Archives for : Tutorials

Python for Unreal Engine Editor Tools Scripting

Not so long ago (year and half or so) i did post a punch of Unreal Engine python scripts that can be helpful to boost the editor productivity.

And due to the lack of knowledge for that part of the engine, it was a bumpy “but fun” learning experience to learn the unreal editor python scripting.
At that time, i was already started working on my own educational materials to cover the topic from start to end, and i had the honor to give a handful amount of classes in that.

Today, i’m glad to announce that this knowledge will be live as my “first” online course beyond the YouTube videos!

You can learn more about it from the promo below, or the couse page link below

Personally, i didn’t find a huge difference between putting a series of video on YouTube and putting it somewhere else..Or may be it is just me, who give the same amount of care to all my work…Idk! I would say the only difference between putting the famous Tanks series (as a 6.5 Hours course) on YouTube, and putting Python for Unreal Engine Editor Tools Scripting (as 4.0 Hours course) on other platforms, is that the later one needed a fancy promo (which was another learning experience ^_^) and been re-recorded ~8 times ^_^!!!

And with that said, I would like to thank few people, starting my parents for the unlimited amount of things they made for me, my wife for taking the kids away for the parks of Chengdu during my recording time! And Epic games & the entire Unreal Engine team (specially the learning master Luis Cataldi) for making this possible! Last but not least, would like to thank my friend Minu Jeong (the python wizard) for convincing me to give python a last chance!

Anywyas, that’s my news for today, and i hope you enjoy the course!


Terrain Sculpting Eraser

Several weeks ago I had a discussion with a friend regarding some of the terrain tools limitations within Unreal Engine comparing to other tools we used to use, and that discussion made me interested into checking and digging more into that part of Epic’s source-code, and see if it can be juicy enough to drive me into an adventure of adding stuff.

While the first thing we had in mind, was the layers system, both of us used to deal with some in-house engines that support layers sculpting, something similar to what you can see in Mudbox or ZBrush, but for terrain. You can’t imaging the amount of productivity and creativity that can be reached with such a system. And with that as a driving force, I started to write some code for a layers based terrains sculpting. It didn’t take much time, couple of days I guess, until I started to find some code that seems familiar and make sense, and by keep tracking it, I found out that Epic is actually doing the same feature at the same time, but it is experimental, and require to be activated from within the editor preferences. So I stopped working on that feature, and decided to just share that finding!

With that kida dead end, I decided to kill that feature branch, and start on the second thing we have in the list of “How to make terrain workflow in UE4 much robust“, which was the eraser.

Erasing brush is not something exist within Unreal (yet!) and it can be super super useful in many scenarios. So I decided to put one in to UE4, and after couple of weeks to making and replacing to find the best use case, I ended up on a decent erasing brush, but on day while merging the latest master into my feature branch, i got some conflicts and errors due to some matching naming conventions for a new tool called “Erase Brush” !!!! I did build the master to check it, and found out it is something very recent been made by one of Epic’s team, but fortunately it is totally different than what I’ve been building, while epics eraser is basically a Flatten brush that is hard-coded to zero, which means it always erase the terrain values to a flat surface, the eraser I’m working on in more of erasing what you been sculpted, and leave you with a previous iteration of your work!

And with that in mind, I decided to clean up my branch, rename all my new functions and data, and give the tool a proper name that more describing it’s usage, and do a pull request in order to have it within UE4.

What been added?

There are couple of new options within the context menu of the sculpting layer, the first one is “Fetch a restore point” which is the core step of using the erase brush, this option will keep a snapshot of the current terrain data as it is. The reason this feature is added, is to make the erase sculpted brush more robust in terms of erasing any part of the terrain to a previous sculpted value, not erasing to a flat surface with a high of zero.

The second new item within the context menu is “Reset to restore point”, as the name implies, this will revert the entire terrain layer to the saved restore point. At anytime while sculpting, can just revert to the base restore point without doing a hundred Ctrl+Z.

The third addition is the brush itself, which is located within the drop-down list of the sculpting brushes. This brush works as any other brush, just press and drag across the terrain, the result will be cleaning the brushed areas to reset them to the restore point. So this eraser is not cleaning to the default flat terrain, but to something the user already have sculpted.

