Among the packs that were made free for the month in the Unreal Marketplace, there’s one that caught my attention because I think it might be very useful to make more realistic character movement: MoveIt!
MoveIt! is imported into UE as a plugin, not a pack of blueprints. I can’t really tell you how this makes it different to a regular pack of Blueprints, since I haven’t delved enough into the technical side (although I think it doesn’t really matter as long as it does the work the way it’s supposed to). I do hope this is going to make it easier to implement in other projects.
After you enable the plugin, you can find MoveIt! in the Engine Content folders in the Content Browser window. There, you can find a game mode and a sample scene. I think the first thing you need to do is use MoveIt! in an empty project, so you can just see how it works in a fully clean environment.
In my case I set MoveIt! as the default game mode for my project (I used an empty project for these tests) so the MoveIt! pawn will be the default pawn for any scene I make. You can toggle between different gameplay styles. For example, you can use a third person shooter game, or an adventure game, or combat-oriented game. The character adjusts automatically to the gameplay style. Adding these different gameplay modes is very useful since, depending on your game, you will need a very specific movement style.
If you move around, you will see the character moves naturally, with all the acceleration/deceleration and natural “in-betweens.” Using different game modes adjusts the character movement and movement interpolation, to fit the specific game mode. For example, the “Adventure” game mode will let you move the camera freely, while the “Third person shooter” game will rotate the character in place, so it always faces what you are “aiming” at.
Another nice feature is how the character tries to avoid hanging objects. If you walk by a hanging object, the character “crouches” to avoid the object. You can also crouch and move while croucing, jump, sprint, and use some aiming-lock.
This is not the first “motioni-matching” system I have tried. A while ago I tried Advanced Locomotion System, and while it was good, you don’t really get support from the developers. MoveIt! has a wiki where they explain different things, so you can use it on your custom character.
I will take my time to explore MoveIt! better, so I can implement it on my games. For example, I think this could really benefit Just Let Me Go, since it needs motion to be as natural as possible. I’ll be reporting as I progress on that. In the meantime, get MoveIt! and the rest of the free content Epic Games has made available for you this month.