Engine Wars...How do you explain UE4 to other Engine users?

I hear it all the time…
“UE4 is too hard for indies!”
“Why would you use visual solutions like a Behavior Tree…just code it with mass if statements.”
“I don’t see a point in blueprints.”
“I don’t see a point in prototyping with CSGs”
“X engine is easier to import assets into…” (No.)
“X engine can look just as good as UE4 if you buy enough plugins from the Asset store!” (over $500 per seat added onto upfront licensing cost)
“You’ll have a hard time finding artists to work on your project with UE4.”

I’ve been debating with some people I know about this. None of them have actually tried UE4 for themselves. None of them are even programmers and yet they complain about C++. Literally the only valid concern I have heard for UE4 is the lack of documentation in many areas. For example, I’m working on AI Coding (big chunk of my game) and working with undocumented Behavior trees is quite a pain for some simple tasks. Usually the solutions are very easy, just not documented yet.

It’s cheap, easy to pick-up and powerful. Used by big companies, small companies and everything in between. Being constantly developed and improved, it’s the freshest engine and by the the most powerful. It’s future-proof and is going to be industry-used by indies and AAA* companies a like. And at the cheapest price point out there, why would you say no?

It’s like combining the ease of Unity with the power of CryEngine.

As simple as UDK but as powerful as Frostbite+CryEngine combined!

I got into UDK after watching Zak’s video tutorial series, and everything made so much sense that i was able to see the possibilities right away even though i had no modding & game development experience. Kismet was one of the biggest factors that attracted my attention since i’m not a programmer. So my suggestion is, make them watch the tutorials and let them decide for themselves. If they can’t see the simplicity and functionality themselves then i doubt that they’ll have success with any other engine.

On documentation, we will have more in the future, just give Epic some time. :slight_smile:

All the cool things from UDK + cool things borrowed from unity + moar graphics

I hear more “Wheres C#?” :stuck_out_tongue:

That’s what I tell to my friends or other guys that ask me that question:

1st one

-easy to use
-material editor is amazing
-gpu particles

now go and get the UE4 and try out some stuff!! :wink:
2nd one:**

That’s what I did after I have used the cryengine:

Do you want to destroy your PC out of frustration? No? Then use the UE4 :cool:

UE4 is easy, practical;
It has full support and compatibility all platforms;
It’s completely free and unlimited, the only limit is your imagination;
Works on most PCs this new generation of processors and VGA;

In short, Epic did a great engine that delivers what it promises.

I’ve used the Cry and Unity, and not much liked, especially the CryEngine that requires plenty of hardware and is full of bugs.

We have youtube videos made by Zak.

And what do you have ?

If you need more convicing after that, then probably nothing can convince you anyway :smiley:

If you don’t dive into the code, UE4 is actually the easiest to use, and the most fun! (personal opinion)
You get amazingly looking levels with minimal amount of tweaking needed!
When you decide to get into programming part: performance + awesomeness of working with C++ :smiley: I know some people hate the idea of learning new language, but it really is worth the effort.
And if you simply want to learn the engine it’s also the cheapest - $19, one time payment.

I’ve been using UE for 4 years now. I will tell you why I continue to use it. The Unreal Engine 4 is far more superior for the following reasons:

1- It has rich, complete and stable toolset that allows you to create any aspect of the game much faster. If two teams are going to develop the same exact game, one experienced in UE and the other is experienced in another engine, the UE team will be the first to finish. Tools like Blueprint, Matinee (cinematics), Cascade (VFX), Visual Material Editor, etc will allow you to complete your tasks in an efficient, timely manner.

2- The code base that ships with UE is extremely flexible, and allows you prototype your game in no time, because alot of the *startup *work has already been done for you. All you have to do is build upon the code base, and customize according to your needs. This is alot more efficient than writing the whole thing from scratch. Classes like PlayerController, GameInfo, Pawn, Weapon, Projectile, etc cover alot of ground for you out of the box, for any type of game.

3- The editor’s UI has been completely revamped, ending up with an amazing, artist-friendly, highly-responsive, inviting and elegant UI.

4- UE4 ships with complete source code. Your project is no longer held hostage at the engine owning company, until they release bug fixes that stopped your progress or even drove you mad. If you have a programmer, he can solve it for you on the fly.

5- UE4’s source code is hosted in GitHub, allowing for collaborative work. Expect in a couple of years to see lots of folks pushing useful stuff with new features, plugins, etc, for free. Rama’s vertex snapping tool is just one example. There is also the marketplace that needs some patience to see it populated with amazing stuff you can use at any time.

