The Multiplayer Survival Game Template is fully equipped to get even the most specific of Survival Games off to a great start and help your development team hit the ground running. A comprehensive, ever expanding set of advanced features is ready for you to start customising away.
The MSGT is optimised for both singleplayer and multiplayer survival games, and unless otherwise stated, all features listed here should work, at least to some degree, in both singleplayer and multiplayer environments.
Please note that this list will be updated regularly, but it is possible that there may be more features included than listed here from time to time. Likewise, if a feature has to be pulled for some reason, it may not be reflected in this list immediately. For the most current updates regarding the MSGT, follow us on twitter via @dapperraptordev.
The day/night cycle can also be hooked up to use a custom/third party system, such as Orbit, TruSky or Ultra Dynamic Sky (tutorials on this coming soon), to achieve differing visuals to the stock-standard Epic Games skysphere without sacrificing the features of the MSGT cycle.
Included in the MSGT is an advanced inventory system, powered by a visual drag and drop interface. It includes all expected features such as item stacking, swapping, destroying, dropping and use. Items are defined by a versatile data table allowing you to create all manners of pickups ranging from consumable items, to weapons, to placeable items such as crafting benches and such.
Players in survival games are always getting hurt. What better way to protect them than with some sweet armor? MSGT has you covered, with a fully functional player equipment setup, that allows, by default, for 8 different armor pieces, and a bag (to allow the player to carry more items). This can be expanded and customised to include more items if desired.
All these lovely items for players to find and pick up. But what good is a wooden plank? What about a gun when you have no ammo left? Well, that gun can be stripped down for parts – metal, ammo, hell, even apples if you are so inclined (maybe your game is set in a whacky far-out universe where shotguns are made out of apples, and fire bananas are players… MSGT has you covered there too!). The wood and metal you now have can be used to craft other things. Don’t have enough wood? Pick up that tool and go to the nears wood node! All this is possible with the base feature set here.
Harvesting nodes are simple – select a mesh, set the reward, set the use limit (or infinite uses), minimum damage amount, if a tool is required (and what tool), and other such settings.
Salvaging is even simpler – open up the salvaging data table, add a new row with the same name as the item you want to set up, then simply add the salvaging components you want to reward the player with, along with the min/max quantities and the chance of successfully salvaging!
And finally, crafting! Again, simple is the key here – fire up the crafting recipes data table and set up what items are needed, give it a name, set the item to be crafted and bam! Done!
How do your players access all this wonderful stuff that they are carrying around? No one likes having to go into their inventory everytime they want to eat an apple or apply a bandage. As such, the MSGT comes with an optional hotbar, which allows players to drag and drop items onto the hotbar slots, which are mapped to the number keys.
Nothing is more rewarding than finding that hidden chest with some epic loot in it. But even without that, you want to be able to have places for your players to store their stash, or find new toys to play with. The MSGT comes with a fully functional loot system, complete with lootable containers (chests), lootable players and even lootable AI!
To further expand upon the loot system, the MSGT includes a random loot generator blueprint, which allows you to easily set up loot spawning zones in your world. These zones have some basic camper protection, and can even be configured to despawn loot items when no one is nearby to save on server bandwidth!
Survival games might come down to the PVP action for the most part, but there are definitely always going to be uses for AI characters. And what if you want to make one of the rare, elusive singleplayer-focussed survival games? You’d need to work out how to implement an AI character with all the looty goodness of the MSGT. Luckily for you – there’s one already there to learn from!
A simple fellow, he will sense the players nearby, chase them and open fire. He can be pretty rambunctious, so approach with caution, especially if you want to live long enough to loot him! Never know what he might drop with the handy-dandy MSGT AI Random Loot Generator component that is included!
All of this is great and all, but if your player is invincible, it isn’t going to be much of a survival game is it? And that is precisely why the MSGT comes with a fully integrated health system, complete with death and respawning! If your player gets shot by that pesky AI – health reduction! Starving because they haven’t eaten in forever? Health reduction. It’s like Mr. Trump took a pickaxe to Obamacare and kept all that funding for himself!
