[Twitch] Fortnite Developers Discussion - Apr. 17, 2014

You’re invited to our next livestream:

What: Fortnite Developer Fireside on Unreal Engine 4

When: Thursday, April 17th
11 a.m. PDT / 2 p.m. EDT / 7 p.m. BST

Topics: We’ll have a candid discussion on how Unreal Engine 4 is evolving, how the engine influences Fortnite’s development, and how the game team has impacted the technology and tools. There will also be news updates and a live Q&A.

Who: Billy Bramer, Lead Gameplay Programmer, @EpicIrascible](; Matthew Russell, Lead Animator, @russellanim](; Cameron Winston, Systems Designer

Location: - Live from Epic HQ

Links you may want to check out:
Fortnite Alpha sign-up
Game Informer cover story hub
GI’s gameplay impressions

Now taking your questions below!

Edit from Billy
Hijacking this post to provide links to some follow-up answers in this thread:

Wooo! Excited! We’ll mostly be talking a bit about how we’re using the engine for Fortnite, so feel free to hit us up with any questions you might have about that and we’ll try to answer them on the stream if we can.

Free intro question:
Q: Why doesn’t Cameron have a twitter handle listed?
A: Because he’s lame.

I heard somewhere that Fortnite has fully dynamic lighting, aka NO baked lighting. Is this true? And if it is true, does that include dynamic GI?

Ah, thank you for the thorough and profound answer. :smiley:

Another question :slight_smile:

Did you use mostly C++ or Blueprints on Fortnite, was it 50/50, …? What makes you decide where to use which?

My question too. :slight_smile:

Couple Questions:

  1. Networking: How has your experience been with networking? Using Blueprints? Code?

  2. Slate/UI: Do you guys use slate? If yes or no, How has UI Dev been in UE4? Any neat-o UI things you have for fortnite you are excited to talk about?

  3. Performance: What is your target hardware and how has it been working with UE4 to target it?

How do you guys plan, how to split gameplay elements between blueprints and C++. In other words how much of game mechnics is done in BP and how much in C++.

  • How did you achieve the “comic” look? Doesn’t seem like you are using the PBR. Can you give a quick overview of the render pipeline?

  • What are you using for the HUD? Slate? Or some 3rd party extension like Scaleform?

I have one simple question. As I’m currently developing a open world game, it would be interesting to know how many verts your characters and especially the foliage has.

I’m interested in this too: where you use BPs, where C++, maybe some example actor hierarchies (what class extends what other class(es)), etc.

Did you have to dig deep into the engine and modify things or are you using mostly a vanilla version?

How many people are working on Fortnite? Are there more coders or more artists?

Looking forward to the stream, will definitely tune in, thanks!

Btw, using Wolfram Alpha, it’s really easy to convert any timestamp into your local time:
Thursday, April 17th, 2014, 11 a.m. PDT

I would like to know this too.

My question: Will the game ship with editor functionality, so we can see the goodness ourselves?

Thanks for doing this guys!

As someone getting used to the new(er) workflow in UE4, my question is:

How do you guys suggest approaching a workflow in UE4 for creating a game? How did you guys approach it?

Question #1:
Would you consider creating wiki articles and/or video tutorials on some of the more interesting blueprints you had to create for Fortnite?

Question #2:
During the development of Fortnite did you find a need to create new specialized blueprint functionality that didn’t exist in the base engine? And if so, have any of these changes made it back into the base engine?

Question #3:
Was there any point, during development, that you had to move functionality out of a blueprint and into C++, and why?

Question #4:
Would you consider releasing Fortnite on Amazon Fire Tv?

Same here,
All you can say about the problems encountered working with big open scenes in relation to UE4, If so, In what way solve these problems? advice would be welcome.

Question: How many physics objects do you have in a typical game scene? Do you do anything to speed up physics usage (i.e. consolidating objects, tweaking sleep states etc).

What about split screen? Do you guys plan to provide some support for local coop games?

Could you also describe whole Worlds mechanism? Why does GetWorld() function not always return game world while play testing in editor?

Can you go over the workflow for Navigation in terms of…

  1. What options you have available for marking paths as walkable/unwalkable/walkable to some but not all
  2. Dynamic links, such as rotating bridges and elevators?
  3. Dynamic obstacles, such as moveable and destructable blockades?

How much of the navmesh workflow and featureset has changed from Unreal3?
Are you still able to insert use own heuristic functions into the pathfinding mechanisms? I found that really useful for “finding a position to shoot projectiles from when the player is off the navmesh”. I was wondering how much of my old UE3 usage patterns would remain the same in UE4.

Can you talk about the Save/Load pipeline for UE4?
Do all Actors have unique GUIDs that remain consistent between sessions for the purpose of serialization tagging?
Would users of UE4 write their own save/load mechanisms or are there stubs that users can build on?