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Why is Unity the best game engine? Pros and Cons

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More and more often when discussing the creation of games in companies sound the name Unity. Why so? Now it is one of the best 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%.

But do not enter yourself into deception. Unity is not as simple as it may seem. It is chosen by 61% of developers and most companies have to be torn between different engines. Unity recently acquired Weta Digital (for its VFX instruments, in particular 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 be abandoned in the middle of development. Now we will consider in more detail and determine why Unity is used for mobile games and what developers go through in such projects.

Why is Unity 3D engine still a good option

Let’s dig into the essence of why unity is still worth learning in 2022, and why Unity game developers are still in demand:

  • The engine is actively developing and getting more and more features each release.
  • Huge range of supported platforms from the web and mobile devices to high-end PC and consoles
  • One of the biggest communities
  • A lot of ready-to-use solutions and assets.
  • Integration with .NET world
  • Easy to learn
  • Extensibility

Pros of Unity Engine

C# and .Net compatibility

Unity Engine uses С# as a primary scripting language. This language 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 it 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 little customized version of Mono runtime to run all your scripts. The latest Unity version 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 Engine event more integrated into the .NET ecosystem.

Unity visual scripting

The unity team makes a lot of effort to make unity usable for people with low programming skills or without such skills at all. One such feature is visual scripting. This feature allows creating login and scripts without writing code. Scripts are created by combining nodes. One of the downsides of this feature is a worse performance compared to C# but it is improving and a new visual scripting execution engine is planned that will make visual scripts performance almost identical to C# scripts.

Unity Graphics

Currently, Unity Engine has two variants of graphic pipeline: Build-in and Scriptable Render Pipeline. Build-in render pipeline is Unity’s old way of rendering. There is nothing special about it except it exists for a really long time.

On the other hand, SRP is a more modern technology. The main benefits are modularity and 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 Hight Definition Render Pipeline (HDRP).

URP is focused on high performance and portability to any device. This is the best option for games that target a low range of devices or require lower power consumption. 

HDRP on the other side targets high-performance devices. This 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 SPR 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.

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Unity package manager and assets store

Unity Engine has many tools to make assets and code reusability easy. Two main solutions for reusability are:

  • Asset Store
  • Package manager

Assets Store is a platform where developers can share their assets or libraries. They could do it for free or for some price. Some games could be done from zero to MVP by using Asset Store assets only. All assets from the asset store are copied into the project and could be modified for personal needs.

The package manager is a different tool to share and reuse code by it goes in another way. The main idea of package management is to plug some package from some source into your project without direct copying it into the project. There are a few sources:

  • Unity default upm repository. This repository contains some plugins created by Unity but not included in the project by default;
  • Self-hosted upm repository. Some company created 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 developers share their libraries in this way as it is most simple and does not require a lot of ceremonies;
  • Specially packed archive. 

Both 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 difficulty in working with Unity: 

Templates
One of the most common problems that Unity developers may encounter is templates. Unity does not offer templates for the most important in-game features.

License
Unity is a free engine that helps your game earn millions of dollars. Unity Plus, a premium version of the engine, costs $15/month. Additional tools are also paid for.

Memory
Games created on Unity require more memory and often have problems with a garbage collector.   

What could be done with Unity?

  • Traditional games for almost any platform
  • AR/VR. Unity has many tools for creating such applications;
  • Movie making. Unity could be used to create effects for movies or could be used to create animated movies. The unity team create a short video to show engine capabilities for some engine releases
  • Not game projects with rich 3D visualization

Unity benefits compared to Unreal Engine

Both engines are great but target different goals. We collected the main benefits of Unity compared to Unreal Engine:

  1. Easy to learn and use
  2. Fast iteration time
  3. More platforms supported
  4. Unity has great support for 2D games while Unreal is more 3D centric
  5. Unity has a more active community
  6. Huge amount of assets ready to use
  7. A lot of tools to reuse assets and code between projects.
  8. Modularity and packages support

Unity ahead of Unreal in popularity?

Indie games with great storylines and gameplay – a trend of recent years. They captured the interest of gamers around the world. 

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.

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Is Unity better than Godot?

Godot is relatively new and has very fledgling functionality compared to Unity. Most developers will choose Unity because of the amenities.  

Which game engine is better to use?

The possibilities of these two interesting engines are manifold. It is worth paying attention to your purpose as a 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 the goal and goal of the developer. The difference between the vision and the scale of the game, such as “Clash of Clans” or “Assassin’s Creed”, comes down to choosing your engine. Also, you can get a deeper understanding in an article about the advantages of unite mobile game services.

If you want to create your own game on Unity – we are ready to help you with that. Our specialists with in-depth Unity game programming knowledge are among the best in the world. 

Contact us to discuss your project and ideas.

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