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How hard is unreal engine c++?

So, recompilation is a waste of time, but creating the same twice is not?

When you are still prototyping you don’t have a clear picture of what you are going to end up with. Prototyping in C++ is usually going to take longer than if you slap some Blueprints together. When you have something that you want to keep you then refactor it into C++ so it is ready for production.

+1… The engine is the mother of all API’s, that makes it hard to skip learning both BP & C++.

Well as regards waste of time, you stand to save time overall by iterating with Blueprints first.

A lot of it comes down to, how good are you at designing systems in your head/on paper before your start. One of the other things is, do you know the extent of the Engine, ie functions/features/classes/types, etc. I mean, i do a lot of stuff in C++ first, cause i have the idea in my head, i created a kinda plan for it and know the end goal. Sometimes this isn’t the final version, i sometimes refactor things again, if i find a better way, learn something new, or i need to optimize it.

The thing is, i have been programming for years, in Pascal, C, C#, C++, Java, etc. (15+ years), i still spent time in the blueprints, to get to know the engine. I am also a firm believer in “not everything in c++”. There is a balance. C++ for the core, expensive math, expensive tick functions, etc. Expose things that are to be edited a lot/adjusted to BP. Even if you just use BP’s as Class defaults (data only). Exposing properties for easy tweaking is a must. Exposing events/delegates/bp functions is also beneficial. Honestly. Getting that balance is the key to good development progress. C++ programmers don’t want to be hammered by gameplay programmers, to change one variable or adjust one thing, that should have been exposed to BP!

Just my two cents :slight_smile:

I’m coming from being self taught in programming- and I can make hide nor hair of Blueprints. I don’t use Unreal, but would love to give it a shot. I would rather study a straight up programming language, as how I learned to use previous engines. Is Blueprints really necessary?

Yes, here’s why its hard to avoid.
Taking projects apart might help:wink:

It’s not a necessity, but you won’t know how the engine THINKS it should work.

You have to realize that you are dealing with the evil spawn of a bunch of … inept people (to be kind).

These folks like to do things like remove Tessellation, or release major versions without checking that stuff actually works (phys-mats anyone?)
These aren’t one off blunders. They are the CONSTANT of this engine.

As such, you as a self taught programmer cannot expect to even being to comprehend the way they THINK stuff should work.
No.
You have to learn how they think first. Hence use blueprint.

NOTE:
And I want to make it double clear that the inept are those who decide what the development team has to do. The development team itself can’t really be held responsible for the decisions of a few.
EVEN IF, they could ■■■■ well test stuff out before release…

Blueprints are two things:

  1. A way to configure a “prefab” configuration of game objects, put together to make a “full actor.” For example, you can bundle up a particle system, a light, a sound effect, a mesh, and a projectile movement component, to build “a grenade” as a blueprint. You can then subclass that “grenade” in child blueprints to change mesh, trajectory, amount of damage, loudness of sound, etc.

  2. A way to “wire up” said composed objects, without having to dive into C++. When you build a grenade out of components, you need a little bit of logic – “three seconds after throwing, hide the mesh, play the particle system, sound effect, and light flash, then clean up/delete the grenade object.” That level of logic is super easy to do in Blueprint. Similarly, you can do “when I walk close to a door, animate it to be open, then when I leave the door, animate it to close again” using a detector volume, a timeline, and a door mesh, plus a small amount of blueprint wiring.

It is very, very, helpful to understand what blueprints can do, and where they are strong. It allows you to easily get “things moving” on the screen in interesting ways, without having to bootstrap a bunch of C++ class knowledge or worrying about object ownership. It essentially shows you “what the goal is” of future C++ development.

It turns out that, because wiring is a Turing complete programming language, you can write an entire game in Blueprints. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it is possible – any tool can be pushed harder than it should be, if you really want to. (See also: using Javascript to build single-page apps.)

Once you understand more of what the pieces of the engine are, you can learn C++, and how to build the components that you will end up using in your actor blueprints. At that point, you need to learn not just C++, the language, but also the macro/code generation package that Unreal puts on top of C++, and THEN you need to also learn the C++ class library that makes up the engine. This is a lot of work, and really hard if you don’t know how it all is supposed to fit together – don’t start there!

Good luck with Unreal Documentation,
When it comes to unreal docus, as they say google is your friend.
Try to get used to getting info from engine source, cause the C++ API documents is very minimal in too many places.

^This^…

People need to stop saying stuff like this… Google is only a friend to its Shareholders!
Face it, if privacy laws had any teeth most Google Executives would probably be in jail.
So lets ignore the uncomfortable truth… We all live in an episode of ‘Black Mirror’ now. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Start with blueprint (bp)…you will find the learning to be much more enjoyable. Only convert to C++ when the class is becoming slow (and make sure it is proven via profiling). Otherwise maintain bp. BP at the surface maybe slow (gui node some more??), but the underlying process is still mostly C++ so it is still sufficiently fast in a lot of cases.

People need to stop saying stuff like this… Google is only a friend to its Shareholders!
Face it, if privacy laws had any teeth most Google Executives would probably be in jail.
So lets ignore the uncomfortable truth… We all live in an episode of ‘Black Mirror’ now

the comic book heroes will come save us, they just as real as the bad guys, now that the bad guys aint hiding anymore

You are welcome to not use Google or its services. Contrary to popular belief, if you don’t actually use any Google services, they will know very little about you.

Similarly, you can also not use Facebook (I don’t!) and not use Instagram and not use any other service you don’t like. Works pretty well!

That being said, a good web search engine, whichever one you choose to use (duckduckgo?) is absolutely crucial to succeed in almost any profession these days. If you haven’t yet learned a good way to express the kinds of searches you need to find results, and how to browse the list of results that come back to guide your attention to what’s a good answer or not, you are falling behind, just like people who didn’t learn to drive a car fell behind when horses went out of style.

