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Home-made Engine vs. Unity

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by perezprograms, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. perezprograms

    perezprograms

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Posts:
    2
    Hello everyone,

    Sorry for rehashing another thread, "Pros and Cons of Unity", I wish to take a somewhat different perspective. If one has already made the game, when would it be a good idea to reinvent the wheel by using Unity? The main purpose of this thread is to find out how one game compares to the same game with Unity. More specifically, would the player of the game notice any significant changes, other than mentioning Unity in the opening credits?

    I was lucky enough to work on a game called Scurvy the Seaweed Slinger. Right now, I am tempted to recreate this game on Unity. The main reasons for my desire is:
    1. See if I know Unity well enough to pull this off.
    2. To find out how Unity compares to a home-made engine.

    After reading the pros and cons list from the previously mentioned thread, it seems the pros are:
    1. Quickly creating a game.
    2. Game-engine is quite cheap, unless 100,000 dollars in sales, and is still quite cheap.
    3. If I spot a bug, I have a whole team of Unity employees, whom may help be squash the bug.
    4. Cross-platform compatibility.

    My understanding, is limited, and the main things I would love to hear about are how well does Unity handle memory and CPU resources. I am not asking for my own sake. Rather, for the sake of the end-user. Does a game, using Unity, really eat up memory? Or is it barely noticeable? How hard is it to reach Unity, when a bug is spotted? How long is the bug resolved?

    Thank you for answering these questions.
     
  2. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    11,006
    Not quite... Unity are constantly squashing bugs, which is good. But they aren't necessarily focusing on your bugs. So if you need a specific fix it won't necessarily help you.

    Where it's really valuable is with platform support. In all honestly this is probably the biggest thing that keeps me using tools like Unity. Other stuff is nice to have, but having someone else supporting your target platform compatability is amazing. For instance, a few years ago Apple changed their rules to require 64bit binaries with, from memory, only a few weeks notice. While it was nerve wracking, all we had to do was wait for a Unity update, apply it, and get to our own QAing.

    As an example of the other side, I remember working on a project where we needed to capture images that included Canvas content or somthing like that, and it wasn't working. It was a known issue, reported as fixed and awaiting integration for ages. By the time I moved on from that project the fix still hadn't actually made it to the public.

    Having looked up your game and watched a video, I suspect that results with and without Unity could be more or less identical in terms of user experience.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  3. Joe-Censored

    Joe-Censored

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Posts:
    3,600
    It is always possible for a purpose built "home-made" engine to have better performance than Unity. It can be focused on exactly what your game needs, without including anything your game doesn't need.

    That's all just the theory though. In practice Unity has put over a decade of work into improving their engine, and a home made engine without any extra unneeded fluff may still not perform as well as Unity for the same reasons that home building a car designed to only drive on the freeway may still not perform as well as a stock Honda Civic. Honda has gotten very good at iterating on their car designs over decades, and even though the Civic is a general purpose car it can easily perform better on the freeway than something purpose built but created by a smaller team with less car building experience.
     
    Kiwasi likes this.
  4. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Posts:
    7,288
    This one is huge. When I was at Disney, we had our own engine (several years back). We were deploying to three platforms, and it just became a nightmare to maintain. Platforms are constantly updating software and hardware. The engine team had barely any time to work on features keeping up with platform updates. We made the switch to unity and the engine team moved to building tools for unity. It was really worth it.

    These days, unless you are doing something way outside the scope of common game stuff, it’s more practical to use unity or unreal, the performance on both is solid. Even then, if you are doing something super custom, you can use one of those and write a plugin or extension to handle your specific needs.
     
    Kiwasi, SnowInChina and angrypenguin like this.
  5. Peter77

    Peter77

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    Posts:
    2,637
  6. perezprograms

    perezprograms

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Posts:
    2
    Angry Penguin, thank you for your well thought out words. You are right, they aren't necessarily focusing on my specific bugs. It sounds to me like they have not squashed the specific bugs you needed them to squash either. From the sounds of things, Peter77 was hit quite hard by them giving him the run around.

    It looks like, my lunch break is over. 3:30 on Monday, I will do my best to respond to the other posts and the rest of Angry Penguin's post. Thank you once again for sharing your wisdom and thoughts with me.
     
  7. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Posts:
    11,006
    They have hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of users, and a similar number of projects being worked on by those people. Every one of those could potentially have different specific things that they want.

    First, I do feel it's a bit silly that certain issues take so long to resolve. The ones that bother me the most are the ones that can only be solved by Unity, because short of getting a source license they could potentially block whole projects.

    But second, keep the flip side in mind. The vast majority of issues have workarounds you can implement at some level. Not ideal, but your project can still get done. And the amount of stuff that's already done out of the box is a colossally huge time saving. When people whinge that something in a cheap/free engine ruined or compromised their project, the first question I always ask myself is "Would it have been possible at all without those tools in the first place?"