Solo Dev - Questions / FPS / TPS / Stealth Game

Hello Together

I wanted to do some research on Unreal Engine and create a game.

I know, the expectations I have are high and it might as well be that in 2 months I will throw everything out of the window and let it go.

However, I would like to ask a few things as a solo developer.

Personally, I am good at modeling / prop / environment, so I could also create things for myself without doing asset flips. I will use many things from Epic Games because of their Paragon Assets / Props / Bricks etc. Very clean and well done.

I have 2 questions that are very close to my heart.

  1. Should I make a First Person Shooter or a Third Person Shooter
    With FPS you can put more effort into the weapon models and there are probably fewer animations to do.
    With Third Person Shooter you could probably pay more attention to animations and make the game more interesting. I don’t have that much experience with animation, so I might buy one or two packs from the store.

  2. I was thinking about making a stealth game like Metal Gear Solid, Is that recommended or should I go the usual way of pure violence and shooting?
    For Stealth I thought, especially as a Third Person Shooter, it might look better with the Knife Kills. I am a fan of Assassin Games in MMORPGs etc. and thought that this might be something I like as well, but I don’t know if this is too hard to do. Because there are not many tutorials and there are hardly any views on these videos. Is the genre not so popular?

I’ve been looking into this for a few days now and also watched games like “Bright Memory” which was also created by a solo person, although I think he took a long time for a 30-60min game. But it looks like you can create something good with enough motivation.
In the game, I see that there are only 3 weapons, pistol, machine gun, and sword, which means that the most logic is in these 3 weapons + sword combos. What I also saw is that UI more or less sticks to the weapon. The enemies look mainly like soldiers who all carry a machine gun and a pair of wolves that do more or less auto-attack.
Designing the map is secondary, I think the LOGIC and the AI is probably the most important part of the game because if that doesn’t work the map is superfluous.

I would appreciate your answer or links to other threads. I’ve read many of them already, but most of them are from 2010 to 2014, so I hoped for something more recent.

Thanks for reading

Best regards

I’m a beginner myself with UE4 and Blender. I’ve created a map in CoD4, which was very popular with my friends. In my opinion map designing is primary. He talks about prototyping how is done in Epic. He made a course about game level design as well, but some can be found in youtube.
For my first map in game I don’t need to prototype the map itself since I’m going to use my own one created in CoD4. But after this I’ll follow the guidelines I learned from world of level design.
Anyway, I bought the course from worldofleveldesign:
"Learn UE4 As an Absolute Beginner Without Any Previous Knowledge or Experience of Unreal® Engine 4"
Learn to use UE4 from scratch and begin creating environments, levels and games in just 7 hours…
I did watch many youtube tutorials before, but I liked the way he went through it and explains about prototyping etc.

I’m focused on creating a FPS MP game. Single player with story line is too massive for. I don’t believe that whether FPS or TPS has more or less animations. It depends, how many animations you would like to include. FPS or TPS is basically the only difference how the player sees the world.

I’m not planning to learn C++ programming. I’m mainly focused on blueprints. Last April I started with UE4 and it has been quiet a journey. As well since I had no prior knowledge of Blender, I’m learning two applications.

I may have a different approach in what to learn first. Either way my main focus goes into creating house models in Blender. Importing them in UE4. Creating materials is now what I’m doing. Parallel Occlusion I learned from one course. Displacement is the part I’m currently stuck. Till this point I’ve deleted and redone models a number of times. I’ve had a few very frustrating moments. One some occasions that I would not be able to get my head around it. I’ve had this childhood dream to create a game. In the past only have done attempts. This time with Covid it gives me a chance to do it. If I do get it done, but fail to make some income from it. So be it. More importantly I don’t want in my old age to look back and say, I had great ideas. Never tried hard enough. If you give yourself 2 months time, it isn’t enough. My misses has asked me, when I’m going to be finished? I replied, that if it would be that easy, everybody would do it.

Once, I understood and get all the house models correctly. I’ll move on learning how to place decals, which should be easier. Than the lightening, sky etc. Models and animation last step inlcuding how to create models in blender before creating a game menu. After that the next map.

My approach in learning might not be best practise. I stopped with following tutorials or courses to follow each step and make the same model, landscape or whatever. I go straight into doing my own models, but trying to apply what I’ve learned.

My current course from Udemy: **Creating a realistic Cabin House for Game by Emiel Sleegers **is very good.
About this course
Create Realistic looking environments using Blender, Substance Designer, Painter & UE4.
Though I don’t have Substance Designer and Painter, this course benefited for me very much to understand the workflow from Blender through all the way to UE4. I didnt find any youtube courses that specifically gave the overall workflow.

Planning what kind of FPS, level design, concept and what needs to be learned in chunks to achieve each step on the way is my journey. I’ve already purchased in marketplace sounds, some models, music etc, but this is part of my planning rather than trying to ‘implement’ them straight into UE4.

