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I'm frustrated with ue4, and really need some advice and comfort. :(

I’m not native english speaker, please forgive my poor grammer and spellings

Hi everyone.

I’ve joined the ue4 community since 2014 and at the time I’m already working on a project using UDK.

I have been using UDK for 3 years, when I heard ue4 is comming out and saw all the stunning visuals and

new fantastic editor tools I was so excited. I thought I could easily port my project to UE4 and get started

with this new engine.

Before rambling about the many frustrations I get while porting my project to ue4, I think I should explain

my workflow with UDK.

I am a programmer, and I am working on a project alone, I bought all of my art content online from

turbosquid with royalty free and exteneded license. I have limited skills in 3ds max, I can do basic things

like add additional bone to a biped character, change/add material, simple animation, simple rigging…etc.

The product I bought always need some tweaking although it’s sometimes time consuming but not entirely

impossible to do it. After tweaking the model, I import it to UDK. The tricky thing is, sometimes no matter

how I tweak the model, it just won’t import to UDK, and sometimes UDK will just crash when I try to import.

But if I successfully import the content into UDK, it is easy to manipulate the content to the way I want it to be.

With UE4, I feel like it has a stricter demand for the content imported, and it will cause a lot of trouble

if I don’t import a correct setting of the content. For example:

I have a character skeletalmesh with a root bone, but the animation I bought somewhere else don’t have a root bone.

So when I import the .fbx, the character skeleton created don’t have a root bone. I didn’t notice this difference

until I try to attach another skeletalmesh(a sunglass skeletalmesh) onto the head socket of my character.

For some reason the socket is driven by animation in Persona but in game, the socket is only driven by the

bone translation not the animation translation, so when my charatcer play a walk animation in game the sunglass

appear out of sync.

I can solve this problem by retargeting the hip bone to skeleton, but it will lose a lot of information and

produce a weird animation. I took about a week to figure how to solve this problem beside remaking

the animation myself, I tried master pose, tried different skeleton retargeting, tried dynamically calculating

the offset difference and reset the socket transform, but to no avail.

Finally I give up searching for answer and just attach the sunglass mesh in 3ds max and export it with

the character as a single mesh.

I have done this with UDK, and from import mesh, setup animset, animtree to socket attachment,

it only took me no more than half a day, but with ue4 it took me so long because I have the wrong setting,

and even worse, the only way I can get rid of this problem completely is to remake the animation myself.

I felt insecure using ue4, because I can’t ganrauntee the content I buy in the future will trigger some other

odd behavior in ue4 which cannot be solved in engine but have to solve in 3ds max. I’m a programmer using

art tools is frustrating and time consuming, if there is anyway which allow me to get rid of the tweaking

process in art tool, I will gladly avoid it and devote more time in programming.

So last weekend, after I finally “get rid of” the out of sync problem, I try to cook my game to see if everything works

fine in shipping build. After cooking I open up the .exe saw my physics settings gone all wrong, the bone constraint I set

in PhaT, is not working like it should be, and the interpolation time I set in my character’s blendspace not working like

it should be in the editor.

Just as I thought I avoid the most difficult part of importing mesh to ue4, I came into some other weird issues

which I don’t even know what’s causing it.

At this point, I feel so tired, I feel like I’m an idiot, I doubt my capability to use ue4 to make a game.

I think finding and searching answer is part of the development process, but there is some extent to it.

When using UDK, I still need to google and search for some solution to a particular problem, but it is not frequent

and always I get a solution which I can solve it in engine, not in art tool. For UE4, beside spending a lot of time

in answer hub and documentation, videos…even if I find the answer, I can’t apply it, because it cannot be

solved in engine.

Maybe trying to make a game with just 1 programmer is not a good idea? Maybe wanting to make a game all by

myself is too naieve?

Should I go back to use UDK or stick with UE4? With UDK, I know what I am doing, but it’s an old toy and in time,

it will not be supported by Epic entirely, with UE4 it’s the new thing, but with many behaviors I don’t understand

and can’t even solve it by myself.

What is your thought on this issue? Please give me some advice. :frowning:

2015/03/30 edit: I joined the ue4 community since 2014.

Don’t worry about it :), I’ve been at this well over a decade now for various companies big and small.

