Unreal Blueprint Arrangement - Don't Cross the Streams

Hi there, and welcome to my first devlog post!

Short introduction: My name is Chris and I'm a QA Tester living in the San Francisco Bay Area.  By night, I'm an aspiring game designer.  My current project is Might of Heroes, a first-person fantasy beat-em-up. 

I decided to use Unreal to build this game, due to the blueprints feature.  I'm a visual person, and although I have coding experience, I find blueprints easier to use and debug at most times.  There are some times where it's tedious compared to coding, but for someone like me, the benefits outweigh those times.

When I'm searching for help online, I come across many different ways people arrange their blueprint nodes.  Some people just seem to put nodes wherever they fit, some people like to stack them vertically.  I thought I would share my method because I think it has some advantages that might help other visual people like me make sense of it.

Here are a few rules I go by:

  • White execute wires are always straight - except for branches - and they never cross.  If there isn't a branch in logic, keep all the white execute wires straight.  If there is a branch in logic, keep the first path straight, and start other path below it, aligned vertically with the first one.  That way, when there's a branch in logic, you can look straight up and down to see where each path leads.  If there is a branch within a branch, as shown in the image, it is nested not only logically but visually.  If you look at the vertical magenta lines I drew in the second image at the start of each path, you can see that each execute node has space between it and the branch for all the nodes that are plugged into it.
  • If a wire doesn't come from the node just before it, pass it over instead of under.  This makes it easy to keep passing that information to subsequent nodes, along with making it easier to trace it back to its source.
  • Don't cross wires unless you have to.  I make heavy use of reroute nodes to make sure my wires are as organized as possible.  It can be tedious, but when you come back to debug something, you'll be glad you did it.

After putting an excessive amount of thought into how I arrange my blueprint nodes, these are some of the most important rules I've set for myself.  It takes some extra time and effort, but in the end, it helps me keep my logic organized and less buggy.  I hope it can do the same for you.  Thanks for reading, and happy blueprinting!

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