So I have this idea...

Hello Unreal bros!

I’m new to unreal, I’m putting this out there right away. I’m no game dev (only a 2 year college course where I studied Game development on a very basic level with 3d models), I’m actually a Film Director (aspiring).
For years, literally, like 7 years I’ve had a concept for a game, I’ve waited for years for a game of this sort to come along but there’s only ever been games which have touched one element of my idea, so… I’m making the game myself.

I have a predicament, do I use a game dev kit for unreal and create a mod for a current game which already has steam integration and many elements I wish to include or do I just start a new project and learn the entire unreal engine while I slowly build the game from the ground up. Before you go ahead and read my idea, I’m a deep end jumper, I’ll sit and learn the engine for only a short period I learn while being hands on.

So here’s my idea…
I’ve got a 3,000 word document currently, developing the idea if anyone would like to read a copy.
In a nutshell, It’s an open world, MMO FPS Survival simulator. I want to create a post-apocalyptic world with infected humans and randomly generated ‘war events’ i.e random map parts being ‘nuked’ leaving behind broken bits of material players can collect.
The game is a skill-based shooter, looking at the many ‘DayZ’ mods such as ‘Epoch’ except, the core element of the game is making a base and sustaining it, my idea for based becomes complex looking at the player starts with one tent, they collect materials and players join them then can upgrade to a small ‘settlement’ I want the player to be able to build walls and traps as zombies and wild animals and players fight to survive. (Think Age of empires now).

The game will have a lot of GUI elements. I want an economy to be a big element of the game too. There will be skills the player can develop in, maybe even a skill tree.

Now my issue,

As stated, I know little about unreal, I do know a some stuff about designing a game.

I have downloaded the ARK Dev kit, I can start with that and alter the items in game to make farming needed, there’s plenty of models I can use from the game… however, as it is a mod… it would be put out as so, I’m not dump enough to think I can rip game models and use them in my own.


Do I start a new project and learn the software while I learn different elements of the game and use the ark dev kit to dissect how they animate models and how the script them.

That’s my issue? what do you guys generally suggest?


Best wishes,

I think if you really want to do something like that, do it as a mod to use as a way to get experience, and then do something better after that. The idea is not great, there’s a ton of survival MMO games and ideas so the only things that set it apart are minor, it would be better to come up with something much more different from what’s already out there.

There are a lot of survival games yes.
But they all have very ‘basic’ functions and not much of a long-replay ‘value’.

Ark - Great game, however it’s one of those games you’ll play till you’ve made a house then you just get too OP. Playability last about 30 hours imo…
Dayz - Great survival pvp threat shooter, die you loose hours of work.
Sim City - I love the idea of starting with nothing like most survival games, but you have to build up a city and build towards maintaining the city and earning money.
Age of Empires - I love the idea of progressing through ages, again collecting materials while building an army and a base.
The Forest - Love the mutants and how they roam and are actually a legit threat, however the game is basic, you make a base and find a way of keeping yourself fed and full thirst, about 10 hours playability.
Minecraft - although sandbox, you need cover when playing legit, some really cool mods like ‘SimUKraft, Buildcraft etc’ these all turn the open world to a first person city sim… (Getting there.)
World War Z (now renamed to something else) - great game, basically a completed version of DAYZ… still no building etc.
The Dead linger - Now this game…
The Dead Linger, if you’re unfamiliar is fantastic, it’s an open world zombie survival game again like DayZ and WWZ, except this game was first person and there was procedurally generated buildings, trees could be chopped dropping wood that you could board up a house with… you could even construct wooden forts. Very slow dev team, 3 years and barely updated (Just seen that it’s actually been postponed).

There’s going to be games out there I haven’t played which might sound fitting…

except there’s nothing where these games ‘come together’.
In a different approach of explanation…
I want to make a third person city simulation case based in a post-apocalyptic world, focusing on trading and construction, while having threats of players and other monsters and events, they live within the city they develop.

I’m simply pointing out hopefully in more detail the fundamentals of the game, just in case my previous attempt wasn’t clear.

But thank you so much Darthviper107 for your feedback and comments. Noted.

Best wishes,

I think it is worth putting across… Maybe a better approach for my description would be clash of clans, except as a player you’re in the world and have to play within this world. Also not using ‘base will upgrade in 30 hours’… I hate that.
So take CoC put it in a Post apocalypse war torn town/country landscape, the player gathers materials and builds bases… except for a base to progress well it needs players, making the choice of base building for those who want to lead.

I will go with the honest answer and say: no, don’t. This will never work.

You have no idea what you’re getting into, and even if you were incredibly skilled, your idea isn’t even really original enough to justify working on it for a very *very *long time, full time. (which is what it would take)

I am aware this will seem like an attack to you, but it’s not. Start by making something like pacman successfully and you’ll have a whole new perspective.

