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What are the pros and cons of Unity game engine?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tezelian, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. Tezelian

    Tezelian

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    For my final year project I am researching different game engines in order to justify the best one for my game implementation. So I would like information regarding the advantages and disadvantages of Unity game engine.

    I couldnt really find much information on this matter online, especially disadvantages and would really appreciate help
     
  2. mgear

    mgear

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    what kind of game it is?

    my favourites:
    - unity indie is free (publishing for mobiles too)
    - easy asset workflow
    - easy scripting (js, c#)
    - easy to use
    etc.
     
  3. Tezelian

    Tezelian

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    Thanks

    For any game I guess, just in general

    What is Unity bad for that cry or UDK is good for?
     
  4. Parallaxe

    Parallaxe

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    In my view, for hobbyist projects it's usually not the game engine that is the limiting factor, it's the developer.

    Therefore, I believe you can choose any engine that supports your preferred platform programming language.
    You might want to check the activity/helpfulness of the community and possibly the availability of assets (asset store) as well.
     
  5. Blaveloper

    Blaveloper

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    Pro's:
    - Easy to use.
    - Easy to programme on.
    - Available for almost any current generation platform (with an exception to the Nintendo 3DS).
    - Collision detection without mathematics.
    - Endless possibilities.
    - Games always come optimised for console manufacturers (= less work for you required to follow their guidelines).

    Cons:
    - Heavy (engine takes a lot of space on your HDD).
    - Mouse heavy (it's the only Windows app so far which I can't properly control by touch screen nor stylus).
    - No editor for Linux.
    - Expensive if you need all features.
    - Using the engine requires you to agree with their policies (like if you unexceptionally make too much money, you must purchase the Pro version or they may sue you).
     
  6. landon912

    landon912

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    Those are pretty dumb cons.

    Some Real cons to get you started:
    Only 32-bit program still in existence
    Features locked behind pro version
    Missing features that other engine have(it also has some things others don't)
     
  7. Blaveloper

    Blaveloper

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    Dumb cons don't exist when giving an honest opinion.
    It's more of an arrogant insult than an honest critic you made actually.

    You really make it sound like:
    Person 1: "I'm sure the European Union has screwed up all of its member states".
    Person 2: "You're dumb, smart people know they saved only one member state".

    As for your examples:
    32-bit only: not a real problem to me, I hardly notice any differences between 32-bit and 64-bit apps anyway (unless they suck up all your RAM at once).
    Features locked: exactly the same thing as the 4th con I mentioned, just formulated differently.
    Missing features: there aren't any features I really miss out as anything Unity lacks can still be worked around (unless you're talking about stuff like 3D model support exported by a specific application or the ability to script in C++).
     
  8. JasonBricco

    JasonBricco

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    But really, if you're making 100,000, it's not that big of a deal to pay for pro is it?
     
    Guhan_g, BudgieKnight and JamesArndt like this.
  9. Tezelian

    Tezelian

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    thanks guys for some suggestions, I also found this point online

    Performance problems can be hard to locate, address, and fix since you are dealing with a black box (no source code). Examine your shaders closely and watch how you manage the scene.

    what is a source code because I keep hearing this is a disadvantage of Unity?

    Why would fixing performance related problems without source code be hard
     
  10. prophet

    prophet

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    The code for the actual game engine your using. Unreal provides the source for their engine. With Unity you can get the source at a huge cost, which is out of range for most small developers.

    It can be hard to fix performance issues on big games without source because you can't step through the code and see where memory or CPU is getting eaten up. The only things you can work on is the code you have created/applied to work within the engine. Having source gives more power.........if you have the knowledge to use that power.
     
  11. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    Opinions are like a$$holes, everyone's got them. I agree your cons are on the weak side...

    Harddrive size? In the age of everyone having Terabyte's... really?
    No editor for Linux... sure I guess that affects a small percentage of the market.
    Expensive... perhaps a little, but compared (previously) to some of the bigger engines, it was cheap. Most games dont need the features in pro anyway.
    32/64bit... not a big deal really, unless you're trying to make a AAA game.
    And if you manage to make the $100,000 from Unity, you should be grateful and pay the measly fee they ask, rather than being cheap.


