Categorybooks

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.

Faith

I haven’t been updating daily about my progress through “A Purpose Driven Life”, because I realized that each post pretty much summarized to, “I’m not a Christian, so I don’t really believe it”.  I still have been reading the book everyday though to see what it has to say.  It expresses a lot of the Bible’s teachings about faith.  It really impressed me to know that Noah built an ark in the middle of dry land purely because God told him to.  It doesn’t really matter if its fact or fiction, it’s the fact that one could complete such a feat based purely on faith.  Many more examples exist, but this is just one of them.  That’s the thing about me, is that I don’t have faith.

Life is a Temporary Assignment – Day 6

In this chapter, Warren describes the Earth as our temporary home, where we live before moving on to eternity.  I agree only with the part that Earth is our temporary home, but not the part about moving on to eternity.  Since we don’t live on this Earth forever, ie permanent, our time here must be by definition temporary.  But once we leave, there is no eternity (explanation here)

Seeing Life from God’s View – Day 5

This chapter claims that God watches our every move, from whether we litter or not, to how we manage our money.  God tests us constantly and has entrusted us with his belongings, mainly the Earth.  Every chapter I read involves having a belief in God.  That tells me that I won’t get a lot out of this book for finding my purpose in life.  Although I am learning about many teachings in the Bible.

Made to Last Forever – Day 4

This chapter discusses the eternal life after death.  Warren placed much emphasis of living in eternity.  I do not believe in the afterlife.  I believe that once we die, there is nothing.  we won’t even know we are dead.  One could commit suicide and successfully escape their troubles, since once they die, they won’t even know what happened.

Those who do believe in eternity aim to reach it by going through their life with love and trust in Jesus, will achieve eternity.  Since death is inevitable, people may achieve eternity upon death, but what of those who die young?  It seems they have the easier way out.  They are able to reach eternity sooner than others that live longer.

What Drives My Life? – Day 3

Everything in this book so far boils down to God.  This chapter pretty much says that we should live life with purpose.  It’s all about trying to fulfill God’s purposes for my life, and not driven by forces like money, approval, etc.  I have absolutely no problem with living my life driven by forces other than God.  This just has to do with the fact that I’m not a believer.

You Are Not an Accident – Day 2

This entire section simply refers to how God was responsible for my existence.  God chose everything from my race, talents, birth date, etc.  My question is why?  Even if God created humans, a reason must exist for doing so.  This book may attempt to answer what my purpose is, but why does this purpose even exist?  Did God create Humans for his own amusement?

It All Starts with God – Day 1

Warren presents a good point when he says that we should look toward God to find our purpose in life.  Assuming that God exists and created all life on Earth, only He would know why humans were created.

The point to ponder in this chapter is that “It’s not about me.” The chapter answers this question and asserts that it is about God.  Since I don’t believe in God, I can’t really say that I am living for God.

A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

A couple weeks ago, before I flew to Germany, a good friend of mine gave me a going-away gift.  I received a book called “The Purpose Driven Life”, by Rick Warren.  From reading the back cover of the book, I realize that this book presents an answer for the question, “What on earth am I here for?”  Rick Warren presents the answer in a forty-day spiritual journey.  Although I do not believe in Christianity, I find interest in this book.  Because of this, I don’t really know how I will react to the ideas presented in this book.

I am not trying to start a religious debate, but believing in the existence of God seems to be one of the fundamental premises for the discussion in this book.  I am not so certain that God “planned” me holding this book from before I was born, unlike what Rick Warren describes

I found it intriguing that God always took forty days to prepare one for His purposes.  I never realized that all these events took that long.  It hadn’t crossed my mind before.

Warren gives a good point when he says that when people read, they like to rush to the next chapter.  He urges the reader should not rush to the next chapter such that we can ponder it before moving further.  This makes a lot of sense to me.  Quickly moving onto the next chapter encourages the forgetting of the previous chapter.  I will see how it works in practice though.

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