Epic looking for your feedback on the direction to take with Answerhub

here my experience with unreal forum answer and reddit:
the answer for me was totally frustrating i never had a single question and or help get from the answerhub it was totally wast of time, in the forum i had some here and there, maybe the place where i got “more help” was on reddit, but i really feel overal which at last both unreal forum and answerhub where not so “friendly when comes to help” and share or learn stuff be from unreal dev team or be from others users, i feel which we have too “much secret” and i don’t want to share how i do that or that, find yourself!!!, i really feel it’s not so "friendly when comes to support only really few times you actually get some help from someone with a good will and patient to help overal you are basically “alone” most of the times which for "new peoples trying to learning and making the own games make stuffs hard, because the only real way to learn is go look for youtube tutorials and others places which normally you only get the “basic” but when comes to more “complex stuff” or "learn by yourself or pay me to teach, being clear i only feel that for when comes to “help peoples about the engine” ofcourse when comes to just "chat talk those places are fine but if you want to learn anything better go to another place because specially answerhub and also forum you gonna get disappointed most of the times, while sometimes you can still find some good peoples whiling to help and share they knowledge overal most of the times is just wasting time and have a empty post.

i really would love to see some improviments on this side to it be more helpfull for new comes and have more “good souls” whiling to help/share stuff than just learn by yourself alone.

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Pro tip. When wanting answers it’s often best to write in plain english and triple check your spelling(s).

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Here’s an actual pro tip: Help us help you and, at least, break it into sentences. I run out of breath reading that… @Ellessarr

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How is my reply spam? Defending someone’s post? Good lord no wonder nothing gets fixed here
Everynone I know you’re one of like two or three people who help folks on this forum, I see you neck and neck with the other guy, but my previous Point was that regardless of quality of posting, regardless of spelling or spacing, there are so many questions that just never get answered. I’ve never, not once, had a reasonable answer to well crafted questions on this forum in over a year, and that’s the real problem. There aren’t enough folks at epic answering the easy go answer questions probably because there aren’t enough resources being thrown at it. We need 30-40 everynones pulling weight to get this forum reasonable.

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I did get an answer about three times during last three years.
Sadly though, each time it was just a bug confirmation.
First one is supposed to get fixed in 4.27.1.
We’ll se if it’ll actually get fixed or as usual.
Yup, this is laughable.

In all honesty though, I’d much rather prefer no answers to something like
if (true == true) { bool TRUE = true; return TRUE }
Which is, without exaggeration, is the quality of answers I am seeing way too often and also what I see in almost every unofficial tutorial, blueprint or not.

Its way worse than that… No one at Epic answers questions on here at all anymore! There hasn’t been any proper interaction from Epic since 2017 (that’s a fact). Those helping out are just volunteers. Every question answered is time lost on one’s own Indie projects. :wink:

Overall, I’ve been lobbying Epic for years to reward volunteers who help out on here. After all, why give away free assets to everyone / anyone? As that only rewards failure and kills the forums / community even quicker imo. Response from Epic??? Nothing but crickets…

As long as no one at Epic has any time to contribute anything to the community, the forums are finished. There’s already been a massive falloff from last year, compounded by the Discourse upgrade that didn’t change anything, and may have made things worse.

From past conversations with Epic staff, I don’t see the forums existing in any meaningful way in a year or two, as they will be totally deserted for other channels. This landing page is basically Epic support for Indies going forward. Unreal isn’t really an engine for Indies, not anymore. That is unless you’re 100% self-sufficient and can solve problems on your own. :wink:

wow i was not expectating things go on this way, srry any trouble and really bad english, it’s really not my primary language and i’m really trying to learn aways open for feedback and improviments.

going back to main topic as others pointed this is the big issue, for what i’m getting at this point, the forums or asnwerhub are almost dead as “source of help and support”, as peoples noted if you are trying to “start” on unreal and looking for help and support, answerhube is really the worst place aside some really rare moments you will gonna loose time wating for help on that, i’m really totally support the shut-up since it not working anymore and is almost dead as it looks.

Now forum is on a almost the same situation, while sometimes i do get some replay and answers here and there still feel not "supportive as it was supposed since if no “good soul” outside unreal staff don’t help or share any “secret tip” you are screwed, waiting for a unreal staff to pop up to help is the same as let’s say jesus criste come back “again”.

if you don’t get help from experienced users then no answer, which leads us to the “reddit”, which seens still the “place to get some answers” and tutorials, even if also not that much as you wanted, still better than both forum and answerhube which while one is a walking dead the other is on a terminal condition just waiting to be dead( when comes to support not to talk).

