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IMPROVE AnswersHub workflow in general

Guys, first of all, I do not want to sound rude (english is not my mother language) but I feel a bit disappointed and tired with UE4 Answershub, I will try to expose what are my feelings in a plain way with no intentions to offend anyone:

I work in my spare time in a project with my girlfriend. When I find an issue which I think is relevant to you guys I post it and try to collaborate while keeping a positive atitude. However I feel I’m being ignored a lot of times. This could be due to low on resources or whatever reason on your part, but I would appreciate someone telling me: guy, we have not had time to look at your issue because put whatever is the real reason here.

I will post the **three last answers ** I got from from answershubs here and you guys will see by yourself:

First example:
https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/157030/bug-gameinstance-constructed-two-times-android.html
Here I post an issue which happens in android. After some days, I’m asked to install a different engine version and I do not have the time for doing so (as I said, I work with unreal engine in my spare time). In any case, with all respects, I do not think installing 4.6.1 and porting all my work there is worth the time because the issue is non related to anything the hotfix (i’m using 4.6.0). After some days you decided to close it. And it’s a pity because i’m sure this issue will happens again, well actually another user has reported it and I guess you guys will look at this. Its non a show-stopper for me, I found a workaround for my use case, but I think it is something to look with care and fix.

Second example:
https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/160229/crash-on-startup-when-tapping-compulsively.html#answer-162882
This I have answered by myself. I understand I should have checked 4.6.1 patch notes to see if my issue has been already fixed. What I do not understand is why I have had to figure it by myself finally. I have reproduced my issue in several android devices and stated clearly I was using 4.6.0. Finally I spotted this is fixed in 4.6.1 (haven’t tested it but I have seen this in release notes).
The last thing I was asked for is to give a DXDiag !??!?!? between other stuff that I really do not understand. Why a DXDiag If I report this is happening in an Android device? makes no sense.

Third example:
https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/151580/how-to-avoid-z-fighting-using-paper2d.html

On this one I feel really bad. First question was asked almost a month ago. I have been talking with different guys there (I understand, vacation period). The final answer is really disappointing. They close telling me this is an issue with my device! however this issue is not be proven to be with my device only! For my little game I managed to have 10 alpha testers and many of them can see the z-fighting (the others too, but they do not even know what is z-fighting).
I think I have been collaborative enough and do not deserve this kind of answer after the long while time. I would really prefer a: “Sorry guy, we do not have people to work on Paper2D issues or android is not our priority”.

Things happening to me will happen to a lot of people in the near future, I’m sure.

I’m working in android and paper2d. Two subjects which I consider guys you should put more attention, but more important is being transparent and clear.

The current state of answershubs makes me feel is a waste of time posting there: If I’m posting is for helping to spot bugs and issues, I can not wait to these being fixed and I have to find a workaround, which is fine: I do not expect to post something there and wait to be fixed but what I expect is that something posted there will be fixed at some point in the future.

I’m sorry for the ranting guys, but I really feel this must be improved ASAP.

Hi Dredok,

Thank you for your report, we value your feedback and want to assure you we take your opinion seriously. I’m forwarding this thread to the team so we can discuss how we can better assist developers running into these sorts of snags in the future. In addition - I would like to address the specific concerns you have mentioned in regards to the specific answers you were given.

For your first example, we have had significant experience in the past in which developers discover the answer they are searching for and do not close out the thread. This is perfectly fine, however we limit the timeframe that we keep a question open without a confirmed answer to prevent the AnswerHub from being cluttered. In each of the posts that we do this, we request that the poster comment on the thread if the issue is still occuring in order for us to provide further assistance. In most cases, we have requested specific information that may help in discovering the root of the issue so receiving that information is commonly useful in moving forward. Additionally, we recommend upgrading to hotfixes because in some cases there are unintended fixes to issues that come from the fixes generated in the hotfix itself. There have been many cases in which simply upgrading to the hotfix completely fixed an error even when it was not directly linked to a fix mentioned on the release notes.

