Solo developer, how are you doing?

It is said that, UE4 is suitable for large team rather than a small team/ solo developer; but some people claim that UE4 is good for everyone, include “one man team”. So, people, could you please share your stories/ experiences about life of solo developer with UE4? What’re advantages/ disadvantages; what do you like most/ hate most when you work alone with UE4?

Advantages: Blueprints! You can do nearly everything without a programmer or c++ experience :slight_smile:

Its not the engine, its what kind of game you want to make, like how large is the world, how complex are the asserts you want to create.

As a One man army/Night warrior, here are some of the hard part in development

  1. To have to do everything yourself, especially areas you are not proficient, typically I think most people have issue with either the technical/coding side, or artistic side.
    We just have to either try to pick up the skills, or outsource to others. The latter is of course a luxury if you have high cashflow.

  2. having to pick up a lot of skills, & you required a wide range of skills, many are specialised in a major studio (concept, story telling, chracter rigging etc). Not unlike point one.

  3. Then there is time, expectation have to be massively scaled down, or you are not going to finish what you are making. I made a list of critical things to have, important things to have, good to have, so I do not waste extra effort to make non critcal things, like saying seeing your own feet in First person view, or reaching out the hand to take an items. These are cool, but way too much for a single person to do.
    Also I continuously evaluate my output vs time. As an example. If you need to make game, & in total made equalivent of 20 rooms, 10 of which are unique, 10 can be replicated with some modification (to look different). Take note note of the time to make a room, then calulate how much time to make all? Can you meet the schedule for contruction? If not, what can you do? Do you reduce the number of rooms? or do you simplify each room? DO you try to reuse more asserts?
    Things like that.

The advantages is you can control the pace, & you are not worry about people pulling out of project. Imagine you create a stylised game, & half way through the project, the artist call it quit? Not only do you need to find an artist, but also an artist that can replicate the same style!.

I’m not alone but we’ve been a two-man team for the longest time.
My colleague is doing all the code and blueprint while I do essentially the rest.
Just like starseeker say, It’s mostly about what you’re trying to achieve.
UE is incredibly easy to use and as long as you’re not afraid of learning, you could do anything alone as long as you have the time and commitment.
If you prefer specializing in a certain area you might be in for a tough ride, working alone or in a small team truly forces you to become a jack of all trades.
Since we started I’ve learned high and lowpoly modelling, texturing, shaders, leveldesign, animation, rigging/skinning, FX, sculpting and more softwares than I can remember.
And that’s also what I love about working in a small team. I’m not the guy who only models trees, I’m the guy who builds the map, model the character, textures gear, makes FX smoke, design the UI, and also a big part in deciding how the game should play.
The learning curve will never end and you’ll face monumental challenges but the reward is huge.
See it as tiny goals rather than one huge goal, that way the enormous task that is in front of you won’t look so intimidating.

Well, I’ve only been working with UE4 for maybe a day, so obviously take it with a massive grain of salt, but honestly? I’m faring much better with UE4 than I was with Unity, even in such a small span of time. I have virtually zero programming skills, so the Blueprints system is absolutely phenomenal for me, as it allows me to focus on the things I actually want to focus on; visuals, gameplay… really, “design” itself.

Granted, it’s still an overwhelming number of tools I’m going to have to familiarize myself, but I find that I’m genuinely enjoying myself now. Unity is a great engine, but I found most of my time was spent just trying to understand C#, which is certainly useful to know, but not something I would want to do full-time as a career (which it was beginning to feel like).

After going through all the tutorials I could find, starting numerous different styles of games (I have what I call A-D-GAMDEV-D) I finally settled on a 2d Side-Scroller. I’ve come to find that I have had an immense amount of fun working on just about any project but the Paper2D system is just so much fun. Sure, there are times where I feel overwhelmed at the shear volume of it all but I usually try to focus on what I am doing and move forward. The worst is when I see other people’s work and I think How come my stuff doesn’t look half as good as that?" I wish i could work on my game more than I currently do but life always finds fun ways of interceding and interrupting my workflow. Still, I plan on keeping at it and releasing the game in the future.

I used to code/create simple games in the past but I am absolutely loving Blueprints. Though I’m sure I would have enjoyed digging out my old progframming books, the ease of the BPs has made it all the more fun.

I’ve been working on my game in ue4 doing it all solo for about a year (year in November).
Doing absolutely everything from modeling, animations, textures, effects, blueprints, and programming… everything
I have to say the only thing that sucks in my opinion is not being able to walk over to a coworker and bounce ideas off their face.

