How to start with Unreal Engine 4 (the right way) ?

Hello dear UE4 Community,
i would like to start with Unreal Engine 4 in the right way.
I already played around with Unreal Engine 4, made some UI and so on, but that’s not what i’m looking in this thread.
I want to start creating games in the right and best way.
I came up with that question because i remembered how i started to code websites. You don’t learn on youtube how to code a website in the optimal way, how to separate files so they make sense and can be used more efficient, simple example are PHP headers which are included in other websites. Saves lot of time and editing.

So how do i start the right way? Should i first start doing the game or the UI? How should i separate the files?

I don’t have the answer, I’m a novice but have a great deal of experience and skill in many 3D applications. This program and its complexity is mind blowing. I have several books, watched many YouTube lessons and struggled with my projects and am nearly ready to toss in the towel.

Just trying to get a clear answer to basic problem is, at times, an overwhelming challenge.

If I had co-workers that are truly experts perhaps this would be simpler. However; I need to use traditional resources. I find this next to impossible. There are so many different resources that it’s like trying to read confetti, I need a complete concise book (See the Mastering Revit book for Revit) for a complete reference to all the functions of the program. Then I could fill in behind that knowledge with examples, advice, and trial and error work flow.


Yeah, i’m now following a Tutorial from Virtus Learning Hub and it’s pretty easy to follow the video.
I have only experience at coding websites, Front- and Back-End. Learning all at once won’t help you in my opinion. Because you will remember things which you’re currently using. For example, if you would learn now PHP i don’t think you will remember everything not knowing what you want to do with that knowledge.
When i follow the video i sometimes add my own “confetti” to it, so it fits me a bit more. It’s pretty fun when you follow Videos and you see a character moving and something is changing, i’m not really into reading 3 months, i would stop reading after 2-4days. Because creating a game should make also fun. If it doesn’t make fun you already failed. I know something about this, because i have many hobbies tho.

How I like to learn is by solving a specific problem.
I look to try and do something, and if I cannot, I look for the direct answer.
The reason I do this is because learning without application for me makes me glaze over and not truly retain the information.

However, Unreal has a lot of documentation to help with the development process

There’s no clear answer to your question.

I’ve worked on project where characters and environment art were created only after the game was fully programmed…
I’ve worked on project where everything was “ready”, but they didn’t have any programmer yet and thought it was just a matter of “glueing things together with code” after art was done;

I’ve worked on project everyone was doing everything at the same time, models, sound, code, game design, backend systems, etc;

And… I’ve worked on a game (moba) where they built a game client in full without having the server code working yet. LOL

In terms of learning, don’t focus too much on making q full game, make self-contained gameplay systems for the sake of gathering experience.

I wonder how do i get the “Animation Length” of the currently “playing” animation?

I don’t know how to select the current playing animation :frowning:

hey lindz 54](User Profile - Unreal Engine Forums), my background is quite similar to yours . before starting Learning ue4 I only had experience in things related to 3d modelling .
I am still a novice and still have tons to learn but I am at the point where I have a good idea of what steps to take to reach my end goal . also, bear in mind that I use blueprints so in term of performance optimization it is probably not the right way to do it .

The first thing I did was watching the series of videos made by epic (in the video tutorials tab at the top of the page) the ‘‘Introduction to Blueprints | v4.8’’ is probably the one that helped me the most . I thought, watching tutorials made by the people develloping the engine should be a good starting point .

I think the most important thing to get started is to understand well the followings :

  • the different types of variables, what they do/how/when to use them .
  • how to get blueprint to communicate (casting, interface, event dispatcher)

At first I was quite overwhelmed I spent a few frustrating weeks failling because I didn’t grasp the blueprint communication well . I think I was also trying to solve to many issues at once .

as KinDaKreator]( mentionned above, I also find it better solve one problem at the time .
The best way I found to be able to do that is to split a simple project in a lot of very small tasks that you can tackle one at the time .

for example for a simple platformer, you could do it this way :

character creation :
1-create a character blueprint,
2-learn how to define inputs
3-use input to move character around the level
4-add extra fonctionalities, jump, double jump…
5-once you can move your character learn how to animate it

level creation :
1-learn how to make basic Platform, undestanding collision and so on
2-learn how to make moving platform
3-learn how to make pick up objects
4-learn how to make those pick ups have effect on your character (counting points or give special abilities)

One of the mistake I made was to waste a lot of time trying to use the templates as a starting point . Don’t get me wrong the templates are great but I didn’t understand how they were built in the first place and they confused me even more when trying to use them as a starting point . I learnt a lot more from the moment I decided to learn how to work from a blank project .

It is difficult at first but when things start ‘clicking’ you can start making small prototype quickly .

I hope this help .


#1. Counter-intuitive advice… Make a long list and scratch out everything you can stay away from in UE4 right now… For example, if you can start out by not doing anything heavily related to Characters, AI, and Multiplayer then great, that will help. But obviously, if your whole game is the character, then strike out that advice, as its unavoidable… Otherwise, just remember to keep things simple… So focus on the API, not C++ for now too…

#2. While it sounds obvious, focus on a game genre that interests you, not whatever Battle Royal / Zombie Survival / Crafting game the market is obsessing over atm. Why? Because game dev is a long road, so you need something to keep your interest. Plus by the time you have something to show, the market may have moved on, and cares nothing about whatever counted before…

#3. Don’t watch too many tutorials, which is also counter intuitive too maybe. But the fact is, you make a lot of serendipitous discoveries just by messing about and guessing about how stuff works. There is another important point here though. You don’t want to be too over-schooled at game dev. Because it means you follow the form too much, and that can sniffle your own creativity, meaning you end up kicking-out clones of other games. When in fact, you should be making something that’s different. Since game dev is so detailed, following the form is the norm, and so its hard to break this vicious cycle. But its necessary, to surprise gamers.

#4. Overall, the Docs and Tutorials are hit and miss. Reverse engineering existing templates and projects is far more powerful learning imho… Much of the docs are auto-generated (BP node reference etc), and so are pretty useless. Whereas some of the Wikis contain gold… But hardly anything is cross-linked, so you have to hunt around for the gold… Its like a Wikipedia from hell, where half the articles link to nothing or are under different assumed names… Oh wait, that is Wikipedia! :stuck_out_tongue: … Anyway, Epic know this btw, but it wont be addressed until UE5… They are working on documenting while coding etc, so its going to be a great help to those starting out, er- in about 3-5 years time…

#5. Don’t read #1-#4, and certainly don’t listen to people like me… :stuck_out_tongue: Most pioneers / crusaders in game dev, as per anything else, tend to break all the rules - not follow them. So maybe write your own / design your own play-book…