    Real cons:
    Crud GUI, finally about to be replaced though.
    Out of date Mono
    GC is a massive pain in the a$$
    Working on big games takes ALOT of optimisations.
    Standard networking isnt the greatest.
    No Multi-threading (another problem that will go away with an upcoming release)
    No profiler in free


    Unity 5 is looking to be the best release to date and will solve a handful of the major cons Unity has.
     
  12. Blaveloper

    Blaveloper

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    I actually have an SSD of 128 GB (of which Windows drinks half of it away), so it's still a legit con to me.

    Back when I started to use this forum, the gossip forum was filled with "Y U NO MAKE LINUX EDITOR?!" topics.
    Linux users is indeed a small percentage, but if you look at the actual numbers it's still a big amount of people.

    Even if you make over $100000 there are much more costs to cover than just an engine.
    And keep in mind you have to may another batch of money for every upgrade.
    And yet another batch of money for additional (Pro) platforms.



    So no, I won't change my mind.
    And as I already said before, there is not such a thing as "real con" or "fake con", there aren't even "true opinions" and "false opinions".
     
  13. landon912

    landon912

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    Dude... You can get a 2 TB hard-drive for 80 bucks.... and if you make 100k using free software the least you can do is buy the pro version.

    I'll rephrase my statement : "Your cons are pointless to most people besides yourself." Which is totally fine. James has some real good cons; I was having a real crappy time thinking of some.
     
  14. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    What? I think I'll make a cup of tea since this thread isn't making much sense. Things always make more sense with tea.
     
  15. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Pros:

    1. Easy to learn
    2. Has a free version
    3. Allows for rapid prototyping
    4. Comes with a fair amount of versatile (though ugly) default shaders
    5. Asset store

    Cons:

    1. Documentation is severely out of date or, in some cases, completely non-existent for some features
    2. Technology that has been common for the better part of a decade, such as render textures and stencil buffer support, are behind a $1500 paywall
    3. Profiler is behind a paywall
    4. Terrain engine is a complete joke
    5. If you want to have feature parity on mobile after buying Unity Pro, you'll have to spend another $1500-3000 on Mobile Pro licenses
    6. New features added to the engine tend to be implemented half-way or severely delayed without any explanation as to why
    7. STILL 32 bit and will be until Unity 5.0, meaning sometimes the editor will silently crash if you run out of memory
    8. Ancient version of Mono means you'll be fighting the GC once your project reaches a certain size
    9. No plans to update OpenGL support to 4.x means you won't have things like Compute Shader or Geometry Shader support on OSX or Linux
    10. Movie Textures are absolutely terrible in every way. Implementing pre-rendered cutscenes is a nightmare and, for some reason, Pro only
    11. Rapid prototyping capabilities are dramatically outclassed by competing engines like GameMaker, UDK, and UE4
     
  16. MurDocINC

    MurDocINC

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    Unity
    Pros:
    -Easy to Use.
    -Lots of Assets
    -Tutorials/Scripts for just about anything.
    -Great community to ask if you can't find answers.
    Cons:
    -Not as advanced as UE4 and CE.

    UE4
    Pros:
    -Open source, endless possibilities. Could become easier than Unity and more powerful than CE.
    Cons:
    -New, needs time to buildup to Unity's Pros.

    CryEngine
    Pros:
    -Most advanced/powerful engine.
    Cons:
    -Hard to Use.
     
  17. calmcarrots

    calmcarrots

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    Unity
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  18. goat

    goat

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    Pros:

    1) Free until you make $100K
    2) http://unity3d.com/learn
    3) More than enough to make impressive games if you don't waste a lot of time worrying about have the coolest shadows and reflection effects: those things are the tip of the iceberg to go after you've learned enough about the rest of it.

    Cons:

    1) If you have any motivation and ideas you like you will spend at least $250 and probably more in the Asset Store
    2) 32 bit editor causes problems
    3) Poor versioning and namespace management of assets in the assets store
    4) Terrain system isn't too good at all, you're better off in Blender creating and texturing a terrain although others will argue you'll loose a lot of features, those features can only be handled by top of the top line desktop HW anyway.
    5) Increasing and no doubt extremely strong competition from UE4 now. What will Unity 6 and UE5 look like in 2 years or so?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  19. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    Like I said, there will always be a percentage of people that prefer a linux editor, but its not a mainstream requirement. Funny though, I've been around these forums for a few years now, and don't really recall all these 'wheres my linux' threads, compared to the which is better UDK or Unity threads... oh and the slender clones.

    Unity will use approximately 0.012% of your 128 Gb drive. How many games do you have installed, because I now have 3 x 240Gb SDDs, and over 70% of those are filled up with games... I mean Titanfall clocked in around 50Gb I think... so by comparison of other software, Unitys footprint is marginal. I cant understand why you have a grope with 1.5Gb. Its a drop in the hat, even on a 128GB drive.

    To complain about $1500 when the engine you used cost WELL over 10 million dollars (probably more in the 100's of million of dollars now), youre just having a laugh. If you cant afford $1500 when you made over $100,000, there's something wrong with you (ie. you're one of those cheap and expect everything to be free types)


    tbh, it sounds like you've been using Unity for 5 minutes, and don't really have a grip on what's really wrong with the engine.
     
  20. sedativechunk

    sedativechunk

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    I would like to chime in here. I've been a programmer for 10 years and have been dabbling around in game development since 2007. In that time, I've learned to make Java games, Dark Basic/Dark GDK, XNA, and now Unity. Here is my ultimate list of PROS/CONS of Unity:

    PROS
    1) Unity is extremely efficient and easy to use. Things that would have been tedious, annoying, and difficult work is extremely easy in Unity. Specifically when it comes to importing objects and working with 3D models. In terms of XNA, it was the most frustrating and tedious program to do 3D modeling in. Often my models would let lost on screen, not texture correctly, and most file formats weren't even supported.
    2) The interface is very simple and easy to customize. Everything is right where I want it.
    3) I absolutely LOVE the asset store. There are tons of things I can work with that save me days/weeks of time creating myself.
    4) The audio engine is amazing. Being a music producer on the side, I love how simple it is for me to do 3D sound with 3D/surround panning and the works. If you people have seen how difficult that used to be in the past, man it is so simple in Unity.
    5) Built in engine for compressing graphics, models, and other assets
    6) Doesn't restrict you to one programming language and also works in a browser window
    7) The built in debugger is fantastic, no more adding line breaks and stopping my game to see things!

    CONS
    1) Unity will always been Unity. No matter how hard you try or unique your game is, you can tell when a game is made in Unity. This makes games lose their unique edge IMO.
    2) Working between objects via coding is a pain in the ***. In other languages, I could easy program my game to work between objects/code and easily access everything from a central location. Unity is more complicated. It uses tags, parent objects, children, game components, and etc. Honestly I'm just not crazy about how coding between objects in the game relate to one another. Instead of finding game objects with the "findwithtag" and etc. I think objects should automatically be able to find other game objects if there is a script attached to them with a class for that object.
    3) Very easy to get unorganized in Unity. Too many assets, folders, and etc. in the hierarchy even when you nest items.
    4) Iffy for different screen sizes. I like the Unity units for 3D, but for 2D gui textures, it's a huge drag to re-size graphics.
    5) It's cheating. Yes, Unity is not legitimate game-development from scratch. A true developer makes a game from the ground up without all these fancy gizmos/gadgets to help make a game. WIth that being said, the easy of Unity has allowed many more people to make great games instead of half the garbage that was made in XNA for example (seriously, some of the XNA titles out there were utter trash compared to the average Unity game).

    All in all, I can honestly say Unity is my favorite and preferred game development tool today. I've done progarmming over and over and it gets too time consuming/tedious. Unity takes out alot of the BS so I can just straight to the good stuff.
     
  21. BrainMelter

    BrainMelter

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    If you're a student, there aren't many cons to using Unity. It should fit your needs well for designing the game you want.

    But to play the devil's advocate, there are a couple of cons:

    -- 1. Since Unity handles so much stuff for you, you won't learn much about the internals of game engine design.
    -- 2. If you're doing high-end production stuff, you might run into limitations with Unity. It's probably not an issue if you're a student, but some people have found this to be a limiting factor.
     
  22. lorenalexm

    lorenalexm

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    With regards to all of your cons, save for 2 which can be solved with clever use of messaging systems, delegates or other means ( as components really shouldn't be made aware of each other where possible ); they are all rubbish.

    For Unity games all looking alike, you may get this feel if you stick to using the stock shaders for everything. But by writing your own shaders, using one of the PBR engines, and putting time into making sure all of your assets have coherence, this can be avoided.

    Your third point, proper use of asset tags ( not game object tagging ) can help alleviate this. I will give you that if you're not careful in your directory or hierarchy structure it can get quite messy, but if you're careful and plan your project / scene structure out it's not that bad.

    Different screen sizes are a non-issue when programmed correctly, work from the smallest size and build up from there. I've not once had any issue scaling my projects interfaces from iPhone 4 to even as far as Desktop screen sizes.

    I don't know how to really respond to this one constructively.. You claim Unity to be cheating, yet you open your statement with various libraries and engines; would these not too be considered cheating by your definition? From my experience, a "true developer" uses the assets available (libraries, engines, etc.) to their advantage to ease the pain and length of development. If "true developers" wrote everything from the ground up, engines like Unity, Unreal 3/4, CryTek, or even GameSalad, Construct2 or the myriad of others wouldn't exist.
     
  23. GiusCo

    GiusCo

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    If your aim is to make games (instead of programming) then Unity is the fastest and smartest tool to use: user-friendly, great community, great asset store.
     
  24. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    Use something other than the default shaders. Use tools like Shader Forge to rapidly generate really high quality shaders with interesting effects. Don't use things like the default FPS/TPS controllers.

    All these things you just listed actually make it easier to work with objects via coding.

    This, again, seems like a PEBKAC problem. It's perfectly easy to keep Unity projects organised if you take care in how you build them.

    ...What? You can do all of this from code super easily.

    WHO CARES?

    No, a true developer makes games. Full stop.
     
  25. shaderop

    shaderop

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    All game engines are cheats by that definition, and 99% of game developers aren't "true developers."

    And what's the ground level in your opinion? DirectX and OpenGL? Or are those too high level and true developers write directly to I/O ports and device buffers? Should using a programming language other than assembly be considered cheating as well?

    How about an operating system? Do true developers build their own?

    Or 3D models? True developers should know how to model in ASCII, shouldn't they? Or is ASCII too abstract as well?

    And how many true developers you know who have actually managed to finish a game?
     
    BudgieKnight likes this.
  26. TheSniperFan

    TheSniperFan

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    No, true developers flip every bit by hand. ;)
     
  27. ZJP

    ZJP

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    :D

    The only reason some do not like Unity is that it allows for good results without having 10 years experience.
    and btw, regardless of the engine used, it is more likely for an indie to make money with a 'flap thing' instead of AAA.

    Funny, I have the same feeling for UDK / Unreal 3.
    And I always thought Skyrim was developed with Unity.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  28. Aurore

    Aurore

    Head of Learn Content Production Unity Technologies

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    I thought Skyrim was made in Gambryo, apparently it's not even though when I look at it all I see is that engine.

    I can only tell if something is made in Unity from tree's and terrain, sometimes shaders too but generally it's quite difficult.

    Anyway, back on topic, I want more Pro's and Con's pl0x
     
  29. ArmsFrost

    ArmsFrost

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    Source code access, I am going to go out on a limb here and say that if you don't know what source code is you don't need to worry about not having access to it.

    I know I am a bad person and should feel bad :>
     
  30. Deleted User

    Deleted User

    Guest

    This pretty much sums it up for me and what killed our project in Unity, I'm going to add another con.

