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Unity in an Unreal 5 World

ethantoney profile image Ethan Toney ・2 min read

We recently saw the Unreal 5 demo and for those of us that use Unity as our primary dev environment, it was pretty cool. Now, as a Unity user who does have Unreal installed to test it out, I wasn't too surprised or hyped by Unreal 5's offerings. While I haven't researched much into Unreal 5's features, I'm guessing that we'll still see more issues pop up dealing with storage sizes and optimization for lower-end hardware. As a dev who focuses on building games for lower to medium PC specs, Unreal 5 isn't (imo) geared towards me. AAA companies will love it, Indie MMO creators will love it, and I'll still be using Unity.

That being said, Unity is becoming outdated. The CEO loves throwing out the statistics of Unity's use, but what's after stats? Broken, deprecated features. Almost all the useful features are in "preview" and do not work well with older versions of Unity. The visual scripting solution changed to DOTS, while they bought BOLT to satisfy users preparing to jump ship. I prefer non-visual scripting. I can write C# well enough to build games, but cannot write C++, which keeps me tethered to Unity. I think Unity Technologies knows that C# devs are mostly stuck with them.

I like Unity quite a lot, but their practices of placing paid assets on the store, their learning center locked behind a subscription, and of pointing to assets on the store instead of implementing common assets into the engine has started to tear down the initial market. They claim to democratize game dev, but Epic is pushing ahead of Unity with Unreal 5.

While I'm not going to jump ship just yet, I think I may start to learn C++ after I get a better understanding of C# in a desktop environment (as my C# knowledge is limited to Unity). Hopefully, Unity Technologies fixes their engine and improves it to have common core features alongside Unreal. Until then, I think I'll start preparing my lifeboat.

And really, have you tried making multiplayer games in Unity? It's not simple, and Unity doesn't help by deprecating their net code.

Discussion

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graithen profile image
Graithen

Depends on the performance gains with DOTS to be honest. I haven't bothered to transition yet, so cannot say that I know which way that wind is blowing. Unity has always been superior in the mobile space though, and I can't see that changing any time soon, and UE4's C++ is walled up which makes it somewhat frustrating to go really low level. So I can't see Unity tapping out anytime soon. Godot is on the rise though, so who knows?

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eddex profile image
eddex

I'd suggest you look into the Godot Engine as an alternative too. While it is using it's own language (GDScript) by default, it also supports C# alongside many other languages. I've been using Unity before and switched to Godot because it's just way more lightweight (no installation, just a <30MB download). Also Godot is open source and completely free to use (unlike Unity where you have to pay to use the dark theme). You find tons of free tutorials online and the official documentation is great too. And you're not bound to using Visual Studio as an IDE but can also use VS Code or other tools to code and debug your projects.

Just a suggestion from my side :)

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ethantoney profile image
Ethan Toney Author

I installed Godot over a year ago but never played around with it. I didn't realize it allowed C#. I'll have to update it and try it out. Thanks for the suggestion.