March 11, 2023

March 11, 2023

March 11, 2023

Creating Multiplayer Unreal Engine Experiences with Pixel Streaming

Creating Multiplayer Unreal Engine Experiences with Pixel Streaming

Creating Multiplayer Unreal Engine Experiences with Pixel Streaming




sports & tech lover, co-founder & product guy at Vagon

Unreal Engine stands out as one of the powerhouses for creating immersive and interactive multiplayer experiences. Renowned for its high-fidelity graphics and poweful functionality, this engine is the go-to choice for developers aiming to push the boundaries of online gaming.

Whether you’re crafting a fast-paced action game or a strategy-based multiplayer arena, Unreal Engine provides the tools and flexibility needed to bring your vision to life.

In this guide, we’ll explore how to leverage Unreal Engine sample projects to create multiplayer Unreal Engine experiences and stream them by using both pixel streaming and alternative technologies like application streaming to make your project accessible on any device.

How to Create Multiplayer Experiences with Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine’s blueprint system enables rapid prototyping and iteration of multiplayer mechanics, making it ideal for developers who want to test and refine their ideas quickly. From matchmaking and lobby systems to in-game communication and player interactions, Unreal Engine equips developers with the tools to craft rich, collaborative experiences that keep players coming back for more.

Whether it’s a cooperative mission or a competitive battleground, Unreal Engine lays the foundation for an unforgettable multiplayer journey.

Unreal Engine has multiple different templates, which game developers can use as the source project file and start developing their own multiplayer experiences over them.

In addition to that, for game developers who are looking for a detailed guide to create their multiplayer experiences, Unreal Engine has its official documentation for all Unreal Engine versions to help all creatives around the world.

What is Unreal Engine Collab Viewer Template

Collab Viewer project templates are the sample projects that were published by Unreal Engine team to guide game developers who are trying to set up their first multiplayer experiences.

Users can join the same session and experience the same 3D content in a shared multiplayer environment with Collab Viewer templates.

Currently, Epic offers two industry-specific templates. The first one is for Architectural Visualization, designed to assist ArchViz designers and experience developers. The second one is tailored for OEMs in the manufacturing sector, who are looking for a solution to showcase their products to clients, users, and colleagues. This second template includes additional configuration options within a multiplayer experience.

Of course, single-user experiences are still an option for developers looking for a method to showcase their products or projects using Unreal Engine. This method allows users to join an isolated experience where they can walk through a created architectural environment or building, or configure the product themselves.

However, multiplayer experiences developed with Collab Viewer templates enable developers or project owners to showcase their projects directly from the initial source, and make the overall experience better. By ‘better,’ we mean these multiplayer experiences enhance collaboration, allow for real-time feedback and modifications, and provide a more engaging and interactive way for clients and team members to experience and interact with the project.

How to Start Using Unreal Engine Collab Viewer

Collab Viewer simplifies the challenges found in multi-viewer experiences by managing tasks like establishing connections and mirroring presence details across various computers with their well-documented Quick Start guide.

By utilizing them as a foundation for your design review sessions, you’ll reduce the setup time for networking, allowing you to focus more on contemplating your designs. While these templates are especially useful for assessing and sharing designs within a team setting, they also offer comprehensive interaction and navigation tools, making them a solid starting point even for individual experiences centered on your 3D content.

If you use the Collab Viewer experience in a private network (ie. office, school, etc.) when you run the application, the system will detect the Host and let you connect to the Host machine from the UI.

If you would like to share your project with someone with no private network access, your users will be able to use your IP address and connect to your session. However, it’s necessary to have a static IP address to share with your users to let them join and do some additional network configuration settings on your local device.

Interactively Streaming Multiplayer Unreal Engine Experiences

In addition to the simplicity of creating a multiplayer experience prototype using the official Collab Viewer templates, it’s still a burden to set up the multiplayer experience infrastructure for your projects when you would like to scale your project or make it public.

