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The Next Steps for the UE Community: The UE Dev Hub (Working Title)

Hi all,

We are excited to give you a glimpse into everything that we’ve been working on since last spring!

We’ve been asking ourselves, “How can we better support our community in the UE5 era? What is lacking? Where are the problems? What is going well?”

You all are awesome, highly passionate, and dedicated—and we would not be here if it weren’t for you! Unreal Engine is successful because of what you create and develop with it every day, plus all the help and support you give to one another. And we want to do what we can to provide more support and resources to help you succeed with your own projects and creations.

Below is an overview of what we’ve been working on, the “UE Dev Hub” (working title, a.k.a. “The Hub”)

What is “The Hub”?

A centralized community learning and support experience. Right now, the Unreal Engine ecosystem has many fragmented places for various types of technical content, including Answerhub, the forums, Unreal Online Learning, Youtube, etc. We are bringing it all together in one place.

Why are we building this new site?

We want you to be able to get the most out of your time and effort. By consolidating these different experiences, the different puzzle pieces of our ecosystem can work together, hopefully driving more content being made and shared, more people helping each other, and an easier time finding what you are looking for.

More traffic and visibility—fingers crossed—means it will be more likely questions, tutorials, and forum threads are seen and engaged with by all of you, and that in turn should result in more valuable information being shared within the community.

So what does that mean in practice?

The Hub is currently divided into two large chunks—the forum (Discourse) and The Hub itself. They will link together and share the same interface to integrate them with each other.

  • The forum
    • One of the reasons we migrated to Discourse was to ensure we have a stable and secure platform we can build upon. The forum will become about half of the overall hub experience and house the forums, Q&A, Knowledge Base.
  • The Hub
    • The web dev team is working with us on building the overall community and learning site, which will house the following features:
      • Tutorials, courses, learning paths, tech talks, and livestreams
      • A system for anyone to easily create tutorials
      • More we’ll share at a future date

What progress have we made?

  • On the Hub, most tutorial/course functionality, profile creation, and the visual design is implemented on an internal staging server.
  • The Q&A and Knowledge Base functionality has been added into the forum, and the is launching today (Dec 7 2021). All Answerhub data is migrating over.
  • Next steps will be to work on integrating Discourse with the Hub. That is planned for January.
  • The last pieces for the initial version will be additional functionality such as searching, the home page dashboard, etc.

How can you help?

  • We will be posting updates here in the Community Hub category. We’d love all of your input and direction on anything and everything, both good and bad.
  • The closer we will get to releasing, the more actively we will look for your feedback and to bring everyone into the experience.

This process will be ongoing for a number of months, as this is the first iteration of many. During this process, we want to be as open and transparent as possible, so we’ll be sharing details often!

Here are the two feedback threads we’ve posted so far:

Please feel free to message any of us on the community team. We can’t always guarantee we will respond very quickly, but we will happily chat about what you look for, the feedback you may have, and what direction you feel we should take with this all.

From our whole team, thanks!

Community, Learning, Evangelism, and Hub Dev teams

Sjoerd, Amanda, Chris, Mario, Andreas, Paulo, Eric, Skye, Andrey, Tina, Christian, Samuel, Martina, Ignacio, Christian, Sebastian, Joseph, Arran, Krzysztof, Ari, Chris, Alex, Eddie, Rudy, Kait, Cole, Justin, Jenni, Deepak, Chase, Hope, Daniel, Joe, Kevin, Mathew, Mark, Clarence, Ilya, Iskander, Kate, Kurtis, Sheldon, Trisha, Vineet

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This all sounds great…

But have a polite request… Why don’t Epic hire an Alexander Paschall person to help out around here? Its the best way forward, as it would make the biggest difference. I’ll even offer to take the job. I’ll even offer to work for free (for a while anyway).

Why?

Because Epic don’t seem to have a budget for this (and no one else is offering so far). Then and only then… If the Community feel I made a difference (or tried at least), then Epic can always back pay. So hey, why not, what’s there to lose - seriously???

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Your ability to enter into game jams - which let’s be 100% honest, means literally nothing when they have the jam theme be as lame as they have been for the past 4 or 5 jams.

100% upvote this idea. Of having you as in in-between specifically.
At least I know you won’t give us the usual Epic BS about why stuff doesn’t work :stuck_out_tongue:

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I love any forward Community progress. Perhaps y’all could work with the UE Docs people to have relevant Hub links directly on the UE Docs pages.

