A few things have happened this year that I can no longer ignore, or keep silent about.
The community Epic has managed to craft around UE4 is amazing. Not only is the engine completely open-source, and the forums livelier than ever, and phenomenal assets available on the new Marketplace…Epic is also making excellent tutorials in both blog and video form. They are striving to make it possible for anyone to be a game developer, and I would say they are succeeding.
I got into game development in high school because of this thing called “senior project.” The idea was we could pick anything reasonably hard for a high school student to do, do it, and then we’d graduate with honors. Making a video game is hard, right? 😛 At that time UDK had just debuted (2009 seems so long ago…) and looked really awesome, so I picked it up and just rolled with it.
Documentation back then was hard to come by. Apart from packaged editors for games like UT3 and Gears of War, this was the first time Epic had unleashed their tools on the public. As I struggled to understand everything that was going on, I felt the similar pain of countless others online. So naturally, I started making video tutorials. And then because videos were hard to pump out at a constant tempo, I started a blog. This blog.
Fast-forward to now. I was one of a select group chosen to be a part of the UE4 beta because of my blog/videos, and I can’t imagine receiving a higher honor. Although I did not contribute much, I was deeply humbled to be a part of the road leading to one of the greatest advancements in gaming. The thing is, as much as I love using UE4 — except for C++, I still hate the language and always will — development is useless without a goal. As I have learned over the years, I am quite terrible at coming up with ideas for cool games, and even worse at coaxing them to fruition.
I started out as a game developer wanting to make a game, and ended up (hopefully) helping many others to make their own. But I must face the fact that there are much better resources out there now.
I Got a Job
Like a real job. Not some freelance gig, but a job where you get some numbers on a piece of paper every month and have to take an elevator to get to.
The thing about having a real programming job is that at the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is program some more — even if it is a game. If you don’t believe me just try it and see.
Making a game is an adventure, true, but it’s a decidedly dedicated one. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to support two programming lifestyles. I do want to have some semblance of a life, after all.
So What Does This Mean?
Does this mean I’m done making videos? Done writing blog posts? Well, no. But there are some changes in order.
First off, I happen to have a new blog that’s tied to my official site. I hope you find it just as snazzy as this one; unlike this one, I built it from the ground up with a mixture of blood and joyful tears. You’ll notice that most of the posts have nothing to do with game development. I made this blog specifically to supplement my video tutorials, and for the longest time I’ve felt constrained by what subject material was appropriate to publish. On my new blog, I write whatever the heck I feel like. Freedom is cool.
I also might start making videos again, but they’ll probably have nothing to do with “how to do _____ in UE4.” I’m not exactly sure what they’d be about. We’ll see 🙂
There is, however, one thing that won’t change. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about anything UDK/UE4 related, feel free to email me and I’ll try to help. I might not always be quick about it (as some of you who have emailed me in the past can attest to), but my door is an open one.
It’s been a great 5 years, and I want to thank everyone I’ve met along the way for making my game development adventure a blast. I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Until next time, happy gaming!