Getting started with HeroBlade
- This is an easy-level tutorial outlining HeroEngine's workhorse of development, the HeroBlade client, and specifically how to use it to move around within a game world.
HeroBlade is the world- and game-building component of HeroEngine. Your world builders, game mechanics team, artists and so on will all use HeroBlade.
With HeroBlade you can:
- Create and manage Areas of your game
- Build Worlds
- Create Particles and Effects
- Create game systems
- Script (client and server)
- Build game GUI
- Create new tools for your team
- And that's just the tip of the iceberg!
Make sure you've already followed the setup instructions located on your account page at .
If problems are experienced with the client, first check here for a list of Common Problems.
Learn how to look around
- See also: Exploring an area
At this point, clicking and dragging with the mouse will do different things, depending on which of two modes you are in, Character Mode (also called Game Mode) or Fly Mode (also called Camera Mode). These modes are entered into either by clicking on the appropriate button in the Transform Toolbar at the top of HeroBlade, or via a Keyboard shortcut.
This is the default mode when HeroBlade first starts up. To return to this mode in the future, simply click on the Character Button in the Transform Toolbar, or press the ` (reverse apostrophe) key.
While in this mode, the mouse buttons and keyboard keys work as follows. It is highly recommended to practice with all of them, since you will be using them frequently.
- Left-Click (Button 1)
- Activates the selected item in the viewport (for example: choosing a spell, pulling a lever, or clicking on an action mark if there is one nearby).
- Right-Click (Button 2)
- Hold and Drag to turn the character to face a direction
- Both Button 1 and Button 2 simultaneously
- Walk the character forward
- Button 3 (the "back" button on the mouse)
- While holding this button, click and drag with the mouse, to move the camera view without rotating the character
- Button 4
- Snaps the camera back to the view of your character
- Zoom view in and out from character
- Move character forward
- Move character backward
- Move character left
- Move character right
- Rotate character left
- Rotate character right
This mode, also referred to as Camera mode, moves the camera independent of the character's current location.
It is activated by either:
- Clicking on the camera icon in the Transform Toolbar
- Tapping CTRL-~ (tilde)
As with character mode, it is strongly recommended to practice with all of the below keys, since you will be using them frequently.
- To start, once in Camera Mode, tap the Z key to put the fly camera speed at its slowest speed. Then, press and hold the following keys to move the camera:
- Move the View directly up
- Move the View directly down
- Move View forward
- Move View backward
- Move View left (strafe)
- Move View right (strafe)
- Rotate View left
- Rotate View right
The speed of the camera can be adjusted faster or slower, with the following keys. Note how the camera speed display changes when you tap or press and hold one of the keys.
After you have adjusted the speed faster, try using the above keys to move the view around, to see how the speed has changed. Adjust the speed until you find something that you are comfortable with.
- Decrease camera movement speed
- Increase camera movement speed
- Set camera movement speed to minimum rate
- Set camera movement speed to maximum rate
Changing the camera speed will briefly highlight the speed slider at the bottom of the HeroBlade window. This slider can also be used to control the speed.
When in camera mode, the viewpoint will not pass through objects, but will instead be stopped by them.
- Try to move your viewpoint into a large object, such as a tree, wall, or even the floor. The movement should stop.
- Toggle collision off, by pressing F2
- You should now be able to move the camera without hindrance through any object.
- Toggle collision back on, by clicking on the Collision indicator in the HeroBlade Status Bar. This does the same thing as toggling collision on and off with F2.
The mouse buttons in Camera mode work as follows:
- Left-Click (Button 1)
- Hold and Drag to move the view in the viewport
- Right-Click (Button 2)
- Same as left-click
- Both Button 1 and Button 2 simultaneously
- Hold and drag to move the view in the viewport in a different way. Moving the mouse left and right "strafes" left and right, and moving the mouse forward and back zooms in and out. The sensitivity of this movement is controlled by the speed keys above (X, C, Z, V).
- Button 3
- If an instance of an asset is selected, pressing Button 3 on the mouse will focus on that selection. If no asset is selected, the closest asset will be selected and focused. This is the same as pressing CTRL-G.
- Button 4
- Currently has no function
- Scroll through the various manipulation controls in the Transform Toolbar. For use with Area Creation
- Choose the selection tool in the Transform Toolbar and then click on an object in the viewport. A bounding box should appear around it.
