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Sharp decline in Official Responses from Epic throughout the community.

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    #46
    Originally posted by VictorBurgos View Post

    Please keep it on topic. This is not a discussion about documentation. There is already a sub forum devoted to that, which I am pretty sure I even have a thread on there about this. Which you linked. So anything relating to documentation should go there, not in this thread please.
    Agreed. Let's not derail this thread. We would be happy to discuss these documentation topics in the Documentation Feedback forum.
    Unreal Engine Documentation
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      #47
      How about creating a Epic Dev Council that has rotating members for a year of service (or sooner, if a person doesn't actually contribute). Anyway, the goal of this council is to consolidate all of the feedback into a single document / position paper to be discussed with appropriate Epic staff. Additionally, the group along with Epic staff would create a list of priorities that would be incorporated into longer term published plan on Trello. Finally, there must be wins... I mean, items that the council collects that actually gets implemented...or...it would just be a waste of everyone's time...

      teak

      PS: The council could start at GDC...and, each year after that a new slate of members is appointed. (or elected??)
      "A little bit of nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men..."
      -- Willy Wonka

      Smooth Zoom Camera Plugin for 4.22 here.

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        #48
        This thread hit home, but not just due to the decline of official responses. Here are my two cents on the matter:

        1. Looking at some old AH posts it seems that a lot of the "old guard" is no longer employed. Whatever the reason may be for that, I believe the team has been re-organized quite a bit to the detriment of forum interaction (I don't really care much about AH due to reasons previously discussed, it's not a place that can facilitate any sort of community)
        2. The live streams have become more "sterile". No offense to anyone involved in them nowadays, but the whole thing feels more distant and impersonal.
        3. Even the existing responses of the staff feel more "official". I understand being casual is a slippery slope since people will rip apart everything you say, but it's still something I feel was lost.
        4. The new forum software / layout is... well... it's bad. Even when we disregard conformity and the fact that this place just doesn't "feel like home", a ton of features are clunky and the whole user experience has been downgraded. I believe the current forum software is actively pushing away people.

        I could obviously be wrong on all of these, this is just my impression.
        [Submitted] Advanced Data Validation

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          #49
          Originally posted by DamirH View Post
          This thread hit home, but not just due to the decline of official responses. Here are my two cents on the matter:

          1. Looking at some old AH posts it seems that a lot of the "old guard" is no longer employed. Whatever the reason may be for that, I believe the team has been re-organized quite a bit to the detriment of forum interaction (I don't really care much about AH due to reasons previously discussed, it's not a place that can facilitate any sort of community)
          2. The live streams have become more "sterile". No offense to anyone involved in them nowadays, but the whole thing feels more distant and impersonal.
          3. Even the existing responses of the staff feel more "official". I understand being casual is a slippery slope since people will rip apart everything you say, but it's still something I feel was lost.
          4. The new forum software / layout is... well... it's bad. Even when we disregard conformity and the fact that this place just doesn't "feel like home", a ton of features are clunky and the whole user experience has been downgraded. I believe the current forum software is actively pushing away people.

          I could obviously be wrong on all of these, this is just my impression.
          Aye, I definitely agree on all your points. Which is why I wanted to bring attention to it. I love this community, love the people at Epic, love Unreal Engine, I don't want it to just "disappear" and have people wonder why it did so. (Not saying it would disappear, because come on, we know it's the best game engine ever) But here are some "devil's advocate" responses to your concerns:

          1) Changing of guard is going to happen regardless, even if you're paying them good, sometimes people leave for other reasons. But I would hope that the one you are thinking about left on their own accord.

          2) The live streams...what live streams?! I can't believe they dropped it down to once per week (only every so often we'll get a Tuesday one back). I forgot to mention that in my OP. I do wish they would get more varied community members on there though. Even so, I wouldn't mind seeing it go back to Tues/Thurs, alternating between Community/OfficialDev Tuesday Training streams.

          3) Aye, sadly we live in such a...hmm...what's a good word... "temperamental" world nowadays, anything can set someone off, get them fired, ruin their careers. GGWP Internet.

          4) Forums aren't terrible. But I do wish we could get improvements at a much faster rate. Where's the dark theme? How hard is it? S-ed had it done in less than 24 hours.
          Website/Portfolio: http://www.VictorBurgosGames.com

          Join me on stream: https://www.twitch.tv/VictorBurgosGames for UE4 Game Dev. If you need help, just stop by and ask!

          Currently looking for exciting new opportunities! Available for work!
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            #50
            Originally posted by Jeff Wilson View Post
            Agreed. Let's not derail this thread. We would be happy to discuss these documentation topics in the Documentation Feedback forum.
            Understood, but it was raised in relation to the idea / possibility of 'premium support'.
            What some of us were asking was if paying subscriptions would speed-up new docs?
            So in that sense it was a bit different from the usual docs wishlist requests elsewhere.