I agree that you should start with smaller projects; however I really do think you’re going to be changing so much of Ark if you were to mod it, that you’d need to learn the full Unreal Engine anyway.

The idea is getting tired, you’re going to have to really deliver on it or you’ll be frustrated with the reception. That being said, it will likely take you long enough to make that by the time it’s done we might be done with survival games, so the market might not be as flooded. Right now, I’m sure there are quite a few who are just tired of seeing survival this, survival that :P.

Hey Elthirlwell, Welcome to the forums! Thought I’d loan my two cents, having actually completed a game on my own from scratch, solo in the past. I learned alot from it and I can offer my insight:

  • I’d say start fresh, seperate from game mods. That idea you have does not sound like mod territory, That’s a full blown game.

  • Your initial idea for the game in the description “MMO FPS Survival simulator” Sounds like a lot of different games coming together to make something else. I’d say start with the FPS part and get a working FPS first. Start with the first person shooter template, learn how it works/ why it works. Then from there, apply it to the third person template, see if you can add a gun/shooting to that.

  • You say you’re a deep end learner, and I respect that, so I’ll tell you the best way to go about it for that approach in my opinion. Start with the pieces, like FPS. once you have shooting and moving together, get basic survival. A simple hunger/thirst meter. Then make the world. A rough, barely functioning version of all these things would be fine, don’t worry about each part being perfect, just make sure each piece works with the next. For example, to add thirst, make sure you have a way to drink and reduce thirst also.

  • All of these things I mentioned in the previous bullet have loads of youtube videos showing you how to do exactly each part. You don’t have to sit down and watch 2000 hours of video, just bring it up on youtube when you get to that part, watch what you need, do it yourself, move on.

  • All of that said…If you’re interested in paying someone/crowdfunding, etc, I don’t think you need to create the game yourself. All of the stuff above is only if you want to dive in yourself.

I only used unreal engine for two months now, and I’ve already made a matrix/superhot/any action game ever clone in 9 days (that I have not released yet, although game play is solid), so I will say unreal engine is not THAT hard to understand. I am a c++ programmer though, so I already had basic concepts before going in. This is just to put things in perspective. I believe in you!

I do not feel like this is an attack at all. I value your comment, one thing I seem to be picking up on is lots of people here want to see original developments. I might re-work my idea in this case. Once again, I’m an individual which prefers straight up honesty answers.
Thank you.

I want to develop my idea. It doesn’t really have to be in the form of which I’ve written it thus far. I just want to produce a city survival game where the player plays in first person and can roam around.
I will definitely be starting small. I’ll be making a map in 3DSMAX (at the moment, unless I learn of easier tools). Then I’ll work with the unreal engine to work on learning map design elements. then moving onto lighting, ambience noises, world triggers. Before even thinking about content.

Thank you for your kind words of introduction. I understand your point in not needing to make it when I can get some one else to do it. But as of the moment I wish to want to learn the tool which will be the starting platform for my game (hopefully) as it will be my project I’d like to get to know the inner workings of the software to help me know what I can and cannot achieve. I do this as a film director, I learn the ins and outs of all my crew and equipment so I can offer my insight and knowledge on every department.

I think the core issue here is my game idea itself. you all seem to offer very good advice on my approach, which I gather is slow, steady and small. It’s just looking at my idea now. I’m in total agreement survival games are totally saturated, but I still feel my idea hasn’t been explored and could potentially give a whole new birth to survival games. Again, I’m not jumping into this idea yet, hence why I am on the forums…

I could have just downloaded unreal and attempted to make it without consulting the community, however I value any community and I wanted to gain some insight into the regular users of this software and potentially avid gamers to see if my idea is worth developing.
I think I will also visit a game making forum and see if I can refine my idea with the help of other gamers.

Thank you all for your advice.

Your gameidea sounds very nice to me.

I would really like to read the book, but i have not so much time.
You are writing “infection”, are you talking about zombies?

So not to parrot everyone else but an MMO is very hard to make and it will have a lot of competition right off the bat from much bigger/richer companies. Not to say that the idea itself isn’t good (it kinda sounds like a mixture of Rust and Defiance) but an MMO is very tricky to pull off. Just do some forum searches and you will run across many examples.

Defiance does seem to hold resemblance in closer inspection. So I’ll need to take my idea back to the drawing board, but I still want to try create a game following similar fundamentals.

I’m going to be the different one here and tell you that I don’t think your idea needs to go back to the drawing board. I actually think the aspects that would make it fun to play could be added as it was being designed.

On top of that, no matter what you do, you still have to start with the basic framework, and if you keep it “basic” enough you can apply whatever idea you come up with to it. For example, no matter what you come up with, I’m sure you will want it to be first person, so get the first person game working now. That won’t hurt you development wise.