I believe that each one of us does get bored with our everyday schedule at some point in time and starts looking out for better recreational avenues to unwind. To remove this boredom, many people prefer playing video games. Games are a good source of entertainment and also teach us a lot about planning, strategy making, teamwork, and quick reflexes. You can also say that they teach us how to become a good strategist.
Due to the craze of games, many people start leaning towards learning game development. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if people played and enjoyed the game you created? There’s no joy next to that. So people start learning the programming languages and basics.
The main component for developing a game is the Game Engine. It combines all the elements like sound, graphics, artificial intelligence(AI), background, and many other components. The most common gaming engines used are Unity from Unity Technologies and Unreal from Epic Games.
The biggest confusion in game development is whether you should go for Unity or Unreal. So in this article, we are going to do a comparison between Unreal Engine Vs Unity to know more about them.
But before that, let us have a brief description of Game Engine-
A game engine, also known as a game architecture, game framework, or game frame, is a software development environment designed for people to build video games. Developers use game engines to construct games for consoles, mobile devices, and personal computers.
The core functionality typically provided by a game engine includes a rendering engine (“renderer”) for 2D or 3D graphics, a physics engine or collision detection (and collision response), sound, scripting, animation, artificial intelligence, networking, streaming, memory management, threading, localization support, scene graph, and may include video support for cinematics.
Now with the basics done, let us look at Unreal and Unity Engine.
What is Unity?
Unity is a game engine developed by Unity Technologies. It is one of the most widely used engines in the game development industry. Since it is a cross-platform engine, it can be used to create games for different platforms like Windows, iOS, Linux, and Android.
The engine has been adopted by industries outside video gaming, such as film, automotive, architecture, engineering, and construction. As of now, the engine supports as many as 25 platforms. The latest version of the Unity at the moment is Unity 2019.2.
According to Wikipedia, The engine can be used to create three-dimensional, two-dimensional, virtual reality, and augmented reality games, as well as simulations and other experiences.
It has its own Integrated Development Environment(IDE) and is famous for creating interactive games. It contains many elements like Assets, GameObjects, Components, Scenes, and Prefab.
Unity has been used to develop many renowned games like-
- Kerbal Space Program
- Praey for the Gods
- Monument Valley 2
- Ghost of a tale
- Hearthstone- Heroes of warcraft
- Wasteland 2
- Battlestar Galactica Online
- Temple Run Trilogy
- Escape plan
- Pokemon Go
- Super Mario Run
Advantages of Unity
Advantages of game development using Unity are-
- Debugging – Debugging in Unity is a hassle-free work and easy job for any developer. The support for debugging is nice because all the variables are displayed in the gameplay.
- Graphics – It supports high-quality audio and visual effects that support easing the game development. The visuals are capable of adapting to every screen and device.
- Analytics – Unity consists of built-in analytics which you can easily find in the editor. Thanks to Unity Analytics, you can get very deep insights into your game. It gives you information that can be used to improve the gameplay by doing some modifications and offer an awesome gaming experience for the players.
- Community Support – Unity enjoys the support of a large number of users that help in keeping the engine up-to-date and free of bugs.
- Platform Support – This is one of the biggest strengths of Unity. Since it offers support to 25 different platforms, it becomes easy to share an app created in one platform among others. Besides, its methodology allows for speedy prototyping, which in turn reduces the time required to develop apps.
- IDE – The engine consists of an in-built IDE which is used to write the project code. Additionally, the integrated development editor supports programming languages like JScript or C# for scripting. Along with this, it provides features that are suitable for game development.
Disadvantages of Unity
Disadvantages of Unity are-
- Most of the good features of Unity are present in the Pro version, which is very expensive.
- Source Code is not open, meaning you can’t use it outside Unity.
- It takes more time to render a project.
What Language is used by Unity?
Depending on the platform that might end up being Objective C or something else, but that’s completely transparent to you. There’s really no benefit to knowing Objective C; you can’t program in it.
What is Unreal Engine?
Unreal is a game engine developed by Epic Games which was first showcased in 1998 first-person shooter game Unreal. Initially, it was developed as a game engine for the first-person shooter. But over the year, it is being used to develop for other genres like platformers, MMORPGs, and other RPGs. The latest version of Unreal is 4.25.
Some of the famous games developed using the Unreal Engine are-
- Life is Strange
- Gears of War
- Deus Ex
- Unreal Tournament 2004
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
- Borderlands 2
- Spec Ops: The Line
- Gears of War 3
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown
- Borderlands 2: Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep
- Mass Effect 2
- Occupy White Walls
- Batman Arkham City
Advantages of Unreal Engine
- Performance – The performance of the Unreal Engine is great due to the fact that it uses very little memory and other resources.
