People constantly complaining about updates to new engine versions


This is a topic that has bothered me as a marketplace creator for quite a while. I kind of successfully ignored it the past few weeks, but now that I saw this I have to talk about it.
Here is a marketplace item by Skunkwerks Kinetic, just go to the comment section and get an impression:

This is a FREE engine plugin, which the creators were nice enough to take the extra work and release it to the community. They don’t owe the people who download it ANYTHING. They can just walk away and abandon the project and it is still a great contribution to the community.

What the hell do these people think?
“I sent an email to Skunkwerks, asking for an ETA on the 4.13 version. Several days later, I still haven’t received a response. I think that a workflow plugin should be given some priority, even if it is offered at no charge. At the very least, some communication should be made to convey information about delays. Not doing this creates inconvenience for the user and reflects poorly on the creator. For us, the amount of time that has passed is an indication that it can’t be relied upon. This is unfortunate, because the plugin is simple and effective.”
“Meanwhile 2 months later and still on 4.12”

They have their own business, they need to somehow earn money. You and your “game project” is not the center of the universe! And I am saying game project in quotes here because any professional game developer knows that stuff like that takes time and money.
And what is it that people don’t understand that you don’t have to use the latest engine version? It’s a game engine, people could create games with 4.10 as they can with 4.14.
Do people not realize that you can move assets between engine versions? They are complaining on texture packs about outdated engine versions? Hello? It’s a texture, what do you think changed with the new engine version that you cannot migrate it?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally ok if a newcomer or professional game studio asks nicely for an engine update. What I am sick is the amount of wannabe professionals who think they or their game is important and takes priority over our time.
I don’t know why I wrote this, probably wanted to lift my anger about that free engine plugin comment section.
If you want to contribute to this discussion in any way please do.

I think when free marketplace item is not maintained anymore, the developer should also release the code for free - release it on github or something. That way, people who have depended on the tool can continue to using it after version upgrade. Otherwise, the previous note, workflow will go wasted.

I personally never view ‘free’ as bonus because of the exact problem here - the developer can choose to abandon the tool they created. Unless of course the source code etc is released.

For a plugin, what the people say is absolutely right. A plugin that doesn’t get updated is useless, since plugins don’t work with newer engine versions unless source is included and you have some luck that it actually still works when you try to compile it for a newer engine version.

If a plugin is not updated to the newest engine version within a few days, it should actually be removed from the marketplace automatically. If someone doesn’t have the time to update a plugin, he should not release it for free on the marketplace. Once people rely on your plugin, they need updates immediately after a newer engine was released. No one wants to be forced to stay at an old engine version like 4.12 just because one plugin doesn’t get updated.

Because of this, I would advise anyone to not use plugins from the marketplace, unless absolutely needed. You never know when it gets abandoned, and then you suddenly can’t update your project any more to newer engine versions if you rely on the plugin.

Just make sure source code is included.

  • I always provide source code included *

Yes for plugin, the source code is absolute must. If you have IP in your source code, compile them first into a C lib file or something (not C++ lib) and therefore, only the wrapper source code is released. So the lib/dll remain UE version agnostic, both parties are happy.

Yes, thats good. But that only helps with c++ projects, and it can still happen that some of your code calls UE4 functions that changed in a newer version of the engine.

So as long as someone uses a c++ project and knows how to fix small errors in the plugin code, like some argument changes in a function call, its fine. But many people use BP projects and have never written a line of C++, and those people should think 3 times about if they really want to use a plugin in their project.

That problem is not specific to the marketplace though, the marketplace just can be really bad because people don’t have to include source in their plugins, and without source you can’t do anything when there’s an update to UE4.

Good, maybe those people realize now that you can’t go around C++ and source code modifications for something that is actually going to be released (and is more complex than a 2D side scroller).

Do you know what engine version Ark: Survival Evolved uses? 4.5. “Old engine version”, they add features, they improve features and they introduce new bugs with new engine releases. If Epic decided to stop developing their engine today, would that mean we cannot develop games anymore?
Of course it makes sense, especially in the early stages of a project to change engine versions if a new release includes features that could improve the game or the workflow. But that’s not what people are up to, they just want it because it’s “new”.

I didn’t know that specific plugin doesn’t include the source code. I don’t know why they decided to not include it but it’s their decision. I would not use it in my project for the reason that I would want to be able to modify it and potential fix bugs. No reason to bother the publishers.

This thread was not meant to discuss plugins on the marketplace, I wanted to address the general “toxicity” in the community, and that many hobbyists and semi professionals take it for granted that everything is free. For a small percentage of this community game development is actually their job and source of income. Even something like an email request takes away a lot of free time if it happens 10 times a day. I wouldn’t write those guys an email and request an update for their free plugin. Maybe if it was very urgent and something that is out of our competencies, I would offer them compensation for their work.

Think about it that way, if everybody had been super supportive and understanding for those guys, they might have released an update or another plugin because it was a good experience. But like this? For sure not.

