UE4 for 2D Development?

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Hi, I am working on building out the assets for a 2D top-down style game. It is primarily focused on exploration and the art and does not need to have serious combat or RPG functions (if any at all). I am trying to decide what engine would be best for this project, keeping in mind that in the future I want to work on 3D games and would love to be able to get some experience in an engine that will allow me to do both. Right now, I am focusing on Unreal 4 and their Paper 2D workflow, but I have seen other people give it negative feedback. However, most of that feedback is many months old and I'm having trouble finding more recent thoughts on updates to Paper 2D. I am also looking into Gamemaker Studio 2 but am hesitant to go into a strictly 2D engine (it also has a larger upfront cost). I am willing to pick up any programming language and I have experience in quite a few already, but I don't imagine much programming would be needed for the feature-minimum game I am working towards.

Will working on a 2D game in UE4 or Unity give me any knowledge that can carry over to future development on 3D games? Is it significant enough to outweigh the focused toolset of a strictly 2D engine?

Do the larger, more supported engines like UE4 and Unity have better capabilities and support for publishing to console?

Does Gamemaker Studio 2 or similar engines that are strictly 2D have significant advantages over UE4 or Unity if the end product is not Chrono Trigger levels of 2DRPG complexity?

Thank you!

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3 hours ago, Aws0207 said:

in the future I want to work on 3D games

For this reason alone I will say stick to Unreal. It's true that Unreal's 2D engine isn't great, however it can make any 2D game.

The downside to using Unreal to make 2D games is that you will be using many 3D tools to do it, so it's actually much nearer to 3D games than most 2D engines. For a person learning to make 3D games this is a good thing.

3 hours ago, Aws0207 said:

Will working on a 2D game in UE4 or Unity give me any knowledge that can carry over to future development on 3D games?

Yes, making 2D games and 3D games is very similar. 3D just adds more stuff onto the 2D. Some 3D games are just 2D games with 3D art.

3 hours ago, Aws0207 said:

Do the larger, more supported engines like UE4 and Unity have better capabilities and support for publishing to console?

Yes, much easier than learning how to do it all yourself. Note: Unreal is great for console, isn't the best for mobile. It is getting better with the mobile port now.

Some 2D engines are better for porting than Unity and Unreal, Gamemaker isn't one.

3 hours ago, Aws0207 said:

Right now, I am focusing on Unreal 4 and their Paper 2D workflow, but I have seen other people give it negative feedback.

The bad feedback is more about wasted potential. Paper 2D could be a huge thing when it is implemented right, it just isn't what the Unreal developers is focused on.

 

3 hours ago, Aws0207 said:

Does Gamemaker Studio 2 or similar engines that are strictly 2D have significant advantages over UE4 or Unity if the end product is not Chrono Trigger levels of 2DRPG complexity?

No in fact because of the limits these kinds of engines have, they are worse when it comes to making games like Chrono Trigger.

Game maker and engines like it is aimed at small 2D games, not complex RPG games. You could still make a complex RPG using these engines it's just going to be difficult.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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GameMaker isn't 'strictly 2D' as such. It is quite easy to do a full 3D game, but there is no handholding involved. Everything has to be done strictly via code.

The game I have been working on for the last few years is actually entirely 3D based.

Having said that though, I'd go with the engine that you are most comfortable with. In the end, it is not so much the engine, it is the person driving it.

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