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Unreal Engine as a Service for Developers

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    And here I was thinking that all the thumbnails in the generic browser are precached now to speed it up. Granted the sub-editors you open from within it need the renderer but atleast you wont need that clunky window underneath that breaks your taskbar.

    The whole thing of it is, Unreal Editor is really only the main window, in terms of packages its Unreal Engine that runs first and the Editor runs ontop of it. If you could access windows from outside of the Editor its not Unreal Editor solely anymore, its an Unreal Engine editing suite.

    Serious youre gonna try to sit there and tell me its worth having the Main Window open so I can press the Generic Browser button open and not touch it again apart from the quit button?


      Let's not focus on the speed of execution, but rather on the speed of development, particularly for people who aren't actually doing any level editing.

      If I'm in the editor, it's usually because I'm poking at static meshes, skeletal meshes, animtrees, just about everything under the sun that isn't a level. Frequently, I could have a half dozen various windows open, that are all rather difficult to deal with at the same time, as they overlap each other, and do not have any sort of selection interface (such as taskbar). Also, bringing any one of them forward, also brings the entire app, along with all the rest of it's windows forward.

      Another common workflow that I find myself getting stuck doing sometimes, is "test game, change code, compile code, run editor, edit something, test game". This is made slightly easier by PIE, but would be a ton easier, of course, if one could compile while the editor is open. However, PIE performance is significantly slower than closing the editor first, then opening the game. Also minimizing the editor, also minimizes the PIE view.

      Lastly, when someone commits a resource I want to work with, if they don't copy the full name of the new resource into their commit information, I often find myself loading the editor solely to find the resource in the content browser, fully loading the package, right clicking on it, and selecting "Copy Full Name To Clipboard", then closing the editor.


        The only thing I ask is for the content browser and all the other windows be able to minimize. I want them to become small bars in the bottom of UDK screen.

        Not being able to minimize them is driving me nuts. I can't stand it.


          I am wondering the same thing.

          I wasn't sure if it was a rant, a rave, or if he was giving up on the platform all together.


            I gave up on unrealed along time ago, Its got some great features but these issues drive me insane. I know they are small but when youre used to working a certain way having to go back to some arcane method that doesnt even support windows correctly is just annoying.

            Its not a rant or a rave, its a serious proposal to Epic Games to make the Unreal Engine/Editor better for everyone, not only myself, to use. I really dislike applications/tools that steal the sub-windows, its poor design since every main window has a minimize, close and maximize by default and they work with the taskbar.

            I will consider giving up on the platform if the proposal isnt taken seriously, I really think the community, not only myself, has alot to give Epic but I get the impression they arnt listening. It makes me sad about the state of the industry as a whole, where companies that seemed so intune with their fanbase pretty much forget about them in favour of new rabid fans. There are those of us that have been Epic Gamers over 15 years, modders on Unreal Technology going on 10 if not more years for some of you.

            Im really not going anywhere but I will switch platforms if the need arises. I just wish there was a voice for all of us using UDK at Epic Games, someone whos not out for their own ends but the betterment of the community at large. See this modification to the engine would not only cover Epic's production pipelines but every single Unreal Engine using company thats going to release a product on newer builds.

            @Blade: You are bang on the money and understand exactly where Im coming from with this, all these scenarios are ones Ive been through time and time again over the, 3 years is it? using Unreal Engine 3. Not only have I had to work through these myself, I see a zillion tutorials explaining the same poor workflow because of the Unreal Editor, I also see artists and programmers alike who struggle with the interface on a daily basis.


              Interesting chat, well I agree with most of arguments here, there are some issues that can be improved in UDK,
              but in my opinion a lot of that can be saved for later, UDK is still developing...
              And I agree we should all talk about it and give our feedback to epic...
              I am also using the editor for years now and kinda got my work flow down and I am enjoying it,
              I must say, comparing to some of the other not so fancy game engines UDK is awesome!

              The issue with not being able to compile while having the editor open,
              I "try" to avoid that by running the game from frontend or use a shortcut,
              I always save the links of the newly imported content to a txt file or paste it directly in the game class as comment, etc...
              So I guess we all have our work flow, but yeah it took some time to get to this point!


                I've seen some software where you have a concept of role-tailored interface whereby depending on what you need to do with the tool, the UI is laid out so the functions you'll use the most are easily reachable. Translated into Unreal terms, it's along the lines of:

                - Animator Mode : Viewports are replaced with Content browser, AnimTree and Animset editors, PHAT.
                - Artist mode : Content browser, Material Editor, Cascade, Matinee
                - Level Scripter : Viewports, Matinee, Kismet

                A "simple" way to achieve that would be having the ability to dock any of the editor's windows inside one of the 4 viewport areas.

                Now that I think about it, CryEngine's Sandbox Editor allows that (but doesn't have the role-preset layouts).


                  Ahh yes I know what you mean and thats a brilliant thought, 3dsmax allows something similar by having the context sensitive quadmenu which brings the tools you need at the time to the forefront while leaving the ones that dont function in that mode out. You can ofcoarse force modes by using keyboard shortcuts also.

                  If the editor were more intuative it could adjust itself accordingly as well without being forced into modes, for example, I run tuneup system utilities which optimizes my system as I boot apps. Unreal could do similar in a service mode shuffling things around to make what you most need more accessible.

                  Speaking of the quadmenu, Id love one in UE3 that we could modify Then I could say, make a set of actors, put them on the quad as defaults for our project. Even commonly used prefabs/archtypes could get stuck somewhere under project primatives.


                    I'm by no means much of a programmer, but ever since maya got jacked up on QT, it's made me take on a whole new perspective on writing my own scripts to ease my workflows.

                    I mean on so many fronts, not only has the integration of QT given maya the much deserved face lift but has also alleviated many problems with the functionality of the UI and it's issues with being cross-platform compliant....

                    What are your thoughts on QT?


                    Although, I'd like to see the content browser evolve into something like this:


                    It's a win explorer alternative that makes files management so much more it works with many popular svns with color coding and everything! The thing I like about it the most is that you can setup profiles that are specific to your file management needs.

                    So lets say you have two projects you're working could totally configure two different profiles to display all of the folders that you are dealing with via tabs (directories that are specific to your needs), pane styles (icons or images), etc can go nuts with organizing the **** out of your ****!!!

                    Couple it with SharpEnviro and you've just alleviated yourself from a crappy windows shell and file manager!


                    I know virtual desktops (not that the aforementioned is known for...) is nothing new, but it makes it so much easier to switch between multiple projects without everything getting...grr, scrinch, bleh...squished together into an incomprehensible conundrum!

                    [2nd Edit]

                    I don't know if this is a fact...but I think* xplorer² supports plugins...perhaps one could be written to support the reading and management of unreal's proprietary formats? I mean it does supply you with a previewer pane(which supports many file types including pdfs) that I believe is completely plugin friendly?

                    At the very least, one could get xplorer² to display the cached thumbnail of whatever asset that's contained within...maybe? I dunno?

                    I guess I'd first pay a visit to the xentax to freely explore questions pertaining to unreal's file formats....


                    I'm just farting in the wind though with whatever I hope is not none*-sense! lols


                      Updated the OP, it now contains another idea on Materials as Sub-Expressions to allow deeper functionality and more reusability of materials.