The modern day survival game often boils down to two simple mechanics – hunger and thirst. In fact, there is an entire slew of Steam titles in the survival game genre that honestly have nothing more than some shooting, hunger and thirst. Consider this Survival Games 101 if you wanna make it in this industry… So of course, the MSGT has you covered with versatile systems that allow you to control how much the players needs to eat over time, how much damage when they are starving or dehydrated, and much more!
As time goes on, survival games are looking to the stars. Titles like Space Engineers, No Man’s Sky and Astroneer all take the survival game mechanics and put you in environments you wouldn’t find in your more traditional incarnations such as Minecraft and Rust. In these environments, Hunger and Thirst can even take a secondary focus as you try to survive the effects of zero oxygen environments. The MSGT comes with a system for managing oxygen requirements, not just in space, but in areas such as underwater environments, low oxygenated caves, and so on.
Built with both minority and majority vacuum environments in mind (that is to say, oxygenated worlds with small zones of low oxygen, such as underwater areas in an Earth-like world, and worlds that are mostly zero oxygen areas, such as space or oceans), the oxygen management system in the MSGT can be toggled between always drain and volume controlled drain. Settings for both versions allow you to control how much time your players have between full and empty oxygen, how quickly they die when they are asphyxiating, and how quickly it recovers when they are in oxygen “safe zones”. Like all MSGT systems, it’s completely ready to go, and completely ready to be extended for custom use scenarios.
In real life, everytime you are damages from an external force, you run the risk of bleeding. So why should that not be the case in games?
If your player is shot, hit with an axe, or have a care bear thrown at them at light speed, there should be at least a chance of blood loss. With the blood level system in the MSGT, you can set this chance, as well as a minimum damage amount required. This will not be triggered by statistical damage (such as hunger, thirst, low oxygen, etc.). When your player is out of blood, then they run low on health! They’re going to need some sort of bandage item to fix up that wound!
Walking is useful. Running is great. But when you are trying to survive, you might need to hide in bushes, or behind logs. Movement mechanics such as crouching, entering/exiting prone, and sprinting are all very important in developing a compelling survival game experience. As such, you will find them ready to go in the MSGT!
Going for a more realistic survival game? Maybe you don’t want your players to be able to jump everywhere, or run to the other side of the world. Stamina is key here. With the MSGT, you are able to limit the player’s ability based on stamina. You can even hook up other systems, such as the hunger system, to enforce higher stamina limitations when the player is in vulnerable states, such as starving!
Other options include setting how fast stamina recharges, whether it recharges faster if the player isn’t moving, and how long after the player has exhausted stamina before it starts to recharge.
Falling damage is another important feature to include in your game when you are trying to go for the realistic feel, and the template includes settings to enable this. Not only can you turn it on and off, you can control how high is a ‘safe fall’, at what rate the falls damage players and more! If you want to make your players die from tripping over a brick, you can do so. Likewise, if you are making a cutting edge Superman Survival Simulator, then you can have them take only a few units of damage from jumping off the empire state building. Like most things in the MSGT, it’s all up to you and how you configure it!
Most survival games have a day/night cycle that is used to trigger things such as zombie invasions, or even just make the world more dangerous when you can’t see players as well. Or maybe you are looking at making a horror-based survival game and you want a lot of dark environments. With the settings present in the MSGT, you can set up a large variety of flashlight systems. Want a bright red light that sees til the other side of the universe with a rechargeable battery that flickers all the time? Go for it. Or maybe you just want a more boring standard flashlight that requires the player to find batteries to keep it running – yeah I guess you could do that too.
Knowledge is power. But power is used to run machines. Machines like lasers, flashlights and jetpacks! Only one of those three is in the MSGT by default, but at least you have the means set up to control just how far your player can fly off to with that jetpack before lasering their name into the international space station, via the power management system. Like all other survival mechanics, the player can hold a limited amount of power (if the system is enabled) and you can control this. It can be set up to recharge entirely, or to a segment, or not at all and require items such as batteries to get power back.
