This isn't Teaching

This is just type what I type. And I may quit the course, right here.

Four games deep, and only in this teacher’s hands do I suddenly feel as though Unreal Engine must just be a nightmare-mess of nested, obfuscated nonsense you can’t possibly intuit, or understand hierarchically. Toon Tanks has left me seeing UE as an inelegant hellscape of ambiguously nested classes and function calls that you just have to know are there… somehow. And, apparently, the way you know is to be read to from bad documentation, and then told to type this, here, now.

This is sad. I’m sad now. And in pain.

I have a chronic condition called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. 80% of those syllables mean ‘inflammation of the brain.’ It’s neurological. And I would never say such a terrible thing just to be mean… But the Toon Tanks part of this course is so bad, it has exacerbated my symptoms. I am in neurological pain right now, because of the first 14 minutes of this 20 minute long chapter of the Toon Tanks course.

The instruction now amounts to being told “there’s a method, hidden under this object, that’s hidden under this class, that does this thing, and we’ll want that thing to happen later, (trust me) so you should type these words now.”

It’s frustrating. insulting, and incredibly discouraging. And I’m sorry to the instructor to be so blunt, but this is miserable! These last chapters of this course have inspired me… to NOT make games. That’s how bad this is. It accomplishes the opposite of what the platform espouses to do.

I may just bounce off, here. And if I do, it will be this instructor’s doing. Sorry to say. But it needs be said.

My dissatisfaction well-established, I’m going to attempt to provide something more than just negative criticism, here: Teaching isn’t just talking slow and repeating yourself frequently. Real teaching provides overviews that give perspective on why things are, as they are. It doesn’t just say, “Use this thing to do that. We keep it in cupboard #652. Here’s the manual. The manual sucks, btw.” Real teaching explains WHY this does that, and HOW the cupboards are numbered, so you might be able to find this again, when you inevitably need it for that.

Real teaching doesn’t shove bShowMouseCursor in as a one off, to avoid a problem later. It lets the problem emerge, so the student can see why it’s wanted; It seizes the opportunity to explain why this variable starts with a lowercase ‘b,’ so they’ve learned something that’s applicable elsewhere; It illustrates the pack of booleans its a part of, so to present it as part of a collection, instead of a needle in a haystack.

Again, that the student might ever be able to remember, or find that needle, after today. Which is precisely how this part of the course has left me feeling… Like I will never be able to hold onto so many disjointed, unrelated parts, each hiding in a library that has nothing to do with the other, but is absolutely necessary for the other. And that hopeless feeling has everything to do with the instructor’s presentation of the material. It’s what happens when a poor instructor tutors a complex subject. They make it impenetrable.

After all, we’ve just made it so the bullet can talk to the health component, which can talk to the tank, which can talk to the game mode, through a series of page-width delegate registrations though a global registrar… Mainly for the purpose of subtracting 50 from 100. No, really. We could’ve been done with this and spawning the particle effects 12 chapters ago through public functions. But there’s been no meaningful attempt to convey why we should do it this convoluted way, that uses all the inside-baseball.

And there ARE reasons, no doubt! So where are they IN THE COURSE?!

I’m so put-off after today that I would seriously advise redacting this entire project from the site. I mean, maybe you can fix it by re-planning and re-recording the whole last third of it… I don’t know. But, what’s it all worth, if the students are so disgusted, they never finish… or walk away from development entirely?

And, again, I’m sorry. A lot of effort has been made, I’m sure. But this is beyond the kind of bad you just smile and walk passed. Those responsible need to know, to be held accountable, and to improve.

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This may be for naut, as you are probably already gone and never coming back, but just incase you are still lurking, I am going to attempt to explain some of the things you have asked and/or talked about above.

Have you ever noticed the amount of tutorial’s available (for any/all programming languages) called “Type and learn SuchAndSuchLanguage”? One of the first books I ever bought on programming (like 20+ years ago) was called “Type and learn C++”. This is because most people learn by typing. It’s like being back in school and helping yourself remember by writing things down. OVER AND OVER AND OVER. This always worked great for me. It’s quite possible this does not work for you and if that is the case, best to learn that about yourself now and seek out different ways of learning programming in the future.