Hay Mr. Weissman

So to help you out I’m going to focus on your original post rather than trying to talk you out of joining in on the fun that is games development. :smiley:

That said I disagree with the idea that games development is hard when in fact it’s the easiest thing an individual can do. You could put a bunch of kids into a room with a box of blocks and when you come back they have invented a game that they all enjoy playing. This is the very base of which all games are invented with the desire of having you effort being enjoyed by others with the developer being nothing more than a digital toy maker.

Not to say that there is not requirements but to be on the path to success you need one of two resources and a single skill set.

A project success 100% of the time if the developer is either money rich or time rich along with the the skill of creative trouble solving. I’m the asset content manager of a fair size project and the most common question is “how do I do this” so even with in an AAA type environment how something should be done is an unknown that can only be solved through discovery.

As I said success is a series of problem solving so don’t toss out the project but rater put it aside. The problem is something that you have yet figured out that if you stick with it at some point the solution will fall into you lap. It’s all about small moves Ellie.

Expectations is up to the other guys who plays your game but good to know that we “really” don’t need to have that converstion :slight_smile:

For the record this is an asset flip.

Plug in some marketplace asset and drop kick it onto Steam with a price tag. Thing is based on the terms and conditions the “developer” is allowed to do this flip so from the players perspective is not a good thing. As a learning experience though there are valuable lessons to to as to what it takes to market your game on Steam.

I mention this as anything bought or used off the shelf is not an asset flip if the work done is either a derivative or is transformative which is fair use under copyright law. Recycling is typical in game design.

As mentioned stealth type games is generally 3rd person in nature, are stand-alone, and most important generally require a story line of some sort.l In my experience the stand-alone usually makes a good first attempt project with something of simple design that you cold post to Steam or the app marketplace as a throw away to get a better sense of how the marketplace works Games that require a network component on the other hand are technically more difficult and I suggest that you stick with stand-alone until you become more comfortable with the environment.

As a tip though I would suggest attempting small projects to build up some micro success and with ex If you are unsure about Third Person or First person. You could use the third person template and if you should change your mind, you could use this tutorial to change it to First person later on.

I know others will say don’t try making the game you want, but I say **go for it. ** You will learn a lot with trial and error from trying to make your game, but also you will have lots of motivation since you are working on something you want to make.

Sometimes, you have to run before you want walk.

If you think about it, you are not a true one man dev. You are using assets made by others, on an engine made by game studio, on a computer made by a corporation.

I say learn game design as a whole and all the parts that go into creating games, i.e graphcs, level design, sound and music, code, gameplay deisgn, etc.
Also, learn unreal engine if you want to use the engine and the parts that you need to create your game as you go.
Buy assets from the marketplace and other place to fast track your development.

good luck.

First of all, thanks for all the great answers.

The 2 months are not meant to finish a game, but rather whether I can handle the software or get burnout.
Mostly you try out the software and sometimes they are so bad that you want to burn them => I talk to you old blender 2.79 etc… all mixed up hahaha…

Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check it out.
I think that a map is more of a second rank because I assume without AI, it might not matter how good a map is if you can’t populate it.
My idea was to first put the AI on a plate and then blockout the map to see if it works. In a video someone once said, “if the blockout version is fun, the textured version will be even more fun”.

Rich or time is a thing, my goal was to combine it since I usually sell 3D models. E.g. that I make some models for the game, but at the same time I sell the models to buy e.g. 50-100$ AI Scripts in the store.
Some AI Scripts are so ultra complex that even someone like me knows that it took months or years to get something together.
I wanted to buy most of the logic / ai / animations and concentrate more on the maps and placements of the enemies and the missions.
Over time, there were so many free Unreal Marketplace items every month that it would be a shame not to do something with them.

I didn’t want to make a multiplayer FPS, because an online game is one of the most difficult things to make. That’s why my goal was more a singleplayer game with a few missions.
To the last sentence, so if you buy something for example in an unreal store, say a character for 50$, doesn’t that count as an asset flip? (Assetflip = only free models?)

That’s good advice. My first goal was actually a map with one mission and a number of enemies, an option to complete a mission. So a lot of sneaking around and secretly taking out enemies.


I had thought about using the FPS starter kit for weapons switching and pickups. However, I would have to see if I could switch it to third-person shooters.

For the AI opponents, I had considered a Stealth Pack that takes over most of the logic and detects alarms.

I am just not sure if I should use Advanced Locomotion V4. I have tested it on the test map and it runs great. However, it is more for advanced people, and I might ride better if I use the normal animations and insert better ones like a “Rifle Pack”.

I’m just skeptical about using the locomotion because looking at the options I got almost dizzy.

The thing that interests me the most is, which product is the best to start with, so which one as START Product, where you can then add the other products as addons.
If you would take the Locomotion as START Product, you would have to add the weapons logic manually and then the AI.
With the FPS Shooter Kit you would have to add the AI afterward and for locomotion, I’m not even sure if it’s that easy to put it in.

Thanks again for answering, and if you can recommend a store product that might work well I am open to suggestions.