Your body functions best when it’s kept at a certain temperature. That temperature is somewhere in the range of 37.5 degrees celsius. If you were a player in a game made by the MSGT, the developer might decide that you need to maintain this even in their virtual world. Fireplaces can be set up to heat you. Water can make you enter hypothermia. Even the daily temperature cycle can impact your body temperature, and if you get too hot or too cold, then you are going to suffer. Increased thirst is an option during heatstroke, and slower movement is one during hypothermia. Oh, and that 37.5 is configurable too!
Given you are making a survival game, you’re going to have zombies… right? All survival games have zombies. If they aren’t AI, it’s the hordes of players, right?
Either way… those zombies are toxic! Keep your distance. You might get bit! And if you get bit, expect to feel a little under the weather.
The MSGT allows for multiple levels of poisoning to occur, and each level will increase the damage you receive over time. This could also be used for mechanics such as radiation or illness, and can be manipulated through world events, player events or even just trigger volumes! Players will need to use some sort of antidote/curing item to lower the poison.
How do you want your players to play your game? Is this an intense first-person survival sim? Is it a more run and gun third person affair? Maybe you want a sort of over-the-shoulder look. Maybe you even want a combination of these different camera modes? Got you covered. With settings galore to configure what mode players start in, if they can swap shoulder sides, how far away the camera sits, and more, the Survival Character blueprint even has a seperate head to hide the head from the player so that your camera doesn’t clip inside of it. Pretty nifty huh? You might say it’s… ahead of the game even!
Let’s face it. Survival games need guns. And guns need ammo. Or maybe they don’t – maybe you are back in that apple-world we mentioned earlier. Then you probably need apples. Either way, it’s important to have a basic framework to pew-pew people with. And who wants to spend weeks learning how to hook up a gun to the already present MSGT systems for inventory management and damage? No one, that’s who. What could be better, then, than having a ready-to-go example system to build upon.
With the system in place, you will have everything you need to create basic weapon functionality, including limiting weapons based on ammo, creating weapons with multiple projectiles (such as shotguns), giving weapons spread values, damage amounts and more. It’s probably not exactly what you want, but it’s a nice place to start from. We’ve even included a shotgun and a machine gun to demonstrate it all!
Once your mechanics are all down and set, and you have the zombie hordes on standby, as well as enough apples to craft all the guns you want, you’ll need to give people a way to actually play your game. A main menu system would be super handy, and maybe even a way to search for games that other players have running. Oh, wait, we have that here too!
The MSGT comes with an example main menu/in-game menu setup ready for you to customise. Players can select between single and multi player games. They can even host and join games directly on a LAN or over the internet via a direct IP connectino (note: UE4 by default requires port forwarding on the port 7777 for this to work over the internet). Even better – there’s an example of how one might set up a session browser to look for all available games. Out-of-the-box, this will search for games on your LAN network, but with a little tweaking, it could feasibly be set up to look for games via a Steam AppID, or any other network system you can integrate!
Similar to the menu, all those awesome survival mechanics are great, but players would get pretty annoyed if they didn’t know what their stats were at! So we’ve included a graphical HUD setup, which has settings to be displayed as either a sleek horizontal style menu with rounded bars, or a vertical graph look for the more data-orientated players. There’s no reason you can’t take this HUD and customise it to your hearts content! That’s what game development is all about!
As well as a nice sexy HUD system, you want to give your players some feedback in-game when things happen. The MSGT has you covered in two ways here. Firstly is the feedback widget that, by default, is displayed in the bottom right of the screen. If your player is starving, they’ll know when they get told “You are starving. Find some food before you die!”! But that’s not enough, so we’ve also included a base version of our yet-to-be-released asset, the Visual Feedback Manager. This system is integrated into almost all the other mechanics in the template, and comes with a large variety of different effects, ranging from tinting the world to a different color-temperature, placing a distortion effect over the screen, limiting the player’s visibility range, and much much more! There’s a lot of different effects, and it’s super easy to integrate your own.
Please note that features will be added over time. To see what is currently planned as an addition, check out the Multiplayer Survival Game Template Roadmap Trello! Got a suggestion/request for a specific feature not mentioned on here or in the trello? Contact me and let me know 🙂