Unreal engine now cost only royalites

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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by c6burns » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:33 am

Ahahaha yeah kotaku picked on nvidia for the same reason:
1st Shield: Integrated touchscreen and controller.
2nd Shield: Integrated touchscreen.
3rd Shield: A box.
My conclusion? Nvidia came up with a cool name and can't decide which product to stick it on. Next years' Shield will be a blender. 2022's Shield is a finger-painting of a duck.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by syedhs » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:12 am

All those calculations of $$$ comparison between Unity (paid once) vs Unreal (royalty) will only matter when your game is a success.. Success can be subjective, but I think it means you can choose not to do programming for one whole year and still can afford to pay bills, staf salaries etc. And.. and consider this:-

1) There are 1000 teams/individuals aspire to do games.
2) Out of 1000, maybe only 50 complete the games, and even fewer will be eligible for scheme like Steampowered's Greenlight (25??)
3) And out of those 25, I can say less than 5 are succesful..

5/1000 = 0.5%, so if you are optimistic (my figure above are only guesstimate), the percentage can go up to 1%. So it literally mean there is very small chance for any indie game developer (with small budget) to produce something successful. What does that conclude? Just use the engine which can produce something useful in short time, and as low as possible barrier of entry (the best is complete free, but who will give you powerful games engine with complete tool, and absolutely no strings attached?).
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by c6burns » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:58 am

It seems like most of the people working on independent games have no relevant software development experience at all (obviously this doesn't apply to this community, but the commercial middleware it does). 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months according to Bloomberg. I've been hearing the (unsourced) line "only 1 in 10 businesses succeed" since business class in high school. Projecting income and planning for expenses is part of a basic business plan. No wonder so many indies fail and think success is a magical random event. Gaming is not unlike other fields of software development except that it seems to attract more moths that burn up in the flame compared to ... say ... backoffice database integration.

Depending on your team size and budget, one type of license over another might make a big enough difference that it determines which tech you choose. For the 1 man mom's-basement-office team it doesn't matter too much what license you choose between Unity and Unreal. Both are no cost up front, so if you are a tiny indie non-developer shooting for the moon then I totally agree ... choose the one with which you can accomplish the most because chances are good you won't even reach first playable.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by N0vember » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:14 pm

Klaim wrote: However, I think on the long term it would be so much better if it was very easy to "compose" your own game-specific engine with languages like C++. It would make almost any editor obsolete (in an ideal world).

By the way, nobody ever tried to make a composable game engine kind of standard interface so that people can combine some systems associated to ui tools and the result would be an editor and a game engine, customized for your needs?
This, a thousand times :)

That's the reason I'm not interested in Unity or UE4 and a lot of other indie coders won't. We want control over native code and the ability to code like we would in our IDE, but enhanced for game programming.
Seems like you are describing something you're working on. And something I'm also working on. It looks like a lot of game programmers have a similar dream and work on it in their backyard.

I have the editor part going well, the object/component core and the front-end, and the game works. But I don't have "composable" modules apart from the database because I never had to switch any part for another. So it's "modular-friendly", but not actually modular.
My far goal / dream would be to somehow integrate a code editor and just-in-time compilation. (Like in Projucer but for games : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imkVkRg-geI)
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by Klaim » Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:48 pm

N0vember wrote:
That's the reason I'm not interested in Unity or UE4 and a lot of other indie coders won't. We want control over native code and the ability to code like we would in our IDE, but enhanced for game programming.
Seems like you are describing something you're working on. And something I'm also working on. It looks like a lot of game programmers have a similar dream and work on it in their backyard.
I'm not working on such skeleton tool because I focus on an actual game but that's what I get from doing the library combination aproach for my game and trying different engines for other smaller games/prototypes.
Glad to see that someone tries to tackle that. My game editor is specific to my game, I didn't want to go the generalisation aproach because it would have prevented me to finish the game (which is still not at all ready for release).
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by spookyboo » Thu Mar 05, 2015 3:25 pm

In the Java world we have frameworks like Spring. I'm still wondering why this cannot be done for game engines. I have seen examples of frameworks in which you inject your renderer, sound lib, etc. but somehow these projects allways fail to deliver.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by N0vember » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:07 pm

Well it's not that it cannot be done but that no one did it. It's an enormous task that requires dedication and persistence. To achieve that, you need a clear and realistic goal. Most people who have clear and realistic goals in game development end up producing a game, which makes a lot of sense. You cook your own on a smaller level and very specific to your game each time. It's quick and it works.

