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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    13

    Teacher, teaching how to make games

    Hello. My name is Kevin and I am a Jr/Sr High School teacher. I have been asked to teach computer game making at the High School level, and I am looking at using the Unreal gaming engine to do so. I have seen the 3D Buzz tutorials videos for version 3 of the engine as well as all of the videos for version 4. I have a few questions for people who have experience using the Unreal Engine.
    1) Is this a good way to go start game making? As I am not a programmer, how we make games cannot include programming. If not, any suggestions would be appreciated.
    2) Should I use version 3 or version 4 of the Unreal engine?
    3) Are the tutorials good enough to start from for an absolute beginner?
    4) Any constructive suggestions and or comments that you may have would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Trondheim, Sør-Trøndelag, Norway
    Posts
    178
    Hi Kevin!

    As someone who has had classes in college where they used Unreal Engine 3, or more specifically Unreal Tournament 3's editor via Steam, I thought I could chime in some thoughts and issues. First off:

    1) The Unreal Engine is a nice entry-point into learning more about game development, as it is a very robust tool with lots of starter assets already inside the engine (3d models of light fixtures, beams, floor tiles etc.). Considering you don't know programming, then it is even more ideal for you, as kismet is fairly easy for basics, and yet it can do some advanced stuff.

    That being said, I do feel something like Unity is better because it includes programming and doesn't start off with too much, which means the work you have to do to get a game going is more significant, making the learning process more complete for all the processes you need to create a game.

    In the class I had, I felt I learned more about level design specifically, than game development as a whole, which was a little problematic later on during our bachelor assignment when we had to actually make a game... because it involves 2D art creation/3D modeling, animation (2d/3d), programming, sound design, music, texturing etc. as well as important team concepts like tracking issues, version control/backup of work and all the important stuff.

    It's up to you thought, for general concepts in game development, the Unreal Engine is very good.. you can teach important concepts like programming, importing 3D models, making materials etc. in the engine, and it also depends on what you want from the end product from your students.

    2) Version 4 isn't out yet... at least not for the public. The versions that are out now are Unreal Engine 3 which you get from Unreal Tournament 3, and Unreal Development Kit (UDK) which is kinda like version 3.5. I suggest using UDK, since it doesn't require students to buy UT3, UDK is free from http://udk.com/

    3) I've learned more from the videos on this site than I did in class.. which isn't that weird actually considering the books we used in class was actually 3DBuzz's Unreal Engine 3 books. Given that 3DBuzz has done UDK101 live class now, I'd say you won't find better learning resources for beginners anywhere else.

    4) I suggest you figure out what you want to teach in your class, and write up a small synopsis here, so it is easier to answer what is the best to use and what would be good suggestions. It's kinda hard to say right now without knowing exactly how advanced and comprehensive your class will be, and what the end result would be.

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