Empowering Users Early & Often.

Games have gotten the hint. Helping a player understand how a feature works early and letting them feel powerful when using it is great way to get people hooked. When it’s done well they can see the potential, they understand what they are going to be able to work toward, and they can tell that there is a path of progression. It leaves them thinking ‘things only get better from here!’ A lot of tools (even those made for making games) haven’t quite gotten this down.

When we figured out what we wanted to do with UE4 it became an important goal to make sure a new user feels the power the engine allows, and can immediately see the potential that the Unreal Engine represents. With this goal in mind we have built tools that make you powerful even at entry level, and our tutorials guide you in your rapid progression to true power user status.

From the way Blueprints work, to the redesign of our UI and user workflows, to the focus on improving a user’s moment to moment experience, we have been doing our best to chip away at any barriers we see between you and what you want to create.

We feel like we have a good start, but you guys are the most critical element to our iterative improvement process. We want to hear what you think.

Drop us a line here in the forums, and let us know what we are doing that makes you feel like a super hero, and what bits still need some work.

One of the most powerful parts of Unreal (and UDK) is the BSP editor. I am getting a ton of mileage out of it. What would be very useful is an in depth tutorial on how levels are built with base BSP and imported meshes on top. The level design tutorial is good, but I felt that it kind of glossed over what the best optimization techniques are, and whether or not BSP portions are just used as collision meshes, how much they are used in game, how much they are replaced, etc.

Hi JoTay,

thanks for the insight in your goals and thoughts where UE4 is headed.

What you wrote there is EXACTLY how I felt from the first screenshot I saw of the new editor - it was love from the first nano-second :smiley:

The power that you strive for, the power that you gave to the community has brought our project literally lightyears further than the previous product we used in ten times the amount of time.

We immediately saw the potential and continue to see and feel that you guys at Epic are not wasting that potential - we are VERY thankful for that.

I do believe that last time someone had that kind of power in building something, the great pyramids were under construction - only this time we can do it in AC’d offices with a nice cup of coffee :smiley:

…The things that stand out for me?

  1. Overall usability from code to editor.
  2. Blueprints and 2 again) Material Editor

Again, thank you very much Epic!

  1. Easy Packaging/Deployment. You don’t understand how much I love the one-two click deployment. I can literally take an example of tappy chicken and make it into Tappy Hippos. Play on Device (assuming you set up NDK properly/USB drivers), then deploy for shipping when you check mark two boxes.

When I start out on an engine i just want to find an example and getting it running on my device with little to no changes at first (get workflow down).

  1. Easy Project Settings - INI files be gone! I don’t hate ini files, but when you are new you just don’t “know” whats out there/available for a config setting in an INI file you can never seem to find.
  2. All kinds of Complete examples, and with huge range of Templates using BP and C++ for free!
  3. Any device anywhere (Look at all the platforms! I may not use them all but its nice to know if i want make a mobile game for the heck of it, i don’t have to go somewhere else)

Those are my top 4 for “Hooking me into Unreal Engine 4” and getting me started. All the amazing technology and flexibility of the engine makes me stay.

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I love UE always have, always will.

Having the C++ access and being able to edit the actual engine source code makes me feel like a true super power user. I can do anything i want! Thanks for that truly.

I second KRushin, Deployment is amazing!
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Blueprints make me feel like i have super powers but in a vastly different way than c++, i personally feel blueprints are great for designing and iterating on concepts and doing small things but they are vastly lacking. Look @ ramas blueprint plugin as an example of extend-ability, some of these things; actually most of the nodes rama made you’d think would be part of the bp system but just aren’t.

One thing that i personally feel should be enabled in bp is the ability to drag and drop multiple components from the blueprint tab within the graph editors/construction script, currently you can only drag one component at a time even if its the same type. Also only being able to drag off a single component in the bp editor at a time is REALLY weird, i always want to select a bunch of the same type component within the graphs and drive all those lines/pins into a single pin that matches. not have to pin every component into the desired pin.

In the Static Mesh window you can create an automatic collision mesh which is great, it would be even more great to be able to modify the vertices of that generated collision mesh. or be able to add multiple simple collision meshes. i prefer being able to add multiple simple collision meshes.

[FONT=arial black]Ugly
BSP, I know you guys are working hard on BSP 2.0 so i wont say anything.

Thanks! For me, blueprint is huge. I feel like I can test and try new things quick and clean. Please keep up the improvements here!

