Unity vs. Hero

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by ElectricCrow, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. ElectricCrow

    ElectricCrow

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    I've already purchased Unity 4 and we are developing our game with it now. However, I'm seeing that Hero is much more focused towards the MMO development community whereas Unity seems more focused on Mobile and FPS games.

    What can you tell me, as a producer, why Unity is the better option for a Sandbox MMO over Hero?

    I'm really looking forward to your responses.

    Thank you.
     
  2. janpec

    janpec

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    Hero engine has serious performance problem with realtime shadows, performance drops down greatly when shadows are turned on. They use custom scripting language which means that you will have to learn new language if you are not yet familiar with it. They ship with even less shader / material examples than Unity, you are limited to use only SpeedTree 4 for plants which is quite old piece of software and does not produce really nice vegetation. There have been plenty of indie teams that have purchased 5000 dollars licenses for Hero engine and after few weeks or months they all went to Unity, that must tell you quite a lot. And the most limitating feature of all is that with Cloud service you are bound to company that is creator of engine, if anything goes wrong with company you will probably have very deep problems.

    With Ulink, Photon or Player IO you have much more flexible solution if you use Unity. You have stable quite optimised engine, no bounding to any company, free to make your world and assets as you wish, and no royaltie license.
     
  3. Chaoss

    Chaoss

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    Photon + Unity and you're onto a winner. Hero IS improving and they are now using SpeedTree 6, creating more examples and are improving However you are stuck with the company and like janpec said if they ever decide that the cloud service is no longer viable you/your team will loose out. With Unity you are much more free to do what you want
     
  4. ElectricCrow

    ElectricCrow

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    We are using Unity 4 with Unlink. I assume Unlink is better than Photon?
     
  5. Democre

    Democre

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    I had the pleasure of consulting with IdeaFabrik as they bought Simutronics and HeroEngine. Granted, I have not worked with HeroCloud at all.

    The biggest positives:
    The collaboration tools are top notch.
    It is a turn key system, handling billing and networking.

    The biggest negatives:
    The renderer is dated. Shadowing and glass are noticeable deficiencies.
    HeroBlade and the dev tools were PC only at the time, and since these were supersets of the runtime environment, the resulting games were limited to PC only as well.

    While consulting with them, I had offered numerous times to ditch their in house renderer and bolt Unity on the front end. They did not at the time want to dump 10 years of renderer work. Every once in a while, I keep pinging them for a headless version, but it is still not in their current plans.
     
  6. janpec

    janpec

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    Oh SpeedTree 6? Now that is tempting:D
     
  7. Chaoss

    Chaoss

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    Unity needs a SpeedTree like program
     
  8. nipoco

    nipoco

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    Unity hast the Tree creator.
    That's not as advanced as SpeedTree but with some skills and dedication it produces also some great results.
     
  9. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    "You can do it with scripting." LOL (That was the all-too-common response when we asked them if the engine was capable of something.)

    I had the "pleasure" as well. I will agree, the collaboration tools were cool. However, with three different teams working on one project over several months, we never once used them. In the end, the best they're for is leaving notes for other developers to see when they come back to work on it.

    Its no secret that I have a personal bias (concentrated, burning hatred) against Idea Fabrik, so I'll try my best to not turn this into a hate post. However, aside from project management/collaboration, as a game engine, it falls short in every category. Slow loading, awful rendering, restrictive (yet required) 3rd party tools, etc.

    Don't be fooled by their hype of "It was licensed for the Star Wars MMO". You'll notice they're very careful to say "it was licensed for" and not "it was used/developed with". You'll also notice that nowhere does it say HeroEngine on the Old Republic MMO site or game. Bioware licensed the engine, stripped out the collaboration tools and tossed the rest.

    You can read this on the SWTOR forums for some firsthand insight.

    ...I'll stop there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  10. ElectricCrow

    ElectricCrow

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    Very good feedback. Just what I was looking for.

