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Home-made Engine vs. Unity

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

  1. perezprograms


    Sep 27, 2013
    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


    Dec 29, 2011
    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 at 1:43 AM
  3. Joe-Censored


    Mar 26, 2013
    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



    May 8, 2012
    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


    Jun 12, 2013