Better documentations and tutorials

Hi, first, sorry for my english.

I think we need better documentations for the new moduls, or even a documentations.
Lots of tutorials are outdated, or just simply deleted the tutorial, but tutorial links are still alive.
After UE4.10 less and less new tutorials, only just a chatting video about some new feature, scratching the surface.
And the features are keeping in beta (Experimental) mode for many months after release, across 2-3 or more engine versions,
and upgrading engine when developing game, is not working always.

The community part is messy and dying. The answerhub and forums are full of unanswered questions (many of this are because of the insufficient docs).

Personally i’d be more happy with some old school tutorials than another infinity blade asset pack.

Thanks for reading this.

Around 4.10 was when the unexpected Fortnite BOOM! happened :slight_smile:

Years after Epic is still short on staff, they have open positions all the time, but it’s hard to “find more bodies” :stuck_out_tongue:

How about trying to get some tutorial creators from youtube to create some updated (latest engine version) tutorials?
For documentation, it’s definitely comprehensive, what’s there currently. But it is sometimes assuming a bit much of the reader’s knowledge / skills in Unreal. Perhaps doing some edits to the basics and to concept / intro pages would help in readability and sufficiency of information. I could make suggestions based on my own experience reading the docs, but there’s probably no means of doing so (e.g., by suggesting edits like in a wiki, or through a skype / messenger call). I think it would help to remove certain tidbits or facets of information from one page and put them in a different page, such as moving more advanced info / tips from a basics page to a more advanced page.
Additionally, is there a glossary? an index of terms would be a great help to searching in the docs, and easier than having to use a search function that turns up multiple result links…similar to a textbook / encyclopedia.

Most youtubers are also scratching the surface, I don’t know if there is a series of more than 20 C++ videos, and secondly 95% of the C++ videos are “getting started”, I already started so many times!.
go to any video on yt and typical intro is “how to use the editor” or “let’s create a new project”, seriously, are you going to teach me how to create a new project in UE and then click on compile button?

But ok, overall if you search hard enough there is a lot of online material online, seriously a lot, it’s just that it’s hard to find what you want and it’s not all in one place.
compared to other game engines (based on my observation) UE is leading in amount of online resources (made by various people not just epic)

To learn something you need a lot of time, ie. 4h per day is nothing.

And until the youtubers cannot learn how to use new features because of missing docs and/or insufficient engine education, we cannot except more than “how to start new project” 324 versions.

Yesterday unreal engine channel uploaded video: How to make cinematic quality video. I think the engine users 0.0001% will learn from that or even use in any project. Check the other uploads. Tons of inconsequential, self-shining content.

In this form, the UE not indie or single developer frendly at all. [TABLE=“class: gt-baf-table”]
[TR=“class: gt-baf-entry”]


Well, actually I am one of this 0.0001% and I think this number is bigger than you think.
Unreal is used by a lot of industries and especially the ones that are not game related, are totally dependent on features like that - that said, for me, the documentation is totally lacking in areas like the sequencer and batch tools.

At work we need to use the composure plugin and we are rendering a lot of movies with the sequencer, but we can’t write a proper (batch) script because we simply does not know the commands for it. The composure plugin works just with the right Capture Protocol … usually it’s just jpg, png etc … but the composure is something different and you can’t find nowhere this information :confused:

If you’re expectating C++ tutorials, i think it won’t happen, the c++ of the engine is too complicated because it’s has to work also with blueprints and all the core systems of unreal.

For blueprints and all editors inside the unreal i think them are plenty tutorials explaining them. I don’t remeber lack info about how to use them.

The Engine Preview Versions really are lacking explanation of the new added content, so people just start understanding what was added after the official version release, because at the preview, theres almost no info.

For content that the engine doesn’t has, the plugins helps alot, but the biggest difficult for plugin creators is make it work in c++, since API’s for c++ are terrible hard to make work the communication, build, compile and so on…

One of the main problems is the information in the docs is too spread out and ingloriously extrapolated from expert experience and skill level, and even without significant use-case demonstrations. I’ve gone through a few of the courses, and part of a few other courses, all in the Learning portal or whatever it is in the site. Those tutorials have some functionally effective teaching, but are often weighed down by constraints. I have to download the files, place them in a folder…whoops (not my fault though), there isn’t a file or two or more available anymore. Or it was done in version 4.9 / 4.16. How do I know it’s reliable information? Something changed about mesh distance fields since several versions prior to 4.23 / 4.22, so now I’m expected to go on a treasure quest of the elusive mesh distance field update? and sequester from my own trial and error in-engine and by reading docs with misaligned information among overlapping categories what it means, especially in the context of a potential project I can use it in…which since I’m a beginner I haven’t enough of a creative idea yet to splice the newfound gem of MDF technicality to its proper yet flexible place in the engine schemata of design features. I’m not afraid to say it, but Unity and CryEngine must have Unreal beat in the realm of accessibility because when I went through tutorials/docs in those, it was much easier to comprehend, was less technically heavy from the starting content / beginning to learn vantage point, and the docs appeared to be far more organized / up-to-date with the current versions. However, in Unity there is a rampaging issue of errors preventing from pressing the Play button to test in the viewport, and for CryEngine there appears to be a critical lack of tutorials. I’m largely basing this on impressions, yet it’s obvious that the Unreal docs are somewhat disorganized, at least a bit too verbose in certain pages (especially beginner level), and have a ton of cases of categorical overlap offset by a minimalist imposition of undefined terminology and concepts.

