Bolt Tutorial - Chapter 1

This tutorial will take you through building a third person shooter game using the Bolt Networking Engine. The game we are building will feature several complex features which allows us to go through most of what Bolt can do.

  • Authoritative movement, shooting and game logic
  • Replication of animation, transforms and game object state
  • ... ADD MORE


All of the art we are using in this tutorial has either been produced with, provided by or run through the excellent PolyWorld: Woodland Toolkit.!/content/18572

Getting Bolt

To download the latest version of Bolt for this tutorial, go to .

Basic settings and development features

Create a new unity project and import the package, this will leave you with a directory structure like the image below.

This package contains an already unpacked and installed version of Bolt, complete with a working version of the entire tutorial in the bolt\sample folder. Before we get started with the tutorial, open up the Bolt Settings window which you can find at Window/Bolt Settings in the top menu.

Most of the settings here we can ignore for now, but look at the bottom Console settings and make sure that Toggle Key is set to something easily accessible for you, and also that Visible By Default is checked. This tells Bolt to always create an in-game console for you when it starts so that we have an easy way to get information from Bolt.

Create a new folder in the root of your project, I will be calling my folder tutorial throughout this tutorial. Create the following folders inside of your new folder.

  • Scripts
  • Scenes

Your folder structure should look like this.

Inside the bolt_tutorial/scenes folder there is a preexisting level we are going to use, you are free to make your own before we continue. If you chose to use our level, copy the scene at bolt/sample/bolt_sample/scenes/Level1.unity into your own tutorial/Scenes folder and rename it Level2.unity. Our level looks like this.

We also need a MainMenu scene so that we have an easy way of starting our game while developing it; Bolt comes with a simple script which helps us do this. Create a new scene; on the Main Camera in the empty scene attach the script found in bolt/scripts/BoltInit.cs, save this scene to bolt/sample/bolt_sample/scenes/MainMenu.unity

Above is the BoltInit script attached to the main camera in the MainMenu scene. Below is how your tutorial folder should look like.

Before we launch our scene, to make sure everything is working, we need to setup a few things inside Unity, first we have to add both our MainMenu and Level2 scene to the Build Settings. Make sure that MainMenu comes before Level2.

Click the Player Settings... button in the Build Settings window. Under Settings for PC, Mac & Linux Standalone verify that you have the following settings correct.

  1. Default Is Full Screen - DISABLED
  2. Default Screen Width - 640
  3. Default Screen Height - 360
  4. Run In Background - ENABLED
  5. Display Resolution Dialog - DISABLED

You can obviously pick whatever width/height you want, but I find that if you want to run a couple of clients at the same time 640:360 is a good resolution. If you build a standalone version of your project and start two copies of it, you will be greeted by the following screen.

Start one of the instances as Server and the other as Client, when you click server you get to pick a map to load, and since we only have one Level2 pick that. On the Client you get to input an IP and Port, but the default should be fine so just click Connect. On each of the instances you will see a screen that looks like this.

Since we don't have a camera inside our Level2 scene, all we get is the blue background from the previous scene. Let's look at another way to start our game, which is especially handy when we need to do quick testing.

Open up the Bolt Scenes window by going to Windows/Bolt Scenes, it will look something like this.

This window looks a bit different depending on if you have Unity Pro or not, the window in the screenshot above is the version in Unity Pro, and if you have Unity Free you will not see the Debug Start Settings options or the Debug Start button.

Debug Start allows you to tell Bolt to start a server + N clients, and then have them all connect to each other and load the correct scene, without manually doing anything. To learn more about it watch this video.

The button we are going to look at right now is the Play As Server button, this button is available for both Unity Pro and Unity Free users and simply starts the scene you click on as a Bolt server, and since it's easy to setup your game with Bolt so that you can switch between dedicated or listen servers, this gives a quick and easy way of testing features when developing, below you can see the server running inside of the editor after pressing Play As Server.

Setting up our Layers

One last thing we need to do before we continue is to setup the correct Layers which we will be using later on. Open up the Edit/Project Settings/Tags and Layers settings. Make sure your layer settings match the following ones:

Playing the finished game

If you want to play the finished game that we are going to build in the tutorial add the scene found in sample/scenes called Level1 to your Build Settings, it will then show up in the Bolt Scenes window like this.

You can now start this level as you wish, run around and test out all the features of the game, etc. That was all for this chapter, in the next one we will start developing code for our game.

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