Welcome! So for advice and pointers, here’s what I got:
How would you describe your affinities? Would you say you’re a coder, level designer, artist, etc.? Try to pick one of those to focus on at a time. Perhaps if you’re a jack of all trades, maybe you’ll try them all. However, if this is your first time doing this sort of thing, I might do something with Blueprints and marketplace assets.
I’ve only watched the first season of SAO so I’m not an expert on it. However, given its popularity, I’m more than certain that you’ll find a lot of fan made models that you can use. I even remember happening across a Blender tutorial that used Sinon as an example. If you’re into modeling, you might try looking at that. However, I strongly recommend that you have some sort of basic game going on with the UE4 mannequin man before adding other graphical assets so that you have the base idea behind your game.
As for the game design itself, I would prioritize game design over faithfulness to the show. In the first season for example, an unlimited number of skills and completely unique assets for each floor of the castle would not be practical from a game design standpoint. Ultimately, it depends on what you want to do though. Do you want to recreate specific scenes from the show? Or are you doing an original story set in the world of SAO?
Once you figure all this out, I would recommend writing it all down on some kind of doc. I like to use Google Docs to create summaries and a list of goals of what I want to do. After I started releasing builds to playtesters, I began a patch notes log to document all the changes in between builds. That way, if for some reason you go a long time without touching your game, you can keep track of what you wanted to do.
So to sum up, here’s the process I recommend:
- Brainstorm your ideas and write them down on a doc.
- Pick one of the UE4 sample projects to start from (or if you’re feeling adventurous, make a blank project)
- Watch a lot of tutorials on YouTube.
- Modify your game and play around with it until you get a feel for the type of game you want.
- Try downloading some marketplace assets or free models from elsewhere to liven up your game
And perhaps most importantly of all, try to stay in touch with the community, either here and/or through other social media platforms. Knowing you have some followers is always encouraging and perhaps you may even get some to help you out.
I wish you luck on the UE4 scene!