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UDK 4 vs Unity - Which is better and easier to use to make a first person action game?

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Hi, I just started getting into game development myself after downloading Unity. I tried it out and thought it was daunting but I'm willing to become familiar with it over time. I also know that there is the Unreal Dev Kit 4 and I was told it was easier to use (please someone confirm this to be true or false if you can).

I would like to make a first person game myself and eventually would like to make it melee based (Think Chivalry Medieval Warfare and to a lesser extent, Skyrim and Dishonored). Which engine would you prefer me to learn if I were to take on an ambitious project like this?

Of course, i would have to make something easier via the official tutorials so I can just learn the interface of both engines , the above game is something I am thinking about down the line as my skills hopefully improve.

Thanks in advance

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Neither is better, more or less, perse. Generally, it boils down to the amount of work you're going to put in. Unity is a little more straightforward, is scripting heavy, and has more through documentation. Unreal has a visual interface, but a steeper learning curve. Unity is free, and UE4 is $20. Monthly, if you wish to keep a subscription. The free version of unity lacks a number of features. You must also consider content as well as content import. 

Edited by Code_Grammer

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Noting this is For Beginners, Code_Grammer has it basically correct above.

 

"Better" is subjective. "Easier" is subjective.  Both engines are quite capable for making a generic "first person action game".

 

Building a "first person action game" would be nigh-impossible for a beginner without an engine; by the time they finish building the engine they would no longer be a beginner.  With an engine a beginner can drop in some prebuilt components and make something that can at least impress your friends and family. 

 

What programming languages do you know? It is usually not too difficult for a programmer to switch from one language to another, but if you are already extremely comfortable in certain languages it can bias the decision toward either Unreal or Unity.

 

Modeling and animating are both enormous parts of games. Games require content.  Where are you getting content from?  If you aren't a modeler and animator, the Unity Store can be a great resource. If you're looking for the Unreal Marketplace, the best you can say is that it is not quite empty. Of course, if you have modelers and animators for your project that can be nice.

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Hi, I just started getting into game development myself after downloading Unity. I tried it out and thought it was daunting but I'm willing to become familiar with it over time. I also know that there is the Unreal Dev Kit 4 and I was told it was easier to use (please someone confirm this to be true or false if you can).

I would like to make a first person game myself and eventually would like to make it melee based (Think Chivalry Medieval Warfare and to a lesser extent, Skyrim and Dishonored). Which engine would you prefer me to learn if I were to take on an ambitious project like this?

Of course, i would have to make something easier via the official tutorials so I can just learn the interface of both engines , the above game is something I am thinking about down the line as my skills hopefully improve.

Thanks in advance

Learn to code. I thought I could build a game, until I was slapped into reality by everyone on the forum.

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This(frob), it's easy to get excited by engines like unity and unreal however to create a bug(ish) free polished playable game is a large undertaking, 1000's of game assests are needed, many man hours.

 

Unity is much more mature and the assest store has a good selection, unreal is still starting off.

 

Edited by rAm_y_

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@emark
 
Hey,
 
I've written a small research paper that reviews and compares Unity, Unreal Engine 4, Corona and MarmaladeSDK, and mentioned some other popular engines. It was written for a mixed group of people (both developers, and people with no programming knowledge), so it doesn't contain much hard tech stuff, rather has more general info on the engine and some useful links, so I think it might be useful for a beginner. If you are interested, give me an e-mail and I will send you the paper.
Edited by NDraskovic

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I've been messing around with Unreal 4.5.1 quite a bit over the last month, and have to say that it's a damn fine engine.

 

For a one off payment of $20 (you can cancel your subscription as soon as you have all of the files you need) you get access to the full source, as well as the binary installers. I'm building from source because I want to use the Wwise plugin, but since Microsoft released Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition (http://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/news/vs2013-community-vs.aspx) it's really inexpensive to get up and running.

 

I've only had a quick look at Unity's pricing model, but it seems like you get much more bang for your buck with Unreal at the moment; the pro subscription (for Unity) is $75 a month which I assume you still need to do any kind of post processing.

 

There is a huge amount of documentation for Unreal as well, including some really useful tutorials videos on YouTube (provided by Epic). Only took an hour or so to build this from scratch (with an FPS camera):

 

pS9zP04.jpg

Edited by Orangeatang

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AFAIK Unity and UE4 are pretty much on par when it comes to usability and features.

 

The ease of use of editors and tools are most probably more or less on par, altough I never took the time to really compare it (others will be able to help more here). I can only say I am a long time Unity users and apart of some small  things, it is a fantastic toolset that lets you do almost anything with ease. Of course, IF YOU ARE EXPIERIENCED ENOUGH!

 

Now, from what I have seen, UE4 might be a little bit more powerful with Unity only catching up with version 5 coming out in the next few months, and UE4 still having some highend features already added Unity currently is lacking (like temporal AA for example)... Unity 5 will have its own set of features not in UE4 natively yet (like enlighten), but anyway, featurewise they will be more or leass on par if you include available 3rd party tools.

 

I would say, performancewise UE4 might have a slight edge against Unity 4 because parts of its Engine core is still pretty dated and is using patched together solutions (for example no REAL deferred renderer, just deferred lighting)... that might change with Unity 5 though (a true deferred renderer is promised).

On the other hand, I would give Unity a slight advantage when it comes to documentation and community. I didn't really had a big look into the UDK and UE4 documentation and community, but Unity has longer been in the Indie-Scene-Game, their documentation is outstanding, the community is vast, and there are literally tousands of third party developers creating plugins, shaders and tools for it and distributing it over unitys asset store (part of it is even free).

 

 

The real difference comes in when you look at pricing. There is no better solution here, just different price points for different people:

 

1) cheapest is Unity Free. It is, as the name says, free of charge. You get some cut features like post processing, render textures, no deferred renderer, less batching options, no profiler. This will ONLY really matter when you are targetting really high-end graphics though.

2) UE4 comes close to Unity Free: it can be yours for 20$. that is right, you pay 20$ for a single months subscription, download the engine, and cancel your subscription. You can continue to use the engine, you will just have to pay 20$ again to get updates.

A warning though: If the product you create with UE4 makes of 50k$, you will have to pay 5% royalities for everything over that 50k$.

3) Unity Pro gives you the full Unity toolset: 1500$ per seat (or the equivalent in monthly or yearly subs... you will not save money that way, as you pay the same after a little more than a year). Yes, it is expensive. If you develop something that makes some money later on though, you will save that amount of money with ease though. 1500$ equals what you pay in royalities for UE4 if you make >80k$ with your app or game.

 

 

Now as a fair word of warning: to you as a newcomer, the difference between these options will be small. You will have a hard time really using all the options coming with Unity Free as a newcomer lone wolf, save all the advanced options you get with Unity Pro or UE4.

If you are ready to sink 20$ into getting UE4 you will certainly get a more powerful toolset than you would get with Unity free, just be aware, you might pay that 3-4 times a year, if an important update for UE comes out you cannot or don't want to skip, so factor in a yearly cost of 50-100$ over the course of your work with UE4.

 

But you need to be aware of the vast amount of time and skill needed for even a simple 3D game, you will need to be able to program, you will need 3D models (meaning you either learn the skills for 3D modelling or shelling out bucks for stock art or freelancing, IF you don't find free models that do the job), and you will need to learn a lot of basics about 3D rendering and engines, before you can even start to work on your projects.

 

 

Really, stick with Unity Free until you get a fair understanding of 3D Engines and how to create games. Moving over from Unity to UE4 is possible at any time, and while C++ is not C#, and the Unity Editor is different from the Unreal Editor, 60-75% of your knowledge will still be transferrable. Don't worry too much about the tools you use, worry about honing your general and basic skills that will apply to all tools and languages you will use over the course of your career (professional or hobby doesn't matter), and worry about your efficiency and planing skills (Most probably you have no idea yet how many years of your life the game you dream about at the moment might consume, if you don't compromise a lot and get much better skills)

 

 

 

Unity is much more mature and the assest store has a good selection, unreal is still starting off.