While for “talk” and share some moments or talk about new techs and news from epic, the forum still a lot alive and strong when comes to “support and help new comers peoples in need” from epic team or even experienced peoples it’s become almost a pray to god someone goes to help you.

i do agree which in the past it used to be a little better as i told in my previous post i remember back in the past getting more help than now and it make hard for “new comers” and indies to try unreal since it’s not so "newcomers friendly as it was supposed to be, most of the times is "go to youtube for tutorials or watch epic team lives, where they talk about “everything” aside what you are actually wanting, then or you "learn by yourself in the hardest way or pay someone to teach to you or pay someone to “make for you”, which again for "low budget or “one man team” is really hard to start.

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This isn’t the right topic for it,
But generally speaking…

Keep your sentences short.
The shorter the better.
Less chance for confusion.

You can also include a version in your original language.

Re: getting help, which is also NOT the point of the topic.

If a request is a rambling of 20 run on sentences that can be barely read, and most definitely not understood - no one will touch it.

The subjects are often very technical and complex.
Writing topics like “x doesn’t work” means you’ll probably get a response of “wtf are you talking about”? Or “sure it does”.

If instead you include details about what doesn’t work and how to replicate it, when people read it, they would actually be more inclined to help, as they would have at least some information to make assumptions with.

RE: the rest.

If your “feedback” to epic is that you can’t find answers when you ask something.

Sure. No one can. That’s the point.

Ask @BrUnO_XaVIeR for instance.
Did anyone tell you why the community ocean project water needed transparency sort priority per pixel to avoid artifacts?

The more specific a problem is, the less of a chance you’ll get an answer without actually going around trying to find an answer yourself…

IF we had a community wiki instead, huge important things like that, or like the character movement component, or think even new nuisances like Tessellation alternatives, best/good practices?
maybe you would be able to just find answers without having to really search…

BUT NO… epic took our wiki away instead.

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What did I do this time…
I swear to God I am innocent!

Might as well recycle this thread as Epic have given up on it. :stuck_out_tongue: Anyway +1 to everything you said… And to add a few other things for those frustrated and wondering why no one ever answers their questions on here… Suggestions: Overall, don’t make devs have to work too hard. Everyone on here is just a volunteer. So make life easier for them to help YOU… As everyone has limited time, same as you. Nod to this and last point here too. Personally this is what I look for - before deciding whether or not to help or post a reply or bump a thread:

  1. OP hasn’t done anything to show they’ve tried to solve this on their own… Overall, stop feeling self-entitled. This isn’t paid support!!! Be nice. Be funny. Use a better translator. Say thanks occasionally. These forums are dying. They may not have any value in a year or two… So what now? NEW devs need to step up and help out. It can’t just be the same 10 / 20 / 30 devs that are always posting on here. That model doesn’t work long-term. Otherwise everyone will just split off into 10-20 other channels, and it will become impossible to find useful info anymore… Overall, it’d be really interesting to see other feedback on the kinds of questions other devs choose to ignore or not answer and why? (assuming people feel comfortable saying)… :wink:

  2. Friendly User-Profiles get priority ALWAYS… Does the OP ever help anyone else? Do they ever say thanks when people help them? If yes, I’m definitely motivated to help and write a better answer. If not, I’ll probably take a pass and go and help someone else. Unless its a slow day and bored, or the question / issue is really compelling.

  3. WALLS-OF_TEXT Ban… If its a choice between replying to threads with a wall-of-text versus threads with one paragraph and a screenshot / animgif / video… Guess which one gets a reply? So if asking for advice about how to create specific gameplay / VFX, or asking if UE is good for making a particular style of game? Don’t assume devs know that game just because you do and this is a game dev forum. Instead, include video(s) with a URL timestamp, especially if the gameplay is like three or more hours long!

  4. CRASH Logs… Automatic Pass… Especially if someone only posts a bug-report / crash-log, and never contributes anything else. If so, I just smile and move on even if I could help. Why? Why should I… Same goes for people who just post Packaging / Build errors. Good luck to ya all… Gonna open a beer and binge watch TV instead!

  5. Game Store related questions. Automatic Pass… Got a question or problem related to Steam sessions? Or installing Android app to Google Play? Or something related to iOS or Microsoft Store? Never going to help ever. Those App stores are pure evil… They just make Indies poorer and push a lord / peasant model that’s economically unsustainable! I’ve studied the numbers and they don’t add up for indies (same as food-delivery gig-economy :wink:)… Thankfully there’s still Itch and others at least. But overall, I just want to help fellow indies or those making small interesting games.

  6. Students posting their assignments to the forums… So lets see, the Community should do your homework for you. Why? So you can go out and get laid / drunk. Lets see, sure that makes sense! Better make those questions interesting at least.