Now for me, my biggest bear is AI, path finding and movement. There are a lot of different things that make up a good game, but I’ve always felt good AI to take a backseat even in some AAA titles. Get the feeling that audiences are going to become more keen on bad or boring AI in the future. But that’s just my 2 cents.

Keep marching on with new features and updates, and lots of documentation. Nothing like not being able to figure out how to use something to buzzkill a super hero mood. :slight_smile:

The biggest engine’s power is the rendering pipeline IMO.
What is missing for my project is a builtin system to slice rigidbody meshes in runtime instead of apex destruction (like in Metal Gear Rising), only thing I can’t achieve out of the box with UE4. I have no idea how I’ll workaround that issue btw.

Overall, my experience with UE4 has been great so far.

Why I like this engine?

  1. UE4 is very user-friendly, so everyone can learn how to use it;
  2. There is a lot of documentation, so you don’t need to search how to do everything;
  3. There are lots of videos on how to use Editor and Blueprints;
  4. Everyone who has bought the Engine can contribute to improve the Engine;
  5. There are an AnswerHub and the Forums, so if someone has got a problem, he can ask on the Forums or on the AnswerHub;
  6. There is a wiki where everyone can write tutorials and other useful things;
  7. Everyone who has bought the Engine can access the C++ source code.

I suggest to …

  1. Add more videos and documentation for C++, so the licensees can create more useful things and plugins, and they can improve the Engine;
  2. Add more tools to edit the Animations, and a system to mirror them (on UDK was possible to mirror animations).

The more information we can find the better, whether it’s documentation, answer hub or the forums.

I especially like the video tutorials and prototypes.

About equal time for Blueprints and C++ if possible, I want to start with BP and eventually get in to C++.

Deconstructing a C++ demo like the strategy game would be cool. Take a small piece at a time and explain how it was put together.

It would really help a lot of people to understand how GameMode, PlayerController and Pawn work together with common use cases for common game types. It’s great having a tutorial showing how to connect input directly to a Character class but I think that bypasses a lot of important things like how to go from HUD to into a game using PlayerController and possessing a pawn/Character. I’m wowed by the power of the engine but struggled at first with the Engine organisation and API. Some more complicated examples would be really helpful to pick apart. Default possession of a character from the examples hides alot of the power from new users.

For me, blueprints give me that feeling of empowerment. After working 1-2 short months with blueprint I gained the ability to think in blueprint. I have worked exclusively on my map generator, but I see questions on answerhub or even out in everyday life and I wonder, how would I do that in blueprint, and more often than not I am able to come up with some way to actually get it done. Many times in blueprint I see a problem, put hours of work into the solution, and then bam it just plains works. That to me is amazing.

To build on that, here are my suggestions for improvement:

First, obviously, is to expose more and more C++ to blueprint. Pie in the sky, almost all, if not all, C++ in the engine should be doable in Blueprint. UE5 may be out before that work gets complete, but as long as it continues to be a work in progress and we are given more and more power, then that is the next best thing.

Second, open up more core settings to the project settings for non-programmer tinkering. The loop limit is the one that I currently need exposed, but I know there are at least a few other circumstances where people need simple access to things in C++ that would be great to have exposed in the project settings.

Third, and this might be too complicated, but I want some way to convert blueprint functions into C++ functions from the editor. If blueprints are empowering, then an easy way to transform them into C++ for better performance is even more so. If I could just right click a function and collapse it to C++, I would be set forever.

Fourth, and this kind of goes with 2 and 3, but I think it would be great if Epic made a thread specifically to take user submitted functions and turn them into C++ functions exposed in blueprint. I think this would save Epic a lot of time researching and creating these things and basically let them know what people are clamoring for. For instance, I have function that I basically use in a Voronoi Diagram that gets called thousands or millions of times during map generation that I would love to see added as a function in C++ just for performance reasons. I will get this added to C++ one way or another in the future, but if the function became part of the engine it would save me the effort and it would be there for anyone to use as well.

Anyway, thanks for making UE4 and I look forward to all future updates! :slight_smile:

it would be interesting to allow for user made “instruction levels” to be archived in the marketplace allowing for an interactive and perhaps competitive learning experience

What I love seeing in UE4: I love the rendering pipeline, Blueprints (which I find is useful for quick prototypes), and the C++ workflow overall. I like how you guys and gals are relentless with releasing new learning material. And I greatly appreciate you adding PayPal support for licensing–I rely extensively on PayPal, and will be re-subscribing again very soon. In so many ways, I just don’t regret switching from Unity to UE4, even this early in UE4’s development.

