So far my experience in Unreal Engine 4 has primarily been blueprinting. It is a visual programming language that is very user friendly and approachable for people who might not have much programming experience. That isn't to say you don't need to know how to program to use blueprinting. Although blueprints cover your bases as far as syntax and command compatibility, you still need to think like a programmer. You need to keep in mind the order of functions, logic, math, casting and every other staple any other language would require. Where blueprinting shines in my opinion though is in its simplification of the learning process.
Learning a new programming language and how it can be used within a game engine can be an extremely intimidating step. Unreal blueprints let you dive in and start fitting functions together like a sort of puzzle where all the pieces are somewhere in the box, you just need to find them and figure out where to place them. Transitioning to a completely text based programming workflow can seem very daunting at first, but after several years of developing games via blueprint and practicing various different programming languages in school, I think I'm ready to begin dipping my toes in and utilizing what I've learned in a more practical way. Starting by learning C++ for Unreal Engine.
Why learn C++ if I can do just about anything I want in blueprints anyway? Well both blueprinting and C++ have their strengths and weaknesses. The general consensus I've gathered from my research is its in my best interest to learn how to combine both. Blueprinting seems to be the favorite for rapid prototyping and getting things done quickly when there is a blueprint ready way to do something. C++ seems to be the favorite for iteration and more easily adjusting code that you know is going to need lots of tweaks and changes. I can easily see why this would be the case. Blueprints (especially large complex ones) can start to get messy, unwieldy, and difficult to read. I often spend a lot of my programing time moving nodes around and untangling wires so that their flow is readable and I don't get lost myself. I find jumping between sections of written code to be a much easier task when trying to suss out logic issues and mistakes.
So this is where my journey into C++ for unreal begins. If anyone has any experiences they wish to share on the subject, or any tips/tricks/suggestions, I'd love to hear them. What do you think about blueprints? Were there any resources that made learning C++ for unreal easier for you? Let me know!
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