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Should I create a character first or create the field / surroundings first?

Hello,

I am new to Unreal Engine and I am learning using the tutorials however, all of the tutorials only have the default 3rd person character(The blue one). Based on my research, creating your own character requires another program (Maya or something). Since I am new, I am not certain what to do first. I tried to create a running game (sort of) and I suddenly realized that it would be better if my character is present already.

I am not a programmer or an animator. I don’t even knot how to create my own character. I am just a person who really like games and would like to create a game for Android device. I’ll be more than happy to learn and do stuffs in Unreal Engine 4 since there are a lot of tutorials.

If anyone can explain and point me to the right direction, I’ll be forever thankful.

If this thread is not posted on the right section, I apologize. Please move it on the right section.

Thank you,
Flitz

Well, creating a character isn’t easy, specially for someone that is just starting. I would recommend you first learn how to use any of the popular 3D modeling programs and create static meshes (like chairs, boxes, tables, etc) so you get the basics of it. And then later you should try making your character. Even the guys from Epic, when they prototyping they use that default 3rd person character that is already in the engine, so you shouldn’t be bothered by the character much.

There is a free 3D modelling program called blender. (www.blender.org). You can start messing with that. (or if you want to buy Maya or any of the others you can go with that).

Here some basic tutorials on modeling characters in blender https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QT1GNMevfc , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiIoWrOlIRw . If you can keep up with those then go for it. If you have trouble following along then you should look for other tutorials where they are doing basic things, so you get used to the interface.

As Shogo999 mentioned, you’ll be diving into a ton of material to learn. Most beginners or people without a large budget start with blender or Maya LT. (I use Maya LT as it is quite affordable and the tools you learn to use is quite translatable to Maya if you ever make the switch.)

I would make the argument that it doesn’t really matter where you begin in terms of asset building, HOWEVER, I would highly recommend that you create a demo piece to test all the basics of your game before starting to make like 500 different levels for your game.

I do agree you should start with learning to create static meshes (game assets that do not undergo deformations like characters) for the basics. If you’re still trying to make the decision, here is the minimum for what you’ll need to learn to create a character by yourself:

In your 3D program (Blender, Maya):

  • Modeling - This is the most obvious part. You need a structure that your player recognizes as a person or character. Try googling low-poly character modeling tutorials for the program of your choice to get started.
  • Rigging - Setting up the “Skeleton” of your model. Long story short, you’re setting up joints that have influence on parts of your model. When those joints move (definitely look into control objects), your model deforms. An adequate “rig” is necessary so that you can animate the model in the future.
  • Skinning - This is a whole process where you define exactly how much influence each joint in your skeleton has on your model.
  • Animation - Using the rig you made, an animator (or you) will now use it to make animations that can then be called in your game. This step is much easier if your rig is made to accommodate all the animations you’ll need for the character.

Then you still need to export all these assets to UE4 and do more stuff to them.

In my experience, creating an environment is not necessarily “easier” but definitely more intuitive than making character assets. Many environments can be made with mostly static assets to get started. If anything, you should start with the scope and concept of your game because a well planned concept will define exactly what you need to make.

For example, when you’re animating your character, how do you know you’ll even need climb animations if there is nothing to climb in your environment? On the flip side, how do you know you’ll need to make the environment climbable if you don’t know whether your character can climb?

If you start by jotting out the essentials for what you’ll need, it’ll be a little easier to define where to start. To be honest, you’ll probably be going back and forth anyway if you’re going solo.

you can also buy pre-made assets