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Question : How to become a game developer as an 3d artist.

Hello Unreal Engine Game Developer / Artist,

I am a 3D Artist but I am really interested in learning game development but I have no idea where to start. I’ve been struggling with where to start learning since last year, been searching Udemy or Pluralsight but I couldn’t really know which is the course I should start with. I am pretty sure making a game is not easy, you have to start with a story, scripting writing, audio design, game mechanics, level design, game design, learn coding, or more. With these many things, I couldn’t know where I should really start with. Story first or game mechanic first? Any advice from the great developer here will be appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Check out threads like the one below. Even though there’s millions of similar reads on here, that thread has the most comprehensive reply seen from Epic in a while (as staff don’t have time to interact much on here). So kudos to @SkyeEden for taking the time from what is presumably a punishing work schedule with UE5 shipping soon.

Anyway there’s lots of diverse opinions or ways to start as you can see in that thread. But the real answer or the best approach, or the one that really counts, is for YOU to figure out how YOU LEARN BEST and stick with that approach for now. As whatever works for YOU is the secret to progressing (as everyone likes to learn differently).

Personally I don’t recommend video tutorials - except GDC talks. Those are a must. As they’re normally high quality and super entertaining too. I also don’t think Blogs / Wikis / Books are a great starting point either. But who knows - as they may be for YOU. Overall, I think the fastest / easiest / most powerful way to learn, is to just take projects apart. So kill the mystery / complexity early on, and reduce your learning time to weeks instead of months. How can you do that? Download Community-Tools Samples here on the forums (see thread below) or look for interesting Marketplace packs. :wink:

Good luck!

Do keep in mind that some of those - and actually a lot of stuff you buy on the marketplace - is far from professional.

In other words, just because project X does Y doesn’t mean that Y is the correct approach to follow.

That’s actually why (apparently, if you read the excuses they give) the wiki was closed out.

As far as the rest.
Do yourself a favor.

  1. Make a pong game. (30 minutes, 3 hours top with AI enemy?)

  2. Make an Arkanoid ( brick breaker ) game. (1 to 2 hours at most?)

  3. Pak Man ( the pawn movement can be hard in unreal If done in 3d and trying to simulate exact original behavior)

  4. Pinball. On this one use skeletal meshes.

  5. shooter. 3rd or first. Just make a shooting gallery and get it to work.

From then on you should have a solid grasp of most of the engine and you can dive back into actually making a solid project.

Then come the optimization complications. And the fact you should probably not have learned just unreal.
But you can take the game replication approach to any coding language in order to learn it.

True. There’s a huge lack of consistency in marketplace packs that get approved and / or the hard time some MP creators get versus others - whatever that’s about. So just try to find some of the better projects in Community-Tools, or hunt down Marketplace packs with real reviews. Either way, treat everything ultimately as an imperfect learning template. That will get most people up to speed or somewhat productive in weeks versus months (or even months versus years), compared to learning everything through docs / vids / blogs. :wink:

Solid advice… Personally speaking though, simple games / re-inventing the wheel is a kind of joy killer (kills interest in really learning game tech). So as to what you can realistically take on for your first project? The answer is it varies… Its a function of how quickly you learn, how much free time you have, how much free / paid help you get, and what your true expectations are. How motivated are you really, how passionate are you about a particular idea? As long as you don’t think an MMO is realistic, then you have lots of options. And if you’re lucky enough to have a budget for the project, then you have even more options. :stuck_out_tongue:

Learning How to pay others for quality work is an entirely different realm though.
Here my assumption is that OP and anyone else wants to learn how to use the engine properly via trial and error.

Hey I am also a 3d artist who started making games not too long ago.

Because the category of “games” is so diverse, it is really impossible to say, “this is how you should plan your project” or anything like that.

And so much will depend not just on your games goals but also you as an individual. I might organize my project one way, you could do a similar project but approach a totally different way.

So then the best thing to do is get experience under your belt. To that end, you’d want to make many small games. The intent is only to learn and gain experience so there is no stress or fear of failure. You can start out by following tutorials and once you feel ready to fly on your own you can remake classic, simple games, or rework/add onto the tutorial projects you’ve made… with enough experience like this you’ll be able to start envisioning how to tackle more unique and complex projects.

It is worthwhile to get a tutor as well. Someone available for a couple hours a week to help you troubleshoot problems and such. They don’t have to be a guru - just somebody with some experience developing games and that you communicate well with.

As far as project based tutorials go, I highly recommend gamedev.tv, and definitely exhaust everything in the unreal learn area. Their is really too much stuff available for free - you’ll start feeling ready to do your own work before you ever finish all the great and free/cheap learning content available.

Hi Unreal Enterprise. Thanks for letting me know there is a great topic similar to this, I will check it out ! Thank you so much !

Hey MostHost_LA, good point ! I should start small not to start thinking a crazy triple a standard game to start with hahah.

BigTimeMaster. Agree, games is soo sooo soo diverse. I’ll check gamedev.tv, Thanks for the sharing the pro tips and advice.