Newbie Lost


I’m new to Unreal engine and I am lost. I went through a couple of tutorial playlists on youtube from Epic but it seems like those tutorials are mostly meant for people who already understand what they’re doing. I am going through the Documentation right now now I am not sure how I should progress through it.

What order should I go through the documentation? Which things should I learn first? Which things should I know by heart? Are there any books or videos out there that are good for learning the basics?

Hi YellowPeople,

What is it that you are struggling to understand?
Going through the tutorial playlists might seem a bit daughting but they are pretty well structured to give a basic understanding of the tools at hand.

The Unreal Engine youtube channel has few playlists dedicated to just introducing the viewer to the editors and its tools (on a basic level).
Go through the ‘Get Started with UE4’ playlist if you have not already as this will give a general introduction to the editor.
From here, watch the ‘Intro to the UE4 Editor’ playlist which runs through the editor on a basic level and introduces some of the windows & tools you will work with within the editor.

If you are feeling at all better prepared after watching these playlists, definitely crack into one of the tutorial playlists such as ‘3rd Person Game with Blueprints (v4.8)’.

The playlists mentioned above are on outdated versions of the editor but I would assume the vast majority of the points discussed in the videos will be un-changed.

Let us know what you are struggling with and I am sure one of us can point you in a direction.

I have been learning UE4 in my free time for the last two years. Since I am a web and mobile developer in my daily job, game engine is totally new for me. And my advice for the old me will be, learn the basics.

I mean, before I try to figure out how to use UE4 material editor, I should learn something about OpenGL, especially GLSL. Before using Cascade Particle Editor, I should get to know what is a particle system. The same with Persona, AI and so on. UE4 contains many sub system. For someone with zero game-programming experience, it’s better to start from each system itself, instead of using UE4.

And start making your game as soon as possible. You will not remember an answer if you don’t know the question. Making your own game ensures you to meet a lot of questions.

So what would you advice before learning Blueprint and C++? I am talking about basics which you are talking about. Can you make a list something like “Basics which have to be learned before starting UE4” ? I wonder your list. Thank you.

King regards.

As a long-time programmer, blueprint is actually the easiest and most natural part for me. But I think some objective-oriented concept such as interface, inheritance will definitely help.

Maybe run over some books about python?

Other things I found helpful include,

  • photography knowledge is good for post process.
  • learning how to do animation in blender
  • basic knowledge about behavior trees and blackboard system
  • particle system
  • OpenGL and GLSL

The list of what to learn is very long.

Your best bet is to start with a project, like make a weapon for Unreal Tournament. Find all the steps in that, from using Blender, or 3D Studio Max if you can afford it, to importing it and then making the Blueprint scripts for it.

Your best tactic is to pick a time in the day, set aside a couple of hours for video tutorials and sit down and watch the Unreal Channel on YouTube. Open your mind and your ears, pay attention to what they are talking about and chill to think what you have just watched after each video. After 4-5 videos, set it aside and do something else for a little bit of time (usually around 20-30 minutes). This will refresh your mind and it won’t become too monotonous for you to zone out during the videos. Be sure to come back to where you had left off and keep going.

Don’t skip ahead in the video because you will likely miss something important.

A structurally sound building always starts with a good foundation to keep it from falling apart. Education is no different, whether it is for mathematics, space travel or game programming.

To me it has always has been about learning project. I went from 0 knowledge in Unreal 4 to doing this in 1 year and a half. I had a strong programming background before that though (that I also learned through learning projects).

What is a learning project? It is something you want to do. Do it. Try to. You’ll learn the necessary steps.

Of course the point is not to start off with a MMORPG learning project. But in the case of an MMORPG it could be “I want to do a nice combat system that a MMORPG could use”.

You don’t need to “end” a learning project, lots of them never ends. You just move on to a bigger (or different skill field) learning project.

What is it you want to do with Unreal 4? Well chose a small step and find how to do it. Then move on to another step.

Wow that’s amazing. Where did you look up questions? From the documentation? A lot of the tutorials online are like “do this” and “do that” but doesn’t explain why, which makes everything really confusing

A lot of the tutorials online are like “do this” and “do that” but doesn’t explain why, which makes everything really confusing

This is why I never use tutorials;
I just go and do mistakes until I ‘get it’ by myself. Btw, if you expect someone to explain the ‘why’ of everything, that would end as a book so ppl don’t explain much because takes a lot of time to explain everything properly…

I would like to work on projects to learn. What projects do you recommend for someone who has some basics down but are not really comfortable working with blueprints?

