Development Blog 2 - Workflow

I started developing a new game at the beginning of 2018, one of the first big challenges was to decide the workflow of the project. This means that I had to choose all the programs I'll use for the next months and tweak them to fit as needed. The collaboration between multiple programs is often not as straightforward as it should. I remember when I first start using Unreal Engine, Blender was not officially supported (and for what I know, still isn't) and all the fbx files out of Blender use to look terrible in UE4, so bad to question even if name Blender was too meta (eheh... that's a joke). The whole Blender community was waiting for one single (mostly unknown) person to fix the fbx file exporter, Epic itself donated money to the blender foundation to get the problem sorted out, the situation was critical. During one of the streams, the Unreal Engine team itself was explaining how to use Blender with UE4, but even they ended up having problems and showed only the most basic tasks.

My double screen setup for UE4.

I may understand the difficulty from Epic side to support an open program like Blender, but it goes against the whole concept of making game development more accessible, one of the basic of UE4. Some years past and now the two programs work smoothly together and I ended up picking this great couple to develop my latest game. Setting them up correctly allowed me to increase my efficiency in developing the game. To complete my workflow, I use some of the Allegorithmic programs, Bitmap2Material to clean some assets and mostly Substance Painter for the most complex models. In these years I always kept exploring all the tools inside of UE4, and due to the vastity and depth of this engine, I find myself less prone to use other programs, UE4 is designed to be feed by basic assets that are than dynamically used to create new ones.

My double screen setup for Blender.

The key point is to create a solid workflow, in this GDC talk the developers at Dice already showed how spending time in the workflow can speed the development later on. Yet, being stuck in a workflow for months can lead to overthinking everything even before the development begins...