GAME ENGINE ACADEMY {GEA}

STUDY GUIDE IS AVAILABLE HERE

 

UPDATE!

The Self-Study Guide for Learning Unreal Engine  is now available for purchase! 

WHAT IS THE GAME ENGINE ACADEMY? 

Game Engine Academy is a website that provides supplemental online support for learning Unreal Engine.

Currently, we provide supplemental support for the Unreal Engine Foundations Course, which is currently available at no charge on You Tube. The Foundations Course was developed by Shaun Foster, an instructor at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and was funded by a grant from Unreal Engine. The course was, until recently, part of an Unreal certificate program (between RIT and a third-party educational platform) but no longer is. 

The Foundations Course is one of the best and most comprehensive introductory courses ever developed for learning Unreal Engine 4 and is packed with useful information, most of which still applies to Unreal Engine 5. 

Since the Unreal Foundations Course is such an excellent series that is accessible to everyone online, we have created a study guide for those who want to get the most out of it. Our guide provides links to some of the resources referenced in the course but most important of all, it tests the student's level of knowledge along the way and ultimately, it provides a measure of validation that you are actually learning and retaining the material. 

The complete Unreal Foundations Course syllabus is still available for download from Unreal Engine. It is an interactive .pdf file with hyperlinks to other resources and includes additional assignments you are free to do on your own.

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK:

unreal-foundations-syllabus-320fd2e1d012.pdf (unrealengine.com)

If you are serious about learning the foundations of Unreal Engine, you will not find a better place to start. And we can assure you that if you watch all the tutorials, follow along with the projects and suggested assignments, and take all the tests, you will have a comprehensive level of knowledge not many other self-taught students do. 
 

A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS

WHY STUDY UNREAL ENGINE 4? SHOULDN'T EVERYONE BE LEARNING UNREAL ENGINE 5?

That's a great question! 

First of all and most important, approximately 90% of what is in the Unreal Engine 4 course applies to Unreal Engine 5, and so, quite honestly, there is not a lot that has changed between the versions despite all the hype about what's new in Unreal Engine 5. We would imagine that when Unreal Engine 6 comes out, 80% or so of what is in the Unreal Engine 4 course will still apply as well. Just like language changes over time, so does Unreal Engine, but the changes are not so great that they nullify all the prior course material! Despite changes, solid information is solid information.

Second, and practically speaking, a lot of work went into developing the Foundations Course, and quite frankly, it would take a lot of work to redo the entire course just to cover the 10% or less that has changed. There could very well be an Unreal Engine 5 course developed in the future, but who is going to do it and who is going to pay for it is a complete unknown at this time. Even Unreal Engine has not updated significant portions of their documentation since Unreal Engine 4! And we assume that's because of the work it takes to update everything. 

And finally, even though some of the information in the Foundations Course has changed or is not current, it is relatively easy to figure out what the changes are and how to get on with the show. And, in fact, discovering what the changes are provides a historical perspective and improves retention and recall. For instance, once a person realizes that the widget that was over there is now somewhere else, then that person is less likely to forget its current location. Likewise, once you discover that a certain feature doesn't exist anymore or has been replaced by something better, you won't forget that either. And so on and so forth. As Master Oogway might say, knowing what was helps with remembering what is and what will be. As much as possible, in the Study Guide, we try to point out these things. But just know the vast majority of everything is still the same and the changes are easy enough to spot or figure out!
 

PEOPLE CAN JUST WATCH THE VIDEOS. WHY BUY THE STUDY GUIDE

No one absolutely needs to buy the study guide. They can simply hop over to the instructor's You Tube channel and start watching all the videos now. This is true. But students will learn more, retain more, and have a better overall experience with the study guide. When the material is approached by itself with no study guide, it can make studying feel very isolated and disconnected. But with the guide, it makes the learning process feel connected, purposeful, and on track. The guide helps the process feel validating, and that's precisely its purpose. 

\SEVEN REASONS TO GET THE GUIDE!

1. We have studied and reviewed every video in the series ourselves, know where the bumps in the road are, and understand just how difficult studying alone can be without a little extra help. For instance, in Chapter 10, Unit 5, Skeletal Mesh Animation, there is no audio on that video lecture. (And we know that because we watched it!)  And so, rather than someone getting frustrated and thinking there is something wrong with their hearing, we can confirm there is no audio on that video for some reason! In short, the guide provides validating support, tests your comprehension, and provides links to some of the resources the author mentions but have since moved or changed. It is a smart, time-saving tool to have. 

2. We have carefully developed tests for each of the 16 chapters to test your knowledge and retention of the material. This is not something you could by yourself because if you wrote a test for each chapter, you'd know the answers. It would be like trying to tickle yourself. You can't do it.

3. The guide is just that---a guide. It functions as a road map to not only track your progress through each chapter, but it helps validate the entire experience.  

4. It's only $2.95! You can't even buy a tall Iced Caffe Mocha from Starbucks for that price, so it's really a no-lose situation. 

5. If you have questions along the way and you get the guide, you can always send us an email and we will do our best to answer any questions you might have. The email is included in the guide.

6. Even if you don't take the tests, just reading the answers to the 300+ questions will provide an invaluable and comprehensive review of many core concepts and components in the engine.

7. Getting the guide helps support us fulfill our mission of promoting accessibility, opportunity, and excellence in education for all things Unreal. We plan to publish more study guides like this in the near future. 

WHAT IS UNREAL ENGINE?

Posted on October 24, 2022

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Unreal Engine is a game engine developed by Epic Games, first showcased in the 1998 first-person shooter game Unreal. Although initially developed for first-person shooters, it has been used in a variety of genres, including platformers, fighting games, and MMORPGs, and has seen adoption by other markets, most notably the film and television industry. Written in C++ and containing more than 2 million lines of code, the Unreal Engine features a high degree of portability, supporting a wide range of platforms. Since 2015, it can be downloaded for free, with its source code available on a GitHub private repository. Epic allows for its use in commercial products based on a royalty model, typically asking developers for 5% of revenues from sales, though with the success of Fortnite, which has become a testbed for Unreal Engine for Epic, Epic waives this fee for developers that publish their games through the Epic Games Store. In May 2020, Epic announced that their portion of royalties for games developed in Unreal Engine are waived until developers have earned their first US$1 million in revenue, retroactively applying to January 1, 2020.

Unreal Engine 5 is now the current version and was released in 2022; however, someone who knows Unreal Engine 4 should not have difficulty transitioning to UE5. Unreal Engine can be viewed as less of a game engine and more as a hub for a variety of inputs and outputs, and in that sense, it is more of a universal connector among inputs and outputs.