This one is especially interesting. It would be great to see many people with the same interest, combining their efforts over time, resulting in better and better tutorial content for certain niches, like procedural animation. I do believe many of us dream of having that all in one procedural animation solution. Movement, equipment and items usage, environment interaction, game-play events, feet and hand IK that works every time etc. - If these people, in every field, had one go to place to discuss the micro steps required amongst themselves and then bring solutions to the community, it could speed up the process of finding great information by a lot.

Not to forget optimisation techniques, the render pipeline, mesh setups and all that.

Proper procedural 3D audio, UI design, you name it, there are hundreds of people who really know what they are doing and thousands of us who have a few things under our belt. Tens of thousands have ideas that might inspire new ways of doing things.

Not to forget that giant gap between sitting alone and achieving very little for months and actually getting something out to the market, free or paid. There is a massive need for business and entrepreneurship education in this field.

What I miss often, is exactly a hub type of scenario, where inspiration and techniques are combined and easily accessible without the time consuming searches all over the internet.

And of course, some kind of a way to easily expand on community created templates/plugins/assets/materials etc. An Unreal Github/Blender Foundation of sorts, where you upload something, someone improves it and commits an update that the OP can verify and publish. Some open source thing.

Also: Please consider community created game jams, like they have on itch, where anyone can create a jam.

And maybe some kind of an indie games store, like itch/Steam, but with a quality barrier to entry.

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Or allow selected community members, who really know what they are doing and understand the Engine very well, to Wikipedia the Docs?

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I really appreciate all the new knowledge base posts, but if I could offer a mild criticism it would be that the formatting is a real mixed bag. Some of them suffer greatly in readability…

This post for example has absolutely no formatting at all: UE4 Rendering FAQ - Performance

While this is kinda reasonably formatted but is entirely in bold font for whatever reason: UE4 Rendering FAQ - General

I’m guessing most of this content is just being copy pasted from the UDN? Given that UE4 is on its way out I suppose fixing this isn’t a high priority but I hope you’ll keep readability in mind going forward. One of the really nice things about Discourse in my opinion is the support for Markdown, would be a shame not to take advantage of it.

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Well, the very least they could do is have the people who are working on the engine draft out a more comprehensive user guide for it.

UE5 is good and all, but it feels kind of overwhelming with all these new features.

@Hourences

See if you can figure out if there is any reasoning why functionality under a Q&A post is different from functionality in a discussion post or functionality in a KB?

I would really love to send some hate mail at whoever thought it was a good idea to remove the <3 button from one but not the other.

Try as you may to justify it, this had to be done purposely… in discourse you have to go out of your way to remove a button…

On questions, there is an up arrow that replaces the <3 button, though functionally they work the same way. The idea being that for Q&A folks may prefer upvoting vs liking. If we find that’s not the case, we can always adjust it.

image

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Awesome! The learning portal has been amazing so far. Can’t wait

That’s not the case…
Someone can like a post that doesn’t need to be upvoted as an answer.

I wonder if it would not be better to choose if it is a question, when creating the post with a toggle button.

(EDIT) I was thinking of Discord (not liking it), discourse is good. At least the usage I’ve seen thus far from others.
I do like having one place and a common interface to access as much as we can.
Having knowledgeable C++/Blueprint people being able to respond to posts would be the most helpful.
Having Epic utilize the same source as we do would help level the playing field.

Loving the new knowledge base section on the forum with the summarized insights into internal roadmap Epic has re: UE systems, how to best use things etc… Really hoping it gets expanded on going forwards!

I’ve always thought some sort of middle ground between enterprise support (with UDN access) and regular licensees is needed. Currently it’s very difficult to gain insight into UE for any complex issue as hobbyists working on complicated systems or even the case for many small indie teams (often seen folks ask on the UE Slackers discord, relying on someone with UDN access to help them).

Understand why Epic can’t just open the floodgates to more direct access to problems (the amount of poor questions, issues that plague new users would be too much), so I’ve thought a curated read only view into UDN might be a good middle ground.

The new knowledge base I hope is built with something like that in mind, already it’s shown some interesting insight into Epic’s hopes re: UE5 that are very helpful for long term planning.

EDIT: To echo Arkiras’s points above re: formatting. Some of the links ex: the Unreal Gauntlet test framework primer article linked in this KB post, is on the UDN.

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At the moment, we’ve enabled the option in the top right drop down. We’ll reach out to see about a toggle in the composer.

Ah yes, we’re going through and updating them—these were a direct export for UDN. For that instance, the primer KB also came over so I’ve updated that link. Thanks for the feedback!

