An idea to address #1 complaint torward UE4: Show/Hide

The number one complaint people have towards UE4 is simply the massive size of it. When they talk about this they are not complaining that their computer cannot handle the size(usually), they are complaining that they cannot handle the size. In other words they simply feel overwhelmed by all the jobs UE4 has to offer them. Some of these people are not inexperienced, some of them have over a decade of experience. These people can be found on Reddit and YouTube.

Sometime ago I submitted that Epic create a ‘mini-UE4’ to address this complaint. Feedback was generally not positive toward the idea for reasons.

So today I submit as a much easier alternative, that Epic pursue the implementation of a ‘Show/Hide’ feature into their engine. This feature would allow users to simply ‘Hide’ the bigness of UE4 so that, if they wanted, their experience with UE4 could feel similar to using Godot. ‘Show/Hide’ could be developed to allow a user - with a single click - to hide stuff not related to their job in the engine or to customize their experience (much more clicks, but still easy).

I think the ‘Show/Hide’ features would be an option that users would have at Project creation. One would start with a very simple setup that hides a lot but would have the option to ‘Show’ more of the engine as desired. One would obviously need to be careful with ‘Show/Hide’ because using it in the middle of project development might break the project(If they hide something the project is using), but the user should be able to undo their mistake to get their project working again. A more organized company could use ‘Show/Hide’ to define a job.

The attitude behind ‘Show/Hide’ is firstly to make UE4 easier to learn. I think the people who struggle the most with UE4 are the ones who were won over by the pitch that UE4 is an ‘agnostic’ engine, and they have some unique ideas, but there is no ‘how-to’ for what they want to do. So they end up getting lost and and frustrated searching and searching and searching in some miserable state of seemingly everlasting pergatious discontentment, and then they give up. Because it’s too big.

‘Show/Hide’ would address the number one complaint leveled against UE4.

Just food for thought. What do you think?

Is it really number one complaint?
I don’t think I was ever bothered by it since 4.4. Likewise, I don’t recall knowing anyone, who might have thought of that feature as something cumbersome.

I agree that this is most likely not the number one complaint as there are more development impeding bugs in the engine far more important than this.

Also, if you think about what you are looking for, a “show/hide” feature, assuming you mean removing windows out of view that you may not use often or at all for that matter. The engine does have a dragable interface, you can reposition panels where you like them best or even move them to a seperate monitor to increase viewport area. As with most digitial editing software, you can also go to “Windows” on the flie toolbar and uncheck things you dont want on your screen. UE4 is very much customizable already.

On a side note, if people are saying they want the engine to look and/or feel more like the Godot engine. They solved their own issue, use Godot instead, it’s apparently exactly what they are looking for.

@Deathrey yes, the overwhelming size of UE4 is the number one design issue. From reading on Reddit and watching on Youtube I know people like the engine but conclude that its size made it inaccessible for them. It’s very overwhelming.

Some people still use MS DOS and complain about Windows being too expensive / too heavy.

When one is looking for a reason not to, one can easily find it whatever it is.

So I never recommend Unreal or any engine to anyone, when I decided to learn it nobody had to “convert me” to their religion.
Just leave them alone, not worth the time arguing with them.

@Dr3d1337 I am talking about design, not bugs.

[USER=“434”]BrUnO XaVIeR[/USER] you sound wounded or something. The people I am talking about liked UE4, used it for a time, then gave up because they became overwhelmed and confused by it. I think I’ll look around and try to post what I am talking about. I am surprised what I am saying is not obvious.

For example: I poke around with Blender, tried it a bit and for me it was overwhelming and confusing, soon I gave up on it and went back to Maya.

Doesnt matter how great Blender is (and it is), I don’t want to learn it because I don’t have to.
The same applies to the people refusing to learn Unreal, anyone trying to tell them how great it is are just wasting their time :wink:

Is hiding away functionality really the best way to go? For example, once Epic segregated Apex Destruction into its own Plugin, it broke more things than it fixed… For example, if Project Settings get reset, the whole project breaks with only cryptic errors to remind users. Plus its harder to package projects now, because of the Visual Studio requirement. So… Blueprints-only projects? That’s a contradiction! :mad: That said, overall, I think its the learning side of UE4 that’s lacking… The docs / wikis / video tuts / samples / examples / showcase model projects, are all too disjointed. No support from Epic without UDN access makes things fun too! :rolleyes:

If somebody prefers the simplicity of Godot, let them use Godot, which is the engine for enthusiasts with scarce tools.
All the games found at Godot Showcase page are micro-games of little commercial value. I can’t imagine developing any game using such engine.
But that’s OK if Godot works for them, perhaps it’s good for some developers making their first steps. Just don’t push to forcefully simplify every engine. UE4 doesn’t need this at all.

