In our last guide, we discussed plugins and project settings. In this guide, we will discuss Project Settings a little more, then get into some other topics related to Unreal Engine 5. You may also wish to look up our beginner’s guide to Unreal 5. Unreal Engine 5 will be here soon. When it arrives it will become the gold standard for game development. At that point, I would classify Unity as deprecated. There is no longer any reason to use Unity. Unreal 5 is here to stay, professionals who know it will be in high demand, indie devs, will just be in heaven with this program. There is really no alternative game engine. Unreal 5 is the winner, bar none, game over. It is the STEAM of game design.
Is unity better than unreal?
No, not even close. Unreal has blueprint, better graphics, better interface and feature set, a better asset store, C++ is better than C#, out of the box it does more. There is no reason to use Unity over Unreal. Except in 2D.
Is Unreal good for beginners?
Unreal is perfect for beginners. It is a better, higher quality, more beautiful, more stable engine, and it has blueprint, which allows you to make full games without any programming knowledge.
What language does unreal use?
Unreal Engine uses C++, the best and most commercially valuable language in existence, it also has blueprints, so you don’t even need to know how to code.
Making games is better than playing them
By the way, oddly enough, I am uninterested in purchasing games on Steam now. If I’m buying something, it’s resources for the Unreal Engine. I don’t bother with games on the Unreal Store either, except to pick up the really nice freebies I’ll never play. They give away good stuff, if playing games still held any purpose. Making games is where it’s at, and the Unreal Marketplace has so many goodies, it’s just magic. Don’t play games, design them, accept nothing less. It is more fun, and more rewarding, while giving you marketable job skills, in a highly competitive market where YOU are in demand. At the end of your 120 hours, you will have a saleable game, instead of the memories of beating Dark Souls, fun as that was…. I do not feel my 300 hours were wasted, but I would not do it again. 300 hours applied to my game? Yeah that thing flies with bells on.
Anyway let’s get into it.
Back to the Project Settings
You will find yourself going here a lot. Project Settings are VERY IMPORTANT, and half the functionality of the engine is hidden behind this one tab.
For instance, isn’t this handy to have?
Automatic garbage collection in Unreal 5
One of the things you will hear parroted endlessly, like it’s got the cure, is that C# is better because it has no memory leaks, it has built in Garbage Collection. Even saying that sounds kind of lame, but the truth is even more ridiculous, what are we looking at here?
We are looking at Unreal’s System for Garbage Collection. I feel this is a poor use of my time, but it does kind of illustrate the point, that there is no point to Unity. Unreal 5 is just better, it has built in garbage collection, while learning a way more marketable language for prospective employers.
It’s like saying, tamogatchi is better than gameboy, because it comes with a free cupcake. But gameboy also comes with a cupcake. Sometimes established wisdom is genuinely foolish. I didn’t even know this was in Unreal.
At this point, just write buggy code, and never null your variables, it won’t make much difference, it has garbage collection. I guess, um, to be wise about it, you would probably do well to disable garbage collection, for better optimization and efficiency, and just write good code for heaven’s sake. ha.
ENGINE -> INPUT
This is where you can map new inputs for your character controller. As you can see, all you need to do is bind an action to an input, see below.
Binding inputs to action mappings
Here we have the jump and fire functions, and when we open up the tab, you can see jump is bound to the spacebar, the gamepad face button bottom, and the motion controller left trigger. Fire is bound to the left mouse button, the gamepad right trigger, and the motion controller right trigger. You can easily add new inputs, and even new bindings, with next to zero effort if you know what you’re doing, which you should.
Let’s look at the light settings
The light settings are buried here in ENGINE -> RENDERING.
You’ll find too many things to discuss, when you need a particular item, once you identify the issue, search will direct you to the correct settings to manage. Please do not mess with these things to experiment, you will quickly break your game, with no means of repairing it because you won’t remember what you changed. I have got myself in a bind like that before, so many settings changed in so many places, it becomes impossible to repair it, or even identify what I have changed.
So here’s where you can set Lumen to activated. Just choose Lumen, like this:
It will automatically enable a few settings, and you’re good to go. And my scene now looks approximately like this. There’s been a few changes to the scene from the last time.
Well that looks a bit dark to me. Let’s add a light.
