According to the EULA, you cannot distribute engine tools to the end-users (such as Unreal Editor), nor can you distribute code or material that can be used to make a standalone product. Since everythign is written in C++ now, we cannot possibly distribute anything usable without distributing everything, which we cant do? So this basically means if I were to make a game, then anyone who plays the game cant develop their own custom content for the game? Not even maps?
I would like clarification on this matter, thank you.
(Although, I guess this would mean I would have to develop my OWN editor and implement something like lua manually to get this type of moddability, I just hoping I wont have to do that.)
This is a pretty interesting topic actually, I come from a modding background where I learnt most of my initial skills and gained the majority of my knowledge, so I strongly believe in mod support and PC-platform support.
Daniel, is it possible to ship games with the editor enabled, but those end users require an unreal account with a subscription, or at least a build that is up-to-date with the game release in order to use it. For example, a dialog box warning users that in order to use the editor, you must first have an unreal account, or rather have the editor installed on your PC? That could be a good way to implement it, and also have some level of control over the mods too.
One of the things that excites us greatly is the prospect of UE4 developers creating moddable games
The intended workflow is that mod makers would obtain UE4 access by subscribing here, getting access to the mainline Epic version of the code and tools. You’d then expose your version of the tools (if they differ from mainline) and the C++ source code (if you choose to share it) with the community via a GitHub fork which is open to current UE4 subscribers you choose to give access.
This workflow works right now and is supported by the EULA. Over time hopefully we can find a more polished approach to redistributing the tools.
The benefit of keeping mods in the UE4 community is the Marketplace providing a way for everyone (indies, mod makers, and even triple-A) teams having access to a stream of new content, and a straightforward means of sharing some/all game code in GitHub via fork.
Would it not be possible to make a seperate “editor” inside the editor that people can use?
I don’t mean anything epic as modding a whole game, but i.e. a simple level designer that just takes pre-made props, and place them on a self-made interface.
Think: make an N+ (or lbp) like editor.
I’m a Kerbal Space Program modder. Although KSP uses Unity, there is one stumbling block in the modder workflow in that system that I’m curious if will be an issue in UE4 too.
A mod can be as simple as a text file, imported by the game’s code. That would obvioulsy be possible in UE/C++ too. The problematic things are importing meshes and using dll files.
Can UE import an fbx file at runtime, or is there a way to compile an fbx file to a format that can be imported at runtime, without having access to the editor?
And is there a way in C++ to load a dll file at runtime so modders can add their own code? (I don’t know how the dll import is handled in Unity, but I assume it’s just a language level thing, not an engine thing)
I don’t think modders are going to see it that way. Most people buy a game, and if it has mod support, expect that support as part of the package. We’re intending to release our base game for around $10 - a $240 a year subscription fee on top of that just to build content suddenly becomes very steep. I should also point out that future versions of the engine (and all associated documentation and tutorials) will become increasingly incompatible with ours, and that we’d be likely to make significant adjustments to the editor. In these cases people are now paying a $19 subscription for a tool that they cannot even use for modding. This approach is not going to work.
I may be jumping the gun here, I’ve not looked at any of this yet, but with the source available I should think pretty much anything is possible, so long as you don’t trip over the EULA. Perhaps post these questions on the AnswerHub, which seems to get pretty quick responses, often from the team.
Re FBX Importer … less certain about that as it’s an Autodesk format and you’d have to refer to their licensing.
Have to agree here. I can understand the ecosystem argument that Tim is presenting, that having access to all content between games and projects would be useful. But I get the feeling that modders want to mod a specific game because they like that particular game, not because they are just interested in modding. Requiring a monthly subscription is quite a commitment for someone who wants to dabble in modding their favorite game. I guess the best response is to build in-game tools? I’m assuming those won’t fall foul of the EULA?
Yeah, you can build your own tools from scratch, but personally I wanted to strip the editor down to the bare bones and include that as part of the game (content import, blueprint scripting and PIE basically). The real issue is when Unreal 4 branches, different engines versions are obviously not going to be compatible - so if we release in 2015, chances are a 2017 version of the engine will have diverged massively, ignoring any changes and additional middleware we may have been using. Lastly, as developers it is impossible for us to police whether people have a UE4 license or not.
The AnswerHub is basically Epic’s StackOverflow - a resource for developers where people can ask questions about a particular problem they’re having, tag it, and have it answered with a working solution. Next developer comes along, runs into a similar problem, and viola! There’s a solution ready and waiting.
StackOverflow works because it is broken into many discrete communities, some of which are moderated by specific companies and paid individuals. It’s also freely searchable, particularly with google. I don’t think many people would use StackOverflow if they had to use a central interface like AnswerHub.
Yes indeed. Not wanting to diverge from the thread but Unity has the same system in place, but their official monitoring (and answering) of questions there didn’t last very long, and now it’s not entirely reliable when you need up to date answers in a hurry. The curse of popularity I suppose.
Anyway - for now at least I think, so long as there are good questions asked, there’s a far greater chance of good answers, ergo a lower chance of the same questions being asked twice. That’s the theory, anyway
I have already got a pretty useful JS binding together, allowing me to create and modify values on unreal entities, in real time. I imagine that once I get access to the full engine we can likely pull together a set of tools to compile out meshes, animations and any other type of asset for that matter, without having to be in editor.