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I want to get into game programming, but my system can't run Unreal Engine.

Another programmer I'm working with is using Unreal on his system, so I want to know if it's possible for me to code using Visual Studio on my system without having Unreal Engine, and still contribute to our shared project this way.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You could write code that has nothing at all to do with Unreal, but the amount of that code is probably quite limited. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 12, 2023 at 0:49

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Code is just text files. You could write Unreal engine code in anything that can write text - even your phone's SMS app if you wanted, but the workflow would be a nightmare.

Especially as you're first learning game development, you're going to make a lot of mistakes, and being unable to test your work, experiment, and observe the results without waiting on your partner will slow your learning down drastically (and impact their productivity, and possibly strain your working relationship too).

I'd recommend that you choose a different engine or framework for your first game - something your system can run. Possibly Unity or Godot, or even web game frameworks that run anywhere you can use a browser. You'll learn much faster when you can test your work in a tight iteration loop, and the fundamentals you learn about how to approach game development will be portable between engines.

If you later take on an Unreal project, it will go much smoother once you've built up experience coding in another engine, so you can anticipate many of the problems and troubleshoot others more effectively, helping to compensate for the slower iteration time if you still need to borrow someone else's system to test.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, thank you \$\endgroup\$
    – Aki Toby
    Commented Apr 10, 2023 at 8:40
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If you guys are stuck with Unreal Engine, you could start a GitHub repo with the project files, allowing both of you to upload files easily. Your friend can then upload them to Unreal Engine for testing.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Will workflow still be productive? \$\endgroup\$
    – Aki Toby
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 9:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @AkiToby No, because in 9 out of 10 cases the code won't even compile in Unreal, and your coworker would need to send you the error message. And in the 1 case where it does compile, in 9 out of 10 cases it won't do what you want, and your coworker would have to describe the wrong behavior to you. With that overhead, it would be faster for them to just program it themselves. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 9:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's why I said only if you are stuck with it. I would definitely recommend switching if you can. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Apr 13, 2023 at 0:27

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