If you’re into game development, you have probably heard the term ‘game engine’ being thrown around everywhere. A game engine is software that provides game developers with the required set of tools to build and develop games fast and efficiently. A game engine can be thought of as a framework for game development that includes all the major areas in game development. These are graphics, physics, audio, networking, graphical user interface, and scripting.
Game engines are built so that developers don’t have to create all the features of the game from scratch as that would be expensive and time-consuming. In this post, we are going to compare Godot vs Unity game engines and see which one is better for beginners and expert users.
Unreal, Unity, and Godot are the most used game engines in the market today. Unreal and Unity is also one of the oldest and has paved the way for nearly anyone with a computer to create their own games. Godot is not as old as Unreal or Unity but is catching up fast. In the next section, we are going to look at their similarities and differences.
Godot vs Unity main features to consider
|Cost||Free till you earn $100000/yr with your game. You need to buy the Plus or Pro subscription based on the money you make with your games||Totally free. No royalty and no subscription. Anything you make is yours to keep and distribute.|
|Usability||Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux||Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Also has an online server version|
|Platform Supported||Can deploy build to all major platforms||Can deploy build to all major platforms|
|Games supported||Easy to use for most games. Best for 3D and 2D vector art games.||Most suitable for pixel art games. Support to 3D games not as good as other major engines. But they have improved a lot.|
|Source Code||Not available||Available for free. You can make your own custom game engine.|
|For Beginners||Easy to learn. A lot of resources and support community||Easy to learn. Not many resources and communities compared to Unity|
|Asset store||Very rich and suitable for all budgets.||Very small asset store.|
|Best course||Learn Unity completely from scratch, Hire Unity tutors||Learn Godot with GDscript|
Godot vs Unity detailed Comparison
GODOT PROS AND CONS
The thing about Godot is it’s considered the underdog in game engines. This is because it is powerful yet open source, meaning that the developer does not have to pay anything to use the tool. It is also older and is geared mainly toward 2D game development. However, it supports 3D but is not the best at 3D game development and rendering. Because of how long ago, it started.
Godot, unlike other game engines, is suited for people with programming knowledge. Every feature is accessible through code meaning that someone without coding knowledge cannot use it to the full extent. However, among the coders, it is highly praised because of its well-arranged documentation and ease of coding.
Godot has a dedicated scripting language
Godot game engine comes with a uniquely written programming language called GDScript. GDScript was developed by the Godot team as a result of testing other languages and failing. GDScript came about as a result of mixing and iterating multiple programming languages such as Python and Lua. Since none of these languages worked for them in the way they wanted, they decided to merge the two. This is why GDScript is as readable as Python.
Since it retains some of the features of Python language such as strict typing and more straightforward shortcodes. Through this, they were also able to create a better editor which is what Godot is mainly praised for. The language is quick to learn and this is why many developers love Godot.
GDScript also includes visual scripting. Visual scripting is important when it comes to developers who are into artsy stuff. It makes coding much more intuitive and allows the easy making of prototypes. However, it is important to note that a game should not be created only through visual scripting. Visual scripting tends to become more complex with large games.
Supports both 2D and 3D development
Many games today are in 3D. However, for Indie developers, 2D game development is essential. Godot is great for Indie developers since it is specially tailored for 2D game models. Godot 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, Godot works in actual 2D that is expressed in pixels. This is the reason we say it is tailored especially for 2D game models. It also supports 3D game development but it’s not as good as Unity.
It is an open-source game engine
Godot is well known for being an open-source software. All its features and tools are registered under the MIT license. This means that it is free and you own everything that you create from it. Because of its open-source nature, it is very flexible. If you are a developer and find something that does not work for you the way you want, you can change it. Through its online community, more and more tools and features are added and availed freely to users. It, therefore, allows them to add unique elements to their games.
It is light for systems
Godot does not consume a lot of memory in the system. In fact, with just over 60MB, standard Godot is executable. It also does not need installation. After you download it, all you need to do is to unzip it and get started. It is preferred by many because on top of its small file size, the engine is perfect for lower-powered systems.
Has a server
Godot game engine has an inbuilt server to support multiplayer game development. The server also allows games made by Godot to be suitable for multiple game environments such as Android, PS3, HTML5, PS Vita, and even the less popular Windows Phone. They are currently working on a Raspberry Pi version.