The rest of the people, who tried to make a flexible engine were either not making one game in particular, or not making games at all. And these are doomed to fail, because you need to make a game to really understand what your toolkit needs to provide and what interface would be suitable, and to convince people the thing is real. So they end-up with an empty framework which is supposed to help people make games but no one ever actually used it to make one.

Then you have the big players. They obviously fit all the criteria but their focus is on the millions of people who wants to make games with very little native code and not the hundreds of lone indie developers who want to code in C++ but with a nice toolkit. We are a minority.

So who can do it ? Someone who is both making a game and wants to develop a great customizable toolkit that can be generalized to other games. Which is downright crazy in terms of "business plan".
That's rare, and quite risky. I'm trying to do it but I'm constantly split between my desire to share tools as open-source and my desire to finish and ship a game. It's like being torn between two passions. And I don't earn any money from either. So yeah... it's not the best plan.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by frostbyte » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:17 pm

unreal is free...you just need a 2000$ hardware to run the editor...
i tried running it on intel hd laptop - waste of time...
it make me wonder why the editor is such a resource hog since the engine it self seems to be more hardware tolerant...
unity 5 seams to be better oriented for the masses...
AutoDesk empire getting in the game...thats some news, they have the potential to become industy standard again....
i guess they won't have a problem with fbx importers :wink:

about the "free"- hype thing - one must also ask- was it the 20$ a month barrier that prevented talented game developers producing real successful games?
atleast now that gaming technology is becoming "free" the fight will move to the real stuff - performance, flexibilety and ease of use...

for games logic etc, coding is still the best practice...far easyer faster and cleaner than nodel soup based editors...
problem is not everybody want to learn how to program, but on the other hand i don't think you can produce something serious without knowing how to program..its like buying realy good tools( hammer, screwdriver, etc ) does'nt yet makes you a carpenter...

i think once all the excitement wears off, people would understand building a game is not such a simple task, even with the most powerful tools, you still have to know what you are doing... i think thats not gonna change in the near future...
so +1 programmers...-1 angry bird cloners...
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by c6burns » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:59 pm

frostbyte wrote:nodel soup
This line made me lol :lol:
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by Herb » Fri Mar 06, 2015 2:10 pm

Well, to add to frostbyte's comment, most of game engines that say you "don't need to code" to design games, are really about modding an already made game or framework of a game with set rules. So, easy to mod, but deviate from the template they offer and it's more painful than just writing it from scratch yourself. :roll:

The unreal scripting language and the most convoluted editor (that apparently needs an alienware gaming rig to run based on earlier comments) will only take it so far. Seems like Unity has a step up, but I still cringe looking at Unity as the complexity is more about finding what I want buried in the endless sub-menus of the tools rather than coding the functionality myself.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by scrawl » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:36 pm

Great post, and relevant to Ogre as well: Unity 5 is free - is jMonkeyEngine still relevant?
I actually believe there’s no stopping open source (in game development) at this point. Open source is a feature, and an incredibly appealing one as such. When you start competing to be “the most free”, open source is the inevitable end-game.
So what do these frameworks do to attract more developers when they’re all basically at feature parity? They compete to be the best open source citizen. Best Transparency. Best Community. Best Workflow. Best Documentation. It all just keeps getting better!

