Anton's Research Ramblings

Setting Up Unreal UDK

I'm trying out the Unreal Development Kit for a project. I'm just going to add some notes to this page every now and again. You may be on this page because you're looking for my previous post about debuggers on Linux.

The Blasted Proxy

Distribution has not considered organisation-wide proxy servers, which unfortunately are still a real thing in 2015. Official docs suggest that you ask your IT people to add *epicgames to the exception list [chortles].

To get around this you can download and build the source from Epic's github page. There is a setup.bat that needs to download a large wad of files. You can feed this a proxy address with:

Setup.bat -proxy=http://my.proxy.address.here:port

Visual Studio 2013

The GenerateProjectFiles.bat claims to require VS2012, 2013, or 2015. I had 2012 installed and tried 2015 next - both were too much hassle. It's primarily set up for 2013 - use 2013. Check the VS install options and be sure that the C++ build packages and MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes) are selected .


Compiling the source code for the Editor project went very smoothly. It said it would take a up to 45 minutes. I had to leave it compiling over night. By comparison, my 20k line 3d game project rebuilds in just over 1 second. This is by far the biggest project I've ever built. Does it do enough to justify the size? We'll see! I hope so.

Buy a New PC

Going through the editor tutorials I notice that my (fairly new) work machine just can't cope - it's incredibly sluggish to do basic editor tasks. Changing textures or materials can incur up to a minute wait. The modern engine model of building a new shader for every slightly different material property or setting means that even trivial scenes require up to a thousand shaders to be built. This takes a huge amount of time even on better PCs than mine.

Quake-like Engine

Using the level editor brings back a lot of fond memories of playing with the Quake editor in the 90s. I'm somewhat surprised to see that BSP (binary space partition) brushes are still the main prefabs, as a lot of scene management design in graphics has moved to other ideas lately. The Doom/Quake/etc. engines were very quick to work with in editor, and had a very slow BSP and lighting compliation stage before you could test them in game. There's no obvious BSP compilation phase any more but there are certainly lighting build phases.


An external process launches to compute lighting builds. I'm going to take a wild guess and assume that "swarm" is a parallel processor using CUDA or OpenCL or something. Interestingly, you can choose from a number of detail levels to build your light model with - "production" build presumably takes a lot longer, and you'd use the less accurate models to keep your workflow at a reasonable pace. This as far as I've got so far - Swarm hangs on my machine at about 96% built. I might try to get a faster machine.