Robust way to manage UE4 file system

Hi everyone,

UE4’s file management system is something of a mystery to me even after hours of trial and error (and discarding and starting the project anew). Hopefully, somebody will be able to advise. I allowed myself to open up this new thread because I did not feel like other threads had a definitive solution.

What I want to achieve is organize a clean and tidy folder structure at the beginning of working on a collaborative project. I want a project template where, for example, all my static meshes are saved under “Geometry\StaticMeshes”, my materials under “Geometry\Materials”, my characters under “Blueprints\Actors\Characters”, etc. etc.

Having read extensively about this in the available posts, I think I understand redirectors and the way they are supposed to work. Just that for me they do not seem to work properly. I also understand that the best way to avoid problems is to keep to a strict naming convention from the very beginning, and I got that too.

My problem is that I acquired several content packs from the marketplace for my project all of which, of course, come with their own folders for static meshes, materials, characters. And I don’t need five sets of folders for meshes, materials or the UE4 mannequin. So what I do is start moving the assets according to my predefined tree of folders. Thereby:

  1. Having learned from past mistakes, I never delete any stuck folders in the root, I just move the assets to the right folder.

  2. I always make sure that no content levels whatsoever are open while I am doing this (even though I assume that would be the redirectors’ job in case some assets are being used to correct them afterwards)

  3. I always fix up the redirectors after making changes one by one. I actually tried different methods to see if they make a differenct: by right clicking “content” and fix up redirectors “globally” or by right clicking individual folders and fixing up redirectors. It seems that it has no effect. I can actually repeat fixing up the redirectors they always remain there (e.g. if I set up a filter misc/redirectors)

The outcome seems to be very similar every time. Something breaks, usually the materials are lost and the world materials are applied on the meshes everywhere. But sometimes there are minor differences. In one case the materials were intact but the textures did not seem to work. I cannot explain what makes for these differences.

I think Unreal is an incredible engine that will have an impact on the gaming industry. It will be very important to have a file management system that is compatible with UE4’s approach of selling content packs to and between developers. Maybe I am the problem, and I do not know something, in which case I would find very helpful if there was some documentation on the proper use of the content browser or video tutorials.

Best regards and thank you!