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 Unity or UDK 
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Which is the better?!

No just kidding, just wanted to ask what engine most people here plan on using (ETA: for Oculus Rift development)? Unity, UDK, own engine, or something else?


Last edited by voliale on Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:46 am
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Unity has cross platform support, i'd prefer it.


Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:50 am
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Cross Eyed!

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I use both for different things. Unity is good for mobile games imo and the Asset Store is great for me (as a programmer) since I can buy large packs of tons of models for <$100 and make entire games with them.

I use UDK for the AAA game I'm working on because it's still leaps and bounds ahead of Unity for high quality games imo


Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:08 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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Unless you have the Unity Pro I would think UDK would be the only real option since you can't use DLLs in regular Unity (unless im mistaken). Now obviously, if your a big enough group you probably already have Unity Pro and probably would already use it. However, if your a couple people putting something together and want to introduce "alternative" control schemes through the various devices such as Razor Hydra or Leap and want to use the provided DLLs your probably going to have to use UDK's dllbind (or another avenue completely).


Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:38 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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We are actually moving our project from UDK to Unity. UDK can be a real PITA, it has what can only be described as a terrible workflow. Unity 4's rendering is honestly more than good enough for most teams, and frankly it's starting to look like Unity 4 may be more than capable of hanging with UDK in the rendering quality department. It's just a matter of getting people to focus on making content that leverages the new features in Unity 4.

There are 2 things to really be aware of about using the free license of Unity and that is the lack of plugins and profiler. Those two could be very important for VR projects, depending on complexity and peripherals.

$1500 for a fully featured game engine and no royalty payments is honestly an amazing deal though.


Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:14 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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i'm rolling with both until i hit some major roadblocks in one!


Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:58 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful
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A question to developers,

A coworker and I have often discussed getting a small group together to make a game. We have little to no programming history and would probably never consider doing something commercially. Is there any hope for us, or would taking on a project like that with no background be a pipe dream? Are there tools out there that are sufficient enough to get the ball rolling? I hope even asking the question doesn't convey me discounting the incredible difficulty I assume it takes to create even a basic working game.

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Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:32 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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It will be a lot of learning, but if you set your sights on basic games first and don't set out trying to create a open world RPG as your first game then yeah you guys can make games.

Start here


Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:56 pm
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Two Eyed Hopeful
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Aabel wrote:
It will be a lot of learning, but if you set your sights on basic games first and don't set out trying to create a open world RPG as your first game then yeah you guys can make games.

Start here



Thank you very much for the link and words of encouragement. I think our ideas outweigh our know-how currently. My co-worker has talked often about the Esenthel engine but I want to develop for Oculus and Oculus only. Unity to me looked like a good place for that. I have some skills with music development and I'm a somewhat experienced photographer, and have worked in CAD and Photoshop but that is the extent. I'm an IT Manager so computers in general are second nature to me but programming is completely foreign. My extent of programming was using BASIC in 8th grade and in game design was building custom levels in the Duke3D level editor. It's been a few years haha

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Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:06 pm
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I have hit a lot more roadblocks in Unreal compared to Unity. But I think Unreal looks better. It might just be because I dont know unity well enough yet to make it look as good tho.

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Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:13 pm
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Aabel wrote:
$1500 for a fully featured game engine and no royalty payments* is honestly an amazing deal though.

*no royalty payments for gross below $100k

Still my engine of choice. I've always hated everything about the Unreal engine.


Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:14 pm
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Unity has been great to work with for me. The workflows are really easy and smooth, the language is something I can easily work with (I normally use java, but c# is close enough that I have no difficulties), and it starts you out at exactly the right spot. I felt like my first steps were "Lets start making a game", instead of "lets start establishing basic functionality that will eventually become a game". The resources to help you learn are there and available. It works smoothly with Blender, which allows for a free, powerful modeling pipeline.
I don't know how UDK compares, but Unity seems to be really good to me.


Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:53 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!

