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The topic I know is very cliche, but it's usually different for everyone.  So a few friends and I want to start getting farther into the game development stage of our lives [we've all been there].  We were looking through some engines and came to a few good choices.  We are willing to spend money on the engine, but we of course can only spend so much.  We originally were gonna use the Blender Game Engine, but we wanted to be realistic. We've come down to a decision between CryEngine 3, Unreal Engine 4, and Unity 5 (we are looking at nextgen engines).  Unreal Engine 4 seems to be evolving with support really fast and seems pretty well maintained.  Unity 5 looks like it has great performance with great features, but we have no idea when we will actually see a potential release date.  Then we have CryEngine 3 which has no more support for the free version and now requires a subscription for the latest version.  With CryEngine, we are a little iffy because there is not as much documentation as Unreal is picking up, and as community driven as Unity.  The cheapness of Unreal's monthly payment along with source code was something that really bought our attention, but then again [as I understand it] Unity just has a onetime $1000 payment and the engine is then free to use with no royalties included.  And from what I've seen, CryEngine has a similar payment method to Unreal (minus the source code access).  We started getting familiar with UDK, but Unreal Engine 4 soon came out and we then decided UDK wouldn't be worth it.  

So what would you guys recommend?  Wait for Unity?  Start investing in Unreal?  Get to work with CryEngine?  Even if you haven't used the Engines, what seems like the better choice?  We're not looking to make an MMO or blockbuster game, but we want to make some decently built 3rd person platformers, so suggestions are appreciated. We aren't really set on any projects, but we want to start learning and seeing what we're capable of, and build up from there.
Personally, I prefer the Ford 302. A lot more you can bolt on, and I'm personally a Ford guy. Fuck Chevy.

Oh, whoops, wrong type of engine. To be honest, I prefer Unity for the one time payment and lack of royalties. But that's just me
I think Unreal because its very versatile and you can make kickass games with it without too much trouble.
I'm pretty sure both Unreal and Unity have trial versions, so why not try them both out and use the one that best suits your needs?
Out of the three options, I have only used UE4.  I know of several friends that use Unity.  I don't have any information on CryEngine other than what can be read.

I believe that tools are better for different situations and not that one is superior than another.  I would suggest deciding what you want to do with your game to determine the features you need from the engine.

The main things I like about UE4 are the subscription model, access to engine source code, and helpful community.

The subscription model allows you to purchase one month and then cancel it while still having complete access to the version and content you have downloaded.  You will get hotfix updates for versions that you have installed, but will not have access to newer versions.  You will also not be able to download anything from the market with an inactive subscription, but as I mentioned, you can still access what you have downloaded.  This allows you to spend $19 per person, cancel your subscription, and then work on your game until you want to release without incurring additional subscription fees.  You are stuck with the version downloaded of course.  You cannot release a game without an active subscription though.

I'm working with an artist and we subscribe for a month when a new version is released that has features we want.  We then cancel the subscription and review the next version.  This saves a little bit of money.

Access to engine source code might not matter if you don't plan on changing any of it or prefer to use the Blueprint system.  I like it so that I can see exactly what the code is doing.  It's great for finding example functionality that you may want to use in your own code.

The helpful community is mostly from Epic developers responding to posts and questions in their AnswerHub system; which is similar to sites like StackOverflow, but specific to UE4.  There are also other game developers that provide information and answer questions.  I cannot comment on the community of Unity or CryEngine as I have not visited them.

The downside of UE4 is that it is still a work in progress.

There may be features that you would like that may take several months to be implemented or not be completely implemented the first time.  Not to say the feature is broken or bugged, just that it is the first version of the feature.

Not all of the code is exposed to the Blueprint system.  There is a lot that you can do with the system, but you may run into an issue if you're trying to do something that isn't available.  This isn't an issue if you are a programmer or have a programmer on the team as you can just write the functionality as well as exposing it to Blueprints for other members of the team.

The marketplace is a good idea, but it's young.  It has art assets and audio, but code is not available yet.  The content is continually being added to, but it's only been open to submissions since August.

The example games from Epic Games are useful, but sometimes the way the game is set up is not generic enough or the scenario you're trying to solve is in a game example that you wouldn't think of.  This just means it takes extra time to look through different example games to see if one of them has what you are looking for.  HD space may or may not be an issue since you need to have several projects downloaded.

My view on Unity is purely from observation and information from my friends that do use it.

Unity can be great as there is a free version.  It has some missing features from the "Pro" version, but if you don't need the features, then you can save money.  The marketplace is great.  You can get code, assets, or audio for varying prices.  It has several years worth of content.

Downside of Unity mostly has to do with price.  You can create your game once, but you need to buy plugins to compile to different platforms.

A friend of mine had a complaint about upgrading to a new version of Unity resulting in a bug with the screen going black on the iOS version of his game.  He had to build to iOS in a previous version of Unity and build to Android in the most recent version.  I believe there was a fix or need for the newest version of Unity; probably for the Android version.  I wouldn't count this as a major issue with Unity.  New software versions can sometimes break prior functionality whether intentional or not.  Intentional being when you've implemented a better way of doing something and you get rid of the prior version.

I only looked into CryEngine when they announced their subscription plan.  I don't know what it's like to use.  The main reasons I didn't pursue it were requirement to have a subscription to use the software and there was no access to engine source code.
(02-06-2015, 04:09 AM)Vipershark Wrote: [ -> ]I'm pretty sure both Unreal and Unity have trial versions, so why not try them both out and use the one that best suits your needs?

Well Unity 5 hasn't been released yet, so there's no trial for me to try. And with Unreal, the only free engine they have is Unreal Engine 3, and you get no source code access to that unfortunately. Like I said, we are looking at nextgen engines. Unreal engine 3 is technically capable of what Unreal engine 4 can do, but UE4 can pull it off better with higher performance and supports more recent hardware. And the story with Unity? Unity 4 is quite different from the upcoming Unity 5, so I'd rather get familiar with one over the other. But from the Unity 4 demo and the UE3 free edition, they seem really nice and are capable of a lot of things. With CryEngine 3, I was just confused out of my mind.

So with these engines that I listed, there's not much of a choice when it comes to demos.