Unreal hides very useful beginner options by default!

So I was a bit frustrated when I created this topic and said “if you have never made a game before, you’re much better off using Unity”, which I still stand by (but I updated the title).

Why? Simple: In Unity you get immediate feedback, while in Unreal you have to create your own.

Even with Blueprints, Unreal is very traditional in its thinking, mostly relying on prints to debug like in the eighties. Sure, you can see fancy animated flashing of wires, but when you try to step through each node to figure out what is going on, the viewport is frozen and doesn’t update (even for prints) and worse, if you add components programmatically in runtime, they don’t show up in the world outliner, ever! Also, the camera preview on the pawn seems to update at an extremely slow pace as well.

The visual logger that needs to record and the profiler that needs to capture data, both requiring playing back after the fack, is lovely for experienced developers who have a rough idea what to look for, but they have an very high treshold for a beginner who is just trying to understand what is going on.

Meanwhile in Unity, you alwas have a game view and editor view side by side, always live. You cause something, you instantly see the effect. That thing alone is a game changer! Meanwhile, just such a simple thing as hiding colliders by default in Unreal speaks volumes, and the baffling way that ejecting from the pawn makes even the gamepad input instead control the editor camera rather than allowing you to continue playing and observing (in Unity, you can even click around the various property panels in the editor while you continue playing with the gamepad). Unity is built around exposing as much as possible in the editor UI and making that feedback instant so you can explore and learn, while Unreal is stuck in the classic C++ thinking of hiding everything in code and then analyzing data.

Ok, rant over. I just had to vent a bit.

EDIT: The nice Unreal evangelists provided me with some super useful settings 4 posts down!

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Roblox, GameMaker, and Godot are much easier than Unity for beginners.


It’s even simpler than that - Unity has a button “Make My Game” and UE4 doesn’t! Although a rumor has it that UE5 will have similar button to what Unity has.


I like Unity. But then again I find things to like in most game engines. Unity has amazing learning templates, the best in any engine I’ve used so far. But saying you’re better off?!

Those are for debugging advanced performance issues arguably - not iterating code / getting basic functionality working… Overall, It can help to build small prototypes of gameplay in isolated projects, and then migrate over working snippets into larger projects later on. :wink:

Sure… I’ve often felt BP could benefit from small quality-of-life editor-tweaks including:

  1. Conditional breakpoints / watches. Overall the current watch system isn’t that helpful.
  2. Auto-insert Print-strings into a BP circuit by right-clicking on a variable and finding there’s a new option that adds a sequence and feeds the value of the variable into a Print-String.
  3. Quick toggle to show specific colliders / camera placeholders moving in the scene.

This is a long requested feature. You should track down the thread where Epic have previously commented and bump it. But I fear its like requests for built-in runtime-terrain like Unity has had for a decade → :cricket: :cricket:

Overall, the biggest issue with Unreal is that Epic aren’t good at explaining things (they’re too close to the material and assume everyone wants to eat source). Promoting a simple English campaign / and using more analogies, plus offering more useful practical examples or templates would help. But this is all left to the community - working for free! In Unity that seems to work as a support model. In Unreal it doesn’t! So most devs are left to just figure things out on their own! :stuck_out_tongue:


This, thankfully, turned out to be wrong:

So for the Unreal Engine Team: How about a “difficulty level” selector at the start of a project in addition to the template? :smiley:

Yes, I’m asking about an “easy mode” where collisions and construction script components are shown by default! :rofl:

(Seriously, a beginner friendly mode with options like these enabled would go a long way, especially if Epic wants more indies and not just AAA to use the engine.)

EDIT: I just got told about another checkbox and that’s the “show inherited variables” setting that’s placed under the eye by the search box in a Blueprint editor. Incredibly useful for a beginner to have that activated as well!

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There is more than just print string, you can add breakpoints in nodes and it works perfectly. I have 0 trouble debugging.

