Building a game with blueprints only

Hi all,

noob alert

First off I apologize if this is not the right section. It appeared to be.

I bought an Oculus Rift dev kit some time ago to play games like many, and found the experience so compelling that I decided to learn to create my own content.

Now the thing is, I had zero experience with programming or 3D modelling a few month ago. Not really knowing where to start, I started looking at various tutorials and online courses and picked up some 3D modelling/animation skills over time. Now I am at the point where I have a decent grasp on how to make meshes and animate them, create materials, textures, environments etc.

I am looking forward to the next step, which would be to transpose those environments I create into a game engine so that I can make it a playable experience. I am not completely naive, I know I am not going to create a real game - I just want to be able to walk around the environment I create in VR mode and add a few simple interaction to it - opening doors… rotating stuff… simple puzzle. A walking simulator, that kind of thing.

Obviously I am not going to learn C++. I don’t have the time or skill for this. I got UE4 out of curiosity and discovered Blueprints, which seems to be sufficient to achieve what I want. I wouldn’t call it simple for a total beginner like me but it seems to be something I can learn quickly. Since there is a built-in Oculus support it seems that developping a demo in UE4 is as simple as create, pack, play and it auto-detects the Rift.

So the question is, is there a catch? Am I right in assuming this is as simple as it looks and I will be able to create demos with UE4 in the fashion I described above?

Any other tool/technique/resources I should look at?

Any advice I can get from real developpers is much welcome! Thanks in advance.

Well it all depends what you want create. For simple maze game like that one scare for occulus you do not need to program much. I would say that one can make such game over weekend.
Then debug it for next weekend, so 2 weeks task.

Making blueprints that randomize walls of your maze is quite easy.
Then making random, procedurally generated dungeon will be quite a task in blueprints.
Adding enemy AI with characters and animation is even more time consuming.

Basically there will be always more things you want to do for your game, nevrending spiral of I want.

Also C++ is not much more complicated than blueprints, i would say about same, you just need bit different mindset.
Both require you to learn API (or names of blueprint nodes), and both have same names for function/nodes (did not bother with C++ in UE4 yet, so do not take this for granted)
Anyway learning blueprints first then going into C++ should be preferred way for non C++ folks,
I would say that even for C++ masters its easier to learn blueprints first (because editor slaps you every time you want to make something fishy),
while in C++ you can code for weeks without warning.

Thank you very much for your advices.

I have no interest in creating procedural content, or ennemies, or guns. Have you played Dear Esther? Or Kairo?

This is the kind of experience I want to create. My first project is to create a 3D representation of my house and be able to walk around it in VR mode. From what you said I guess blueprint is enough for this.

It is comforting to be told that C++ is not much more difficult than blueprints, but I don’t know if I can believe that - I’ve always read that C++ is super difficult to learn and use, and blueprint is quite simple for me to grasp (at a very basic level!)

I have an Occulus rift (kickstarter backer) and have found it relatively easy to create my own environments, and play them in the rift with little effort. The biggest issue for me is asset creation. I use Blender for modelling (blender user for 7 years now), and although EU4 is miles ahead of UDK for importing assets from blender, I still run into issues.
As for your questions about Blueprint, I think you could probably manage to do just about anything in blueprints. Iv’e been able to make menus, script character movement types, make doors, explosives, spike pits, healing objects, and more with blueprints. I can read most programming languages, but can not write them (sounds funny, but im not alone in that regard) so for me blueprint is perfect, as I understand how programing works. I would recomend watching a few videos on basic prgramming concepts (as they are “mostly” universal between programing languages) and then dive in to blueprint.

I am also using Blender for modelling!

Would you have any link or recommended resources for basic programming concept? It’s such a big field, I just don’t know where to start.

Both make you learn the engine API, so the more you learn blueprints the easier using C++ will become.