            Originally posted by VictorBurgos View Post
            Please keep it on topic. This is not a discussion about documentation. There is already a sub forum devoted to that, which I am pretty sure I even have a thread on there about this. Which you linked. So anything relating to documentation should go there, not in this thread please.
            I realize I'm off to the gallows, no escape. But at least send me in some good company!
            Docs were originally raised by Teak iirc and lots of others happened to chime in as well...

            But back to AH and specifically premium support. Any official reply regarding that aspect...

            Chance Ivey Hi Chance, Any thoughts?

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              #51
              Monthly jams going away as well... it feels like that hurt more than helped. The official reasoning never made any sense.
              Website/Portfolio: http://www.VictorBurgosGames.com

              Join me on stream: https://www.twitch.tv/VictorBurgosGames for UE4 Game Dev. If you need help, just stop by and ask!

              Currently looking for exciting new opportunities! Available for work!
              https://forums.unrealengine.com/comm...ars-experience

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                #52
                I agree with most of the points here.

                I'm especially wondering, now that there are quite a lot of successful UE4 games like Ark and especially PUBG, Epic has made a huge amount of money with UE4 from all those 5%. Paragon also was a success I think. Fortnite too.
                3 years ago, they didn't have that money. There they still had to live from the old UE3 money. Where is all that new money going? Shouldn't that money enable Epic to have 2 or 3 times as much staff as they had 3 years ago? Shouldn't everything accelerate quickly with so much new money flowing into Epic? More engine programmers, more support staff, more everything?

                That didn't seem to happen unfortunately, and I really wonder why. I wish Epic would be more of an Elon-Musk-kind-of-company that would be growing at 50-100% every year (in terms of employees), and I thought the financials would actually allow that due to so many successful UE4 games being released now. Wikipedia still says Epic has 250 employees (maybe 400 now?) vs Unity Technologies with 1500 employees, and Unity isn't even working on any games. How should Epic keep its lead with such a huge difference in number of employees? I want Epic to be successful of course, especially since I don't plan to ever switch engines from UE4 to anything else.
                Last edited by John Alcatraz; 11-02-2017, 01:31 AM.
                Easy to use UMG Mini Map on the UE4 Marketplace.
                Forum thread: https://forums.unrealengine.com/show...-Plug-and-Play

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                  #53
                  Originally posted by John Alcatraz View Post
                  I agree with most of the points here.

                  I'm especially wondering, now that there are quite a lot of successful UE4 games like Ark and especially PUBG, Epic has made a huge amount of money with UE4 from all those 5%. Paragon also was a success I think. Fortnite too.
                  3 years ago, they didn't have that money. There they still had to live from the old UE3 money. Where is all that new money going? Shouldn't that money enable Epic to have 2 or 3 times as much staff as they had 3 years ago? Shouldn't everything accelerate quickly with so much new money flowing into Epic? More engine programmers, more support staff, more everything?

                  That didn't seem to happen unfortunately, and I really wonder why. I wish Epic would be more of an Elon-Musk-kind-of-company that would be growing at 50-100% every year (in terms of employees), and I thought the financials would actually allow that due to so many successful UE4 games being released now. Wikipedia still says Epic has 250 employees (maybe 400 now?) vs Unity Technologies with 1500 employees, and Unity isn't even working on any games. How should Epic keep its lead with such a huge difference in number of employees? I want Epic to be successful of course, especially since I don't plan to ever switch engines from UE4 to anything else.
                  That’s so embarrassing I would hate to be Tim Sweeney right now

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                    #54
                    Originally posted by jojo8026 View Post

                    That’s so embarrassing I would hate to be Tim Sweeney right now
                    Your post doesn't contribute anything to this discussion. And Tim Sweeney is still awesome.
                    Easy to use UMG Mini Map on the UE4 Marketplace.
                    Forum thread: https://forums.unrealengine.com/show...-Plug-and-Play

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                      #55
                      Originally posted by John Alcatraz View Post
                      I wish Epic would be more of an Elon-Musk-kind-of-company that would be
                      Government funded scam, propped up by theft?

                      To not to derail :

                      -Roll back forum "update".
                      -Roll back road map "update" and improve it instead of removing it.
                      -Find alternative to AHUB.

                      Last edited by Reko; 11-02-2017, 04:22 AM.

