Is Unity being pushed more by microsoft and adobe ? It is impacting student output

Hi - I’m a games & vr lecturer in a digital media department of a technical college. I’ve been delivering classes using Unreal/UDK for the past six years. In general I’ve found the games engine to be great to base around a 12 week semester especially the ability to tie in with VR hardware and physical computing using arduino plugins developed by the community.

The reason why I’m posting this is based on a few changes since I’ve started working with UDK:
> 1. the lack of an unreal export facility from Fuse. The development of characters in fuse and integration into Unreal games was a core part of my curriculum delivery. I’m baffled as to why no work around has been offered to date from unreal or an attempt to resolve this issue with Adobe/Mixamo.

> 2. This difficulty in embedding .png sequences into HUD/GUI elements and the lack of support for .swf files is also another issue that irks myself & students (especially when they can create highly detailed 2d widgets in After Effects but can do nothing with them via the Unreal pipeline). In fact HUD/GUI development using Unreal seems to becoming like a dedicated design position as it is getting more and more complex.

>3. The lack of the ability to design for the Hololens - is this a sign of things to come (is Unity being pushed more by Adobe and Microsoft…are there vested interests ?). I attended a VR conference last month where Robert Scoble (aka envisaged a deficit in Unity developers in 18 months time for VR content generation. At the same conference I heard from HR consultants who were looking for graduates with Unity development skills. When I questioned both as to whether they would also consider graduates with Unreal skills they seemed as though they’d never heard of it.

I understand that for a small/medium/large design team - Unreal is a fantastic platform but from a ‘one person’ point of view (such as a student or solo developer) I am beginning to think that Unity may be a better alternative. Is the market for Unreal focusing on game development teams and happy to let Unity focus on catering for the needs of the solo developer and student community ?

  1. Perhaps you mean something else but there are multiple tutorial on youtube on how to import from Fuse. There is this forum thread too:
    Using Mixamo Fuse 1.3 & Mixamo Animations for your Unreal Engine 4 Projects - Community Content, Tools and Tutorials - Unreal Engine Forums
  2. swf format is proprietary, the closest out of the box integration you can get is using ScaleForm. I think Adobe made it a bit easier to use swf by other developers in last few years, so perhaps one day there will be such support or someone will introduce 3rd party plugin for this.
  3. You might check with Dave regarding Hololens support:
    Unreal Engine 4 is available for Win10 UWP app dev now - Engine Source & GitHub - Unreal Engine Forums
    Regarding experience at conference -simplest explanation can be that they didn’t heard about it. Does it really mean anything?

I don’t think there is some specific technology or set of tools that defines if an engine is good for solo development or not. Not sure what exactly you mean by solo developments and student community either. Do you imply that solo development is something that is simpler and has smaller focus than team projects? I mean, there are solo developers with 20+ years of experience with various engines. UE4 has more built-in tools for authoring content, learning all of them will clearly take more time than getting familiar with Unity, but doesn’t really make any sense unless you need those tools to achieve specific goals.

From what I’ve heard…

Adobe tried to buy out Unity; they’ve become close partners instead, because Unity won’t sell the company.
Microsoft tried to buy out Unity; they’ve become close partners instead, because Unity won’t sell the company.

So, kinda; they are very close partners behind the scenes.

The issue with Hololens is the same as with mobile…i.e. Unity is currently better for low-end hardware (Hololens isn’t connected to a beefy PC + GPU, it’s standalone hardware).

I’ve been keeping an eye on the Hololens threads and right now Unreal does not appear to be a viable tool for Hololens development.

I’ve been doing a bunch of Hololens stuff and it’s not capable of much graphically, but the biggest issue is that it only supports Universal Windows apps which Epic does not want to support.
SWF support would have to be using Scaleform, which is available for UE4 but not included. Many things that were integrated into UDK like Scaleform were dropped for UE4 so that they could release the source of the engine, that’s why UMG is there.

BoredEngineer - Fuse/Mixamo decided to drop the “export to Unreal” function from its application last December - the quickest tutorial for showing how to reconnect the fuse rig with the unreal rig seems to take in excess of one hour - a royal pain, seeing as up until then transferring characters used to take a matter of seconds.

