THE GOOD ASPECTS OF UNREAL ENGINE 4:
The editors with BRDF format, Blueprints, and other tools in the engine with it’s multiplatform support and source code access is great.
You could create software applications in higher level just in blueprints with C++ if you’re a skilled programmer when you put some though into the possibilities.
The perfect licensing model and price set with realistic real world reasonable expectations, with ease of access to flexible tools and expandable tools.
The pricing is affordable and access to already purchased versions via the subscription model is the way to go, it does not hinder core development or the ability to keep developing even if it reaches an AS-IS state.
The ability to participate directly in code and make real changes enables people from across the globe to make this truely the best engine out there longterm by continuing to allow new innovations to be applied to the existing framework and changes to be made resulting in more improved functionality. So in this way you can do more than just keep the engine update yourselves, you can make the engine up to date for everbody and allow everybody to improve the engine where a 1 person or small team would not be able to cover all areas of improvements alone.
By being able to see the good and bad portions, we’re all able to work on and/or provide solutions much faster that works among the larger spectrum of people out there, so alot more can be done much sooner.
The staff works with you and not against you.
Engine updates are coming in regularly.
The process buying the engine is same as buying a game, where as if you want updated content and changes you have the option to continue purchasing just that in any months subscription at any point, and your creativity is not restricted or hindered by complicated licensing terms they change so often and often go against the indie developer.
In a commercial project, it’s setup to where you can build the game first, have time regardless of financial situation, and make money without it becoming a major sticking point or continual required burden. I’ve heard stories when game or art studio’s close or get bought out and things don’t work good for the employee’s or students, I don’t see anybody going homeless over paying $19 one time for the current engine and tools and ability to always have what you already paid for and invested in, vs a company charging annual fee in the thousands a portion what it costs to buy a house or new car every year, telling you and making you think that’s the only way it can be done, only to find it’s not the only tool you need to get the rest done.
Documentation has been drastically improved and quite frankly overhauled compared to the UDK version, it is infact much better and alot clearer you can understand and find information alot better, it’s very readable and doesn’t feel as cryptic.
I’ve compared other engines, including Crytek’s, I was able to do business with Epic Games by getting license setup in exactly how one would expect for a professional business setting to be, they didn’t hold anything against me and did not try and force me to adhere to any NDA’s or specialized you can paint with blue but not green color language, it was simple and straight to the point. When I was doing comparisons on engines, I messaged Crytek early on to see about their licensing and pricing, they never got back with me and I was never able to get into contact with a single staff member at all, if I was under a time limit for a project to be completed or in an educational setting where things have to be done in a specific time frame, that would have been worse. I considered Unity and recommended them early on, I was beta testing games like Battlestar Galactica Online and using their tools as it was the onlything I knew was available of quality and other engines didn’t seem to do what needed to be done, even my own engine development with core graphics from a manual approach would’ve taken longer, this was before I came across UDK information and it didn’t take long at all for me to decide to take a leap of faith and invest in Epic Games tools, it was the best decision.
On the content creation side, it looked as though the industry was leaning toward more control of content or transparency in terms of, well you could use a tool even if you paid for it, but you can’t claim the content you make with the tool as your own even if you made it, it would have to be available to everyone policy, or pay annual fee’s for specific license that would work for one thing, but not everything to complete the bigger picture, only a smaller piece of a larger puzzle. That policy is like going to a supply store, buying a paint brush and some paint, and the paint brush manufacturer telling you could only put the brush manufacturers name on anything you make and must never list your own name on anything associated with what you made, it’s a backwards and restrictive controlling way of thinking that hinders and detours an artist or developers creative expression. Where as an artist would normally put their name in their painting or work of art somehow as their own personal signature to help give credit and identify their effort.
My point being, when Unreal Engine 4 came out it made things even better and removed a large chunk of negative barriers, this makes it better for everybody, so even if things are difficult, perhaps you’re a struggling developer or artist and things aren’t the greatest for you at the moment right now, maybe you’re starting from scratch, the investment in Unreal Engine 4 is not something you would say the cost of the engine alone is what made your education not affordable anymore or put you into a worse situation because of it, even after being successful, it’s setup in a way the burden on the individual, group, or company is low, so you have a better chance at success to grow and make great things with the right tool for the job.
If you need to stick with what you got for now with your particular version you already paid for and need to put that $19 on something else you have that option, and in a few months down the road there’s been several things added you wanna use and you have $19, you have option to do that, you’re not locked into a longterm commitment where they expect an entire year or several payments even if you aren’t even using the product during that period, it doesn’t give the feeling of renting something and they take it back and you’re left with nothing at all but empty air, it doesn’t feel like you rented that movie, forgot to watch it but the watch time already expired. It’s just like buying a game, you’re basically buying the engine that runs a game, and when you pay for current month for it, anything changes in that month you have the latest version as of that month of any changes during that period.
And if you are successful in what you create you won’t take massive losses later on, it’s setup in a way that you would be giving back a small portion comparable to donations to Epic Games and the overall community of developers, so you know where the money’s going and what it’s really for and can feel comfortable knowing that fact of what you are really supporting, it’s good for them and you, not just them, not just you.
This upcoming Marketplace idea is another way as well, I think of that like buying a tank or slots in World of Tanks, but also like a donation or like shopping in a store, so if it’s implemented sometime soon will give another way to support people and company behind the engine, however, if people can make and sell items they create themselves, weather code, game objects and/or content of any type, can also serve as an enhanced development platform where you could buy things from others like a donation or shopping at a store. Say for instance someone made a massive castle with a crazy amount of details you’d love to have in a game or art and would take you forever, that could be a time saver. Or maybe there’s a mod pack for Unreal Tournament for sale that changes most the game or adds a bunch of game modes and levels. Just the thought of that is interesting.
You can use it for arcade machines and amusement park rides!!!
Still doesn’t include a number of desired project templates.
Information on logo usage, trademarks, and media kit?
A specialized core character creation and animation support plugin rely on Maya and are not stand alone or implemented directly into Unreal Engine tools, so there’s an imbalance in that part of the content creation pipeline due to a dependency on a specific third party program that is not immediately affordable. Workarounds have to be implemented and information for achieving the comparable results are harder to find unless sticking to standard methods of doing things which is different and requires a different workflow and way of thinking.
Not all of the the tools are perfected yet and the basic tools do have some desired design considerations with missing functionality or functionality partially added.
The Paint Tool needs improved, it does have bugs and doesn’t feel perfected.
BSP Brushes needs more functionality, such as save/load BSP brush to/from folder in the Content Browser.
A few missing additions to BSP Brushes and Geometry Editing could make the editor have a very powerful modeler, Bezier Line Curves, Chamfer Edges, Rounding/Line Smoothing, Subdivision, Line Drawing, Improved Point Welding and Snapping Objects Together, etc…
Landscape editor needs an editable simple heightmap generator.
Some third party tools haven’t upgraded their tools to fully work with Unreal Engine 4 and still focus on UDK, while their’s nothing wrong with that, support for some of those formats might need to be considered to be re-introduced to bring them up to date with the latest tools available we’re using right now so people using those tools can integrate those easier into the currently available tool set. An example of that is Substance format as their plugin is currently being worked on.