I see that the number of options to do anything you want in Unreal is overwhelming as opposed to Unity. Example: Adjusting the lighting in the scene with over 100 different variables and different actors… I don’t know of another way of teaching Unreal than the instructor saying do this… now do that. It’s like paint by the numbers. I have taken 5 other Unreal tutorials and it is taught the same way. After the tutorials I have little more knowledge about what to do than when I started. I often ask myself, “How do you know you’re supposed to do this or that to accomplish something? How do you know what to search for?” I’m not sure if I can really learn how to do whatever I want in Unreal with such a limited amount of exposure to the vast number of variables and ways to do things. I am an intermediate developer in Unity and most of what I’ve learned, other than the tutorials, I’ve had to learn by trial and error, hunt and peck, and finding answers on YouTube or the forums. In both Unreal and Unity, it is not intuitive to figure out what to do as opposed to, let’s say, Game Guru. I made a comment to one of the instructors in Unity that you have to be an expert in nearly everything in Unity, including its quirks, to develop a good game. She agreed with me. I guess that expertise only comes from thousands of hours of exasperating trial and error and experience, finding what works and studying other people’s examples. Unity documentation doesn’t hardly help at all. The documentation assumes that you know how everything works already which almost makes it superfluous. I don’t know about Unreal documentation since I haven’t used it yet. I will plough on in this course and hopefully will learn a lot. Thank you for instructing me. Your labors are very much appreciated.
Any software development is easy to start with but to become good takes 1000s of hours toiling, making mistakes and attempting to improve on what you can do - this really isn’t unique to game development. What makes game development different is because you have to know a lot of everything from many different disciplines and from this respect, is similar to being a full stack developer for example. With Game development you need to know artwork/texturing, 3D Modelling, audio, coding, basics of physics and the list goes on. It is impossible for any one course to teach you everything you need to do and unfortunately, most courses focus on the same thing - the game mechanics and how to implement them in whatever technology.
I did undertake some part of a course just on lighting - a whole course. This was Unity and about the time I switched to Unreal. Unreal’s lighting is more complex as well and especially UE5 but also it is a bit easier to get good effect with some basic knowledge which I know Stephen touches on - he barely scratches the surface. I also took 2 different courses on just creating Unreal Materials and they barely scratched the surface of Materials so I totally understand where you’re coming from.
Fortunately, you can get things looking good in Unreal a lot faster with a little bit of experimenting. The basic lighting setup is usually a pretty good place to start.
Good luck with the course and I hope you find it useful.