. (Our custom inspector allowed us to just drag all 27 frames to the new array entry and it did allot of this automatically.)
  • Animation offset was set already in the sprite info in Unity.
  • Setup the hurtbox array for each frame.
  • Setup the hitbox array for each frame.
  • Put in the int for FPS for that animation. (Some animations ran slower than others.)
  • Expand pre-populated “clip point” list. (Clip Points were static, the array was always pre-populated for head, front hooves, back hooves, mouth(pickup), and saddle.)
  • Use custom inspector tool to drag each of the points to the sprite on screen.

There were a few other things we setup as well, but this is the jist. It was tedious, but each animation was hand setup. This is a fighting game after all.

We used the update loop on the very base parent “animated object”, and divided delta time by the FPS set in the current selected animation to make sure we were only going to the next frame after the current frame in the current animation expired, along with lots of helper functions like SetFrame, GetFrame, ect.

Could we have done all of this in Unreal? Maybe, if we kept battling crashes, but at this point until Unreal releases a stable build I’m just not going to mess with it for 2D anymore. We had to create tons of custom tools to make setting up each individual animation frame bearable, and I couldn’t imagine doing that in Unreal when renaming variables in Blueprints were crashing us.

I’m not knocking Unreal, just saying that I concede that Unity is far better at handling fringe case games, lite games, 2D, and anything that requires heavy editor modifications.

Well that was a lot to take in lol, and from the skim i did as wasn’t planning to go unity and stay UE4 looks like you and most others have just done that… ive managed to get a clothed version of myself on key press for testing but that allow was still 4 sets of flip-books with 7 images each and well if i do thinks like Full armo sets this would lower the amount of flip-books id have to make… but i think it may be just a bit too much for me right now…

funny how i can manage to program a 3d hack and slash but cant get a simple 2d to do the same lolol

Very appreciative though of the unity info and how your team went about doing this…

Thanks again for clarification

This still based off 2d sidescroller… thats doable and well doesn’t interest me… i know he mentions what needs to be done but HARDCODING…
I think Britain has informed whats is to date with UE4 and 2d… nothing besides sidescroller and rotational top down art assets… guess rpg will have to stay in 3d mode.

Well, Unreal is indeed not the best tool for 2d, but the more projects on it, the more likely Epic will invest more in it. Besides, each new project shows us things that we didn’t know was viable to do in UE4, so I’d say you could totally do a 2d isometric RPG in it, maybe just not the most advanced tool for the job.

Thanks for sharing this, just gave his talk a listen and he provided some really interesting insights :slight_smile:

You’re welcome! I found it really amazing =) this is something I always like to see more in UE4, simple but interesting indie games.

Well i must say as below i did learn a bit from it but stubbon me wanted it all nicely packaged for 2d as well lol… Its getting there and yours shows it can be done

I understand. The thing is 2d developers will hardly move from Unity or other engines to UE4, so it’s understandable that Epic continues to focus on what they shine at instead of turning attention to the minority of users. Which is the same kinda thought they use to support a certain platform or not.

Which is in my opinion a big point for Unity, because they are managing to support virtually EVERY platform, to be good for both 2d and 3d games and still grow and improve extremely fast.

Yeah that so TRUE VR COUGH,
the progress needed for games for a single person or in my case in UNI that are not equipped to do such course as of now,
leaves me punching ones self on all engines if i cant find the answer online…
And my forum skills, are not the best for per responses before were pretty much bog standard…
learn basics then it will all become apparent…

yeah AS3, to JAVA, to C++ and C++?UNREAL with CSS HTML, and humm C++ _GLUT
lol this doesnt give a STURDY platform to work with…

one day one day…

Thanks for the information also Great info…