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From what I understand, Unity has a free version and a Pro version, and UDK is free for noncommercial use, with a license required for commercial use. The free Unity version has some limitations compared to the Pro version (e.g. you can't integrate Razer Hydra support). the UDK free and commercial version are identical, the only difference is the licencing.
If you have the money to pay upfront, there's much of a muchness between UDK and Unity; try both, and pick whichever you prefer working with. If you do not want to pay upfront for Unity Pro, you may be better off with UDK if you want to use non-standard hardware (e.g. future positional tracking).


Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:00 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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German wrote:
Aabel wrote:
$1500 for a fully featured game engine and no royalty payments* is honestly an amazing deal though.

*no royalty payments for gross below $100k

Still my engine of choice. I've always hated everything about the Unreal engine.


The EULA just changed for gambling and cloud/streaming services but for the typical PC/Mac installable game there are no royalty payments. However if you are part of a company that made over $100k last year you can not license the free version of Unity but you can license Pro. I have been unable to find anything about royalties for anything over $100k


Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:26 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!

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Aabel wrote:
The EULA just changed for gambling and cloud/streaming services but for the typical PC/Mac installable game there are no royalty payments. However if you are part of a company that made over $100k last year you can not license the free version of Unity but you can license Pro. I have been unable to find anything about royalties for anything over $100k

Oh man, yeah, I've been totally reading that backwards! Oops.


Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:31 pm
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We're using UDK. We need to use the Razer Hydra DLL, and I don't think unity can.


Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:43 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Also, I thought I heard the pre-warping necessary for the Oculus Rift isn't possible with the free version of Unity. Any definite word on that?


Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:15 am
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C3DPO wrote:
Also, I thought I heard the pre-warping necessary for the Oculus Rift isn't possible with the free version of Unity. Any definite word on that?

Of course it is. It's just a shader rendering two different viewpoints with the warp. You don't need render to texture(which is the Pro only feature people would think of) to render two cameras.


Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:17 am
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2EyeGuy wrote:
We're using UDK. We need to use the Razer Hydra DLL, and I don't think unity can.


You can make the Hydra work in Unitypro.


Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:33 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

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defactoman wrote:
Unless you have the Unity Pro I would think UDK would be the only real option since you can't use DLLs in regular Unity (unless im mistaken).


Oh. I hope you are mistaken. :(

I've been able to create some pretty environments in UDK. But to actually make a game in it? I don't even know where to start (not dissing UDK, dissing myself, I'm more of a 3D artist than a programmer). Unity seemed so much more simple and straightforward that I was even ready to sacrifice shadows...

I also planned to play around with the Hydra.


Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:07 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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I've been trying to learn Unity, and so far I love it.. But I'll be crushed if the Free version doesn't work with the Rift.. >_<


Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:28 pm
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NikoKun wrote:
I've been trying to learn Unity, and so far I love it.. But I'll be crushed if the Free version doesn't work with the Rift.. >_<

If it's a third party add-on, you'll need Pro. If it's integrated into Unity's input API, then it shouldn't be a problem. They have said they are working with the guys at Unity so I think we're safe here.


Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:30 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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German wrote:
NikoKun wrote:
I've been trying to learn Unity, and so far I love it.. But I'll be crushed if the Free version doesn't work with the Rift.. >_<

If it's a third party add-on, you'll need Pro. If it's integrated into Unity's input API, then it shouldn't be a problem. They have said they are working with the guys at Unity so I think we're safe here.


Ok, hope you're right. :)


Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:46 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

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Which one would be easier to learn (faster to get good results) for newbies with only limited coding experience? I'd really like to check one engine out for the Rift - nothing special, just creating small "worlds" with content that others created - perhaps with some game mechanics like shooting, puzzle solving or an AI person you can interact with.

So which engine is more user friendly and gets you faster small, primitive results?


Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:02 pm
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what i have gathered so far :

UDK 3 Pro and Unity 4 Pro comparison :
(for the free versions, see at the bottom of this post)

Workflow :
Unity
fast workflow, easy importing, great for prototyping, toying with new concepts and new gameplays...
UDK
Steeper learning curve, better suited if you are a medium or a big team.
The next UDK 4 to come will have a better workflow.

languages :
UDK has Unrealscript (C#-like)
Unity has C#, Unity Script (actionscript/javascript-like), Boo (Python-like)

For a beginner coder : the easier start would be to use visual scripting tools (Kismet for UDK, uScript for unity), a good way to learn the basic principles of coding.
Then maybe learn Unity Script (if you choose Unity), as this language is more forgiving than C# (the other side is that your can make bad optimized code more easily if you are not aware)
And then learn Unrealscript/C# to build your future, more complex, games...