Best regards

Well at least you have the right frame of mind :wink:

To touch a bit on the idea of what is and what is not an asset flip “any thing” available via the epic launcher is free to use in any way you wish as that is the nature of the Epic fair use license. How you make use of the works becomes an expatiation of the player of your game which in most cases is based on the price tag. So in short form if you give your game away for free players are a lot more forgiving than if you plaster a $60 dollar price tag on what is nothing more than a prepackaging of someone else’s work. More or less ideals change once money becomes involved but if you buy something from the Epic marketplace, say for $50, you can use it in any project your working on no matter if it’s something you sell or give away, cooked, for free.

Where things change ,as I mentioned, is if the work done is a derivative or is transformative which in all cases is now consider original work as to the requirements of copyright. This could be a definable human form or a simple cube or sphere as all things in the box has to start out as something in the first place.

THIS is really the expectation of using off the shelf art as placeholders or as a quick start toward the end goals of “your” game. :smiley:

As it is couch cough asset flipping has been going on for years with in a true development pipeline it’s juts that it’s called recycling :wink:

As an example our project is to convert a game Urban Terror from the idtech3 engine and to kick start the project made use of the Shooter project so we had a place to put all of our maps and art assets. Over time the framework became transformative to the point that Shooter is no longer visible from it’s original shape and form.

Perhaps the best way to learn though is to see how others goes about doing things.

Gwen Frey is one of my favs and lets you ride along while she does her thing.

I also do some framework development videos.

Be warned like watching grass grow

I’d love to see a video of that conversion if you ever decide to make one.
Especially showing COD-Radiant vs Unreal Editor versions side by side. :wink:


Lots of devs probably think along these same lines… But is it actually TRUE I wonder?
It’d be great to see some stats on this, if anyone has ever seen any research / surveys.
To me, the map world / environment is everything (I lose interest otherwise if its bland)!
That said COD2-COD4 community maps were more interesting than official ones imo.

So who knows, I guess everything ultimately comes down to personal taste, doesn’t it?
GTAv / watchdogs / gears / fortnite worlds weren’t that amazing imo (prefer cyberpunk).
On the flip side, something like the ‘Assassin’s Creed’ series was 100% all eye candy.
UE5 + new photogammetry techniques means we’ll see incredible level designs soon.:wink:

Are you downloading the monthly marketplace freebies? As thiswas available in July.
And thisis permanently free. Both have issues, but could be useful learning templates…

I wouldn’t commit to FPS / TPS until you’ve developed a clearer idea of what you want.
I might not even commit to FPS / TPS anyway, instead try and develop both if possible.

As @FrankieV said, story is key to single player and story is frequently a b*tch to get right.
Its not something to bolt-on later, like many game devs tend to treat it. You’ve been warned. :stuck_out_tongue:

By the way this speaks truth

As mentioned above forgo buying anything as most necessary assets is already available for free. It’s a matter of recognizing the duck. :smiley:

I wish I could work on a actually Metal gear remake. As far as gaming goes, if you like Kojima aim and reach for your best possibility.

COD/Radiant last time I was focussed on in 2011. It wasnt the easiest tool to work with. I had some areas that needed to be fixed and with Covid I thought I could do it. I still had the HDD with Windows and COD Radiant installed. My step son told me why not use Unreal Engine 4 since its for free to use personally. COD Radiant was mainly for creating maps. If I remember correctly, as well for modding and custom models. The UE4 is much more cleaner and more logical the interface. Though one thing that Radiant was pretty ok with, was the error codes and being able to pinpoint where the problem is. I got stuck with lightening building. Posted in forum. Last time I checked there were no replies. I started a new projects. I have redone some models more than 2 times each at least. I did get some castle church asset, but now Ive been able to create it myself. Well, not fully finished yet.
IW unfortunately changed not to release any new version of Radiant for not exactly the correct given reasons. As well they removed LAN option since COD6. I still play with my friends CoD1,CoD2 or COD4 LAN when we meet up. Ive seen blueprints for LAN, NET, game modes in Marketplace. At some point when everything is ready, Ill get to it. 3 or 4 maps playable till Xmas I would be extremely happy.

Ive just finished this course from Udemy Learn Displacement and Parallax Mapping for Unreal 4. This was the best one of all related to this topic. Course teacher explains bump, parallel occlusion and tesselation the best way and shows how to create those materials in blueprint.

My disadvantage is that I still learning Blender 2.8x, but Im getting slowly there. The good thing is marketplace to get all sorts of assets I would want to create by myself. As well Megascans to get textures for free.

The passion to create a game I think is the most important aspect. If the passion and will is there to create a game, there are only a few hurdles to get through them. I think its a lot easier now than compared to 5 or 10 years ago.

Depends on your actual goals. There’s lots of Pros & Cons to looking at this. 10 years ago, you might have had to build your own tools just to get a game out. But user expectations were also lower, so it was easier to sell games (even if visuals / gameplay were imperfect). Now there’s visual editors for everything along with drag & drop node scripting, but the bar is also higher (so its harder to live off selling games). So the problem is complex. I suspect that ~2012 was around the last time it was party central for Indies. Its going to be harder from here on. :wink: