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Unity vs Unreal Engine – Beginners Guide to Game Development

But the cost factor might just push out your thought of innovation since most game engines are either proprietary or expects larger royalties, thus resulting in a loss.

Unity Vs Unreal Engine
Unity Vs Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) and Unity are arguably two of the most popular game engines available to the public today. While many popular game development studios use their own proprietary game engine, there’s still a huge market for indie developers and even larger studios needing a great game engine to help them create their game. Games like Dead Island 2 and Hitman Sniper are being developed on these game engines.

Games
Games

So if you want to get into game design your next step is choosing which game engine to learn, and which platform to launch your game. While both Unreal Engine 4 and Unity are excellent game engines, depending on what you want to do, one may be a better option for you, over the other. Whether it’s simply the interface you prefer, or maybe the programming language.

Now the basic questions that needs to be answered before choosing your game engine are :

These questions will provide you a basic idea on how you wish to work on the game design before pushing yourself in the game development phase and ultimately choosing your game engine. (Should you wish to know the phases on Game Development, let us know in the comments below)

Whatever the case may be, let’s break down each game engine and look at their strong areas so you can decide which one will work best for you. The areas we will be looking at are UI (User Interface), Graphical Rendering, Prices, Programming Languages, Community, Ease of Use and a summary through Pros and Cons

The successor to Unreal Development Kit, which created popular games such as Batman: Arkham Series; this game engine is one of the top notch game engines existing as of now. It can be compatible to all devices if made so and supports major asset formats that uses Maya, 3DS Max tools. Although primarily developed for first-person shooters, it has been successfully used in a variety of other genres, including stealth, MMORPGs, and other RPGs. With its code written in C++, the Unreal Engine features a high degree of portability and is a tool used by many game developers today. It has been awarded by Guinness World Records as “the most successful video game engine”.

Unreal Engine 4
Unreal Engine 4

The current release is Unreal Engine 4, designed for Microsoft’s DirectX 11 and 12 (for Microsoft Windows, Xbox One, Windows RT); GNM (for PlayStation 4); OpenGL (for macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Ouya and Windows XP); Vulkan (for Android); Metal (for iOS); and JavaScript/WebGL (for HTML5 web browsers). Now let’s break down the important aspects of the engine.

User Interface

Unreal Engine - User Interface
Unreal Engine – User Interface

The Unreal Engine has one of the most fluid UIs compared to other freeware game engines including Unity. The distribution of the tools to operate on is dynamic and also is easily accessible and understandable.

Graphical Rendering

The UE4 has one of the most astonishing graphical renders which not only includes animated movies, but also the game refresh rate. The frame rate optimization is customizable hence it automatically categorizes the particle assets and excludes them if necessary. As recommended settings, it is better to design the game at full resolution and render, though this requires beefy system specifications.

Price

UE4 - Free
UE4 – Free

UE4 is completely free in terms of game engine usage and does not request royalty if the game makes less than 3000 USD per quarter. If it exceeds this amount, UE4 takes 5 % as royalty.

Programming Languages

Unreal Engine - blueprint
Unreal Engine – blueprint

Unlike its predecessor UDK, which uses UnrealScript, UE4 is now no longer using this script and uses full on C++. UE4 has 2 programming scripts: Blueprint programming and C++ programming. For new developers who are not familiar with C++ language can use Blueprint Programming though there’s a learning curve. If you are strong in C++ language, then it’s preferred to use C++ scripts where Unreal Engine 4 supports live debugging which most game engines don’t provide.

Community

Unreal Engine 4 has a brilliant community. It is friendly and supportive unlike the unresponsive Unity community. If you need help in supporting your project or wish to gain a team for the project (for example, ARK:Survival mods), this is the best engine you can get to work with.

Ease of Use

The UE4 has a slight learning curve hence the UI can be a little daunting and complex to use. However you have tutorials to help you learn that curve and help in every aspect of the tools given. Of the popular engines being used, this engine is quite tricky but useful.

Pros

Cons

Unity is a cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies. Unity is marketed to be an all-purpose engine, and as a result supports both 2D and 3D graphics, drag and drop functionality and scripting through its 3 custom languages. The engine targets the following APIs: Direct3D and Vulkan on Windows and Xbox 360; OpenGL on Mac, Linux, and Windows; OpenGL ES on Android and iOS; and proprietary APIs on video game consoles.

Unity Game Engine
Unity Game Engine

Within 2D games, Unity allows importation of sprites and an advanced 2D world render. For 3D games, Unity allows specification of texture compression and resolution settings for each platform that the game engine supports. We shall see how Unity sets itself to be unique and on par with Unreal Engine 4. Popular industries that uses Unity are: Blizzard, Amplitude, Hasbro Interactive.

User Interface

Unity 5
Unity 5

Unity Engine has one of the most simplest UI designs and does not cramp up the system screen space unlike Unreal Engine 4. It is fast and toolbars can be easily customizable. It has more space for game rendering and designing.

Graphical Rendering

It is similar to the UE4 and other popular game engines and supports all effects including bump mapping, reflection mapping, parallax mapping, screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), dynamic shadows using shadow maps, render-to-texture and full-screen post-processing effects.

Price

Unity is however freemium, that is most of the high end features are blocked unless you pay for higher packages. Unity has 4 packages: Personal(free), Plus(35$/month), Pro(125$/month), Enterprise(Tailored Setup). For indie gamers this engine is not preferable. For new enterprises, Unity provides the best it can for its price.

Programming Languages

Unlike UE4, it uses C# and Javascript to code and script the game. Hence it is popularly used for RPGs, Visual Novels and mobile games with extremely short deadlines.

Community

The Unity Engine has a wide community service but are mostly unresponsive and are hated by many. Most developers keep their games under closed doors hence are not open to their works to new developing artists. But with games like Overwatch with large community, there might be a chance for a strong and responsive developers to help the newbie artists and devs.

Ease of Use

The Engine is quite easy to use and requires no learning curve if you know the basics of it like all game engines. It provides support for new gamers with sufficient documentations. However it is freemium, thus might affect certain tools and aspects of development (such as multiplayer ports, etc.).

Pros

Cons

Now, did you get the required engine you wish to work? Was this article helpful or not? Give us a shoutout.

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