For the last two years I used Unity and I didn’t adjust to UE4 well at all, I think I used Unreal 3 for like two weeks in the past so I am in all respects a beginner when it comes to Epic based products. When I experimented with UE4 some of the simple things like terrain methodology wasn’t exactly easy, coming from a splat based setup. The weight layer setup didn’t initially make much sense and it took weeks to get it right as opposed to the 30 minutes it takes in Unity, also the documents and examples weren’t exactly helpful (besides a grass material). Two weeks later and I figured out how to do it properly with amazing results.! Although it wasn’t exactly a fun experience…

Ultimately it always ends up the same no matter which system I use, a couple of weeks of frustration followed by better results when compared to Unity.

It’s learning curve is like a straight pipe, it’s never easy and it’s never difficult to the point where you KNOW there’s no chance you can do it. With Unity it’s the opposite way around, I find it’s very simple to do most things and then when you want to push it by that extra 10% it can become more difficult than making 90% of the game.

No matter what you use games will always be hard to make, it ultimately depends on what YOU want out of it. For me UE is worth the frustration, because we want a specific type of game and even with a massive amount of experience in our team. It doesn’t mean for a second we don’t sometimes find it hard or frustrating…

Stick with UE4 … it will be worth it in the long run. ShadowKindGames has made some good points.

If you can afford to stick it out … then I recommend you stick it out … it will be well worth it in the long run. 8-}

Thank you both ShadowKindGames and qdelpeche for fast replies.

I found the analogy you made between ue4 and unity is both interesting and accurate. I myself first learn udk for 3 years then switch to unity for 1.5 year. The learning curve is like what you have described, one is so steep and one is growing steadly.

I don’t expect I will encounter no obstacles switching from UDK to UE4, but I guess the initial transition shock is too much for me for the last couple weeks.

Can I ask where do you look for answer when you get stuck in a problem? I use the documents and answerhub, but documents only give the basics, and somtimes the example they use do not apply to my situation; the answer hub has many good answers but more often, there are question I like to know but no one answer it. I guess this is the disadvantage for developing project alone, when I got stuck I got stuck until I find a solution, but as a team, at least I have people to discuss. Is there any other good source for finding answer for ue4? Like if I can’t find the answer in the official site?

This link here is awesome: Unreal Engine 4 Documentation | Unreal Engine Documentation (it searches through everything → wiki, documentation, forum, answerhub,…) :slight_smile:
Otherwise feel free to always post your questions into the forum/answerhub → we are always here to answer them. When you dont get a reply within 4 days, make sure to bump your thread + when you dont have luck on answerhub, make sure to post it into the forum (mostly you get a really fast answer)

I had the same problem. When I started with the UE4 I was totally confused about all the new stuff (especially blueprints -> udk only uses kismet = level blueprint). But after some hours I saw some similarities and after that it ran pretty well. :smiley:

Sorry to post another reply, I forgot to ask you this question.

when you say:

What do you mean by this? Do you mean with more experience with ue4, you know what type of problem is unsolvable and quickly take another approach instead of continuing searching for a particular solution?

Thanks again for the reply.

I use whatever I can get my hands on, Youtube, Answerhub, UE official documentation, reverse engineering demos and sometimes it’s just dumb luck / experimentation. For the most part I’ve found the UE content samples the most helpful, as long as it’s in chunks.

What I mean is, I’ve used engines before that were near impossible to complete a task. The learning curve was so difficult and the engine so convoluted to untangle I actually considered creating my own engine instead of being forced to use that one… Which in the end I’m glad I didn’t.

UE4 isn’t an easy tool to use especially if you’re new to it, but I never found it to be a hopeless venture either. It just takes time and once you “get it” however long it takes you, I do wonder sometimes why I found it that difficult in the first place.

It’s just a matter of time and learning.

Reading what you wrote I think that 90% can be easily solved by going directly into YouTube and search there, because there are so many tutorials now that you can solve almost any problems…

Regarding the skeletal issue you have ( root bone ), for example instead of doing the retargeting in UE4 you could easily import the same animation inside 3ds and do a custom retarget from there and batch convert all the animations with the same problems.

Glasses as an attachment? simply bind them to the skeletal rig, so that you can also import them as a separate mesh using the same skeletal hierarchy.

The wonderfull thing in UE4 I found to be that there are multiple ways to achieve the same results, so experiment, looks at YouTube, ask, whatever :wink:

Hi, about the mesh binding method, I think this might be the solution to my attachment problem, although this require me to re-rig my hair mesh, but it’s definitely worth a try.

Regarding the physic issue in shipping vs editor, I set my character mesh’s collision type from character to physicActor, and the weird physic behavior suddenly vanishes in standalone game, I’ll give it a try in shipping build.

Thank you for the suggestion.