    - Lacks features other engines have (Material editor, Blueprints / Flowgraph, Cinematics / matinee, VFX) but is more expensive, this includes Unity 5 Pro announcement.

    - Particle / effects system not up to snuff against UE4.

    Why Unity looks the same in 3D games for me is generally the terrain system / lighting / post effects / shaders and aliasing. I can also spot an Unreal engine game a mile away..
     
  31. Antigono

    Antigono

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    First sorry for my English.

    Pro:

    1) It's easy, simple to understand and begin.
    2) Currently active community.
    3) Asset Store running (soon other engines will have a store too)

    4) Have a free but very limited version, (but there are other options / engines, which are very cheap and have lots of features), but well, its free and you can learn perfectly.

    Cons:
    1) New features are generally retained until the next version. Example: 64-bit editor for future version 5 (but not for 4?)

    2) Some improvements and new features are left on hold or not included. (personal opinion: as many of these missing features are implemented by paid assets by the asset store, i think Unity couldnt implement these features for increase those purchases. In other words Unity makes more money by NO implementing these features.)
    This makes me doubt about the quality of future releases.

    3) Terrain Engine (can be improved a little by buying extra assets from assets store ).
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  32. ZJP

    ZJP

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    The fact that Unity don't need a 'quantum processor' is one of the most Pro's ever.
    And from what we know, Unity 5 is more optimized than previous version? Right? :D
     
  33. goldbug

    goldbug

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    If you make more than $100K / year, then a unity license is less than the 5% royalty that you would have to pay with UDK. If you make less than $100K/year then you don't need to buy pro, you can just use the free version, which is still cheaper than the 5% royalty from UDK.

    The only way for unity to be more expensive is that you need some feature in pro, and you don't make a lot of money.
     
  34. Dabeh

    Dabeh

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    I used to think that, but a Unity developer responded to me and I quickly realized how silly the notion was.


    Cons:
    1. Paying for upgrades delays features to give incentive for major updates. The price isn't so much of an issue, just the delay.

    2. Terrain system sucks.

    3. Outdated mono(I've run into so many issues due to this, it has nothing to do with this GC argument).

    4. Major focus on Asset Store, not sure if they don't implement stuff so as to not piss off asset store developers that Unity are stealing their ideas.

    5. Developers need to talk more again, I've seen them talk a bit recently but it was only due to the release of Unity 5.

    6. When was the last time David Helgason talked on these forums? The last post was almost a year ago.

    7. Ignoring the competitions recent changes that were decided to specifically counter Unity and instead continuing on with the same business model with added on addons. This is fine and all, but I'd like a little more communication and what's going on.

    8. No clue where Unity is heading or focused on.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  35. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    I think the biggest pro/con is that it makes game development accessible to everyone, programmers and non-programmers alike.
     
    BudgieKnight likes this.
  36. sicga123

    sicga123

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    The biggest pro is the object/component system itself. It is possible to use very simple pass the parcel logic to build small mini-games. This makes Unity more accessible to non-coders than any other major game engine out there and it's not a small detail, in my opinion it's a massive advantage.
     
  37. Vanamerax

    Vanamerax

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    A lot of the cons I am experiencing myself have already been mentioned, but here is my sum-up list:

    - Floating point precision,
    when developing a theoretical 'infinite' procedural world, floating point can get out of precision quite fast. Support for double precision positions would be nice

    - Runtime asset loading outside Resources,
    As I want to add modding support to my game, I can't rely on the Resources.Load method (it needs to know every object up-front). Now writing my own loading logic isn't Unity's problem, but it can be a pain to translate and use my own loading in Unity's workflow. Anything outside the workflow of Unity, how they want you to use it, becomes quite hard, having to make workarounds for several lacking features

    - Outdated mono,
    This one can be a real show-stopper if you want to make a procedural voxel engine. I feel that a lot of the 'new' .Net features are lacking, such as better multithreading support (which is announced to be fixed in Unity 5, fortunately), method inlining, and then there is this ancient garbage collector.

