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Therdre

Want to get into game making need help choosing an engine

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I want to learn how to make an online open world crafting/terraforming game with a destructible environment.  I am trying to choose between Unity 5 and Unreal 4.  I'd prefer unreal 4 because the graphic capabilities seem much better, but from what I've read Unity 5 seems like the best for crafting games. I know I won't be able to make a game that complex at first, but I just want to start learning the engine that I will eventually use to make a crafting game. 

 

Edit - My programming experience is limited, just using VBA for a chemical engineering class to examine data in excel spreadsheets and to create models using that data.  As far as graphic design goes I used blender for a bit but I was never very good at it and that was a few years ago.

Edited by Therdre

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I'd imagine both engines are capable of doing it in the right hands, it's just a matter of how much time you put into learning them. I'd suggest looking at the pros and cons of each engine and deciding from there. http://blog.digitaltutors.com/unreal-engine-4-vs-unity-game-engine-best/ has a very nicely compiled list outlining the differences, strengths, and weaknesses of each engine.

 

In my opinion, Unity was a bit faster to learn and a bit easier on my computer to work in, so if those are important factors to you I'd likely pitch my vote towards learning Unity.

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I prefer Unreal, is better than Unity, however, you can make your own engine from scratch in c++.

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Phaser / HaxeFlixel / Flixel, 
Download one of those, make a game and familiarize with his source code.

I learned the basics with the Flixel source code years ago.

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Both engines have decently wide margins when it comes to graphics. Although Unity can pack quite a punch, I agree that Unreal kind of takes the cake. As far as my personal experience goes, Unity is a bit more beginner friendly. Ever since Unity 5 was released, you have access to all the same capabilities in the free Personal Edition that the Professional Edition had. The only restrictions with the free version are; if you're making over $100,000/year, you have to purchase the Pro License, and your games made with the free version will start up showing the "Made with Unity" splash screen. Obviously, since you're just a beginner, that won't be much of a problem for now. I do not have a whole lot of experience with UE4, but I do know that the restrictions regarding pricing are a little less demanding(correct me if I am wrong) I would personally recommend Unity, but my judgement is a little biased since Unity is the first game engine I started with. Your best bet is to research online and go with whichever fits your personal desires. There are many articles explaining the cons and pros of both engines.

Another note; as Keinier stated above, you could make your own game engine to better suit your game developing needs once you get a bit more experience under your belt(I've always wanted to make one of my own)

I hope this helps you!

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In regards to the engine, it doesn't really matter, both can achieve what you want, they have about the both capabilities for a beginner ( i mean this in the sense that i assume you won't be making any AAA games any time soon so there wouldn't be any need for the optimization benefits from unreal or the cost of initial overhead) however the initial learning curve is different, unity's use of C# really takes the cake for ease of use. I would recommend starting with this language first because it will give you a good understanding of the basics and how things are done, without worrying about memory management. Then if you so choose to move on to a bigger or better title, you can re-evaluate your situation. This is just my 5c take it with a grain of salt.

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TBH, Unreal out-of-the-box is way ahead of Unity, even Unity 5. The out-of-the-box systems you get with Unity are a mixed bag, some are good (Standard shader is pretty good save some annoying bugs with emissive), some are mediocre, some are pretty bad (current version and implementation of Enlighten is just a trainwreck. Usable if rather heavy for GI, but unusable for baking light... who thought throwing out Beast for Enlighten was a good idea anyway)?

 

Yet the Unreal 4 out-of-the-box Systems, while generally better, also have their issues. Most of the stuff works... but with limitations not apparent at first.

 

Now, when we get into the real high end graphics, you will either need to write your own systems (shaders and so on), or get the systems of other people, either paid or for free. Here, Unreal 4 takes the pole position when it comes to possibilities for interfacing with the engine and already implemented low level tech (the engine code is opensourced after all), but Unity takes the pole position when it comes to sheer amount of third party assets and systems available for the engine. In parts because Unity already had an asset store where devs could share and sell their creations years before Epic even thought about adding one.

 

Just the other day I added a volumetric lighting system for Unity someone developed after the killzone implementation, and it works brilliantly. Takes lighting to the next level. And the best of it: the dev shared it for free!

