Dipping My Toes Into UE4

Today I began working in Unreal Engine 4. I am following along a tutorial that was linked from the Unreal Engine launcher about making a turn based game.

The video seems a little fast paced and I have had to pause it frequently to follow along. Part of this is because I am working on one monitor and need to switch windows. The other part is I am familiarizing myself with how to use the interface. It is fairly intuitive but I did have to Google how to perform some actions.

The blueprint system for programming is actually pretty cool. Super powerful for people who have never written code by hand before.

Reducing Draw Calls

In this particular tutorial the instructor is using Instanced Static Meshes for floor tiles to reduce draw calls. One of my goals when I get to making games more full time is to have a good many of them be playable on average hardware so optimizations like this interest me.

I did a little research and as far as I can tell there are a lot of optimizations that can be used to cut down on the graphic work such as LODs (Level of Detail), Occlusion, and a few others.

When it comes to Static Mesh vs Instance Static Mesh there are a couple trade offs. If all the objects being drawn are on the screen, Instance Static Meshes win hands down. However, if just one of the meshes in the Instance Static Mesh group are on the screen they all get drawn. Because of this it is better to use Instance Static Meshes for piles of things that are likely to be drawn on the screen at once, like a pile of gems.

Looking forward to learning more about this powerful engine.

Keep getting wiser, stronger, and better.

I Want to Be a Better Developer