I am sorry but the fact that a software house didn’t update their codes and assets to the newest Unreal Engine versions to avoid redoing the whole beta-testing and checking everything it doesn’t mean that is the smartest nor the best thing to do at all.
Since Unreal Engine 4.5 it is a fact that Epic Games added tons of new features as well as fixed so many bugs. Yes new bugs get added anyway and that can’t be avoided but having issues migrating code and assets from one UE version to another is a major issue that Epic Games needs to solve quickly by adding all new compatibility layers allowing the engine to automatically convert everything without errors and with no need for developers to re-check the whole project that can be massive and time consuming just to beta test properly.
Avoiding buying 3rd party assets from the marketplace makes no sense. Large software houses can even afford doing everything in-house and still mostly they don’t. The whole indie market and the small software houses market wouldn’t exist without a marketplace allowing them to quickly find solutions to save on time and development costs.

I wrote:

He wrote:

Ok cool I don’t remember having said that you should avoid buying anything from the marketplace:

He wrote:

Thanks for proving my point about this community.

I don’t know what you think you have proved here.

What do you expect developers either freelancers for small indie projects or small software houses as well as medium and large ones to be able to do everything in-house and not needing 3rd party assets to develop games?
And no one should complain or worry about compatibility issues and support from assets creators ?
I really don’t know what do you expect from people.
Yes with professional 3D Engines like Unreal Engine being almost free to use compared to the past there are many that don’t know what they are doing and don’t have a clue about how things work and think that developing games is easy but that doesn’t mean much. Most of them won’t have a chance at making some real money while some might be lucky and end up building a small software house regardless of their products quality. Then what ?
This is a business. Everyone wants to make money out of their hard work. It doesn’t mean that assets on a 3D engine marketplace should become very expensive or turn into a rental model. Although some large software houses like Adobe and Autodesk managed to get away with the rental model… that can’t work for everyone and surely not for 3D engines assets marketplaces. Both Adobe and Autodesk can do that because they have the monopoly on some professional software packages and tools in the industry, otherwise it wouldn’t have worked for them too.

Ok again when exactly did I say anything like that?

Seriously, what are you talking about? Did I mention in any way that I wanted the marketplace to become expensive or even turn into a rental model??? Nope! The marketplace works as it is, probably 99% of the revenue comes from people who never end up releasing their game and because of that they can be very cheap. Of course there is the downside that marketplace creators have to worry more about how it looks on the store page rather than if it is actually useable for a game, but that’s a different topic.

Maybe you should go back and actually read my posts, then you might know what I am talking about.

I agree about that.

I can understand the frustration here, I have seen plenty of comments within the hours of release of a new version asking when a content creator will update to the latest version. Obviously even for paid content support might not be the highest priority, I understand that Epic releases previews in part so that marketplace creators can test on the new version and find issues before the final releases but I dont expect them to update for every new version especially as the OP says it is irrelevant to some packs functionality. You could simply install an older version pack and then manually migrate it to a new version and lose nothing in the process, I think perhaps its a failure on Epics part making it seem like the correct engine version is always required and they should be making it so that content that relies on plugins fails gracefully rather than refusing to open entirely.

That said I see the same issues with tutorials, people look at the engine version and immediately complain when somethings been renamed rather than taking some initiative and filling the gaps in themselves. I personally feel as though making the engine free has opened the door for those self-entitled abit more and they seem to be the first to complain when they dont get what they want and now.

I do agree with others that a free plugin should really be open and not closed source especially since Epic are reasonably open about the engine source, perhaps thats how it should be listed, rather than the emphasis being on FREE it should be on the software license because lets face it, the concept of ownership is rather foreign in most of the work that gets done in regards to the marketplace :cool:

I can vouch for both sides of the coin on this issue.

Side One of the Coin:
I can completely understand being 1 version behind Epic. ie the Marketplace Item is 4.13 and UE4 is 4.14. I get that. It should be updated after about 1 month. It is simple enough to keep two versions of the engine and migrate to the newer version…albeit tasking a risk of breaking it and needing to wait for the update. Unity Asset Store anyone??

Side Two of the Coin:
It is a little infuriating that something has been purchased and the Author of said Item knowing FULL WELL what he/she is getting themselves into when going to the Marketplace…refuses to update their Item. Look…get it done. Matter of fact…since v4.7 just about everything I have made myself or purchased from the Marketplace has been migrated nicely to the new version…in about 1 minute. Ok…firing up and testing depends upon how complete the Item is…but mainly if it fires up and does what it does…it most likely will not require much work in updating it. Not always the case though.

Bottom line is…if one decides to implement themselves to the Marketplace they need to take the time to stay current or mark the item as Deprecated.

I agree with @MonsOlympus on the tutorials as well…may as well include the UE4 Wiki and Documentation as well in this (many things still stating v4.9 <= ?? is it v4.9+ or something else??).