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Unity C4 Engine, Unity 3D or else?

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I'm in a video game design class and we use Unity 3D. We've been looking into other engines and I suggested C4. What with it using C++ and me hearing really good things about it. I've never used it though. I haven't been able to find a trial of the engine itself. I'm inclined to think a trial doesn't exist.

So if anyone has used C4 and/or Unity which would you recommend to be our best choice to prioritize in our learning curriculum? And if not those two, are there any other suggestions for game engines?

(As a side note we're thinking about the Cryengine, also. Schools get a free version but for the outsiders I hear it's freaking expensive. C4 goes for $350 Standard Edition which is a lot more within my money league.)

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College or High School?

The C4 academic site license is $2500. The $350 price for C4 is per seat (i.e. per computer on which it will be installed). Unity is free. That alone probably means your college/high school would only consider Unity.

If you go to the C4 site, there's a "download demo" link. I'm pretty sure that would be the trial version [smile].

For an academic environment it really depends on what you're trying to teach. If you're talking about low level systems then Unity would be a bad choice since you don't get the source code and you're restricted to working at the scripting level. If your purpose is to explore game design, then Unity is probably better since it forces you to not think about system level stuff which can easily be distracting from "making a game".

They're really quite different.

Another good & free option would be the UDK (Unreal). Similar to Unity3D for the free version (no source code and restricted to scripting) but also the "industry standard" engine. Both Unity and Unreal have pretty ridiculously awesome editors and are both easy environments in which to create gaems. I've never player with C4 so can't comment on it.

For academic teaching you can also do amazing things with Processing. It has the "advantage" that it's Java, which if you're in high school would help prepare you for the Computer Science AP test. It's not a game editor, just a really nice graphical Java environment with an asston of graphics/games libraries and such available.

But yeah, what exactly would you be using it for?


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Yeah I did some decent research on the C4. That demo isn't a trial version of the engine itself. It's just a demo of games made in C4. I was on the site and got excited seeing that download link and nope not the engine....Maybe I'm not seeing it?

As for schooling, I'm in a tech college. What we're using the engine for is to teach the students (and me) game design. We want to make games. I know that sounds simple and vague but I can't figure a better way to put it. We weren't really concerned with the lack of source code though. We're concentrating on scripting right now.

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I own a C4 license and I played a bit too with Unity and UDK. As Palidine stated, if your class focuses heavily on game design (read: "give me a game editor in which I can put in some models and write a simple script and there you have a game"), then Unity is a good choice, along with UDK. However, even if UDK doesn't expose an API for it's internals, I personally find it far more complex to learn and master than Unity. If you want to learn state of the art software design applied in games and how graphics effects are implemented, then C4 is the way. C4 has also world editor/model editor and other such tools, however the only game available is a demo FPS for which you can build levels and such, and this game also comes with the Demo. There is indeed a free demo for it, and I suggest you try it before taking a decision.

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Original post by dre38w
Yeah I did some decent research on the C4. That demo isn't a trial version of the engine itself. It's just a demo of games made in C4. I was on the site and got excited seeing that download link and nope not the engine....Maybe I'm not seeing it?

In that demo of C4 you just press '~' i think, or some F key (there are some tutorials on the website's wiki) and you get the console. From there you open the world editor by just typing world. All tools are built-in and rendered using C4, including custom GUI and such.

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If you want to make games, I would go with either Unity or Unreal. That's specifically what they're designed to do. Again I don't have experience with C4 (I've also never heard of it which might be meaningful). I do know that there are tons of people using both Unity and Unreal so there is lots of community support available around both.

I use Unreal professionally so I personally prefer it to Unity. However, it is definitely way harder to learn Unreal than it is to learn Unity.


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I would recommend that you ask your teacher to apply for the CryEngine educational license (Which is entirely free). I am currently using CryEngine at my school, and I must say that it's the best engine I've ever used.

To apply, just visit

I haven't used Unity, but I've tried Unreal, and to be honest, I didn't spend much time even attempting to use it. It's a static and messy engine with bad tools. I'll stick to CryEngine :D

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Okay will do. Thank you. I actually tried the C4 engine. Finally found the demo.....I'd have to get used to it. It doesn't have a clean interface like Unity does. Probably because it's new to me. I'll keep working at it though. Thanks.

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