How do you manage to work without wasting time?

I would like to write to someone who is experienced and share experiences.

For over 15 years, I have been developing various applications, working with servers, databases, web app etc. I’ve never had so much trouble as with UE4 (to be more specific with VS).

The main problem is time. The UE4 simply eats the time of the programmer. In addition, if it is added Visual Studio which randomly throws the error after 4 hours of compilation, people lose their hours and hours just waiting.
I’ve mostly compiled my applications under Linux. if my application has an error, then it will not compile. Simple and clear. Visual Studio includes a number of other predispositions (not just project error) that are sometimes very difficult to find. When you thought you’d find a error and you’re waiting again 4 hours to compile. And again it throws an error.
If we include the compiling shaders, slow loading etc. we understand how much time is taken away. Just waiting.
The last example I’ve experienced:
I build UE4 from the Source. Of course, it will again compile 40k shaders again when I load the project. Ok, I wait. Than I need to rebuild UE4 editor from source again, because I modified few lines of source code (problem was with DemoNetDriver and crash which is UE4 bug). So, I wait again to rebuild UE4 again. After looong time it throws an error. Tried to clean and rebuild from scratch but it’s still not working. Than I realize that I need to repeat everything: download UE4 Source Build, setup, rebuild…compile 40k shaders again…
And you will realize how much time it will take, just for some basic steps.

What are your experiences? Do you also wait for hours and hours to UE4 and VS do their job? Or you have $200.000 datacenter?

I avoid modifying the engine at all costs. Everything I develop, no matter how insignificant, I develop through a plugin or a host project. I don’t remember ever coming across a class with private members that I absolutely need access to, but if I did, I’d recreate it.

Regarding the 40k shaders, I think I’ve seen a game (probably ARK) uploading their “DerivedDataCache” folder (which stores the shaders) separately from their mod kit specifically for users to avoid compiling shaders on every update.


There are a thousand thinks to do while waiting: modelling, texturing, working on some other program, lifting some weights, … You are only bound by the limits of your imagination.

Well, if you are “one man” project, than yes. You can work on other stuff too. If other people working on modeling, texturing, than it’s a bit harder.
I mean, I do not expect instant loading, compiling etc.
UE4 seems to perform various actions considerably slow. Actions like starting the engine, opening the editor, opening a project, rebuilding shaders, updating references, calculating lightmaps, saving projects, etc take long enough to get irritating and end up wasting development time. Extremely long build times, often the editor crashes interrupting your work, Visual Studio error after 3 hours of building etc…
Just want to know how other people handle with this. :slight_smile:

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I also avoid modification of the engine. However, I just wanted to test if it will work because there’s problem that lasts for few months (UE4 crash). So I will be 100% sure where’s the problem.

One thing that is really important:

Take a break.

I pause whatever I’m doing every 30 minutes or so…
Step back from the computer, walk a bit, have a coffee while reading forums on phone and planning in my head the next 4 hours to come.
This simple “mania” have often help me save huge amounts of wasted time.

I strongly agree with this. I don’t feel my time is wasted wrangling the engine or Visual Studio. It’s wasted making bad architectural decisions and refactoring them. About a year ago I became a father and that seriously cut into my development time. I could no longer program for hours straight, but it taught me that this behaviour was actually harming me. I was spending a lot more time away from the computer, and thinking way more about what I was actually doing. Today, I can probably squeeze out the same amount of time each week that I used to have in a single evening, but the hours are far more effective since everything I do is now better thought through.

You need to setup a prototype engine project, where you make the changes, which does not include the shader or similar stuff which increases the cooking time.

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[USER=“434”]BrUnO XaVIeR[/USER] that’s exactly what I did.
@unit23 very good idea.