Awareon will use Unity 4

The Awareon team is migrating from UDK to Unity3D for game development.

The biggest factor on the decision was C#, which I’ve been learning for our launcher / patcher. Using the same language for the game would be damn nice.

That’s for me: I’ve been growing more into the programmer role, which I hadn’t envisioned when we started this project. I now want the challenge of a code-centric solution.

We’re also between prototypes at the moment, so if we were going to make any changes, now is the time.

Nin and I have been digging through Unity’s features to make sure all of our other needs are met, before biting the bullet. On his end Unity 4′s Mecanim animation system is a big plus. We’re also seeing potentially faster workflows for 3D assets. Some of the tools are more raw, but still capable, while others are delightfully simplified. It’s been awhile since I’d first looked at Unity (about 2 years ago?) and the community has really grown too.

The major factors on our decision:

  1. C#
  2. Mecanim’s apparent workflow.
  3. Editable light maps and Beast.
  4. Linux target support.
  5. Workable support for Blender (I occasionally use Blender, while Nin uses Maya).
  6. The flexibility in the engine to create and apply our own tools & fixes, or utilize tools from the community / Asset Store.
  7. Upfront costs (compared to shared-profit licensing).

I have mostly nice things to say about UDK. I think it’s an excellent engine and I really enjoyed using UnrealScript. For our project we did run into a couple of snags & bugs with lighting. UE4 switches to an entirely different lighting solution, which looks hella exciting. Unfortunately Epic is deprecating UnrealScript for UE4 and that negates my desire for its lighting. I enjoy Kismet for material-editing, but not for game-logic, so I cannot see myself porting over to UE4 with its greater emphasis on Kismet.

Migrating to Unity is going to be a challenge, but I don’t regret anything we’ve done up to this point. As a learning experience, it’s all good. I expect it won’t take long for us to hit a threshold where the change in engine will pay off in a big way.

Unity 4 here we come.