Everything you need to know about these leading real-time 3D game engines
Both Unity and Unreal Engine are game engines that have extended their value proposition to companies in multiple industries such as construction, urban development, engineering, aviation, retail, car making, and more. So what are the major differences between these 3D creation powerhouses and which solution should an organization choose for a specific project?
What are Unreal Engine and Unity anyway?
Unreal Engine and Unity are both game engines. They simplify the process of creating interactive 3D experiences by offering all of the pieces needed to create 3D renderings for a fictional world. In the past, any time a video game designer wanted a character to interact with another character or drive its car around the city, they would have to code these functionalities from scratch. Today, game engines are to video games what word processors are to writing a book – you still need to have the patience, dedication, and creative chops to put something together, but you don’t have to type in a bunch of HTML code to make your font bold or to create page breaks or a table of contents.
Unreal Engine and Unity software use different coding languages
Unreal Engine uses C++ for development while Unity software uses C#. Coders consider C# an easier language to learn, which means that Unity software is often the best option for beginners who just want to get to designing. That said, C++ offers more options for robust capabilities the more advanced your design becomes. So while Unity is considered the more accessible option, Unreal Engine is viewed as the go-to choice for more advanced game design and real-time 3D rendering projects.
Unreal Engine offers better graphics quality than Unity software
How lifelike do you want your real-time 3D renderings to appear? This is an important question to ask when choosing between Unreal Engine and Unity software, because photorealism isn't vital to every real-time 3D project. Even though both technologies offer excellent graphics, users across the board point to Unreal Engine as the tool that offers better graphics, so it’s the preferred option for projects that require a high level of detail and lifelike quality. Unreal Engine also has a higher processing speed than Unity software, which can speed up development.
Unreal Engine is completely free while Unity offers a freemium model
Depending on your budget, this might be a sticking point. Unity software offers a free version and then a paid professional subscription. There’s also a robust marketplace of real-time 3D rendering assets you can purchase to make your project’s development easier. On the other hand, Unreal Engine is completely free. The only caveat is that you owe Unreal Engine royalties on any gaming project you make using their software.
Unity software offers a more robust asset store than Unreal Engine
Creators across the board say Unity software offers a greater asset store. This is kind of like a marketplace of “real-time 3D rendering elements” that you can purchase. You can find realistic 3D assets such as a realistic meadow for $44.99 and a fleet of warships for $138. Interested in audio features? The Unity marketplace offers native speech recognition for $44.99.
The game engine you choose depends on your project goals
So how do you ultimately choose between Unreal Engine versus Unity software? The best way is to obtain a clear understanding of your project goals and your current resources. If you’re working on a game in your free time as a hobby, then Unity software might be your best bet. If you’re planning a more robust project, then consider going for Unreal Engine – you can make your project for free and then make some money while splitting the profit with Unreal.
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