How Did You Get Proficient?

Good Morning All,

I need some advice. I am not actually trying to publish a game, but my son has expressed interest in learning game dev and I am trying to educate myself prior to him going on summer break so we can do it together and I am in a position to help. I should add he wants to do this in code not in visual scripting.

Now I will fully admit that my programming experience is not in C++ but in C#, PHP, Java etc. And most of my game engine experience is in Unity.

What I am struggling with the most is a combination of ease of use and documentation. If I want to learn something in Unity I go read the documentation (which usually includes an example) , maybe watch a video and then I can give it a shot.

Meanwhile in Unreal It can take half a day just for me to figure out why the editor is crashing while compiling or figuring out all the different components of a built in function.

Take GetRandomReachablePointInRadius(const FVector& Origin, float Radius, FNavLocation& ResultLocation, ANavigationData* NavData, FSharedConstNavQueryFilter QueryFilter)

It took me forever to figure out what the heck needed to be in the FSharedConstNavQueryFilter QueryFilter. I ended up writing my own function before I ended up figuring it out.

Anyway this is not me complaining about the engine. From what I can tell so far its capable of absolutely amazing things. The problem is with my understanding of how all the components work together plus needing to work on my C++ knowledge .

I am just curious what those of you that came into unreal with fresh eyes did to get up to speed in as efficient a way as possible.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


How did I get proficient? Trial and error, basically.

But I think you will find using blueprints a lot easier. It does many things that C++ does, and is much easier to get started with…

Good Morning,

Yep and I am able to make BP work for most of what I have been trying to do. However, that is not what he wants to learn and my personal approach to things has always been to first understand how it all works under the hood and then use the easier method on top.


In either case, the learning method is probably similar. The documentation situation for UE is not good, and you have to do your best with what you can find on youtube and in unreal training.

Having said that, one of the main upsides of learning with C++ is you don’t have to wonder how a module works, because you can just take a look at the code. I have a feeling, that a lot of developers in fact see the code as the documentation.

Thank you. That is more or less how I have been approaching it. I.E. use the code as documentation.

but to go back to FSharedConstNavQueryFilter QueryFilter as an example. I got it to work by finding some other examples out there… But I will be damned if I understand why that is required.

Now most of my challenges are probably due to the fact that 1) it is a very complex piece of technology and 2) I end up working on this stuff part time after the kids go to bed. Rarely do I have more than a few hours at a time to sit down and learn. I can honestly say it has caused me to have to get up and walk around and wait for the frustration to dissipate more then anything else I have tried to learn in my life and I and my team install, configure and support enterprise level systems for supporting the medical community so that is saying something.


I’d just try to accomplish practical things. Every time I get stuck it has been because i was not able to describe what i was trying to do in plain language.

Half the time people are having big technical conversations I have no idea what they are even talking about. But then I see what they are trying to do and it’s something I have already done.

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I get it, totally. Why can’t there just be a central doc on the whole thing?

It reminds me a lot of microsoft. They always had, and still have, terrible docs.

At least with them, you can just go and get an O’Reilly book…

To be fair, with UE, it is basically a huge suite of programs made to look like one.

■■■■ I forgot about the O’Rielly Books.!!! I have not read one of those since my MCSE days.

Being fully transparent this was probably a bit of an ambitious undertaking for the time I have available. Made more frustrating by the fact that I was able to pick up Unity in a week. I kind of just (incorrectly) assumed I was going to be able to pick this up in a similar time frame.

What is worse is that I get frustrated and ignore the basics just assuming its engine/c++ related.

I just had an issue where I had functions being called twice every time and for the life of me, I could not figure out why. Rather than follow some basic debug logging steps I made some incorrect assumptions that caused even more frustration. At the end of the day, it ended up being an issue where a second instance of my NPC blueprint had spawned and was out of the visible area of the Level I was looking at.

Thankfully someone on the forums kindly reminded me of the right way to troubleshoot and found the issue right away.

I have to reset the way I am approaching this because most of the problems are with me.

Thank you for all the responses, guys.

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