UE4 Scalable Puzzle System

So for this post I'm gonna really trudge back to the beginning. Well not the far far beginning, we'll get to that some other day. Now I'm just gonna talk about one of the first systems I ever built in Unreal.

This video shows many things, namely that I was incompetent with fraps early in my career. Anyway, the system itself is an ancient puzzle, the first time I vividly remember encountering it was when I was 13 and received a copy of the phenomenal Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic on XBox. That game had a few really great, but really simple puzzles, and some of them nearly drove me mad as a child.

The one in question had lit tiles on the floor, in a five by five pattern. When you touched one tile, all the adjacent tiles switched to the opposite color. When I recreated this system I instead decided to use a first person shooter template, rather than revisit my childhood frustrations of accidentally touching the corner of one square with my ever so slightly off collision capsule.

The way I built the system was that each tile was its own blueprint actor, and the level designer would plug in the tiles to the left, right, top and bottom of it, with null references acting as the edges. The designer could also predetermine the binary state of the actor. This would allow for literally infinite combinations of puzzles, only defined as far as the level designer wanted to go.

There's no crazy lesson to this, but I think that anyone who is looking to start out learning blueprint and visual scripting should start by creating some sort of a puzzle system.

That's all for now. Come back soon!

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