Test Case

What about a test case to explain more?
This is a terrain with some sculpted areas, hills and valleys. The artist like it, so just did “Fetch a restore point” to be able to return to it or to any part of it in the future.

Then the artist kept sculpting up, down, smoothing and flatten some areas

But want to bring back the two simple hills that was at screen left and screen right, so simply can use the erase brush, and brush the needed areas. And the final result will be containing what been liked in the new sculpt mixed with what been liked from the old sculpt.

Finally, you can get all the code for that feature into your own Unreal fork from this pull request!


Breaking down The Rats of “A Plague Tale”

Will try to not speak too much, and leave it to the content to handle the talk. With the most recent gameplay video of the amazing anticipated game (at least for me) A Plague Tale, I was fascinated by the rats in that demo, and I’ve seen some people speaking about the possibilities of having this in the final game, and others saying the game would fail to include that amount or would launch with less rats as a downgrade. So I wanted to put a proof of concept that this amount of rats and even 10x times more is still doable (speaking from Unreal + Niagara point of view). And at the same time, knock a new tiny closed door for the Unreal Engine users, to show that the huge world and possibilities relying beyond that door.

I’ve done many similar things in the past with Unreal and Cascade , some was experimental and others really saw some light. So I wanted this time to go ahead, do it with Niagara, Unreal and Epic’s tool-set. I used to have some 3DsMax and Maya custom built scripts, that give kinda similar results, but I wanted this time to use official unreal (4.22) not my own fork, and use any & every thing available to everyone (same max script, same rigging methods,…etc.) so I show some light in a direction that most of the users might not see. So, I hope I did good job with this one.

The full project source (will be updated with new tips as soon as I allocate more time to that project) is free and open for anyone on github:

And the tutorial, already uploaded (FINALLY!!!) to you tube in two different versions, as defined below:

  • Short Tutorial, ~10 minutes, which including the main steps, guidelines, the breakdown of the method and highlighting the core tips of the process.
  • Full Tutorial, ~37 minutes, which including every single detail about the process starting from getting the mesh, ending up with the entire map full of 50k reactive rats!
Watch it to get an idea, or if you want to not follow a step-by-step in detail guide

Watch it if you want to follow a step-by-step in super tiny detailed guide


“I Burn”, My entery for Ludum Dare #44

Play Here

While I recently barely can find some free time after fulfilling my personal obligations, I took a decision, to not miss Ludum Dare this time, been couple of jams I try to enter, but always get busy and never deliver the game, and archive to the folder of death (a folder full of dead projects). And in order to do that, and to start giving myself a sense of a “MUST” take it to the end, I started to vote to the theme as I used to do for the past 10 years, but this time publicly by sharing my vote on twitter.

Ironically, the final jam theme, came one of my choice =D When I done the voting, I pick the ones i feel they are unique and vote for them +1, the ones that might be good or soso, i give them 0, and for the ones that i don’t like or repeated, i give them 0 as well instead of -1, as I hate giving negative review to the topics…Or to anything!!!

I spent almost all the first day with my family and trying to get the idea, while i should have got an idea within few minutes from the fact I’ve voted +1 to that theme..But that was not the case!
I’ve drafted on paper near 10 ideas or more, and few more came from my wife, and eventually didn’t like any..Day 1 is done, so I had to go to bed, so I can think freshly next day 😀
And while trying to sleep with the feel of guilt for wasting the entire day, I got the idea of the candle burning, it makes perfect sense, you play as a candle, you burn and melt, which means you dying or losing your life, and that is the currency for someone else, could be the person you light for. And while 1 day was already lost, and I’ve only one more day for the jam (yes, jam is 3 days, but my free time is limited this time, as I’ve to go to work on Sunday) I decided to think more about the idea, and about making it, but in smaller scope, and there it came the idea of the candle standing, you watching it dying, and you reading a punch of text on the screen. Later before submission, and after making the build, I decided to remove the text part, and let you (the player) to make your own text/story when you watch it reflecting some of your stories or memories.