Godot is an open source and this means that the online community is involved in documentation. With around 100k active users, Godot has one of the best manuals. As time goes by, Godot users will continue to grow and the manual will continue to get better and better.
Unity can be said to be the most common game engine in the world. It is so common that half of the world’s mobile games are created 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 assets in the asset store. Beginners can create basic game prototypes easily using Unity.
Unity game engine was launched at Apple’s Developers Conference and since then developing 2D and 3D game apps for different platforms has been made easier. This powerful cross-platform supports 27 platforms and unique devices. Unity supports both 2D and 3D game development. Unity is free to use for every individual or company. If you’re looking to learn Unity, there are more than enough resources offered by the community.
Great tool for Indie developers
Indie game developers create innovative games and mostly work alone or as a small team. Unity is one of the best tools for this. Due to the huge amount of expertise that has gone into making Unity, it can support everyone including small budget developers. This means that developers with small budgets can build games with the same tools as huge game makers. The Unity assets store has all the resources needed to make a AAA game which would otherwise require a large team.
It is a cross platform
Unity is loved by many game developers because it supports a lot of platforms. This means that the game can easily be shared for PC, web, mobile platforms, and some game consoles. It does this with incredible ease. The Unity engine supports Android, Mac, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox, and Steam. It also supports web plugins which is an amazing little perk. Being cross-platform, developers can easily create games for all platforms and widen their market in this way. This has also made it simple for developers to port to the next development stage. Unity has extended support for all VR and AR platforms also.
Unity has a special kit for 2D games
Although Unity is primarily considered as a 3D game development engine, it can also be used to build 2D games. With the latest version release, there is an inbuilt 2D engine with all the necessary tools and features needed for 2D game development. It allows the developer to create 2D games with lots of ease and still allows multiple support on different platforms. Unity even allows the developer to use both 2D and 3D together in one game. 2D games can therefore be made for mobile phones, gaming consoles, and PC.
Supports multiplayer gaming
Due to Unity’s versatile features, creating multiplayer games has been made quite easy. Unity game engine has an inbuilt server to support multiplayer game development. The server also allows games made by Unity to be suitable for multiple game environments such as Android, PS3, HTML5, PS Vita and even the less popular Windows Phone.
Unity is free until you make money
Unlike Godot, Unity is not open source. This is one of the main points to be considered in the Godot vs Unity comparison. Unity 3D comes with a free version for people who want to learn game development. This free version has all the game development features of the engine, which are all meant to help amateur game developers improve their skills. After they have, they can now advance to a Pro version which is paid for.
If the person or company makes over $100K in sales per year, however, they have to purchase the pro version of the game engine. The Pro Version offers a lot more features than the free version. Some of these features include rendering to texture capabilities, global lighting, and a custom splash screen. Unity has plus and pro versions depending on the level of usage.
Unity has a rich asset store
Think of the asset store as an app store in your phone. The asset store is where all extra features, game assets, extensions and solutions regarding Unity are found. Unity has a wide variety of assets in its store, which is one of the largest for game engines. This has helped the online Unity community which has over 5 million active users, to assist each other with scripts and problems throughout the development process. Currently, there are over 15k asset packages in the asset store including 3D models, music, sound effects and IDE extensions
Has an easy-to-understand IDE
Unity has a relatively easy-to-understand IDE or editor. It allows the developer to build logic around an object and set the codes simply by dragging the codes in the IDE. It also uses logical conditioning of the objects to allow quick testing, prototyping, and balancing during game development. Unity has shifted to Visual studio in recent times.
Conclusion: Godot vs Unity summarized
In gaming society, both of these game engines are considered great. However, they both stand out in their respective fields. Unity is known for mobile game development and is rated highly in the 3D games field. This is because of its rich features, affordability, and great tools. Godot on the other hand is known for the superb workflow with nodes.
The answer to Godot vs Unity is simple. If you are looking to get a job in the gaming industry or you want to focus mainly on 3D, VR, and AR games then Unity is the best choice for you. If you want to go full indie with 2D games and are very good with codes then Godot is best. Godot 3D support may improve in the future but it might never be able to match with Unity standards.