C++ is definitely not an easy or intuitive language. That being said, it most certainly is a powerful one that creates fast running programs. UE has the option of making your games by programming everything in C++ or using Blueprints or some combination of both. Obviously, Blueprints are much easier/intuitive but you pay for that in speed of execution of your code.

Your criticisms of the course teacher are worthy as he is not perfect by any means and I’m sure your feedback will help, but, it sounds like you are looking for a college or university level course on programming when what you have paid for here is a quick and dirty course on typing and learning C++ with respect to Unreal Engine. You get what you pay for really.

I hope you figure out the best kind of course to help you learn and do what is right for you but I do think it’s unfair to be so hard on the teacher here just because this course style doesn’t mesh with you. Cheers.


I don’t think you can fairly call type-after-me, a “teaching style.” It’s kind of a disrespect to teaching as a skill and a profession, to say that. And while I certainly acknowledge the “you get what you pay for,” aspect at work – let’s also acknowledge that hasn’t done themselves any favors, on that front.

…Being one of these platforms that pretends its courses are worth $100’s of dollars each. But we’ve all shown up on the big SALE DAY! And if you act quick, you can pick up a $1000’s worth of instruction for just $14.99!

If you are a fellow student of this course - just coming into UE5’s libraries, as the course must expect - I really want you to have a good think on what would compel you to comment on the fitness of another student’s criticisms of it.

It’s obvious that the c++ isn’t my complaint. We’ve been working in the language, and through UE’s libraries, for 30-40 hours of lectures by this point. If anyone was going to be overwhelmed by explicit types and a 40- years-antiquated idea of how symbols and whitespace ought be used – they’d have been gone a few week’s-worth of lectures ago.

I don’t even blame UE5 too much for its naff implementations. Although some of them are plainly engineered from duct tape and toothpicks. (Did you catch how UPROPERTY takes a list of properties, one of which is - itself - a list of properties. And that list contains boolean values… But the booleans are passed as text. But not TEXT()-wrapped text like the rest of UE5 asks for! It’s regular quotation wrapped text, here. AHHHHhhhhHHH!)

Epic’s hand in this only goes so far. Someone who’s actually trying to teach unfamiliar and unintuitive content, starts by describing what it is, what its a part of, and why that’s there. They illustrate how the hitherto unseen pieces that we’ll be putting together - AT SOME LATER POINT THAN RIGHT NOW - come together, to provide the functionality we will desire. Or, at the absolute least, an instructor who isn’t going to bother to do any of that – hangs a hat on it.

They say, “Listen, this next bit is outside the scope of what I plan to go into in this course, but we need it in place for some other things I’d like to show you. So just follow along for a bit, and we’ll get passed it.”

In Toon Tanks, Stephan can’t really say that. Because, in fact, we won’t ‘get passed it.’ We will continue to primarily type what he types, as he types it. Now, so long as you already know what he’s typing - or can extrapolate it by inference on your own - you’ll be fine! Because… you know… it’s obvious. You’ve seen it before. It’s like that other thing we did, earlier.

But if you were expecting something NEW to be TAUGHT… Say, the unfamiliar stuff that the last instructor hasn’t already covered… The stuff that mainly comes up in the back half of any course… And that is THE ENTIRE POINT OF SEEKING INSTRUCTION IN A SUBJECT…


This is an ‘Introduction to C++ in Unreal 5.0,’ course. For the record: 1/4th of it is not even in Unreal 5.0. And this 1/4th of it is not so much taught, as it is… narrated, I guess? There are multiple failures of the content that has been sold here, for money, that fail to surpass even the standards of false advertising… if I wanted to be a pedant about it.

But I don’t want to be a pedant about it. As I have gotten a lot out of the sections leading up to Toon Tanks. I’ve made some really cool games by extending and modifying the base games produced by the course. And having skipped ahead to ‘Simple Shooter,’ (without bothering to finish Toon Tanks) I’ve continued to learn in the other instructor’s hands.

And so, where Toon Tanks barely even tries to teach its material, I judge it unacceptable. I consider it a blight upon the rest of the course. The main instructor, Sam(?), routinely manages to summarize, explain, illustrate, convey, provide overview and context, AND THEN ALSO, show what to type and where to type it.

(Sam, by the way, manages both teach AND show the material in literally HALF the time, per chapter, as Stephan does through Toon Tanks.)