The final game

Next day, I started right away to work on the game, I’ve made a ton before, and I know my process, so make the character, rig it, animate it & sculpt some details. And while I knew i’ll be using Unreal since the voting process, I wanted to try Unity’s new features, nothing better than learning new things while in rush! So I started moving my assets to make the game in Unity3d to try out the new HDRP and Shader graph, and that was a huge disappointment, don’t get me wrong, Unity is doing good job by adding all those new stuff, but as after 3 hours, I didn’t get any satisfying results, I can’t rely on Unity for this jam. This could be from the fact that all those features were in the preview section, and not ready yet for every scenario. So I decided to hump unreal and just proceed on my initial plan.

That thin candle have very complicated animations and workflow for a 2 days game!

When I did show the game to my friends, some of them asked about the animation, if it is simulated or cached. The answer is no, it is a a mix of 3 layers or techniques, a rig made of ~5 bones + Blendshapes + VertexShader animations. All the 3 of them working together in bringing that final result without having issues in a method dominating or fighting to own the vertices (there are trivial issues indeed though, but this is due to the limited time).

One important element for me, is the visual story telling, at the end of the day the only gameplay you do in that game, is pressing the “Quit” button at the end ^_^ apart from that, all happens mentally, you watch, observe, feel, and your brain will be building a story within your head, and all that will happen at the right empty space, where text used to be! This is not necessarily to happen, but this was what I tried to force the game to do to you! And in order to do that, light, color, camera & music never been enough, and this is the no.1 reason I decided to sculpt the face to go through phases while melting. which are in order:
Normal, Surprised, Sad, Smiley while reaching the end of life. A life ends with a tiny glimpse of a smile is essential!

Several blendshapes that been sculpted to be used. The highlighted one is the main skinned mesh.

Another last thing, I want to highlight in that project, is the visual quality, the reason I didn’t built the game in Unity was not about the broken tools, I can accept them and deal with them, but was the lacking of ability to achieve real wax at real-time, with real life light scattering around. But in Unreal, results can speak for themselves!
Have the chance to carve and create a very high quality of sub-surface scattering that works perfectly and respond realistically to the flames light, that is a thing!

The only thing i regret, is not making some normal map or melting liquid reaching the floor!


Graphics debugging in Mirage

After Vulkan based investigations I made few years ago, I started right away in my self-driven-like-a-lost-fish-in-the-ocean heavy experimentations in order to prepare the path for myself to start in creating a Vulkan (only) based engine. Till this moment I’ve built several 3d apps/engines, two crappy ones (one crapy & one crashy!), and the current one which is in progress and (hopefully) will be the best of the worst! The first two iterations contained a ton of branches at the repository, enough to confuse me, not to mention the thousands of lines commented either because it is not working, or because I was testing with. And crashes all the time for no safety or assertion check!

I learned a lot since that post, especially because I was officially super far far away from graphics coding for near a decade (fixing Unreal bugs or writing shaders not really something to count -_-). Glad to say, a TON of lessons learned from trial & error and happy to say no hardware loss yet =D. But the most important lesson was the must of getting as far away as possible from using short cuts combinations, as I always either forget them, or re-assign several tasks to the same short cut, and sometime it get worst (keep reading about that unique case). And try more to invest in a better solution. Today’s issue that I want to highlight as part of the short cuts, is the debugging, view-modes & visualizations.

Since I started at the first engine iteration, NSight and Renderdock have always been my lovely friends, can’t deny the great help i got from them, not only to detect issues, but also to learn more about the new API. But at the same time can’t ignore the time get wasted sometimes to visualize or dig deep into something related to my passes or shaders. Not to mention that I was assigning the debug views into the numeric keys in my keyboard next to tilde’~’ (0-9) but as soon as I exceed that number, it started to be messy and a big as hell issue from all aspects!

Coming for a huge Unreal Engine based background, I must get some inspiration, I’ve always admired the tools in there, the ideas and the quality is top notch, so I decided to learn from that good user experience, and try to do a similar thing.

I loved this endless list of Unreal Engine viemodes and visualizers, and I found it will be a good milestone for my engine, in order to make it more usable and user friendly, even if it is not something that will be used by millions of users, but still, making it great is a priority in order to push my productivity and experience. So,…I started working on it!

After I finished adding similar solution, and I became very satisfied about it, and freed the memory allocated in my brain to remember near 20 use of keys and combinations. I came to the two major question I always like to ask:

  • How to make my implementation different from the inspiration source “Unreal Engine”?
  • How to make it better than any other engine exist?

I run away to check how Unity implemented this user experience, at the end of the day, Unity3d & Unreal Engine is the most common and diverse with features free and accessible engines out there. Unfortunately found it handled through the post-processing stack profile new thing. Which makes it much less usable than Unreal Engine, and makes it far away from my goals.. Making it better. But I appreciate the ability to edit parms foreach mode! Which became an inspiration for something else (will discuss in another post).

This led me to a bit of confusion, but that was good phase, and now I’m really happy to be confused. Because this confusion made me decided to add one more essential question to ask myself, which should help me in defining the how of making the inspiration better. The question was “Why I want it to be better than Unreal Engine ones?” ! The How doesn’t matter, or in another meaning, the How will be easily defined by the Why.

While I used to use Unreal 3 and now 4 for almost a decade, and have always been happy user and satisfied with those type of tools in there, asking myself the “Why” question helped me to see what been a hidden element in my user experience, and putting my hands on the reason that could led to decreasing my usability sometimes. That hidden element was the ability to compare between different views or buffers at the same frame in a decent way. I know Unreal have the “Overview” thing, but this show several buffers, far from each-other and even worst, in tiny squares.

For me, most of the time I was flipping between different views to check for whatever i look for. When I had those modes linked to the keyboard buttons in my code, I was able to toggle quickly between any two different viewmodes or buffers, and check whatever I’m seeking. So, my issue in the mapped keys was the hilarious numbers of shortcuts I need to remember, but my blessing with the mapped keys was the ability to compare in an efficient way. Voilà !

And that was the outcome of this personal brainstorming. To make it better, I need to fulfill the need of being able to easily compare the modes/buffers.

As soon as I switch to anything, but the final lit mode, a tiny lil slider will show up, to allow me in doing the “Split Visualization” of the modes. Not only that, but also I can compare two different materials/shaders assigned to the same mode (you can see cell shaded material in the video below for example). Later I’ll blog more about my implementation for the viewmodes, as there are some nice stuff going on under the hood, and some optimization tricks I made in order to not fall again into the issues or crashes I got at the first iteration. Not to mention some Vulkan tricks been learned the hard way.

Last time I blogged about Vulkan I said I’m 50/50 sure about it. But after ~couple of years by now since I started with VK, and more than what I ever wrote of lines been written in those crappy engines, I’m glad to say I’m 99% sure about it. And no\ way back to OGL! I’ll try to blog frequently about Mirage engine, and if all goes smooth to the end of my plan, I might put the entire Mirage source online. Not sure yet!

And of course, the model is Emily.



reNode for Houdini (Tool & case Study)

When it comes to working with node based editors, some people (me at least) takes it to a whole new level of madness and mental disorders. Where a fair amount of time always spent in trying hard to make the connection lines straight, or trying as much as possible to make the graph looks artistic even if it takes to add some useless nodes for decorations 😀 I won’t mind adding a 100 reroute node within Unreal Engine just to make the simplest graph looks very tidy.

And came from that background, I decided to try out something new with my graphs, which is adding custom node shapes into Unreal & Houdini. Let’s mention the Houdini case here, as it’s clearly the target of this group.

Please welcome my reNode v1.0


reNode is a C# based tool (standalone application). That allow you to create your own custom node shapes and then use them right away in Houdini.

The process is as follow:

  • Draw the node shape
  • Save it’s file
  • Copy it from the C drive to the shapes root of Houdini​, Restart Houdini
  • You can use it!

Watch that quick video:

When I got the idea of having my own custom node shapes, I started looking around Houdini directories itself, at the end of the day lots of apps, SDKs and tools keep tons of things not packed or encrypted. This worked a lot with me in the past, you can check out the Uinty3d case if you didn’t already. Back to Houdini, it didn’t take much time to find the node shapes library folder:

E:\Program Files\Side Effects Software\Houdini 16.5.268\houdini\config\NodeShapes

As a very friendly file format for me, the JSON seemed very different this time. I was not able to understand it quickly, so I decided to check first if it is even possible to add new shape by duplicating the files, or it needs me to change some values or an array somewhere. So, I’ve duplicated one file, renamed it, and changed the only obvious (at the time) value for me, which was the “name” of the shape, so I avoid and failure cases of Houdini loading the shape by name and then overriding it with the new one by name as well. And then restarted Houdini (it make sense that the app will read that only at launch). And BOOM, I found the same shape twice!

Now I was sure, whatever I’m going to do, I can use it right away. So I moved to the next part of the issue, which is the JSON file content itself. I tried to read it first and failed to make any sense of it, then I tried to google for “Convert a shape to JSON” I came to lots of dead ends of online converters that will give a totally different file content, while this was a failure, but I came up with a great assumption, that the content of the file is only subjective to Houdini, and not global type of content that I can find within other apps or JSON files. So I decided to go in the most primitive way, which is just randomly changing some values in the new shape file I’ve duplicated, and notice what would be changed in the nodes. So I took them line by line, and changing some random value, and I ended up with deformations in shapes that can tell me what I really needed to know.

It is now became very clear to me, that we have 4 toggle options per node, which are represented in the JSON file with the name “Flags”, and we have the body of the node, which represented with the word “Outline”, and the rest were very self-explanatory, which are “Inputs” for the input socket, “Output” for the output socket & “Icon” for the icon of that node.

All nodes have Inputs and outputs, and icons. Which made their naming make sense. All nodes have bodies, which was named “Outline” and I kind of considered it confusing. But The name “Flags” was really a smart idea from SideFX as not all node are equal. As you see at the image above I’ve deformed the Bypass toggle of the node which is colored in Yellow (that node have 4 flags), which in another node it is not called Bypass any more, it is a Selectable toggle and colored in Green (and the node have only 2 flags).

Now I got it, the Flags are numbered 0, 1, 2, 3 is not only representing an array order, but also the order of the nodes from Screen Left to the Screen Right. As the one changed above was Flag number 0. And that mean in a 4 toggles node, Houdini will show [0, 1, 2, 3], but in a 2 toggles node Houdini will show [0, 3]. As 0 and 1 is the left side screen toggles, and 2 and 3 are the right side screen toggles.

With that said, Changing the toggle 1 will affect the 4 toggles node:

Where the 2 toggles node will remain the same, as it doesn’t have the index toggle 1

But changing the Index 3 (the last index, which is the far right of the screen), will affect both types of nodes. In a 4 toggles node:

Where in a 2 toggles Node:

Now I’ve a very clear Idea about how Houdini handle the shape of a node. What is needed to make use see a node drawn on the canvas. With all that in mind, I decided to make sure I’m at the right direction though, so I wrote a very small interface, that can take a string value I copy from that JSON shape file, and it break it down to points in space, so I can see if those numbers I’ve been changing randomly is really representing a drawing, so far I’ve been changing numbers randomly, which gave me those weird shapes you seeing above. And Holy Moly, I was right, parsing those copied JSON nodes will draw some shapes to me. Some were based on Vec2 values where others are based on vec3 values (Vec3 is mostly used to do layering, imagine drawing something on top of something else, you give some offset to make it closer to the camera). So if we break down the order of drawing for a Houdini node, we will end up with (far to near):

  • Toggles/Flags
  • Body outline
  • Input socket
  • Output socket
  • Icon

And while my interface was able to read the JSON shape file, I knew that it is a matter of time and implementation for a nice drawing functionality, and I’ll be able to write down my own JSON shape files quickly, and use them within Houdini. After few days I finished writing my tool, and it was too much fun to do. It took me sometime to keep iterating in the UX of the tool, to make sure it visually looks like my other tools, and it works at the most reliable way, that a user can understand quickly or at least can be familiar with after a quick demonstration. And the results was really nice and I’m glad to move during those weeks from v0.1 to v1.0 it was a good learning experiment =D

It might mean nothing changing the node shapes, I might not able to draw amazing shapes, and for a long time I’ve been using the default node shapes, not even changing their colors. But the idea here was a matter of demystifying; the more you get into the heart of the tech you use, the more you learn about it. It was about learning more in depth about the SDK I use. And most importantly feeding my disorders of a visually unique graphs! Now I can have my special “M” node 🙂

Last thing I want to mention is the guidelines:

  • The tool still will get some development
  • You can’t move a point as soon as it is placed (to be changed)
  • The order or the points matter, it has to make sense of a curve to get drawn
  • For the icon, you have to use only 2 points, Houdini want a diagonal line which represent the the icon top corner with the reversed corner
  • Don’t forget to add a name to the shape
  • Input and Output, are enough to be a straight line to define where sockets could be distributed

Enjoy your nodes!


The Art of Writing Tools


We all agree that all the programmers who work in games never studied games before. or even the other programmers who did study games before, none of those groups of people have studied something called “Art of programming”, because it is simply something I’ve invented it and taught myself !

There is a small portion in this art I really like to call it “The art of writing and making tools”, and as the name said, it is about how to make tools with the most efficient way. If you are using a custom engine, framework or already made engine, you probably hit a limitation which you wanna break this(through) To do this, you will need to)expand the engine and it’s tools a bit more further.

Some people think that making tools is all about programming and writing efficient code. But I disagree with that. here in this small article I’ll be listing the steps/questions I used to follow and ask myself while making the majority of the tools I’ve made in all my entire career. You may disagree with me, but as I mentioned before, it is my own art and my own rules, and any one is welcomed to follow it, and also anyone can ignore it!

1-What(‘s) the reason behind the tool?
The first and the most important step in the life cycle of making the tool is to  decide why you are going to make this tool, or if you are in the company and it is your task, you need to define the reasons behind making the tool. It might sound silly, but nah the reason behind the tool is very essential for you to follow up in the next steps. the reason behind making a tool must not be [ to finish the task X] or [to do the X functionality]. But it should be something like [to do the X functionality with a proper way that can fit the other X functionality]. So the meaning here is you want to understand the tool and what exactly it can affect, because a short tool reason description might be a reason of breaking some other stuff when you start using the tool.

2-How familiar am I with the API/SDK?
The API, SDK or whatever the rules you are going to follow and use to write the tool. You don’t have to be 100% aware of the API but the more you aware, the better for the step(4). I’ve to mention that some times I’ve been in a situation of writing tools for API’s that I never used or wrote for it before, or in other times I have to use languages that I never used before! Let’s face it, if you don’t know an API you still be able to write for it, you just need to look in the documentation index and give it a roll to know that calls, functions or other stuff it can provide and how you can use it in your tool, and the rest is just about using your programming skills and your syntax knowledge to wrap a tool code that (can or will) work with an API you never used before. I did it before to write some tools for a game bundles in cloud server ! which was really far from my area of working in that company  “gameplay & gameplay tools” but as long as it is coding for the game, I agree that I/any game programmer can or perhaps should do it.

3-Which name should I call it?
Lots of times trying to pick a name for my tool was the main reason of adding new features for the tool !
Try it and you will get amazed how strange it is !!!

4-What else the tool can provide?
Sometimes you can used simple lines of code to achieve something else that can be related to the tool. Or in other times that there is a certain behavior or code that can be reverted or controlled with a value. Lets say we are working in a tool that blends two images to use them as a texture. So why not we add a slider to control the blend ? or why don’t we add a check box to enable the user to auto remove the original 2 textures after blending, so he can save some space on the long is all about asking your self what else the user might need, what else can be implemented with zero amount of time, what else the tool should do & what else the tool can integrate. And all that will depends on how familiar you are with the API. the more you know, the more you can add and the more the tool efficiency will be.

5-Is there something the user should know?
Sometimes the tool has something the user should know every time he opens it. It is not about documenting the tool, we will talk about documentation in a later point. But it is about reporting to the user very important information every time he runs the tool. Two of my tools examples were reporting the user that [he can not undo the changes made by the tool] or another one was reporting to the user that when he press a button he should wait because the tool will be looking inside all the project files one by one and that will take some time (I was not able to put a loading bar in that API). And one more thing, for this info try to make it 100% obvious either with different color or big font…or may be with a popup message box with an “OK” button !

6-How it should looks like?
We are programmers, we are not artists to make a nice and clean mock-up..BUT as long as we know how to make our code organized, we also know how to make out tool UI organized. So you need to get a paper and pencil, list all your features, all your buttons, sliders and other UI elements. And start organizing the tool with the most user friendly looking. If it looks fine for you, then it will looks fine for others, because it is a tool and will be used with a guy like you who is Engine friendly as well !
In here also you can decide which graphical elements you need to add to the tool (icon, images,….etc).