 

Uh... Unreal has been around since 1996, Unity wasn't even announced until 2005

 

 

Unreal is pretty new to the indie scene nonetheless. Until UDK, only big studios were able to afford Unreal, and even UDK was, while much more powerful than Unity 3.X, held back by that attrociously high royalities of 25%.

 

Unity has been targetting Indies and hobbiests from the start. It always had a free version, and an asset store. That is why Unity still is in much more demand among the smaller Indie studios than Unreal.

Depending on how much traction Unreal gets with its radically changed pricing structure and full source for UE4, that might change. On the other hand, for the first time in Unitys history its engine is no longer far behind the big commercial ones when it comes to features and performance with Unity 5, so who knows, maybe Unity will revamp its own pricing again (as it has in the past as a reaction to UE4 pricing changes... thanks to that, you can now target mobile for free, you get hard shadows in the free version (which can be turned into soft shadows with an inexpensive asset store plugin)). 

 

 

I wouldn't call Unity more mature than Unreal, Unity until Unity 4 had an very dated engine core, and even in Unity 4 there is some legacy stuff that needs work. Unity 5 might see Unity finally catching up. 

Still, the Asset Store is a fair point, Unity's asset store is most probably the best stocked asset store out there.

 

And really, Unreal IS kinda new to the low cost engine game.... At least Epic recognized both the danger of Unity becomming a threat (which kinda forced its way into lots of smaller studios and also schools lately), and the money that could be gained by hooking startups and new devs to its tools, so they continue to use it when they finally have the money to pay the full license...

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Unreal is pretty new to the indie scene nonetheless. Until UDK, only big studios were able to afford Unreal, and even UDK was, while much more powerful than Unity 3.X, held back by that attrociously high royalities of 25%.

Yeah absolutely.

 

Unreal still requires 5% royalties on gross sales, but the price per seat for developers (considering the feature set) is bound to attract some attention from the indie scene. 

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Unreal is pretty new to the indie scene nonetheless. Until UDK, only big studios were able to afford Unreal, and even UDK was, while much more powerful than Unity 3.X, held back by that attrociously high royalities of 25%.

Yeah absolutely.

 

Unreal still requires 5% royalties on gross sales, but the price per seat for developers (considering the feature set) is bound to attract some attention from the indie scene. 

 

 

Agreed 100%... I think the current price policy of Epic for UE4 is extremly Indiefriendly, especially when you factor in no cut features AND full source code.

 

I am certain it will play out nicely for Epic, who will become the second big name in the Indiescene (which they already managed with UDK IMO), and if Unity does not only speed up the pace of development (which they already did with Unity 5... just took them 1.5 years to push out a new version while Unity 3 hung around for, well, what felt like an eternity in comparison), but also rethinks their pricing, Epic might overtake them at one point...

 

You have to give Unity credit though for their Unite cons and other things that are open to Indies... it just seems for Unity the Indie Scene is front and center of their attention, while for Epic it is still just a side show.... might also explain why Epic can make those terrific deals for Indie devs, while for Unity the sales to Indies need to generate most of the money.

 

 

Anyway, this is going OT.... sorry for that.

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You have to give Unity credit though for their Unite cons and other things that are open to Indies... it just seems for Unity the Indie Scene is front and center of their attention, while for Epic it is still just a side show.... might also explain why Epic can make those terrific deals for Indie devs, while for Unity the sales to Indies need to generate most of the money.

Oh I think Unity is a fantastic engine. It's simply amazing for prototyping ideas and seeing them come to life in a matter of minutes :) If it wasn't for Unity, we probably wouldn't be seeing Unreal at such a steal either; it's a great time to be an indie developer.

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*puts on Epic Employee hat*

Unreal still requires 5% royalties on gross sales, but the price per seat for developers (considering the feature set) is bound to attract some attention from the indie scene.


