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Should I only read this as reference?

I'm sorry if I'm asking something silly, but even after reading through all the preliminary content - it's still a little unclear about how to best utilize this Node Essentials resource...

As I read through this section, it's describing about how to implement some of the core functions of these demos using the demos themselves. However, the provided resources are completed scenes and code. This is fine if these are intended to be used solely as reference - but the language and wording make it seem as if I should be able to try this myself within the provided scenes. But since these are already 'done', I end up only looking at the source itself.

I'm sorry if I'm missing something. I just want to maximise the way I'm using these resources, and at the moment I'm a bit lost...

  • Nathan Lovato replied

    I suppose you already read the introduction lesson How to make the most of Godot Node Essentials?

    I'll try to explain the intention behind node essentials and how you can use it.

    This is what we call a cookbook in programming. Other related ways to think of it would be it's a bit of a wiki, some kind of reference, although it's slightly different.

    As you can see, you don't get step-by-step tutorials. So you're not supposed to follow every step and re-create the things in the guides as-is.

    What we do is give you an overview and quick breakdown of examples of what you can do with nodes.  Node essentials is designed for intermediate-level users, as explained on the product page.

    For every given demo, we only cover the essential part. This is typically what our target audience needs to be able to adapt the mechanic to their projects.

    They want to see how something is done and the key points (but not all the small details they don't care about) to be able to reproduce it by themselves.

    They want a quick overview of how they can use different nodes in their projects, concretely.

    So this is what node essentials is. It's a bit of a reference, with concrete examples, with concrete code samples and overviews of important bits to achieve results.

    Now, the way you use this depends on your needs. You can check the guides in any order, and this is a resource you'll come back to.

    Like we recommend in the intro, I would recommend downloading the files, opening the cheatsheet, and looking for nodes you're interested in based on their use cases.

    You can then read the corresponding guide, top-to-bottom if you don't know much about the node, or use the table of content and skip to specific use cases if you're already familiar with the node.

    The Godot project is definitely a reference, but also a tool to try the demos, the nodes, and see what they do. It's a good alternative to the cheatsheet to find nodes that are interesting to you as you can just play the demos.

    Many experienced developers prefer to learn from code directly, so they'll skip the guides and browse the demos' source code instead. Having the source code also allows you to experiment with a demo, change the code and see how your changes affect the result. That's an excellent game development practice, I think.

    Hopefully, this gives you some ideas about how to make the most of the guides and code. As you can see, unlike a course, a cookbook is something every user can decide to explore the way that works best for them.

    Please let me know if you have more questions.