Download

What, a beginner, must know about the workflow before starting? (multiple questions)

Hi, I’m a complete beginner. I’m able to use Blender and I’ve studied programming (not in an expert level), so I want to face the game engines. I’ve watched some UE4 tutorials and I have learnt things for sure, but they’re all separated and I want to understand how to “locate” them in a workflow.
My questions are related to 3D, third person videogames. Just think to a videogame like the old Tomb Raiders, as structure, where you climb and jump in a precise way, pick up items ecc.
Some questions that I have, as noob, are:

  1. When I create models on Blender, what is the correct level of segmentation of the objects? I mean, how much it’s better to import, for example, an entire house as entity, with all its shapes and details, instead of separated objects? And why? Since I want to let the character to climb on any 90° degrees ledge with a sufficient offset from the wall, is it better to separate as much as possible the objects before importing?
  2. What is, generally, the priority list when creating a videogame? I mean, I have 3D models, I have textures and normal maps, so all is ready to be imported. Well, “when” it’s better to create the materials? And “when” it’s better to create the environment? And “when” to associate the animations to some reactions? And the lights?
  3. What are the most common errors for a beginner, in terms of managing the project (not in detail)?
  4. What is the advantage of using C++ instead of the Blueprint? I see the option while creating new projects but I can’t understand what is the limit of the Blueprint that should make me decide to use C++, instead.
  5. What could be some preliminar suggestions to start with the right management of the hardware resources, avoiding wastes of memory? I know the logical concepts (or… “values”) of a powerful programming and I would apply them where I can, it’s only that in UE4 I don’t know exactly where I can. What are the most heavy elements in UE4, that consume space in the hard disk and need some smart managing? And which ones consume the RAM for the most? I am talking about the imported elements and also the involved features of the game engine in a project.

For now it’s all.
Thanks in advance
Denise/Italy

  1. Depends on how big the things are. If your house is doll sized, the whole house can be a mesh. If you’re just going to be on the outside of the house, ditto. However if you want to go inside (and make it big enough to be able to go inside), it’s better to split it up so the engine can cull the parts not in camera view.
  2. Everything depends on what your goal is. For instance, I know my computer is not very good, so I focus on AI/level generation code and not meshes/textures/whatever. I set up the level using default meshes within UE4 and once I was satisfied with the general layout, I imported meshes and textures and replaced the Set Static Mesh template cube with Set Static Mesh skyscraper.
  3. Failing to make backups/use version control.
  4. C++ is more performant. However if you don’t plan to have 1000s of AI at the same time in the level, it shouldn’t matter.
  5. As far as HDD space goes, UE4 itself wants quite a lot. Then there are the backups it makes - those can easily go into multiple GBs even for a fairly small project (200+ MB). While they might be useful, I am using a version control service so I prune the /Intermediate and /Saved folders from time to time. As far as RAM is concerned, watch out for physics and culling. Especially physics. But in general, don’t worry about it unless it’s an issue.

Best thing you can do to learn the workflow and figure out how the pieces get together is to watch video series (or even a text tutorial if you prefer) about the creation of an entire simple game. Later on you’ll know how to use these “isolate parts” because you’ll be understanding the whole.

Have you watched Unreal’s oficial tutorials? Here goes some:

3rd person game: BP 3rd Person Game: Introduction | 01 | v4.8 Tutorial Series | Unreal Engine - YouTube
Twin-Stick Shooter game: - YouTube

In these two series you’ll see maaaany subjects and how they get together. Take your time, study them at your pace.
Regarding some of your questions:

  1. The most common error I’ve seen in beginners is by FAR misunderstanding the scope of a game and trying to make a big game instead of a small one. BEGIN WITH SMALL GAMES, I cannot stress that enough.
    4)If you’re new to programming and to game development, I’d say start with Blueprints and bother with C++ later on. C++ is more perfomant, as @Zireael07 said, but you generally won’t need that if your doing small games or just studying.
  2. Build up as you go. Maybe you are too much concerned with details/advanced stuff when you should concern more with simple game development, because, as you stated, you are a beginner. So learn how to make games first, and then bother with advanced/specific stuff.

Good luck! And welcome to Unreal community =)