Choosing the Right Gaming Engine: Unity vs. Unreal Engine
Game developers entering the world of blockchain games face a pivotal decision: selecting between Unreal Engine and Unity. These two gaming engines possess distinctive attributes, strengths, and weaknesses that cater to various types of blockchain games. In this blog post, we will conduct an in-depth comparison of Unreal Engine and Unity to assist you in making an informed choice for your blockchain game project.
Unity Game Engine
Unity originated in 2005 for Mac OS X and has undergone significant evolution as a digital game development engine. It employs C# as its primary coding language and offers free usage at its fundamental levels. Known for its user-friendly workflow and architecture conducive to effective game creation, Unity stands out with support for high-quality graphics and seamless frame rates, complemented by HD audio support.
Distinguished by dedicated tools for the effortless creation of 2D and 3D games, Unity’s scripting APIs provide precise control over game features. Game creators can also tap into an extensive array of 3D assets available in Unity’s asset store.
Unity has hosted many web2 flagship games, which have achieved massive popularity. Titles such as Pokémon Go, Call of Duty Mobile, Fall Guys, and Hollow Knight, to name a few, grace this impressive roster. Notably, most games are mobile-based, consuming significantly less storage space than heavyweight AAA titles.
Unreal Engine, developed by Epic Games, is one of the industry’s most popular and widely utilized game engines. It boasts formidable capabilities, including creating high-end graphics, realistic environments, and complex animations. Unreal Engine is renowned for its prowess in handling intricate logic and scripting, making it a top choice for crafting large-scale, complicated games.
Unreal Engine has a rich history dating back to its initial release in 1995 and has continued to evolve exponentially. The introduction of Unreal Engine 5, featuring the Nanite Engine launched in 2022, empowers developers to import 3D graphics and photographs, enabling the creation of photorealistic game environments.
A unique aspect of Unreal Engine is its open-source nature, permitting anyone to use and develop with it. However, it does come with a caveat – Unreal Engine claims a specific percentage of royalty from every game built on its platform, granting it fractional ownership. This royalty stands at 5%, calculated on earnings exceeding the initial $1 million in gross revenue.
Unreal Engine has been the foundation for numerous interactive AAA games in the web2 space, including Fortnite, Dragon Quest, Mortal Kombat, and more. In the web3 realm, projects like Megavrse aim to construct photorealistic metaverses, fostering widespread adoption of the web3 ecosystem.
Asset Library data source: hackr.io
Flagship Web 3 Games and Metaverses
Prominent web3 games and metaverses, such as Sandbox, Decentraland, Axie Infinity, and Cryptokitties, predominantly rely on Unity. Unity’s popularity among beginners and amateur indie game developers and its extensive library of 3D assets make it the go-to choice for most blockchain game development.
The latest iteration of Unity’s plugin, Arkane, empowers game developers to integrate blockchain technology into their games seamlessly. This allows the blockchain to function as an inventory for storing gamers’ assets, including NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). The Arkane system simplifies blockchain integration with games, enabling gamers with no prior crypto or blockchain knowledge to participate in play-to-earn (P2E) and play-and-earn (P&E) games. Unity reigns supreme in web2 and web3 game development, enabling developers to publish in-game assets from its asset library to the Polygon Blockchain through its SDK, all without requiring publishers to have extensive knowledge of blockchain and smart contracts.
However, as blockchain and web3 gaming evolve, many studios are now gravitating toward Unreal Engine, aiming to deliver AAA-level games and metaverses to a discerning audience. Illuvium is a pioneering project in the crypto gaming space, which has been developing for approximately two years. It aims to deliver the first AAA game that seamlessly inategrates NFTs and revolves around a play-to-earn economy. Games built on Unreal Engine incur substantial server costs due to the size of game assets and files, potentially centralizing the backend structure. NFT integration on Unreal Engine involves a specific workflow and a dedicated Unreal Engine extension.
Which Engine Should You Prefer?
The choice of game engine hinges on several factors:
1. Level of Expertise: Unity and Unreal Engine offer user-friendly interfaces. However, Unreal Engine is considered more complex for beginners due to its advanced feature set and extensive code base. Unity, in contrast, is an excellent starting point for newcomers, thanks to its simplicity and a wealth of available developers, documents, and tutorials.
2. Performance: Unreal Engine takes the lead in exceptional graphics quality and high performance. It boasts advanced rendering and physics features and support for multi-threading and parallel processing, allowing developers to create games with intricate graphics and realistic physics.
3. Cross-Platform Support: Both engines provide cross-platform support, spanning mobile devices, consoles, AR/VR, and PCs. Unity excels in mobile device support and is designed to be lightweight and seamless. On the other hand, Unreal Engine is better suited for high-end PCs and consoles, thanks to its high graphical performance and rapid rendering capabilities.
In conclusion, the choice of a game engine depends on your vision, skillset, and project requirements. If you are new to game development and seek an exploratory experience, Unity is the ideal choice. Conversely, Unreal Engine offers the best platform for developing high-end web3 games if you possess the expertise and the necessary skills.