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Search options have improved and now there’s lots more choice. But search engines can only offer an answer ultimately if there is one. Epic looking for your feedback on the direction to take with Answerhub thread shows lots of Forum / AH threads are going unanswered / unresolved. So what about all the answers on the unofficial UE Discord servers… How many of those discussions are accessible to search engines? Plus, how useful are search engines when the UE Community isn’t as active as 2014-2016? :wink:

Most experts in this area from EFF in US to Max Schrems in EU, would probably disagree with this, and point out that the amount of metadata being leaked by users is immense. The only question is, how much of it is actually being weaponized against users right now. This is basically what the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal was all about.

You’ve argued before this isn’t happening. I don’t share your confidence on that. No matter what search engine is used, once users visit underlying websites, they face a host of trackers / telemetry / analytics that phone home to google / facebook and 1000’s of other data brokers, many of which sell profiles to the likes of credit reference agencies.

Google had plans to launch Dragonfly before they got caught. If something like that gets launched eventually in the west anyway, the consequences could be chilling. AI / Algos are pushing the business case for constant invasive fingerprinting and tracking of users all of the time, in order to be able to calc credit scores on people on every aspect of their lives. This is the reality in the east right now. The only question is, how much of that tech is coming west. The good news is there’s VPN / soft-VPN options to help. Metager / Startpage / Swisscows / Brave all offer proxy options, along with leveraging Browser-based Adblockers or other options. But fighting for privacy is very much an arms race! :wink:

No, I’ve argued that, what is happening, is no different from a town crier in the town square 200 years ago seeing what everybody’s up to. Or, you know, the nosy lady down the street who always sits by her window. The EFF argument is that “the town crier and nosy lady should not be allowed to talk about or act on what they see of what goes on around them,” which is a fine argument if that’s what you want, but I don’t share it.

Anyway, use duckduckgo through a VPN if you want – the one thing you shouldn’t do is ignore the power of search engines. And, if there’s questions with no answers, that means you need to make a better question. How to break down your current roadblock into different questions, and research yourself to go to the next step, or work around the roadblock, is a necessary engineering skill.

Of course it would be better if every question got a quick answer by someone who had a real clue! That’d be amazing! This is why people go to schools – there are teachers and peers in the same situation, and lots of reference material, and they can often actually help with the answers, and when you go off the tracks, at least point you in the right direction. If you’re looking to learn, you could do a lot worse than finding a good school that teaches the thing you need.

I don’t think anyone would argue that point. However, here’s a practical question. As discussions on the Forums / Answerhub trail-off, and the UE community splits across multiple platforms in order to get problems solved… Think Discord, Reddit, Polycount, YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, Github, Daz3D, StackOverflow and so on… How do you ensure search engines actually scour those sources to help devs find the right or best answers?

Discord seems to have turned into a walled garden. You used to be able to consume info on there without signing up, but that’s been blocked for a while (Twitter too). There are no Discord answers showing up in any search results I’ve ever seen, compared to Stack or Polycount or Github or Reddit. So how useful or comprehensive is web search when it omits many channels, and yet the area or question is quite specialized, such as UE game dev? :wink:

Town crier vs nosy lady? All very quaint dude. :grinning: Consider this. You apply for a job at Epic as a UE C++ programmer. Despite advancing deep into the interview screening process you suddenly get rejected without any real explanation (generic reasons like insufficient experience). Later you hear of a lawsuit against Epic. It turns out Epic were buying datasets including people’s Uber scores + Medical search results from Google, which were then de-anonymized thanks to help from TransUnion / Experian / Equifax / Palantir and so on.

So now you know an algorithm rejected you (you scored badly when data-sets were mixed with interview performance metrics). But none of this was made clear / transparent. That seems a long way from a nosy lady in a small town. The lady could ofc put in a bad word for you at a local firm. But there’s something about the invisibility / lack of accountability of secret algos and de-anonymized datasets, that seems far more destructive / damaging. And that’s just job hiring. What about other more personal aspects of people’s lives? :wink:

Consider this: You walk outside, and some guy jumps out at you from behind a corner, beats you up, and takes your wallet?

I’m much more worried about what actually happens. And, as I said, if you don’t like Google, don’t use Google, and then there are no search results to sell (although, generally, they only sell de-personalized results, i e, audience classification.)

Yes, and you would never know.

I can’t tell you how and what to think – some people are afraid of the dark, some people don’t like flying, and some people don’t eat cilantro, and that’s OK. I can suggest what actually happens in the real world, as a counterpoint to some of the more speculative fear mongering :slight_smile:

No. that was about LITERALLY stealing people’s data / Breaching privacy laws.

And FB is still doing this with impunity.
At the moment, “algorithms” scan your posted comments/content even when they are shared Privately for what FB likes to call “hate speech”. They then have some actual human review the scanned content. Effectively breaching ANY expectation of privacy one might have from replying to a friend in a comment that is only visible BY friends.
They haven’t gotten pinged for this just yet, but a large class action is sure to be coming.

Either way, how did this go from Coding C++ to whatever dystopian future China is in currently, due to the lack of balls required to burn the commies to the ground?
How in the hell did they go from Genghis Khan to “Communism is great” anyway? :laughing:

The most scandalous part about that was that the tech didn’t actually work. “Machine learning” snake oil, purified.

When those in power take too much for too long, those without power won’t actually lie down and die in a ditch, they will rise up with pitchforks and torches.
Exactly where that bar lies, varies over time and by population/location. But, for someone with a lot to lose, “paying something to retain the peace” may be the better choice compared to “fomenting bloody revolt,” at least if you look at the various revolutions in the past.