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UE4 engine on Tablet - feasible? Probably though some sort of remote desktop.

Hey.

I just set up my computer for UE4 development. I have never used it before, so there is a lot of learning involved. However, I’m very time poor at the moment. So far, all I’ve really done is watch tutorials on the train to/from work (on my phone). Which has given me a much better idea of how all this works, but it’s still very limiting. Ideally, I would like to be able to at least follow the steps in the tutorial and/or be able to create simple blueprints just to test how certain things work.

It’s a bit difficult to bring my laptop as I cycle to/from train station etc, so that’s not really an option.

What I was thinking however is to get an Android tablet and just use some sort of remote desktop program to be able to remote desktop in to my computer at home and do simple work on my tablet. I have however not currently got a tablet nor have I ever used any remote desktop type program from an Android tablet. I rather not buy anything if it won’t prove useful.

Is anyone else doing this and does it work well? Or am I kidding myself and the lag/delay would be too frustrating? Any suggestions on the most suitable tablet? I’m not sure how I feel about a surface table, but I’m open for suggestions if there are grounds for making such recommendations.

Thanks for any input!

The lag would be too much–for more simple type applications like word processors it can be OK, but for video game development where framerate matters it would be a huge issue. Also, you would still need a way to use mouse/keyboard so you might as well use your laptop.

I wasn’t planning on using mouse or keyboard, and I really can’t bring laptop.

I appreciate that it’s not feasible for serious work, but I was hoping it would work well enough for following tutorials etc. But maybe I’m dreaming.

You wouldn’t be able to do that from a touch only input

I’ve never used remove desktop style application on a touch only input. So I trust you. But why would this necessarily be a deal breaker? The first thing that comes to mind is right clicking and drag/drop, but I would have assumed things like that would have been handled one way or another.

Anyway, I might try setting up remote desktop on my phone just as a test case even though my idea seems to have been shot down :stuck_out_tongue:

I use Splashtop to stream my desktop screen to my surface pro 3. It’s good for landscape painting (using the pen as an input, rather than touch)

I just got back from a trip in Asia toting my Surface Book. I bought it specifically for gamedev while traveling and it turned out to work alright!

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It runs my game at about 30-40 fps. Doesn’t help that the SB is HDPI though, that’s definitely a perf hit.

On the plus side, I was able to get a good 3-4 hour battery life while in UE4.

One of the things I was hoping to do was edit blueprints entirely in tablet mode. Unfortunately UE4 doesn’t support touch / pen very well, and the blueprints UI is chaotic with the windows 10 touchpad two finger zoom (zoom out is way too sensitive and zooming in takes many many swipes).

Things I wish Epic could do on their end to make tablet UE4 experience way nicer:

  • Using finger and swiping on empty space should pan the editing window.
  • Two finger pinch and zoom
  • Recognize stylus and react accordingly to pan (currently it selects instead of pan when you click and drag an area), or provide better alternatives like using the eraser nub to pan or right click.

So, ultimately, not the perfect experience, but turned out to be a great UE4 gamedev machine regardless.

Thanks for input. Would love to hear some more details though! :slight_smile: Also, are you saying it’s not possible to make simple blueprints and other things? I didn’t consider a pen, but maybe that opens of some more options with the extra precision. Would an android tablet (with pen) work equally well as a surface tablet, or is there some difference that I’m not aware of?

Looks like you actually installed UE4 on the tablet instead of streaming from your computer. This is not something I didn’t consider as I assumed it would be too performance heavy (not to mention the storage restrictions). However, I googled Surface Book just now and it’s like $2000 - $4000! In Australia where I am. Maybe that explains it. Would you think a cheaper surface tablet has any chance of running UE4 natively?

I don’t think so, you really need a strong video card.

For streaming options, you can try using Steam In Home Streaming if you have a machine nearby that can run UE4 at high fps.

That’s nuts. Great read!

You would only have one button to use, and you would want to be able to use keyboard buttons while using mouse which you couldn’t do with just a one-click type thing. Also, it doesn’t send touch input over remote desktop, so whatever multi-touch features that Windows supports wouldn’t work, you would only get mouse clicks.

Runs fine on a surface pro 3 (i7). Touch support is abysmal though - same goes for the web site :(. Would take forever to do anything without keyboard and mouse.

RDP used to have problems with anything that utilized the GPU which is why game streaming is such a big deal. Haven’t checked in a while but this is probably still true…

I dev in bed using my phone sometimes with Splashtop. The only problem is tiny icons, but you can zoom.

I feel like devving with a tablet or larger screen might not be too bad, but there are definitely improvements that could be made that’d help a lot.

I actually had a Nvidia Shield Portable that was interesting to dev on… but ultimately the screen was too small. I’ve been thinking of getting a tablet, and using a wireless controller. Using a controller + Xpadder is interesting.

I’m still trying to find the right companion device or peripheral to dev with. (that isn’t too expensive)

Sounds like the consensus is that it won’t really work well enough to be worthwhile, even in these early stages.

I will however also need to learn some 3d modeling. Sounds like Blender is the way do go. Would Blender (or other similar and free program) work better on a tablet over remote desktop? I haven’t installed Blender yet and I assume it might have similar problems, but it’s possible it has more support for tablets since there might be a larger amount of people who would find it useful to be able to draw etc.

It would have the same issues–remote desktop does not have any particular applications in mind, they work best for business because it doesn’t require high frames per second and doesn’t require a lot of mouse clicking or low latency.