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. Unity has been around for a while now and is considered the best among indie developers. Lumberyard is a fairly new game engine developed by amazon.
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. There are many online courses to help you learn both the game engines. So, no matter which game engine you choose learning them shouldn’t be difficult.
We have listed some key points for Unity and Lumberyard engine which will help you decide which one to use
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)
Lumberyard Game Engine
Lumberyard engine is a cross platform engine that was developed by Amazon. The main and most obvious difference between the two is that Lumberyard integrates Amazon Web Services that allow developers to build their games on Amazon’s servers. It also supports the livestreaming platform known as Twitch. Like Lumberyard, the source code is made available to the developers although with a bit of limitations. These limitations include: user cannot publicly release the source code or incorporate it in their own game.
Lumberyard was released in 2016 together with a multiplayer hosting service known as Gamelift. This was done to attract as many gaming fans as possible to the system. Since this game engine is so recent and not fully developed, a beta version was released in 2018 to support multiple platforms such as Windows, PS4 and Xbox One. Linux and Mac are partially supported and full versions are currently in the workings. Virtual reality support is also in its beta stages and allows the game developer to build games supporting unique devices such as HTC Vive. Since the Lumberyard game engine is new, not many games have been created using it. The following are the games built by this game engine: The Grand Tour Game (2019) and Coffence (2018). The rest of the games have not been officially released yet.
The following are some of the key features of Lumberyard.
Lumberyard is a cross platform
Lumberyard 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 Lumberyard are tailored with only one OS in mind: Windows. This means that when using another operating system with such tools will cause problems.
It has a server
Lumberyard game engine has an inbuilt server to support multiplayer game development. The server also allows games made by Lumberyard 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.
Supports multiplayer gaming
Due to Lumberyard’s versatile features, creating multiplayer games has been made quite easy. Lumberyard game engine has an inbuilt server to support multiplayer game development. The server also allows games made by Lumberyard to be suitable for multiple game environments such as Android, PS3, HTML5, PS Vita and even the less popular Windows Phone.
Lumberyard 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.
Lumberyard is free you only pay for AWS
Lumberyard is total free , there is no revenue limit or royalty to be paid when you publish your game. You can make any game you want and publish them free if cost. There is one catch that lumberyard uses Amazon AWS services for many in-game features and AWS is not free. You have to pay for any AWS service you use.
Lumberyard has a rich documentation
Even though Lumberyard is a variation of cryengine. Amazon has made sure anybody who uses lumberyard shouldn’t face any difficulty. Lumberyard documentation is well arranged and easy to read. You must be able to get the any of it with regular use.
Lumberyard supports facial animation editing
When it comes to designing games, a lot of facial expressions are needed for the game characters. This game engine comes with a new powerful facial animation editor. This editor allows the developer to input real life expressions on their characters’ faces. This makes the game more realistic and more enjoyable.
Both game engines are good in their own ways. But, the experience that unity community has put in for years has shaped unity game engine into the best that is required out there. Also , if you are looking for a job related to game development then lumberyard wont do much good as there is not much requirement in the gaming industry for lumberyard as of now. Lumberyard is good if you want to make and publish your own game. the resources available are good enough for a new developer.