Unreal Vs Unity.
Having decided on my first 3D game, made a basic document and ready to begin, I decided initially on the Unity Engine.
I have a programming background but would rather focus on the game design and use tools available to rapidly prototype a game. GameSalad is excellent in this respect, sprites can be programmed in easy English actions.
With Unity, you have the option to code in C#, use a visual node (codeless) like way to build with Bolt or Playmaker or use other tools like Game Creator with additional plugin modules or GKC (Game Kit Creator) which is like Game Creator. I purchased GKC, Game Creator + modules and playmaker.
I found Bolt to be so long winded, it would be quicker to write a game in C#. I then looked at Playmaker which was better in the way it described actions. I liked the ease of use with GKC and Game Creator but in the end focused on Game Creator as one of the modules was Photon Networking.
Now the fun begins or should I say problems.
I wanted to use Unity 2020 LTS and Game Creator states it supports 2019.4.26 or higher. I tried to install the product and modules with Unity 2020, 2021 and it only works with 2019. Oh dear. I tried to install this on both a mac and windows machine.
Now I have managed to get the installation of Game Creator and its modules installed on Unity 2019 (latest version), I made my first level and added the player, camera and had a play. All looks good. Now I need to learn about AI Bots so I looked around on YouTube and RVR who provides his own Easy Template Kit looked like a good channel to follow.
RVR – Unity Game Creator Tutorial – Shooter AI 01 (https://youtu.be/G9D33Izje8k)
I followed this tutorial and I started to notice that information in the inspector was not what I was seeing in my installed version of Unity 2019. I was shocked to learn that UI changes can happen in a minor release of a version. Wow! Talk about trying to confuse people trying to learn this game engine. I ended up installing Unity 2019.3 to enable me to follow the tutorial correctly. I continued until the end and ran the project, and it did not behave as it should. The player was stuck to the mouse pointer, the AI bot did not work as expected. At this point, I thought about throwing the whole thing in the bin. First, I would retry the tutorial again to make sure it was not mistakes made by me. If it works great, if not, then updates in the creator or modules has caused this to be broken and I will abandon Unity for another game engine. It’s not worth the pain and suffering.
Unreal 4 – Lets look at Blueprints.
While still in a bad mood from my Unity experience, I decided to watch a few tutorials on UE4, the editor and Blueprints. Many Unity Vs Unreal always seem to recommend to the beginner to go with Unity. For some reason I found UE4 and Blueprints made more sense, seemed easier to understand and was immediately more comfortable with the development environment. The work to get AI bots and multiplayer working looked a lot easier than in Unity.
RVR – Unity Game Creator Tutorial – Shooter AI 01 – PART 2
Ok so let’s try this one more time before I decide to commit or abandon for now Unity.
I first installed GC and all the modules under Unity 2020. A couple of modules updated, and it all installed ok. Amazing!
I setup a new Unity project under 2019.3 for the YouTube tutorial and installed GC and only the modules needed.
Followed the tutorial again. This time it worked except for the enemy player keeps dying/ragdoll in a loop and the health bar is black.
My conclusion is that a tutorial is only as good as its point in time. If Unity or any assets are not the same release level to match what was used in the tutorial, all bets are off on it working.
Next step for me is to look at the same kind of setup with Unreal Engine. If I can do this in Unreal without all same issues, then I’ll dump Unity for good. If its just as bad, then maybe look for another engine or just go back to 2D.
Unreal 4 – The beginning
Having watched a few YouTube videos on Unreal 4, I can say that it also has the same UI layout problems as Unity. I wish these companies would only change the layout/options when they bring out a major release. Trying to follow the basics when what you see on screen Vs the video being different does not provide confidence for the beginner. Overall, Unreal and blueprints seems easier with things described in a more understandable way.
Unreal is a lot easier when creating a new project and selecting a type of game like First or Third person, platform etc. It creates the basics for you. I like the way blueprints allows you to work on building the animation and actors in its own little world so you can then drop the 1 built object with code into your 3d world. Seems a lot neater way to work.
I purchased 2 Udemy courses (Unreal Engine 4: How to Develop Your First Two Games and Unreal Engine Blueprint Game Developer). What I find with all these courses is that the tutor speeds through them forgetting most people are using this software and the course for the first time. So, when they say click here, take this option, drag and drop, its too fast for most people’s brains to get a handle on it. Why not, click here, wait 2 seconds, then add X, give people time to see what’s going on. It would not be a problem if we had photographic memories but most of use are not blessed in this way. If I commit to Unreal then I will make some beginner tutorials.
The most important thing to do is understand the basic shortcuts and object manipulation in the scene. For this I found the following YouTube tutorials (Made with Katie) excellent and wish she made more videos as she describes how to do things in a relaxing way. https://youtu.be/iTwxuahe5B4
After following Katies tutorials, I felt it was time to start the first Unreal course (Unreal Engine 4: How to Develop Your First Two Games).
My next post will be an update on the course and thoughts on Unreal.