  7. Workers posting boss assignments / tasks straight onto the forums to solve. Some examples to highlight maybe… Here’s looking at you @eco_bach2 and others. :stuck_out_tongue: Again, better make them interesting topics at least and then maybe devs will bite.

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I refer to the secondary space as Unanswered Hub. My success rate with it hasn’t been the best.

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Thanks for all the continued input and feedback! I read through all of it, and continue to agree. Some things are not straight forward to resolve though.

@JoSf - Thanks for the great reply, it captured a lot of thoughts of the whole learning process I thought, and I linked it on to the learning team.

Here is where we are at:

  1. Overall Community and Learning Overhaul
    We are now in week 5 of actual web development on this, but it are still early days. We just got the first basic live webpage standing now, with a CMS and a basic tutorial system.
    We need at least a month more before being able to communicate something more concrete, possibly more. We will get back to this via a separate thread when the time is right.
    But yes - it centralizes things including most learning, it is to offer a community wiki, it is to offer snippets and code/BP/material copy pastes, coupled to the forums, AH, and KB (see below) and with a single profile system, including better support for recognition and personality (avatars, badges, stats) and a better way of supporting and helping key community members. That is the plan in any case. But hey, its development so lets see what our dev velocity is, doing all of that.

Additionally

  • We added Unreal Slackers to UE com main menu by the way.
  • We are also bringing in moderation help, which will help us to react faster and better, or help sort content better here on the forums and do a bit of reorg.
  • There is also a drive to create an Epic staff forum section, for Epic people to post stuff they work on, in order to stimulate people internally to join in here. We need see how that goes, but that is the idea at least. That should be live within the month.
  • Furthermore we are looking at a forum category reorg in order to prepare for what is to come.
  • We are starting weekly sessions with a select group of key community members to provide early visibility into our plans and get their feedback and input. We intend to slowly grow this group as the weeks and months will go by. The first call will be tonight.
  1. Answerhub itself
    We now have all data migrated (from a given export date at least) to Discourse, and we have a modified Discourse running on a private instance that does following:
  • AH and Forum threads mixed together, but possible to display only discussions or only questions via a large set of buttons at the top + related AH functionality
  • We have a KB feature, Knowledge Base, which is going to bring over the hundreds of KB articles from UDN, to the public AH + then be extended upon further by allowing anyone to write a KB article, or promote existing threads or questions to KB articles (requires an Epic moderator at the moment to actually promote it - but anyone could write it). These KB posts, will live within the forum, but can also be displayed through a new interface that will be embedded into the forums in order to turn it into more of a proper FAQ type thing.
  • I have asked that we can please look at making further changes to the forums, such as avatars, and as much other stuff such as signatures. Some of it is not fully possible in Discourse. We are discussing it, but we are trying. And preferably simships when the AH integration comes live.

Here is what we have left:

  • Various UI and usability issues related to the above changes. Styling discussions. How to make a question appear different from a discussion and such
  • Attachments from AH are still missing and will be particularly challenging, due to needing these exported by the AH host
  • Karma points and user data migration needs work still
  • We still need to do the roll out strategy. It will involve most likely a week+ long effort where we will put some sections in read only as we migrate those, while the rest stays live. A full migration would cost 72 hours straight, so we want to break this into pieces. We will also still need to do a full AH export again.

ETA towards the end of the month, probably. Details to follow.

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@Hourences

Sounds great. :+1:

Only got one question. What’s actually being promised above? Epic reps promised lots of things in the past (see posts by Amanda / Kalvothe). But it all turned out to be rubbish.

So which of the following best applies:

  1. Epic will assign a full-time AlexPaschall / ChanceIvey as per 2014-2016, to help moderate the forums and help channel issues to specific engine teams, especially critical bugs!

  2. Epic will assign a full-time AlexPaschall / ChanceIvey to help moderate the forums, but unlike 2014-2016, their time will be split across 10-20 other channels that Epic now also support.

  3. Epic will assign a new-hire to moderate the forums and help channel issues to specific Epic teams. But they will obviously have to get up to speed first before they can really help.

  4. Epic will assign staff to look in on the forums from time to time and help moderate (like @SkyeEden / @Stephen_Ellis do now). But they will also be busy doing a full-time dev job.

  5. Epic will assign staff to look in on the forums on a rota system (different people will help out occasionally). But that’s about it, and they may also be drafted into UDN / Fortnite support.

  6. Epic will use an outsourcing firm who rent out staff who supposedly know something about the engine / Community. Epic will train and bring them up to speed ASAP (hopefully anyway).

  7. Other / None-of-the-above / Epic will lean on volunteer Mods more. Everything seems to be about getting us to the Metaverse at any cost. But what will support look like in the future? :wink:

TLDR:
Forum upgrades and Tweaks are all fine. But they’ll only get Epic so far.
There’s no real viable alternative vs. actual ‘interaction’ from Epic Reps.
The biggest issue with the forums atm imo is it just seems Leaderless!

