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Our feedback about Unreal Engine 4

Hello everybody, I want to tell you about our experience with UE4 during the last months.

First of all I want to say that I really like the ”idea” of Unreal Engine 4, including the editor, blueprints; the tools for animating and making materials; and also the balance between visual and performance.

But unfortunately it doesn’t feel like a final product, it feels more like an (still) Early Access of what it could be an amazing engine-editor for indie devs and big companies.

What I’m saying is that it has too many errors, bugs and crashes, and those made it almost impossible to work with. It’s extremely frustrating because, as I says before, it’s an amazing idea and such a powerful tool in concept.
We had a break of other project and we decided to give a try to Unreal. So we have been working full time with it during the last two months. At the beginning it was all the adaptations, but that’s ok because it’s another way to work, so it’s just different to Unity in some aspects.

But the problems started right after we started to work in the project.

We usually experience about 5 crashes in just one hour of work. There’re some of them that we know when they’re going to happened just because of the routine.

There’re a lot of crashes, but also bugs of other nature that make things worse.

Just to let you know about some of this bugs we’re still dealing with every day, here’s a list:

  • After using the editor a couple of times and then trying to compile a big blueprint, it crashes. Next time I open the editor and try to compile it, it’s ok at the beginning. But then, after using the editor, it crashes again.

  • When tryging to reimport a mesh, it sometimes crashes.

  • When editing a Widget HUD, then compiling, saving it and going to Play in the editor, it crashes.

  • In some cases, when trying to open the editor (after a crash), it just crashes again during the loading of the project.

  • When save and compile a blueprint from a Level that has other Levels added to Stream, the objects inside those levels unparent from the scene, making it a mess and needing to parent the objects again. When I say parent I mean putting the objects in the hierarchy of the scene (attach).

  • El hot compile was expected to be a good solution for save time during compilation, but it makes even worst because when you save and compile the Visual Studio project with the Unreal Engine open it says that you cannot save the blueprints you have open so you need to close the editor anyway and reopen it again. But you don’t see this coming until you click save so sometimes you continue working and then try to save but you cannot because of this but. It tells you that it’s linked and you can do nothing to recover it.

  • In some random cases you need to recompile some blueprints to continue working properly. This is too bad because you don’t know when you need that, things start to work weird in Play mode and then you realize that it maybe be related to that blueprint you need to recompile.

  • When you try to access an object that was destroyed using the lens icon in the objects properties during the game, it crashes.

  • There also other cases where the editor crashes when trying to acces a NULL object, but I don’t think crashing the editor is a good way to get notified about that. Because it doesn’t even tell you that it was because of that, it just crashes again and again.

Just to be clear, I want this engine-editor to be working as expected to be, but it’s not right now and that’s making us re-consider the engine we’re going to use for this project and other projects in the future. And I know we’re not the only team that is dealing with that.

Hope you guys at Epic receive this message as feedback, because that’s what it is. I’m not a hatter or such a thing, just a dev director with a team looking to make the games we love by using the best tools available.
Please, just try to fix this kind of things before getting into anything new.

Thank you,

Tobias Rusjan

@Tobias
Hi, I really feel your pain. Had similar experience. Tried to voice that issue here on forum, but was immediately shut down by “people” who claim that Unreal Engine 4 is very stable.

Well, after reading yours and other experiences about using UE4, I just want to repeat myself:

Stability, stability, stability. Without it, this software doesn’t feel like a professional high quality tool but rather reminds a toy and not that funny to play with.

Best regards and I hope that you’ll get on well with your project.

OK, let the shouting, shooting etc begin.

The best way is to always report the crashes on answerhub so that epic games knows about them: https://answers.unrealengine.com/index.html :slight_smile:

-a detailed description
-the log file
-system sepcs

agreed
there are lots of good things about ue4 and i think people are more focused on the things that do work, which is not a bad thing.
but when your game has to be put on hold or completely re-designed due to the engines shortcomings (and there are many) its not that great.

the engine is very much a work in progress and still seems very ‘beta’ even after all this time, not much we can do about it and i guess it will always be that way.
Epic has been very clever with the subscription price and kind of have us cornered, other engines that may be more stable and complete are just too expensive for indie developers to consider. so we just have to live with it and find our own workarounds or wait who knows how long for certain things to be more stable.

at least the developers are openly available to discus any problems, make lots of bug reports and things might be fixed eventually.

@fighter5347
Hi,
I’m not complaining about reporting crashes really, which by the way should be reported, agreed on that.
It is about paying for software which is at such unstable stage that is actually off putting to work with it.
I was very excited about UE4 when it got released. After playing with it for couple of weeks I’ve started seeing the “naked” truth: It is a “VERY” beta, we are paying for it to be a “beta testers”.
And please don’t get me wrong, I do understand that every software has bugs, crashes from time to time, etc. I do understand it. But what’s happening with UE4 is simply catastrophic and as I’ve said earlier on, off putting to the point that I would be very weary to start any serious project in it.

Regards

@tegleg
Good to hear from you man! :wink:

Best regards

Hi,

@Tobias
Im one of the cases where the engine runs really stable. Only one crash per week (and I work daily more than 8 hopurs with it).
And if it crashes I was doing something extreme/weird.
Im curious: What is your system configuration (OS, RAM/ Graphics card, etc…)?
On meshes that crash on import: Whats the stats on that (Polycount, material slots, etc)?

Im working on Win 7 with 32 GByte RAM and a GeForce 770gtx 2 GByte.

Cheers,
Klaus

I have no intention of “shutting you up”. Hitting problems while developing is frustrating as hell. But… I’d like to inject a dose of reality here.

Developer tools are not consumer products. By their nature, they tend to be constantly under development, constantly getting new features, and they’re far more prone to bugs than, say, an office productivity suite. I’ve experienced these kinds of “downstream problems” at one point or another with every other development toolset I’ve worked with. And, I’ve been developing software for over 30 years, so I’ve worked with a lot of development tools and libraries and have even written some. It’s a bit of the nature of the beast.

Unfortunately, a lot of people come in to game engines like UE4 or Unity expecting “Microsoft Office for making games” giving them access to all the features of a AAA game engine at the press of a few buttons, and are disappointed that that’s not what it is. This is, perhaps, something Epic has brought upon themselves with some of the marketing language and video tutorials but, nonetheless, it is not that, and could not be that.

UE4 is a foundation for professional developers and designers to build games and other interactive programs. And just because you’re “Indie” doesn’t mean you’re not a professional.

One of the primary reasons my company switched to Unreal from Unity was that we had problems to what you all are talking about with Unity. We were paying a lot more money per seat, and the problems were preventing us from finishing our game. We never got Unity to fix our issues, and because we didn’t have access to the underlying code, we had no way to fix them ourselves.

We’ve definitely hit some rough edges with Unreal and have had some frustrating days, though not with stability as some people have, but more with build process problems and functionality that didn’t work. Still, I wouldn’t switch to another engine right now for anything, even if we had nothing invested. Here are the reasons why:

  • When we’ve filed bugs, Epic has always looked at the bug and has always responded to us, often with workarounds or possible changes. Usually the bugs were fixed within a few releases, and UE4 releases come out fairly frequently. I’ve even been e-mailed engine patches directly by Epic developers so that we could continue working until the next release came out.

  • If the problem is so severe that we can’t wait a day or two for an Epic developer or support person to respond, we have access to the source code and can fix it ourselves. This is something I can’t possibly overstate the importance of. With the exception of the console code (for legal reasons), Epic is hiding nothing from us. We can look at their code, make changes, and even submit pull requests for all releases, including the next unreleased one.

  • The UE4 community has been very supportive and helpful. When I’ve had a problem, often someone here has given a workaround or solution even before we’ve gotten an official response. When we’ve needed to use a part of the engine we’ve never used, we’ve often found excellent community tutorials or sample code to speed up the process for us.