Unreal Engine allows creating complex games, largely by providing all the tools by defaults. What’s important, these tools are interconnected, working well with each other. There’s nothing to “hide” here. This kind of tool expects to invest time to master it, as every kind of creation software you gonna use for years in your professional work. From Photoshop through Blender to game engines. No professional software hides its tools for newcomers, there’s no good reason for it.

For years Unity didn’t include shader editor out of the box, so a lot of games were using only Unity’s standard shader. Even if the community tools (like Amplify Shader Editor) were available, many artists didn’t know about it! Or they thought that creating shaders is job for rendering programmers only…
While artists using Unreal or in-house engines were authoring their own shaders with ease for over a decade. Why? Because every artist has this tool in the engine from day 0. No hiding anything.

There are no “basic and advanced tools” in UE4. There’s no way to filter tools for newbies and advanced users. Everything can be used from your first day with the engine, it depends on what’s needed.
Also nobody gonna cut half of any system (i.e. animation editor) because it’s “too big to learn for somebody”. It’s nonsense.

Sure, documentation for newbies sucks. It would be definitely easier to learn the engine from scratch if Epic would invest in beginner courses for their new learning portal.
Meanwhile, in Poland (and probably other countries), they are people offering UE4 courses to high school kids. It’s not black magic, it just needs a proper introduction.

@ClavosTech yeah The implementation is obviously what programming is all about, so if Epic implemented the idea but did so poorly, ‘Show/Hide’ - or whatever they decided to call it - would obviously suck. But the technology involved is already prolific in software design. Users obviously would be able to ‘Show’ anything that they want, and it would be a completely optional feature, expert level programmers don’t need it and don’t care. It is firstly intended to be a educational tool, that would allow for a building blocks style of learning that is common in education and in game design.

[USER=“69”]Doctor Ergot[/USER] ‘Show/Hide’ does not simplify the UE4 engine or ‘cut it in half’, it does not shrink the engine whatsoever, and does not need to be used. Your proving me right by not actually reading my post. An overabundance of information causes people to start scim-scanning everything.

What? Are you kidding me! have you played a game in your life? Game Design 101 involves giving the player a few things to work with and gradually adding to that as the game progresses. As for those other apps, they should take this idea for themselves.

The education of software needs to become completely integrated into the software. I really despise the disconnect between the two that currently exists.

Then what you’re asking for already exists in 4.24 with Save/Load/Import layouts, users just have to start making and sharing them… :

[USER=“434”]BrUnO XaVIeR[/USER] Thanks for the tip. I will investigate it.

Looked into ‘Layouts’ and that is definitely not going to do what I want it to do, unless I became an engine developer and developed the thing, but I am not an engine developer. Show/Hide needs to work at the programming level to make the complexity of UE4 Showable and Hidable. Show/Hide would probably need to be developed by a UE4 expert, because through masking the engine could become nonfunctional.

Two birds with one stone, if Epic took this project it would give them the opportunity to fix the Show/Hide bug the engine has in Visual Studio.

Please, don’t go in weird pseudo-personal questions which sound harsh. Especially that comparison to the video game isn’t correct in my opinion. And I’ll propose a different solution at the end of the post.

First, it’s important to note that hiding anything from the interface doesn’t explain anything to the user. A default Unreal’s view doesn’t show to much. It’s already much less intimidating than 3D creation tool or programming IDE.

I could simply reply to your question “have you used a web browser in your life?” or “have you used Windows?”. There are a lot of tools and options in all of them, the user isn’t forced to learn all of them.
Do Windows users start from checking what all tools do or they focus on basic actions and ask people about new things?
The same goes for any professional tool. Nobody force anybody to go and open every kind of editor and use it, learn it.

There are literally a few widows that anybody needs to learn right away: viewport, content browser, scene outliner, modes. And Details panel of anything in the engine. Just use basic things and open new ones gradually.

There are very simple project templates.
There are big (and sometimes awfully colorful) buttons for important things like “add component” or “content browser”.

There’s an in-editor tutorial mechanism that perhaps could be updated to guide a newcomer? Or maybe there should few specialized tutorial paths: for designers, artists, animators, programmers, etc. And every one of them guiding a person through different windows and explaining how basic things are connected? And that would be a proper solution?
This is how web tools and mobile apps explain themselves to the new user. They don’t hide necessarily stuff, they guide through basics.

That tutorial mechanism is something I have wanted to see developed for a long time. I was discussing a design similar to this in another forum, it was basically just a glorified keylogger with optional windows between actions that would be used to show people how to do things and would also be great for sales and debugging. In theory it would work very well with Show/Hide. I have been surprised that this powerful technology has been completely ignored by Epic. It should be used to develop a comprehensive education solution. I guess their attention is where their money is coming from, experienced programmers on larger teams.

I am unhappy with the brute force approach epic has taken towards education. I want to see Epic get smart on the subject rather than stuff the internet with mountains of videos. Your game developers Epic! Get interactive!