How I think game design should work

How I think game design should work is that you first conceptualize your game, second make the framework, third add the content. Meaning create an outline or document detailing every physical feature inside the game. And after the concept is written I think it should be a matter of following some scientific formula to fabricate the framework. And after the framework is made I think you should be able to use template based hierarchies to make limitless amounts of content.

I think it should all be a matter of putting the correct blueprints/actors together in well constructed hierarchies… then copy/pasting those hierarchies and modifying them and importing your assets.

Imagine you are trying to create your RPG and you know that you want Items, Classes, Monsters… and you want a lot of them. You should be able to add in tons of monsters/items/quests etc. without changing your original framework. So say you build your framework for the game and it includes all kinds of blueprints… blueprints for the network, blueprints for the hud and inventory, blueprints for movement and combat. The framework also includes hierarchies for your Items/classes/monsters/quests etc. So you take these hierarchies and you import your assets into them after you copy and modify them so you don’t have to worry about having to rewrite your whole game.

The point I’m trying to make is that when you create the “framework”… it shouldn’t take you a long time… it shouldn’t even take you a few days. And I think if it takes you any longer than that it means that you are actually LEARNING how to make your game… meaning you are trying to FIGURE SOMETHING OUT… meaning you don’t actually know what you are doing.

So say if you wanted to make a clone of WoW or Halo or CoD or StarCraft or GTA… even in a different language/IDE then what they were originally made in. It shouldn’t take you more than a few days to craft the framework because the scientific theory on how to build all of those features already exists.Now, I’m never going to learn because I think that I would get too frustrated and I think it would be 1000x times easier just for someone to share their secrets. Basically I think the whole industry is a conspiracy and the people you meet on message boards and chat rooms are all wasting their time.

I’m not going to change my convictions… and my convictions are basically this: I believe you can build the framework for a fully fledged MMO(with Quests, Instances, Classes, Monsters, Items, Skills, Abilities)… basically a clone of WoW… in any IDE… in a matter of hours just by combining the correct blueprints and actors. And that the industry doesn’t want you to know that its that easy… and that the message boards and chat rooms don’t know that this is the case.

Basically if you put my theory to use, where you construct everything as a framework and use copy/paste hierarchies to make your content… you could take creativity to a whole new level. You could make games with thousands of classes, millions of items.

Again, I think making a game is a matter of “FIGURING OUT” how to put the correct blueprints and actors together. I think you can do a lot with just simple rigged materialed 3d models with basic animation clips. And I think anyone who tells you that it would take hundreds of hours to make an MMO is either lying or doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I truly think the whole world is messed up and that you really can put together an MMO in a few hours. I really think its about compiling graphics/actors/blueprints inside of the editor and packaging your game to distribute it and run it in tandem with a server and a website. And I think this all can be done scientifically one step at a time… and thus mathematically very quickly.

May want to check out “Project Spark” by Microsoft.

We have all been in the stage where we think that it should only take us a few hours to have a large portion of our game done, but this is not the case. Regardless of how many times you have made something, it is not efficient to go around and copy-paste code from other projects, and most of the time, you will never want the exact code. I’ve had bugs that take me hours to fix, not because I am inexperienced, but because something unexpected happened. For example, right now I am working with a bug where my code does not work properly because of the delay between the client-server sync, I have been working on this bug for 3 hours now.

I think you can put together the framework in a few hours for a WoW clone because I think the theory on how the blueprints/actors etc. are put together is probably already well documented and studied… albeit a secret. Now we’re talking about framework… basically a few handfuls of hierarchies that put all the features in motion. And I think if you could put together this framework either through your own discovery or by learning through an inside source, or if somehow this type of production(clone production) became famous… then everyone would be in a position to create hundreds of pieces of content for their favorite games.

And I think if my method of production were put into practice(where the framework is made first) and then the content starts being made and nothing has to be debugged or revised or fixed or whatever… then games could realistically be made faster and WITH millions of items.

And of course you’re going to argue “well that’s impossible”… how can there be no debugging or fixing or revising etc. Well my point is that I believe that games can be made scientifically and based on theory. I’m not smart enough to prove it but I think that you can compile a game where you would not need to do any debugging.

You would just be able to start importing your assets and attaching them to hierarchies as a way to make content. And I think if you could just run full steam ahead… and not worry about debugging/fixing/changing/rewriting anything… you could save a lot of time and make cooler games with more expansive content and features more quickly.

