When comparing Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family vs Unreal Engine 4, the Slant community recommends Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family is ranked 5th while Unreal Engine 4 is ranked 23rd. The most important reason people chose Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family is:
25% of iPhone games are made using Cocos2d-x (A Cocos2d mobile variant.) This means you will not be alone in development, and will have access to a large community. You'll know you are developing for an engine that works.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro A proven engine for mobile development
25% of iPhone games are made using Cocos2d-x (A Cocos2d mobile variant.)
This means you will not be alone in development, and will have access to a large community. You'll know you are developing for an engine that works.
Pro Allows for easy debugging
It has a built-in Python interpreter that allows for easy debugging.
Pro Great script language support
Especially with Cocos2d-JS you can develop games cross web and native, and the native solution have great performance with JS Bindings, much better than hybrid solution.
Pro Greater performance than high level APIs
Cocos2d-x is C++ based engine and it has CPU advantages for most platforms because of that. It uses polygonal mesh methods for sprite rendering for using GPU advantages. (You also use quad methods for benefit CPU).
Pro Supports 3D models with skeleton animation
A new feature since Cocos2d-x v3.1 is support for 3D models (in your 2D game), not only this but support for skeleton animations is included too! This awesome feature allows for impressive characters in your game along with easier, more fluid and realistic animations.
Cocos2d-x is not only open source but also supported by Chukong Technologies of China and USA.
Regularly updated and adding support for the latest technologies. 2014 has already seen the release of Version 3, a new Cocos Studio development toolkit (optional) and support for new technologies like skeleton animation systems Spine and Adobe DragonBone.
Pro Great video tutorials
Hundreds of video tutorials available.
Pro OpenGL hardware acceleration
Pro Easy integration of 3rd party plugins
For example, if you want to add a rating plugin, you use
sdkbox::PluginReview::init(); and if you want to add the Vundle Ad Network SDK, you use the one packaged in SDKBox
Pro Highly active community for questions and support
Cocos2d-x forums are active.
Pro No external dependencies
Because it is based on Pyglet.
Pro Free development license, including source code
The engine, including full access to source code, is licensed to developers for 5% royalty on resulting revenue if it exceeds $3000 per quarter.
Pro Dynamic global illumination with voxel cone tracing decreases the computational power needed
Voxel cone tracing is a similar algorithm to ray tracing, but uses thick rays instead of pixel thin rays to be able vastly decrease the amount of computational power needed.
Pro A visual scripting system for non-coders enables quick prototyping
Blueprints are authoring tools designed for non programmers so designers and other team members can help tweak and prototype. UE4's Blueprint scripts resemble flowcharts where each box represents a function or value, with connections between them representing program flow. This provides a better at-a-glance indication of game logic than a simple list of events, and makes complex behaviors easier to accomplish and games a lot faster to prototype.
Pro Developers have full control of the engine and source code
UE4 gives full access to the C++ source code allowing editing and upgrading anything in the system.
Pro Lots of resources to learn from
Epic provides multiple official video tutorials, lots of free example projects and content, an extensive wiki and regular streams showing how to use latest features.
Pro Spectacular lighting visuals
Pro Powerful material/shader system
Allows a texture/material artist or VFX artist to create amazing effects from the ground up.
Pro Cross-platform editor and export
This engine exports for a big range of platforms including Linux. The editor can be run on Windows, MacOS, and Linux (Early Access).
Pro Active community
Forums have many active and friendly members that are quick to respond and help out. Even staff is very active on forums.
Pro Fast compilation for quick iteration
Recompiling an entire game to test a small change takes up a lot of time. UE4 quickly compiles in seconds instead of minutes improving iteration time by an order of magnitude.
Pro Quick release-cycle
New feature releases can be commonly expected about once a month.
Pro AAA Ready
This is ready to make the next AAA game.
Pro Professional feature set for all aspects of game development
Almost everything a game developer wants has a deep and sophisticated tool waiting for them in UE4. No external plugins are needed to make powerful materials, FX, terrain, cinematics, gameplay logic, AI, animation graphs, post process effects, lighting etc.
