Review of Unreal Engine 5: The Complete Beginner's Course
Posted on Mon 03 October 2022 in Review
Continuing on my journey to learn a little bit about Unreal Engine 5, I turned to Udemy again for a course I could take that would help to learn some more.
I settled on Unreal Engine 5: The Complete Beginner's Course by David Nixon. I wanted to learn more than landscaping (like I did in the last course). This was a ten hour course and covered much more of Unreal Engine.
The end goal of the course was to create a very basic game. This would demonstrate building a level, adding materials, enemies, puzzles, victory conditions, and more. To me, this course was really two courses mashed into one.
Course One - Overview¶
The first part of the course and the majority of the content, was the practical overview of how everything works in Unreal Engine. The instructor went over individual sections - designing a level, setting up the player, collisions, audio and most importantly, blue prints.
These sections of the course were detailed and demonstrated how various settings would impact the overall project. Additionally, the instructor injected just enough (bad) puns to keep the content from getting boring. This portion of the course I found very useful.
Course Two - The Tutorials¶
The other part of the course was the hands on tutorials. At the start of the course, this is what I was looking forward to the most. Unfortunately, this is where I felt the course fell flat. The tutorials did their job and my video below demonstrates it was effective - I have a completed game (and I was cool to the kids for the minute and half it took them to beat it).
However, the tutorials are rushed. On the better laid out ones, its obvious that the voice over was recorded after the video because the vocal instructions get 2-3 steps ahead of what the video is showing. This makes following along difficult when these are literally just "click here, change this value" rapid fire instructions.
Additionally, many of the instructions provided are to set exact object dimensions or locations, with no explaination of why or how these were found. The end result is a project that works...but I am left wondering how certain dimensions were found. Was this done via guess and check? Did the instructor do fancy math to figure out where to place walls? Is there a systematic way that these could have been placed?
Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to those questions. Instead, to follow along with the rushed tutorials, I typed in the same numbers as the instructor and have literally the same project as they do because of it.
This course was better than the previous one, but I still feel like it could have been so much better. The overview portions of the course were really good. Unfortunately, they didn't translate as well into the tutorial lectures. While the tutorials accomplished the goal of building a simple game, they left out so much content that would be useful to know. The tutorials moved quickly and felt more like checking off boxes to make a game instead of designing, debugging, or even just providing a little explaination on how or why certain decisions were made.
I recommend this course for the overviews provided. If you know going into it that the tutorials will get you the game I have below, without a lot of the design decisions behind it, then all the better. However, don't take this just for the tutorials. They are quick and lack context on why certain things are being done.