Say you’re creating a WoW clone in Unity and for some reason you have all the blueprints for it saved on your computer. Why wouldn’t you be able to arrange everything for it together in a few hours? Everything ends up being a game object with a hierarchy inside the master hierarchy. Granted its not just blueprints, but what would be stopping you? I think it would be basically that you didn’t know exactly mathematically how to put it together… and if you did know how… you WOULD be able to.

It is not a secret at all, and I say this because I learned from scratch using nothing but the official documentation and video/written tutorials. There is a bit of a learning curve, but once you have the fundamentals down you can make whatever you want.

Important links, here you will find documentation and videos for reference:

Here are some recommended tutorials, follow along in UE4 as you watch the video (pause it if necessary)

I guarantee you after watching and following along (it’s critical you do this, you learn by doing) that you will be able to start designing your own games and experimenting with different game mechanics. A couple of the video series in the links above take you through the steps needed to build an entire game.

Really hope that helps, and remember it may seem confusing at first, but stick with it! It won’t take long before it all makes sense. :slight_smile:

I like those links besides the unreal engine youtube page. A new, community-hosted Unreal Engine Wiki - Announcements and Releases - Unreal Engine Forums I think this link has a better organization of videos than the unreal engine youtube page. I think the playlist page for the unreal engine youtube page is poorly organized.

What I would really like out of a tutorial series would be a complete explanation of how to build a complete game(something large like a multiplayer FPS or even an MMO) from scratch one step at a time.

I’d really prefer not to piece together my game from multiple sources(ie. video tutorials, the manual, asking questions, trial and error). I’d really rather have either step by step instructions for an example project that I find to my liking that tailors to my needs… or step by step instructions from a personal tutor on a project that we would work on based off of my own conceptualization.

No offense, but what you are talking about isn’t a game’s “framework” it’s just the genre they are in.

Making a game like System Shock or Monkey Island still means I need to make a game.

Just because other games were like it doesn’t allow me to pull from their resources.

I may be misinterpreting what you were saying though.

Feel free to correct me if I am.

You can make a game in a few minutes if you want, but that doesn’t mean it’s the game you wanted to make.

People who say games take 100s of hours to make are just trying to express that game development is a process that takes time.

It may not take 200 hours, it may take only 20, but it’s trying to showcase the point that you need to do a lot.

Yes, basic character models can be used…but I don’t want basic character models for my game.
I want high poly realistic ones.

You seem to think that I’m wrong for wanting that and that I should settle for something less because it’s the easy way out.

~ Jason

Great! One more I forgot to mention is the main page with all the tutorials, which can be found here:

Once you have the basics down, another option is have a look through the example games, and example content created by Epic, which you can download from the “Learn” tab of the Launcher. They are basic, but complete games that can be used as examples (or a base to build from) for your game. Any/all assets contained in these examples can be used in your own game, even if it’s released commercially. I would highly recommend downloading and using some of the assets while you are still learning rather than making everything.

Good luck, and if you run into any issues feel free to ask here in the Forums or over on AnswerHub and we’ll do our best to help you figure it out.


You need to understand how the UE4 works, and how to use it to create a game before you start working on your own game, which is why I provided all of the links to get you started. There may be step by step on how to create certain features/gameplay out there, but you need to be able to convert that knowledge into UE4, so knowing the basics is required.

There are no step by step guide on how to create a full (commercial) game from start to finish, but there is a lot of documentation on how to create certain types of games, but they are not specific to UE4, they are in concept form only. The concept needs to be converted and implemented into UE4, so you need to know how to use UE4 first.

By framework I’m talking about how the actors/scripts/blueprints/game objects are fabricated to put all the features in motion.

And in regards to your “can’t draw from another game’s resources” comment. I have a unique way of looking at games. I don’t look at things from a “style” or “genre” perspective. I look at things from a standpoint of complete gameplay analysis. Meaning I look at WoW as a game where you have WSADQE movement and action bars and leveling and equipment. I look at GTA as a driving/shooting game. So if I were to make my game… and I wanted it to be like WoW or GTA just with different content… I would essentially want to copy their theory. What I’m talking about is like modding except it’s not. Modding involves working with a finished game and technically modifying content. I’m talking about recreating a game and creating completely new content.

Now all of my two posts don’t have to one hundred percent pertain to cloning. So don’t get that confused. The main point of this thread is in the first paragraph where I say I think game development should be based upon three phases: 1. concept 2. framework 3. content

I really wish step-by-step instructions on how to make commercial games DID exist.

The step by step how to not being available is due to the fact that companies make money from having “the best tech”. This knowledge will never be freely available in a step by step form, but most of it IS available in concept form if you go looking for it.

