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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2010
I've evaluated several 3D game engines, including XNA Game Studio 3 (ok for home enthusiasts), Torque 3D (not ready for prime time as of this writing), Unity (nice), Blender3D (ok for home enthusiasts), and Unreal Engine 3. The Unreal Engine UDK blows them away, although the Unity 3D Platformer is really quite good. You can't beat what you get with the Unreal Engine UDK, especially considering that its free. Some licensing rules apply if you actually create and sell a game.

I purchased this book in order to get a "head start" on developing applications with the Unreal Game Engine. I was very pleased with its contents. The examples in each chapter really drive home the benefits of using the Unreal Game Engine. I especially enjoyed the introductory chapter, the static meshes chapter, the material creation chapter, the terrain chapter, the Kismet chapter and the Matinee considerations chapter.

I downloaded the November and December Betas of the Unreal Development Kit (UDK). So if you do the same, be aware of the following differences.

1. When you copy a chapter's map to your Content directory, change its extension from ut3 to udk.
2. You will have some problems in Chapter 4: A Universe of Brushes. Some of the UT3 features (geometry modifiers for BSP extrusion, etc) are not in the UDK. You will not be able to extrude the capital and entablature on the columns in the temple. Don't waste time trying to figure out where they are, like I did. Unreal recommends using static meshes rather than BSP brushes to build your levels. So they've removed some of the modifiers from the UDK.
3. The property names in the book use Hungarian notation, but the UDK does not. Just remove the first character and you will find your property.
4. Every map needs a Killz setting. When you build your map you will get an error that the Killz setting is not initialized (something like that). So go to View/World Properties and expand Zone Info. You will see Kill Z as the first property. Set its value to something like -10000.
5. I had some issues with the Swarm, and ended up turning it off. I don't need to build my levels on multiple machines, and I didn't want to spend the time setting it up. So I disabled it.

That's it! Most of the examples in the book work as described. I'm very impressed with Kismet and Matinee. I think Autodesk could learn something here.

I can't wait to buy Volume 2: Advanced Level Design Concepts with Unreal Engine 3.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2009
Simply a spectacular how-to book. Covers a lot of ground, and I can't wait for volumes 2 and 3 to get released. Also, not only do you get an amazingly well written and thought out work that reads like a text book for learning the UT3 editor, you also get a DVD packed with all the examples and tutorials covered in the book, and a free copy of UT3 as a download from steam.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2009
This book has been a great read and resource for helping me get my hands dirty with Unreal Editor 3.0. I am new to the engine, and honestly, this book has really helped give me the insight I need without straying off the beaten path. The information is great and the little tips are extremely helpful. I have searched and browsed through numerous tutorials and websites online, and this book has everything in it to get someone started!

My only complaint is that the illustrations are of average quality and not in color, and the problem with that is trying to see which edges or verts they have selected in the pictures. Sometimes, you can't even see what they have selected or what color they are referring to because of the black and white.

Besides that, great book!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2011
This book was written for UT3, which is a much older version of UDK. The two systems are very similar, so some of this information helps give you an idea for UDK, but because of the differences of the two systems some of the information here is useless and alot of the tutorials are impossible to follow because udk does not work in the same way. This book is a big disappointment for anyone trying to learn udk.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2009
This book is an excellent reference and guide to everything UT 3.0. I have been working with the editor for years, and I am able to do mostly what I need to. I got this book to support the community and have a nice reference guide. I was pleasantly surprised at the depth of knowledge this book provides. It offers many examples and insights into content development / map design for UT. No matter if you are a beginner or an advanced user, this a perfect reference book for your library.

3D Buzz Rules!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2011
The first few chapters of this book deal with subtractive level design, which is fine, but as of October 2010 the UDK no longer supports subtractive level design, making the first few chapters (the one where your supposed to learn the basics) completely useless. The next edition of this book will probably be amazing, but anyone who buys this edition to use with the current version of UDK will be completely lost because this book is useless. I will be returning this book immediately and hoping for a revised edition in the future or will find another source of information to learn from.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2009
For anyone who seeks to be a good game level designer using Unreal 3 Editor or even the new UDK, this book (along with the other two) will be your greatest reference about all the tools of these programs.. UDK may be some different from Unreal 3 Editor but the base is the same.. the book is very easy to understand (english is not my first language and I'm having no problems at all reading it) and has a lot of cool tips and info.. as a game development student using Unreal Engine 3, I couldn't be more satisfied... this book really helps a lot when you're stuck in that hour were you think "well.. I really wanna do something like this but how could I get it to work?".. then you grab the book, and there is how.. I'm going to buy the other two now too, and for anyone who is thinking about it, I say: it's worth it.. (:
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2010
Mastering Unreal Technology volume 1: Introduction to Level Design with Unreal Engine 3 is another excellent book written by Busby and his team at 3DBuzz. If you developed modifications of UT2K4 chances are you watched the educational videos included with the ECE (Editor's choice edition) created by 3DBuzz. Mastering Unreal Technology Volume 1 is an in depth guide geared towards teaching novice and professional game developers as well as modification teams the intense architecture of the Unreal editor 3.

This book will transform you from an Unreal player into an Unreal game designer and is highly recommended for those interested in creating something Unreal.

Before purchasing or reviewing this book please keep in mind that it is geared towards the Unreal editor included in Unreal Tournament 3 and is not fully supportive of the Unreal Editor 2 (UT2K4, Unreal tournament 2004) or UDK (Unreal development Kit) technologies, Although, much of the information is completely relevant. This information includes basic technique, design skills as well as game planning and development stages.
We hope to see a UDK series of books from the 3DBuzz team soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2009
I ordered these for a very talented friend who has the tough work of trying to break into the gaming industry. He's commented that the books are easy to understand, and I see that his confidence has been boosted. Coincidentally, just today, he sent me his first rendering since receiving the books that he was very proud to say couldn't have been possible without having learned it from the books. His pride is not unfounded or biased, and there is a nice obvious positive jump in quality from previous builds. We both hope he will gain the understanding he needs to impress future employers and have him hit the ground running in crafting video games.

As far as I know, he received the books in good shape, and I do know they were delivered in a timely fashion without any delays. Thanks!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2009
The straightforward approach to teaching the Unreal Editor is the main strength of this book. Each aspect of the Unreal Engine and Editor is approached methodically and is effectively broken down into steps that allow for a thorough examination of each concept. Each concept is taught with ample screen shots and diagrams accompanying the detailed, well presented text.

In addition to the tutorial section of the book, the appendices are extremely thorough, covering each aspect of the user interface for the Unreal and Curve Editors.

If the rest of the series is as well thought out and executed as this volume, then this series has the potential to be the ultimate resource in stock Unreal Engine development and modification.
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