Check out these insightful stories from five Game Developers explaining how Unreal Engine was used for their 3D and game projects.
When it comes to modern-day free game engines, Epic Games' Unreal Engine is one of, if not the most widely-used and established options on the market, attracting both Game Developers and 3D Artists alike with its robust tools and plenty of online tutorials and documentation that make Unreal a go-to tool even for absolute beginners making their first steps in the industry.
However, despite the generally positive relationship the community has with the software, there are numerous rumors and myths surrounding Unreal Engine, stemming from forum posts, personal experiences with the engine, and the prevalence of typical "photorealistic shooter" games that the engine is frequently used for.
To help us understand whether various Unreal Engine-related myths have any merit, we recently invited several developers and artists to 80 Level, who addressed common misconceptions about the engine and discussed using its tools for their projects. Today, for those who missed some of those interviews and would like to catch up, we've put together a convenient and easy-to-digest 80 Level Digest dedicated to busting gamedev myths.
In the first interview, aspiring 3D Environment Artist Lily Lee addressed Unreal Engine's perceived difficulty, explaining how she got started with UE5 as a complete beginner, discussing the application's main advantages for newcomers, and telling us how the Unreal ecosystem for utilized for the Harujinja project, a gorgeous 3D scene with Japanese vibes.
"Something I really enjoyed that is unique to Unreal is the ability to jump straight into your scene and control a character in the level by just pressing 'play'. Without any programming setup aside from choosing the level template, you can preview your level and get instant visual feedback, which is very helpful while developing a game. It's also very rewarding and fun!"
For the next article, we were joined by a Technical Artist from the YourSandbox YouTube channel, Kostiantyn Telego, who talked at length about Unreal Engine's programming tools and offered a closer look at the engine's Blueprints, a Visual Scripting system. The artist also shared some advice on studying the engine and recommended some amazing YouTube channels for beginning game developers.
"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."
In our next interview, Senior Developer Adam Horvath joined 80 Level to tell us more about Whitewater VR, a highly-realistic kayaking simulator for virtual reality, and explain how Unreal Engine and its Blueprints system help to set up the game's mechanics and digital water.
"The variety of tools within the Unreal Engine ecosystem is a significant advantage for developers. Having everything in one place, from animation and effects to shader creation and environmental generation, reduces the need to switch between multiple software packages. This seamless integration enables me to maintain a unified workflow, improving efficiency and allowing me to focus more on the creative aspects of the project."
ShaderBunny, a Solo Game Developer behind the top-down hack-and-slash game Dawn One, has also participated in the series, explaining why Unreal Engine was chosen for the project, discussing the development process behind the game, and telling us how the engine's Blueprints system helps in creating smooth animations and high-octane gameplay mechanics.
"All my life, I tried to code, I really tried. But my progress was hindered by an unusual type of dyslexia (yes, we're all on the spectrum of something). When Blueprints was released with Unreal Engine 4, suddenly, I didn't have to try to decipher that mishmash of text mixed with numbers, line breaks, and weird symbols.
A whole new world opened up, and I realized that I could finally make a game all by myself. I will forever be grateful to the team that designed Blueprints at Epic Games. They were years ahead of everybody else. These people should have won a Nobel prize, as far as I'm concerned. I mean, I'm a clueless artist, and I do vector maths, who would have thought?!"
Finally, we were joined by Graphic Designer and Indie Game Developer Oleg Klaus, who talked about the development process behind the upcoming puzzle game CIRCULATION, explaining how Unreal Engine's Blueprints are used in production and discussing the game's puzzle mechanics.
"To be honest, I do everything in Blueprints. And for my purposes, it's the perfect solution. As someone without a programming background, such a sophisticated and powerful visual scripting tool was the exact system I was looking for. The magic of BPs, if you will, is the freedom it provides to experiment.
Even if you don't have a clue what you are doing, you can solve the problem by trial and error. If something is not working correctly, I sometimes just rearrange nodes, and all of a sudden the issue is fixed."
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.