If the knowledge was freely available, all games in that genre would be identical, or only slightly different. A step by step tutorial would also mean we would have thousands of “shovel-ware” games that have no story, nothing interesting, only created because it is possible to create and sell it.

Companies spend a lot of money developing these mechanics, they are not going to give them away for free.

So… maybe I WANT to know how to make a WoW clone, a Halo clone, a CoD clone, Sc2, GTA. I don’t care if you think its garbageware. And I’d prefer stuff with no story in exchange for raw content. I’d rather WoW have 100 classes then a bagillion quests. Or halo to have 100 weapons and maps instead of a campaign.

None of us have this information, but it doesn’t mean we can’t create games. You can create any mechanic you want so long as you know how to use the game engine, and the concept of the game mechanic.

I never said what you want to create is “garbageware”, I’m talking about games that are created strictly for the purpose of making money. If all of that was available there would be thousands of these games released.

But again, everything can be recreated in UE4. Part of being a game developer is being able to convert ideas into gameplay, if you only want to add to a game you should consider giving modding a try (on a game like GTA 4/5, the Witcher 3, ARK, and many others).

I don’t want to come off as criticizing… but it just seems like the game development industry could function better for hobbyists. I’d prefer to see tons of template projects… where you open up the project file and alls it has is the framework for the features. Along with the framework it also has hierarchies which you can copy/paste/import your assets into/edit to make new content. It would be cool to see companies release games as “template projects” with complete instructions on how to make your own content.

And you are correct… it would result in a million games that were all the same… but I still think this would be good for the industry. I think it would get novices in a position where they could make something commercial much more quickly. Because instead of piecing together stuff from all kinds of different sources… they could just load up a project file and a tutorial series. As long as they know basic navigation, and can make or can get a hold of assets… they would be able to be sure that they weren’t wasting their time.

That’s happening in some cases, there’s games on Steam that are just stuff from the Unreal Engine marketplace or the Unity asset store and nothing original. All that does is make it harder for the good games to stand out more because they get lost in a sea of junk. That doesn’t make the industry better.

Maybe if the games were actually good it would be lol

Now I’m confused.

First you’re basically asking for the industry to further degrade.

The current problem with the industry is that less and less developers are trying anything different.

What you’re proposing would basically further that problem.

Yes, multiple games in one genre were always there, but back in the early 90s to early 2000s, developers were always one upping each other.

“You made a 3D shoot called Quake? Well no one cares because we just made a 3D shooter with a story!”

Now copy and paste jobs are being called commercial games.

The biggest problem is that the developers don’t even try and justify this by making a good storyline.

Then again story-games are in decline with multi-player games being in favor (it’s a shame).

As for your second point, if you want to create something, but use stuff other people have built why make a game?

You should consider mod making instead as it’s basically what you’re asking for.

Stating that “if the games were good it would be” in response to the industry not being bettered by your proposal is your most confusing statement.
How does make a copy-pasted product = a good game?

You seem to either forget or not understand that this is an industry.

A lot of us aren’t just doing this for fun, we’re doing this because it’s our passion and life…our career.

I contribute a lot of this to engine becoming free.

It seems that people now think that all you need to make a game is drag and drop.

That’s not true and it’s an insult to all of us who have worked at what we do.

We make games, but our job and life isn’t one.

~ Jason

They wouldn’t be though, you get people who either don’t know better or people who are intentionally trying to do the least amount of work with the hope that they might get some people to give them money.

In your case, if you want to do a good job then it would at the very least take a lot of work to create the assets.

I think 98% of the work would be on graphical assets. That’s because my theory is that alls you need in order to make a game run is a framework of actors and blueprints. And alongside of this framework there are supposed to be hierarchies of game objects/actors/blueprints. And these hierarchies are supposed to be copied/pasted/filled with assets/edited to make new content. With this framework to template theory of mine, I think it would end up being very easy to make new content since you would never have to rewrite your framework. In fact, with my theory you could take a single project file and distribute it to a hundred different companies and have them make a 100 different games each.

So yes… in essence I’m talking about games that are becoming more and more similar to each other because the framework for them was built on scientific theory, not artistic storymaking. But imagine the potential for this… if you could be absolutely 100 percent confident that your framework was functioning and you did not need to rewrite it… you could devote all of your time to making assets and implementing them as content. So instead of debugging and fixing things… youre actually balancing/expanding your gameplay rather than figuring out how to get that gameplay to work.

Until you want to adjust a feature or do something with an asset that the framework wasn’t designed for. A template wouldn’t be perfect. So there will be bugs, or you could find a security issue with the online system.

There’s many threads about people asking for features that UE4 doesn’t do, or asking for improvements to features that they want to use.