BrunoXavier, the close partnership between Adobe and Unity reaffirms my suspicions about why Fuse dropped the Unreal export function.
Thanks to the others too about scale form - I didn’t know it was still possible to use with Unreal since the changeover from UDK.
Thanks for the feedback.

To use Scaleform you’re going to make a bunch of phone calls and insist quite a lot becauce Autodesk doesn’t even answer emails about it anymore after including Scaleform SDK into Stingray, their proprietary game engine.

But fbx format is still used for export/import:

I don’t use it myself but there is this:

To chip in quickly to the above, UI design is a discipline unto itself in the industry, and most companies will have one or two people dedicated to exactly that. After Effects assets may be easy to import into Unity, but the format is proprietary and not entirely cross-platform (every main system in UE4 is cross platform across all supported platforms).

Epic need to drop its crusade against UWP and start supporting it. And I really hope Epic is cooperating with Xamarin in their work to bring C# to UE4.

Those two would make at least Microsoft more positive towards the engine.

UWP is only used by the Windows Store, and incurs horrible performance costs in games that use it. Outside of that it is only supported by non-consumer hardware that lacks the hardware to run UE4 anyway. Like it’s predecessors, it’ll probably not last long anyway, adoption is basically negligible amongst developers.

Backing UWP is backing the wrong horse.

And it’s alarming how they are trying to push UWP so that they can control more of Windows software, especially the possible version of Windows 10 that only uses UWP apps.

UWP fork for Unreal Engine is available, and works great. Even if there is a performance difference between a UWP app/game and the non-UWP counterpart, there are many simple games and apps where performance is a non-issue (unless your device is a cement mixer). For every issue there may be with UWP, there are projects where that issue doesn’t matter, and UWP provides more benefit than cost.

Regardless of your stance on the matter, I think UE4 being able to target the HoloLens would be a game changer. As it is right now, Unity is the only viable solution to develop an experience targeting the HoloLens.

There’s literally no reason for UE4 to support UWP except for the Windows Store, and aforementioned non-consumer devices - both are tiny markets. Whilst there is a UWP branch out there, I wouldn’t expect to hear much about official support as it isn’t really worth the investment on Epic’s part.

If you want to target Hololens, you’re better off using something like Unity that has a much lower hardware requirement; Hololens’ hardware is fairly weak and UE4 isn’t all that suitable for it.

There is a huge reason Unreal Engine NEEDS to support UWP. The Xbox Play Anywhere program. In fact, Gears of War 4, which is built in UE4 is a UWP game that is part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program. More devs will start using XPA in the future as it means players will be able to purchase their game once and have it available for play on Windows 10, Xbox One and Xbox Project Scorpio. UWP is forwards compatibility, and one day, when our phones are strong enough, that AAA UWP game you bought on the windows store a decade ago, may run on your phone because it is packaged in UWP.

UWP is also uncrackable at the moment and Steam may be supporting it in the future as well, which will allows developers to code their game once and it will work across PC and Xbox, saving time and money.

if that is true, i hope adobe buys unity for the good of all

Whilst it’s a nice idea, consumers really just don’t care about Play Anywhere. It’s rare people will want to play the same game on both the PC and console.

This is simply not true; firstly there’ll be all manner of inconsistencies in the hardware, but also there’s other simpler issues like input schemes and practicality; games built to play on a large screen become completely illegible on a mobile device.

All this aside, this isn’t the first time Microsoft has promised something like this, nor is it the second. Just like it’s predecessors, it’ll get dropped like a ton of bricks the moment a need to sell a new operating system comes around. Windows RT never went anywhere, and piles of old apps don’t work under Windows 10. XNA came out alongside Windows 7, but it’s pretty hit and miss trying to run XNA apps under Windows 8.

Long story short, Microsoft serially abandons it’s APIs, as well as it’s online platforms on a regular basis - and consumer uptake of all of the above is minimal. There’s no reason to think that UWP (which consumers are really not adopting) will be any different.

UWP games have been cracked - though the reality is pirates largely don’t bother with the UWP version, because they can crack the better-performing non-UWP version instead.

Is nasa weak too ?
I thought they were partnering with ms, at least with the mars project.

Just tossing that out.