  • Not that long ago, using this engine and getting access to the source would’ve cost us tens of thousands of dollars per seat in up-front license fees (possibly more) plus a percent of gross. I’d bet anything that the $19.95 per seat we’re currently paying doesn’t even being to cover the costs associated with the support we’ve received from Epic, never mind the development costs associated with creating the engine. If you can’t tolerate the current stability of the engine, Epic still offers negotiated licenses.

And, finally, the fact of the matter is, UE4 is a massively complex beast, and we’re still learning it. Sometimes, when we think the engine or tools aren’t working correctly, we eventually realize that it was because we didn’t understand something well enough and had made a bad design choice. The difficulty of developer tools is that they can be used in so many different ways that it’s practically impossible to predict and prevent all the edge cases people will encounter.

Sure, UE4 is approachable and accessible, and you can do a lot of stuff without ever touching a line of C++, but it’s also still a professional software development toolkit that needs to meet the needs of the demanding AAA clients who are the ones really footing the bill for its development.

Developing software is hard. Developing modern games is even harder. Instead of thinking of UE4 as “Microsoft Office for making games”, think of it as having hundreds of people working on your game along with you… for $19.95 a month. Think of it as getting — for $19.95 a month — something that other companies are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars for.

That should put it in a little different perspective for you.

But, there are other options. If you find one that’s better or that doesn’t have these issues, you should definitely switch. I don’t think you will, but you should always be aware of your options. There might be something that meets your needs better than UE4. For us, there isn’t. We’ve looked hard and really appreciate the value of what we’re getting with UE4. Your circumstances may be different, however.

Hi TobiasRusjan,

Have you posted these errors to the answerhub at http://answers.unrealengine.com? In general it is best to post crashes and bugs to the answerhub as we do give priority to them over other sections of the answerhub. We want to make sure that you have a great user experience and appreciate the feedback you have given thus far!

It looks like TobiasRusjan reported this on AnswerHub as well yesterday, here is the link to the bug report for reference:

https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/139340/lot-of-bugs.html

His message is clear and very pro, no reason to shutting up him. Now as KVogler said, I am curious too about your system configuration ?
Good luck

@ jeff_lamarche

Hi, I really appreciate what you’ve just said, but that only proves my point.
Moreover, the problems you’ve described, surely you don’t think that is the proper state of affair and nothing more/better should be expected?

You can always make your own perfectly stable engine with functionality of UE4.

More should be expected ? Yes. But it is proper state of affairs, whether you like it or not.

Anyway:

This “toy” is used by quite a lot of AAA developers. So complaining that it can’t be used to develop games, only proves one thing. You don’t develop games, you just want “make game button”.

Hi,

I guess this is the kind of comment that could be perceived as “shutting someone up”.

… If that is the case, he would have stuck with Unity :rolleyes: (sorry couldnt resist)

Nah, I guess the problems that he has like crashes on compilation, etc, are resource related. Thats why Im so curious about his setup :slight_smile:

Cheers,
Klaus

Cheers,
Klaus

@inside
“But it is proper state of affairs” - it is not proper, it is current, you’re confusing concepts. Because it is not proper if software crashes regularly, and has mass of other problems, as is the CURRENT state of affair with UE4.

And yes, I’m aware that this toy is used by lots of people. That doesn’t change the fact that this toy is very unstable, to the point of crashing during importing static mesh, or moving static mesh in editor!!!

I suspect we have different ideas what proper quality is/should be.

And yes, I remember the thread in which you were so adamant that UE4 is very stable and what not and yet, despite all this, there are threads constantly appearing, proving its instability, people are constantly reporting that they have crashes doing the simplest things with this toy!!! Because that’s what it is at this moment. Nothing else but a toy, and not much fun to play with it at all.