Game development is lagging behind in this race, but we’re definitely part of it, now more than ever.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by Klaim » Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:40 pm

Indeed, an open source unity, even if not free, would be quite a killer to me.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by mkultra333 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:32 pm

I have been waiting for a good game engine since about the year 1999. Every time I tried one that I could afford, it was terrible. You'd hit the engine limitations real fast, assuming you could get it to do anything at all. So I made my first game using C++ (which I didn't know at the time) and DX7. It was terrible. But at least I finished it after about 2 years, and learnt a bit.

After a long delay tinkering with other projects, I started my next game. That was the day I joined the Ogre forums in 2009. I'm still working on that same game, and since I'm now at full time work it's progressing even slower than before. I would never have started if I'd realized how agonizing slow the whole process would be. If I were to start again tomorrow, I'd definitely jump at the chance to use the Unreal Engine. I could focus on content and gameplay instead of having to wrestle painfully with every little programming problem that chews up 99.9% of the time.

But I kinda knew this would happen, that by the time I actually finished some kind of engine, there'd finally be a AAA professional engine available at a reasonable price.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by Klaim » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:49 pm

I'm in a similar situation with my project (started in 2012) but I expected things to get slow because obviously it couldn't surprisingly become fast.
Most of my work have been in building stuffs helping to program the game fast, but it's still the same "agonizingly slow" speed and it's even worse when working alone on the project.

However, last times I tried Unity, for game jams, I indeed quickly hit limitations (try to make a music game like guitar hero in it, it's full of bad surprises).
I think the main issue is that you still have to learn the tool-specific idioms and it can take a lot of time. Still it's less work than gluing libs like Ogre together to build an engine.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by N0vember » Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:50 pm

I've gone a similarly long way. 6 years ago I went over the available game engines (Blender game engine was a thing back then) and quickly decided : I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna roll my own. I was a complete noob at C++, learned coding just two years before.
I went through a lot of options myself over the years, I was chasing flexibility and quick prototyping, I went to python scripting and a year after that ported all the game code back to C++. I'm now convinced that there is nothing better than statically typed languages in terms of prototyping speed and correctness. And with the advent of JIT compilation even more so.
Sometimes I see old videos I posted in 2010 and a lot of the elements of the game were already there, and I think, geez, it's been a while. But I was going through a 6 years degree in an unrelated field in the same time so I have a good excuse.
The time you lose is incredible, but it's actually very enlightening. I think in the end it's profitable. We end up creating things that didn't exist. And by the time we share something, everyone else profits too.

I read a lot of criticism about the available engines thanks to you guys (which saves me the time of trying them myself), and after that I'm still definitely convinced that the simplest and quickest game prototyping tool doesn't exist yet. So I really believe in people like you and me and the jMonkey creator who stubbornly mess around because I think one day another big player will come from these experimentations and it may very well be open-source.

The critical mass is when something becomes streamlined, focused and simple enough to be shared and used by others.

A nice goal to me would be to provide the toolkit I work on to some people competing in a game jam to see how well it fares. I was hoping to get it ready for the next Ludum Dare but I guess it's getting really close so I'll probably skip this one.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by Thyrion » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:52 pm

looking into the unreal forum: the boat is full :)
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by Klaim » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:36 am

Thyrion wrote:looking into the unreal forum: the boat is full :)
What do you mean?
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by cybereality » Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:27 am

Like most of you, I've been looking at different game engines since way back. I wrote a simple software rasterizer in Java back in the day, and messed with modding in Quake and Unreal Tourney or whatever. I probably started at looking at open-source and commercial engines in the early 2000's, though a few years later more seriously. At the time I was in college (and broke) so I couldn't afford anything crazy. After lots of research, I found it hard to find something that met all my needs. They were either great but too expensive, or lacked key features I thought I needed. I ended up going with Blitz3D just cause it was affordable and easy to use. Later (once Dx7 was out of fashion) I played with Torque for a bit, mostly because it was the best thing out there I could afford. I really wanted to use Ogre (this was when I first joined here in '06) but it seemed like a lot more work than an all-in-one engine. I also was not great with C++ at the time, and even just compiling from source with the dependencies and what not was too much for me. I guess you make due with what you've got, but the choices weren't great back then. There was probably a good argument for using something like Ogre and cobbling together different libraries. Today, I'm not sure that's the case.

