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IcedCrow

Unity vs XNA

36 posts in this topic

I've noticed this tool called Unity which seems well supported.

 

I am working in XNA... however I was wondering if someone could give me the overview of doing a project in Unity as opposed to XNA?

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I've tried it. Although with unity you see results faster, it's nothing compared to coding everything yourself. XNA makes everything really simple so the results you see will still be faster than something like DirectX or OpenGL

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Thank you sir.  I've been reading up on it a bit and it seems that the opinion anyway is Unity is more for designers whereas XNA is more for programmers (and I being a programmer will probably stick with XNA)

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I'm more of a programmer myself, and you don't really learn much from dragging and dropping objects onto a map. In my opinion, taking the extra month or two to program a map editor is worth it just for the learning experience. My first games were made with programs like GameMaker and RPGMaker, and after making a few with those you realize that there is so much more you can do if you can just modify the code yourself. Using a game making tool sets boundaries, but if you code the whole thing yourself, you can theoretically do anything

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Given that "vanilla" XNA is officially end-of-lined and its development stopped long ago, I'm guessing the choice to use "XNA" at this point means using MonoGame or some other implementation that is actually maintained?

I don't see how Unity is "not for programmers". Writing any serious game in any environment is going to involve tons and tons of programming, and if Unity didn't let you replace almost everything with your own code, it wouldn't have been used for commercial games:
http://unity3d.com/gallery/made-with-unity/game-list

You just have the option of not coding all the generic stuff that Unity provides reasonable defaults for, and instead spend your time coding stuff that will distinguish your game from others. Whether that is game logic, or some brilliant tech.

If your focus isn't in making a game, but learning about low-level tech, why not write straight D3D or OpenGL with a minimal wrapper like SDL and a language of your choice? Neither Unity or XNA seems beneficial in that case.
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My current decision to use XNA is that as a C# developer by trade I am very proficient with the language and I didn't want to get into the low level details of D3D or OpenGL programming.  I'm also not interested in C++.  I've done some 2D with XNA in the past and it was fairly easy to wrap my head around so its the more comfortable choice for me.

 

Unity looks like a great tool but the $1,500 price tag is a bit steep for a hobby considering I am, like many game devs, a one man shop and will likely not ever see a dime for my endeavors.

 

I don't know of a lateral move from XNA at this point though considered Unity as I saw a lot of cool things it could do.  However the price tag will probably keep me away from it for right now and I'll stick with XNA which is free and will enable me to do some 3D programming by having to create the guts myself which is probably going to be more beneficial to me as a developer anyway and maybe in the future I can look at a tool like Unity.

 

Also I'm working primarily in DX9 and shader 2.0 so haven't needed to move beyond XNA (my primary dev box is currently running XP).

 

I appreciate the input though that Unity is a bit more than just a design tool and will consider that in the future.

Edited by IcedCrow
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If you are considering productivity, in example releasing your in multiple platforms, there is no comparison between Unity and XNA. Unity is the way to go.

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Here's another question - is it possible to make something without having the PRO version of the software?  If I'm using just straight up Unity, how much am I missing out on without ponying up $1500?  

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Thanks.  I've checked that out and it appears that for a game of, say space craft dogfighting in space... that the Unity base engine should work just fine.  The game I am developing is a mixture of civ and space exploration and dogfighting.  For right now, focusing on one aspect of the development cycle, I'm working on the flight portion.

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You'd probably need some kind of AI scripting for that. There's also pirating if you're not above that dry.png but for the record I'm not endorsing it. Only the pro version supports path-finding through meshes...Unless I'm understanding that wrong and you can still use AI scripting

Edited by burnt_casadilla
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That's my thoughts as well :)  I have no plan on dropping that kind of money unless i absolutely need it.

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Anything you can do in Unity can be done in XNA, it might just take a little while longer. Either way I'm sure you can find some tutorials on either if you go with one or the other

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Why not try Unity for a few days. Its free to try for almost everything you would need to make a solid game. Only you can decide if you like it more than using XNA. There is very little barrier getting into Unity other than opinions and stigmas. Not to mention that you can port to many devices and platforms much easier than I would think XNA could. (I am assuming you mean XNA, and not MonoGame). 

 

Try it. 

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Not trying for a vs thread... just seeing what's out there and what the pros and cons are.

 

I will likely download the free Unity and see what I can do with it and go from there.  I like hearing from people that have done both as they have some experience that can be shared.

 

My knowledge with 3D engines is very limited at the moment, so writing one is a daunting task.  However on the flipside, paying $1500 is also quite daunting for something I may not actually need.  I understand a lot of what Unity offers but there are other things I'm not so sure what they are... for example... RenderTextures.  

 

My target is a windows game.  Would be cool to port to Mac OS.  Trying to keep the scope small and build from there.  If Unity can get that done for me easier, I may go that route.  

However part of me wants to do my own 3D engine.  So XNA would be good for that too.

 

Not an easy decision to make smile.png

 

I am indeed talking straight XNA.  I'm not sure what the MonoGame platform is at this point.

Edited by IcedCrow
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Here's another question - is it possible to make something without having the PRO version of the software?  If I'm using just straight up Unity, how much am I missing out on without ponying up $1500?  

 

http://unity3d.com/unity/licenses

 

There's the list of things supported by the different versions, the most noticable restrictions in the free version is with the renderer.

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Correct.  I suppose my  newbness is as such that I don't fully understand what that means.

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Thank you to those who took the time to answer.  I downloaded a version of Unity and have been playing with it.  I will give it a whirl for the next couple weeks and see where I am with it by then.  

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If you want to pay for Unity ($1500+), you get additional things like:

RenderTextures. I'm sure no game can be made without this.
Are you sure? You can't use textures with free version of Unity? Maybe you meant more advanced things like render to texture?
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If you want to pay for Unity ($1500+), you get additional things like:

RenderTextures. I'm sure no game can be made without this.

Are you sure? You can't use textures with free version of Unity? Maybe you meant more advanced things like render to texture?

He meant what he said. RenderTexture is a Unity component for rendering to textures.

http://docs.unity3d.com/Documentation/Components/class-RenderTexture.html

So, without the Pro version you can't invent your own antialiasing modes or put live security cameras in your game. Like AngryAnt said.. surely no game can be made without those functionalities. smile.png
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