So I attended the first Unreal Academy this year in Raleigh NC and I must say I loved it. Several of the courses and Talks were “Hands on” which is awesome and intimidating for people evidently. Hands-on meaning the class were small about 20 people and we were all sitting in front of a PC for the course to listen then replicate what the speaker was teaching. Brilliant! I did get to speak with people from Tesla, marketing firms, and Architectural firms during several o these classes and was able to take my own little Census. Some of the participants were intimidated sitting with other people in front of computers and they were scared to show their peers if they knew unreal well enough to follow along. I for one felt like it was my own responsibility to help calm people down and shed a good light on the tense situation and say its okay and this is to help all of us. I noticed many people doing this as the days went on. So overall I felt a sort of community in this small group like atmosphere. And Epic, of course, was amazing. They had at least 4 technically knowledgeable people all roaming around the room to help anytime someone had a question or trouble following along the hands-on portion.
The trick to the uncomfortable part I mentioned before is to happily and humbly look at what is going on and start figuring it out. I found I had more knowledge of how UE4 worked that some but not all in the room for sure and honestly I’d rather have that than be the smartest in the room. Therefore If I were the smartest Id have no one to learn from. Being in that situation I am familiar with and I just become stagnant. It takes a lot to push yourself. So This academy event was great I loved it! Also, another thing to mention is that in all the years I’ve attended GDC and Siggraph I’ve never been to a course that was Hands On. I don’t think they have any since I usually have an all-access pass. I strongly recommend attending hands-on courses now! These courses and this academy from unreal are really amazing and super fun. I can’t wait till the next one in 2019! I’ll be signing up for sure!
If you’d like to know more or get some of my notes I took at the conference write me an email and I’ll share. If there is enough of a response I’ll load it in another short blog entry.