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Upset at Unreal Engine's "half-effort" documentation for controlling an AI character

Hello,

If none of you have seen my posts in the past, I just wanted to let you know that I am Unity user still trying to fully start doing all my projects in Unreal, and I have been an Unreal Engine subscriber for some time now. I posted a while ago that I wished there more tutorials, especially written ones, like this, so when I found this in the documentation I was so excited!!! : "Behavior Tree Quick Start Guide
The Behavior Tree Quick Start Guide walks you through the process of creating a NavMesh, creating an AI Controller, creating a Character that will be controlled by that AI Controller, and creating all the parts necessary for a simple Behavior Tree. " This link is at https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/AI/BehaviorTrees/QuickStart/index.html

So as I was so euphorically(think about it: step by step into simple AI!) going through it, I hit section 9, called “Make a Service”(https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/AI/BehaviorTrees/QuickStart/9/index.html). Now as you go down the page it asks you to create a HUGE blueprint graph, one that needs massive zooming to see parts of it, without a step by step explanation process that was done previously in the tutorial(see the image(https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/images/Engine/AI/BehaviorTrees/QuickStart/9/fullGraph.png) link

. Further down the page it says "Here is what is going on in this graph: " and goes on to state 7 sentences to say what is “going on” in the graph. So of course I stop here, and I knew what I expected was too good to be true. The sentences do no justice at all to the image, and to me the tutorial becomes no different than other ones that build all this extra code before you start it, while claiming to teach you the topic. So what I want to say to the Unreal Staff is that, I understand it is your right to do documentation this way. The learning curve will probably never be climbed by someone like me. All I ask is that you put something at the beginning stating that it will not be a fully detailed tutorial covering every aspect along the way so that someone like me doesn’t spend so much time starting a tutorial they will never be able to finish. Again, I am not trying to attack Unreal, as I have been a subscriber, and I probably will continue to do so, but I know my own limitations when it comes to creating more complex projects, I’ll crawl back to my Unity skills. Please take this as constructive criticism and nothing else. Thank you for reading this!

what part are you having trouble with?

also while we are on the subject of blueprint tutorials,
beats me why they dont provide a .txt file of these huge blueprints along with the image.
they must know you can select all the nodes, copy (ctrl-c), open a txt file, paste (ctrl-v).
then the person following the tutorial can copy the text and paste it into a blueprint graph.
as long as you make all the necessary variables before you paste it will (should) work.

Blueprints could be treated as modules and as such sharing them would be easy.

Hey malospam,

Thanks for the feedback. You make some good points. It can often be difficult to keep the balance between too much detail and not enough, though in the case of a quick start meant for someone unfamiliar with a topic, I would say we should err on the side of more detail.

Providing text files of the snippets is an interesting idea as well (and yes we know you can copy and paste nodes). The problem I would be worried about is keeping those up to date, but that is the same problem we face with snippets in general. It’s definitely feasible, though I would much rather use the snippet system that is in the works. I’ll see what we can do to help people in this area.

Hi Jeff,
Thanks for responding. So what do you recommend the next step to be for someone like me. I don’t understand why there is a use of “Multisphere Trace for Objects” and “Single Line Trace by Channel” are used. I mean I understand the obvious need to find the location of the controlled pawn and then the need to see if the AI pawn can see the player pawn, but are there not easier ways to accomplish this? If I’m the only one who has asked this than wow I must be really behind/slow at this, but is it possible you could briefly discuss simpler ways to accomplish this goal. Thanks again for taking time out of your schedule to respond.

hey tegleg how do you do the txt blueprints? are they on a specific website?

yeah, that looks pretty in-depth to me, I’d like to use it but now I’m about scared to. that’s a lot to figure out on your own.

I’ve seen this a lot not just here but in almost every Industry, the one doing the tutorial or teaching the subject already knows it by heart & uses it everyday or is second nature to them, so they think nothing of it.

Then there’s the problem of presenting it to a wide audience, some might know how to do this or do it in another way, some might be able to muscle through it, while some may not have a clue. (ie: me usually)
(still wondering who ‘Self’ is after glancing thru this tutorial, referring to the ‘Self’ node. lol)

but, you struck a nerve on a subject that has stuck in my mind since I started with UE

so instead of filling your post up, I went ahead and made a suggestion post here:
https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?53023-Date-Stamps-Version-Stamps-amp-More-(Docs-Wiki-Tutorials)

Jeff, besides everything said previously, if you could get the tutorial writers to add the following link to the part of the documentation tutorial (“How to Use Raycasts (Tracing) in Blueprints” https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Gameplay/HowTo/UseRaycasts/Blueprints/index.html ), I know it would help newbies like me alot even if it is a tangent to the main tutorial.

Thanks for noticing ayretek, my thoughts exactly. I found this link in the documentation: How to Use Raycasts (Tracing) in Blueprints(https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Gameplay/HowTo/UseRaycasts/Blueprints/index.html), and it seems to explain the basic process. I think this should be somehow integrated into the section, but I am glad that someone else was on the same page as me, because I couldn’t imagine someone doing this for a first or even a couple of times and just breezing past that part!!!

yeah, it’s a great subject and will probably jump on it soon, in fact, I think I need this pretty soon actually. not to mention the one you linked.

but yeah, search and delve into docs, I use google search a lot, it’s just the dead ends that kill me. I usually wind up just experimenting and sorta, hit-miss scenario to bull thru some of these. it’s harsh but it usually works out and I learn a lot, altho my computer smokes a lil’ sometimes :wink:

no they are not on a website.
its something that you could do with kismet on ue3 that not many people knew about.
i had a large blueprint network on a project and wanted to transfer it to another, so i tried it and it worked!
just select the nodes you want and copy/paste into a text file, then copy/paste the text into a blueprint graph.
i was just suggesting it might be useful to include on tutorials, its also a great way to share blueprints.

glad you found the raycast link, hope you can move forward with your project now