    I knew there was a reason I liked this community. :p
     
  11. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    uLink Photon are completely different ways of tackling different problems - with a small area of overlap where you fit in.

    uLink is not much more than a hyped up Unity3D networking solution with some alpha-beta ready supporting infrastructure. This means be willing to deal with the good the bad of a fresh, but not yet polished API's. On the other hand it's one of the easiest ways to work with physics based games - and is great if you want to enable LAN play [e.g. FPS]. The potential license with Piko server can be very interesting if you've got the need and the greed [ahem, $$$].

    Photon is a high performance socket library with .Net plugin functionality. It's got no understanding of physics [or anything else that exists within unity], nor of persistency etc. Furthermore, the API is/was something of a nightmare to understand - particularly as they do a good job of hiding/obfuscating documentation. That said, it's good for more abstract games where you want high CCU per server, and is very flexible if you've got the time budget [e.g. PUN Photon cloud].
     
  12. janpec

    janpec

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    Agree, collaboration tools in Hero are useful only for experianced team and artists that are capable to produce steady artwork trough whole game.
     
  13. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    In my experience I've found uLink's documentation and features to be a lot more powerful/comprehensive than what Photon has to offer.
     
  14. mrbdrm

    mrbdrm

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    i was thinking about hero mainly because i dont have to work on the network stuff from scratch especially if you work alone (im not talking full MMO)
    also if we compare time that you will need to do a task in unity vs hero witch one will be faster ? for example : creating an instance or character customization ?
    my point : isn't hero got all the ground up work done ?
     
  15. Kinos141

    Kinos141

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    Thing is about Unity it's a blank slate engine. Unlike UDK or Hero, when you make a new project it's empty. The good thing is that there are ALOT of packages, code samples and assets that you can buy which you are allowed to use in your own game. Think of it: it's probably cheaper to pay for premade assets that can make a MMO, (like behavior trees package, AI packages, MMO customization package, and uLink roughly totaling less than $500) then to buy a MMO game engine ($5000? sick!!)
     
  16. mrbdrm

    mrbdrm

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    you are right, but this is a real good idea in theory not in real world practice.
    i have alot of asset and like now unity is updated to 4 and half of my asset is broken and i can't do anything until the authors fix them and on top of that some authors don't have unity 4 so im in trouble.
    unity dev can help the asset devs with this (free beta access to fix the asset before unity update) or i can keep on using outdated engine with missing features.
    thats the problem with multi authors assets and why i said all in one is better
     
  17. JamesPro

    JamesPro

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    uLink alone is over $700, uPikko (If you want a seamless World) adds a rev. share on top of that... Not to mention $1500 for the unity License for each Developer who doesn't already have the pro License. Then you have Server Costs, Bandwidth costs, Billing Processing, Advertising, ect. on top of the development costs.

    With Hero we paid a little over $500 for a 25 seat license. They handle the costs of Server hosting, Billing processing, Advertising (We will have to do some of our advertising as well but they do alot for you), Bandwidth costs, ect. Not to mention the 10s of thousands of dollars worth of 3rd party software you get for free like SpeedTree. Yes it comes with a 30% rev share but considering what you get it's well worth it.

    We are planning on upgrading to the Indie Source License at some point which we will then take over the hosting costs, billing, bandwidth, ect. but the Rev. Share drops to 7% and we will then have full control over the engine.
     
  18. khanstruct

    khanstruct

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    Necro posting to say that you're not using Unity... on the Unity forum... cute.

    Moving away from the frightfully dated tech that is HeroEngine (ooh, Hero 2 can now use custom shaders!) Exactly what are you talking about with advertising? You mean, posting it on their website? ...like this?

    There will always be problems with bundled packages. With Hero, you get a whole lot of sub-par software and services, and zero options. The reason no one uses it for their MMO is because, if you're actually capable of building an MMO, then you're also capable of linking together much more efficient and powerful tools than what HE has to offer.

    If your only concern is cost, then really, you can top the quality of HeroEngine with nothing but free software.