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Unreal Engine

The Unreal Engine is a series of of game engines developed by Epic Games. The Unreal Engine is written in C++ and was initially designed for the creation of first-person shooters, including its first game Unreal released in 1998. Unreal has since added support for other genres including top-down and third-person --both of which have premade templates available on the platform. The Unreal Engine has also expanded into other industries such as film.

Unreal Engine, as of the time I'm writing this, is on its fifth iteration. Unreal Engine 5 is a source-available engine with a royalty model. Projects developed using the Unreal Engine that reach over 1 million USD in revenue will be charged 5% by Epic Games, but the engine is free to use up until that point.

Unreal Engine is designed with beginner friendliness in mind. Coding for the engine can be done in raw C++ with the use of a compiler or you can use the built in Blueprint Visual Scripting system. Blueprint uses a table of node based interfaces to represent lines of code and is designed to be very simple to understand and learn. Below is an example from the Unreal Engine 5 Blueprint tutorial that shows how to create a spring board that launches characters when come into contact with them.

Unreal Engine Blueprint Tutorial

Unreal Engine also has other user friendly interfaces such as the menus used for adding and modifying 3D models. Models can be added to the game environment directly from the toolbar and its mesh material and physics can all be accessed and changed from with in the same menu.

Unreal Engine also has a large community of developers meaning a it has a many resources on how to pick it up and start learning. With all these user friendly features and resources it is easy to see why it so popular and it definitely helps that doesn't cost anything to start out. So if you are looking to try your hand at 3D game development, maybe give Unreal a shot.

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