Back to School Edition: Unreal Engine

Photo by Feliphe Schiarolli on Unsplash

As a non-technical founder, I have been trying to educate myself to understand the programming world better. I did my research, reached out to my networks, and went to a few conferences for developers — even made some awesome friends along the way.

Initially I didn’t think of learning how to code as that wouldn’t be the best use of my time. I should focus on the strategy side of the business, I thought.

However, lately I have been thinking hard: If I am serious about pursuing my mission to accelerate girls education through gamification, then I need to put more effort. I need to know my business inside out.

Although I may never win a Turing Award, but I can certainly get good enough to build a decent first version of our products. So I signed up for a game development bootcamp this week.

One caveat: this type of course that I am taking is normally designed for high school graduates. And even though I look like a high schooler (Asian genes rule!), I gotta drag my ass so hard.

I kept telling myself: My mission is bigger than my ego.

On my first class, we jumped right on creating a game using Unreal Engine. I felt so overwhelmed as this will be my first time using the platform. It took me by surprise that the process is way easier than I thought it would be.

As beginners, it’s relatively simple to get started with Unreal Engine. Using their Blueprints Visual Scripting system, you can create entire games without writing a single line of code. It works like a template that you can drag and drop into the editor.

My teacher said that using Unreal Engine made us feel like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We could see more because they raise us up. The Unreal Engine engineers are like the giants. They are creating all of these ready made templates, so we can simply use and tweak them to make awesome games. Thanks Tim Sweeney!

By the end of the class, I managed to create this incredibly simple and borderline dumb game.

It’s nice to see what we could achieve simply by giving a shot. This is my first baby step and it’s going to get harder for sure. However, there are far greater challenges coming in the course of a startup than learning how to code.

Can’t wait to learn C++ for the rest of the week!

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