A game engine is the architecture that game developers use to make a game. Game engines make the process of game making simple by incorporating the basic needs of game development. In simpler terms, a game engine is a dedicated software for creating and designing games. Unity vs Unreal is the most searched term when it comes to game engine battles, as they are the industry standards in game development.
Game engines provide the developers with more time to focus on the key features and elements of the game such as character looks, facial expressions, and models and how entities and objects of the game will interact. This means that before game engines, the process of designing games was a lot more difficult. It meant that all games would have to be made from scratch making it consume a lot more time and a whole lot expensive.
There are many game engine making companies. Different engines have different strengths and weaknesses as each of them has their own style and user. Some are more geared toward non-programmers and beginners. Whereas, some are designed for programmers to unleash their potential.
Choosing a Game engine can be difficult for a new Game developer. Without the experience of working on the game engines,its not possible to decide . Unity and Unreal are the two most commonly used game engines used in game development. They are both simple and have been developed with a newbie developer in mind. Because of this, they are considered great for beginners. They are both easy to use and navigate through which makes them the top two choices for any beginner out there. The following section describes each of these game engines and some of their key features.
The most crucial requirement for a new developer is the support community and learning curve.If a game engine has a good support community then it makes the learning more fun and interesting. Choosing an engine with steep learning curve might lead you to lose interest in game development.
We have listed some key points for Unity and Unreal engine which will help you decide which one to use.If you are totally new to game development check out our post on How to make a game?
UNITY VS UNREAL- basic points
|COST||Free, Till your Total revenue grosses $100000 in last fiscal year||Free,Royalties applicable if product revenue crosses $3000.|
|SETUP SIZE||Component based installation,Software is only 750MB,Rest of the components can be installed as required.||6.8gb installation file. 20GB disk space after installation|
|System requirement||OS: Windows 7 SP1+, 8, 10, 64-bit versions only; macOS 10.12+ |
CPU: SSE2 instruction set support.
Memory :8GB RAM
GPU: Graphics card with DX10 (shader model 4.0) capabilities.
|OS:Windows 10 64-bit |
CPU:Quad-core Intel or AMD, 2.5 GHz or faster
Memory:8 GB RAM
GPU/DirectX Version:DirectX 11 or DirectX 12 compatible graphics card
|User Interface||Easy to navigate for beginners||Steep learning curve|
|Platforms available||IOS,Android ,Windows Universal Windows Platform ,Mac ,Oculus Rift ,Steam VR PC & Mac ,PlayStation VR,Gear VR ,Windows Mixed Reality ,Daydream ,Android TV ,tvOS ,Nintendo Switch ,Apple ARKit ,Google ARCore||Windows PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, AR, VR, Linux, SteamOS, and HTML5.|
|Support||Well developed documentation with a support community,Unity assets store for free game assets.||Well developed documentation with a support community,though the support community is not as big as Unity.Unreal market place is getting better with time.|
|Tutorials||Free learning tutorial in the Unity website, lot of third party websites available,infinite number of you tube tutorial,special certified course by Unity.||Free learning tutorial in Unreal academy, lot of third party websites available,infinite number of youtube tutorial.Learn Unreal|
|For whom||Best for beginners, equally good for PRO.||Steep learning curve for beginners, really good for pro developers.|
UNREAL Game engine
Unreal was developed by Epic Games under a man known as Tim Sweeney in 1998. For the past two decades, Unreal has been used to develop games from all genres. Worldwide popular games such as Splinter Cell have been developed using Unreal. Newer games such as Final Fantasy 7 have also been developed using this game engine.
The latest version of Unreal is version 4.21 and was released on November 2018. Like previous versions, the latest was also created with a 3D game in mind, and this is why Unreal is great for 3D titles. It is important to note that is also supports 2d game development. It is also the game engine with one of the best dynamic lighting that will fully immerse you into a virtual gaming world. However, one of its stand out features is that you do not need to have any coding knowledge to create a game using Unreal. This is because Unreal come with a Blueprint. The Blueprint is a group of tools and features that you can use to create all aspects of the game without having to write a single line of code. This is what makes it so great for beginners.
With all these great features of this engine, it is surprising that Unreal is free. They give you the full game engine package with all features for free. They did this to encourage software and game development in schools. To make money however, they have a fair system. Unreal takes 5% of you total revenue when you ship your game. They take this cut forever. This rule though only applies after you have made game sales worth over $3000, which is a fair deal.
The Unreal is a powerful game engine. It has the following key features.
Supports both 2D and 3D development
Many games today are in 3D. However, for Indie developers, 2D game development is essential. Unreal game engine provides a smooth and great workflow for these game models and this is why almost all Indie game developers use it. Moreover ti is often that, games made with unreal look really cool. No matter 2D or 3D , all games made with unreal look a class apart.
Unreal uses WYSIWYG editor
It has a ‘what you see is what you get’ (WYSIWYG) editor which is very convenient and efficient for game developers since testing during development is made very easy.