Hi good people :smiley:
Thanks so much for your feedback. About me, I’m quite familiar with making games (more precisely, simple 2D games only). Ugh… Making 2D games is not too hard (when compare to 3D): there’re tons of free assets; and coding is not a big problem (well, I’m only an amateur programmer, but for me, coding is fun :D).
So, making 2D games is okie for me, but deep down, I’ve always wanted to make 3D games. That’s why I come here. But when facing UE4, I’m a little… scare because of its complex. But okie, I guess if I could spend more time on tutorials/ docs, I would be fine :smiley:

I can say that unreal is very empowering regardless if whether you are one man army or hire 300 people to work on game.

You can very easily and fast get something working. FPS, Platformer, even RPG. You can have basics up and ready in less than two weeks.

What is even more important, is how easy it is to setup semi procedural generators to populate levels with content. Of course not every game lends it self toward procedural generating, but point is, there is option, and it actually easy to use, once you learn what are you doing.

Though my perspective can be bit skewed because I can code in C++ and do art 0o. Not claiming I’m master of code, but I can confidently say I’m above average.

I’ve stopped looking at other people’s blueprints. It’s too depressing. They are so complex, and there is so much I don’t understand, I just get discouraged. I just try and learn what it is I need to know, and got on with it.

well i started with zero knowledge of anything involving programming three months ago

now im working on my first game (a survival game) and using a mixture of c++ and blueprints, while i may not be a master i am much further ahead of where i was thanks to Rama(dem wiki tutorials) and the people hanging out in the UE4dev hangout :smiley:

being solo does not mean having to be alone find people who are also working on projects and hang out in calls with them its very good motivation :slight_smile:

I would think UE4 was designed for solo guys and tiny teams in mind.

I mean hello blueprints and $20 one time fee with only 5% charity of what you make?

Still amazes me as why EPIC didn’t demand atleast bare minimum of 10% boggles the mind really.

Doing a one man project for another VR museum (luckily it is all two artwork) and a VR game(mostly solo) with a focus on accessibility for those who never played game before using a pedal set

I’m curious as to where you found that statement. Epic has clearly stated their goal is to put the engine within reach of everyone interested in building games and 3D content, from indies to large triple-A development teams, and Minecraft creators as well. I concur w/ Starseeker on the scope of the project/product. Build a game you can build and complete alone. Just be honest with yourself. Know your strengths and weaknesses, put emphasis in your strengths, keep learning and practicing to improve on your weak spots as you go.

I say the Engine matters. Powerful Easy-to-use Tools that allow rapid iteration are crucial in timely results and keeping one motivated to the finish line. Its definitely a plus, when the Engine just looks good and performs well. I wont even mentioned that this game dev platform is backed by AAAA Developers with a Legacy in the Evolution of 3D Computer Gaming and Numerous Hit Commercial Titles. UE4 hits high marks across the board.

But, the truth is, we Solo UE4 Devs are not alone. We have an awesome community with direct interaction from UE4 Developers. Socializing with other Game Devs, sharing questions/answers and ideas are just as much part of the Game Dev process as game-play programming and content creation.

Time is biggest problem for single person or small team. You need to plan game development for max 2 years, longer than that and you risk that game will look just old, you lose interest or have no time for it anymore due to changes in life. And then many hours of your work will be wasted. So do not get on too big projects compared to size of your team. Or best way (imo.) start with small or even tiny project, get some income from it and invest that all into outsourcing (art or coding) for your next a bit bigger project.

I design my game for 3 years (original 2 years), 1 year learning (plus some work, & game design), 1.5 year mainly assert/levels creation, 6 month polishing.

Just remember to design for hardware & expectation of the game intended release date, not hardware & expectation now.

I am now about 7.5 months in, & progress is not too bad. 70% of the story is nailed down (I am making an adventure game (see my signature)), the main puzzle designs are complete (its important, as it means knowing what 3D asserts & locations to create), my character model is almost done (Again you can see my signature link). I would need a proper inventory system, & save/Load as the main technical task, then its all assert creation.

Anyway, one of the ways to motivate yourself is post progress often. Create on in the Work in progress thread, & have frequent updates.

ya you are absolutely right but i got problem with UE 4.14.3 , when i try to create new 3rd person or 1st person project using blueprints , engine gets crashed i try almost every thing what i know , i try ever verifying in launcher ,still stucked there.please help me out from this i post this question on forums and even hub too, but still didnt get any solution , please help me fighter5347

hey please help me out bro