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Where to start?

Howdy! My name is Mike, I’m new to Unreal (and game design in general), and had a simple question for the experienced users here. Where do I start?

I chose to learn Unreal as a hobby because creating my own game has been a dream since I was nine years old, playing mariokart on the n64 and thinking, ****, I wish I could make my own tracks, new powerups, and characters. I also picked Unreal because of the sheer amount of educative material and documentation. Seriously, its fantastic how much support there is for beginners. But I found myself overwhelmed by it all. I’d like to create an online, server based game with character levels, weapons, an open world, lots of monsters, intricate bosses, and more, but where does one begin for something of this size? By no means do I intend on this becoming a public title but rather something I can sink hours and hours into and feel like I’m creating something great that I can goof around on with friends. Do I begin with level design? Combat? The multiplayer aspects such as getting multiple people into the same place? UI? There’s just so much that I’d like to do and learn but it all seems to link together and rely on one another.

If anyone has advice on where to start, what to learn first, or just tips to help me out, I’d appreciate it greatly!

Hello! And welcome to UE4! :slight_smile:

I would recommend you start by watching Epic’s Video tutorials. Also if you prefer reading, try Kiatus Studios Books.

It’s hard to say were to start in terms of game devolpment. I would say you should learn how to level design, then blueprints. And I would also recommend that you learn (Or have someone make) assets (Textures, sounds, 3d models and animation.).

I hope that helps! ALSO! I forgot the most important thing. Never give up. :slight_smile:

Well, you have come to the right place, welcome to the forums! The question of where to begin is an excellent question. The task you listed is certainly a big one, that requires a lot of time and effort, but it is also a great way to learn. There are a few things that I feel you should know before beginning on such a big task. Starting on something that big can be a mistake if you are not first knowledgeable with the engine, and all of your options as far as how you can get something done, because later down the road, you may look back and realize that you made a big mistake in one of the core elements of the game (I have been there, I have done that myself). Before you jump into any projects, you’ll definitely want to know how to navigate around the editor, I suggest you watch the ‘Intro into the UE4 Editor’ video series by Epic if you haven’t already: https://wiki.unrealengine.com/Videos?category=Basics .

After you are acquainted with the engine/editor itself, you’ll want to get to know blueprints, which is the visual programming language within UE4 (C++ is also an option, but I do not recommend it for beginners). A great way to get to know this language is to watch the tutorials by Epic Games on YouTube, or find a paid tutor (I am available). My last piece of advice is USE THE FORUMS, so many people come to the forums saying that they have been stuck on a problem for weeks, and I am wondering why they didn’t turn to the forums sooner, we are here to help, and quite honestly, I wish there were more posts. Good luck on your endeavors Mike :slight_smile:

Awesome! Thanks for the advice.
I had another question as well, I’ve noticed some of the Unreal 4 games that have come out recently (like ARK) struggle with framerate, even on better systems. Any tips on keeping my game playable as I progress? Is it as simple as keeping the polys low and the lighting simple or is there more to it?

EDIT: Thanks Jamendxman, I see what you’re saying about starting small and learning before starting on my main goal. I’ve downloaded some of the examples in the Epic launcher to see what kind of stuff would be possible and I can see having a firm knowledge before beginning on a big project would be more beneficial.

Personally, I think that the ARK coders hadn’t much of a clue what they were doing, seeing as they started their game from a template. They also released the game using version 4.5 of UE4, which was long before any of the open-world optimizations were released. Code optimization is also a big factor, which requires lots of experience to master.

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Performance/Guidelines/index.html :slight_smile:

Thank you, Fighter!

I can recommend these video tutorials by TeslaDev, who covers many topics https://www.youtube.com/user/TeslaUE4/videos?sort=dd&view=0&shelf_id=0 And from Epic https://www.youtube.com/user/UnrealDevelopmentKit/videos - they got many beginner friendly tutorials as well.

Hi and welcome !

  1. For Unreal Engine : go on Youtube, and get everything you can when it comes to information. Begin by all the simple things like, creating Materials, Lights, Renders, Physics… playing with everything you can. Save text or video tutorials on your computer if needed.

  2. Have a global view of your project. Is it commercial or not ? Do you make it alone ? Feel what you want to make, mesure your ambition, the quality and the feseability of your project. Keep it simple, in line with your inspirations.

  3. Get all the references you can get. Save interesting medias in a “References” folder. Play the games you’re inspired by.

  4. Do not be centered on one single piece of your work, and keep working on diverse things all the time ; every hour or two for example. Try everything, even things that seem difficult at the moment. Work is like food. You got to be decomplexed and diversified, otherwise you end up lost and tired, losing interest and faith regarding your project ; and you give it up (but try again later).

  5. Don’t lose time testing and having fun on bits of things you made on the Editor.

  6. Be interested by what you make.

  7. have fun !

Sorry for the double-post, but I forgot a very important thing :

  1. Go Dual-Screen ; get a second screen to work with. I can’t tell you how much it helps. For example, you can place Blender on one screen and Unreal Engine on the other ; or Blender on one side and your references pictures on the other when you work on modeling. That’s what I do since some weeks and it helps so much you feel more motivated for your projects.

Thank you for the links, Unit, I’ll be sure to bookmark them. And awesome advice Felix.

EDIT: I wanted to mention too how impressed I am at the UE forums. I mean, wow, I’ve never seen such a constructive, positive community before.

It’s the best community in the game dev scene! :smiley:
Whenever you have any questions, make sure to post them here into the forum -> we are always here to help