Still wondering about this. It would be great if tutorial makers could upload files to the hub for the tutorials. Other tutorial makers could then expand on existing systems and use these files as assets in their work. Like a marketplace of tutorial content.

And to strengthen this even further:

Is it a bad idea for EPIC to create some sorts of Megagrants for the best Tutorial makers?
An EPIC Educators Program Grant of sorts.

The grant program is pretty solid and compared to other things - like the judging of game jams - it is ran by serious people (probably because money is involved?). So a specific grant division ran by the same serious people would indeed be an A+ idea in my book.

The problem is the people doing tutorials who have no business even attempting to use the engine who will beg for consideration…
If you know the engine, you can’t avoid cringing every other minute of watching random YouTube tutorials… to the point there are really 3 to 4 creators out there you can somewhat trust…

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I would say there are a lot more than 3 to 4 creators who know what they are doing, but typically in very narrow fields, leaving a large portion of their series undesirable for real game development. They all have that one thing in common, that they have to do a lot of the same repetitive stuff, like animation blueprints, audio, basic UI , inventory, class inheritance, blueprint communication, some AI and other such things, not to forget math and the holy grail, optimization by default for each category, because it has been learned thoroughly over many months or few years.

Another totally overlooked aspect is to showcase the result at the beginning of the project and then build it up from a script without errors and too much talking. The art of teaching has very little to do with knowing the material.
Not to forget unfinished series…

These are too many things to learn and master by anyone, hence imagine this:
Someone wants to make a multiplayer FPS game, which quickly becomes dozens of skills to learn.

Why learn it all from one person, when the best in each field could teach each subject in a tree like setup?
Meaning: Once the character has been setup properly through one series from one creator, inventory, UMG, AI, sound etc. can be followed up on from someone else.
This would require that they would actually build upon a specific foundation.

As for specific use cases not covered in the tutorial, someone else could make a new tutorial on how to set the current template up in a different way, add new features, or even improve upon it.
Imagine a mind map where you choose, let’s say; “Single player racing game with realistic graphics and procedural music that reacts to game play events.”
That would then open up a path, all the way from “How to install the engine” and to “How to publish, market and monetize your game.” You then select which parts of that tree you need to study to get to your goal.

I use no more than five tutorial creators because they know what they are doing. The rest comes from gazillion sources.

And lastly, it would be great to see educational content in various skill levels, so that the noobs can get everything described, whereas the experienced ones can get an hour long video boiled down to three minutes and different levels in-between.

Or: EPIC would have verified tutorial makers making fresh content from the endless plethora of content from around the internet, saving everyone heaps of time and speeding up the quality and quantity of new UE products.

TLTR: I know this is a great idea, the execution however could be a massive headache.

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I’m not sure about all the rest, but the idea of collaborating on tutorials so that each of the 5 creators can focus on the specific specialty seems quite nice.

The problem is that there’s really only 5 creators we can trust - and often, even these 5 will have no idea what they are doing outside of their specific field of expertise. There really aren’t any good “generalists” making tutorials either.

I know why I don’t anymore - it’s a waste of time.

I’d rather work on my projects and get them finished instead of working at a 10 episode series of “how to beat the ue4 world composition into submission” tutorial that will literally be obsolete before release.

(To be fair, if I had ignored the BS they spewed in livestream and made this particular tutorial series anyway, it would have indeed been relevant to date. But when you have the people who make the engine say stuff like “we are removing this shortly” there’s really no point in making tutorials :confused: - regardless of the fact they didn’t remove anything still almost 2 years later)

Re the “beginner to advanced” thing.
Often in life you may consider yourself advanced at something yet find that you don’t know jack.

  • if the tutorials and livestreams were all properly structured with a solid format, then “advanced” users could still tune into the “noob” section at x2 speed and verify their knowledge.
    Perhaps even learn something new if the presenter knows their stuff and goes into details.

My problem with the current epic content is mostly the fact that the presenters themselves don’t know what they are doing outside of the script enough to not fall into issues when questions are asked.

The notable exceptions to this would usually be streams with Laurent, or Brucks… Which are also likely the most viewed videos anyway.

There’s also some good GDC talks that are noteworthy usually anything presented by Chris Murphy.

Usually - the technical writers (Hobson, Willard, etc) are also knowledgeable enough to present good content.

Usually, though niche, it’s good information presented by someone knowledgeable enough to make watching worth it.

The problem is those people haven’t bothered doing any live streams or tutorials in a long while - for all I know some don’t even work for epic anymore…

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