The past 5 years??? Epic support has drifted out to sea (aimless / lost).
Devs are unlikely to return unless Epic choose to interact more on here!
If it ain’t going to happen Epic need to be more transparent about it tbh. :wink:

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Ue dot com uses invalid https certificate from another domain.
Just fire your web dev team / contractor / partner / whathaveyou, they are only doing you harm.
Next thing you know is a billion euro court order for a major security gdpr-breach.
It’s better to not touch the internet at all than to do it like this.

I think he just shortened unrealengine.com; as far as I can see, ue.com is not actually theirs.

He shouldn’t’ve done this

Hey man. Are you just trolling us or what?

Literally 99% of the feedback was “do not use fu*king discourse” and you get back to us with “we added new features to discourse”.

Really?
Why ask for feedback at all? Do whatever. Without asking.
If the feedback is to be completely ignored what’s the point of asking?

How about contacting real companies to do the work?

Or even better, putting together a team of contractors from the forums instead?

You know, Someone capable of creating something that will actually work instead of letting the same team that’s completely screwed up website, forums, and answer hub over and over instead?

Whatever the internal team is does not deserve any other chance;
How many times has answer hub been unavailable because of something like an expiring license in the past year?
How many topics were lost in the forum move? Images are still missing all over the place.

Your reply feels more like a total troll - like many of the other promises that were never kept.

I know you are only doing what you are told. It’s still ridiculous.

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As far as delineating between a question and a discussion visually, how about something like a watermark inside the text space of the original post? It could be a bit more visually interesting than a plain question mark or other symbol for discussion, such as a bevel in it or a slightly 3D outline to it. A symbol to use for discussions could be the exclamation point or asterisk. Additionally, it could be color-coded in terms of the overlaid posting space (e.g., currently it’s a lighter dark grey background overlaid on a nearly black dark grey background).

One of the main problems I see with merging Q&A / AnswerHub into the forums is the sheer volume of posts to contend with for users, especially beginners and users who are new to the forums or rarely / occasionally access them.

Another issue that is potentially avoidable is a rating / voting function which causes certain answers and solutions that are voted higher to supercede other ones and causes a rift in which people for whom those ‘best’ answers don’t work are going to be digging deeper and deeper into the forums to discover the ancient artifacts that resolve their modern dilemma. IMO, and as a suggestion from considering the causality, it would be better to divvy up the workload of accessing information / answers in a Q&A section by making it an option to enable or disable the influence of the voting system. This is already an issue in the forums wherein a question is asked or a problem posted to ask for help, and the OP is having to decide among a number of answers and potential solutions. The decisive factor is not always, nor should it be leveraged in a forum or a deep Q&A as, the popularity level of the answer / solution / reply. The idea stated above to improve forum efficiency and avoid redundancies more by creating an FAQ and common problems / mistakes and their solutions is workable for the whole knowledge base, and there probably needs to be direct links to those pages or that subsection of the site somewhere in forums that is easily accessible for new users. And not relegated to the top of the hub of the forums, but perhaps at the bottom with the suggested / latest posts area too. I’d say put it in a sidenav, but there’s nothing of the sort currently in the forums and I don’t know if Discourse would support that feature. It might also be unwelcome or an annoyance to numerous users to see it on the side, and have to scroll to it to click such a link during the searching of a long series of topic replies. So, another idea for linking to other learning / FAQ pages, contextually based on the topic / question, is another icon or text link inside each posting or reply (e.g., next to the heart, share-a-link, flag, etc).

Voted for merge.
For me, the only payload that answerhub carried, was that topics were tight, covering one particular issue. If that remains being so on whatever else platform it might be on, It would be equivalent to answerhub. But Unreal’'s auditory grew considerably since 2014 and now the same system needs some noise filtering, both self-contained and manual moderation. As I see it, for the system to work nicely, everyone who lands on thread regarding particular issue, is to be encouraged to upvote and downvote replies, not only topic starter. This way the system will have pretty long life, low maintenance efforts and good usability.

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Good theory, bad application.

When you do this you are at the mercy of the masses, and the masses seem to still think the earth is flat, vaccines cause autism, and other such nonsense.

It’s really not any different from having the topic starter choose.

How about the Epic Team actively participates and selects the “proper” answer instead?
Since we have to assume they are the “higher authority” on what works and doesn’t work…

The “best” alternative is to collect and keep both.
Think of it like movie ratings between metacritics and popular vote on RottenTomatos.

You can have an authoritative answer, and then whatever the masses like to do.

Note that in some cases (mentioned above) knowing the difference between the 2 could potentially cause depression :stuck_out_tongue: