So i have this idea for a large game that I will be developing as a learning tool for others. The idea is that the game is a simulator where you play as a beginner programmer who has to create & release minor games using UE4.
As for most people, I had a lot of trouble getting into UE4, I knew that eventually I would become proficient in the engine, however getting to the end point wasn’t a streamlined process. It’s hard to figure exactly where to start, what you need to learn in the beginning and when/where to use the various nodes, functions etc. And most tutorials end when the game or project is only 20% done.
The idea is to make a “Life of a programmer” simulator. Consisting of a small 3D room with a bed, computer, and UE4 manual book. When the character sits at the computer it opens a virtual desktop from where you can start making games in UE4, following my guidelines (thus preventing the player to mess up his projects or getting stuck)
The game will start off with the player enlisting in programming school. Every morning the player will go to school to learn the basics of UE4. Here are a few examples:
Day 1: Setting up the project
Day 2: WTF is a node
Day 3: WTF is a variable
Day X: How to use “On Event” nodes
Day X: Macros
Day X: Arrays
Day X: … Functions, Transform nodes, vectors, timeline, and so forth. Eventually we will go over all the nodes available with examples of use.
Each school day will consist of under 1 hour of gameplay and sometimes conclude with a Multiple choice test to ensure you understood the most important parts.
After school, you will be given minor homework assignments relating to the subject of the day, which the player will perform on the personal computer. This projects will be very streamlined, meaning there is a very limited freedom in the beginning. It’s basically, follow the guidelines on the screen while the text explains why you are doing what you’re doing. This will basically function as a printscreen of UE4 where you are only able to click/type the correct item. (as I have no awareness of the possibility to actually include the real editor and add limitations to it).
Homework assignments will start extremely basic and eventually increase in complexity. Starting with simple stuff such as “Make a character move to your cursor”, “Make WASD movement” “Create a projectile” to creating simple mobile games (Snake, platformer, Icy tower, endless runner) to later on creating a Health, Stamina, Hunger, Inventory, Experience, Sprint, Aim, Skill Tree, Ability modification, RTS controls, randomized loot, chest, menu screen, levels)
All homework assignments will be playable once completed, because I have made them in UE4 and will be included as an .exe
Once school is finished you will be dedicating yourself as an indie developer. Here you will get a choice of 3 minor games to develop from empty template to fictitious steam release. You will follow my guidelines every step of the way for hours on end, until the product is final. All 3 games can be completed for learning purposes.
After this, the game ends. You have now acquired the necessary skills to start working in the actual UE4. Have fun making games!
**Here comes the big questions, where I need your support. **
How would this be easiest developed? I have to admit that using UE4 seems a bit complex for this project, as the only free movement will be inside the room (go to computer, school, or open handbook/glossary). Rest will be step-by-step (each teacher blackboard, each step in the visual scripting). Do you have a good suggestion for setting this up? The fastest/easiest I can see at the moment is to display the computer as a widget, and then each step of the programming is actually just a screenshot from my UE4. Then when you click the right node, next screen shot will show. However this will not give the full experience of dragging wire’s between nodes and opening the field to type in the right node name in the search bar… However’ beginning to create a virtual copy of UE4 seems like a time-killer. Printscreen will be much faster.** I really need your opinion and suggestion on this**
How will animation easiest be done? Rigging and animating in a simulator will be hard to implement. Just use finished animations only and just show how to add them to your pawns and change between correct animations when required?
I’m thinking of making this community based, so everyone can chip in with their screen shots and tutorials that can be added to the game, thus greatly reducing time between releases. After I have developed the primary lessons, so we all keep to the same learning method and UE4 visual setup.