For your second example, the dxdiag was requested because past experiences have shown that some packaging and deployment issues are actually dependent on the pc hardware of the user. We get this information to see if that is the case and is typically a way to simply rule out this option as early as possible so we can get to the root of an issue.

Unfortunately in the third example we have acted upon the information we have. You mention in the post several times that you are working with a galaxy S1 and S3, but I did not see any mention of other devices being used. After running multiple tests and discussing with other teammates, it was revealed that these devices are less than ideal (as Ben said, S1 is not supported, S3 is limited in supported features). While we are making strides to increase the number of devices we support, as it stands the S3 may simply not be able to support the engine for the project you are currently using. Additionally Ben put in a bug report for this to be addressed. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee a timeframe of when this will be fixed, but it has been reported. Have you run the program on another device such as a Galaxy S4 to see the results?

Hi,

Regarding the third issue:

I’m working with S1 and S3 because they are the only android devices I have at home. These devices should be enough for kind of game I’m programming (only 2D without complex physics, only boxes for collisions). Samsung Galaxy S1 is more or less equal power to Iphone4 (Samsung’s GPU is better, CPU is the same and RAM is also the same), which is the minimum IOS phone you support. So if the device is not tested by Epic we can assume then it is not supported by the engine at all? even with same GPU and CPU specs?

You announce the engine with a 2D game saying it will be cross-platform, with support for 2D in form of Paper2D and now you tell me I need a 2013+ android device for running a simple 2D game? Should I publish the game and say that only people with one of the short list UE4 tested devices should download the app?

Besides this, I do not think it is a performance issue: I do not know if you have read through all the third issue, but at some point it seems we agree that it is needed to know what is the minimum Y-value for avoiding Z-fighting. This is independant on what android device and I said it is happening on all android devices I have tested. This is not a problem with not enough GPU/CPU/Memory power. I think (but this is an educated guess) it might be something related to Depth buffer in android, but again with even 16bit of Depth buffer I should have more than enough to avoid z-fighting at all.
And the work-around I found is multiplying x100 every Y-value on each sprite. This is ugly and dirty and should not be this way. I’m posting this for you guys notice and take it into account: **This is not a performance issue neither incompatibility GLES drivers **because the game runs GOOD if I separate more the sprites. Z-fighting is avoided completely.

I really appreciate you take your time to answer this.
But I would like to get a clearer picture of Android in general, Paper2D in particular. What kind of devices will support 2D simple games? (please tell me “year” devices, not a short list of devices because it is pointless to publish a game which will be supported only by 20 android devices).

BTW. I keep all settings to the lowest requirements: use LDR settings, no lights at all, every material is unlit and fully rough. I make manually atlases splitting RGB color and Alpha channel because I know ETC1 can not compress textures, etc etc. So I have already made several efforts to optimize the game.

Hello fellow paper2d user Dredok!

I would like to contribute to this thread by expressing my opinion about Unreal and mobiles in general. I do not think that a simple 2d game has anything to do with performance since it sits on top of a nuclear bomb! What i mean is that even if you use Unreal to move a single sprite it is still being powered by the same engine that can create the next super duper AAA game.So it still has a minimum footprint that is logically higher than a 2 year old mobile can handle.On the bright side mobiles double their power every year meaning that soon this will no longer be an issue.

If you want to create a game for all sorts of devices then i think that unreal is not for you (yet) and you should consider other options like unity,Game Maker or construct 2. And even there you would still have problems since Android phones users rarely update to the latest operating system or even worse the don’t get one to update to.

In general i firmly believe that android game development is notoriously difficult with hundreds upon hundreds different os versions and specs and if i was you i would take a moment to reconsider my target group if you still want to continue using this engine.

I have many stories to tell you (from testing with construct 2 ) with android devices working with 5fps and an update later made them run 60fps only to run again in 15fps on the next update! What a nightmare! Sorry to rain on your parade but i wanted to share my knowledge with you in order to help you avoid the same pitfalls that i faced. Now the only thing i am asking from them is to speed up paper2d development and make it work a lot better than it does right now.

Cheers!