I have a few questions about what i can and cant do in the engine.

I am in the market for an engine to build my game in.

i was originally going to be making my game in unity.

But from what i have seen they have lost their minds.
i was going to make a game up to a point where i could maybe do a crowd funding campaign for a small amount, so i
could get a perpetual licence.

But unity is dropping that in march next yr in favor for a stupidly overpriced sub system.
$75p/m on a 12 month contract. if you also want to make the game on iOS and android make that $225p/m

so i have decided to look into UE4 as its free.
i am not too happy with the 5% royalties, but that sure beats the above costs in the long run.
i am a fan of perpetual licencing but it looks like thats a thing of the past.

What i need to know is, will this engine thats primarily aimed at first person shooters be able to make the game i want and have it look nice.

i want to make a fantasy life simulator.
you enter a city as a nobody, and you pick a group to follow and build from there.

i will link a game that i play to show the art style i am going for.
it merges 2D sprites with 3D cellshaded models. with a fixed camera.

it will also support an RPG style stat system.
persistent economy, and an active government system.

as well as day night cycles, time of day that AI are effected by, as well as days and months.

its a big game, but i need to know what engine i can use.

I have limited skills when it comes to coding, so it will be a learn as i go, but at this stage i am
just trying to find what i can build the game on.

welcome to the forum:)

UE4 isn’t aimed at FPS, it can do any game from side scroller to top down to RTS, basically you can do anything you want and its quite easy to make things look good in UE4 so yes to both.

hope that helps:).

how good is the tutorials section for someone new to coding in modern engines?

can i use sprites for my characters over 3d models?
the site is rather daunting im not sure where to begin.

also i am currently doing a course that used UDK how much of that will be useful?

well I am not a programmer so I cant give an exact answer but I even I can make stuff work so I’d say its ok, there are lots of tutorials and free example content you can take apart and learn from and if you get stuck on anything there is always the forum and answerhub to get help from.

I would say the best place to start is the documentation, since you asked about sprites this page should be helpful.

some of it will be useful but quite a bit wont be.

Welcome. I’m not sure about the whole subscription setup that Unity’s introducing, either, personally. I think the price point they are aiming for is relatively high and will rule out a number of small and indie developers who are looking to dive in and begin prototyping, before they have to worry about such fees and royalties. Unreal Engine 4’s fantastic in that regard.

This is something I see people saying a fair amount. I don’t understand it, at all, if I’m honest with you. You’re paying absolutely no subscription and no upfront fees at all. For that, you’re getting access to an industry-standard game engine that is consistently being worked on. Previews are released on an incredibly regular basis, and Epic is listening to feedback and implementing changes and bug fixes consistently. That’s quite something, in its own right.

Yet, more than that, I don’t quite think people truly understand the royalty situation properly. Epic’s developed an incredibly flexible system, allowing even the smallest of developers to succeed. For a start, you won’t have to pay any royalties until you’re earning a significant amount of revenue from your game. It’s set at $3,000 per calender quarter. That’s fantastic, really. That’s $3,000 every three months. If you earn under that, you don’t pay any royalties, at all.

What does that mean? Well, if you were to earn $2,900 every three months, you’d pay nothing. If you were able to earn that amount every three months, that would equate to more than $11,000. For which, again, you’d pay nothing. So, for an engine, which has allowed you to develop your game, you are able to earn a reasonable amount (I think most indie devs would be happy to achieve this), without paying anything. Let’s be honest, if you earn more than this, then it is understandable that royalties should be paid.

Even with all that said, if you don’t want to stick with that, you can negotiate licensing the engine with Epic directly (custom licensing, one-time fee). There’s more information on that to be found here. Yet, you can still download UE4 now and start developing your game for free. Then, you can negotiate later (though, the price is likely to be very high). You can’t get much for fair than that.

I’m not entirely sure what gave you the impression that Unreal Engine is “primarily aimed at first person shooters.” Simply take a look at the back-catalogue of games developed and released that use the engine. There’s something from almost - if not all - genres that exist. Furthermore, head to the work-in-progress forum or see some of the recent titles that have been awarded an Unreal Dev Grant to see some of the awesome and wildly unique things people are doing with it now.

You can make what you want - assuming you have the skills required to do so. Truly, the only limit is your imagination, time and dedication to learn.