6- Dirt cheap license fee of 19$ per month per seat, which you can unsubscribe at any given time. Only subscribe when there is a feature that interests you. One can argue that there is a 5% royalty, but the sad reality is that only few indies make it to the finish line *and *be successful at the same time. Instead of paying hundreds and hundreds of dollars upfront on the hopeful hope that you’ll end up with something, you can just go for it as cheaply as 19$, and if you make good money, 5% isn’t going to break your neck. And since at this point you’ve been successful, you can talk with Epic on custom licensing terms to remove those 5% (or decrease) for your future projects, because you simply can afford it by now.

Now lets address two of the concerns you mentioned:

Unreal Engine is hard to learn.

That is a myth, my friend. If you are an experienced 3DS max user, and want to switch to Maya, there will be a serious learning curve regardless of your experience in Max. However, your previous experience will help you grasp stuff faster. Basically, you will learn UE4 faster, than any complete noob. Human nature is resistant to change. People are afraid of change, that’s why some keep on throwing those artificial obstacles in front of them just to continue convincing themselfs with whatever they want to believe in. They are simply being emotional. My advice to you is to be practical and try new things.

Also note that UE4 is feature-rich, so it is expected that you’ll be spending some time learning everything, not because the toolset is difficult. At the end of the day, what matters is your production time. UE4 will minimize that compared to other engines. You will learn once, produce many. Remember that.

Unreal Engine lacks documentation.

That was true, back in 2010. UDK’s documentation has grown to become comprehensive and absolutely amazing. Check this out, and if that’s not comprehensive, I don’t know what is. There are tons of training DVDs, books, tutorials etc out there for UDK. So lets be patient, and trust me, the docs will grow. It did before, and it will now, specially that the philosophy of UE4 is much more indie-friendly than UDK.

Hope this helps. :slight_smile:

Lets be honest there are pros and cons for ANY engine, so lets not whitewash UE4.
However with that being said, UE4 pizzes from a great height on most other engines.

-Open source
-Intuitive, revolutionary editor
-Cutting edge
-Looks amazing out of the box
-Actually works most of the time(can’t say that often about other engines)
-Has a learning curve a bit steeper than some less powerful engines
-Could use a scripting language

That’s what the Blueprints are for (for the most part at least :wink: )
Also someone on this forum made JS plugin and there were talks about implementing C# wrapper so it might just be a matter of time.

I think I’d wonder about what they’re after. E.g., maybe the guy I’m talking to already has 75% of his game done in another engine already, and just doesn’t want to admit to himself that he’d rather be on UE4, if he could go back in time and have it available. E.g., maybe the guy I’m talking to isn’t really interested in making a game as he is being a big fish in a small pond, or maybe he just wants to be different.

It’s entirely natural for people to say one thing and do another, even lying to themselves in the process.

And then there’s the legitimate possibility that for what they want to do, they’ve found the right engine.

Frostbite + CRYENGINE + Real Virtuality 4 = Unreal Engine 4

That’s why i use it.

If we’re talking how you would explain the engine to people who use other engines at a high level:
To Unity users: “It’s kinda like Unity in some ways, only you can modify the engine directly and you use C++ instead of C#, Javascript, or Boo. There’s an incredibly robust visual scripting system. Some bits aren’t quite as ‘seamless’ however, and you may be paying more for it due to royalty payments than you would Unity.”
To UDK users: “It’s only vaguely like what you’re used to. You get to learn about the ‘wonderful’ world of C++, and what you knew as Kismet is now blueprints which you’ll find are one of the most flexible parts of the engine.”
To CryEngine users: “It performs better with static content, in many cases looks better, and you’re getting a far better deal for your money given the platform support and source code availability. The editor is also far more flexible than Sandbox in many ways.”

UE4’s going to be “different” to everyone coming from different engine backgrounds. If it came down to raw unbiased comparisons, you’ll see UE4 winning in some categories and losing in others depending on the engine. One non-exhaustive example would be Unity:
Pros for Unity (compared to UE4):

  • Programming workflow provides more “immediate” results when working with C#, Javascript, or Boo. Unity automatically recompiles scripts when changes are made to them with no need to close the editor.
  • Shaders are also very versatile; you can use a visual material editor (free on the Unity asset store), or you can write shaders from scratch using HLSL/Cg. They also provide a lot of features to make writing shaders in Cg easier.
  • Incredibly diverse marketplace that has a lot of handy utilities, assets, and shaders to suit most needs.
  • Very strong community with a ton of learning resources.
  • No royalties regardless of which license you choose.
  • You have everything you need to start working with the engine in a minimal environment “out of the box”, even if it is lacking in tools in a direct comparison.
    Cons for Unity (compared to UE4):
  • No access to features in newer versions of OpenGL (more important on OS X where OpenGL is divided between “Legacy”, “3.2 Core”, and “4.1 Core”).
  • You do occasionally have that “need” to extend the engine in ways that require source code, however source code is typically unavailable unless you’re part of a major studio.
  • Not as many “out of the box” features (though the Unity Asset Store makes the situation a little better).
  • Higher “upfront” cost that balloons quickly the more platforms you want to support.

