Have you ever thought to yourself 'I bet I can make a better marketplace frontend that works like the launcher but has search?' If so, I have something for you!
I took this challenge this weekend because I wanted to learn more about how the Marketplace internally works, and I ended up with a neat standalone desktop app that works just like the marketplace does in the Epic Launcher, but with some added features!
Epic put out a massive update to the marketplace launcher. Pretty sweet. I'd recommend it over my version any day. I do wish they include some form of sticky header though, as it does take a considerable amount of effort to scroll using the mouse wheel. Using the scroll bar and "middle click scrolling" is alright though I suppose.
You can download a binary version to try it yourself here: https://github.com/Allar/custom-ue4-...ntend/releases
You can also get the source code here: https://github.com/Allar/custom-ue4-...place-frontend
Linux releases coming soon.
For a full detailed list of what this is, check out: http://allarsblog.com/2015/12/07/Cus...lace-Frontend/
To know how I went about creating this, check out: http://allarsblog.com/2015/12/07/Cre...lace-Frontend/
What It Doesn't Do:
Allow you to buy assets. Clicking buy will redirect you to Epic's asset page. This could be implemented with a lot of effort though.
Allow you to download assets, this is much more secure and probably not feasible.
Serve as an example of good, clean code. The code is terrible.
More information about these features and why I justified them available on above linked blog posts.
Price and Rating Overlays
On Sale Category
Seller YouTube Embedding
Instant Seller Searching
Asset Ratings In Detailed View
I based these features off of common feedback regarding the launcher marketplace, I hope this illustrates with better clarity what we as a community would like in the launcher. Please leave feedback if you think any of these features should be changed, or if you think Epic should integrate them into the launcher . Unfortunately the launcher is off-limits in terms of code and pull requests, so what I made here is something completely from scratch that can't just be copy-pasted into the launcher, but I hope it gets a few conversations started.
Personal Feedback to Epic regarding Marketplace Backend
I go into more boring details that no one cares about on my blog linked above, but doing this, I learned quite a lot. I also learned of some things I wish were changed in the backend...
1. Asset descriptions have malformed HTML. Closing tags should be <a href="...">Text</a> not <a href="...">Text</>.
2. The 'categories' property of some assets is outdated, for example, check assets in the Characters and Animations category. The official category path is assets/characters-animations but assets themselves have assets/characters as the category path, making reverse category lookups impossible without hardcoded corrections.
3. Contact and Support not treated as proper data, but instead hacked onto Technical Details. This results in errors made from the marketplace team having to hack this in manually. Check out the bottom of the technical details of Crumbling Ruins https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/crumbling-ruins for example. Note how someone accidentally entered it twice. Emails are already listed in the 'seller' property of assets as well.
4. Seller videos as proper data. I'd love to see a proper 'videos' property for assets so that one doesn't have to search asset descriptions for them.
tldr; I spent a Sunday learning far more about the marketplace internals than anyone outside Epic should have. This was a fun project and I hope yall find it interesting.