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Getting grip on the learning process

Hi all,

I’m still new to Unreal Engine but allready followed lots of tutorials.
I followed all kinds of tutorials on different subjects to get a better understanding of the
different parts of the engine. But after following all these tutorials I still don’t understand the most common workflow.
With that I mean, with which part should I start building the game. Should I start with building the gameinstance followed by building the menu, then the next step etc. etc.
What is the common workflow for developing games in Unreal?

Hope someone can help me out.

I think first, you need to create a GDD (Game Design Document), and create a first level, maybe just with paper. Just think about your ideas, and what do you want to do.
Then you’ll be able to understand what you need to do to achieve your goal. :slight_smile:
Take time and don’t rush steps. (here is a well exemple of GDD, with explainations : http://trickgs.com/blog/how-to-write-a-game-design-document/)

Hi Elkantor, thx for the link, this comes in handy.

But what I meant is what is the more common workflow inside Unreal Engine itself? Start with building the menu? Or with the gameinstance etc. If I understand the more overall workflow then I might be be able to wrap my mind around all the different processes and connect them all together.

For me, create the menu arrives near from the end of the development. You should first have a strong protocol, so, even a poor UI is fine, until the gameplay itself is fun.
For my part, I usually start with the character’s skeleton and the animations, if you develop a game focus on a main character (of course). And then, I try to create the gameplay in itself with all the interactions with objects and the world, but I don’t polish it for now. I just want to have something which works. And then, comes level design…

But it’s just my way of working, when I want to develop a game’s prototype/experience alone.

I use MS Project to plan out project development phases and MS Word to define details about certain Project tasks. The more complex your game is, the harder and more important it will be to have a solid project plan. With a more complex project, you have more interaction between systems which means that if you want to work on a specific system, other systems must be at some base level of functionality. For example, an Item system is not much use if you do not have an Inventory and UI to manage them. Another…a weapons ability to Shoot is rather pointless if you are not able to equip the weapon and your Character does not know how to shoot it.

I believe you can take 2 approaches here:

  1. You can choose something with lots of dependencies between systems in order to expose you to many pieces of Unreal (but don’t expect to make much progress or finish a “game”)
  2. Scale your project down so that you can focus on individual game play mechanics, which reduces the number of passes you will need on secondary systems.

An organized Project plan allows you to develop pieces more rapidly as the requirements have been defined at the front of a project pass.

If it’s a smaller project, apps like trello is a must have. Or hacknplan (from a member of this forum) is really really great too. :slight_smile:

Ok, this is my approach as well. I like to play with all different processes to get a feeling of the gameplay and then at a later moment worry about the polishing part.

The worry I still have, and thats because I can not yet wrap my mind around the workflow completely, is that once I have for example the weapons mechanics working how to get the weapon selection menu working on top of that. It seems so much thinking how to implement and connect all the difference mechanics together and get them all working. I have no clue yet from where to start when I got the weapons working and add the weapon selection menu on top. But I think this will come in time with a lot of practice.

Ok thanks, will have a look into them.

It takes experience to know the whole process of making a game from idea to completed game. A design document is great, but I don’t recommend coming up with a complex game with lots of mechanics and story if you have never completed a game. Think of some popular very simple games, old arcade games are a great example: Pong, Breakout, Asteroids, Space Invaders, Snake, Pac-Man, possibly Donkey Kong, and then make a “clone” of that game. Make the whole game, no matter how basic, even if you never release it: the level, the player, the camera, the enemies/obstacles, game mode (rules, score), the UI, pause menu, respawn rules, etc.

You can start programming everything without any art, just use simple shapes with different colors as placeholders.

I would not start with a menu or gamemode, start with things critical to the gameplay:
-block out the level as basic as possible
-create the player: inputs and movement, (for pong this could be the paddle, asteroid it would be you spaceship, etc)
-do the players and enemies have common functionality? like how they can move? (paddles in pong, pac-man and the ghosts), then you might want to derive them both from one base pawn with different controllers
-create other critical gameplay elements/obstacles: the ball in pong, the asteroids in Asteroids, bricks in Breakout

Basically, the first thing I want to do is get in: the player, something for the player to kill/be killed by/destroy/avoid,etc. Those are the first things that I think about. For most games, everything builds off of those fundamentals.

Art, sound, levels, menus… All of that comes later.

Thx for the tips!!