Newbie Looking For Advice From Veterans

Hi everyone, first of all I would like to say that I am a complete newbie to game design and UE.

I was wondering how you veterans came to familiarizing yourselves with UE4. I have done quite a bit of the tutorials posted by Epic Games such as the Twin Stick Shooter, the inventory pickups, and the 3D game, but I still find myself quite lost. I have a basic understanding of the framework of creating a game but not enough specifics to actually create a game. I have a hard time remembering the names of the nodes and how they fit with each other and the different types of blueprints classes and their functions (and other things such as casting, references, UMG etc). I have been making notes along the way but it hasn’t been really effective.

If I were to do some small, basic projects to familiarize myself with everything, what type of projects do you recommend?

Any tips and advice are welcome!
Thanks in advance!

When you do a tutorial, was there a section, where you had most fun, or best understanding?
Search for things you like and learn them first.
Focus not a whole game, start with functions or materials. Add sounds, play with cues.
I would suggest to put anything in one project, perhaps someday you have something like a game, when you add only stuff you like.
Write down, what the mainfunctions of your game should be and follow that road, stick to it for a long time.
Build the rest around it.

I started writing down some stuff that seemed confusing to me when I started using Unreal here:

I would also suggest watching all the starter/overview tutorials from Epic. Also, design a game and try to implement mechanics step by step by watching tutorials or by experimenting.
Keep in mind that you can always ask questions on answerhub if you can’t find anything by googling. Also, join Unreal Slackers :slight_smile: .

This is a very individual thing because it boils down to personal motivation.
I think the worst way to learn an engine is just to watch ad-hoc tutorials.

Instead why not come up with a game idea that has legs and will keep you motivated.
Then work on a map / level to begin and finish that (no BSP or incomplete materials).

Take a demo and break it down into its constituent parts instead of trying to learn node names!
Then start wiring in sample gameplay using Blueprints or C++ or whatever works best for you.

There are plenty of people in the ‘Looking for job’ section which are searching for help, and they wont care if you’re nooby.

If you’ve already checked out the fairly basic tutorials like the Getting Started playlist in the Unreal Engine youtube channel, I would suggest starting out with your own idea. Doesn’t have to be a full game, but a part of a game that you yourself want to make or enjoy playing. I think that’s really important to keep the motivation going as well as to develop your own style eventually.

So let’s say that I like RTS games. Then I would break it down into very small components, starting with maybe unit selection, then moving around the units, a basic AI that move toward the player, then placing buildings, etc. That would provide with a more focused approach to consuming tutorials, because now you yourself are going to decide what kind of tutorials you need, based on where you’re getting stuck in the development process.

Once you develop that natural flow, slowly try to improve your workflow by checking out other free projects. This should give you an idea of more efficient workflows that you may not have thought of, or was just not aware of when you started out. Other than that, writing about what you learn is a good way to retain the knowledge and at the same time prevent the same mistakes from happening again in the future.

And always keep learning. :slight_smile:

Watch tutorials especially short one over and over again , and exercise as much as possible that is better. If you don’t understand something just focus on that . Try to find more resources to cover that . Try fill every basic gap in your knowledge. After some time you will see great progress. Don’t try to jump over to many things without understanding them well that is not good way to go in my opinion.

Im not veteran but maybe this helps, think of a small prototype skeleton of a game, dont imagine a full blown world with 1000 features, think small, one of my prototypes is where i made a flying ship around the landscape i spent over a week trying to get decent flying controls, it still sucks to this day but i learned a **** lot, then i tried to add projectiles and so on, and you have to research every little step throughout tutorials/answer hub/forums, try making various small blueprints that do random things, also learn how to pass data from one blueprint to another using interfaces so on.

And dont be sad that you cant remember things off the top of your head, thats not a goal for anyone, its all about learning the concepts.
When you make toturials dont just copy pasta everything and pretend you understand what the guy said in the video, insert small ideas while doing those tutorials, so a tutorial just showed you how to shoot a laser gun? before moving any further try to see if you can make pulsating laser beams, or make them go dimmer over the distance, thats how i learn at least, its very hard and takes time, i did this silly mistake with unity, i tought i would just watch tutorials one after another and then i would try make a game, lol fail i ended up quitting after a couple of months without creating anything, until UE4 reignited my passion and i tried a different aproach.

Do not try to do C++ if you are a beginner, do only blueprints and learn C++ basics separately but spend most time with blueprints and see how they interact etc, its quite easy to transfer code from BP to C++ once you know both.
Dont give up, it takes a couple years to become really good at this.

Watching tutorials is nice, but I wouldn’t focus on that without a specific goal in mind when watching any given tutorial. Watch tutorials on making controls for your game as you are making the controls for the game. Of course if you are sitting on a subway or something and have nothing better to do, by all means immerse yourself in tutorials of all kinds, but when you are sitting in front of your development terminal the best way to learn is by doing.

Think of the game you want to make. Now think of the features that the game requires. Make those features 1 by 1 starting with the basic functionality of the game. If it is an FPS, get a player running around a map. Then get him shooting. Then make the bullets do things such as damage, bounce, etc.

Take each piece on step at a time and you can accomplish everything you need to do. You don’t have to get everything perfect the first time. It is ok to go back and rewrite functions because you have found better ways of doing things or need to expand certain functionalities.

If you keep up with it you will get there eventually.