So, for reasons that are still not 100% clear to me, I spent about the last 2 years (here and there) working on a custom Dx11 engine. I probably would have used Ogre if DirectX11 worked (which still looks like it doesn't and Dx12 is almost out) but Dx9 just seemed so old to be investing it this late in the game. It was an interesting 2 years, for sure, and I learned a lot but I can say now it was a mistake. If I had to do it again, I would have used an all-in-one game engine like Unity, and I really wished I had jumped on Unreal 4 the minute they announced the $19 subscription. I could have had a game finished in that time, and actually have released something. As it is, I got some experience and knowledge but really nothing tangible. It's just crazy to think that one person can make something that even comes in the ballpark of Unity or Unreal in any reasonable period of time. I hate to be a downer, but it's true. Just look at all the people that made Unity ( http://unity3d.com/people ) and just imagine that each one of them are top-of-their-class professionals. It's insane.

I mean, I honestly love Ogre and wish it succeeds. Maybe one day I will contribute something. Who knows? But if someone starting out asked me what engine to use, I would tell them (in my honest opinion) to download Unity or Unreal and be done with it. They can spend their time creating art, or coding gameplay. Not reinventing the wheel with a custom level editor that's probably shabby, or having to write their own model exporter or importer (which I did, OMG) because there isn't a legit art pipeline. It doesn't make financial sense either, especially when you are competing with devs that already have a full turn-key engine at their disposal. That's not to say that there is *never* a good reason to write your own engine or cobble together libraries. There surely are. I don't want to insult or offend anyone (though I'm sure I might have anyway). I'm just trying to be realistic, and I wish I was more realistic before investing my time and energy trying to make yet-another-3d-engine that will never get finished or be worth anything.

If you're interested, read my blog post on the experience (as well as the other 24 posts in the series, which are somewhat comical now that I've given up): http://cybereality.com/?p=728
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by mkultra333 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:20 am

Sounds like plenty of us have gone down that same path.

I figure I'm still 6 months off from an alpha that really represents my game idea, and that's be with less-than-ideal media as far as things like models and sound goes. I think the original aspects of my game idea would be quite hard to replicate in Unreal, especially the procedurally generated maps and the unusual networking system, because I was never limited by what the engine could and couldn't do. It could do whatever I could program it to do. That's the great thing about making your own engine.

But was it worth 6 years to get to the point where I still don't have an alpha? Looking back, no. I'd rather get 3 less original but solidly grounded games made in the same time. And what is lost in one type of originality can be made up in others, like the originality of the content and the storyline. And even originality of gameplay, since whatever limits exist to an engine, you can still usually abuse it in clever and unexpected ways.

I don't regret the choice I made, using Ogre and libraries and my own code, because when I started I had no choice, the available/affordable engines sucked. But kiddies, now you have a choice.

I'd say use Ogre if your idea is simple and small. Use Ogre if you're a well funded team with at least 5 programmers plus artists. But if you're solo or a small team, and your ideas are big, you'll get twenty times more done using an off-the-shelf full game engine than you will trying to reinvent the wheel using Ogre (or any renderer) and patching together libraries.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by AlexeyKnyshev » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:40 am

I have compiled UE4 on linux at the weekend. And have not excited a lot. Rendering errors are everywhere, bad shadows tehniques and frequent crashes made me give up. Finally it doesn't work on Intel cards and consumes huge amount of RAM (Is mono is root of blowing up?). Maybe after half a year it will be usable but not now.

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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by Zonder » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:16 am

AlexeyKnyshev wrote:I have compiled UE4 on linux at the weekend. And have not excited a lot. Rendering errors are everywhere, bad shadows tehniques and frequent crashes made me give up. Finally it doesn't work on Intel cards and consumes huge amount of RAM (Is mono is root of blowing up?). Maybe after half a year it will be usable but not now.