Pros for UE4 (compared to Unity):

  • Loads of out of the box features, especially when it comes to rendering.
  • Multiple incredibly flexible approaches to adding functionality built-in (Blueprints, C++ “scripts”, C++ plugins).
  • Access to newer OpenGL features on platforms that support them (for the most part, see cons).
  • Close to Unity levels of approachability. Debatably, Unity users may feel more at home than UDK and CryEngine users who are transitioning.
  • Many more built-in utilities that you’d have to otherwise buy through Unity Asset Store vendors.
  • Full source code to all of the tools and the engine with your license (not including third party dependencies).
  • Low upfront cost for “everything” - provided it’s not the PS4 or Xbox One. You also have the flexibility to port to other platforms as needed.
    Cons for UE4 (compared to Unity):
  • C++ isn’t exactly the most approachable language out there right out of the box, even if Epic’s taken (excellent) steps to make it easier to approach in UE4 than usual. Though if you’re familiar with the various attributes you can apply to classes and variables in Unity within C#, the biggest practical difference is you’ll be littering your class declarations with preprocessor macros that achieve roughly the same effect.
  • Programming workflow doesn’t feel as seamless compared to Unity - you can’t modify class declarations in C++ without doing a full on restart of the editor.
  • No marketplace with user-submitted content (yet).
  • Learning resources are currently sparse when compared to Unity’s very large wealth of resources out there (for now, UE4 is pretty new as of writing).
  • Requires a tad bit more setup - MSVC or Xcode are pre-requisites.
  • Access to newer versions of OpenGL, but access is categorized based upon if your system supports full OpenGL 4.3, or full OpenGL 3.2 - there is no middle ground (a good example is: even if you’re supporting OS X 10.9 which does support tessellation, Unreal won’t expose that feature to you since 10.9 doesn’t support full OpenGL 4.3, only 4.1).
  • Higher long-term cost as a direct result of royalties, provided you’re not producing freeware.

Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive comparison, mostly just what comes to mind having used both engines and my experiences thus far. And really, without going into too many specifics here, there’s reasons to pick UE4 over Unity, and reasons to pick Unity over UE4. It really comes down to the specific needs of a project.

Those reasons will vanish, in time. UE4 is released like 2 weeks ago. After 2 years from now, I doubt there will be any reason to go for Unity. :wink:

Sure there will be. It’s naive to think that there will ever be “one engine to rule them all”.

Game engine vendors will always be competing with one another to provide a solution that appeals to a given group of game, simulation, and application developers finding ways to leap frog one another along the way. This is why competition is good after all, us the game developers end up winning out just by acting as the fuel that keeps game engines alive.

As another example here, some of the projects I’ve been engaged in over the years requires a reliable means to display 3D content in a desktop’s web browser. Given our base, we can’t really depend on WebGL because A) WebGL still isn’t what I’d call a stable standard as of yet (with functionality being spread out across multiple browsers with different interpretations of how that functionality should work - in many ways it’s like desktop OpenGL in this regard), and B) WebGL isn’t a guaranteed feature that we can expect to exist in our player’s browsers and given how many users have a given browser preference we can’t just up and tell them to switch browsers to just to play a game. We also need our stuff to work on systems that may only support a maximum of SM3 if we’re lucky, with a much more common case being SM2 so even if we could distribute standalone executables UE4 is automatically out unless we make a lot modifications that may not even be worth the time and effort required. This pretty much leaves Unity as our only real choice thanks to its browser plugin and support for DX9-level hardware. Furthermore, you can still push more draw calls with a browser plugin that manipulates Direct3D or OpenGL directly than you can WebGL. Thinking two years down the road, that’s a situation that isn’t likely to get massively better even if UE4 and even Unity eventually implement ways to mitigate it - native browser plugins will still beat Javascript and WebGL.

One mayor con I hear about UE4 in compare To Unity is the multiplatform support, especially on older devices. They already have an very easy export to Web, Android, … I think if Epic closes this gap, UE4 has a good chance to stand against Unity in the future. Unfortunately the big money comes with the mobile platforms at the moment.

The cool features like blueprints, the amazing editor, the cool graphics and more are no argument at this time compared the a simple export and deploy on nearly every important platform.

But I hope this will be done in the next year, so I don’t lose the argument fights with my Unity mates (o:

I think both engines are cool and have their place in the world. Both are not young anymore.

And yes, I know the mobile examples, but they are slow and take forever to build for the devices. But this should be a hot task for Epic.