Question about creating various pieces of content

So I’d like to play around with things on an individual bases. I’m a beginner and don’t want my main level to be cluttered with a bunch of things I’m working on.

So I’d like to have my development and learning pipe line to be a bit more, Instanced or say puzzle based where I make the various pieces and put them together.

I want to have an Island or an entire level that showcases features for a game I’d like to implement much like a proof of concept. but I don’t want to work on any of those assets in that island. I’d like to work on textures and such in a separate project and import it in to the island level. But I’m not sure how the engine works in that aspect.

For example,
I want to work on a detailed water material complete with interactions to objects and stuff in a separate project and then import it to the Island as a completed asset. Or work on a character and it’s animations in a separate project and import the completed character in to the island as a complete asset.

So my question is. do I make a new project to work on the particular asset? and do I save it as a package or something? Should there be a bit of development within the island level to make sure there is compatibility with the assets and the level? Or should I learn how to add adjustable variables to the assets in order to mesh well with the level? If I needed to change things to the asset should I save that project file or can I just import the asset in to a new project and make changes?

This is relevant to how I feel at this point.

So you’re wondering if you create the level in a different program and then import it to Unreal Engine?

I would suggest using a single project, but multiple levels.
Create a folder called “development” inside your main folder, and create a new folder for each “thing” inside that folder.
Create a level for each of those “things” (for example, “water shader”) and open that level when you work on the water material.
Once the water material is done, just reference it from your main game levels.

LOL sound like you smoked a brain opener,lol. That was in referrence to you link which is funny. But your gonna have to make mistakes and loose valuable assets Blueprints etc. Yes you gonna have to make many “New Project” until you get Your own feel of the UE4.

As far as your assets. I would save all but not every idea of the clone off this link will heklp

Thank you all for your replies! I’ve written down all of your advice and will be playing around with stuff some more!