Ue4 lite?


I’ve been teaching UnrealEngine for an intro to game design class in a community college. We have iMacs in the lab that are decent but not great. My students usually either just have Mac books or Dells at home. They are not usually from very wealthy backgrounds so getting good equipment is hard for them but they love games and really want to get into game design. I am having a lot of trouble getting them to get homework done at home because Unreal is always crashing on them or running very, very slow. Blueprint scripting is so perfect for these students to introduce them to programming concepts before they get into text based coding in other classes. I really want to stick with Unreal if possible but each update gets heavier and heavier. Now 4.15 doesn’t even run on the OS X version we have in our labs so we are all on 4.14.

I have two questions:

  1. I was googling around but couldn’t find anything. Has anyone done a build of Unreal that is a lite version? Something about as heavy as Blender or something?

  2. If I wanted to try to do a lite build any advice where to start? What I could take out? What causes Unreal to be so much more resource intensive than say Unity? I know the materials etc are way more powerful in Unreal. But we’re not using any of that and it’s still taking up so much resources on the computers.

We are starting games from scratch and not using any of the starter content. We take out sky lights, atmosphere and just use emissive materials and basic shapes. But still everything runs so slowly and crashes often for them.

Thanks for any info!


One of the problems is likely that Unreal uses a high-end, fully-deferred rendering back-end.
If they switch to “mobile preview” mode, which may use a forward renderer, it may run slightly better.

However, Unreal isn’t really something where you can “cut out some fat” and make a slimmer tool. It’s more of an all-or-nothing thing …
All of the different combinations of lights, pre-computed versus dynamic, etc, make for a lot of shader combinatorics, for example.

If you were really persistent, perhaps taking out the deferred renderer and only using the forward mobile renderer would help.
Similarly, if you took out anything related to pre-baked lighting, including all the different shader paths and tools support, that might help for the editor.
Other than that, you’d have to take a profiler to the editor, and figure out where the memory is spent, and where the CPU time is spent, and cut out things until you hit your budget.

It is really more of an issue of gpu capability than unreal bloat.

The underlying issue is that many manufacturers refuse to utilize a decent gpu.

Whether to save power, reduce size footprint, or perhaps they feel that computers shouldnt run games, it is common to cut out the gpu.

Apple is probably the worst - they clearly prefer looks over functionality. Better to sell an imac that is thin than enable accelerated graphics rendering. They seem to actually reduce graphics ability in newer models.

It is less of a cost issue - for 10% increase in cost most computers could add a gpu.

But most consumers are oblivious - they will buy whatever is coolest looking or cheapest without any regard for the graphics power.

And that just perpetuates the problem - promoting the manufacturers that remove gpus.

So when you buy your next computer or recommend one to a friend - make sure to choose a computer with a decent gpu.

Wrong advice and I think this argument makes no sense here. If Apple gives them discounts and they can buy these devices cheap, that’s not his fault. Aren’t you assuming his higher ups are stupid for making deals with Apple?
Furthermore, Unreal needs better hardware than Unity, that’s a fact and if he needs a stripped version of Unreal, while not going for Unity, I don’t think your advice helps in any way.
*Also, what’s up with hitting enter after each sentence? ^^

Thanks so much. This gives me a few things to try. I’ll try doing the mobile view and other settings in there and see how that goes.
Ideally we’d have some PCs with some video cards but sometimes, especially at a public institution, you just have to work with what you have.

Yes, his higher-ups are stupid for making deals with Apple. Even “deal” prices aren’t as good as those for equivalent Windows or Linux hardware, and Apple has totally abandoned the high-end “creator” market, relying almost exclusively on built-in graphics and old, medium-grade parts for the upgraded versions. (There’s not a single Apple piece of hardware that is VR qualified!)