Closing the Wiki was a mistake. The community made nice compact written tutorials.
Only few have the talent to make youtube tutorials not unfocused and long-drawn-out.

I remember Epic staff (like Jeff Wilson etc) promised big improvements to the docs ~2 years ago.
Not sure what happened to all that. Its sad really, without UDN etc, Indies are ‘third world’ citizens…

So true, I couldn’t have said it any better.

Learning UE4 for over 2 years now, that is quite a commitment, a commitment made because of bold statements and promises.
Now feeling left alone with thin documentation, time consuming trial&error and bug reports.

How come Apple documents for iOS and macOS are updated with all the APIs info needed for ObjectiveC and Swift ? Apple is not having the updated documents available only to big software houses but to everyone.
This is the worst issue with Epic Games and Unreal Engine 4 that needs to be addressed.
I can understand that big software houses are paying $500,000 to $2,000,000 and more for premium support from Epic Games but that can’t include exclusive updated documents that aren’t made public to poor indie developers like me. I can’t pay for the exclusive support maybe I will never manage to make the money for that but let me get the full updated documents about everything UE4 related, all of its APIs both C++ and BP and Python. Let poor developers be able to code without having to waste years to understand some parts of the engine… I mean just having the (ever changing) source code of the engine for millions and millions of lines of code available and telling “read that” it is not good at all. Who can manage to read all of the source code ? A developer creating a small plugin can do that… that would involve reading some thousands of lines of code at most but what if you need to assemble a whole game and you need to access many APIs correctly? Even modifying assets bought on the marketplace means understanding many APIs so doing the work done by many sellers which would mean going thru the source code when documents are outdated. If documents are outdated your only option would be to go thru millions of lines of codes in a hope to understand something. A single indie developer as well as a few can’t do that and even large software houses with hundreds of employees wouldn’t be able to waste time doing that continously.
Exclusive support for big software houses that pay a lot of money includes 24/7 support on everything. It surely isn’t about updated documents alone. But I can’t believe that they are left with the same outdated public documents. And the problem is all about the updated documents that shouldn’t be exclusive to rich paying customers but available to everyone.

I’d love the chance to help make the docs better. Its been talked about a lot, beyond wikis, the idea that the Community could help create or update the docs. But Epic management have gone into reverse and retrenched completely from Community involvement. And now it seems too late and too much work… So how about going to work for Epic? (Be the change you want to see in the world and all that).

Has anyone considered it?

Maybe the F’nite articles about hellish crunch have been a turn off for starters.:stuck_out_tongue: Plus, the vetting process at Epic is tough, really tough. Perhaps that’s why they’re struggling to fill roles. How much of a ‘superstar’ versus a ‘useful idiot’ would you need to be to work on the docs for example…:smiley:

Epic were accepting auditions last year for video tutorials (with possible remote work)… Did anyone on here apply? I considered it. I looked at the process at least. But I didn’t get what they were after. I thought they were going to send a list of urgent topics that needed to be covered, to help populate the new learning portal. Pick one and make a sample video with a 1 / 5 / 10 / 30 minute time limit depending on the complexity. Instead they sent something that reflected more of a style guide with no topics to cover. WTF?

I’m not that much into video tutorials anyway, not the ones currently being made. I’d prefer if video tutorials ALWAYS came with a practical project to play with (perhaps as part of a larger prototype game). Along with typed text and a wiki. The typed text would be useful as both a transcript and something to translate. While the wikis would be filled with anim gifs as a supporting doc to help cover the trickier parts of the tutorial (or the banal sections where the video is slow going).

Like dealing with collision etc, particularly Custom Collision Channels and the WIC, for instance making Elite-D 3D type radar. I’d also like to go much bigger on using analogy or anaiogies to get away from dry presentations or too many technical facts. So make it more practical or about acquiring skills, as essentially game work is all about ‘mastering techniques’.

Hmm… Engine development is very different from game development. (most the fun gameplay stuff goes away)
Technical writing is even farther away, very feel people in this world enjoy writing tutorials :stuck_out_tongue:

Also I have the feeling that if you work on Unreal, just focusing on developing for games won’t be enough anymore, you have to be familiar with all the ArchViz / Cars / VR training worlds now.
Anyway I think if you live nearby HQ it’s a lot easier for you to engage with them and maybe even try to land a job there.

I agree on one thing, that while in general docs seem to be enough for what I’ve used, often I see grammatical, spelling errors I wish I could fix myself, or let someone at Epic know about, and unless I somehow missed an obvious contact link, there seems no way to do so, kinda killing , as CLavostech notes,the willingness for community to engage. Sure its not the end of the world, but it imho anyway, detracts from an otherwise fairly stellar presentation.

I think their management are very aware of the problems, and are focusing on making things more viable to expand the range of people they can effectively hire in near future. There’s even an open position for a “immigration specialist” now (it’s far from simple to get a work visa from US government):


(maybe someone useful find this link useful :p):

Interesting sounding job. This part in particular stands out (shows game dev is a war that’s already won):

Anyone for an entree of Enterprise? :stuck_out_tongue: Exactly as you said above: (ArchViz / Cars / VR and Film / TV)…
Pity its only available in NC versus other roles where there are multiple vacancies at 6+ satellite offices.