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                        #56
                        Originally posted by Jeff Wilson View Post
                        We would be happy to discuss these documentation topics in the Documentation Feedback forum.
                        I have to say that for me this really sums up the situation the OP is describing. The fact is, even in a forum almost exclusively used by people who take their time to give feedback aimed at helping the community (rather than just requesting things they want), the majority of threads in the documentation forum have no staff response. And it's specifically this disconnect between what Epic so often say on streams and elsewhere ("We love your feedback/We'd be happy to follow it up on the forums") and the reality (for the most part, radio silence), that has led to my recent apathy with bug reporting, forum involvement, or giving any kind of feedback to Epic.

                        To give a specific example, take my last post on that board. Yes my tone could have been better, but that came at the end of a long process trying to follow up what was and still is a huge issue for me; I used to use the offline reference all day, every day. No response. Then this followed. The two threads, same issue, almost the same title, were sat there together at the top of the forum for ages. Is it any wonder people have been giving up?

                        I hope this doesn't come across as a complaint directed at you Jeff, I have no ill will towards any of Epic's staff. I know nothing of how Epic work internally, who is responsible for what, and what the priorities are. But that whole issue (beginning with my reporting a bug, then trying to follow it up, and finally just wanting some explanation of what happened) is I think a good example of what the OP, and I think many others are experiencing more and more recently.

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                          #57
                          I personally would be perfectly fine with Epic not giving out DevGrants anymore and using that money to hire more people fixing bugs (like the blocky shadow issue that's still persisting since 4.13), improving the engine & handling feedback.

                          In my opinion we would all benefit a lot more from that. But then again, after all these successful titles lately, they should have the funds already, no?

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                            #58
                            This is very serious; I've seen all this happen before ( Torque engine's community, CryEngine's, Unity's)...
                            Users began to give up those communities and flow away to something else.

                            4 years ago Unity pretty much had an exodus of users due to very familiar reasons discussed here. Turns out they had to almost triple their staff to "fix these issues".
                            They fixed lack of communication, expanded documentation and training, prioritise user feedback, bug reports and even started to update that ancient slow mono in core of the engine and made some parts of the engine code open, plus, users can check roadmap and weekly engine changes now.
                            ​​
                            Results? It's working for them; people are slowly flowing back to Unity.
                            (although they didn't fix the biggest issues: 1 - Unity doesn't develop games. 2 - Unity reputation is so bad if you have their logo attached to your game on Steam you lose sales because of it).

                            Meanwhile, Epic took opposite path... Communication is lacking, documentation is a big mess, training is community driven, user feedback is ignored, bug reports are ignored for months, roadmap is gone, engine improvement is entirely guided by Epic's own internal game projects only.

                            So, where do think all of this is going?
                            I've been told by projects leads to evaluate and learn other engines already, such as Lumberyard, "-just in case".
                            | Finite State Machine | Savior | USQLite | Object-Pool | Sound-Occlusion | Property Transfer | Magic Nodes | MORE |

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                              #59
                              Originally posted by BrUnO XaVIeR View Post
                              This is very serious; I've seen all this happen before ( Torque engine's community, CryEngine's, Unity's)...
                              Users began to give up those communities and flow away to something else.

                              4 years ago Unity pretty much had an exodus of users due to very familiar reasons discussed here. Turns out they had to almost triple their staff to "fix these issues".
                              They fixed lack of communication, expanded documentation and training, prioritise user feedback, bug reports and even started to update that ancient slow mono in core of the engine and made some parts of the engine code open, plus, users can check roadmap and weekly engine changes now.
                              ​​
                              Results? It's working for them; people are slowly flowing back to Unity.
                              (although they didn't fix the biggest issues: 1 - Unity doesn't develop games. 2 - Unity reputation is so bad if you have their logo attached to your game on Steam you lose sales because of it).

                              Meanwhile, Epic took opposite path... Communication is lacking, documentation is a big mess, training is community driven, user feedback is ignored, bug reports are ignored for months, roadmap is gone, engine improvement is entirely guided by Epic's own internal game projects only.

                              So, where do think all of this is going?
                              I've been told by projects leads to evaluate and learn other engines already, such as Lumberyard, "-just in case".
                              To add to it, Unity seems to hiring quite a few of very high profile developers like Mike Acton. I my self evaluate Unity and Lumberyard.
                              https://github.com/iniside/ActionRPGGame - Action RPG Starter kit. Work in Progress. You can use it in whatever way you wish.

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                                #60
                                Originally posted by iniside View Post

                                To add to it, Unity seems to hiring quite a few of very high profile developers like Mike Acton. I my self evaluate Unity and Lumberyard.
                                Yes; they also hired Natalya Tatarchuk.
                                If lead says we have to use Unity next year I won't even have arguments anymore to say no like I did before, specifically because they know I've built gameplay frameworks, editor tools, and some mobile games on Unity.
                                | Finite State Machine | Savior | USQLite | Object-Pool | Sound-Occlusion | Property Transfer | Magic Nodes | MORE |

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