Unreal Engine 5 Free Assets Challenge

I haven’t seen any group doing this, but let me know if I’m wrong. It seemed kind of obvious that there should be some sort of fun thing to do with the monthly assets.

I also made an itch.io page: UE5 Free Assets Monthly Challenge - August 2022 - itch.io

And discord if that’s your thing: Simulacrum Games


Greetings @simulacrumgames !

I was extremely entertained by this video and this challenge! This is a very marvel and fun idea! I immensely appreciated your candor and your humor in this! You’ve definitely found yerself a new YT subscriber pardner! :cowboy_hat_face:

I really hope this catches on! This is great for those of us who enjoy challenges and need something else fun, engaging, and challenging to do in between the official Unreal game dev challenges! It is definitely a challenge to participate in consistently, and I’d love to see what people of differing creative and technical backgrounds come up with.

Thank you so much for sharing and for your novel idea! What are the top three things you’ve learned from this challenge?

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I really appreciate the kind words, it was a lot tougher than I thought to put something out there.

  1. Worry less about the quality when putting out something like this. I’m really bummed I didn’t get something worth posting to my itch.io page.

  2. If something isn’t working out the way you thought, make sure you understand the problem, decrease scope, or at the very least just don’t fight it to the death.

  3. So that’s what my voice sounds like to everyone else? :hushed:

Looking forward to the next asset drop!

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But overall, there’s some real skill required in taking Marketplace packs and making them work in your own work. So its a really underrated skill imho. In that sense, marketplace packs can be quite deceptive. As they really can be more of a liability (or an overrated / over-hyped kind of thing), versus actually being an asset to work with in practice when integrating. :grin:

This definitely this. I need to steal this and maybe explain it in another video, there is so much negativity around developers who use assets, for good reason sometimes. But knowing how to integrate assets correctly is not easy, and even harder than that is just looking at an asset page and getting a good idea of whether this will work for you or not. Maybe at the very least, people can start to learn from my mistakes, if not taking on this challenge for themselves.

Fix it in Blender? Eh, no thanks!!!

Lol, yeah I was just playing devil’s advocate there, can’t imagine someone actually wanting to do that.

What happens the very next time there’s just 2 foliage packs and 3 code plugins to work with?! :stuck_out_tongue:

For me, even just artistic scenes and not games are totally acceptable to fulfill the challenge. But I guess I would prefer something playable :sweat_smile:


August 2022 Video


Totally agree, I just bounce right off of pure dungeon crawlers. Variety is the spice of life as they say.


Greeting @simulacrumgames !

Another winner, winner, :chicken: dinner! I thoroughly enjoy your Free Asset Challenge videos! Your idea to imagine an evil warehouse with a competing AI bot reminded me of a cinematic idea I pitched to another UE developer, but I don’t believe he enjoyed it. LOL! Here it is, if you’re in for a good, short read.

Your rant in this one was much appreciated! Some indie devs take assets for granted and they end up looking very out of place against other assets in their worlds. I’m not against assets at all, but am likeminded in that they should either match your vision or be modified to match. There is much to learn with game development, and sadly, some people have these huge game ideas without realizing how much work/skill is required to have them fully realized or on par with AAA games.

Not only do I find your videos educational, your tone of voice and humor also make your challenge videos very entertaining. Please continue this series! I’m still hoping that it catches on! :wink:

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Thank you! I always appreciate your feedback. I’m a bit exhausted from the Mega Jam, but I’m still working on this month’s challenge!

I liked your Venom symbiote X Voltron story, gave me a good chuckle lol


That’s a really good idea! And it’s still on subject for the channel since I used a lot of marketplace assets for it as well. I’ll still try to get a game together for this month’s challenge and then I’ll start thinking up a script for a post mortem. Thanks for the suggestion!


September 2022 for anyone watching this thread.


Insightful feedback as always :blush:

I’ll have to remember to bring those issues up and explain in a future video, but for the record:

  1. I hope the Enhanced Input Plugin is the way of the future as it is infinitely easier (for me) to map multiple alternate inputs to the same actions, where some of them might even be chorded inputs and others are simple key taps. There would never be warnings because your project isn’t set up the same way as some demo project. A potential
    down side is you likely need to go into certain blueprints to fix the input mapping priority when you have multiple contexts, or you need to change the asset’s context reference to one that you integrated their actions into. I think that’s much cleaner and more reasonable than reconstructing input mappings/copying .ini files from demo projects.

  2. Very true, there are very rarely silver bullets, if ever. Most of the issues I have with assets being their own project are focused around project settings. For example, inputs of course, but also things like the game mode, mouse cursor, etc. So far I’ve only run into a couple assets that are technically doing things the “right way” to set up a project, but it makes it a hassle of things to decrypt if you just wanted to import it into an existing project. Something I’m not quite sure about is the DDC/caching of already done time consuming work like compiler shaders. If I create one project, open it, explore it, and spend all that time waiting for shaders to compile before I finally know what I want… And then I migrate the content to another project, I think it ends up costing double for shader compilation/disk space?

  3. Yeah, that was pretty crazy to learn. I don’t think anyone realizes that it only started spreading across the whole world in the early 1900s.


Hi @simulacrumgames !

