When comparing Urho3D vs PlayCanvas, the Slant community recommends Urho3D for most people. In the question“What are the best 3D game engines?” Urho3D is ranked 6th while PlayCanvas is ranked 23rd. The most important reason people chose Urho3D is:
The entire engine is open source and makes use of other open source libraries. Source code is licensed under MIT and available on [GitHub](https://github.com/urho3d/Urho3D).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free and fully open source
The entire engine is open source and makes use of other open source libraries. Source code is licensed under MIT and available on GitHub.
Pro Includes a lot of samples
There are a lot of sample projects included with the engine for both C++ and Angelscript. They are mostly very simple applications built to demonstrate the engines capabilities and features.
Pro In constant active development
Bugs are usually fixed that same day. Core devs are very active on forums. New features are always being worked on. HTML5, DirectX11, and OpenGL3.1 support have recently been added. (as of 4/15/15)
Pro Very high code quality
Urho3D is written in a modular and super-clean way, so that it can be integrated into the other parts of your game seamlessly.
Pro Small turnaround times while developing
Builds are quite fast, aids in rapid development.
Pro Fat-free codebase
Only use what you need.
Pro Good documentation
The documentation for Urho3D can be split in two parts: auto-generated from class references and documentation written to cover the various aspects, features and systems of the engine. The written documentation is pretty good. It covers most of the aspects of the engine in clear and understandable English.
Pro Good 3D level editor
Pro Unofficial Oculus Rift support
Information on enabling OR support can be found here.
Pro Does not require an editor to get going
Pro Powerful assets pipeline
Assets and content delivery is very different on a web platform comparing to native. So PlayCanvas challenges best practices to allow developers decide how their content is delivered and in what form.
Async Assets download allows developers to load content as the app goes, instead of asking to download all assets in advance risking users to simply navigate away while staring at loading screens.
Formats for 3D models and textures support covers all the popular tools. And the workflow is as simple as dragging and dropping your files right into the Assets Panel. The cloud will do the rest of the hard work optimizing and converting your files into runtime-friendly and compressed data.
Pro Rendering engine runs on the browser
Has an advanced WebGL renderer that runs in the browser.
Pro Real-time collaborative online editor tool
PlayCanvas has an online editor that lets you build scenes and work with other people in your team in real-time. This is all done through the web browser without having to install any additional software.
Pro Avoids having to download lots of textures for lightmaps
Lightmaps are an efficient way to deliver lighting to your scenes for a long time. But they come with the cost of large textures. PlayCanvas offers a unique solution for a web platform, it renders lightmaps when an app is loading in runtime.
This is faster than downloading MBs of textures. And it's much more convenient: simply switch your light sources to bake, and static models to be lightmapped, and the engine will do the rest.
Pro Friendly and active community
PlayCanvas has Feed as homepage for registered users, listing Dev Logs of other developers. This allows to socialize with other developers like yourself in a twitter-like environment.
More to that, there is also an active forum, where developers help each other to solve their challenges.
Developers of PlayCanvas itself are always looking forward to chat and help the community with any problems that may arise.
Pro Integrated physics engine
PlayCanvas lets users integrate physics in their game rather easily, using the powerful Bullet Physics Engine (ammo.js). Should also be noted that the physics engine is delivered as an optional library, so by default being disabled it does not add any extra download size to your apps.
Pro Has a free tier
Engine is free for projects under 200MB and with no more than 2 people on a team. The free tier has no engine restrictions.
Tools are totally free too. There are no special limiting features behind any paywalls, and free users have all the features as paid users.
There are no royalties associated with publishing your apps and games - you've made them, you own them.
It is free to publish to playcanvas.com as well, just by one click in Editor.
Pro Small app size
The engine itself weighs just under 150Kb, and it's always challenged to stay small. There is no extra weight that has to be carried with your app, just your assets and scripts in a runtime-friendly compressed form.
This allows users to engage with your content in matter of seconds, and even just under a second on a good connection.
Pro Open source
PlayCanvas is fully open source and is under active development.
Pro Has hot code reloading
Real-time link between your launched app and the editor allows the developer to preview and play with their scene without needing to refresh the game after every change in the code to see the updated result.
Pro Cross-platform support
PlayCanvas lets you build games that run in mobile, desktop browsers, and native mobile apps. PlayCanvas can even make games that can run inside mobile social media and instant messenger clients like Twitter and WhatsApp.
Pro Very easy to use
Pro Loads extremely fast
Con May be a bit hard to get started
To install Urho3D you need to get the archive from GitHub (be careful to download the master branch) and extract it. After that, you need to compile the engine with CMake. If all the dependencies are installed, then it should be a straightforward process, otherwise you will need to track down and install all the missing dependencies.
For people who don't have much experience with CMake this whole process may seem a bit like magic. For people who do have experience with CMake, the whole installation will be relatively easy.
Con The UI can be hard on the eyes
Urho3D's UI lacks polish and and could cause eye strain.
Con Private projects are only available for premium users
The free tier does not support any private projects. Instead, all the code and assets will be hosted openly. While not a problem for open source games and for developers who intend to make an open source game, it can be a deal-breaker for teams who want to keep their code and assets private.