I am interested in learning about blueprints and gameplay, not asset creation. What projects do you commend?

My opinion is a weapon for Unreal Tournament.

Put an add in the Got Skills Want Talent forum asking for an artist to partner with. Be clear it is to learn. Design the weapon with the artist, talking over Skype or email and then divy up the tasks to execute it. It will expose you to all the main gameplay systems in UE4, including multiplayer.

Scripting the weapon to fire how you want would be BP

But you don’t have to make a weapon, that was just an example he gave.

Basically what you want to do, is pick a project and make it. The feeling of “I don’t get how to do this” is normal.

But the only way you get better with game dev is by doing it. More and more. The more you do the better you get. It won’t be instant, but it will be noticeable.

So the best way to actually start doing stuff is to simply do it. What kind of games do y ou like? what is an idea you have? Make it.

To do that, start with the most simple aspects. Say you want to make an RTS… figure out how to make the camera work. Stuff like that.

To learn how to do what you want, you research, do tutorials, or experiment.

Unfortunately there’s no (at least free) series that will teach you a bit of everything. You’d have to get an education for that or pay for a class or something.

Which really I don’t recommend - I understand wanting to learn, but again, to learn you must do. Just get started!

Tutorials are not here to teach you the subtle ways, how’s and why’s of Blueprints but only to lead you in the right direction (I mean, most of the tutorials I’ve followed are not well designed, not to blame anyone but the authors usually don’t have much educational skills, nevertheless without them I wouldn’t be there).

And yeah everything is confusing, Unreal 4 is a big engine. You just need to breakdown the big task into lots of small tasks, pick one and get started :slight_smile:

We started Unreal 4 with a coworker. For 2 weeks we followed every epic tutorials, doing the same thing the guy was doing. Then we started a learning project with several goals (UI, Enemies, Weapons). It all started from here. But it needs you to be motivated.

…and that Motivation is the key to the whole thing. If you are not feeling motivated to learn the system, your time may be better served doing something else. This is difficult-to-conceptualize work. You will fail. You will be upset while tracking down that one node that’s messing it all up. You will see the errors in your ways and in the ways of others. You will finally have that breakthrough eureka moment, and it will feel fantastic.

It is not meant to sound mean or condescending, just some serious food for thought. Are you motivated to want to go… and to do… and to achieve… what it is you want to do? That is a decision that only you can answer truthfully to yourself. Once you have made that decision, go and do and achieve what you want to do. That’s advice that will fit in just about anything in Life, not only in Unreal Engine 4 Blueprint Studies.

:cool: Are You Ready? :cool:

Ya that’s the problem I am facing right now. I went through a couple of Epic’s tutorials but they are just “do this” “do that”. I’m usually able to follow along but then once the tutorial finished I won’t remember anything.

because you need to practice (only way to store new knowledge in our long term memory), and most important learn howto solve problem by yourself and how to FAIL before succeed (tutorial are not good at learning those important things)!

tutorial are good way to have “an easy time” accomplishing/creating something, and discovering new thing. Use them for that :slight_smile:

But next you need to practice what you discovered and make it yours.

try perheps to think of simple game/mechanics you want to create, and than find tutorial on that.
Do the tutorials. It can help a bit while following the tutorials to memorise things if you know your are going to reuse them next.
then try to create the best you can to create your small game/mechanism.

It’s easiest to start with the familiar in an unfamiliar environment, since your a web developer try to replicate something you’ve already made and are entirely familiar with. This will make the skill you already have better while learning how to do it in an entirely different way. When starting from zero it’s best to do small specific tutorials as large tutorials series may contain errors that will frustrate you. Creating a simple health bar will help you learn how to manipulate information from a simple collision into damage and then visualize it. These techniques can then be used to make progress bars, ammo, triggers and various other UI elements. In time you will become more familiar with the steps to create complex mechanisms. If I can’t find the info I need on youtube, google or forums in 15 minutes I’ll usually brute force attack the problem until it is fixed.

Understanding variable types is probably the most fundamental as knowing what things are and do is key. Learn it like an instrument, learn the strings first, then the notes and then make music.