Graphics :
UDK has mostly better lighting (and additionally a better shader workflow).
So go for UDK if you have the resources to really exploit it (time and budget, good artists/assets, good level-designers...)

Scale of the maps :
Unity is not suited for very large maps (open wold games) with good visuals, no lagless streaming possible (and you absolutely want to avoid micro-stuttering in VR)
Open wold games can be done to some degree with UDK (see Batman games), but with some level-design limits (see Owen's post)

Integration, community, resources :
Both can handle dlls, so in theory you can use any PC device with your games (Rift, hydra, kinect, etc. are already supported)
Both have active community, lot of tutorials, lot of great addons
Unity is more popular in indie/small-studio dev these days (best for mobile games, has a great Asset Store...).

Cross-plateform :
Unity :
Windows (DX11), Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, Unity Web Player, Adobe Flash Player, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Vita.
Upcoming announced platforms : Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Nintendo Wii U.
UDK :
Windows (DX11), Mac, PlayStation 3, Wii U, iOS, Android, Stage 3D for Adobe Flash Player 11

Price :
unity :
Unity Pro (PC/Mac/Linux) : $1500, no royalty
+ $1500 for each additional license (iOS pro, Android pro, Flash pro)
Consoles licenses : thousands of dollars each plus you need to be a registered developer for the respective consoles.
UDK :
$99 per-seat + 25% royalty after $50,000 sales

Both have educational licenses.

Games types :

UDK is more focused on first-person (or third-person) games (all the tools and the engine are build in this perspective).
Unity is more generic and flexible.
_______________________________________________________________

Free UDK :
- only for noncommercial use
- no limitations

Free Unity :
- commercial use allowed - no royalty - after $100K sales you must get a pro license
- several limitations :
* limited device integration (doesn't support DLLs written in C/C++)
For example no hydra support, and above all :
Free Unity doesn't support the Rift => but mtbs3d community is working on workarounds right now.
EDIT : You may use C++ DLLs if you wrap it in C#.
* lack of optimization tools (profiler, LOD, occlusion culling... Remember we aim for +60 fps).
* lack of a few graphic features (especially realtime shadows)
________________________________________________________________

Conclusion :
Both are great pieces of software, well above the other middlewares.
And both are well suited for VR dev, you can't really go wrong with either.
I would suggest to find a couple of beginner tutorials for both, and try them both.

(Correct me if something is wrong or missing)


Last edited by drifter on Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:35 pm, edited 27 times in total.



Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:53 pm
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drifter wrote:
Cross-plateform :
Unity : Windows (DX11), Linux, Mac, Android, iOS, Unity Web Player, Adobe Flash Player, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation Vita.
Upcoming announced platforms : Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Nintendo Wii U.
UDK : Windows (DX11), Ma, Linux, PlayStation 3, Wii U, iOS, Android, Stage 3D for Adobe Flash Player 11
Where did you see Linux versions of Unity and UDK ?


Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:23 pm
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Fredz wrote:
Where did you see Linux versions of Unity and UDK ?

Unity has an export for Linux but you still have to develop with it on Windows or Mac.


Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:03 pm
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Certif-Eyed!

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I think they're preparing a native Unity client for GNU/Linux too. Even a Unreal 3 Game appeared recently in one of the Humble Indie Bundles for GNU/Linux, Dungeon Defenders.

Personally i'm dualbooting GNU/Linux and Windows, but if i'm not gaming i'm using Linux for evrything. I really hope to get rid of Windows in the future. Source Engine games like TF2 already run alot faster on Linux than on Windows, the GPU drivers made huge progress last year and it won't stop. It has huge potential to be the tweakers and modders choice when it comes to gaming in the future, you can tweak nearly everything and strip away what you don't need. Linux ftw!


Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:43 pm
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Fredz wrote:
Where did you see Linux versions of (...) UDK ?

Surely a little confusion between UDK and UE3...


Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:45 pm
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!

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A few modifications:
drifter wrote:
Integration, community, resources :
Both can handle dlls, so in theory you can use any PC device with your games (Rift, hydra, kinect, etc. are already supported)
Unity can only handle DLLs in the Pro version. The Free version cannot. The free version of UDK can.
This was mentioned below, but would be a better fit here (or duplicated here).
Quote:
Price :
unity :
Unity Pro (PC/Mac/Linux) : $1500, no royalties
+ $1500 for each additional license (iOS pro, Android pro, Flash pro)
Consoles licenses : thousands of dollars each plus you need to be a registered developer for the respective consoles.
UDK :
$99 per-seat + 25% royalty after $50,000 sales
Might be better split into upfront cost and royalties cost, as the two are of different importance depedning on whether you are using the engine for a commercial game or for non-commercial VR.


Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:18 am
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Sharp Eyed Eagle!

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For those saying UDK is far ahead of Unity when it comes to graphics, check out the DirectX11 comp on the unity forums, there are some amazingly good looking stuff there. The think ppl say that UDK looks better is mostly just because big companies have the money and knowledge to spend on visuals, and more and more non indie developers are starting to use Unity because of its superior workflow. Both have their pros and cons, but i don't think Unity is far behind UDK at all anymore.


Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:13 am
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virror wrote:
For those saying UDK is far ahead of Unity when it comes to graphics, check out the DirectX11 comp on the unity forums, there are some amazingly good looking stuff there. The think ppl say that UDK looks better is mostly just because big companies have the money and knowledge to spend on visuals, and more and more non indie developers are starting to use Unity because of its superior workflow. Both have their pros and cons, but i don't think Unity is far behind UDK at all anymore.

Agreed, UDK has a AAA title making company behind it. They can afford to release some of their older product's shaders as part of the kit which allows new developers to jump further ahead. Unity's shaders were more basic(I haven't dug into 4 yet) and required more effort to get something really good looking. Good to hear they have addressed this in 4.


Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:21 am
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A Unity 3d game/sim some former rfactor modders are working on





Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:26 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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virror wrote:
For those saying UDK is far ahead of Unity when it comes to graphics, check out the DirectX11 comp on the unity forums, there are some amazingly good looking stuff there. The think ppl say that UDK looks better is mostly just because big companies have the money and knowledge to spend on visuals, and more and more non indie developers are starting to use Unity because of its superior workflow. Both have their pros and cons, but i don't think Unity is far behind UDK at all anymore.



Very true. Before Unity 4's release criticism of Unity's graphics capabilities was warranted. However not anymore. It's worth pointing out that some of the entries in the Unity 4 DX11 competition are features that will arrive with Unreal Engine 4. There was even a voxel cone tracing GI solution done in Unity 4. Very impressive stuff. If you can afford to spend $1,500 on Unity pro I don't see any reason to pick UDK over Unity, especially if your team is small.


Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:45 pm
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EdZ wrote:
A few modifications

Thank, clarifications done.


Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:19 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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Unity's graphics capabilities are still pretty poor. Yes, you can use the latest shader techniques, but the rendering pipeline is still an inefficient black box that you can't touch. So you can't make your game run nearly as fast as someing in the Unreal engine, and therefore can't include as much detail or have such large environments.


Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:11 pm
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True, but you are talking about skilled coders there, which are able to toy directly with the engine & pipeline...
But you are right, i will add that in the list...

interesting talk about the rendering pipeline of Unity here


Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:55 pm
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Cross Eyed!

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My point is that Unreal will give better results whether you have a skilled graphics programmer or not. Its more performant right out of the box than Unity can be with the most heroic efforts.

Unreal focuses on having the most sophisticated and powerful tools in the industry, Unity focuses on having the simplest and most accessible. Both are uniquely valuable in their own right but if you compare capabilities its no contest.


Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:41 pm
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For those who say you can't use DLLs with the free version of Unity, you're wrong. You can use C++ DLLs if you wrap it in C#. I just added support for my motion tracking system in the free version of Unity by using a C# wrapper to talk to the C++ DLLs.


Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:42 am
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@Krenzo: Awesome! I did not know that.

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Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:53 pm
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