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Struggling with Unreal Engine

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 649 Steviemoyne

    Hi all,

    First off: This is project work for college, I am not looking for solutions to my problems, just pointers in the right direction to attempt to solve my problems.

    I've spent the last two weeks banging my head against a wall trying to accomplish something on my own using Unreal Engine.

    Context: I'm creating an application that takes weather data from a web API over at, map it to an object and then draw it to the game world. This is all in an attempt to demonstrate how game engines can be used to show large data sets through data visualization.

    At the moment I came across VaRest plugin which offers Json support for Unreal Engine through blueprints.

    However I'm struggling with the basics of using Unreal Engine, such as actually inputting my own code (with or without using blueprints) and using the plugin that is meant to carry out the majority of my work. The whole engine feels clunky and hard to use, the various *guides* seem to just go into complex detail without accounting for someone who literally has no idea what they are doing (me).

    I can't even get my head around the plugin, in short I'm hitting a wall that my brain can't get around and it's becoming overwhelming. I realise simply saying "I don't understand any of it" isn't helpful, but honestly I can't even wrap my head around even the smallest level of detail.

    If I could drop my idea and come up with a new one I would but I've already committed to the project and starting over doesn't seem like an option.

    Thanks in advance.


  • To be honest, you've probably been a bit ambitious with this if its your first time using Unreal Engine, its arguably the toughest Engine that is openly available to get to grips with. Its incredibly powerful yes, but its because there is a lot to it, its much less user friendly than say Unity.

    Can you switch to another engine? The other option is to start from day 1 tutorials of Unreal and keep working at them until you get to the information you need, but I imagine that will be a significant investment in time. I haven't used Unreal myself much so I can't guide you past here, but if you can change your project direction, that would be my gut instinct here.

  • I'll discuss switching to Unity today with my lecturer. I'm more familiar with C# than I am C++ and the .net support Unity has might ease the workload rather than relying on a plugin for Unreal and strugging with using the UI.

  • I'll discuss switching to Unity today with my lecturer. I'm more familiar with C# than I am C++ and the .net support Unity has might ease the workload rather than relying on a plugin for Unreal and strugging with using the UI.

    Talked it over today, switching engine was ok. It's probably the best piece of advice I've gotten to date so I can't thank you enough.

    Been using Unity for all of an hour, already have json request up and running, my c++ object to contain the parsed json and a controller to handle the city list and execution of the massive json request.

    Happy days.

  • Glad to hear you got it up and running!

    If you get something interesting up and running, feel free to throw a link up here, always interested in what people get up to

  • Would be fascinated to see how you get on with this.

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  • Progress is pretty slow at the moment. I've gotten as far as getting my C# object populated and my unity game object displaying on screen. Now I'm working on trying to convert longitude and latitude into cartesian form as a way of displaying my game objects on my *earth sphere*.

    Unreal has target points, I dn't think Unity has a similar approach hence looking into the conversion.

  • Making significant progress now by my standards. I'm able to make one call and get a multiple city json response. I tie that into a *root* object that has a list of weather node objects each containing data objects (eg: city name or weather type). I can then access each individual piece of data as needed, doing nothing with the data yet apart from the coordinates.

    What I'm working on at the moment is getting the math right for placing my game objects. I convert the longitude and latitude from degrees to radians and then apply calculations to get X,Y,Z coordinates (which is completely and utterly wrong :( ). Still, progress is progress.

    I'm also working on mapping a texture to each node to have say a weather node with sunny weather show a sun image and so on. Sounds simple but I'm still figuring it out.


    Edit: Changed the game object to pull town / city name and the country code. Should make more sense now.