If you are a complete noob that knows 0 programming in C++ then Unreal is not going to be easy to develop for. BUT if you do have a basic knowledge of C++ then Unreal is definitely easy to learn.

unity has it’s own learning curve which has been made easier overall but not in every way. But I feel Unreal is amazing and the amount of info out there is astounding. I was able to learn unreal engine in less than a month and within 6 months I have already finished the full featured alpha with c++ and blueprints combined. for my game and uploaded to google store.

Lies… :slight_smile: I don’t know C++ (or rather know very basic stuff) and so far I’ve been able to get by solely on Blueprints.

Calculus is very bad for beginners trying to learn how to do math!

If you don’t know how to make games, you probably shouldn’t be using an engine that assumes you know how to make games.

Also, your rant seems to be more based around your inexperience with the engine and its differences to Unity rather than it actually being “very bad for beginners”, hence, your second post where you’ve already learned things you didn’t know. To quote myself:

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Both of these statements are true, but they don’t tell the whole story. It depends on your use of Unreal and your work situation. If you’re an Indie and your games don’t require low-level engine access for speed or customization, you’re probably good with BP (plus Plugins). If on the flip side you’re working for a studio you’re expected to know some C++, even if you’re a Blueprinter. Otherwise your other areas of specialization need to be strong such as in DCC. :wink:

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I agree fully, the more important part is whether or not you are Indie or a Big Studio and the scope of your game which will determine how much knowledge of the engine you need to know. That’s why Unreal is the best IMO because as an Indie dev you basically get your hand held for awhile while you learn to use the engine, it’s nice.

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Thank you for confirming that Unreal isn’t suitable for beginners! :smiley:

With that said, I updated the topic title to something that’s perhaps less controversial.

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That’s not to say that a beginner can’t learn game development with Unreal, but it’s going to be harder than if they started with something simpler because, in addition to having to learn the basic concepts of game development, they’re going to have to learn Unreal-specific concepts, terms, and methods.

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Like modding Quake 1 (which was re-released yesterday) or Doom 3 !

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I view this a slightly different way: Unreal needs two monitors.
If you have two monitors, Unreal Engine development is pretty good, and you can actually get an overview of all the things you need to see.
If you only have one monitor, and need to look at a viewport and a blueprint at the same time? It’s very painful.


Samsung Lc49hg90

A room full of monitors with Unreal is definitely lots of fun! :+1:
So that helps. But I don’t think that’s the answer not really.
Its about motivation, or what drives people to learn Unreal?

BTW: I don’t pretend to know the real answer here, I’ve no idea.
But I’m sure its related to the fact passion for UE is super high.
So as sht as support is atm, Unreal has that special something. :wink:

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Ok, so I’m adding an actor component in one blueprint, and then in another blueprint, I’m doing little dance to locate that component and failing… so then I’m debugging and want to step through where it fails, and take a look in the world outliner on that actor to see if it has the component or not… but I can’t. The entire world outliner is greyed out, the viewport is frozen, and the only thing I’m allowed to do is step to the next node.

Any suggestions for a beginner?

Ah yes, that freezing is how breakpoints work. It freezes whenever that code you added the breakpoint to executes, this is so the program “Pauses” and you can check that breakpoint for many things. For example Say you want to see if your Weapon is indeed changing it’s Damage from 5 to 10 you would add a breakpoint to the Damage Set and when that code executes the program will pause and you can then look inside of your blueprint nodes for that function where that breakpoint is and check the integer pipe value going in by hovering your mouse over it.

Also if you really want to get into the meat of beginner stuff for free Unreal has a whole site dedicated to that. go here and do any course you think is a good starting point or interesting to you.

My suggestion is to start with the courses titled “Exploring Blueprints” then do the “Twin Stick Shooter with Blueprint” course as that one also talks about C++ with blueprints towards the end.

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Ok, very good, thank you for the general suggestions… :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

How about my specific example?