UX issues with how things are exposed in the editor


As I’ve had a lot of experience with Unity, one of the things that pops up a lot day to day using UE is how things are exposed in the editor.

I confess that I haven’t tried to do any kind of editor stuff in UE (will do soon), but there’s a few things that as a user stand out:

1) No default way to turn on/off components

Here’s an example of how things are done in Unity:

As you can see, there’s a checkbox right next to the component, which allows you to easily toggle it on / off.

A lot of times you just want to simply turn a component off by default, and you either have to call it in code / bp or even worse in some situations you have to check a checkbox in the middle of the options.

2) Some really important things are mixed in the middle of other options

Since I’ve been trying out MP stuff, this is a set of things that stood up for me. Here’s how the replication details look:

By default, the biggest thing that stands out is that “Replicates”, basically the checkbox that determines if this component will actually “work” is somewhere in the middle of everything else. It should be prominently displayed right at the top.

Furthermore, it should probably disable the other fields that won’t be used if this Replicates isn’t toggled on, to give a visual indication of what is affected by it. ATM this notification is only done in some attribute tooltips, like Replicate Movement, which reference that if that is on it requires Replicates to be on.

3) Some things aren’t abstracted properly

Another thing that stands out is Net Cull Distance Squared. I understand that for performance reasons the distance squared is used, but for the user it doesn’t make sense to show it like that. It should show Net Cull Distance, and then internally that gets squared and saved.

4) Disconnection with other elements (BPs)

For more than once now, I’ve had this situation where I created an RPC, and then when I’m playing it seems like my code isn’t working properly, and then it turns out that it is, I just forgot to toggle Replicates on.

When adding an RPC in BP, it should at least have a warning there letting you know that you’re trying to setup a RPC in an actor that isn’t replicating. Assuming you can toggle replication on / off, because if you can’t (which atm I honestly don’t know if you can) it should probably even show it as an error with maybe an option to enable Replicates right there (or let me know that if I try to set it, it will automatically set Replicates on).

These are all little things that IMO make it much easier to understand UE, and hence easier for people to get into it.

Nuno Afonso

+1 for the Cull Distance Squared comment. That’s actually only 15,000 units (150 meters). Which is deceptively small, and really screwed with us for a while initially. We thought the distance was enormous so never thought to try it.