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MarcusAseth

Do you think using Unreal Engine could cripple the basics of a begginner programmer?

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I mean, I realize that it does so much for me, collisions and physics to mention the probably most obvious things, that even though I am a begginner, I don't really need to learn those now...and this might be a really bad thing.

On the other hand, it gets out of the way the majority of the stuff that would stump a begginner trying to create a very simple game, so that even a begginner has a chance to create a simple game and see/understand better how everything interact with each other, and that's is a very good learning opportunity to improve because it ease the learning curve of what goes into a game.

What's your opinion on this? :)

What "stance" do you think a begginner should have regarding this fancy engines? 

Also do you think that my fear of a "learning potential" being cripple by it is an actual thing? I mean, should I really worry about it?

Edited by MarcusAseth

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2 minutes ago, MarcusAseth said:

Do you think using Unreal Engine could cripple the basics of a beginner programmer?

Yes. Forever.

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I think it can be a very valuable learning experience to build at least a simple game for yourself using lower level APIs.

However, I don't think it's neccesarily something you need to do first, and I don't think it's harmful to use an engine first. I will however note that caveat that if you're using C# with Unity, or C++ with Unreal, or whatever other option, it can definitely be beneficial to learn at least the basics of your chosen programming language outside of the engine so you don't have to focus on both things at once: i.e. I would get a book or find some tutorials on C# before trying to use Unity.

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Do you think a car with an automatic transmission and a full tank of gas would permanently damage your ability to drive, or should everyone start by learning how to change the oil and filters, rotate the tires, service the fuel injectors and rebuild the clutch on a manual transmission?

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Beginners gotta start somewhere. Besides that, I see nothing wrong with using engines like Unreal or Unity. Even AAA studios have used them to make some great games. (Examples: Hearthstone, Bioshock Infinite)

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I think there is real value in lowering the barrier for entry to computer programming, personally. Game development is a perfect example of how many different disciplines a person must be competent in before they can start pumping out programs of real worth. Using an example from non-game dev experience I've had, I once did a project with a doctor, who had all sorts of doctor problems and wants he needed solved by a computer program, but who wasn't a computer programmer. He very intimately understood his industry and the type of problems he'd run into, but had no way to put it into a program. After several weeks of back and forth of him teaching me things he'd needed to communicate for me to build his program for him, it wound up that the programming aspect of the project was actually pretty simple. Most of the time was actually getting me, the developer, up to speed in his area of expertise.

I often think of the number of people who have life-altering ideas that they just cannot translate into a program. Every skill someone is required to pick up is a barrier to entry that'll turn away a percentage of the potential total developer population.

This is a bit at odds with my general advice that someone looking to strengthen their grasp of computer programming should start low, with old hardware, so that they can fully grasp the ins and outs of talking to a machine. Indeed, computer programming knowledge is very cumulative. But put it this way -- how many great authors would we have lost, if it was a prerequisite that one knows how to press and form their own paper by hand?

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This brings up the question....do you want to make an engine, or make a game?  If you just want to make games and that's all you care about right now, then go right ahead with a game engine.  The above suggestions still apply.  If you want to make an engine(not my recommendation unless you want to for learning), then you could still start by using an engine just to get a feel for the kinds of things you don't have to do when using an engine(which are things you would have to do if you made the engine yourself).

I don't see anything wrong either with making something simple in with vanilla OpenGL/D3D in C++(or whatever).  Knowing a bit about the undersides of game engines can make you better at using said engines....but I don't think it is necessary, rather something that can possibly help.

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Unreal can't cripple a developer's code skills, skills in general don't work that way.

Then there is the fact that to be crippled you would have to be less than average, the average developer uses an engine. So learning the inner workings of an engine gives you an advantage.

 

Unreal will reduce the volume of code you need to do yourself to make a game, it won't reduce the level of code you need.

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Thanks for all the feedback guys, many good points here,  I am sure this answers will be useful to other beginners as well :)

That said, I'm personally seeying faster progress on my side because I can focus on learning what I need at a given moment without being crushed by needing too much stuff all at once in order to achieve the most basics of things, so my current plan will be to keep going with Unreal&C++, taking every oppurtunity to refactor blueprint nodes inside C++ when I see one, and let's see where I'll eventually land :P

 

 

Edited by MarcusAseth

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