What I’d love to see in UE4: Soft-body physics, native DLC support, and patch support are missing. Granted, I do see “DLC support” and “patch support” on the UE4 Roadmap Trello page, but I can’t find anything on soft-body physics on the UE4 development agenda.

Also, the Landscape tools could see some better integration with third-party tools, such as World Machine 2 (WM2), perhaps where one can use masks generated in WM2 as texturing masks usable directly in Unreal Engine 4.

What I don’t love seeing in UE4: The Unreal Engine Launcher is still a bit messy. For instance, I downloaded UE4 version 4.2.1 and all the example files before the most recent changes made to the Launcher, but now, since the new Launcher update, the Marketplace offers those example files as “Free” instead of “Installed,” even though I already downloaded them all once before and those downloads are available in the Library.

It’s not a big deal, but it could be tidier, as it could lead to some confusion–I almost re-downloaded several gigabytes of content again. lol

Admittedly, I still have some more to explore. I’ll leave it time to spot other issues.

Overall, I know it’s only a matter of time before we see many of these suggestions in UE4. Seeing improvement everyday, from Epic Games and licensed developers alike, UE4’s rate of improvement is very nice.

Reflection and garbage collector in C++.
I mean really. It makes coding in C++ so much easier, and exposing new features to editor so much convenient.

Two bad things on UE4:

  1. Not advanced AI, RVO avoidance is very buggy.
  2. No fully supported Dynamic Global Illumination.

Can’t wait for some basic weapons framework in Blueprints :slight_smile:

Not sure where to start on all the empowering functionality, there is so much! I am very happy with the prospect of a new cape and spandex to use! They seem a much better fit.

As to the point of empowering all levels of user with the addition of simplified tools:

I am very impressed with the power of these tools, the problem being that it leads to quite a bit of replication within the environment, which actually increases the learning curve for anyone approaching things upward from a low level.
The support offered for delving into a lot of the lower level functionality is also lower.

A key example is in GUI creation, there are so many ways to approach making GUIs at the moment and support I feel could be better in this crucial area.
Obviously UMG, another empowering tool will simplify the process greatly but in the interim I think in depth tutorials covering Slate or Canvas to a production level, including animating properties would be greatly appreciated.

Blueprints are incredibly powerful but I feel the tools could use more work in areas to speed up workflow.
Pinning to multiple outputs was suggested.
Something like a bird’s eye view I think would be useful.
Bookmarks seem like another good feature to add, say bookmarking to a comment location available in a browser.

Only further addition I have at the moment is that more support at the power user level would be greatly appreciated.
Essentially more C++ support via tutorials or examples. Also any advice regarding architecture of common complicated game systems such as in a RPG at a high level in the engine would be greatly received for those who are still struggling with simply writing code.

Thank you Epic Games, you engine is Super Ultra Hyper Mega Fantastic instrument!

What I want to see is deeper samples from you guys! Your games show us that you know what are you doing, so it will be very usefull to have complex samples with your ideas how to do better games.

For example it will be very cool to have Fighting sample game to know how you guys will construct animation states not with only 3 states (idle, run, jump) but much more complex behaviour!
Blending states with montage, special moves, depend animations, etc…

Another example can be with complex ai and big several behavior trees!


Hello Epic !

1 What makes me feel powerful is the full Source access.
And the ability to make anything I want because of it.
2 The tools provided (even tough I don’t know them all.) makes for a fast development.
3 You guys at Epic keep listening to the community and supplying us with the information we need and want.

1 The interaction between Code and Blueprints, and what to use where/when is fuzzy at times.
2 I feel the examples you have are a bit to general. Some more specific stuff be great to have.
e.g: Creating a Main Menu, HUD/ UI Creation, full overview of UE Code specific code rules. Like a Subject pointer needs to start with a capital letter and so on.
3 Sometimes my project don`t get updated when I change code. (Think you have some bugs with (UHT/ UBT).

Oh yeah, I had one more thought.

It would be great if you could have a super event graph where all blueprints can exist and you can see all the interface and cast lines between them. I think the biggest problem people have with blueprint communication is that it isn’t very visual in its representation.

If we could drop everything on a giant board and see the interplay visually I think questions in this area would dry right up and workflow in general would greatly benefit.

Rather than digging through menus looking for any given blueprint, you could have it specifically located on a graph with all it’s communication lines snaking off to whatever other blueprints it is communicating with.

Here is a thread where we can discuss this idea further: