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NadimKing

Unity Unreal Engine & Unity (C++ & C#) - Beginner Question

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[I apologize in advance if this is in the wrong section]

 

So I'm currently stuck in a pickle and need your opinions and help regarding my problem. I've recently gotten interested in game development (PC GAMES) and really want to be able to create my own small games, whether they're 2D platformers or FPS it doesn't matter to me. The idea of making games amazes me smile.png

I have no prior knowledge of any programming languages, but have gotten back into reading a C++ book I bought a while back (So far learnt about Dynamic memory allocation & pointers, references etc).

 

Now, to get to the main issue/dilemma I'm faced with. Although I haven't finished reading the C++ book, and this would be the first programming language I know, I downloaded Unreal Engine (Latest version ofc) to get a feel of it and see if I can do something small w/ it. As I looked at tutorials online, using this engine just seemed so daunting and difficult for me (Too many things going on).

 

Due to this, I looked at Unity which seems to be less hectic and complicated, and it seems that it would be a lot easier. The problem here is that Unity uses C#(Which I dont know), and I believe Javascript(?) in the coding parts, and not C++. SO, I want to know what you guys would recommend I do:

 

A) Drop C++ and learn C# (So that I can use Unity)

B) Continue/finish learning C++ then learn C#

C) Use 'insert engine here' instead as it's very easy for beginners

D) Other

Edited by NadimKing

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Unreal is made to be used by teams of developers, modified to allow Indie developers the ability to make there own game.

It's daunting to learn when you are new to game development, however if you succeed the knowledge you will learn, will be invaluable.

 

Unity is easy to learn, some would say to easy. It doesn't take the same kind of discipline to learn Unity as it takes to make a game, for this reason a lot of people learn how to use Unity long before they learn to make a game.

Unity is better suited to single developers than Unreal.

 

 

The real question is, what kind of developer are you?

 

Learning Unreal Engine first is like diving into the deep end, sink or swim. The frustration could cut your development career short, or it could be the greatest teacher you will ever have.

 

If you are the kind of person who likes to ease them self into something new, then you shouldn't even start with Unity. Start with a 2D game engine, like Game Maker, and make a very simple but complete game.

 

Starting with Unity is like playing a poorly designed adventure game. You never know if the path you are following leads to the main quest or to some kind of treasure, you will always wonder if you need to turn back to see if you missed some thing.

It's a lot more fun learning this way, however it's better suited for someone who isn't dead set on making a game any time soon.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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I'm not sure where this concept of Unity being easier than Unreal came from...

They are very similar. Both are going to be really hard for someone who almost knows just one programming language.

Unreal even has a visual script builder called "blueprint" so that you can make an entire game without writing any code.

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Much of the C style languages are similar enough that you should not have any real problems moving from C++ and C#, the other way is a little harder imho due to C++ putting the responsibility for resource management on the developer.

 

- C# struct and C++ struct are very different. C++ is really a class with different default access while C# is on the stack, unless within a class 

- C# has garbage collection so 95% of time you do not have to worry about memory and resources

- C# runs on its own platform and C++ compiled. You can native compile C# but not sure if unity supports this

- C# has a cleaner lambda syntax but not as much control over closure capture.

- C# does not have separate header and class, they are all in the same file (Unless you split with partial classes)

- C# does not support multiple inheritance

- C# does not support const with the same power as C++

 

All your if/while/for/switch look the same.

 

There are a bunch of other subtle differences but all depends on how deep you really understand C++ as to if you even notice them

 

Unity is still a complex engine but I would say C# is the easier language to work with as it will kick you in the teeth less :)

If you go the C# route get Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition. It is free and the best IDE on the market. Also has better unity support now

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I'm not sure where this concept of Unity being easier than Unreal came from...

They are very similar. Both are going to be really hard for someone who almost knows just one programming language.

Unreal even has a visual script builder called "blueprint" so that you can make an entire game without writing any code.

 

For me, it's the breadth of stuff available online.  I can usually find an explanation of how to do whatever it is I'm trying to do in Unity from a simple internet search.  While for Unreal, I would often hit a brick wall, and not be able to find the information I wanted.  

 

That said, I imagine Unreal will catchup over time, and it's asset store will probably get pretty good as well.

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Remember that unreal engine supports the blueprint programming language which is very newbie friendly and simpler than C++. It is completely graphical, dragging and dropping nodes and lines to draw a flow chart. You can do anything in it near enough that you can do in C++...

 

Try that, and try unity. I think you'll decide pretty quick which you like best :)

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Much of the C style languages are similar enough that you should not have any real problems moving from C++ and C#, the other way is a little harder imho due to C++ putting the responsibility for resource management on the developer.

 

- C# struct and C++ struct are very different. C++ is really a class with different default access while C# is on the stack, unless within a class 

- C# has garbage collection so 95% of time you do not have to worry about memory and resources

- C# runs on its own platform and C++ compiled. You can native compile C# but not sure if unity supports this

- C# has a cleaner lambda syntax but not as much control over closure capture.

- C# does not have separate header and class, they are all in the same file (Unless you split with partial classes)

- C# does not support multiple inheritance

- C# does not support const with the same power as C++

 

All your if/while/for/switch look the same.

 

There are a bunch of other subtle differences but all depends on how deep you really understand C++ as to if you even notice them

 

Unity is still a complex engine but I would say C# is the easier language to work with as it will kick you in the teeth less smile.png

If you go the C# route get Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition. It is free and the best IDE on the market. Also has better unity support now

Adding onto this...

C# does not expose pointers to the programmer. A godsend for danger prone programmers.  In C++ pointers are a must to do anything efficiently.

C# Generics are type safe, but no-where near as powerful as C++'s Templates. C++ Templates allows you to do a variety of interesting tricks and hacks.

C# has explicit interfaces. C++ Interfaces are basically just classes.

C# you do not need to include files. You just need to be aware of namespaces. C++ you need to be sure to include files correctly, or you may break something.

C# has RTTI, C++ does... but it's more efficient to roll your own.

C# Data is passed differently. All classes are passed by reference. All variables are copied.

 

 

C# at the surface may seem like it's better than C++. But, the two are actually on par to each other. Both C# and C++ can be an utter pain to learn reguardless of what you are trying to do.

C++ was a breeze for me to learn, even with pointers, polymorphism, inheritance, and it's fuggly errors.

C# was the most confusing thing I ever glanced over, and... in the end it infuriated me with it's hand holding, and confusing cases for when we need to instantiate or not. Also I hate how it passes around data.

 

But from my perspective? Go ahead and learn Unity. I personally hate Unity for a plathora of reasons, and a number of them are unbiased. But I can not deny it's simplicity and amazing api for people just learning.

Edited by Tangletail

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C# at the surface may seem like it's better than C++. But, the two are actually on par to each other. Both C# and C++ can be an utter pain to learn reguardless of what you are trying to do.

C++ was a breeze for me to learn, even with pointers, polymorphism, inheritance, and it's fuggly errors.

C# was the most confusing thing I ever glanced over, and... in the end it infuriated me with it's hand holding, and confusing cases for when we need to instantiate or not. Also I hate how it passes around data.

 

But from my perspective? Go ahead and learn Unity. I personally hate Unity for a plathora of reasons, and a number of them are unbiased. But I can not deny it's simplicity and amazing api for people just learning.

 

 

Yep, the two are very different in how they reach their goals. It is interesting you found C# confusing. I guess it depends on how deep you have climbed down the C++ rabbit hole. I find that when you get real deep into one language, and with c++ it requires low level thinking, it can hamper using another language as you try to use it exactly as you would the other. 

 

I have not seriously used C++ in anger for many years now. My real dive into it was back in Visual Studio V1.52 (shows my age), so real early on. I have used since but have to say that with all the new additions the language has got a bit noisy in the syntax now. I started C# back in .NET 1, so pre generics when it was still a poor Java clone. I love how the language has transformed and the power it has gained. I has also started to get a wonderful terseness of syntax. C# 6 is great but it still needs some improvements with type inference.

 

I take it by hand holding you meant the type system is more strict that C++?

 

OP - Sorry for this sideline hijack. 

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Choose option C.  You have started to learn C++ and it sounds like you are doing OK with it.  You state in your post that you don't care if you are making simple 2D platforms or FPSs.  In this case there is no need for you to start using a big engine like Unity or Unreal.
Choose a simpler framework such as SDL or SFML and start making simpler games using the C++ that you already know.  After a little practice and your first few games you will probably understand enough to have another shot at Unreal (and possibly Unity too).

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There has been some really good advice posted so really take what these skilled people have said and think about your goals as a game developer.

 

Buster2000 talked about option C which is close to writing your own game engine.  This is a big task but is a lot of fun and you will learn tons about any language you chose to make a game engine in.  Doing this in C++ and SDL or SFML is a good route and you don't have to worry about the overhead of the commercial engine.

 

Please don't start a language war and say one language is better than another because of xxx features.  Each language was developed for a specific need that help developers quickly get their projects completed.  Yes even C++ was created to speed up programming development.  How many here can say they programmed on a punch card?  I did when I was very young and let me tell you it sucked when it came to debugging.  As each language has developed they have tried to take lessons from other languages and try to make their syntax easier and faster to use.  Truth be told once you understand some basic principals in programming they typically will translate between languages.  So learning C/C++ is a good idea and will help you build more optimized code.

 

Now back to the original question.  Should you keep using C++ or dump it to learn C#?  This is because you have found Unreal to be a little more difficult to use and Unity just seems so much easier.  On the surface this is what can be perceived but  is further from the truth.  The artist side of me likes Unity because it seems very intuitive to build a scene like I was working in a 3D program.  The programmer inside me likes it too because Unity Scripts are easy to build and is well documented.  My perception is that Unity allows me to build a game with little to no effort.  Add some simple scripts to the project and you have a very functional system started.

 

Unreal on the other hand is a little more difficult to get up and going.  When I worked with it they released a new build every few weeks and I would spend more time downloading support files and building the base system then I did making games.  This was due to a lot of bugs in each release build that needed to be ironed out.  For the most part once you built the game engine and got the editor up and running you could use it to do most of the same things Unity does.  From the start, selecting the right project template was one of the most difficult decisions.  Using blueprints is very powerful and easy to use.  It is drag and drop but what I found personally the GUI was slow and cumbersome to use so jumping to code for me was a lot more alluring.  You will be working with a form of C/C++ that has an additional precompiler injected custom Unreal features.  This experience is dated because I stopped using Unreal when they opened their source code.

 

Either way both systems are not easy to learn.  You will need to decide are you more interested in programming or game design?  If you like programming then I would take option C because it is a LOT of fun!  If you want to design a game and want something that is playable in a few weeks then pick one of the two engines.  One way to find which engine you like is setup a task and try and make it happen in both engines.  This will show you which one you find that makes sense or has good documentation.

 

Good luck with your decision.

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