Busting GameDev Myths: Unreal Engine Is Hard For Non-Programmers

Technical Artist from the YourSandbox YouTube channel, Kostiantyn Telego, has joined 80 Level to talk about Unreal Engine's programming tools, discuss their perceived difficulty for aspiring developers, and offer a closer look at the engine's Blueprints system.


My name is Kostiantyn Telego. I am from Kyiv, Ukraine. I work as a Technical Artist at Wargaming. I've been in the game development industry for ten years, starting out as a QA Engineer for World of Warplanes.

I was developing a pet project back in 2016 using the LUA scripting language in the Corona SDK framework. My friend Maksym Kachan, who was also my team lead, asked me if I wanted to make a game with him. He suggested using Unreal Engine because it was the only engine we knew that didn't require a knowledge of programming. And it was also free to use. So we made our one and only playable demo that opened the door for us to become developers, not QA.

Unreal Engine's Programming Tools

Unreal Engine has two programming options – C++ and Blueprints, a Visual Scripting system. Obviously, most AAA games are built on engines that use C++ as the primary option, for example, redENGINE, CryEngine, Frostbite, id Tech, etc. Scripting is more for Game Designers, UI Designers, and indie developers. Blueprints are especially great for beginners to build the first prototypes, study game development, and such.

I know that some teams even built and released games using only Blueprints. And I don't know many Unity/Godot games that would rely heavily on visual scripting. Also, Unreal has support for Python. It's "only for editor" use now, but maybe someday, we can build a game using it too. I call myself a generalist as I make game logic, shaders, UI, and sometimes VFX. Everything inside the editor is using Blueprints, including animation graphs, Niagara scripts, behavior trees, and more.

So far, I haven't found anything I couldn't build without C++. There are workarounds for everything, it just takes more time when somebody is stuck with something. Nearly 95% of Unreal Engine's C++ possibilities are available in Blueprints. And if something is missing in Blueprints but available in C++, you can always expose it to Blueprints.

Choosing Unreal Engine Over Other Engines

The main reasons to choose Unreal Engine for aspiring programmers would be C++, one of the main programming languages in the world, and the Blueprints systems thanks to the speed of prototyping it offers. Unreal's Editor interface is way better than other engines have. I like to have a proper, strict hierarchy and layout. Another great bonus is lots of plugins that help build games out-of-the-box.

Moreover, the team ships lots of free assets each month. MetaHuman and Megascans integration, are also free. Sometimes, one doesn't need to have a 3D Artist, with just how many assets are available via Unreal's stores.

There are tons of tutorials across YouTube. Many companies started to look at Unreal Engine, just Google how many games are built with Unreal nowadays and how many with others. Unreal Engine also has better conditions once you start thinking about publishing games via Epic Games Store.


Blueprints are great for anyone who has ever thought of making a game. No code knowledge is needed to start, isn't it amazing? The speed of making anything with them is great. You don't need to wait for code to compile, it takes seconds. One can build an entire game using just a single blueprint. The result would be bad, obviously, but it is still possible.

For people not familiar with visual scripting, it's like a flowchart. Think of an action one needs to perform and the conditions needed for this action. You build everything with little bricks, and each brick stands for something special.

How to Study the Engine?

I don't like paid courses because nowadays, there is tons of information completely free on YouTube. Avoid watching big channels as they tend to teach fast but poorly. Once you start with "How to make a door open with 'E' key in 30 seconds", then it will be much harder to re-teach yourself how to do it right.

I would recommend Ryan Laley and Mathew Wadstein. The first can teach you how to build game features from scratch, while the second explains the "how-to" use and "what is" of almost any node in the editor. And, of course, YourSandbox, my own channel. I even shared a repo via GitHub with nearly 80% of my tutorials that contain World and Minimap, Quest and Inventory Systems, and many more. Some of them were actually re-sold on Marketplace. As for visual effects, I suggest PrismaticaDev, even though we have our "beef".

Receiving the Epic MegaGrant

I applied for MegaGrant 6 or 7 times. First, as a team member, my friend and I tried to get funding for a game prototype, we even placed it on itch.io.

Other tries were for my YouTube tutorial series. I started with bad English and no external mic or camera. Time passed, tutorials became better, and so did I. Some of them attracted more attention than expected, lots of them less than I wanted them to have. People are always attracted to something vivid and easy. No one likes 2-hour long tutorials about vast, complex systems, and so on. Maybe it was just luck.

Receiving a grant was such a surprise that I nearly drowned in my bath. We all bring phones with us everywhere. So you see how exciting it was for me. Now, I plan to apply for another one, but for a game I am making at the moment.


You can follow my work on my YouTube channel, which is the best place for lots of reasons. You may also check on my Patreon to support me and the upcoming tutorials, as well as the previously mentioned game, which I'll announce soon.

Kostiantyn Telego, Technical Artist

Interview conducted by Arti Burton

This content is brought to you by 80 Level in collaboration with Unreal Engine. We strive to highlight the best stories in the gamedev and art industries. You can read more Unreal Engine interviews with developers here.

Join discussion

Comments 0

    You might also like

    We need your consent

    We use cookies on this website to make your browsing experience better. By using the site you agree to our use of cookies.Learn more