Your suggestions that I should either expect less, or acknowledge type-what-I-type as a legitimate form of instruction… Well, they aren’t anything will be copy/pasting to their front page as “praise for their courses.”


These posts and forum feel very hyper aggressive personally. If you are so dissatisfied, you can reach out to support for a refund and explain to them directly your issues, that way they directly reach the admin teams as well. You’ve posted these remarks in the public forum where the students are all here attempting to learn together. Majority of people are satisfied with what they receive/paid for and finish the Toon Tanks section just fine.

Learning Unreal is extremely difficult.
Type-what-I-type or say-what-I-say or write-what-I-write has been used to teach different languages, math, how to read, write, spell, and many other things. It is a very acceptable form of teaching, that does not work for everyone and does not work past most beginner levels of things.
Good luck with your learnings.


Pretty sure you just told me to shut up and go away…
…so that these forums will be less aggressive?

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HobbyPirates didn’t tell you to do anything; they simply stated their opinion and some facts, as well as a course of action you could take, if you chose to do so.

And I’m going to state an opinion too: I think you are allowing your frustration to boil over. I have no doubt your concerns about the course are valid, but some of what you’ve said here is blatantly disrespectful. You’ve dismissively challenged ccgames’s qualification to hold an opinion (which is actually aligned with yours) despite clearly stating similar experience, your response to HobbyPirates is undeniably petty no matter how you want to slice it, and I’m sure you won’t be pleased with me either for bringing this up.

That said, I don’t think you’re a mean person; I think you’re just so beyond fed up that you’re getting carried away in your responses. I hope you reflect on that, but more immediately, I hope you can move past this pothole in your journey and you continue learning + making awesome stuff, as you’ve indicated you’re doing. Better luck in future =)



I am sorry to hear that you feel that we missed the mark with the toon tanks section and we will be looking into this in due course.
I am glad however you found simple shooter to be of the content suited to your needs.

We are looking to find a new instructor to remaster the entire course as it presently is moving further out of date as new updates happen with the game engine and when this happens we will take on board this feedback and look to improve/replace this section.

To address the comments above about refunding, We do operate on that if you are not satisfied with the course you can ask for a refund for the course but that means in no way that we are saying go away and we will ignore your feedback as we listen and note it all and try to improve the courses based on that.

Since this course was produced we have implemented some new systems at where all courses are QA checked before they are released to students for purchase and there are multiple stages of release so we pick up any issues with the course early on.
This did not happen with this content and for that we apologise and will do better!

Hope this helps with what we are doing moving forward and that your concerns have been heard.


The implementation of QA checks for all courses before release is a positive step toward ensuring the quality of future content, and I’m glad to hear that improvements are being made in this regard.

Forums and discussions anywhere are not easy to navigate. They’re broken in some respects. One opinion and everyone has an opinion to give counter to it (and often anymore opinions just to start fires). I’m sick of it forums and discussions for that reason.

But, the more important point is that the OP here doesn’t work with this teaching method. Everyone has a different way to learn so its not an easy thing to do. I don’t for instance like long winded things. I don’t need to read 1,000 pages or watch 200 videos when 100 will do. That’s a problem for me but OP here might need it. I’d prefer just to have all the words in all the course videos to be transcribed and wouldn’t use the videos at that point.

Its what it is.

I’m going to have to agree somewhat here with this particular section of the course being being markedly less accessible than previous steps. Perhaps this could be broken down into smaller steps somehow or the strung out call chain for the pawn death simplified somehow? I guess that will be something for version 3 :slight_smile:

The Took Tank section could be tweaked in places so yes. improvements could be made for a version 3.

The original Unreal Course goes back a long time now and uses Unreal Engine 4.10 for one of the sections which was released in 2015. Ben himself was the instructor. I can’t even remember what was in the course but I do know it included a tank section (nothing like what we see today) and there was an FPS section too. I never made it that far as I was working with unity…

The issue with these things is they iterate quite quickly. Took Tanks v2 was designed for the UE4 course and I think people found the original Took Tanks tough. This was not long before UE5 came out in preview and you can even see now how things have changed - the new Input system and Substrate materials for example, along with the Niagara particle system being finally released.

That’s how it will be.

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