If you or your team have experience with cloud technologies, you can set up your servers to manage multiplayer sessions, or if you have a powerful computer and stable & high-speed internet connection you can use your setup as the server for your experience. However, we have an alternative approach that lets you bring two major technologies in a few clicks to let your audience access your multiplayer experience on any device: Application Streaming + Collab Viewer.

Here are the steps for how you can create and share your multiplayer Unreal Engine experiences.

First of all, we assume that you’ve already created your project with the Collab Viewer template, or with similar technology in Unreal Engine.

1. Create a Vagon Streams Account and Upload Your Build

Let’s start with creating your Vagon Streams account to interactively stream your application on any device. After creating your account, you just need to upload your executable build, and choose the basic configurations for your app.

Start Streaming an Unreal Engine App

2. Create Stream Link(s) to Stream your App

After completing the upload and application creation process, you can proceed with creating your first Stream link.

Create a Stream Link

Basically, you will need two different Stream links, one of them will be for the master/owner of the application which you can use it for administrator duties. The second one will be for your visitors, which you will give access to your visitors.

Of course, depending on your application flow, you can manage your app with a single link, however, if you need to set different settings for your application, you can create separated Stream links as well.

Master and Visitor Stream Links

Master Stream Link for Multiplayer Experiences

If your application requires, additional launch arguments or any unique configurations, you can create separated links.

3. Enable Port Access for Both Stream Links

After creating your Stream links, you will need to Enable Port Access inside your Stream Machines to use Collab Viewer template multiplayer feature inside your Stream.

Just open the Stream Configurations page for each Stream link, follow the Accessibility tab, and toggle the Enable Port Access feature for your Stream links.

When you enable port access inside your Streams, system will allow you to use 7777 port and port range between 48000 and 49000 inside the Stream machines.

Enable Port Access inside Stream Machines

Collab Viewer template uses 7777 port address as default, however, if you need to let your application use a different port addess you can apply this via using launch arguments. Just go to the Launch tab inside Stream Configurations page, and apply the required launch arguments.

Apply Launch Arguments

5. Start the Host Session

Now we are ready to run the Stream link to start a multiplayer session. Just click on the Stream link, let the system automatically run your Stream machine and wait until you see the initial page of the Collab Viewer.

Start the Host Session

Let name your character in the multiplayer experience, choose the Host a Session option from the dropdown menu and click to Next button.

You will immediately jump in the session, but you are alone for now. Just follow the next steps to start the party.

4. Get the Server IP Address of Master Stream Machine

After running your Host / Master Stream Machine, you have to get the machine IP address from your Vagon Streams dashboard, the IP address will need your visitors to join your multiplayer session.

IP Address of Stream Machine

Just open your Streams Dashboard from another tab, switch to the Stats page in your dashboard, and get the Master Stream Machine IP Address from this page while your Stream Machine is running. Click on the tooltip to copy IP address, and note it, you will need it soon.

6. Apply Session Details

Now, it’s time tos start party. Just share your Visitor Stream Link with your visitors, and let them start your application from the link.

Join Unreal Engine Multiplayer Session - Step 1

When the application is started, your visitors will need to name themselves, choose Join a Session option from the dropdown and click to Next button.

After that, application will search for the hosted sessions inside the same network, but they have to activate the Specify an IP Address toggle from the same window, and add Master/Host Stream Machine IP Address to the input revealed on this page.

Join Unreal Engine Multiplayer Session - Step 2

Of course, you can create a custom workflow inside your application to apply those settings automatically to don’t bother your users to deal with this flow.

7. Join the Session and Start the Party!

Now we are in! Let’s start the party. After your visitors, click on the Join button system will start a multiplayer session and you can party together.

Collab Viewer Multiplayer Experience

This guide is prepared to explain how you can start using Collab Viewer official Unreal Engine project template to create online multiplayer sessions with Unreal Engine. You can use this guide to create sessions on your local device or your local network with your visitors, too. However, if you need to create online multiplayer sessions, you will need an online server to let your users to join an online session.

You can use Vagon Streams to create multiplayer online experiences with your collaborative projects, or if you are just looking for a solution to Stream your application worldwide just don’t forget to check Vagon Streams.

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