Networked Play In Editor

Testing gameplay with clients and servers

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Play In Editor supports multiple worlds, so that you can test networked play. The editor spawns multiple worlds within the already loaded instance of UE4, which results in fast iteration time and allows you to debug Blueprints for each world.

Setting up Networked Testing

In the Play In dropdown menu in the Level Editor Toolbar or Blueprint Editor Toolbar, you can set how many client worlds to create when you begin a Play In Editor session. In addition, you can specify whether or not to run a dedicated server.

networking_settings.png

The Number of Clients field allows you to specify the total number of players you want to test. If this is set to 1, and the Run Dedicated Server checkbox is unchecked, your Play In Editor session will allow you to test standalone, non-networked gameplay.

The other basic networking option provided in the dropdown menu is the Run Dedicated Server checkbox. When this is checked, a "dedicated server" world is launched, although there is no display or local player for the dedicated server. Using the dedicated server means that none of your clients will be running as a listen server. The dedicated server allows you to check for dedicated server only bugs, such as code that relies on a local player. A simple test configuration for Blueprints that have functionality that relies on servers and clients is to have Number of Players set to 1, and Run Dedicated Server set to true. There is only one window to test play in, but it has the full functionality of a client connected to a dedicated server.

After setting these options, pick your preferred Play In Editor mode to begin testing gameplay. If you have more than one client world and select the Viewport display type for your Play In Editor session, one client world will be shown in the viewport, and all others will be shown in new windows. The example image below shows testing with 4 players and a dedicated server.

Click to see full-size image:

You can use Shift+Tab and Control+Tab to cycle the focus between your client windows.

Advanced Settings

The number of client worlds, as well as whether or not to use a dedicated server, can also be set in the Level Editor - Play In Settings window. Here, you can also specify any command line options to be sent to the preview session. You can also revert to the previous networked Play In Editor behavior by unchecking the Use Single Process checkbox.

Setting

Description

Launch Separate Server

Launches a separate server even if the net mode doesn't require it. This allows you to test offline --> server workflows by connecting to a server from the offline game.

Play Net Mode

Sets the net mode used for Play In Editor session:

  • Play Standalone: Starts a standalone game. This will not create a dedicated server, nor automatically connect to one.

  • Play As Listen Server: Enables the Editor to act as both the server and the client. Additional clients can be opened depending on the number of clients.

  • Play As Client: Enables the Editor to act as a client. A dedicated server spawns behind the scenes to connect to.

Run Under One Process

Spawns multiplayer windows under a single instance of UE4. This will load much faster but have the potential for more issues.

Enable Network Emulation

Applies the selected network emulation settings when starting the game for the purpose of testing how your game handles network issues:

  • Emulation Target: Applies the emulation settings to the Server Only, Clients Only, or Everyone.

  • Network Emulation Profile: Applies a preset for incoming traffic and outgoing traffic. Options are Average, Bad, or Custom

  • Incoming traffic: Applies settings that add latency and packet loss to all incoming packets. Can add minimum and maximum latency, as well as a percentage amount of packet loss.

  • Outgoing traffic: Applies settings that add latency and packet loss to all outgoing packets. Can add minimum and maximum latency, as well as a percentage amount of packet loss.

Client

Applies the selected client settings when starting the game:

  • Play Number of Clients: Opens a number of client windows. The first one will respect Play In Editor Modes options. The rest will respect the Run Under One Process settings.

  • Route Gampad to Second Window: Routes the gamepad input suring a multiplayer session. If unchecked, then the first gamepad is attached to the first multiplayer window, the second to the second window, and so on. If checked, then the gamepad is routed to the second multiplayer window, allowing the first to be controlled by keyboard and mouse.

  • Create Audio Device for Every Player: Controls how many audio devices are created. If checked, a separate audio device is created for every player. This will render accurate audio for every player's perspective at the cost of CPU performance. If unchecked, a separate audio device is created for only the first two players.

  • Client Fixed FPS: Sets each client's framerate to an element in the list. Includes a Listen Server.

Server

Applies the selected server settings when starting the game:

  • Server Port: Opens the chosen port for simple server networking.

  • Server Map Name Override: Overrides the map launched by the server. Currently only used by the PIE_StandaloneWithServer net mode.

  • Additonal Server Game Options: Adds additional parameters that are passed to the server as URL parameters.

  • Additonal Server Launch Parameters: Adds additional parameters that are passed to the server as arguments.

  • Server Fixed FPS: Sets the server to run at the specified framerate. Does not impact Listen Server.

  • Multiplayer Viewport Size (in pixels): Spawns additional clients at the width and height specified. Useful when you need multiple clients but only want to interact with one window.

Debugging Blueprints

When running under a multiple world scenario, there is now an additional dropdown menu in the Blueprint Editor to select the world to debug:

bp_debugger_multiplayer_pie.png

The world list will filter Actors in the Actor list. For example, with "All Worlds" selected, you will see Actors from every world in the other drop down list. By selecting one of the other worlds, you will only see Actors in that world instance.

This also affects break points. For example, setting the debug world to Client 1 will make it so that only breakpoints will trigger on Actors in Client 1's world.

You can see the client number for a preview window by looking at the window title. For example, in the networked play image above, one window is titled ShooterGame Game Preview Client 1 (64bit/PCD3D_SM5)).

When All Worlds is selected, any world can trigger break points. When those break points are triggered, the Blueprint editor will display which world it is debugging:

bp_graph_multiplayer_pie.png

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