One of the most successful Kickstarter projects this week has raised more than $130,000 promising something slightly different — it's going to teach you how to make a game.
But instead of going via the normal route of online videos and tutorials, this one's a little different. You're going to learn to code. By playing with the Unreal Engine.
It's not the flashiest Kickstarter title: "Learn To Make Video Games — Unreal Developer Course In C++". It's not the kind of name you'd advise students to roll with if they wanted to get more eyeballs on their project.
But with three days to go, Ben Tristem's project of teaching people how to make a game — and how to program in C++ — from scratch using Unreal Engine 4 is going to become a reality. It's raised $132,228* to date from its original goal of 10,000 euros (that's just over $15,000 dollarydoos) and has secured over 2800 backers.
"I want to create a full course to teach a novice (or indeed an experienced coder) how to create cross-platform games using Unreal Engine 4, a powerful game engine that was made free this year. Unreal has been used to create many AAA titles in a wide range of genres including Batman, Bioshock, Borderlands, Gears of War, Mass Effect and Life Is Strange," Tristem wrote.
"The course will be entirely project based, so the user will start by building a very simple Rock, Paper Scissors clone called Ant, Human, Tank and end-up with a VR compatible space game."
Those who jump in at the 35 euro tier level will also get access to Tristem's Unity and Blender courses, along with the Unreal course that will be selling for US$197 when the Kickstarter is completed. The intriguing part of it all is how quickly things will come together: Tristem plans to make the course available to backers in January, although those who pledge 50 euroes or more will gain access to the course as soon as two hours of content is made available.
But perhaps everything that I find interesting about this project can be summed up with this simple line in the FAQ: "A complete beginner will be able to learn to code and create games with this course."
I've often wondered how difficult it could be to make a level for Unreal Tournament in UE4; I've considered going through the process for a story multiple times. But taking that next step, making a game from scratch, apparently isn't that difficult.