Of course, it isn’t only coding knowledge that you’ll require. You’ll need to understand a variety of different disciplines, such as modelling, texturing, rigging, animation and so forth. It’s a big undertaking to develop a game on the scale you’re talking about. Modern game studios have hundreds of people working on a single title, over the course of a number of years (on occasion). That’s not to say it is impossible and many one-man studios do succeed (though, many also fail). It is simply wise to understand the challenges up-front.

I didnt actually notice the $3000 was per quarter, i thought it was anything over that over the lifetime.

Per quarter is awesome.

and i like to hear i can negotiate a licence if by some miracle it takes off.

I am VERY aware of the undertaking i am going to be making.

it wont be myself 100% i have friends why are willing to lend a hand as needed.

using sprites i can reduce some of the workload in terms of texturing, modeling and animating.
there are also assets i can purchase to use and modify as needed.

i will be making a somewhat basic platform first for my game, then adding on elements as needed.
and having it grow over time.

my plan is, make the basic platform, add one of the core mechanics, and refine that to a good level.
take that with a roadmap of the other features, and hitting say kickstarter and stream to get some return.
and upgrade my workstation, maybe hire some additional help on things i am having issues with.
(unsure how epic would feel about kickstarter as it in a way is making money off of the game.)

release the game into Early access similar to how starmade did theirs, the unfinished game can be downloaded and played for free, while its is in an alpha stage.
people can buy in to support the game by paying a reduced price that grows as the game does.

its something i will be doing over the next few years, starting small then growing it over time.

after hearing what you told me about the business model, and the versatility of the engine, i think i may stick with UE4 for my game, unity can take their greed and jump.

Happy I could help clear that up for you =) It’s a common misconception that pops up often, especially on the AnswerHub. It’s all very flexible and easy-to-understand in reality, though =)

Certainly. As I noted, I’d imagine the one-off fee is quite a fair amount, to say the least. It’s something more commonly used by big-time publishers, I suspect. Though, without reaching out to Epic directly for clarification, I’d have no idea on the cost. It’s certainly good to have it as a potential option, however.

That’s a solid starting point, then. Most people arrive with a dream of creating the next Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty, and they almost always (replace this with simply always) fail. Having a realistic point of view and starting small is key. Get the foundation established, then take it from there.

I think sprites are an art form in there own right. I’m not very familiar with working with them, so regarding how much time you’d save by doing so…I’m not entirely sure. Perhaps someone else can comment further on that and provide some information. I’ve not really used many of the 2D features in UE4.

As I aforementioned, that’s the key. Start small. Plan an initial level and work entirely on that until you have something that’s in a playable state. You can then use that to springboard the project further. Just focus on what is purely “needed” for the level / scene and don’t overstretch outside of it.

You won’t need to worry about revenue from Steam until the game is up and available for purchase. At which time, you will need to keep track of sales. Though, as I mentioned previously, royalty payments won’t kick-in until you surpass $3,000 (per quarter). Which, translates into quite a fair amount of sales (depending on the price of the game).

For Kickstarter, it’s a bit different. If you are offering a copy of the game as a reward for backing / supporting your project, then that is regarded as a sale. That counts as revenue, which ultimately contributes towards the $3,000 total per quarter. As such, at the point you are ready to consider crowd-funding, then this is something to keep in mind. It’s relatively understandable, because it is essentially a copy of the game being sold. As far as I’m aware, backers that simply donate and are not rewarded with a copy of the game, are not considered as revenue. In that instance, is is more or less considered a “donation.”

There is also the option of considering an Unreal Dev Grant down the road. There’s more information to be found on that here, if you’re interested in reading a bit about it.

Always happy to be of assistance! =) There’s very few engines that are as flexible and well-rounded, with such reasonable terms. Considering you’re starting out, I truly think Blueprints would be an easy way to jump in and get prototyping, as well. I think it’s a big attraction for newcomers.

Dead on! Epic should add comments like that to the Licensing FAQ. It would help people choose…

Its interesting how the 5% always pops up, but never the real elephant in the room which is 30% for Steam etc…
With Steam there’s also green-lighting and joyous frustrations like these. The Epic-JK post here is a must read too…
What it basically says is the usual platforms for launching games are highly saturated, so get lucky or be a media wiz.

So complaints about Epic’s 5% are meaningless. Because without marketing budgets most games won’t even reach the numbers above.
And many games will make little or nothing. With new Indies coming on board, how many can survive without new types of partnerships?