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Pop-up book type app/game

Hi all. I am planning a young children’s app / interactive book for tablets (and desktop maybe). After much research and a bit of feet-wetting, I decided UE is going to be my choice – for various other reasons too.

The story is written and scripted, and I’m in the process of storyboarding it, but, save for a few details, I have a pretty clear picture of what I want the final product to look like. The story is told through a number of short scenes – really, imagine one of those children’s books with big pictures and not very many words. Every scene is composed of a stage that I envision as a series of panels popping up and down similarly to pop-up books – not necessarily with super-complicated animations and tons of moving parts, but that is the kind of look-and-feel I’m going for. Every scene has some sort of interactive mini-activity or mini-game that the reader has to complete in order to progress. If at all possible, I’d like all the scenes to live in the same “arena”, and transition between them by moving an otherwise pretty static camera.

I’m a fairly experienced programmer – I’ve even done interactive books in the past but never with a game engine – but I am a UE first-timer. I’m very keen on learning to use UE because I see this as part of my career path, but I’m currently doing this in my spare time and my day job leaves me not very much of it. I’m happy to read docs, experiment, watch videos, and spend a fair amount of time learning, but I know I learn most efficiently if I have a clear goal to achieve, so I set out to make this book. I spent a while reading up on the basics of UE, the blueprint system, and all that, and then tried to get something done, but I ended up spending too much time with the most basic things, like how to start animations when the app starts, how to script actions, reactions, and camera movements, and things like that. There are tons of docs available, and some times I don’t even know what I’m searching for! :slight_smile:

I would appreciate if some of you wise people could point me in the right direction with study materials that fit the bill.

It is very difficult to give general recommendations for learning UE4. You have to look for documentation based on what you are struggling with at the moment.

You haven’t said much if anything about how you’re going to make the actual Art?
For all the rest look at Matinee / Sequencer, pick one and stick with that until done.
You probably don’t need to do much programming if any, its all art / anims and FX…

Ah, that’s right. Well, the plan is to have mostly static textures on relatively simple 3D models. I’m comfortable with blender for modelling, but I might use UE’s internal if that turns out to be enough – and easier to start with.

Thanks, I’ll have a look at those. I had come across the Sequencer but can’t remember why I did not follow up with it.

I agree, I thought I’d mention it for context :slight_smile:

In general, I’d agree with you, and in fact that’s what I did, but soon I found myself diving too deep into details and losing track of the big picture, so I was hoping for some – albeit general – direction from more experienced users.