Download

Too many unanswered questions on answerhub, and no reply from Epic on bug reports

.

Of course someone will attempt to scam the program as it is what people do but by it’s self is not a reason not to do something. First step in scam prevention is anyone wanting to play a part would have to first register and anyone giving a solid answer would get points. That’s just details details of a program that has worked for “years”

It would be up to Epic to establish value as to the quality and points value.

.

Well it can be assumed that someone from Epic is responsible for reading the forums and stealing good ideas :smiley:

They don’t general respond to forum posts as that is the fastest way to kill a topic Think focus groups

Nice ideas from FrankieV… But the striking reality is UDN supersedes or makes Answer-Hub and the Forums pretty irrelevant. Listen to Zak Parish talk about AH here… Essentially, we are all just Joe-the-Fortnite-streamers and the forums are dying as the UDK forums did before. Sure, there are flutters of activity every time a big ticket item appears like ray-tracing (or notable acquisitions like Twinmotion etc). But in general Epic’s focus is so wide (they just bought a party app wtf???), the UE4 forums are redundant (for Epic). You’re either on UDN, or you’re invisible… Proof: Look at this recent thread or these 2 other ones etc…<Tumbleweed>

I agree UDN is the way to go but Epic still promotes Answer Hub by presenting badges so as part of the Epic “social” experience what roll does the AH really play? Epic also gives shout outs on their twitch casts for members who answer the most questions so as to way and means it seems to be more of a pathway to get members involved than it’s about answering questions.

Maybe it’s time to discontinue AH altogether?

If it’s just about answering questions maybe Epic needs to promote UDN more rather than pointing out that questions should be asked on AH?

I agree.
Why promote a service that is failing its purpose and officially isn’t a priority to maintain…

Well, I don’t believe UDN is a replacement, for the very simple reason that most smaller developers have no access to it, only companies with custom licenses. Discontinuing AnswerHub without a proper alternative doesn’t really sound a good way to go (and I don’t believe that the forum is a good replacement).

I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed this. I thought it was just me and the questions I asked on Answer Hub were too stupid for anybody to bother with them. I have given up asking there pretty much and I have also given up submitting bug reports because you only get a canned response asking your for a sample project and, yeah, how am I suppose to distill a sample project when the bug or problem is interwoven with my main project that has like 70GB of marketplace assets? Also, it seems the bugs I report are of no priority to Epic, they rather add new esoteric features that normal people neither understand nor need nor have the manpower in the graphic department to ever put to use.
One way I do find help is not searching here but search in duckduckgo with terms like “Unreal <question here>”. I found that external search engine index Epics websites way better than Epic’s own search function.

I think Epic is using Bing search lul

It gives Epic somewhere to direct you without having to actually respond to you.

Our teams have been growing and I’m hopeful that we can do more to direct folks your way. The decline in Epic presence in the forums/AH is the culmination of a number of facts. The priority for our devs is development - with you all being a more mature community, we hope that you can support one another for much of the simpler questions. With the growth of our community team, we can spend more time in the forums and bring light to topics. That said, the three of us can’t be everywhere on top of our other responsibilities, but we’re doing our best!

Re: the bug submission form - We’ve found that the quality of bugs that come in with the form are much better and our team is able to address more issues. It was my understanding that many members of the support team will redirect to helpful links and work with you to get the info you need. We do recognize that it can be difficult to reproduce an issue if it’s part of a larger project, but if our team can’t repro the problem, it makes it challenging to resolve.

As far as incentivizing folks to answer questions in either location, we’re totally open to feedback. Agreed that we don’t want it to be too easily manipulated, but we’ll brainstorm ideas and feel free to drop yours in!

Hey Amanda,

Thanks for the detailed response. Honestly I think the biggest issues here are the axing of the wiki with no update in sight and AH being the anti-thesis of user-friendliness. You know better than us what’s cooking behind the scenes and whatever it is, I beg of you to do something to actually empower the community to help themselves. Ever since the Wiki died all we have is this forum and AH which works on UDN because you guys have internal notifications and assign tickets directly to devs, but on the public AH things just fall into obscurity 99% of the time, it’s unusable.

@Amanda.Bott

Why not offer tangible benefits such as… 1. Free marketplace credits - 2. Free advanced training - 3. Single-case premium-support (one-time UDN shot) - 4. Free game marketing / promotional slots - 5. Job offers to qualified candidates to help fill the backlog… Basically anything to help keep the patient alive (as badges / livestream-mentions aren’t cutting it). :wink:

Some may try to game the system but unlike Fortnite cheaters, most devs who post frequently are already known to the community, and mods can help root out rogue agents too. The bigger issue is reconciling all the info that’s SPLIT across AH & Forums. There’s so little crossover / linking. A missed opportunity sadly, as AH feels like scouring a 3rd-Party website. However AH comes with a working rewards system… Whereas the Forums don’t… Is there a way to fix that… A fast website turnaround from Epic? … Seems unlikely, as anyone still waiting to change their dead email address knows :p. But maybe there’s an acquisition, a ready made solution that can vacuum up Forums / AH threads and offer a new platform from that…

I’m pretty sure you’re doing everything you can, and of course, we are grateful for that. We really don’t expect any of you to do anything instead of us, or to answer to each “VARIABEL NO WORKING HELP PLS !!!” threads, but honestly, personally, I feel like we don’t really see much of the results for your efforts. I’m pretty sure they exist in the background, but:

  • We barely get responses on the forums from the staff (not even on important topics), as soon as we see one, we’re like “OMG THIS MUST BE IMPORTANT, THEY ACTUALLY ANSWERED”
  • The updates we get regarding the issues is near-zero. We only get notified from the official, public blog posts, we have no idea what are you working on, what to expect, and when. Just randomly, something, at some point may or may not drop. Until then, “we’re working on things”.
  • Some of us really feel powerless, we would like to help the community, we would like to build things and improve the whole ecosystem with software, information, tutorials, etc etc. But we don’t really get that 10% support needed to do the rest 90% of the work.

