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Best Practices and Workflow

Hello there, this is kind of a beginners thread, as im new to UE4 and game development altogether.
I have read many documentation articles and viewed video tutorials which is a great way to start, but i feel i am missing some basic knowledge here.

What im most interested now is to get the workflow right in game design, because i am getting to know the basic tools, but i have a feeling im not using them in the most convenient way.

So, maybe the most experienced users can share some of the general workflow and practices they use. I know everyone has their own way at dealing with things, but there must be tips and tricks that are convenient to use whatsoever. The kind of knowledge one gathers over the years of using any kind of tool.

Regardless of wether you are a programmer, artist, designer or “all in one guy”, what is your general workflow and specific practices to get a project working? Im sure it will help save a lot of time and energy for all who is just starting in game development.

Thanks for your time

Rule Number 1 for me is to first establish source control and asset chain.

Rule number 2 get it in UE4 based on functionality, in it just works, and then build up the bling through source control.

For example the perfect door will start out as a box primitive and in the storage folder I’ll have a source folder, for the Max source scene, and a FBX folder for the UE4 as part of the asset chain that is imported into UE4.

So the flow would be to modify and save the Max source and export to the FBX asset chain and the in UE4 do a re-import

Also not so much a rule a a MUST do is to establish you scaling right from the start. It’s not a fun time if you mess up the scale on a primary asset that requires redoing all of the scale work.

I would second what FrankieV said, especially on the scaling. It pays to work in real world scale as most systems (i.e. physics, lighting, etc) can produce very tough problems if you model out of scale by a factor of more than 3 or so.

Another thing:
I come from the VFX/Film industry and was used to that kind of workflow, but I must say game creation is quite different. In film we had render times of up to 80 hours per frame (on a high-end farm) to achieve this great look. Games do not only need to look good but do that in real-time (preferably at staggeringly high frame rates ;). For me, that meant that I had to learn a lot about efficient use of resources and optimizing every asset I use in engine. An nice example is to use the RGB channels of a texture not to represent one thing (the texture or color) but three different things that just use luminance values to save on the number of textures you need to have in engine.

That’s actually what I really like about working with game engines, you have to be creative in how you do things :wink:

Cheers,
Michael

Breaking your map up into components can help. Multiple people can work on separate features of one map by breaking it up into sub-levels (e.g. geometry, collision, lighting, audio, gameplay, background). You can also use Layers as a way to organize what you are working on for quick selections and toggling visibility of actors.

Also, you can quickly rough out your concept for a map with BSP, then export it to FBX, load that into your modeling software to use as a guideline for creating the detailed geometry. Then when you import your detailed geometry back in you can convert all your BSPs to blocking volumes with a single click. This seems to be how most of the Epic official demos were done.

Hey, this is what im talking about! Thanks.
How to efficiently use resources and optimisation techniques to improve game performance, i think is of great importance.
Keep them coming!