When it comes to game engine development, two of the most popular names in the industry are Unity3D and Unreal Engine. Both have their own strengths and weaknesses and each can provide a unique experience for developers, but how do they compare? The following is an article discussing some of the most important points of Game Engines: Performance/Graphics, Platforms supported, Ease of use and Final file size.
Performance and Graphics
Both Unity3D and Unreal Engine are powerful game engines that provide exceptional performance. However, when it comes to rendering, Unreal Engine takes the lead with its Lumen and Nanite technologies which provide real-time ray tracing capabilities and great performance. This allows for much more realistic lighting effects, making games look more immersive than ever before. On the other hand, while Unity3D does support ray-tracing technology, it’s currently only for Directx 12, which is still experimental. Unity has instead focused on optimizing its rendering performance with improved shaders and textures.
Unity makes use of C# for programming, but that gets compiled to machine code so the performance of scripting is on par with Unreal‘s C++. So at the end of the day, performance will all depend on how you do things on either engine, being relatively the same.
Both Unity3D and Unreal Engine are available on multiple platforms including Windows, MacOS, Xbox, Playstation 5, Nintendo Switch etc. Unity3D however, supports far more platforms, such as: android, iOS, web(with WebGL), Oculus VR, TvOS, android TV, etc. So platform-wise, it’s a clear win for unity.
Ease of Use
Unity has an intuitive user interface that makes it easy for developers to get started with their projects quickly. It also features an extensive library of tutorials for beginners as well as advanced users, and a great documentation, full of examples. Unreal doesn’t have as many tutorials, but it has blueprints which make coding a lot easier. One of its major flaws though are the use of non-standard names for certain functions, which makes it hard to get into the engine even if you’ve experience with others.
When it comes to file size, Unity3D is much more lightweight than Unreal Engine which means less memory consumption during development and deployment of games on mobile devices or web browsers. On top of that, unity by default strips away any and all un-used resources, compresses the existing ones(giving many formats for compression) and even allows to use a smaller/older version of the dotnet standard in order to save as much space as possible. So file-wise, unity is a clear winner.
Overall both Unity3D and Unreal Engine offer great solutions for game development depending on individual needs or preferences. If you wish for a game that has the best graphics possible, Unreal will probably suit your needs best, but if you’re an indie dev like me and wish to port your game to mobile and maybe the web, Unity is the one for you.