May 242015
Sophie and Jona working away in the Unreal Engine

Sophie and Jona keeping Unreal

”Dibble Dabble” is a phrase I don’t really care that much about, but it describes rather well our past weekend activity. We did dibble dabble into Unreal Engine 4 (UE4), trying it out and begun prototyping our next game (an idea that we announce within a few weeks I reckon).

Back in the days I worked mostly with SDL or Ogre3D and other frameworks structuring my own engines, it was great fun but I lacked a focus on games… GAMES! The very reason I got into GAME development.

Unity 2.5 screenshot

Unity 2.5

So when the opportunity presented itself I took the jump, that jump landed me right in the middle of Unity3D, the 3.x version I believe it was, full of wonderful flaws, crashing all the time but still it was a fun engine to work with, and it could be worse, you know Jona (yeah the art guy), he started with it back in 2009, on a pre-release for Unity 2.5, wonder how many keyboards he went through a week?

Well, to keep a short story long (word count counts right?) it only took a week or two getting into it and since then Unity and mono have been my primarily tools of the trade.

Now, a few years later, more beard, a more mature mindset (yeah, right) and new glasses, the team and I wanted to try out this great tool called Unreal Engine. So we found a weekend that fit all our schedules except for Sophie that had to leave for Norway the following day, the jealousy from the rest of us will be made into a movie released 2016 called Planet of the Nerds), borrowed the keys to LBS Stockholm, sat down and worked our asses (behinds for the younger audience) off.

UE4 Desctruable featre

UE4 Destructable

At first glimpse it is obvious that UE4 is very powerful indeed, with almost an excess of cool features (kidding, no such thing as too many cool features). It did however feel that there is a more strict way of doing things the ‘”correct” way leading to an increased difficulty in learning it, but that might just be that I’ve so far spent a weekend in it.

The Unity engine have become very stable these days so it was quite frustrating to have UE4 crash on me as much as it did, bogging down my little laptop to its knees, might be a different story on my actual workstation, but it is currently in the a storage (maybe dead) due to a rude fire that overcame my apartment with destruction.

One thing where Unity shines brighter than UE4, as far as my current understanding goes is the actual edit and the workflow you have, from the scene hierarchy, how I can painlessly go between play mode and scene mode without stopping, Unity does that very nicely where UE4 was more of a hassle getting around.

Unity and Unreal side by side

Unity and Unreal side by side

I’m not going to come to any form of conclusion, I just haven’t spent enough time with it, so far it have taking me more time doing things that would have been an easy in Unity but as I’ve stated too many times already, it’s most likely due to my inexperience with the engine.

I lied, I can come to a small conclusion, regarding this past weekend at least; It was very fun, hard work and frustrating at times with crashes and all and I am already looking forward to the next one.

// Krister

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