SkookumScript coming to Unreal Engine 4!

We are fusing together SkookumScript and Unreal 4 to combine their power. Soon you will be able to use their multiplied might on your game project and ensure your path to world domination.

Making awesome gameplay using SkookumScript on your Unreal 4 title will essentially be as easy as bringing up the Unreal editor, finding the SkookumScript “plug-in” and toggling it to on.

The goal is to make SkookumScript the no-brainer for game scripting – both by being the best tool for the job and ensuring that cost isn’t a barrier to adoption. There will be a free version anyone can use to make all the gameplay logic from start to ship for a full project and a very affordable pro version with more “bells and whistles”.

[We will give the full details once they are more nailed down.]

Please apply for the SkookumScript beta or add your email to the “SkoookumScript Updates Email List” for updates on our progress, early access to the free version of SkookumScript and the SkookumScript plug-in, and other goodies.

Using SkookumScript on Sleeping Dogs was a blast and we think you will love using SkookumScript on your project too. Hear what people are saying about SkookumScript.

Unreal 4 Has No Built-in Text-Based Scripting Solution

Unreal Engine 4 Features Trailer – GDC 2014. All the displayed sequences are real-time in-game or in the editor.

Many game developers are adopting Unreal Engine 4 by Epic Games – it is an amazing game engine and earlier this year its licensing cost was dramatically reduced and it includes access to the whole source code. The Unreal Engine was primarily the domain of Triple-A studios – now it is within reach of indies and even more Triple-A studios are jumping on board.

Version 4 of the Unreal Game Engine was also notable in that the scripting system available in earlier versions – UnrealScript (or UScript) – was removed and the visual scripting system Kismet was enhanced and renamed to Blueprints.

We removed UnrealScript, and went strictly to C++, and we have seen huge dividends from that. It would have been almost impossible to get to the point we were today, to release the whole codebase.

Effects Cave Demo – Unreal 4 allows some truly beautiful environments.

UnrealScript is Tim Sweeney’s baby so I can imagine how hard the decision to remove it was for him.

Making a kick-ass game engine is a crazily difficult task and making a game-changing scripting language dedicated to gameplay is not for the weak of heart – so trying to do both must have been a challenge – to say the least.

However many game developers have realized the awesome benefits of text-based scriptingand they want it back!

Don’t pine over the loss of Unreal Script or try to adapt and use a language (like Lua) that was never designed for games – use the high-performance, optimized for real-time scripting language designed for games: SkookumScript.

SkookumScript fills the Gap

Skookum is, without question, the most powerful and efficient scripting language I’ve used for creating quests in games.

Using Skookum, I could finish a scripting component of a mission in as little as a quarter of the time as any other project that used Lua, Bioware’s Neverwinter Script or any visual language like Kismet [now “Blueprints” in Unreal Engine 4].

Here are some quick details on how the SkookumScript Unreal 4 plug-in will make game development even easier.

High-level Greatness:

  • free version: if you don’t need any “bells and whistles” you pay nothing all the way to ship
  • integrates easily: the initial setup is done for you automatically by the SkookumScript Unreal 4 plug-in
  • real-time coding and debugging: all SkookumScript coding and debugging can be done remotely in real-time while the game is running regardless of the target platform
  • co-exist with existing gameplay logic solution: keep logic in C++, Blueprints or even Lua or some other scripting language – convert later as needed or use both
  • up-to-speed quickly: one mission designer on Sleeping Dogs with no previous coding experience made 3 cool core missions in his first 2 weeks just by looking at example scripts and without reading any manual
  • gameplay without low-level coding: enough script hooks into the Unreal Engine to make entire game – C++ programming is optional
  • used by whole team: scripters (coder/designer hybrids), designers, engine software engineers, audio designers, producers, user interface coders/designers, animators, world artists, build engineers & IT, etc.
  • gameplay concepts built-in: make the game you want without struggling to describe how to do it to the computer – intuitive and useful game specific features are a fundamental part of the language including real-time flow control, game object names (checked at compile-time), etc.
  • still use after ship: makes new downloadable content (DLC) a breeze to create. Also makes it easy to have user-created content to add vitality and lifespan to your title

Low-Level Goodness:

  • plays nice with C++: easy to integrate new commands and gives good C++ info to scripters and script feedback (like script call stacks) to C++ coders
  • high performance: many times faster than other scripting solutions – didn’t even register compared to other systems when optimizing/profiling Sleeping Dogs
  • small memory footprint which is under your control – can load script binaries on demand as needed and no unpredictable big garbage collection clean ups in the middle of important game events
  • integrate into other tools: easy to connect to other tools like version control / build system, world editors, audio, etc. Link in SkookumScript directly or use handy command-line arguments to control SkookumScript IDE and send script commands remotely in real-time to a game running on any platform

Me (Conan Reis) giving “thumbs up” at the 2014 Game Developers Conference after talking with Epic Games engine and licensing staff about integrating SkookumScript into Unreal Engine 4. Excitement at the prospect all around.

What are the Steps Before a Skookum plug-in for Unreal 4 is Available?

Stylized Demo – Showing off non-photo-realistic rendering techniques like outlining objects.

  • Initial hook-up of SkookumScript to Unreal 4: initial proof of concept. [This is now in progress.]
  • SookumScript Demo: free downloadable demo of SkookumScript that is hooked up to Unreal 4 enough to show off all the SkookumScript features
  • Full SkookumScript Unreal 4 Plug-in: Complete SkookumScript plug-in that connects to all the primary features of Unreal 4 that would enable a game to be created from start to ship solely with SkookumScript code – standard ($free) with some source and simple debugging features and professional with full source and extensive debugging features.

We believe in making tech to solve real problems – to eat our own dog food. We like Unreal 4 and are going to use it ourselves – initially to make a demo for SkookumScript – so everyone else can benefit from our work and save effort.

We’ve set up an Unreal Engine 4 forum post on the SkookumScript plug-in. It has additional info and answers to questions asked by interested developers – add your voice.

Unreal Engine 4 Showcase

Infiltrator Demo - using Unreal Engine 4

Rime – Gorgeous stylized world using Unreal Engine 4

There are lots of games using Unreal Engine 4 – add SkookumScript for the ultimate power-up. Make your game skookum.

Extra Info on the UE4 Plug-in
For additional information on the SkookumScript Unreal Engine plug-in see the SkookumScript + UE4 landing page.

To apply for the SkookumScript UE4 plugin beta, please follow the instructions here.

If you would like to hear about the latest happenings with SkookumScript, sign up for the SkookumScript forum.