When comparing GDevApp vs Unity, the Slant community recommends GDevApp for most people. In the question“What are the best 100% free and easy game engines for beginners?” GDevApp is ranked 12th while Unity is ranked 20th. The most important reason people chose GDevApp is:
Prebuilt behaviors can be added to objects. This is a very efficient way to add a physics engine or make a platformer game. Lots of behaviors are included, from the most advanced (Physics, platformer, top-down movement) to really simple ones (like the behavior to destroy objects when outside the screen or the one to drag objects with mouse or touch).
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Pro Quickly add behaviors to objects
Prebuilt behaviors can be added to objects. This is a very efficient way to add a physics engine or make a platformer game.
Lots of behaviors are included, from the most advanced (Physics, platformer, top-down movement) to really simple ones (like the behavior to destroy objects when outside the screen or the one to drag objects with mouse or touch).
Pro Powerful events system to create games without programming
No need for coding using this system which is clear and powerful: events are composed of conditions and actions.
Actions are launched when conditions are fulfilled. This is a very beginner-friendly way of making games and is still efficient for advanced usage, contrary to most other "block"/"drag'n'drop" systems.
Pro Intuitive interface
Pro Based on GDevelop
The entire webapp is based on GDevelop, an open source native game development software available for Windows & Linux, so it benefits from its advanced development.
Pro Can download an archive of the game source
Even though the tool depends on having a server up and running, you can download a copy of your game to run locally, or host somewhere else.
Pro Great UI
Sleek and user-friendly UI.
Pro Can export your game as HTML5 and for Android
Games can be packaged for Android without relying on any third party tool. You can also export your game and download it to host it on your server or let it be hosted on GDevApp.com.
Pro Shallow learning curve
Pro OUYA support
Pro Over 20 platforms
Unity offers over 20 platforms for publishing including mobile, console, web, VR, and more.
Not tailored for specific types of games (like Unreal...), so it won't get in your way if you want to make something unique.
Pro Well structured
Overall, a coherent engine with a rational approach. People who complain a lot about being forced to hack around it usually do not read the docs, like the one that describes orders of execution, or specific functions hooks and such. Some like to say it lacks raw power where people who are used to standard optimizations have no problem. For example It is not uncommon to encounter users who complain about low FPS but forgot to activate occlusion, flag static elements, activate animations culling, and so on. As for complaints about C#, people who are transitioning from C++ were already bad at C++ before being bad at C#. They often come from the PC world where the sheer power of today's machines is very forgiving compared to the platforms we had to develop for in the 80s~90s. One of their errors is for example to never read this doc.
Pro Very optimized
Unity runs very smoothly even on systems that are considered "weak" by today's standards.
Pro Lots of assets can be found in the Asset Store
For those developers who can't afford an artist, or aren't skilled enough to create their own art, Unity features an Asset Store full of a wide variety of free and paid assets that can be easily added to a game. The Asset Store has more than just music and art. It also has code and modules that can be added to games including unique lighting or GUI systems. It also has powerful asset management and attribute inspection.
Pro Works with 3rd party IDEs
You can use any C# IDE for it, but the ones tested which have Unity integration are:
- Microsoft Visual Studio
- Visual Studio Code (much faster than VS, but a bit harder to set up for Unity development)
- JetBrains Rider (very fast, has lots of functionality and best Unity integration, but it is not free)
Pro Flexibility is provided by a strong component programming model
Pro Has a great animation system
Unity provides a great state machine animation system called Mechanim allowing to separate animation from the model and assign the same animoations to different models.
Pro Powerful standard shaders
The built in standard shader in Unity 5 is incredibly optimized and supports PBS/PBR.
Pro Allows for rapid prototyping
Unity's modular system and usability allows for quickly developing a prototype of an idea. It has features like drag & drop editing, shaders, animation and other systems already in place to allow diving right into developing a game.
Pro Easy learning curve
The way the editor is structured, by setting scripts on objects, and the use of a high-level language, C#, makes it easy to learn.
Pro Can create custom forms and tools
Pro Very popular
Unity is a proven game engine. It is used by a wide range of developers - from small indies to triple-A companies such as Microsoft, Paradox, Square Enix and Sega.
Pro Lots of resources to learn from
Unity3D provides an exhaustive documentation where everything is given a full description supplied by a number of examples as well as video and text tutorials and live training sessions to understand the ins and outs of the engine. In addition there's an ever-growing community that can offer advice to help resolve any situations that may arise.
Along with the official Unity resources, there are many high quality (and often free) third party tutorials available.
Pro Great editor
The editor GUI is very powerful and intuitive. It allows pausing gameplay and manipulating the scene at any time as well as progress gameplay frame by frame. It also has powerful asset management and attribute inspection.
This allows it to be more powerful than other, simpler drag-and-drop engines such as Game Maker Studio, although it can take a bit more experience to learn the workflow.
Pro As of Unity 5 all engine features are free for everyone
As long as the company makes $100k or less, Unity's free version can be used to release games without purchasing the pro version.
Pro Supports 2D and 3D
With Unity knowledge of just one engine is needed to be able to create both 2D and 3D games.
Pro Provides access to a huge list of assets through Asset Store
There's an Asset Store, providing free and paid assets (including components). It also has powerful asset management and attribute inspection.
Con Depends on a hosting service
If the website goes down or closes down, you'll no longer be able to develop your games using this system (but you can download a backup of your game from time to time and open it with GDevelop).
Con Cannot deploy native games
For now, games developed with GDevApp can only be deployed for the Web. Android deployment is in the works, but even then, they won't be native since they are built with web technologies.