- Note: If you cannot seem to select something, it may be because it was set as unselectable in its properties, or the Filters menu may have that type of object set as unselectable. Try selecting something else instead, until you find something with a bounding box around it.
- While hovering the mouse anywhere over the viewport, press Button 3. This will move your viewpoint and focus on the selected object. Repeat this with several other objects (select and then press Button 3), to get used to the process of focusing on a particular object.
- It is highly advisable to become familiar with moving the fly camera with the mouse and keyboard, along with adjusting the camera speed. Spend a few minutes practicing with these movement controls until you are comfortable with them (like touch-typing instead of hunt-and-peck).
- If the camera moves too quickly, use X or Z to decrease the rate, or hold down the SHIFT key to slow it down temporarily.
- If your game has a Chat Panel which is visible in the main viewport, and the chat panel is selected, you may need to click back into the main game screen for the above keys to work.
- If it is more comfortable to invert the X- or Y-axis for mouse movement, this can be toggled in the Renderer Panel
- For other tips, please see the section on Keyboard Shortcuts
While in Fly Mode, you can also toggle in and out of an "Overhead Mode", by tapping CTRL-O.
- Tap CTRL-O
- Tap Z to slow down the camera speed.
- Move the viewpoint with the W,A,S,D buttons.
- Zoom in and out with the mouse wheel.
- Tap CTRL-O to toggle back to camera mode.
Going back into character mode will move your character to the current location of the camera viewpoint, and "drop" your character to the nearest floor surface. However, if your viewpoint is too high up in the sky, your character will simply float there.
- In Camera Mode, move your viewpoint high above the ground.
- Go into Game (Character) Mode by pressing the "~" key. This does the same thing as clicking on the picture of the character in the top toolbar.
- Your character will stay floating in mid-air.
- Go back into Camera Mode
- Move your viewpoint close to a floor somewhere
- Go back into character mode, until your character drops to a natural standing position.
Now spend some time walking and flying around the game world to get familiar with the keyboard movement.
- Use the method of keyboard and mouse combinations with which you are most comfortable. One commonly used method is to use your left hand to hold down the W or S keys to move forward and back, while steering with your right hand by right-clicking and holding with the mouse.
While exploring, if you get stuck or into an odd place where you can't see anything, check the troubleshooting steps below: If you get stuck.
If you get stuck
While in development, or learning how to move around in a game world, it is possible that some areas might cause your character to get "stuck" in a corner or next to a wall somewhere. If you get stuck, try to use one of the following methods to get unstuck.
- Fly to a safer spot.
- Go into Fly Mode by clicking on the picture of the camera in the top toolbar
- Press and hold the "W" key to see if you can move that way.
- Fly to a different point (such as up into the sky) by aiming that direction with the mouse, and then pressing and holding the "W" key. Or, look down at the ground and press "S" and see if you can "back up" into the sky.
- If you still cannot move, press F2. This turns off Collision and changes to a "walk/fly through walls" mode. Repeat the above two steps.
- When you are a safe distance from the spot where your character was stuck, press the "~" key to return to Character Mode. This will teleport your character to the current location of the Fly Mode camera. If you are close to a floor, your character should automatically drop from the camera location to the ground. If you are high enough, however, your character may "hover" in space. To get your character back down to the ground, go back into Fly Mode and move the camera view closer to an appropriate piece of scenery.
- If you are still stuck, try one of the following methods.
- Teleport out by going to a waypoint.
- If you are still stuck, try to go to a different area and then return.
- From the "Panels" menu, choose "Organizer".
- Choose a different area (if one is available)
- Right-click on it, and choose "Go to instance > New Instance"
- After you load into the other area, come back to the area where you started
- If you are still stuck, close HeroBlade and re-open it.
Running HeroBlade for the second time
Please note: You must launch the HeroBlade via the shortcuts provided.
Each time you start the HeroBlade application, it will automatically do a version check for any necessary updates, and then start itself up. As before, you'll see a lot of "loading" messages. Simply wait until it brings up the game or character manager, and then you can proceed.
Where to next?
- Check the HeroBlade panels tutorial to learn about the variety of information and tools which can be accessed via the Panels menu. Panels can be docked, floating, or tabbed.
- Learn how easy it is to Create an area.
- Or, check out one of the other Implementation Tutorials