A C# programmer's Noob reactions to UE4

I am not a fan of everything. I have only been messing with the program for a few weeks now. And it has some great pluses, but also some pretty big annoyances.

I don’t really know any C++. So I thought I’d learn a bit of C++ while learning UE4. But it turns out you don’t even really need to know any C++ to get the UE4 engine to work. So that was nice. I was easily able to create a game using the base types provided by the tool. And easily manipulate it. I thought this was praise worthy.

**Tutorials **are annoying. I hate seeing notifications. I hate flashing icons. And only really clicked on them to clear the annoying animated icon. Clicking a million of these icons just to clear the annoying icon effects can go away. While I understand why you have them. Why isn’t there an option to turn off annoying flashing tutorial icons everywhere? You know instead of clicking each one separately. I have never liked tutorials. And like to figure things out by experimenting. And having ever flashing icons until click them. Just about everywhere is a huge annoyance to say the least.

It is **Inconsistent **at best. I am just going to have to call UE4 inconsistent. It is super annoying to try, and figure out why some things work differently than other things. I am really not quite sure what the logic for this is. For example: I drag, and drop a button into a new widget. Go to the graph, and I can see it just fine. But when I drag a horizontal box. If I go to the graph… It doesn’t show up at all. It seems like all panels are all locked to the Designer view, and cannot be accessed in the graph section of the blueprint. Like why? For whatever reason it doesn’t make sense to me. Like really I don’t get it. And seems like a stupid design decision.

Free/Paid for stuff:

  • First off it is hard to complain about going to the market and finding free stuff. Getting free models and stuff to experiment with is awesome. And didn’t expect to find this to be also very troublesome. I was considering maybe buying some stuff to use in the game. Such as music and other sound files. And what not. But found a lot of free things there to try and play around with first. So I wend ahead and added them to the project. At first I was all awesome. Than I tried to organize the content a bit. Painful. It is absolutely painful to attempt.
  • I can only image how hard it would be to move around many different projects. I moved one of the free Paragon characters to a folder I created and called “characters”. This took an hour. So next I tried closing UE4 and moving the files manually. While this was much much faster. It broke all the relationships. Understandably so, but come on. If I were to just add 10 of the free characters, and try and move them into a new folder. It would take days.
  • Even after preforming a move the folder is often still there. Trying to delete the folder will list some errors. I found you can fix some of the errors by fixing object references. Though it was annoying to do so. After fixing all errors and trying to re-delete the folder. Sometimes the folder would go away. Other-times it would just stay with no errors. Later I found it left hidden files that didn’t move. I didn’t take the time to figure out what they were, but it makes one wonder if the move actually got everything it should have.
  • This only makes the market less enticing. Who wants to spend days organizing files after buying something? Just because it doesn’t match your current folder structure. There has got to be a better way of doing this.

Overall I would say UE4 has some great tools. And I was even able to have it procedural create different levels just within a couple of days of trying it out. Granted I do have a programming background. While the tool itself is great. It suffers from to many issues. That would make using it headache. Like having to make a new widget instead of a panel. For example: If I want to load available screen refresh rates. And than allow the user to set it. I would like to put a textbox with a short description. Than maybe a combo box with valid values. All inside a single horizontal box. But if for whatever reason the built in functionality fails to get the screens refresh rates. I would just like to hide the whole panel.

But the biggest problem seems to be how it handles object references. And it’s ability to re-organize bought, or free assists. Making maintenance for someone like me a nightmare of a task. Well for me who was planning on buying lots of things. While I will probable try the tool again. I think I will have to try Unity first before I dig in any deeper. I would think that the market would do a whole lot better. If this wasn’t such a huge issue. Just thinking about buying anything on the market. Will also come with thought about how they organized the product you are about to buy. And how long will it take you to match your current organization. Which you would think shouldn’t even be an issue.

This is my feedback after my first two weeks of using the product. I thank you for allowing me to experiment for free. And I hope this feedback helps you to improve your product.