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Unreal in Middle School Education???

I’m a middle school teacher and want to do game design.
First of all, do you think 7th/8th graders could use unreal or is it too high end?
If they could use it, what would be a good way to start?
Which tutorials may be simple enough to start with and have them learn from?

Thanks so much for any help with this. I’m new to unreal myself and would appreciate any help I can get.

If you are referring to the PC specs of the average 7th/8th grader (Or the average middle school that I have seen), I’m going to say that Unreal Engine is too high-end. If you are referring to the intelligence level of average 7th/8th graders, I think they could absolutely use/learn it if they wanted to.

To start, I would simply say start with the basics, getting to know the engine. From there, it really depends on where you would like the lessons to go, as there is plenty to be learned.

Kudos for making school more interesting! But finding the right materials might be tough.
Regarding plenty to learn the sheer number of details involved in game work is incredible.
So when faced with that, what will keep their interest? With Pokemon big atm AR maybe?
BTW: Unity isn’t as slick looking, but it runs on anything and its store has more variety…

Kudos for making school more interesting! But finding the right materials might be tough.
Regarding plenty to learn the sheer number of details involved in game work is incredible.
So faced with that, what might keep their interest… With Pokemon big atm AR maybe…?
BTW: Unity isn’t as slick looking, but it runs on anything & its store has more variety atm.

Unreal Engine is **great **for most levels (including middle school) given they have access to usable hardware and are supported with learning resources.

Be sure to check our Hardware and Software Specifications Page to ensure student machines are up to spec. https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/GettingStarted/RecommendedSpecifications/

If you are looking for a text book for use in-class, I recommend “Sams Teach Yourself Unreal Engine 4 Game Development in 24 Hours” by Aram Cookson, Clinton Crumpler, Tim Johnson. This is currently the only UE4 book reviewed by Epic and would make for a good in-class book.

Additionally, below is a list of both paid and non paid UE4 beginning level curriculum that could be helpful from a variety of sources. I have listed a series of links from Epic’s own website where we teach how to assemble games in UE4 from internally developed video series.

Also you will find links to a variety of paid courses that are well done and mostly beginning level material. Most of the paid courses are fairly affordable and quite in depth.

Then I have also linked a bunch of free youtube.com community learning channel playlists from folks that post their tutorials online for free. Most of these are basic enough and cover the core principles of working in UE4 well enough for most to get a well rounded grasp of the fundamentals.

**Free Unreal Engine Courses:
**
· Twin Stick Shooter

· 3rd Person Power-Up Game with C++

· 2D Sidescroller with Blueprints

· Endless Runner with Blueprints

· Unreal Match 3 Game

Free UE4 Community Youtube.com Learning Channels:

· Unreal Engine 4 Beginner Tutorials

· Mathew Wadstein Tutorials

· Leo Gonzales Unreal Basics

· Tesla Dev Tutorials

· UE4 Style Guide

Free UE4 Community Blueprints:

· Blueprints Communication Training - Zak Parrish

· Blueprints Compendium - VOLUME II

· BP_Compendium.pdf

· Network Compendium

Free UE4 Community VR Learning Channels:

· Mitch’s VR Labs

· Unreal Engine VR Curriculum

Free UE4 Community ArchViz Learning Channels:

· Architectural Visualization Tutorials

**Paid Elearning Courses:
**
· Unreal Engine 4: The Complete Beginner’s Course

· Learn to Code in C++ by Developing Your First Game

· Complete Introduction to Unreal 4

· Unreal Essential Training - Lynda.com

This is all great stuff and would be good for grade levels with students that are self motivated and engaged.

Hope it helps.

Hi cpautler,

As much as we all love Unreal, I think starting to learn game design with UE4 is too advanced for middle school kids.

It took me about 6 weeks to learn the basics of the engine (a grown man) so I would imagine it would take much longer for a child.

Children need a quick feedback loop - to stay motivated they need to see progress. if you spend half the course just giving a tour of Unreal, they may get discouraged.

If, however, you use something like Game maker where they can easily create a functional game, they will stay motivated to continue to learn more. At that point you can move to more complex engines like Unreal.

if the goal is to give them an introduction to game design and allow them to create a simple game - I would go simple and 2d.

Just my 2c.

You can learn how to make basic blueprint games in a weekend. You don’t need spend weeks learning the in-and-out of every tool to get something useful.

Blueprint scripting, especially within a provided preconstructed environment, is an excellent introduction to the fundamental concepts of programming and you can get tangible results very quickly. GameMaker is an antiquated pain in the ****, much less visual and much slower to work with.

Hi there,
II want to tell anyone on this topic that I have been teaching Game Design and Development with UE4 to 7th and 8th graders. If you are interested in learning more please reply. I have adapted the course by Chris Murphy available here: Educator Resources - Unreal Engine. IWe are using $500 windows laptops and while they have trouble with tons of particles, they have been doing the job.

would be happy to share my lesson plans etc. reply to this thread.

Hello. Teacherator, I would like to view your lesson plans as I would like to learn and teach UE4 to 7-12 grade students. If you could reply soon, that would be awesome! Thanks

Hi Teacherator,

I am interested in getting the lesson plans, etc. that you are using with your 7th and 8th graders. I sent you a private message. Thanks in advance!