Too Much To Swallow In One Bite

Let me start by saying I absolutely love the effort Epic has put into the educational content that they have delivered. The entire team deserves a huge round of applause for it. Go ahead, pat yourself on the back guys, you’ve earned it!

The one kind of global area that I think could be refined better with the learning resources, though, is in the delivery. First, when UE4 was first released, the big selling point was to be able to make a game without being a programmer. To a large extent that is mostly true! The documentation, however, is pretty much universally designed for programmers, which makes it hard for us non-programmers to sink our teeth into. Programmer and engineers both literally and figuratively speak a different language. Me personally, I’m a game designer. I’m interested in an entirely different subset of information than the programmers and engineers, and I speak a different language then they do. I think differently. The same is most likely true for artists, sound guys, dialogue writers, level designers, and others. I’m not saying dumb down the info, quite the contrary, I think the type of people that will generally even download UE4 tend to be fairly intellectual. But the language the information is presented in could be better geared towards a non-programming audience. A good example is data tables. I personally always have trouble importing data tables, and then, when I get them into the system, accessing them is rather arcane. When I go to the documentation, I’m confronted with a lot of C++. Now, I recognize that programmers are the masters of electronic arcane wizardry, but they are also slippery and hard to catch without a trap. I’ve seriously considered stalking them with a cudgel, locking them in a basement, and alternatively administering electro-shock and bribing them with pop-tarts to handle this arcane art. Alternatively, you could save a programmer some headache with a clear, concise, blueprint friendly tutorial. I’m sure they would appreciate it.

Speaking of concise, that brings me to the second point: needles in haystacks and information overload. The content examples you provide are awesome for showcasing what the system can do. But, if you are like me, they are ridiculously hard to make sense of when trying to figure out how one particular thing is done. It’s just too much to sift through and swallow in one bite. Please consider making a series of ultra-short single topic tutorials. For example:

-Create and Import CSV’s to data tables.
-Using data table elements to drive gameplay.
-Creating functions and accessing them from other objects.
-How to make and display a graph. (like in your content examples) Just one graph. Nothing fancy.

I know a lot of this has been covered elsewhere, but it is normally buried within a ton of other stuff that the person researching the topic is likely not interested in. By creating tutorials on a task level instead of a project level, people learning the system can really ramp up on what THEY need to know, without getting bogged down in ancillary topics.

Again, wonderful job guys, and keep up the great work!