Working on a nest for eggs. My experience and a few questions.

So I am trying to make a nest for hatching dinosaur eggs. I’d like to share my experience from spending an evening working in the Dev Kit on it.

So far, I got the structure part working. I created my own custom item based off the compost bin, but made it look like a campfire. I also made an inventory for it and attached it as a component to the nest’s blueprint. The inventory is limited to 1 slot and can have any egg placed inside (no stacking). All of that works just fine, and was surprisingly easy to do :slight_smile:

The hard part was making it actually do stuff. First, I needed to make a value slowly accumulate over time. When it hits the max value, it removes the egg and spawns the dinosaur. So I get to the event graph for the nest’s blueprint and try to use EventTick.
I get a warning message that this actor cannot use EventTick. :frowning:

Well poo. But then I had another idea. So I create my own custom event in the event graph. Then I go to my Game Mode’s event graph and set a looping timer that starts on Begin Play. The timer calls a function at regular intervals, which loops through all the nests that exist and calls the custom event that I made for them. Not the way I wanted to go about doing things, but it was an acceptable work around. Progress! :slight_smile:

Now I just need to check the nest’s inventory for an egg and…
There’s no way to check or modify the contents of inventories. :frowning:

:confused: Okay…a little weird, but I can manage. I’ll just make it behave like a campfire. Use the egg as fuel, and when the “fire” deactivates, then spawn the dino. I can work with that. There’s a check box in the defaults so when I put the egg (ie. fuel) in the nest, then it’ll automatically activate. In the final version, I can make it so that the activated mesh shows an egg in the nest. That’ll work for me :slight_smile:
Trying to use the egg as fuel causes the game and editor to crash. :frowning:

Welp. I tried. Obviously, I still have quite a bit to learn. But in its current state (pre-200.5), the Dev Kit seems restrictive. At least for the kind of stuff I’m trying to do. So far, anything I’ve tried to do in the event graph has required me to think up workarounds. Perhaps I’m being too ambitious. Or maybe I’m not using the Dev Kit the right way. I’m still pretty new to UE4 modding, though I have quite a bit of modding experience on other games. Can I get some feedback on “am I using this right?”

Also, are there any plans to make parsing and modifying inventory possible? For example, in the game the compost bin is able to check it’s own inventory and turn dung+thatch into fertilizer. This probably is done in the C++ code. However, I see no way to emulate this behavior in blueprints. I know campfires can consume fuel and produce charcoal, via editing the defaults on the blueprint. But how does it turn meat into cooked meat? I didn’t see an option in the defaults for that behavior. Is there something I’m overlooking?

Also, where’s a good place to talk to the devs and give suggestions? I don’t want to be that guy who just complains but doesn’t make an effort to help.

Edit: Just realized that 200.5 with SotF for the Dev Kit released since last night. So all of the above is from the released version immedately before 200.5.

This is actually on the PrimalItem Cooked meat. There is an auto-craft blueprint tick that will auto fire the blueprint whenever the materials needed are present in the inventory of your crafting item. In the case of cooked meat, it requires the campfilre inventory. For cooked meat, raw meat is the crafting material and it has a timer set on the craft. That is how raw meat turns into cooked meat.

Interesting! I’ll need to look more into this. I was expecting the campfire to be doing the cooking. Not the not-yet-existing cooked meat. I’m sure this’ll make more sense to me later. I take it the compost bin behaves the same way?

So when you put meat in a burning fire, it kicks off a crafting action by the fire…err…by the cooked meat from the future (still not getting that). The details of which are in the PrimalItem Cooked meat. Is this the same kind of crafting action as using an engram, except automatic? Neat. I wonder if I can make the crafting action result not in an item but a function call instead. Like spawning a dinosaur for instance.

By “blueprint” do you mean UE4 blueprint or something like the crafting blueprint in game?

This is really useful information. I appreciate the response :slight_smile:

Its the same exact function as having an engram that calls the primal item to be created. In this sense it is auto-called if the necessary requirements turn true. I use this in many different ways in my mod to auto-craft things over time. Its used in all auto-craft functions in Ark (turning meat into jerky, making fertilizer from compost, etc).

It would work the same way if they created an actual engram for cooked meat. You could then use it and as long as you had meat in your inventory, it would make cooked meat. Which is why they didn’t make an engram for it :slight_smile: Hopefully this helps explain little

By blueprint I mean UE4 blueprint.

So a quick update. I got the nest to mostly work.

I created a new item called an egg spawner. The item is added to the nest as a default item and kept hidden, just like the cooked meat and the campfire that ComplexMinded pointed out. When a specific egg type is added to the nest inventory (in this case, a parasaur egg) it kicks off the crafting action. Again, just like the cooked meat method.

For some reason, you can define an Spawn Actor Class parameter in the item defaults of the blueprint. I put the parasaur’s character blueprint in there, just to try it out. When the crafting/cooking/hatching finished, instead of putting the item in the nest’s inventory it spawned a wild parasaur on top of the nest!

Now to work on somehow passing parameters to the newly spawned dino. Like setting which tribe it belongs to.