Guidance / roadmap for new developer

When I started, I thought the engine learning curve was like driving a Ferrari into a cliff face.

You basically only have UE docs, youtube, forums like this, and paid courses. I never tried the paid courses.

All I can say is, have an idea of roughly where you’re going, and do what you can to head in that direction. Any chip off the rock, is less rock.

Luckily, you don’t have to understand the entire engine, there are whole swathes I never touch, and yet I managed to release a game. But it was tough.

Probably anything you make in the first year, will get binned, just because you suddenly realize you went about it in totally the wrong way. And re-working stuff is fine, because your work pace gets much faster after a while. Something that took six weeks of tearing your hair out and search through dead ends, can be done in about 45 mins, from scratch.

Another point, and reason you probably won’t find a nice neat course heading where you want to go, is that if you’re going anywhere interesting, one course is just not going to touch it. All the courses out there are vanilla people trying to do something vanilla with the engine. So you have to find info where you can and just keep going.

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Hello UE gods and god-ettes,

I’m totally overwhelmed by the engine and would really appreciate some general guidance.

I’m interested (at first) in making a top-down game that is centered around skill-based melee combat. I would love for the game to be beautiful, with complex animations, etc. – but ultimately my 2 main priorities are skillful combat and AI. I don’t want a simple combat system, similar to action rpgs, where you just spam attacks at a stationary opponent until their HP reaches 0. I want to create the ability to dodge, feint, directionally parry, and ultimately make a combat-centric game. I am inspired by games like Exanima, Mordhau, and Chivalry.

I am thoroughly aware of the fact that this is going to be a long and sloppy learning process. I’m not looking for a magic-pill answer. However, any guidance that can help my learning process become more ‘pointed’ would be a godsend to me.

So far I have taken short courses on ‘intro to UE4’, animations, blueprints, collisions, basic AI, etc. But after the tutorial ends, I’m lost again. I find out how a few things work but then, when I try to comb through the blueprints myself, I am totally confused as to what most the blueprints even mean. Any tutorial passed the beginner stage is full of terminology that I don’t understand or an assumed understanding of blueprint functionality that I haven’t learned.

What were your biggest breakthroughs? Did you find a more ‘long-winded’ course that took you from beginner to intermediate? Did you find a mentor, an internship, or a certification of some kind?

Or is the answer to just simply struggle through it, in an extremely scattered manner? Exhausting all youtube videos around a single concept, google searches, and mostly fruitless experimentation?

The latter option feels so undisciplined yet it seems like the only available option. Sorry for a somewhat vague question – I’m still very ignorant to what’s even possible with this engine and game design in general.

P.S. — I’d like to use Unreal Engine 5 when it releases if possible.

First of all, thank you for the quick answer! I really appreciate you taking the time.

Are there any resources that have been particularly helpful to you that aren’t necessarily about Unreal Engine specifically?

For example: A website / book / course about game development concepts in general that helped you understand what specific holes you had in your knowledge with Unreal Engine?

Or just anything to help me articulate where my ignorance is, precisely? Google is much more useful when you know exactly what it is that you don’t know.

There are certainly plenty of ‘how to write a game’ books out there, but I wouldn’t touch them. They will always be out of date, and linear thinking. If you can read about how to write your game in a book, just image how samey your game will be :wink:

I’d say one of the most useful skills is being able to think outside the box.

So any book on creative thinking, this is good:

It doesn’t matter that it’s 500 years old, being creative hasn’t changed. Also, it doesn’t matter that it’s not about games. Being able to think flexibly will always help you more than a youtube vid.

As far as your ignorance goes, after working with the engine for 6 weeks to 3 months, you will be able to find most of what you’re looking for online.

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