So I was a bit frustrated when I created this topic and said “if you have never made a game before, you’re much better off using Unity”, which I still stand by (but I updated the title).
Why? Simple: In Unity you get immediate feedback, while in Unreal you have to create your own.
Even with Blueprints, Unreal is very traditional in its thinking, mostly relying on prints to debug like in the eighties. Sure, you can see fancy animated flashing of wires, but when you try to step through each node to figure out what is going on, the viewport is frozen and doesn’t update (even for prints) and worse, if you add components programmatically in runtime, they don’t show up in the world outliner, ever! Also, the camera preview on the pawn seems to update at an extremely slow pace as well.
The visual logger that needs to record and the profiler that needs to capture data, both requiring playing back after the fack, is lovely for experienced developers who have a rough idea what to look for, but they have an very high treshold for a beginner who is just trying to understand what is going on.
Meanwhile in Unity, you alwas have a game view and editor view side by side, always live. You cause something, you instantly see the effect. That thing alone is a game changer! Meanwhile, just such a simple thing as hiding colliders by default in Unreal speaks volumes, and the baffling way that ejecting from the pawn makes even the gamepad input instead control the editor camera rather than allowing you to continue playing and observing (in Unity, you can even click around the various property panels in the editor while you continue playing with the gamepad). Unity is built around exposing as much as possible in the editor UI and making that feedback instant so you can explore and learn, while Unreal is stuck in the classic C++ thinking of hiding everything in code and then analyzing data.
Ok, rant over. I just had to vent a bit.
EDIT: The nice Unreal evangelists provided me with some super useful settings 4 posts down!