There much better, much improvement. What I love is that I can just drag this light next to the train and it will update dynamically in real time IN EDITOR.
Lumen lighting is GREAT.
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Tired of your 9-5 grind at food service/security/retail/office/sales? I sure was, I did a year of security before I got into game design, and it’s like night and day. Now I make my own hours, I am my own boss, doing a job I like, with a future, and room for advancement, all things I never had in security. I can work from home, spend my time with the people I love, and when the time comes to work, I can work at my own pace, doing something genuinely fun. I love my job, and I owe it to game design.
What do you need to get into game design?
All you need to get into game design is just to love videogames, learn an engine, it takes about 3 or 4 months, I recommend Unreal 5 if you want to have work in a high paying field, then you can get started on self employment sites, and pretty soon you can pick up some entry level work in game design. Keep at it for a year or so and you can switch to full time, making equivalent wages to what you were earning before. Actually if you’re used to the American Minimum Wage, you’ll soon discover you make about 3 times more than you were earning in for instance, Security somewhere in the states.
How can we help?
We can help you learn the basics, we can teach you Unreal 5, or Unity or Unreal 4 if you prefer, we can teach you about blender, 3ds max, or maya if you’re into 3d modelling. Get good with any of this, and you can find work in self employment, get out of your 9-5 grind, like I did, and if you keep at it, you can eventually land a high paying career, either on self employment sites, or if you have a few years professional experience, at a big company like EA. Me? I’m happy writing. I could probably make a bit more money doing game design, and down the road, earn barrels of money at a big company. But I’m a lot happier being able to write and pursue my own interests, design my own games at my leisure. I even have time to make music. And if I want I can increase my output, and make even more money.
How has game design helped me?
Things are great now. Don’t waste your time on ungrateful employers, who will just destroy you down the road if you’re in security. Don’t wait until the day you get hurt at your job, doing a patrol down some godforsaken hallway for the 99th time that month, or that huge frying pan with oil finally gets dropped and gets all over you, for minimum wage. Work from home, spend your day with your family and loved ones, make your own hours, work at your own pace, take a day off whenever you feel like it. You don’t have to put up with it and you can do it too. I genuinely believe that, and I’m living proof.
But I believe I have spent a bit too much time on this topic, let’s get back to game design, eh?
What do you need to know to make it as an Unreal Developer?
Learning the Unreal Engine is just a matter of time invested. Once you have built enough games in Unreal, you just know the engine, that’s all you really need to know. There’s no single tutorial that’s going to teach you how to use unreal engine, it’s like riding a bicycle, you just try it until finally one day you know how.
What should you specifically learn?
First of all you need to know about skeletal rigging, animation, and meshes, you need to know how to make a blueprint character that contains all of these things but is not limited to them.
You should learn the UI and the interface and stuff, but if you don’t know how to manipulate objects in translation, rotation and scale, if you don’t know how to change things like material properties, or how to add array elements to a variable that then opens up functionality, don’t worry you will soon.
You need to know how to instantiate, how to cast to a variable and access inherited functions, you need to know about physics, momentum, you need to know about colliders. You’ll have to track down the player start object. You’ll need to know why you would want to use an empty actor and what it is….. There are a thousand things you might have to learn, just simple operations and necessities.
It is not a matter of a tutorial, you just learn it, the topic is too vast for a tutorial, you learn a bit here, you learn a bit there, eventually you come to a broad understanding of the engine and you can make whatever you want in it.
You will also learn how to strategically spend your money on good frameworks and assets, you can build a game pretty easily without spending too much.
You will need 3D Models, I recommend Daz3D. They have good quality characters at discount prices. You might also want to look into Character Creator 3 and iClone 7, for cutscenes you may want to look at cartoon animator. You need to find out what kind of game you want to make, and assemble the pieces required to make it. Making a game is a commitment, it is not a hobby you do once in a while, it is more like a 2 or 3 year commitment to do a bit of work every day.
We’ll continue this guide as needed for as long as I feel there is still stuff left to cover, but I’m very very excited about this engine and the future it represents.
Here’s Gamesradar on the Unreal Engine 5. See what you can glean from it. It’s a slightly older article, but it gets into some detail that might be lost in my analysis.
Anyway I gotta chat with someone important, ttyl.