Hi Elliott, This is a great breakdown and very generous in sharing your process and insights, you came a long way from the vending machine days!
Are you planning on releasing the UE4 project to the public? Or only builds? I'd love to play around with it in the editor if possible!
Are you looking for cool Houdini tools? Have a look at a goodie called Physics Painter which lets users paint physics objects onto any other object, and simulate gravity. Sounds exciting, right? Let’s study it in detail.
Physics Painter is a Houdini Digital Asset (HDA) that allows users to paint physics objects onto any other object, and simulate gravity. The result of the previous simulation can be fed into a new iteration of a simulation as often as required. The user gets control over a couple of parameters, which allows the user to get their desired result.
The tool can be downloaded as a part of Houdini Game Development Toolset here.