Is UE4 Becoming a Powerful All-In-One Engine or Is It Already?

When I say all-in-one, I mean an engine that can be used for such specialized things as full realistic destruction (GeoMod 2) or incredible lighting (id Tech 4) without building a special engine from the ground up to handle these things.

The more I see on the development and usage of the Unreal Engine 4, it just seems like it’s getting more and more powerful and streamlined and adaptable.

Getting there, but you will always be able to find an engine that does a specific thing better.

Once they integrate full offline render with and without lightmapping UE4 will be truly miles ahead. Octane + UE4 could be massive.

For offline I still love Daz Iray very much.

No, there are quite a few weak places.

For example:

  1. Asset management in general
  2. Animation retargeting from one character to another.
  3. Steeper learning curve.
  4. C++ documentation.

Well steeping learning curves can happen in a lot of places… for example… learn full blender all in out, including internals, python, animation, bones, human and animal characterization… realistic animation and cartoon animation (a la disney), edition, postprocess, HW pipeline build… so yeah, if you want to be good at something, you need to spend time on it.

OK so… I’m getting mixed responses. Some are saying it’s definitely getting there while others say UE4 will never reach what specialized engines can do ever while others say once it integrates Octane, it will be utterly amazing.

Alright. Perhaps we should just look at what UE4 can do currently as an example.

GeoMod 2 was a full real-time destruction and stress-based engine. Can UE4 currently do that and if so, just as efficiently?

It’s getting there. I feel its missing some important features:

  1. real time dynamic GI that works for interior/exterior.
  2. more shading models(glass(order independent), anisotropic(for brush metal),etc).
  3. geometry 2.0(replacement for BSP, something truly next gen like the new Hammer editor in DOTA2 Reborn).

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. They are moving pretty quick a year from now, UE4 will be a completely awesome game engine.

That ain’t it.

UE4 is about 4 or 5 times harder to get started with compared to, say, unity engine, even for someone experienced. C++ documentation is seriously bad. And learning blender is simpler (although it will take longer) than learning unreal.

In addition to things I already listed, I gotta say that UE4 really hates root-motion based movement.

As far as I know, there are no other engines that can do the same thing (that includes UE4). There are also no engines that can efficiently do the same thing as GeoMod 1 (well, maybe excluding voxel-based solutions). Destruction these days tend to be handled by preconfigured meshes marked as destructible that split into series of prefabbed objects.

Do not look for “all-powerful engine”, because it doesn’t exist. Look for one that works for your goal.

I don’t know man, I learned some basics of C++ in highschool (omg… 12 years ago now…) and I hopped into Blueprints with no problem. Yea, getting advanced features was a pain and I eventually hired a programmer, but it can be done if you have the drive, willpower and time. However, when I started with Unity I HAD to use tutorials to get anything made, and even then I barely had a side scroller. UE4 is almost like Adobe’s magic content aware nonsense, it’s crazy how simple they’ve made things that usually take too much time (the physics engine alone, I remember trying to make my own way back and it was such a pain).

But I agree, this engine vs that engine, you have to decide which engine fits your game plan, budget and skill. Eventually I think UE4 will be like Photoshop, sure there’s GIMP but the only reason anyone uses GIMP is because it is free, and UE4 is already free.

Worked in the opposite way to me.
I had quite a lot of C++ experience (worked with it since about 2003) and Unity class structure instantly made sense, despite being written in C#. In UE4 I had to hunt information all over the place.

Then again, I didn’t start with side scroller in UE4. I started with C++ level import plugin. That kind of thing was definitely significantly easier to figure out in Unity than it was in UE4. Also UE4 furiously fights back every time I want to use root motion for locomotion, because it expects it to be used only for special attacks and, for example, ACharacter is written with expectation that you are not using root motion to move around.

There’s also that issue that I do not share epic’s fascination with blueprints. I found them to be useful in exactly one place - AI behavior trees, and maybe in animation state machine and that’s it. Despite continuous claims that they make working with engine more efficient, I frankly don’t see that “efficiency boost” happening.

Well, on the positive side, having source code access feel great, and UE4 has significant advantage in graphic department, without rendering quirks unity had. So for the project I work on at the moment UE4 is a better choice (despite the amount of pain lack of proper root motion support caused).

However, it is certainly not “all in one” engine, and certainly has plenty of weak points.

Having tried both I can buy UE4 being a bit harder to learn but 4-5 times? Not a chance!

UE4 is 2 or 3 times harder to learn than UDK imho. But its worth it overall, for source access alone.

That said, the previous workflow was better with its flexible global-asset-database & simpler alt-navigation keys etc.

But true-game-flexibility is a welcome feature. No more ‘choose FPS or it’ll fight you’ debates (essential for competing with Unity)!

Next-gen graphics are key also, but lets not forget that they do come at the cost of serious hardware upgrades for both devs & users.

Unity is easy to get into and it did influence UE4’s new look. But the lower graphics spec & odds of getting answers make it too risky!

It is the truth, like it or not. Not a bit harder. A LOT harder. I worked with unity extensively and then transitioned to UE4. The difference in learning curve is massive. One reason for that is that UE4 has larger number of featres, another is historical reasons for this or that design.

Learning internals of unity engine with programming experience is walk in the park.
Asset management is stable, moving stuff don’t delete half of the scene, and character animations are freely interchangeable between humanoid characters (regardless of their proportions), object hierarchy makes sense instantly, dynamic geometry modification is easy.

Basically, all is well unless you hit a bug that need source code access. And you WILL hit that bug.

In Unreal 4 hunting for information is difficult and time consuming, especially if you’re going C++ route. Documentation is scarce, lots of unanswered questions on the google search.

For example: as a newbie, just TRY to quickly figure out how to make a StaticMesh asset from C++ code AND generate geometry for it from C++ code. (No, not a ProceduralMeshComponent. Static mesh that’ll sit in the content browser). You’ll end up hunting source code for code snippets that would explain what the heck is going on and where.

FPS roots are still quite obvious at the code side of things. ACharacter for example, provides quake-like movement by default, and resists attempts to wire in root motion-based locomotion. The whole root motion system feels like an afterthough when used outside of anim montages.

Odds of getting answers to difficult questions are the same in both communities.

As someone who came from neither UDK or Unity background, I guess it depends on how you are wired. I found UE4 extremely easy to pickup and go with, where as Unity caused me all sorts of confusion. One of the first things I did with UE4 right back at 4.1 or so was write a custom Component and Scene Proxy to perform rendering of custom geometry, I didn’t find it difficult to figure out, albeit yes I had to walk through the source code, as there was no documentation. But even now I find myself preferring to look through the source on how to accomplish something rather than going through documentation.

Its a highly modular Game Development Platform, that with the right plugins, could achieve what specialized engines do.

A lot harder for you, not for everyone. Like it or not.

Don’t be an ***, please. Thanks.

Going on defensive is pointless, because it won’t help engine with the problems it has.


C’mon. Give it a try.

As far as I know, people don’t go to unreal for simplicity or ease of use. They go for source code access, for tools that are available for free but require purchase in unity, for better performance, for higher rendering quality out of the box or when they hit unity bug unity patching team couldn’t be bothered to fix.

For simplicity, people go for unity.

True. Some people love visual programming. It never clicked for me.

Indeed, we’re still figuring out if you are actually human. :slight_smile:

Unreal is actually a all in one engine.
It is easy to learn if you use Blueprints if C++ a bit harder.
Unreal can run stable…
Good workflow with unreal…
And an awesome community.

So well UE4 ftw :stuck_out_tongue: