Unreal Engine Plugin Market Opens Up
Take a look at what’s possible, Theia Interactive built Optim as a plug-in for Datasmith thanks to how Epic Games Unreal Engine enables Python developers to get in, under the engines hood to make custom plugins possible for all kinds of functionality. This is another example of how Epic Games is inventing new markets in its own ecosystem.
With Epic recently making the editor 100% scriptable with python, developers have total freedom enabling them to write simple code to automate everyday actions like imports processes, or deleting and generating UVs. Simple tasks made automatic saving developers time, efforts and speeding up production.
Optim uses Datasmith’s 20+ format support to get high-fidelity data out of those core applications. Epic has focused their technical skills on accurately bringing over metadata, converting materials to Unreal Engine, and dealing with a wide range of data-prep issues. Optim builds on that base to simplify the optimization process.
Some examples of things that you could automate with Optim are:
- Skip the import of any meshes with names containing a certain string
- Create LODs for any mesh larger than a given number of triangles
- Instance any mesh with a particular name
- Merge everything with a particular property under a single group
- Replace all materials by name with existing materials from the Content Browser
Unlike Blueprints, the Python environment is only available in the Unreal Editor, not when your Project is running in the Unreal Engine. That means that you can use Python freely for scripting and automating the Editor or building asset production pipelines, but you cannot currently use it as a gameplay scripting language. If you wish to use a gameplay scripting language blueprints are the best option for now.
Optim shows the newly found possibilities of Unreal with the help of python being integrated with Datasmith it allows all developers to make the Unreal Engine theirs and customize every aspect of it. Optim will also be sold as a subscription package in early 2019. Could this be the start of a new market? Epics developed a design engine which is now stable enough to possible be the home of a totally new market. A market where third-party teams like Theia Interactive can take advantage of the Unreal Engine creating services and content without any barriers to enter the market and profit to be made.