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Is Unreal Engine 4 easier than Unity for mobile game development by an artist programmer?

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I am a 3d artist (modeler/rigger/animator) and I am foraying into mobile gaming as it's really difficult to find just 3D projects in my country (EU) these days. I am comfortable with with basic programming (syntax, scripting, object orientated programming) since I was into programming a few years back. Programming language is not a barrier so whether its C#, C++, python, etc, all are fine. However, I think of myself as more of an artist and only an amateur programmer. I will be programming the harder aspects of my game by following advanced tutorials on those specific topics (purchases from sites like DigitalTutors, etc) and asking questions on boards like this.

My mobile game will be have lots of character animation, some nice artwork and more artistic things than a usual game as these are the things I excel at. Think of art heavy games like Monument Valley, Leo's Fortune, etc. So which engine is easier for an "artist programmer" to get the game developed quickly and this as little code as possible?

(other engine recommendations are welcome too).

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Hard to say for me, as I am both a programmer by profession and only have a longtime expierience with Unity and some other engine, but not Unreal (yet).

From MY expierience, you will hardly find any engine with a better editor than Unity. Some might come close or match it (the unreal editor looks pretty neat from what I have seen), but really, when it comes to the editor, Unity is as easy as it will get, as long as we talk "fully blown editor with all bells and whistles".

Programming in Unity to me was also always pretty easy to get into, but as said, as a professional programmer I might have a different opinion about "easy" than you.

Depending on wheter you want to really dive into programming/scripting, you might be interested in the visual scripting tool that UE4 has built into the editor, or the one you can get for Unity from the Asset Store, "playmaker".

Just be aware that no visual scripting tool can ever be used to full extent without basic programming knowledge. If you don't know what a loop is or a variable, visual scripting will not make it easier. At best it will hide the syntax of the underlying language... which, to be honest, is rather the easy part to learn for me.

Now, one path you can take is to download "templates" or tutorial projects, which will contain a lot of premade scripts, and basically just skin this project with your own graphics. As long as your gameplay is pretty run-of-the-mill, that might get you pretty far already.

One thing to be aware of: some highend features of Unity are hidden behind the paywall of the Pro Version. We are talking 1500$for the pro version, and another 1500$ per mobile platform.

Because of that, unity might already be out of the game for you, if you need both the best graphics options and mobile builds.

Unreal 4 is much more modest here, a one time payment of 20\$ will give you the engine, AFAIK with mobile build capabilities. Just beware that Unreal will claim royalities beyond the first 50k you make (5%), while Unity does not.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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thx for the help. Really do appreciate it.

I can do basic programming. Even object orientated, but that was mostly python and some basic scripts. I picked up on C# and c++ syntax fast but syntax is just the beginning as we know. guess price point is the barrier now.

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When it comes to the 'as little code as possible' requirement then UE4 has the blue print system which will let you hook up game logic without having to write a line of code; just drop nodes into the blue print, hook 'em up with lines and away you go.

There will be a learning curve on them of course but that might do just what you need.

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yes, i think even though majority of people use unity for mobile , I am going to use unreal. Mainly cos of the price point. I have also looked into blueprint. I dont mind the learning curve. Just wish that unreal had more plugins and marketplace like unity. nevertheless, i will make my own assets so that wont be a problem. But just would have liked the freedom nonetheless. But moneytalks and 5% from a successful game is better than 5k upfront.

What an amazing and helpful forum this is. I was looking for a place to stay online and i think i just found it!!

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Also, i know unreals youtube channel has great tuts but anyone know of any mobile-game-development-specific tuts series for unreal? Just want to speed up my learning curve.

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Just wish that unreal had more plugins and marketplace like unity. nevertheless, i will make my own assets so that wont be a problem. But just would have liked the freedom nonetheless.

Currently the UE4 marketplace only has products from EPIC. They have just began opening it for early submissions. It will have a similar marketplace to unity in due time. Engine is very young in the public realm.

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In addition to all the other good stuff above, "easiest for me?" and "best for me?" style of questions are really not that useful.

They are available free. Download both.  Try them out. Decide for yourself. Remove one of them when you've decided, or leave it on if you want.

You may decide that one color scheme makes things easier on your eyes, or that the engine layout is easier for you, or that some other factor makes one of them particularly better or worse for your specific needs.

From a technical standpoint, both engines are very powerful and capable of developing prototype-style work very quickly. In both product polishing the work up to commercial standards is a lot more effort than getting your first level somewhat playable.

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i get what your are saying. But I needed more advise than just interface-feel-related advise. For example, even after settling on unreal, I am looking through unreal forums and there are a lot of complaints regarding how slow it is on android, ios even after optimization. And that people are moving back to unity. I am stuck in a hard place now as I cant afford unity and free version wont work for android/ios deployment, and Unreal seems to cant handle anything other than tappy bird game for mobile. My game is going to be something like a 3d side-scroller with a ton of animations and I think Unreal may not be up to it yet. Really dont know what to do now.

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You can use the free version of unity to release on the Android and iOS platforms. You are just limited on some aspects. My suggestion would be if Unreal is not powerful enough on mobile then use unity. Since graphics are limited on the free version and you are likely to produce stunning graphics then get something started. If you can do something really good in the short time Unity has a 30 day trial of pro that you can put in the advanced stuff. Then after you have something to show, do a kickstarter campaign and try to get the money for the pro versions.

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