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Beginner with UE, Introduction and Questions.

Hello,

I am rather new to the Unreal Engine. I have used it to mod a little with another game I play, but seeing the capabilities of the engine has put that desire deep inside to build my own project.
I have a general Idea of what most my project will entail but I have a few questions. I use to script/mod a very old game, so I have a little knowledge but like I said, it was old and things don’t really seem to work the same way in this engine. I have watched countless tutorial videos, and while all of them I have done quiet well with reproducing what the tutorial was for, it seems there is always a ‘better way’ to do things. While I know that I will slowly work out the kinks in several areas and find what works best, there are a few things I could use a little bit of help getting started with.

First off. This is my first real ‘from the ground up’ project. As such, I am trying to build everything with a 0 cost. First project, isn’t going to be huge, kinda like a demo…basically just so I can start then learn to fix and improve aspects. I want to have it as a small multiplayer rpg type game…Nothing to amazing, but I need to start somewhere.

So this is what I would like to know, if someone would be so kind to point me in the right direction (Sometimes what I search for in the forum, doesn’t seem to be the right wording of what Im trying to find?). Of course, I know a lot of this stuff needs to be done in a certain order to make things work right, and I realize not every explanation will include all the possible problems with another section i am trying to implement.

(1)Small Multiplayer abilities. 1 to 8 players at most (For right now) The ability for a player to join the server and jump right into the action.

(2)Character Customization - Doesn’t have to be extravagant, but would like to have a little customization. Body size, Different head(Face expression), Hair and color.

(3)A way to implement Items that any character can use - Example: A sword that no matter the difference in the players body size and what not, it will be properly fixed and wielded properly. (I know how to implement items and manipulate them to work and look correctly on a model the player operates, but was hoping for a system that will able it to work with all player characters, or even enemy NPC’s), Same goes for armor/visual items on a player.

(4) Environment - Here is what I am looking to do, I want small maps. The player will have to interact with a door (open it) To expose a ‘transition’ that they must walk through to proceed to the next area…I dont want large scale maps, which honestly seems all the rage now, but I want more detailed small environments that a player can progress through and when they are done and in the next area the area that is no longer active kind of goes into hibernation. They can go back to the area also and it will be a ‘fresh’ version of the area, but at the same time, loot/enemies will still be on a timer before respawn. I feel it will help with lower end pc’s/multiplayer aspect. I hope this makes sense, I cant even figure out what correct phrasing I should be searching for.

(5)Spawning - I would like npcs/enemies in my project to ‘spawn’ in when a character gets close, walks over a trigger or something. Seems easy enough, just not sure what wording I should be looking for.

I am a visual learner…well and a trial and error and get frustrated and then look up a tutorial just to find out what 1 single thing does to figure it out…Im that kinda guy! But it wont stop me, I tend to keep on it till i figure it out.
Thank you for reading this wall of text.
Any and all assistance with these questions would be greatly appreciated!