All the above makes it feel like people at Epic don’t care. I’m pretty sure you do - but it’s only words that we get, which almost never result in actual, visible results or discussions, that we can actually work with.

While I find Riccitelo’s comments about “competing with their costumers” crass, the fact is that Unity and Unreal Engine do have different business models and, more importantly, a different “core costumer” (even if they overlap in some areas). Epic, IMO, is simply not yet used to managing a large novice developer userbase. The userbase Epic is familiar with compiles from source, uses Perforce, and asks questions detailing the engine source they already modified trying to fix their problem.

This userbase also gets their own VIP lounge: UDN, which is the first-class version of AH, where Epic staff will post an answer to pretty much every question (even if it’s to close it for tracking purposes). Back when the community was small Epic staff was able to tend to UDN and spare some time to AH and the forums but that looks no longer the case. To make things works, the noise-to-signal ratio grew with the community, harming its ability to support itself.

This brings me to the point I consider most critical in AH: noise and clutter. Someone already mentioned StackOverflow, and the reason it works so well is the quality of the questions is fiercely moderated. Meanwhile in AH too many questions would need a “what have you tried” to move anywhere, plus the duplicates. All this noise buries the good questions, discourages people who are capable and willing to give support, and lowers even more the possibility of having Epic staff replying. The AH really could use a cleaning and a moderation staff to keep it clean. The staff doesn’t even need to be knowledgeable in Unreal.

The forum has similar problems but in a somewhat lesser scale since bad questions will usually move away from the first page as nobody is able to answer them (unless the poster angrily bumps their own post). Still, having a stricter forum moderation would help: locking those half-decade thread necros (or auto locking threads after a long inactive period), merging threads, deleting double and cross posting, enforcing threads to be on-topic, and maybe even locking simple question threads that would be better off as AH questions.

BTW, over in Unity land there’s also problems with information being split between their answers website and forums. Maybe it should be considered if having both things isn’t itself a problem.

I agree, the average quality of questions in AnswerHub is really low, most of them have clearly no effort put into them, like: “how i get player from Blue Print”.
Additionally, it’s clear that people can’t use it. Answers are put into comments, comments written an answers.

Also, what works on Stack Overflow well is, that bad or low quality answers sink to the bottom, as:

  • Due to the size of the community, after some time, quality answers emerge and prove the others wrong
  • Disliking answers is considered a help to the community, not something you are punished for. Currently on AH you get NEGATIVE POINTS if you mark an answer as bad, therefore noone ever does it, obviously. Such a horrible, horrible concept.

On AH however, although there are rare cases with beautiful answers, most of the times it’s clear that the one who has answered has barely more experience than the one who has asked the question and suggest something totally wrong. It gets accepted, and nobody ever will write another answer to prove it wrong.

So I believe the problem is more-sided:

  • professionals don’t have enough reasons to help out on AH
  • low quality questions are not taken care of
  • the size of the helping community needs to grow substantially so that bad answers can sink away
  • the structure of the website is less than welcoming, it discourages everyone who stumbles upon it - it has never ever seen a UI/UX expert, but not even a programmer who knows more about web-design than someone with a primary school degree.

I’m surprised Epic is even willing to put its name behind it, linking it from the main UE page, despite having near-zero effort put into it, which is immediately obvious for anyone visiting or using it.

If Unity engine didn’t suck I’d use it for all the better “environment” for newbies they have.
But at this point I would rather a 1000 times go and learn Godot yet if the case was “-I don’t know how to learn Unreal and can’t find help from Epic”, a case that happens often and this is where a community “manager” with knowledge in Unreal engineering should come in and help IMO. Some times all it takes is point someone to a documentation link, most of the times. I particularly don’t consider that a job hard to accomplish… Someone who knows how to find answers and also knows how to dive into engine source code too if needed.

I hear you.

What are your thoughts about Godot vs UE4? UE4 has way more features and I guess, more traction to develop with technological developments due to the stakes of Epic Games. UE4 IMHO could be by far the best engine available atm if they only would (re)install a community manager.

I still believe Unreal Engine is the easiest engine out there to work on 3D games.
It’s just not easy to learn how to do it well. Takes a lot of time to learn it.

Other engines are easy to start, but hard to finish and publish a game. They often get in the way.

For 2D games, Godot is super attractive.
Even more if you’re a lone guy, it’s a much smaller ecosystem for one person to deal with.
But their documentation issues are even worse than Epic’s right now.

UE4 has been having an identity crisis for the past few years. I cannot fathom a small one-two man team using it for any real game as it really requires a lot of in-depth technical knowledge of the engine, how to set up all of the needed infrastructure like build automation etc. to even be viable. On top of that it’s been constantly trying to reinvent itself as an enterprise solution for archviz and the likes, completely shedding away game dev in the process.

If you look back at 2014 you can see that they really tried to appeal to the indie audience.
Seems like those efforts didn’t really pay well so we are where we are today. ArchViz, feature films, car manufacturers, industrial simulations, TV shows, etc.
I think everybody noticed how forum activity dropped compared to those days ^^
People ask things, no staff answer, people flee to another engine… But with Fortnite money, no big deal. Can afford drop in popularity of the engine among hobbyists.

2 Likes

Exactly, but I don’t consider being unappealing to hobbyists to be necessarily a downside, just you know… us bigger game dev users would like some love too.