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Aspiring Progammer - General Question

Hey guys,

I’m at a place in life where I have 4-6 hours per day to dedicate towards something I want to do, rather than need to do. So I’d like to try programming my own game (using the UE4 engine). Problem is, I have zero programming experience. What would you experienced people say is necessary, or is a good order to do that? (Assuming I don’t want to attend university). Should I spend months learning C++, pick up a few classes at the community college, etc?

Appreciate the help!

Romp

Hello,

I’m still a newbie in UE4 and game development, but I’m a long-time non-games programmer using C++ and a whole lot of other languages. In other words, I’m approaching game development from the opposite side than you would. :slight_smile:

Regarding programming: don’t sweat it. Just start with UE4 and Blueprints. It is basically programming, without having to write one single line of C++ code. There are many good BP tutorials online that you’ll find easy to follow. You can go very far with Blueprints, as far as I can see, and create fully functional game logic this way. This will get you acquainted with programming, even if it is not coding per se.

When you’re familiar enough with Blueprints, you may want to update your skills by learning C++ and apply it to your UE4 projects. But keep in mind that C++ is NOT an easy language for absolute beginners who never programmed before. It may be easier for you to start with a beginner-friendlier language such as Python. Yes, you can’t use Python in UE4 (although you can inside Blender to create models programmatically), but you can use a variant of Python called GDScript in the free Godot game engine, if you want to dip your toes in programming games with code at this point. Python is easy enough to pick on your own that you don’t need to take any formal or paid courses.

Then, when you’re familiar enough with that, try learning the fundamentals of C++ from scratch in non-games toy projects. I say non-games, because I wouldn’t recommend learning C++ in the context of UE4. Once you’re somewhat familiar with Python, picking up C++, although still non-trivial, will be much easier, than if you tried to learn programming from scratch in C++. Here too, you don’t really need to take any formal courses if you’re already familiar with, say, Python. You don’t need to know all of current C++20 to use C++ in UE4, but make sure to pick a decent C++ basics tutorial for beginners.

tl;dr.: start by learning Blueprints, then learn Python (and GDScript with Godot), then learn the basics of C++ in non-games projects, and finally, apply your newly learnt C++ knowledge to UE4. At least, that is what I’d recommend. Your mileage may vary. Good luck and have fun on this journey.