But if you think that this is the correct and proper state of affairs it tells me one thing only:
To you toys are tools, and you don’t even dream that there are real hammers, screw drivers, proper metal buckets. Real mobile phones, not the rubbery one you have in your stash. Nope, to you, those plastic toys you have in your sandbox are “the real tools” and you don’t need nor expect anything more. Why would you? They satisfy all your needs and wants. They allow you to every extent express your creativity. You can build castles, cars, dig holes, transport one patch of sand from one place to another, why would you want anything else if that what you have does everything you want/need? Why?!

k, got to plug in here, altho it’s against my better judgement

have to agree to a certain point, because one sees these frustrations over & over again in the community, partially might be the users, yes. But UE needs scolding some, focusing too much on features and selling the product than stability & usability.

I think this guy & his team is already gone, or on their way & have given up. converting over to another engine in 2 months from an engine that one is used to, seemed like they haven’t allowed enough time even to offer an unbiased opinion or judgement.

all those crashes bugs etc. (altho some might be true) sounds like issues altho I’ve seen myself, was only due to poor practices or poor usage on my part. when I have a BP overload memory and crash just from being open too long, it usually means I’ve done something stupid on reflecting back, again poor practice/ usage and stopped happening when I went back into it and fixed it. UE won’t kick out ‘Stupid’, I don’t think any engine can do that. trust me on that, that I’ve tested out. lol

shorten this up some -> sounds like not allowing enough time to even get used to UE
some bad practices such as: (jumping back & forth - code & BPs)(&/or several of their team trying to use both at the same time)(no backups to or setup to use a version system - essential in a team of 3 or more, especially)(bad attitude)
sorry truth hurts both ways

UE’s part, mostly needs to focus more on stability and usability more as a consumer product than toward a huge game company with unlimited resources that can fix versions they are working with (not all have that luxury)
altho I think they do a decent job & are striving for this -> listen to your community (or most of them)(take criticism & advice with a huge grain of salt & move on)

all said, personally not jumping ship yet etc, i’ll just try to help bail out the water for now
and having about the same timespan of experience as this OP group has, haven’t seen near the problems they have, just saying since we throwing it all out there

Find me better engine than UE4.
I tried CE3 (which was nightmare to work with), and Unity (which I disliked the moment I tried to code something in it).

UE4 is not toy. It is most powerful and advanced factory automation machine out there.

As I said. Less complaining more games development. Or anything development.
You are incapable of normal discussion, since you don’t provide any real arguments. You just call it, and think… I don’t know what do you think.

And no. Compared to amount of people using engine, there is not many reports about crashes.

edit:
We can back to this discussion when you show up anything game related you worked or working.
And I’m sure people at SquareEnix and Namoco love their toys.

I mean time I back to toying with toys, lol.

A lot of the problems considered as “bugs” by users are human errors. i.e. If you are crashing the editor while importing an asset then it has something to do on your end, since this kind of an issue would bug everyone, not just a single user. If the engine was as buggy and unusable as smallB claims to be Rama and Hourences would be the first to bail on it, since i dont think most of us use the editor as much as they have.

And no, i’m not trying to shut anyone up, the thread is open to discussion. It is Epic who is going to read the posts and see if there is any legit feedback afterall.

Hey TobiasRusjan, Thanks for the feedback, and we greatly appreciate the post on AnswerHub as well, as it really helps us to investigate the problems you’re having, nail down the cause, and work towards a solution to help drown some of the bugs that people find in the engine. The support team is having a look , so hang tight! :slight_smile:

We are constantly working towards making Unreal Engine 4 more awesome with every release, including stability and usability. We know there are a few rough spots, but we’re honing in on and attacking these as they arise. Thanks, everyone, for providing feedback concerning your professional needs, and for helping us make UE4 the best it can be.

If you have lots of crashes, there’s some chance that you have too little RAM.
If you keep having these problems, you could start running from source, inside Visual Studio, and turn on break-on-exceptions.
That way, you can figure out what the problem is, and either develop a fix yourself (bonus points for committing a PR on GitHub,) or you can at least tell us what the stack is where it crashes, which will help fix the problem.
Without your editor machine system specs, it’s very hard to even start trying to figure out what’s different about your setup compared to others that don’t have a problem.
(How much RAM? What graphics card, OS version, and driver version? Which content creation tool/s generates your FBX files that you import? etc.)