Pro Realistic graphics
Pro Proven track record
Pro No coding experience needed
Con Poor documentation
Most existing documentation is out of date. API documentation sometimes exists, though is usually just a one-liner and more often than not is completely absent. New features and significant system rewrites often make it to a major release without a single line of documentation accompanying them. Cocos2d-x family is developed by Chinese mostly, so market outside of China is not their main priority. Some tools (like Cocos Studio) have China-specific services and markets.
Con Poor support and non-existent community
Up until 2013, this was one of the best engines around. However, since then it was bought by a Chinese company and began stagnating - it's virtually in a slow death. Most developers abandoned Cocos in favor of more modern solutions leaving the community weak and the forums with little or no traffic. Although the Cocos2d-x Forum seems to have a decent community going.
Con Cocos2d-html5 is way behind Cocos2d-x
While Cocos2d-html5 tries to mimic it's Cocos2d-x sister and has the same people working on it, it has lots of restrictions compared to Cocos2d-x: no Spine mesh support, no 3D models, bad text label quality, etc.
Con Fragmentation; hard to find useful tutorials
Cocos2d family includes different projects: cocos2d-x, cocos2d-html5, cocos2d-objc, cocos2d-XNA. Most tutorials describe techniques specific to single project of the family, and cannot be applied to other projects.
Con Modest functionality
Almost all free alternatives are more convenient, faster, and more functional.
Con Can seem very complex for a novice developer
There isn't much documentation or tutorials.
Con Very high build size
A blank project will build in to a minimum of 200 MB.
Compared to other engines, UE4 seems to perform various actions considerably slower. Actions like starting the engine, opening the editor, opening a project, rebuilding shaders, updating references, calculating lightmaps, saving projects, etc take long enough to get irritating and end up wasting precious development time.
Con Extremely long build times
Making a full rebuild, including engine can take a good 30minutes. If you plan to use Unreal professionally, you better get some licenses for Incredibuild as well.
Con No drawcall batching, performance is very bad on mobile
There's no dynamic batching support to minimize drawcalls. There's InstancedStaticmesh concept in UE4, but it's 3d only, functionally limited and requires hardware support which rules out most mobile devices.
Con C# not natively supported
UE4 does not support C# natively, but this can be achieved through MonoUE, although it requires using the MonoUE fork instead of UE itself.
Con Royalty based
5% of profits will go to Unreal after $3000 earned in a quarter.
Con Poor documentation
Most of the "documentation" for code is actually just automatically generated from the source. If you're interested in knowing how things are supposed to work, you must either go to their answers site or pay for UDN.
Often their examples won't even compile, since they were written for now outdated versions.
Con C++ - oriented development cycle: slow turn-around times
The Unreal Editor is the main place to do stuff (of course), so if someone wants to do a lot of C++ stuff, the compilation and linking turn-around times can be painful. Still they probably are quite fast in comparison to the provided featureset.. Still ,they are far from optimal.
Con Hard engine for beginners
This engine not easy for beginners
Con Steep learning curve
Especially when compared to its primary competitor, Unity.
Con They spend more time adding features than fixing existing ones
Con Poor quality assurance on their releases
After each release they almost immediately release a hotfix. And another one. And another one.
Con Tutorials do not go in-depth enough
The blueprint tutorial just teaches how to turn on a light when you press f.
Con Extremely poorly designed
The code is a mess.
Everything is connected, a single Actor is 1500 bytes, because it contains a million things that Epic once needed in a game.
Inheritance for AActor: AActor > UObject > UObjectBaseUtility > UObjectBase
Con Difficult for mac users
If you're installing it on mac, you simply download epic games launcher and watch it download nothing endlessly.
Con Bad support
The epic games team only assists with billing and account issues, not bugs.
Con Terrible physics
Con Frequent crashes
Often the editor crashes interrupting your work.