Your Free Assets Challenge is officially one of my favorite series! As the popular phrase goes, “no cap”! I eagerly look forward to each iteration. With this one, I really appreciate your candor. The feedback from @AntiGravity along with your replies are also something that I look forward to, as you both are far more experienced with game development than myself. I learn something from you both with every post.

'+ :boom: Bonus Style Points :boom: for that brief history on Rock, Paper, Scissors! The more you know! :stars: Additional Bonus Points for the twerking, defeated character at the end! LOL!

Considering the discussion, what would be your ideal asset setup for those who would integrate the asset into an existing project? Is there a way to determine what the asset’s properties are prior to going through the time it takes to compile shaders? (please pardon my noob queries)

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Thank you so much!

I would like to see assets that “intrude” on a project as little as possible. Some examples:

  • No use of project settings (where possible)
  • All controls hooked up through enhanced input actions
  • The scripts using the input context should have it as a variable so it can be replaced easily
  • Minimal usage (or very well abstracted/encapsulated usage) of classes like GameMode and other things that the user of the asset is likely to have their own implementations of

I think it depends on what you want to confirm if you want to avoid compiling shaders. If you want to see the actual usage example of it you’re going to be waiting for the shaders. But if you just need to browse individual static meshes you’ll only need to compile shaders for that one asset when you open it. In the case a project starts up with the demo map open then you’re likely to be waiting for quite awhile as it loads everything.

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Well… it was good while it lasted. Looks like I’m going to be out of commission for while since my computer decided to fry itself earlier today. There was literally a huge spark and a small flame for about two seconds before I pulled the power, which was a fun, October appropriate, jump-scare I guess.

I was kind of thinking about looking for any good sales this year to upgrade my setup, but I guess I’ll have to get serious now.

I really appreciate the feedback from this thread and hopefully I’ll be back up and running soon. :smiling_face_with_tear:

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Oh no! :smiling_face_with_tear:

I’m so sorry to learn about what happened to your computer. I didn’t have the spark happen, but my smart watch died on me this month. Of course, this is not a comparison, but just to say that I, too, don the t-shirt of nonfunctional electronics.

I wish you a speedy return. We will certainly miss your challenge videos, but we will be here for your grand return - a la, the Second Coming of @simulacrumgames ! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

@AntiGravity , it certainly doesn’t surprise me, the inherent greed of Nvidia. Take your time, my good people.


Thanks both of you, I’ve managed to get some parts together but having issues getting anything working. Hopefully I can get back in the swing of things soon, but dealing with MSI support is a nightmare as always.

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And we’re back! (if anybody still watches this thread)

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Alas, right before 2023, we receive the Second Coming of @simulacrumgames! We’ve missed you and your creativity and commentary! I wholeheartedly agree with @AntiGravity, your thread is certainly a gem and something worth looking forward to!

This month, we are treated to a wacky, stylized pirate delivery service. The mechanics and the way the assets and environment look give this challenge a funny, cartoony vibe. I can imagine the soundtrack being something akin to Diddy Kong Racing. It seems like there’s a bit of a challenge with working the steering wheel. Although not intentional, it is kind of funny when the truck gets stuck. The unlocked, swinging doors add to the cuteness and humor of this challenge.

That was a sweet yeet aiming for the ship! LOL! I absolutely love this! If you could add one major thing to this month’s challenge that would possibly take you over the 60 hours mark, what would it be?

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Glad to be back! Thanks!

But most MP creators don’t listen to feedback. If they did they’d realize that the ability to customize an asset quickly is huge. Most are too consumed with getting volume sales.

Exactly. On one hand, I can’t really blame them for putting out what is within their capability of doing, but at the same time… I believe if they did invest more time into a single asset and focus on user customizability that would be much more profitable in the end.

Did you find you had to do much re-working of that to make it driveable?

I didn’t have to do much at all really. The meshes are all complete (mostly rocks and trees of course), the biggest issue I had was with the collision being awkward in many cases because the truck’s body is so close to the ground. This was the first time I’ve worked with vehicles and I’m not sure how complex vs simple collision is used in conjunction with things, so I tried just making most of the meshes used on the ground just “Use complex as simple”.

Really like the look of the tropical pack.

I do as well. Especially since Synty assets are so popular, I think trying to make stuff that can fit in with their style is another good way for Marketplace creators to make things that are widely usable without having to go full photo-real.

And its got almost no immediate gameplay value as is.

Yeah, I definitely had this same problem with the Wild West Town pack that was available awhile back. There was really only enough there to be used as set dressing from the front. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


I can imagine the soundtrack being something akin to Diddy Kong Racing.

I almost forgot that game exists, lol! I was really reminded of Crash Bandicoot thanks to the level aesthetic.

If you could add one major thing to this month’s challenge that would possibly take you over the 60 hours mark, what would it be?

I would have really liked to get “procedural” audio and other sound effects in. Specifically, an engine revving clip that gets modulated to the current rpm and hinge squeaking that changes with how fast the doors are being opened/closed. As well as natural background sounds that are guaranteed to never feel like they are looping, etc.

It really means a lot to me to get your feedback, the YouTube game is a really tough one to win at, but at least here on the forums having some interaction about what I made makes it feel worth the effort of sharing it. Thanks everyone! :smiling_face:

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