Regards, Alexey Knyshev
that doesn't sound good I though linux was a supported platform can't say I've paid attention to it much

I'd be surprised if mono is to blame for the memory. But doesn't mean the scripts aren't doing something stupid like you can in any language :roll:
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by Klaim » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:25 am

Unfortunately if switching to a complete game engine would help developping my game I would have done it last year, but the main issue is that the game concept itself requires special code in the "glue code" between the different parts of the engine, which make it un-doable without source code, and even then it would be hard to hack something in an engine already optimized for other use cases.
Which is why I have only one project using Ogre.
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by frostbyte » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:20 pm

I have compiled UE4 on linux at the weekend. And have not excited a lot. Rendering errors are everywhere, bad shadows tehniques and frequent crashes made me give up.
until now unreal was hidden behind the payment wall...now we can see that its not that amazing...imho it's not ready for prime-time...its still in beta...
i think they did very good PR( making unity fans switch sides ) but now people will start to complain...
i've heard performance is horrible for mobile and it still have some bugs/artifacts( as iv'e seen in demos )...
i also think that it will take them about half a year to shape-up things...

it looks like all engines/companies are histerical on who gets most clients before oculus hits the market...
the big money will be in VR worlds...game is about to change( so they say... )
But was it worth 6 years to get to the point where I still don't have an alpha? Looking back, no
6 years ago, there wasn't any other option...and by the time there was you were probably too much invested in what you've learnd( ogre/c++/... )
unity was a crapy little engine...only in the last 2 years it grew to be the Beast it is today., mostly thanks to the assest store and milking the customers
unreal was out of reach for mortal humans...
it's not your fault that things change that fast...
i still remember hacking the c64 rasterizer irq to get 32 sprites on screen instead of 8...time flies by..bye. :)
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by Thyrion » Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:46 pm

after trying
- unity3d (was never a choice, because all is done in C# (fast development, but no source access and according to hearsay it's slower than c++. But why is it then the most used engine for mobile O.o ))
- UE4 (next gen graphics i'll never be able to use (make it look good). But it's all there, like IK animation. Dynamic shadows seems to have a huge performance impact... what's left if you don't use that? O.o)
i dislike the enormous resource hunger at most.
- project anarchy (looks already dead and unsupported) , or try to get the free havok physics 64bit version ... hahaha
- source 2 (looks like it's just free for content creation for valve's games? but do not know)
- neoaxis (still $3k for the source, no render thread?) - is working on a node editor... lol
- Skyline Engine??? come on ... we don't need another closed source engine? now with unreal engine, this engine just don't make any sense for me
- C4 - sweet (just tried the preview. could need an ogre3d 2.1 renderer :) )

so there's is still no perfect solution out there. But the time, that is needed to build an own engine (because no one open source his ogre engine!!) speeks for UE. :evil:

btw: where did the ogitor team vanished?
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Re: Unreal engine now cost only royalites

Post by Klaim » Sat Mar 14, 2015 1:55 am

Thyrion wrote: - unity3d (was never a choice, because all is done in C# (fast development, but no source access and according to hearsay it's slower than c++. But why is it then the most used engine for mobile O.o ))
Actually the C# code itsel isn't slow at all. The main issue I have with unity on this aspect is that you don't have much control over the tradeoffs regarding performance:
- you cannot implement your own update loop for your part of the code, so you have to live in the engine update and that can be a problem (music games for example) in my experience at least; I didn't find a solution for this so far;
- the performance characteristics of the different parts of the engine are hardly tweakable;

To be honest I might be wrong on this but tha'ts the feeling I have after doing multiple small games, several complete.
- C4 - sweet (just tried the preview. could need an ogre3d 2.1 renderer :) )
I'm not sure about this one because as an engine it seems to have everything you need, and it's data oriented so nice,
but in the same time when I read the technical part of the website (code examples) I got a very bad feeling, but I can't remember why.
Something like (I've seen this before and it got somewhere bad). It might be linked to one of my experiences so it might be specific to a kind of game I tried to make.
I never tried to make an FPS for example, I don't see the point--of view, sorry I really had to made this joke....
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