Henry Poon's Blog

Valuable Resource for Learning UnrealScript Game Programming

About three years ago, I dabbled briefly in programming for the Unreal Engine (AKA the Unreal Development Kit).  As a student at the time, it was my way to get more experience in the coding scene.  The mistake I made at the time was trying to build a project that was way too advanced for my skill level.   I should have learned the basics.

Looking back, I should have used a book like the “UnrealScript Game Programming Cookbook” by Dave Voyles.  This book is directed towards audiences who have never touched Unreal programming before.  However, it does require readers to have some familiarity with general object oriented programming knowledge.

This book in particular follows a recipe-based approach for teaching the basics of Unreal programming and covers the core topics in programming for UDK.  The recipes are designed to be basic in order to give learners good exposure without too much of a knowledge dump.  Some may argue that having a recipe-based approach doesn’t teach people how to synthesize solutions for themselves.  I see recipes as a good stepping stone.

This book is not meant to teach you everything there is to know about UDK, but enough for people to get started with a good foundation to learn off of.  From the book, I would have liked to see more details about the nuances of the UnrealScript language, as well as a more big picture view of how all the different topics illustrated in the book fit together – perhaps a chapter dedicated to that.  The way it is organized right now is that the big picture is explained, but the explanations are scattered throughout the book.  I am someone who much prefers a more top-down approach on topics like this.

In any case, this book is still a great resource for learning Unreal programming and I would recommend it to people who would like to start their learning adventure in UDK.  Here is a sample chapter of the book for those who are curious in seeing for themselves what this book has to offer (here).  For more information about the book, click here.

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