7-How easy is it to use ?
Making a tool is not about adding too much UI elements and too many buttons. If you can shrink this UI elements and save the user’s time, that will be awesome. Check if the tool is easy to use and the user can not get confused from your UI elements order. if that is fine then you jump to the next step, if it is not, then you need to go back and forth between this step and the previous one!

8-Write it !
Nothing to say about writing the code. just few notes. First, if you can write it in it’s own project and then implement it into the main Engine/project, that would be more safe and you will be sure that you are not going to affect the original project files..We all use version control, but some times for some unknown reasons it get weird !
Second, document the code with some notes. Third any canceled code or feature, just comment it’s code, and never delete it. You might need it later or you might need parts of it to construct another functionality. and that would save your time !

9-Is it need to be documented?
If the tool is too big, complex or whatever. Make sure that you document all the code and document all the buttons functionalities in a PDF. It is nice way to if you can add tooltips to the UI elements of the tool, so it can help. The main reason for this point is that you may leave the company for some reason, and all other team members who get used of the tool can leave as well. So what happens if a brand new people came to the company and they either want to use the tool or improve it ?

10-Is it need to be locked?
Do you need to lock the code ? Can you lock it ? Are you eligible to do that ? then do it !
Sometimes you have some intern, beginners or even other programmer who are not familiar with writing tools, all of them working with you in the same project. Sometimes those people try to learn how to make tools and sometimes they can change some of your code by mistake and submit to git and that will broke the tool for all the project users !
Sometimes other programmer wanna to add an X feature to the tool and he don’t want to bother you with that. And he is not aware of it’s code as well. and that will break it as well.
So as long as you can lock it it an available choice, then do it to save the tool from unintended mistakes by others

11-Test it !
Test it in all the different cases and take your time in that step, you don’t wanna get some one to your disk say your tool is broken !
And if you can test it is an empty project, it would be better,just to save the project from any conflicts that could happen.

As English is not my main language, I get some grammar mistakes quite often. Thanks for my friend “Brad” in helping me to clean the grammar mistakes 🙂

Featured On Gamasutra


Unreal Engine tutorials section

A couple of weeks ago I’ve started recording tutorials for the UnrealEngine4 and add it in a new section. The release of the engine was a great surprise for me which made me stop using UDK and moving directly to use it in the personal projects and studies. I will be feeling more home when I use the C++ source code instead of scripting !
I found the Engine have loads of new goodies which were no exist before in UE3 (which I was lucky to use) and you can add to that lots of people are not familiar with it and they looking out there for some learning materials. So, I decided to discover more in deep the engine and start working in the source code as well. Sharing this results with people is something important for me, and for the knowledge loop inside the game development ecosystem Exciting
So, if you are interested, keep following the tutorials it will include some cool stuff like making 2d game, multiplayer stuff, make a AAA player controller from scratch, develop some tools, extend other tools….and a lot more planned to be made Devil


Episode 1 of making graet game in less than 48 H !

Hey everyone, here the first episode of making the game in less than 48 hour. I managed to record all the video while making the last LD game jam game. I will be sharing an extended full videos of the game making when I finish editing in all the episodes. I really want to share it ASAP because the recorded material eating almost 250GB of my HDD. All of them recorded in 2560*1440. So, you can see all the details you need 😉


Fake & Accurate Shadows in Unity for Mobiles

Yes, am still alive 😀
It is too long time since my last post. I was very busy at work & with my lovely family. My time started to have more free room now. So, I found it will be great If I started warming up by a useful tutorial. I was Checking this morning some emails from the weekly updates, and I found this useful Tutorial about faking the shadow in the Mobile devices. In fact all the solutions in this tutorial was my steps to figure out my method to do it. After reading it, I found it might be useful to share the method am using with others, It might help someone to save some drawcalls.

Another Updates:
In the other hand, as you can see, there is now a new website. I have switched from the blog to my old domain again.
Decay, finished and ready for iPad, but there is small problem preventing me from submitting it to the App store.
The 2014 big project already started and will post about it near to Feb.2014.
And finally, I started again to make monthly games, and I think all of them will be free in different portals for different platforms.

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