Exploring design alternatives in game development engines using visual programming
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We present BPAlt – a system which allows game developers to create and manage alternatives for Unreal Engine’s Blueprints Visual Scripting System. BPAlt allows the user to create, save, organize and swap Blueprint alternatives for rapid testing and experimentation. We conducted a user study with 10 moderately skilled participants where we compared BPAlt to Unreal Engine alone for prototyping alternatives of game objects and mechanics in four different games. We found evidence that supporting alternatives with BPAlt is beneficial in the game developers’ workflow. In response to the results of the user study we implemented new features for selectively merging parts of one alternative Blueprint to another. We also implemented an interface for alternative scenarios.