Just to clear up A Thing.
The royalties are on a per-quarter amount and you only pay after the first $3,000 (gross) made in that quarter.
In theory this means that you could make $2,999/quarter and not have to pay Epic a dime. If you factor in the 30% cut many places take then you can make $2099.30/quarter before the 5% kicks in and then it is only 5% over the $3,000.

Reading the FAQ it seems to imply that it is per-product, so in theory you could have 4 games out, all pulling in less than $3,000/quarter each so you end up with just over $10K/quarter net income and don't have to pay Epic a dime.
(I'd double check that of course but that's what I read when it says 'per product')

For $20.

(Although personally I'd say if you can afford to keep the subscription do so; we push out updates pretty quickly with release 4.6 due soon and release 4.7 work well under way and there are hot fixes which go out too - plus who doesn't want to follow master and see every live commit? ;))

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What programming languages do you know? It is usually not too difficult for a programmer to switch from one language to another, but if you are already extremely comfortable in certain languages it can bias the decision toward either Unreal or Unity.

 

I did have a hand in doing some C++ but that was like years ago and forgot literally everything. Basically, I have zero knowledge of coding as a result. I'm no programmer but from my time with the Unity tutorial mentioned above, I may have to get familiar with it again .

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I've been messing around with Unreal 4.5.1 quite a bit over the last month, and have to say that it's a damn fine engine.

 

For a one off payment of $20 (you can cancel your subscription as soon as you have all of the files you need) you get access to the full source, as well as the binary installers. I'm building from source because I want to use the Wwise plugin, but since Microsoft released Visual Studio 2013 Community Edition (http://www.visualstudio.com/en-us/news/vs2013-community-vs.aspx) it's really inexpensive to get up and running.

 

I've only had a quick look at Unity's pricing model, but it seems like you get much more bang for your buck with Unreal at the moment; the pro subscription (for Unity) is $75 a month which I assume you still need to do any kind of post processing.

 

There is a huge amount of documentation for Unreal as well, including some really useful tutorials videos on YouTube (provided by Epic). Only took an hour or so to build this from scratch (with an FPS camera):

 

pS9zP04.jpg

Stop it your making me jealous! Great work, cant wait to get to your skill level.

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Really, stick with Unity Free until you get a fair understanding of 3D Engines and how to create games. Moving over from Unity to UE4 is possible at any time, and while C++ is not C#, and the Unity Editor is different from the Unreal Editor, 60-75% of your knowledge will still be transferrable. Don't worry too much about the tools you use, worry about honing your general and basic skills that will apply to all tools and languages you will use over the course of your career (professional or hobby doesn't matter), and worry about your efficiency and planing skills (Most probably you have no idea yet how many years of your life the game you dream about at the moment might consume, if you don't compromise a lot and get much better skills)


 

Thanks, I think I will stick with learning Unity for now. This saves me the trouble of learning a second engine and deciding which one. 

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Modeling and animating are both enormous parts of games. Games require content. Where are you getting content from? If you aren't a modeler and animator, the Unity Store can be a great resource. If you're looking for the Unreal Marketplace, the best you can say is that it is not quite empty. Of course, if you have modelers and animators for your project that can be nice.

 

Guess unity is my best bet after all.

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Stop it your making me jealous! Great work, cant wait to get to your skill level.

No no, I'm a programmer... I have no skill when it comes to building levels etc; kind of my point with Unreal - very easy to quickly produce things that look great.

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Stop it your making me jealous! Great work, cant wait to get to your skill level.

No no, I'm a programmer... I have no skill when it comes to building levels etc; kind of my point with Unreal - very easy to quickly produce things that look great.
It is quite easy to do that with both.

If you have the assets, the visual quality is trivial. Drop in the beautiful models and hook up the fancy-shaded textures and it looks very pretty. Use a terrain tool and they are heavily optimized so you can have millions of trees with formulaic branches and grass that flows smoothly with wind zones, all of it with zero coding work. Built in physics engines make things fall and bump and collide with a reasonable physics response, again by only clicking a few checkboxes.