 

Also, Unity gives you some additional options that Unreal does not provide. Want real MSAA, and don't rely on the hacky not-so-good-as-adverstised TXAA epic promoted heavely with Unreal 4? Well, you can choose the forward renderer in Unity, and as long as you don't need a HDR camera, you are set. Unreal still does not give you that option, even though epic talked long about it.

There are of course systems in Unreal out of the box Unity users can only dream about... normal mapped particles, particle shadows (also a little hacky, but better then nothing), far distance realtime shadows, and then some.

 

 

TL; DR: both are good for high end graphics, if you invest some time and money to upgrade their out-of-the-box systems. If you cannot do that, Unreal Engine 4 is better when it comes to graphics. Just don't expect the graphics to be anywhere near the "showcase" level both engines showed with their newest engines, those showcases usually use a LOT of additional systems written for the showcase and then sometimes shared to users later, but seldomly built in (for example that gorgeous wrinkle shader for the Unity 5 Blacksmith showcase still hasn't made it into the engine, even though devs talked about the implementation some time ago).

 

Additionally, I would say Unity is easier to learn, and has better tutorials written for it... especially the indexing of the Unreal documentation was pretty weird when I tried to read it.

 

Some systems in both engines are trainwrecks (new PhysX physics engine has done away with many things that make it unusable for some use cases... byebye mesh colliders, byebye fast and easy way to implement armour collision systems), but that happens in all engines I guess. Generally Unity will ask you to "hack" and work-around more... but as long as you are not able and have the time to open the engine source for Unreal, you will do so too at some point with epic's engine.

 

 

On a more important note, engines are like programming languages. Just because you start with engine A doesn't mean you are chained to it for all eternity. And most of what you learn with one engine will transfer to the other. If you REALLY are interested in heigh-end graphics and AA(A) game types, you will waste many years learning the basics, and then more years working on your game anyway. No use trying to rush things really.

Thus, why not download both engines (both are free after all), and give them both a spin? See which one seems easier to learn for you, and not worry about high-end systems and graphics for now? You will NOT need it at the moment.

 

If the time comes, you can still switch engines and programming languages. Actually, learning multiple programming languages is highly advisable for programmers, it gives you a broader profile and the option to use the right tool for the job (there is no one-size-fits-all language out there). I would say the same is true for engines...

And last but not least, it gives you perspective. The grass is not greener on the other side, but if you never try it, you are always held back by feelings like "If I only have gone with Unreal engine 4 those years back, I would be much further with my development!" (hint: no, you most probably wouldn't be... different problems you would be fighting with, sure... problems nonetheless)

Edited by Gian-Reto

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I tend to prefer Unreal. It's a heap load easier to create data structures, and you're not necessarily forced to make scripts part of the world for some stupid reason. It's also easier to add systems onto the engine when you need to for your game.

The Editor is fully capable, and supports the ability to add game specific features on it.

The only real downside is that the Unreal Engine tends to inspire people to try and ramp up on all of the cool graphical features to make their games look better, but perform like crap. Unreal Engine isn't exactly designed with the newbie and technically illiterate in mind.

 

Unity is better suited for people who are newer. It's easier to get small projects going. But for larger projects, it quickly becomes a pain to work with. You need to build external tools and pretty much forgo the Unity editor at that point.

Edited by Tangletail

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I'd imagine both engines are capable of doing it in the right hands, it's just a matter of how much time you put into learning them. I'd suggest looking at the pros and cons of each engine and deciding from there. http://blog.digitaltutors.com/unreal-engine-4-vs-unity-game-engine-best/ has a very nicely compiled list outlining the differences, strengths, and weaknesses of each engine.

 

In my opinion, Unity was a bit faster to learn and a bit easier on my computer to work in, so if those are important factors to you I'd likely pitch my vote towards learning Unity.

The article you posted compares Unity 4 with Unreal 4. Unity 5 introduced a number of features such as physically based rendering, many 2D engine components... Not to mention a completely different pricing model.

Edited by GameGeezer

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All the engine is great but usually they have a little differences. But it's up for the developers what's best and comfortable for them to work on.

 

Here is the list of game engine and builder. Well you can review each of them and choose the right thing for you.

 

GAME ENGINES / BUILDERS

 

Unity
Stencyl
Game Salad
Construct 2
Game Maker
Unreal
LibGDX

RPG Maker 

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