Unreal Engine vs Unity: Which one to use?
Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) and Unity are arguably two of the most popular game engines available to the public today. While many game development studios use their own proprietary game engine there’s still a huge market for indie developers. Games like Dead Island 2 and Hitman Sniper are being developed on these game engines. So if you want to get into game design you’re next step is choosing which game engine to learn, and which game engine 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. 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.
What Type of Games Are You Going to Create?
The first question you need to ask yourself is what are you going to use the game engine for, and what kind of games do you want to create? Of course, we want to make a game because game engines can be used for not just game development. Do you want to create a 2D platformer or a 3D action adventure game? Maybe a game with a hybrid of 2D and 3D. You may just want to start small for your first game and create a simple puzzle stacker with some basic physics involved. Through in-app purchases, in-game ads or just the purchase price alone? Answering these questions can help determine whether you should use Unreal Engine 4 or Unity.
Both engines can certainly get the job done. But depending on what you’re creating, one engine might rain supreme in your work. When it comes to mobile games that is where Unity really shows its dominants, with many popular mobile games created with it, it’s really become a mobile developers go-to game engine. If you want to make a 2D game, Unity can also be a great option, because it has some great 2D features and can be very easy to start creating games. Unreal Engine 4 has recently tried to push their engine among mobile developers with powerful 2D features as well. Maybe you want to create a 3D game, well; Unity is also a very powerful 3D game engine as well.
While choosing a game engine can rely heavily on what type of game you want to create, and what platform you want to launch. So, there is also another very important factor, that depending on your funding may be the deciding factor of whether to choose Unreal Engine 4 or Unity. If you’re an aspiring game developer just wanting to learn how to make games, and get your feet wet then you probably don’t have large sums of money to drop. The pricing of a game engine can be a huge selling point for any developer. If you eventually want to launch your game there’s also royalties that need to be taken into account. Unity offers a completely free version ready for download. If you’re just wanting to get started this can be a great option for you.
While it certainly doesn’t have all the features that Unity Pro has it’s still capable of making excellent games without you having to ever spend a dime. You can’t really get much better than free. If you want to upgrade to Unity Pro, this can be a bit pricey. You can buy the program outright for $1,500, or pay $75/month, while those payments may seem steep, especially for someone just wanting to start out. If you ever want to publish your game you don’t have to pay any royalties to Unity. If you’re a larger developer this can be a big enticement for you. However, you do have to pay another $1,500 per mobile platform that you publish on. With Unreal Engine 4 there aren’t Pro or Free versions. In the recent announcement Unreal Engine 4 went completely free.
Unreal Engine 4 has Blueprint visual scripting. A node-based scripting method right inside UE4. Technically you don’t ever need to write a single line of code. This is great for quickly prototyping levels, and you can even create entire games using Blueprint. If you’re not a programming wizard, but just want to make a game. This can make Unreal Engine 4 a great option for you. Of course, there are limitations to what Blueprint is capable of, but if you’re new to game design it can be a great way to get your feet wet. If you want to use Unreal Engine 4 for things like visualizations and architectural walk-throughs Blueprint would be excellent for that because you won’t have to worry about writing code and it can be done very quickly.
Great Asset Store
Both Unreal Engine 4 and Unity have an asset store. Letting you download different game assets like characters, props and even things like sounds and particle effects. However, Unity really comes out on top in terms of the size of their asset store. Offering everything from intuitive animation and rigging tools to GUI generators and motion capture software. There’s everything you need to create your game.
No Profiler in Unity Free
One thing to keep in mind with the free version of Unity is that there is no Profiler. This is only included in Unity Pro. This alone can be a huge deterrent to some developers and can be a big deciding factor. The profiler basically allows you to optimize your game. You can play your game with the profiler on and it will record the performance of your game and show you the percentage of time spent doing tasks like rendering, and animation while playing your game. Not having this available in the free version makes it extremely difficult . So, to figure out what areas in your game are causing slow downs, and what needs to be fixed in order to have optimum performance.
When it comes to graphics, Unreal Engine 4 is really a next-gen game engine. Capable of creating graphics on par with games you see being released on next-gen game consoles. From complex particle simulations systems to advanced dynamic lighting. Of course, with the upcoming Unity 5, there has also been a big graphical increase. Although, the release date has yet to be set in stone. Graphics of course are not everything, and quite simply you probably don’t need to create a game that competes with today’s triple A titles.
Ease of Use
In terms of which program is easier to use, it really comes down to personal preference. Unity is generally seen as the more intuitive and easier to grasp game engine. However, Unreal Engine 4’s complete UI overhaul has brought with it a very easy to understand UI that shouldn’t take long to get up and running. If you’re basing your decision on which game engine is easier to understand the best option is to test them both. Put them through the ringer and try to figure out what works best for you.