That is why I mentioned assets as a major decision point in my earlier post. If you have people who can build all those models and textures and other assets then wonderful for you. Otherwise you will need to consider where you intend to get the assets. I look at the scene above and see assets that I assume are hooked into the existing functionality. It probably uses built-in physics plus whatever visual assets you've got. It immediately makes me wonder, where did you get the art?

The bigger concern for programming is writing all the bits and pieces that make them work together. The work remains to tie your resource spawners to collision systems, tie your inventories together with the UI, tie your assorted components into gameplay mechanics rules, tie your mechanics together into larger systems, hook your game up across the network, and otherwise convert the engine from a fancy renderer plus physics simulator into an actual game. That is generally an enormous and complex process.

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*puts on Epic Employee hat*

That is why I mentioned assets as a major decision point in my earlier post. If you have people who can build all those models and textures and other assets then wonderful for you. Otherwise you will need to consider where you intend to get the assets.


If the assets are in FBX format however then UE4 could make use of things from the Unity Asset Store; if they are in some crazy format then they can't of course... having not looked at the asset store for Unity I couldn't say either way of course smile.png Edited by phantom

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Yup, some thing can work. You can go online, search the various stores, and find the assets if you must. It is obviously easiest to download from either side's respective online store since that store is plugged directly in to the system. You can get models and assets from other locations and then deal with conversions on your own, and if you develop your own assets you'll need to do that anyway.

The point is that just looking at someone's room model does not give a good feel of if the engine will be a comfortable fit for you. That is the quality of the art assets, not the quality of the engine.

It is the details of the engine and also your specific project and your specific skills that make all the difference.

Both engines are fully capable of building the game matching the very limited description given in the post. The questions of "better" and "easier" are up to nuance and personal preference. Both are solid, functional game engies. Both are easier than building your own engine. Both are used in big games. Studios really do use them both on game consoles, mobile devices, and PCs. Both can be great for beginners to experiment in game development. Both are inexpensive, you can try them out and see how they feel without a large financial investment.

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Yup, some thing can work. You can go online, search the various stores, and find the assets if you must. It is obviously easiest to download from either side's respective online store since that store is plugged directly in to the system. You can get models and assets from other locations and then deal with conversions on your own, and if you develop your own assets you'll need to do that anyway.

The point is that just looking at someone's room model does not give a good feel of if the engine will be a comfortable fit for you. That is the quality of the art assets, not the quality of the engine.

It is the details of the engine and also your specific project and your specific skills that make all the difference.

Both engines are fully capable of building the game matching the very limited description given in the post. The questions of "better" and "easier" are up to nuance and personal preference. Both are solid, functional game engies. Both are easier than building your own engine. Both are used in big games. Studios really do use them both on game consoles, mobile devices, and PCs. Both can be great for beginners to experiment in game development. Both are inexpensive, you can try them out and see how they feel without a large financial investment.

The room that he built is from stock UE4 models and it's also an Epic tutorial to build that room.

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If the assets are in FBX format however then UE4 could make use of things from the Unity Asset Store; if they are in some crazy format then they can't of course... having not looked at the asset store for Unity I couldn't say either way of course smile.png

 

 

Good point... as Unity has no widely used proprietary format (I think it might even have none), all the models on the asset store will be either .fbx or .obj, MAYBE .blender.

No Idea if UE4 can import all of that, but I guess at least fbx and obj should be fine, maybe even the blender format.

 

But really, just read all the information available about a certain asset in the store. There is a content listing in the middle, checking that you can even find out what format a certain model is even if the description blurp does not mention it.

 

 

In the worst case, import it to blender, export in fbx format, as long there were no animations, that should be quick and painless. 

 

 

 

... Which of course also works the other way around, given UE4 does not use some crazy proprietary format.

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The room that he built is from stock UE4 models and it's also an Epic tutorial to build that room.

Absolutely, every asset I used comes by default when you create a new project. Here's a link to the tutorial https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLZlv_N0_O1gak1_FoAJVrEGiLIploeF3F

 

I used that image more to highlight things like lighting, reflections, shadows etc; all completely trivial to set up.

 

Of course you get the same sort of features with Unity, you just have to pay more to use them.

Edited by Orangeatang

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