Lacking documentation causing long development times and buggy products.


I often find the documentation insufficient or non existing, making it very time consuming to develop to Unreal Engine 4. Much time goes into guessing how things work and reading a lot of source code to figure out how to use the engine. Sometimes you find things not even mentioned in the documentation when going through the source. Also things like 5+ ways to change level doesn’t make using the engine any easier. The code isn’t written in such a way that it’s self-documenting in its current state.

Therefore I would find it helpful if the staff would spend more time at answerhub. Sometimes it can take several months to get an answer for a question. Or sometimes just nobody seems to know, or at least no one that’s willing to share. There are also some hacks that are spread by community users. This will resulting in hacky solutions and by time buggy products from Unreal Engine. I think this issue should be taken very seriously since it may not only be a problem for the engine itself but also its users. Improving the documentation will decrease development times and resulting in better overall quality.

More documentation is needed but not in the editor. This is only an annoying feature since most people doesn’t need to be reminded of how to use the editor after updating the engine.

I remember creating the thread about bad documentation, but was immediately attacked by the fanboys telling me I’m wrong :smiley:

We are aware that the programing documentation is lagging behind the editor documentation. It is something we are actively working to remedy, though it takes time to create. There has been progress on improving the documentation in the codebase over the last few months, and we plan to continue improving it over time.

If there are particular areas of interest, please let us know here or vote on the roadmap.

Okay, I understand. Nice to hear that improving the documentation is already in progress.

Since I get the opportunity I will mention a few areas were I have missed documentation. Even though I have figured out a lot already, I still have some questions in those areas. Also I really think this can help new users to get started and understanding how to build advance games with the engine.

I think more documentation would be needed in areas like how to control the flow of the application. By that I mean e.g. how to change level (there are several ways of doing this at the moment (4+?)), controlling when players can join or not (gamemode, session, online session), controlling if a player spawn as a spectator or when having e.g. some different pawn types (especially when not the standard gamemode works out of the box), data persistence between levels, level streaming, error handling, and so on.

The sub-online system needs more documentation also. E.g. in the online session, clients aren’t even mentioned in the documentation but the shooter game seems to call those functions on the clients as well as the on server. This isn’t mentioned at all and I found it by chance.

I also like to add that documentation on replicating with conditions is no where to be found.
As far as i know atleast.

Don’t forget to check the wiki also when you are looking for documentation, sometimes things are laid out in a bit more detail there. I do agree though that the official documentation can sometimes be a a little sparse on details, but it’s a big job so it’s understandable and I think it will get much better over time.