- AAA Games – Unreal is widely preferred when it comes to making big-budget games where the quality of the game needs to be over the roof.
- Open-Source – Since Unreal Engine is open-source, this makes its development very easy and increases its efficiency.
- Iteration – Unity makes rapid iteration easy, which makes it useful when making a new project.
- VR – It provides good integration for VR for achieving the best quality picture.
Disadvantages of Unreal
Disadvantages of Unreal are:
- It consists of fewer assets because they upload a selected asset after a thorough process.
- It is not preferable for small game development because it is used by developers only when they want to create a big project.
- Although the engine is free, it does have its own clause. When you publish your game, you would need to pay a royalty of 5%.
What Language is used by Unreal Engine?
For Unreal Engine, the scripting language used is C++. But when you’re building the actual game code, you would require a mixture of Blueprint(Epic’s own proprietary language) and C++. It has great blueprints that work like building blocks so even artists without any programming knowledge can use the engine to assemble and adjust basic things.
Comparison-Unity Vs Unreal Engine
Now that we have discussed Unity and Unreal individually, let us see the comparison between them-
- Community – Both engines have a very large base of active users and they are regularly updated. Unity 3D has been accessible long before Unreal 4, so it has a comparatively larger community base. Not only this, but most of the clients also prefer Unity as it is more widely used.
- Language – For scripting language, Unity uses C#, and Unreal uses C++. It is widely accepted that C# is more suitable for development than C++, so development is faster in Unity.
- Pricing – Unity is available for free but you lose some key aspects there. If you want to use the complete version, you can upgrade to the Unity Pro version which costs around $1500 for a one-time purchase or a monthly subscription for $75. In the case of Unreal, it is also completely free but you would owe some royalties to them after launching it.
- Asset Store – Asset Store is basically a location from where you can download mods like textures and props for any game and use it by installing it. In this segment, Unity has a wider range of mods available for its game in comparison to Unreal. Unreal has around 10000 assets while Unity has 31000 assets, almost 3 times!
- Documentation – Both of them have good documentation explaining how to use them. But when you go to look for their tutorials, the picture becomes clear. For instance, the number of courses for Unreal on Udemy is around 2200 whereas it is 5500 for Unity. Though most of these are related to game development, basic knowledge can be used for app development.
- Graphics – Both of them have good graphics but Unreal is the better one of the two. When developing a big game, Unreal is preferred over Unity because of its graphic quality.
- Source Code – Source code is open for Unreal, which makes game development and processing a lot easier. For Unity, the source code is not open. You can obtain it but you would need to pay money for it.
- Rendering – Rendering is faster in Unreal which makes the post-processing even faster. In the case of Unity, rendering is slow. Due to this, the processing of the project is slow and it takes some time to develop.
Unreal Engine Vs Unity: Pricing in Detail
The full version of Unreal Engine 4 will be available for free if your game revenue is less than $3,000/quarter; if it is more than that, then 5 percent of your game’s gross revenue will be paid.
The Unity Gaming Engine has a free Personal Plan that is fully free and great enough to be used by individuals and small businesses. Unity provides two types of packages for larger organizations. The Plus package is available to companies with sales of less than $200K in the last 12 months prior to purchase. This bundle is available on a monthly/annual subscription if you choose. The monthly subscription to the Plus bundle is $35 a month and the annual subscription to Unity Plus is $299 on a prepaid basis.
Unity provides a Pro subscription to companies with sales greater than $200K in the last 12 months prior to purchase. The Pro subscription has few extra functionalities, such as source code access and priority customer care and support.
Companies can choose to buy one of the three packages available for Unity Pro subscription. There is a 2-year prepaid package costing $2,850, an annual prepaid package costing $1,500, and a monthly prepaid package valued at $125 a month.
Besides that, there are different costs for iOS or Android game development. So, if you’re planning something massive, then developing with Unity 3D can be a great option. However, if you are working on a basic or experimental scheme, the Unreal Engine can be a saver.
Game engines are an important element in game development. We cannot imagine development without them. In these, we have two most preferred options- Unity and Unreal. Unity is renowned for its cross-development support and for making 2D and 3D simulations. Unreal is preferred for building large games (AAA title) because of its beautiful graphics. Both have their own set of advantages and drawbacks. Some may prefer Unity while some may prefer Unreal. You can check both for yourself and decide which one suits you!