During discussions about creating games the name of the Unity engine sounds more and more often. Why so? Nowadays, it is one of the best game engines in this field. Unity is used to create more than half of all mobile applications, and, for the 1000 most popular applications, its share is 65%.
Unity game engine is the primary choice of 61% of developers, according to a recent survey. It recently acquired Weta Digital (for its VFX instruments, particularly for artists) and Ziva RT (for tools that allow realistic character design). But is Unity good?
Before using this game engine, it is important to study all aspects of Unity: its advantages and disadvantages, so as not to discourage yourself in the middle of game development. In this article, we will go over Unity in detail and determine why it is widely used for mobile games and what developers go through in such projects.
WHY IS THE UNITY ENGINE STILL A GOOD OPTION?
Let’s dig into the essence of why Unity is still worth learning in 2023, and why Unity game developers are still in high demand:
- This game engine is actively developing and getting more and more features with each release.
- Huge range of supported platforms from the web and mobile devices to high-end PC and consoles.
- Unity has one of the biggest communities.
- Integration with the .NET world.
- Unity offers a lot of ready-to-use solutions and assets.
- It’s easy to learn.
- With Unity’s flexible engine and service ecosystem, you have complete control over creating, running and improving your video game.
PROS OF UNITY ENGINE
C# AND .NET COMPATIBILITY
Unity engine uses С# as a primary scripting language. This game engine has a great community, a low entrance level, and a smooth learning curve. But at the same time, it is pretty strict and has many powerful features to write stable and effective code. All this makes Unity technologies perfect for beginners and mature programmers. There are a lot of IDE for C# with great Unity support, for instance, Visual Studio, Visual Studio for Mac, and Rider.
Unity uses a customized version of Mono runtime to run all your scripts. The latest version of Unity gives programmers access to .NET Standard 2.1 features and APIs. This means that many libraries written for regular .NET applications might be used with Unity as a standard .dll plugin. Support for more modern .NET versions is planned, which will make the Unity game engine more integrated into the .NET ecosystem.
UNITY VISUAL SCRIPTING
The Unity team makes a lot of effort to make it usable for game developers with low programming skills or without such skills at all. One such feature is visual scripting. This feature allows creation of logic and scripts without writing code. Scripts are created by combining nodes. One of the downsides of this aspect is a worse performance compared to C#. However, it is constantly improving, and a new visual scripting execution engine that will make visual script performance almost identical to C# scripts is already in motion.
Currently, the Unity engine has two variants of graphic pipeline: Built-in and Scriptable Render Pipeline (SPR). Built-in render pipeline is Unity’s old way of rendering. There is nothing special about it except that it exists for a long time.
On the other hand, SRP is a more modern technology. Its main benefits are modularity, customization, and better performance. Render loop customization is done through the C# script. Currently, there are two default options for SRP implementation: Universal render pipeline (URP) and High Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP).
URP is focused on high performance and portability to any device. This is the best option for video games that target a low range of devices or require lower power consumption.
HDRP, on the other side, targets high-performance devices. This Unity engine pipeline gives the best detalization and has the support of performance-expensive graphical effects.
Both URP and HDRP support a wide range of rendering post-processing tools.
But Scriptable Render Pipeline is not limited to URP and HDRP. Custom pipelines could be created if required or any of the existing ones could be modified for specific needs.
An additional benefit of SRP is Shader Graph and Visual Effect Graph. Shader Graph is a tool that allows the creation of shaders without writing code just by combining nodes in a visual environment with an instant preview. Visual Effect Graph is a tool for creating high-quality high-performance visual effects in a similar visual environment.
Turn your idea into an epic game with StepicoContact us
UNITY PACKAGE MANAGER AND ASSETS STORE
Unity game engine has many tools to make assets and code reusability easy. Two main solutions for reusability are:
- Asset Store
- Package manager
Asset Store is a platform where developers can share their assets or libraries. They could do it for free or set a price. Some games can be done from zero to MVP by using the Asset Store assets only. All resources from the Asset Store can be copied into the project and modified for the game developer’s personal needs.
The package manager is a different tool to share and reuse code. The main idea of package management is to plug a package from an outer source into your project without pasting it directly into the project. There are a few sources:
- Unity default upm repository. This repository contains some plugins created by the Unity engine but is not included in the project by default;
- Self-hosted upm repository. Сompanies create their own repository for custom tools that could be shared. Also, there is an open-source free repository openupm where a lot of developers share their libraries;
- Any git repository such as GitHub or GitLab. A lot of game developers share their libraries in this way as it is most simple and does not require a lot of ceremonies;
- Specially packed archive.
All these tools are great options to not reinvent the wheel and speed up your development by using already existing solutions.
Cons of Unity Engine
Here are some of the most popular difficulties of using Unity:
One of the most common problems that Unity developers may encounter is templates. Unity engine does not offer templates for the most important in-game features.
Unity is a free engine that helps your game earn millions of dollars. But to leverage its full functionality, you have to purchase Unity Plus, a premium version of the engine that costs $15/month. Additional tools should also be paid for.
Unity games require more RAM and often have problems with a garbage collector. 16 GB of RAM is a satisfactory amount for Unity.
Despite these drawbacks, the pros of the Unity game engine still make it the top choice of game developers.
WHAT COULD BE DONE WITH THE UNITY GAME ENGINE?
- Traditional games for almost any platform;
- Augmented reality/virtual reality. Unity has many tools for creating such applications;
- Movie making. Unity could be used to create effects for movies or to create animated movies. The unity team made short video guides to show this game engine’s capabilities;
- Game projects with rich 3D visualization.
UNITY BENEFITS COMPARED TO THE UNREAL ENGINE
Both engines are great but target different goals. We collected the main perks of Unity compared to Unreal engine:
- Easy to learn and use;
- Faster iteration time;
- Better cross-platform integration is available with Unity.;
- Unity engine has great support for 2D games, while Unreal is more 3D-centric;
- Unity has a more active community;
- Huge amount of assets ready to use;
- A lot of tools to reuse assets and code between projects;
- Modularity and packages support.
IS THE UNITY GAME ENGINE AHEAD OF UNREAL IN POPULARITY?
Indie games created by Unity with great storylines and gameplay have been a trend in recent years. They captured the interest of gamers around the world. Unreal engine is more used in developing AAA games.
Plus, more and more people have been leaning towards less popular development studios such as Shadow Tactics and Cuphead. This is due to their unique gameplay, stories, and storylines.
We will make your game epicContact us
IS UNITY BETTER THAN GODOT?
Godot is relatively new and has very fledgling functionality compared to the Unity engine. The best thing about Unity over Godot is the amazing 3D graphics development and rendering output it offers. Most game developers will choose Unity here because of its amenities.
WHICH GAME ENGINE IS BETTER TO USE?
The possibilities of Unity and Unreal are manifold. To choose the game engine for your project correctly, it is worth paying attention to your purpose as a game developer. Are you interested in a 3D platformer, FPS, and RPG? What about puzzles? Or do you want to develop another popular game like Temple Run?
Absolutely everything depends on your set goals. The difference between the vision and the scale of the game, such as “Clash of Clans” or “Assassin’s Creed,” also comes down to choosing game engines. Actually, before making your choice, you can get a deeper understanding of Unity in our article about the advantages of Unity mobile game services.
If you want to create your own game on Unity – we are ready to help you with that. Our handpicked specialists with in-depth Unity game programming knowledge are considered the best in their field. Contact us to discuss your project and ideas!
Contact us to discuss your project and ideas.