    - A lot of the communication between gameObjects is string-based. It would be nice to have a SendMessage() variant that takes a method and corresponding parameters, this improves type-safety and also avoids common spelling errors (and prevents hell upon you when refractoring)

    - Lack of engine-specific event callbacks.
    Yes I know that there are several functions you can put in MonoBehaviours, which are then called via reflection. I personally think that event or delegate based callbacks would be way better, as it is probably more performent (correct me if Im wrong) and you can get callbacks without the need of deriving from Monobehaviour.

    - No profiler in Unity free
    With the ancient old Mono still being used, I feel that at least some level of profiling should be available in Unity free. I know that it is one of the selling features of pro, but not having a single builtin way to profile my code seems like a joke to me. At least give us a way to time or functions. Fancy graphs, GPU profiling and deep-profiling are things that perfectly fit the Pro license IMO

    - No clear roadmap from UT, except for release announcements

    As far as Pro's are concerned, I think Unity is a very user-friendly engine if you use the intended workflow and create non-procedural games. The asset store allows for great extension, the licensing model isn't that bad for indies and the engine is a great learning environment with lots of documentation, tutorials and a large helpful community
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  38. BIG-BUG

    BIG-BUG

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    Pros:
    -Unity has a proven track record for indie and especially mobile games second to none. Used even by studios like Rovio Unity games are making millions in the different stores.
    -Unity is not tailored around a specific genre and is very well suited for a lot of different kind of games. Especially with new 2D-tools.
    -Unity's asset store is currently not only one source for game assets but probably the best one in the world.

    In between:
    -UT's only product is Unity. This is good as they can concentrate only on that, however it limits what UT can afford for example in terms of licencing and also they have to rely on their customers for feedback instead of finding the most nasty bugs by themself (in comparison to Epic who actually develop real games with their own engine).


    Cons:
    -The missing roadmap and postponing features just for the sake of a payed upgrade. It doesn't even affect me but for example I don't see a reason why we have to wait for a 64-bit editor. According to what I've read in the forums there are several people who have major problems due to the memory limitations coming with 32-bit. But instead of bringing such a feature as fast as possible, it won't be mentioned to the customers that UT is working on it and then it will be even postponed just to be a "shiny" U5-feature. That SUXX! (ok, that contra was mentioned already, however this attitude bothers me the most since the U5 announcement).
    If they continue like that the main feature for U6 will probably be a fixed "garbage collector".
    -The progress of Unity seems to be very slow for that many people working for UT - this applies to new feature and bugfixes likewise.
    -New features arrive slowly (GUI anyone?) and when they do, they arrive in a half-baked state with missing features which - you guessed it right - will be postponed to the next major version AGAIN! (e.g. 2D-physics features)
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
  39. Carpe-Denius

    Carpe-Denius

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    There is a post on this board which says that the 64-bit editor is not fully ready yet, so maybe it is not postponed to U5
     
  40. Woodlauncher

    Woodlauncher

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    Well, it's 4.5% if you need Android and Ios licenses for Unity, and that's if you don't pay any taxes on the purchase. So it's not quite so clear cut.
     
  41. BIG-BUG

    BIG-BUG

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    Maybe. But that's the impression at least I got from the official announcements. With some kind of roadmap we might know.
     
  42. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    26,727
    Unity pros

    great forums
    best rapid dev ever
    a free hippo with every forum account

    Unity cons

    the subscription is a bit of a con (imho)
    a free hippo with every forum account
     
  43. sszukala

    sszukala

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Posts:
    9
    The price is very good.
     
  44. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    7,163
    This thread is three years old.
     
    Martin_H and QFSW like this.
  45. sszukala

    sszukala

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Posts:
    9
  46. QFSW

    QFSW

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Posts:
    2,727
    Then why the necro?
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  47. Martin_H

    Martin_H

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2015
    Posts:
    4,060
    Thanks for clarifying. I always wondered whether these kinds of necro are accidental or intentional.
     
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