Tag: Tutorials

Unity 5 vs Unreal Engine 4

With over four and a half million registered users, Unity is the most popular game engine there is. 47% of game developers use Unity, while only 13% use Unreal Engine. But let’s examine them both….


This can be a big factor in deciding which game engine to use.

Unity’s “Personal Edition” of Unity 3D is a free, full featured engine. The professional edition, Unity Pro is $1500 per major release or $75/month. If you have Unity Pro, you get features such as a customizable splash screen, beta access, unlimited revenue and funding, Unity Analytics Pro, source code access, and much more. If your game makes above a hundred grand in annual gross revenue, you must purchase Unity Pro.

Unreal Engine 4 was previously $19 a month, but as of March 2015 Unreal has been and will be free, and you get the C++ source code. Once your game ships, you pay Epic Games 5% of your quarterly gross revenue per product after your make your first three grand.


Both engines have a very active communities, with discussion forums and answers hubs, as well as great documentation, tutorials, and wikis.

Unreal’s documentation is stellar, very well written with great explanations and screenshots.  While Unity’s docs are also great, they have some room to improve.

Unity has an amazing number of video tutorials on learn.unity3d.com. They have hundreds of professional tuts uploaded so far, for beginners and advanced users, covering every aspect of the game creation process. Both engines occasionally host live seminar style training sessions (Unity more often than Unreal).


Unreal Engine: Windows PC, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, VR, Linux, SteamOS, HTML5, Xbox One, and PS4.

Unity 3D: Windows PC, Mac OS X, Linux, Web Player, WebGL, VR(including Hololens), SteamOS, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, Tizen, Android TV and Samsung SMART TV, as well as Xbox One & 360, PS4, Playstation Vita, and Wii U. It seems Unity is the winner in this area.


With the release of Unity 5 came many new features that enabled developers to make beautiful, next-gen AAA games. But it seems Unreal is one step ahead in nearly every area of graphics: terrain, particles, post processing effects, shadows & lighting, and shaders all look amazing in Unreal Engine 4.

Ease of Use

Unity has always been known for their easy to use interface where beginners can jump right in and start making games. Though Unreal Engine 4 was a major improvement, they still take second place behind Unity in the area of user experience.

Both interfaces are very similar, with toolbars and settings within resizable & movable windows. Unreal’s UI is still quite bloated and complex. Everything takes longer and is more complicated than it should be. Assets take a long time to import and save, and simple tasks require extra, unnecessary steps. Unity 3D is fast, and the interface is quick and responsive. It’s so light that it can run on Windows XP (SP2), while UE4 requires at least Windows 7 64-bit. Though the final product can look nicer in Unreal than in Unity, getting there takes longer and much more effort, especially for beginners.


Unity games are programmed with JavaScript, C#, or Boo. Most developers use either JS or C#. It’s not required to only use one. You can use one or the other, or all three. Unreal engine ships with the Blueprints Visual Scripting system, which can be used to make an entire game, or used in combination with the somewhat faster C++ scripting. Unity 3D does not have a visual scripting system built-in (yet), however there are excellent solutions that can be purchased on the Unity Asset Store, most notably Playmaker and uScript Professional.


Unity Tech offers many amazing services such as Unity Ads, Everyplay (for recording & sharing mobile gameplay), Unity Multiplayer, Analytics, Cloud Build, Performance Reporting, Premium Support, and more.

Epic Games does not have so many services, but they have created a five million dollar development fund to “provide financial grants to innovative projects built in and around Unreal Engine 4”.


Both Unreal and Unity have great places where you can buy and sell game assets.

The Unity Asset Store has over fifteen thousand assets and 1.5 million users. Most of the assets are very affordable.

The Unreal Marketplace is much newer than Unity’s asset store, and therefore much smaller. The assets are also generally more expensive. However, they all seem to be very high quality.

If you are selling assets, note that both stores split the profit 70/30.


Both engines are fantastic game creation tools, and similar in so many ways. But perhaps their best quality is that they are free! So you can download them both, try them out, and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Beware! Unreal Engine is not good at 2D games! If you are making a 2D game, use Unity!

All images credit unity3d.com and unrealengine.com.

Exporting from Google Sketchup Free to Unity Free

Lots of people want to know: how do I get my models from Google Sketchup into Unity 3D? The answer is very simple. And here it is.

First, you need a model. I found this cool model on the Google Sketchup 3D Warehouse. Ideally, you’d make your own, but you don’t have to. Also, make sure the model is in the center of your world. Meaning, zero on the x, y, and z coordinates.

Next, export it (File > Export > 3D Model). Note that this is in Sketchup FREE, not PRO. Save it in your assets folder in your Unity project.

Continue reading “Exporting from Google Sketchup Free to Unity Free”

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Moving Objects Through Scripting in Unity3D

You can make objects move in Unity3D without animating them. Use JavaScript! Or C#, but for right now I’m going to show you how to do it with JavaScript. That’s what most Unity developers use.

So, first create a new JavaScript and open it up. Type this in it: (don’t copy and paste, you won’t learn)

function Update () {
transform.Rotate (1,0,0);

Save that, and attach it to a GameObject. Play the game, and you will see that whatever object you have attached the script to will be rotating in the x axis. The speed of this rotation is dependent upon the frame per second of your game. So if you have a really fast computer, the object will probably be spinning quite fast.

A few tips:

Transform means location or position.
transform.Rotate means rotate the position.
That (1,0,0) means rotate in the x axis; not y, not z.
Don’t forget the semi colon at the end of line 2.

So how about we make the object rotate at a fixed speed? That’s easy enough. Type this up:

var rotateSpeed: int=4;

function Update () {

A few tips:

var means variable
int means integer
Time.deltaTime means, basically, time.
Multiply that by our variable, rotateSpeed (use the asterisk)

Make sure you save and update the script and all that and that, and you’re ready to go! If you want to change the axis of rotation, change Vector3.right to Vector3.up or Vector3.left or whatever.


Review: Digital Tutors

Digital Tutors is fantastic. With thousands of high quality video tutorials, it is the best place for learning how to make computer graphics and digital art. It does not have much tutorials for any game engines other than Unity3D, but that is balanced by the fact that there are over a thousand tuts for Autodesk Maya alone. Tutorial files are also available.

One thing I really like about DT is that they don’t host their videos on sites like YouTube or Vimeo or whatever. They have the videos on their own site, digitaltutors.com. The videos are optionally full screen.

The cost? Well, you can watch some for free; in fact, there are whole courses that are free. But with a paid subscription, you can watch them all.

Overall, I think http://www.digitaltutors.com is one of the best sites I’ve stumbled across in a long time. Five stars.