Focus: Unreal Engine is a series of posts where I’ll share my experience and discoveries working with Epic’s free Unreal Engines for video game creation. There will is no set time for the articles to end, but I will have a goal: the creation of a playable game level for Halloween in October, 2019. I will share the level with everyone for learning and for fun!
Unreal Engine: Download and Install
Unreal is free, but with royalties due if you make over a certain amount of money with any game you produce using the Unreal engine. It’s probably a good idea to read (at least the royalty section) the EULA (end-user license agreement) before you install.
Once that’s done and you decide you want to download Unreal then head over to the main unrealengine.com website and you’ll see a blue box in the top right corner of the homepage. Click it and the link will take you to a direct download page. You will need to register at Unrealengine.com in order to download. I’ve been registered there for many years and have had no issues or problems.
Epic uses a launcher application to get access to the Unreal Engine along with their games, etc. It’s a good program that doesn’t bog down your system. Once you download the launcher and activate it, you can now download the Unreal Engine. The current version as of this article is 4.21
Be sure to check the Hardware and Software specifications to make sure your machine will run Unreal Engine effectively. Note that the Unreal Engine is a PC-only application.
Unreal Engine Learning and Support
Epic has done an excellent job of providing learning and support for the Unreal Engine. Not only is the manual clear and fairly simple to follow, but it is also quite detailed and organized into relevant sections. And you can access it online or through the Engine itself.
There is also an online learning platform Epic provides for it's users that I think is one of the best of any application I’ve worked with. The production of several learning modules is very good. Each instructor speaks clearly and slowly. The tutorials are structured with an end learning goal in mind. There is even a simple quiz at the end of a section. You can progress at your own pace and even rewatch a module.
I started with “Your First Hour in Unreal Engine 4” which is actually the first section of a larger learning module called “Getting Started with the Unreal Engine”. Of course, there are dozens of tutorials on the net, but I found myself staying with the learning path on the main Unreal site. It’s just so good, I didn’t need to go anywhere else.
You can access these tutorials via the learning drop-down menu on the main unrealengine.com site.