Tag: Unity 3D

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….

Price

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.

Learning

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).

Platforms

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.

Graphics

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.

Code

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.

Services

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”.

Assets

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Making a Successful Indie Game

Can one person really make a whole game by themselves? I think so. How to do it, you wonder? Follow my ten tips below.

#1. Don’t try to do something you know you cant do. We would love to make the next Battlefield 3, but the reality is that an independent game developer will never achieve this. On the other hand, making the next Angry Birds or Temple Run is something an indie developer can do. Don’t be overconfident, but don’t get discouraged. Think big, just not too big. And don’t think art-centric. Think fun-centric.

#2. Use Unity 3d. Unless you really need super high-end graphics which then you would use UDK. But just trust me, you really want to use Unity.

#3. Look at other indie games, like Minecraft. What are they up to? What about them inspires you?

#4. Subscribe to Create3DGames. This might be overly obvious, but just in case you forgot. (Click on the RSS button to subscribe). Do it now. Right now. Okay, next tip…

#5. Be creative. Be the most creative person you know. Creativity = $UCCE$$. Always. Well, usually. Sometimes. Just be original. Don’t be a copycat.

#6. Get your friends to test your game. You need feedback. Lots of it. Release an alpha version online, and a beta version, too.

#7. Develop your idea before you start work on developing the game. Get the game design done before the game development. You need to have a solid story for the game. Do a few sketches of what you want different scenes or levels in the game to look like.

#8. Go for mobile. Smartphone (and tablet) games are becoming very popular, and it also gives you an excuse for not making triple A graphics in your game.

#9. Don’t be afraid to use other people’s stuff in your game. You might have to give them credit or whatever, but for certain things like game music and sound effects, you will probably want to buy those from someone else, unless you can do that stuff yourself. Which most people can’t. Probably because they don’t have a whole orchestra and sound boards and what not.

#10. Don’t give up. Sure, you might fail the first time. But that just means you will do even better next time. Also, whatever assets you make for the game, sell them online. Like if you have a 3d model you made for the game, then sell it on Turbosquid or the Unity Asset Store or something.

Good luck and happy game developing!