Package Perfect


Recently I needed to package up an Unreal build for distribution. You can do this from the Unreal Editor v4.6 by selecting File->Package Project. However, I wanted to automatically create packages on a build machine without human intervention. That meant I needed to find a command I could execute in a script. Skipping to the hard won result, here’s the wooly command line I ended up with:

.\Engine\Build\BatchFiles\RunUAT.bat -verbose BuildCookRun -nocompileeditor -nop4 -project=MyProject.uproject -cook -allmaps -CrashReporter -stage -archive -archivedirectory=c:\Package -package -WindowsNoEditor -clientconfig=Shipping -ue4exe=UE4Editor-Cmd.exe -clean -pak -prereqs -targetplatform=Win64 -build -utf8output

Over twenty command line parameters. How did I figure that all out?

First I searched on the web for “Unreal command line package.” That led me to a promising page, so I tried the recommended command line there. However, when I compared my output with the output generated by the in-editor packaging step, not only were most of the files quite different, there were some files that were in one place and not the other. No dice.

Time to think like a software engineer.

Unreal distributes source code for their engine and editor. So I searched the code for the word archivedirectory (one of the parameters mentioned at the link above), which led me to .\Engine\Source\Editor\…\MainFrameActions.cpp. It has a line that starts with

FString CommandLine = ...

Bingo!

I set a breakpoint on that line in Visual Studio, started up the Unreal Editor, attached to the Unreal Editor from Visual Studio (Debug->Attach to Process), and then selected File->Package Project->Win64 in UE. Breakpoint hit! From there it was simple to copy the actual CommandLine value that UE uses to a batch file and tweak path names as needed.

Notes

  • I repeated this process a few times, tweaking the settings at Packaging Project->Packaging Settings so I could extract the various command line parameters that can be configured in the editor.
  • The –project setting must be the fully qualified path name
  • For shipping builds, use –clientconfig=Shipping. For development builds, use –clientconfig=Development. I didn’t try creating a Test build, but that would be an interesting experiment, since you can’t package test builds from inside the editor.
  • clean ensure a full build is done, –build builds code, –cook builds content, and –pak puts the content in a single pak file
  • The only platform I was targeting was 64-bit Windows, so you’ll need to validate the targetplatform parameter for other platforms

 

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