Unreal Engine development outsource: the reasons to create a game on Unreal

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Outsource Unreal Engine game development: the purpose of Unreal, advantages and disadvantages

Unreal Engine development is a difficult task, but it’s worth the effort. Unreal Engine is made by professionals for professionals: it is complicated, overloaded with features and has a counterintuitive interface. But by using Unreal developers can create games with astonishing graphics and smart AI.

unreal engine development

Unreal Engine is mostly used by experienced game developers who know how to make a game from scratch. And we are one of those developers who can create a beautiful masterpiece or just a good profitable game. In this article we will tell you about the differences between Unreal Engine and Unity3D, best features of Unreal Engine and why to choose this engine for game development.

Unreal Engine and Unity 3D differences

The main difference lies in teams of developers. Authors of Unity 3D were trying to make their first game and couldn’t decide what genre to choose. So they decided to make an engine first and then found out that they can sell their engine to other devs. In conclusion, authors of Unity3D never developed a real and successful game.

Epic Games, creators of Unreal Engine, were developing a game engine for their next game — Unreal (1999). They wanted to invent and popularize such features as full dynamic lightning, spacious levels and smart AI. As a result, their game literally looked unreal for it’s time and it’s demo was used as a PC benchmark for a few years.

unreal game 1999

Nowadays Unity3D developers are trying to make their engine user-friendly and allow lone enthusiasts to make a simple game using built-in assets. Unlike them, Unreal Engine developers are working hard to implement revolutionary features which will satisfy even AAA game developers. And at the same time Epic Games continue to make popular games, for example – Fortnite.

Why Unreal Engine is good for making 3D games

First of all, Unreal Engine has built-in animation editor. It is not as powerful as specialized programs like Maya or Blender, but it’s still possible to animate a human model using only Unreal Engine.

Second, Unreal has its own shader editor. Developers can use shaders from the default library or create their own in real time. Hair in the picture below is pure shaders.

unreal engine shader hair

Third, to make a game in Unreal Engine developers can write the code in C++ or use a visual editor — Blueprints. Blueprints is a drag-and-click scripting system which works as fast as native C++ code.

Fourth, Unreal has Sequencer — a tool for making cinematics. Developers can create engine-based cinematics for trailers and cutscenes, and it will be a cheaper and faster process than making a cinematic in specialized programs.

These are the best simple features, but there are more complex and valuable advantages of using Unreal Engine. We will try to explain them in simple words.

Making a game on Unreal Engine with Blueprint

Serious programmers don’t like drag-and-drop editors and other visual programming tools, till they try Blueprints.

Blueprints is a visual script editor based on nodes or logical blocks. A node describes an object, action or event. A developer can code the game by connecting different nodes. For example, to make the character move by pressing a forward button a developer needs to connect the “Input action” node to the “Pawn” (character), and then “Action” to the “Input action”.

unreal engine blueprints

Connecting nodes is faster than writing the same code by hand and the killing feature of Blueprints is that the visual script works as fast as C++ code. The proof of this is that Fortnite, Epic Games best selling title, is mostly coded on Blueprints.

Developers need Blueprints to quickly produce and modify the game prototypes. It cuts expenses on first stages of development and allows to quickly test ideas.

Unreal Engine and money

Epic Games want a 5% royalty from a game which has earned more than 1 million USD. Basically, the engine is free to use — you need to pay for it only if your game made it to the top.

unreal engine cost of use

Even more, Epic Games company supports promising projects with money. If your game on Unreal Engine has a good concept and the prototype is fun to play, you can ask Epic Games for a grant. They may give you a $5 000 – $500 000 grant for further developing and never ask you to give the money back. So if you are planning on making a big game close to AAA — a grant is a good choice to reach your goal.

Cherry on top — Epic Games Store. The Unreal Engine developers can include your game in their store, promote them and make it even more successful. Although most internet users criticize the EGS, the store is doing well and sells games.

Unreal Engine Particle System

In most game engines you need to buy third-party particles system modules or write your own. In Unreal Engine developers have optimized the particle system out of box. If the particles are an important part of your game, for example, fog or rain in a horror game, you can easily add them to the prototype.

Advanced level design instruments

It’s boring to place every tree and stone by hand. Unreal Engine has built-in instruments to automatize surrounding generation. A developer can set up a procedural generator and fill the level with props in a few clicks. For advanced level design there are a big amount of terrain brushes and instruments of environmental design.

Optimized rendering

Unreal Engine 4 has some features which allows it to produce high quality graphics with low system requirements and stable framerate. For example, programmers can make asynchronous VFX rendering to save computing power and increase FPS.

Unreal Engine can auto-generate level of detail mesh. In other engines artists must create few versions of one model with different detalisation level. In can take hours to make a LOD mesh for one detailed model. Unreal Engines make this by itself. Also engine calculates and applies LOD based on screen size in pixels. It is very useful for battle royale games where you can’t limit render distance to make players see each other from opposite sides of map.

unreal engine render distance

Unreal Swarm is the final component of the rendering system. It is basically a task distribution system for GPU and CPU hungry applications. Swarm helps to set task priorities and acceptable hardware load to increase performance with minimum decrease of level of graphics and physical model.

Automated physics

To make a game on Unreal Engine developers don’t need to create physics geometry and redo collision models — the engine does it for the developer. It fastens the prototype developing process and auto-generated can be often used in the final build.

Why do not make a game on Unreal Engine

Despite all of the optimisation, Unreal Engine wasn’t created for smartphones and tablets. It is still possible to develop a mobile game on Unreal, but it will need more work than creating a mobile game on a “mobile” engine.

Unreal Engine has so many professional features and low-level control of graphics, that it was used as a real-time background renderer for the “Mandalorian” series. But mobile games do not need photorealism. Most profitable games are 2D and designed to work on any cheap smartphone. Mobile gamers will prefer fun games with edgy 3D models over mediocre games with shaders and ray-tracing. Just look at the Fornite Mobile (left) and console version of Fortnite. Believe it or not, mobile version made as much money as console did.

unreal engine on mobile and pc

If you want to develop a mobile puzzle or hypercasual game — you better choose some other engines. But if you want to surprise the player with good graphics, animations and open world on mobile — Unreal Engine is your choice.

Conclusion

You need to have a big budget for Unreal Engine development. Not because this kind of development is much more difficult than any other, but because it is an expensive engine for small games.

But if you are developing a AAA game or close to it or need an outsourcing company to make Unreal Engine shaders, game mechanics, level design or animations — contact us. We have experience and skills in Unreal Engine developing.

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