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Introduction - Start Here

💡 In this guide you’ll familiarize yourself with key terms and learn the basics of how HELIX works.

For creators, HELIX consists of two primary components: The Client and Server.

  • The Client is what every regular HELIX player downloads and plays.
  • The Server is where created worlds can run.
  • ⚠️ The Studio is a UE5 plugin used by creators to develop and publish worlds and assets, note this plugin is currently in development.

A World consists of Assets and Packages.

  • Assets are cooked Unreal Engine files (levels, static/skeletal meshes, animations, blueprints, audio, etc.).
  • Packages are Lua script files that run on the client or server or both, as well as any files related to UI.

Technical Overview (Diagram)

architecture.jpg

Definitions

  • A CLIENT is a player’s local installation of HELIX.

    • Players will install HELIX via EPIC Game store
    • The client requires a local storage, where ASSETS, PACKAGES and other files are downloaded to and stored
    • CLIENTS will run on different resolutions, hardware and settings. All this shall be considered when designing ASSETS and WORLDS
  • A SERVER is a running instance of a WORLD.

    • Multiple players will connect to a SERVER and play together
    • The SERVER maintains a state of the WORLD that is shared with all connected CLIENTS
    • Multiple SERVERS of the same WORLD can exist, although typically there is only one server.
  • A WORLD is an experience built by a creator. It is the organizational bundle, which combines MAP, ASSETS and PACKAGES into a playable experience.

    • A WORLD supports multiple ASSETS
    • A WORLD features one MAP
    • A WORLD loads at least one PACKAGE
  • An ASSET is a bundle combining one or more 3D-Objects, Images or other media files.

    • An ASSET is downloaded to a CLIENT’s local storage
      • It is downloaded when a CLIENT connects to a SERVER requesting a particular ASSET.
        📝 NOTE: if an ASSET is supported in multiple servers, a CLIENT will only download it once
      • There are HELIX-Assets built into the CLIENT. If these ASSETS are used in a world, they are already available and won't be downloaded.
  • A MAP is a special type of ASSET and provides the landscape of a world, where players can navigate their characters.

  • A PACKAGE is essentially source code defining the mechanics of a WORLD and consists of the following:

    • SERVER logic code, runs on the server and is synchronized to all clients.
    • CLIENT logic code, which is run on each individual client and not synchronized.
  • The HUB is the heart of the platform and allows creators to manage their creations as well as find resources of other creators to use.

    • In Creations you can manage their WORLDs and ASSETS.
    • In the Developer Exchange (DEX) a creator can explore published ASSETS and - based on their ID - pull into worlds.
  • After reading this concepts, the development can start using the following links: