Unity is one of the most popular game engines, especially for new independent developers. Plenty of big names have also been developed on Unity such as Pokemon Go, Assasin’s Creed: Identity, and Angry Birds Epic. It’s a well-known platform in the gaming industry and actually a pretty cutting-edge game engine, not to mention free for smaller-scale projects.
Unity offers both the tools to develop your new game, plus the option to test it as well. The games are adaptable for various platforms, and it’s easy to use, probably the main reasons for its success. Competitors such as Unreal might have the edge in some areas, so it’s important to work out which is the best game engine for you.
How does Unity work?
Unity enables users to develop games and projects in 2D and 3D. It facilitates the running of different applications and comes with additional plug-ins. Unity has three main parts:
- Game engine
Design, develop, and test your games in a number of environments
Preview your game from your user interface with graphics and control play function
- Code editor
IDE text editor to write code
Unity game engine has a number of fun features for you to create your new game from scratch.
- Prototyping tool for games and interactive visualizations
- Asset store you can import from
- Augmented and virtual reality systems
- UI system
- Particle systems
- C# coding making your game compatible across many platforms
There are several advantages to opting for Unity as the game engine for you. Unity supports over 25 platforms from iOS to PS4. One of the main reasons for Unity’s popularity is that it’s free smaller-scale projects. For more advanced versions you can look at annual plans on their website. For now, let’s look at some of the pros of Unity as a game engine.
Ideal for beginners
Seen as it’s free of charge for the basic version, this makes it ideal for students and first-time game developers. You have all the tools available to you so it’s a great game engine to learn the ropes on. It’s still an advanced package and fully-equipped for heavy level designing.
Unity has a wide global audience and is a well-known name. This is a big plus for when you’re looking for contractors, or to promote your game. Pretty much anyone in the gaming industry will be familiar with Unity. This makes it very convenient and versatile. It has a strong footing in the indie game design scene, and it’s a household name in mobile dev.
Quick and easy to use
It’s very easy to use and its aim is to simplify the game development process. Unity can be used with different levels of education in game design and it’s very visual and intuitive. It’s easy to use format and worldwide fame means that it’s a great game engine for teamwork and inspiring collaboration.
Unity is also very fast and agile. It allows you to quickly turn your first game design ideas into reality. It’s ideal if you want to produce your ideas quickly and then test them. You can build a game using simple coding, or even without coding at all. You can create game apps using a drag and drop setting. This makes it easy to create your own designs from scratch or get ideas from the Best Baseball Video Games or other inspiration.
Your game is available for different platforms
Another one of the main advantages of Unity is that it’s compatible with so many different platforms. This will be handy if you decide to release a demo of your game, as it will be more accessible and easy to set up. Unity is very fast at porting, so you can have your game ready on different platforms in just one click. The majority of your work can be instantly shared among web, PC, mobile platforms, and consoles.
Build your own tools
On Unity, you have the option to either buy tools from the Asset Store, or build your own. The game engine makes it simple to build your own tools making it much more flexible. If not, the asset store has a complete library of options to make game building even quicker and easier.
The asset store has around 56,000 packages available. This ranges from 2D and 3D rendering, animation, augmented and virtual reality, audio, and other templates. There are also several different tools available such as scripting tools, particles and effects, and AI.
Unity’s community of professional developers and documentation also provides an amazing support system. You can find a detailed manual or tips and solutions easily, without having to Google it every time you come across a difficulty. Plenty of information is provided in the documentation, so you’ll only have to rely on this as a resource.
Unity is a fantastic game engine for virtual reality. Working together with VR powerhouses, new APIs, features, and paradigms are implemented using cutting-edge technology. Unity claims to be the preferred platform for creating VR experiences. Industry-leading developer experience with their high-optimization rendering pipeline authoring tools and rapid iteration capabilities provide you with all the advanced features you need for your VR experience.
Another thing Unity has to offer is amazing graphics. It has stunning visual effects which are great for designing a mobile application as they can be scaled down to any screen size. When it comes down to it, graphics are fundamental in creating high-quality software.
Unity (3D) also comes with another great feature, built-in analytics. These allow you to discover important player insights. With the data collected from Unity analytics, you can make adjustments and improve your gameplay. It’s a very useful tool. Analytics is located in the Editor and there’s documentation available to help you use them. This will help you get the most out of the monetizing efforts you put into your game and make it a success.
There must be some drawbacks to opting for Unity as a game engine, or there wouldn’t be competitors. Certain features have been described as lacking by some professionals and it might be a step behind a couple of other platforms. Here are some of the disadvantages of using Unity.
Not suitable for big jobs
Unity is ideal for beginners and those at higher levels of education, but if you really want to delve deep and work on a larger-scale, perhaps another game engine could work for you. Unreal offers the option to build AAA games with a larger landscape of things on the screen at once. Unity is best known for mobile game development. It depends on the type of project you want to create.
Start from scratch
Unity doesn’t offer the possibility to build your game from a foundation or template. You have to start from scratch. Whereas it does provide a wide library of tools in the assets store, you’ll need to create your game yourself.
Subscription fees including licensing are much higher. If you’re only just starting out, your budget might not be able to cover these. You don’t need to pay royalties or revenue share with the free version. You are able to purchase a license for your game if it becomes a success.
Without paying for subscriptions you can still create a high-quality game and test it, so it’s ideal for prototypes. The good thing is you can achieve a considerable amount before having to take into account the licensing complication.
Unity vs. Unreal
Unreal has some advantages over Unity which need to be considered. Unreal is a little more user-friendly when it comes to creating high-fidelity visuals. Using Unity to create the same visuals will take more work and then you still might not end up with the same level of quality.
Many larger games are designed using Unreal rather than Unity. This is because it’s easier to achieve photorealistic imaging on a larger-scale. On the other hand, you need a bigger, more specialist team to get the most out of designing a project with Unreal. It´s really considered a more large-scale game engine.
Unity is compatible with a number of devices and platforms, but if you’re going for PC-level high-quality visuals then it’s easier to achieve this with Unreal. It really depends on the type of game you want to create and your target audience.
The game engine is only a base and your game’s success will depend on your creativity and hard work. If you’re still only a budding game developer, Unity is an ideal choice. The best thing to do is just to create something and get started, which is quick and easy to do with Unity.
Unity provides a wide selection of tools and the option to test your games on a variety of platforms. It’s the quickest way you’re going to produce your first games. As you develop your skillset and increase your team, you can move on to test more advanced features of other game engines.