Gamasutra: Starloop Studios Blog – Unreal vs. Unity 3D: Choosing the Best Engine for Your Game
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Today, when we say “entertainment industry”, we no longer think of Hollywood films, but of the video game industry. This is because video games offer one of tthe most exciting entertainment experiences to millions of people around the world. The 2021 figures are expected to reach 2.81 billion players, bringing in the global gaming market approximately $ 189.3 billion.
The technology has reached such a high level that one could swear that some images in video games are real. Behind these images are software and game engines such as Unity 3D or Unreal, which allow developers to create fantastic worlds in video games.
Two-set engines are among the most popular software that game developers work with. There are good reasons why game developers almost only use these two, Unity 3D and Unreal. Below are the pros and cons of each game engine.
Since Unity Technologies released Unity software in 2005, video game development has become more accessible to more game developers. The language code is easy to learn and intuitive, which is one of the reasons why Unity has gained so many members and created a great community of game development companies. In addition, Unity 3D offers a wide range of assets, so many indie game developers tend to choose this game engine over another.
Video game created with Unity. Image source: Starloop Studios wallet
Unreal is known for its graphic and photorealistic quality, that is why it is considered the AAA Game Engine, representing studios that truly create blockbuster games around the world. Unreal Engine was released by Epic Games in 1988 and quickly became used by many companies as it allows game developers to bring any vision they might have of a video game to life. Almost anything that comes to their mind they can implement with Unreal Engine. Who in the gaming industry doesn’t want that?
Unity 3D versus. Unreal coding
In terms of accessibility, 3d unit is recognized as the most accessible for game developers because it uses VS # as the coding language. This language is easier to learn and use, so Unity is usually the first choice for game developers early in their careers. In addition, it has a very intuitive interface, and the architecture is simple. Ongoing updates make Unity even easier to use. For example, since July 2020 Unity has added the Bolt visual scripting tool to all Unity blueprints, allowing users to avoid coding as much as possible.
Unreal engine uses C ++, which is considered more complicated for beginners to learn. But one of the significant advantages of Unreal is that it has a visual scripting system called Plans, so game developers don’t need to be expert in writing codes. Instead, they have to create nodes and connect them to develop the logic of the game.
Unity 3D versus. Unreal graphics
When it comes to graphics, Unreal is the leader. This game engine is highly regarded for the latest graphics it can create. Unreal offers predefined tools that game developers can easily prepare and modify. Some of these examples are volumetric lights, post processing, or lens reflections. Additionally, game artists who use Unreal Engine appreciate precise lighting and shadows with a nice drop and a polished look.
Unity 3D is also great for graphics, but it will probably take you longer and you might not achieve the same quality. Although it uses advanced technology for the lighting system such as PBR Where IG, it still cannot provide shading details as defined as unreal. Unreal 3D supports the usual normal maps, bite maps, base textures, etc., but does not have a material editor like Unreal.
Example of Unreal Engine. Image source.
Unity 3D versus. Unreal asset store
The great thing about video game development these days is that there are a lot of things that you can download quickly to make your life easier. Unity 3D and Unreal Engine both offer a wide range of free or paid assets, each in its market place or its asset store.
Unity asset store. Image source.
However, unlike Unreal Engine, Unity 3D has many advantages, from animations, textures and models to whole project examples, tutorials and editor extensions.
Unity 3D versus. Unreal community
Because both are at the top of the world’s most popular game engines, it’s understandable that both have strong communities people and a strong online presence. Community members are active on forum, where they help each other with valuable information, on Sub-Reddits, Youtube channels, etc. Unity 3D has a slightly larger community than Unreal because Unity is used more by independent developers. For example, in Sub-Reddits, Unity has a community of 238,000 members rather than Unreal Engine, which has 111,000 members. More members means more questions and answers, more information disseminated and more extensive database. However, the Unreal community is also growing rapidly and can exceed the number of Unity members at any time.
Unity 3D versus. Unreal price
Unity 3D and Unreal Engine are both free. But both also have payment options. For example, 3d unit offers the possibility to upgrade to pro packages at the price of $ 40 to $ 150 per month, according to the needs of the project.
Those who use Unreal engine to develop video games, you can use the game engine for free up to a certain point. After that, they have to pay a 5% royalty on the gross income of the game when their product exceeds $ 1,000,000. The company introduced this 5% fee on January 1, 2021.
This pricing system is an opportunity for game developers, especially independents, who can access such valuable resources.
Comparison Table – Unity vs Unreal
The skills of game developers with Unity 3D and Unreal Engine have become a requirement for those who want to be hired in game development studios. Most companies have abandoned the game engines they used and switched to Unity and Unreal Engine because of their many benefits.
If you are just starting out in your gaming industry career, Unity 3D is the easiest choice for learning to code and creating a wide range of games. But if you want your video game to have great graphics and work with a more experienced team, Unreal Engine might be the right choice.
If you’re still thinking, ask a question. Starloop Studios has over ten years of experience with both 3d unit and Unreal Engine. Plus, we’ve made video games that have worked all over the world, so our expertise might be just what you need to know which game engine is best for your project.
Do not hesitate to contact us here or by e-mail directly to [email protected].