Where to Even Begin

So for the past few weeks a few friends and I have been kicking around ideas for a game, and have finally gotten to the point we have a few very large trees. These trees resemble logic trees, and go from characters and their move set/equipment all the way to environment. We have almost everything except a story.

So now the fun begins. You open up UE4 and have a few tabs containing documentation and YouTube videos open, but it still has an almost empty feeling. As I am making this game, I notice that I am slowly but surely basically cloning the YouTuber’s game. Which, in my opinion, is not how originality is created. (not to mention the other issues copying brings)

I have searched on the forums and noted that this question has been asked a lot. But the problem is almost always the top answer revolves around watching a video. I guess the point being, I have no real qualm using the engine. I suppose its more of a problem in the order at which you are creating things. Do you start with the characters? Level design? AI and character programming? (or blueprinting)

All in all, I suppose I am just wondering where people with much more experience than I begin. I have created an excel document that acts somewhat like a “project schedule” in order to plan out and give deadlines to my work. That is when I noticed, I have no idea what comes first. Any help from the seasoned for this poor pleb?

I generally flesh out the mechanics first in order to see if an idea is fun or worth exploring. This prototype will have very basic UI elements. Just to get me going

Then I polish. I already have the frame work built with the prototype.

I user videos/documentation to accomplish specific task i can’t figure out. Over time you will build a bit of foundational knowledge in and require less tutorials.

I would also think about creating some rough documentation on what you want to do. Creating a few flow charts in for logic helps with having direction. Also knowing what you want to do helps prevent from just chasing your tail.

Finally, I would start small.