It offers offline rendering
This is a key feature since not many game engines have this option. In fact, only a few high end game engines have this feature. Offline rendering means that rendering can continue even when there is no internet connection. This is convenient as it protects the developer from losing progress in development.
Supports both programming language and visual scripting
As we know by now, to use a game engine, you have to have some bit of coding knowledge. The problem comes in when you know a language that is not supported by your game engine. Unreal ensures that even if you are not well versed with C++ , you can make a game with the visual scripting tool. Blueprint is the name of the visual scripting tool of Unreal and is well documented for new beginners.
UNITY Game Engine
Unity can be said to be the most common game engine in the world. It is so common that half of the world’s developers are using Unity to make their games. Games like Pokemon Go, Rimworld and Heathstone have all been developed using Unity.
It is also a real time platform. Unity was started in Denmark but later moved to San Francisco and now has over five million game developers using it. While Unity is more geared towards developers who can code, it also accommodates beginners who want to use virtual scripting with the tools in the asset store. A beginner can create basic game prototypes easily using Unity.
Unity has improved vastly in the last few years based on the feedback from the developer community. Unity had received a major boost when unity 5 was released and this was the first free to use version of unity. Many new developers started using unity after this and slowly the number grew to millions. Unity as of today is the most used game engine in the world.
If you’re looking to learn Unity, there are more than enough resources offered by the community. Unity is compatible with the following operating systems: Mac OS, Linux, Windows and Android. It supports multiple platforms including: mobile phones, desktop, virtual reality (VR), web and TV. Unity’s cloud system allows the developer to get real time feedback when developing the game.
The key features for Unity game engine include the following.
Supports both 2D and 3D development
Many games today are in 3D. However, for Indie developers, 2D game development is essential. Unity is great for Indie developers since it is especially tailored for 2D game models. Unity game engine provides a smooth and great workflow for these game models and this is why almost all Indie game developers use it. Unlike newer game engines that work in pseudo 2D where a 3D world is represented in two dimensions, Unity works in actual 2D that is expressed in pixels. This is the reason we say it is tailored especially for 2D game models. They plan on releasing 2.5D support soon.
Better royalty scheme
Like Unreal , Unity is also free to use. But, there is a catch. If you earn more that $100k in a year then you need to switch to the Unity plus version and if you earn more than $200k in a year then you need to buy the pro subscription of Unity. Both Unity plus and pro version provide lot of analytics data that are required for you to build a gaming business.
Unity uses visual studio
Unity used to come with monodevelop which was it’s main code editor . Monodevelop had its own limitations and many developers prefer visual studio over monodevelop. The support for monodevelop is being removed slowly and visual studio will become the main code editor for unity. The best part about typing code in unity is you can check the errors in real time with the unity editor. Thought he same feature is available in Unreal , it’s more easier and developer friendly in Unity.
Unity is a cross platform
Unity supports all major operating systems in the world today. This list includes Windows, Mac and Linux among others. It can also be supported by either 32 or 64 bit machines which makes it every convenient for many. The only problem is that many alternative tools in Unity are tailored with only one OS in mind: Windows. This means that when using another operating system with such tools will cause problems.
Unity is open source and this means that the online community is involved in documentation. With around 100k active users, Unity has one of the best manuals. As time goes, Unity users will continue to grow and the manual will continue to get better and better.
Great for All game platforms
Unity has support for all the type of games you like to make. Be it 2D , 3D or Virtual reality unity has you covered. Now Unity is slowing adding the feature to create in game cinematic scenes with a tool called timeline. Unity is also developing its own visual scripting tool( now you need to download one fron asset store)
UNITY VS UNREAL- advance points
- Both Unity engine allows you to change the code to have a customized game engine. But you need to pay to get access to the source code in case of unity.
2. If you are some one who works on more 2d games. Then unity tools are much better than unreal engine.
3. The graphics of games made with unreal engine looks better.
5. Default project build times for unreal are much slower than unity.
Should i learn unity or unreal?
You should learn unity if you are looking for step by step instructions for developing games and need a lot of support. Unity is easier to learn compared to unreal and the support community is too good. Also in the job environment unity skills are in more demand than unreal.
Unreal is for people who want to experiment with stuffs and are ready to do it alone without much support. Even unreal has improved in the area of tutorials but its not able to match the level of Unity. Unreal is good if you want more control on your game engine but that’s for advanced users.
Whether to use the Unity 3d or Unreal Engine really depends on the developer. There are many factors that make both engines advantageous to beginners, but Unity 3D’s extensive asset store is truly more beneficial for them. However, the Unreal engine’s source code access is preferred by a lot of developers as well. All of that said, it should be noted that both engines are always evolving and changing, and at a rapid pace. This can make it difficult to accurately say which one is better.If you are learning Unity to get a job then its best to go for Unity Certification , as it is widely accepted by companies around the world.
Check out the best game development courses.