Is Unreal Engine Development Good for 2D Games?
Is the Unreal Engine a capable platform for game development? Yes! Unreal Engine and Unity are the two most sought-after game development engines worldwide. Its functionality and flexibility make game development with Unreal Engine a competent process. Its highly robust development suite can produce games for any platform. But is 2D game development with Unreal Engine a good idea? Join ChicMic, and let’s find out.
What is an Unreal Engine?
Unreal Engine, or UE, is a competent game development engine owned by the game and software development company Epic Games. It allows developers to build animations, simulations, and edit sound or videos, thus building a complete game from the ground up. Unreal Engine is free and user-friendly, making it a popular choice for beginners to enter the game development industry.
Epic Games built the Unreal Engine specifically to develop PC first-person shooter games. But with time, developers and creators have used it to create various games. Its versatility has even encouraged its application in the film and television industry. Unreal Engine offers high portability, allowing users to utilize it across a wide range of platforms.
Which Programming Language Do Developers Use for Game Development with Unreal Engine?
Game developers use C++ when it comes to game development with Unreal Engine. C++ is versatile and highly stable, with great memory allocation, allowing developers to experiment and innovate. However, C++ is a complex language to learn and poses various challenges. Thus, C++ is more suited for professional use, allowing them to explore all its options.
Is 2D game development with Unreal Engine a good idea?
Admittedly, most game developers opt for other game engines like Unity or GameMaker for 2D games. They offer more tools and functions to make 2D game development a much easier task. However, Epic Games has updated Unreal Engine significantly to encourage proficient 2D game development.
Let’s check out some features that allow 2D game development with Unreal Engine:
- Blueprint Visual Scripting: Unreal Engine simplifies the game development process with its Blueprint Visual Scripting system. The engaging interface allows 2D game designers to design intricate gameplay mechanics. It also encourages the development teams to collaborate and push through the prototyping phase.
- Real-time Rendering: Many game developers consider it a revolutionary function. The real-time rendering function allows developers and designers to see the design changes as they work. The functionality provides a highly potent feedback loop that enhances the iteration process and speeds up the development cycle.
- Paper 2D: Unreal Engine has a dedicated set of tools for 2D designing called “Paper 2D.” It is sprite-based and provides graphics, physics, collision detections, and tile maps to create sophisticated 2D gameplay.
- Plugins and Marketplace: Unreal Engine Marketplace has a range of plugins and assets that can help novice and experienced designers build their 2D games. The Unreal developers are highly active and constantly work to help users with information and tools. If you can’t find a particular feature in the interface, there must be a plugin for it in the marketplace.
- Physics Simulation: Unreal Engine houses a robust physics engine that enables developers to create a highly realistic gaming world. These involve dynamic environmental effects and lifelike object interactions that mimic the real world.
- Animation and Particle Systems: The engine provides animation and particle systems to developers so that they can create dynamic and aesthetically pleasing effects for their 2D games.
- Materials and Lighting: Materials and lighting assets and systems in Unreal Engine are impressive tools for game development. These systems can transform a dull-looking 2D or 3D environment into a highly engaging and immersive one.
Once you get used to Unreal Engine’s slightly complex interface and workflow, you can leverage its advanced graphic functionalities to create amazing 2D games.
Challenges of 2D Game Development with Unreal Engine
Unreal Engine provides a Paper 2D module for developers to create 2D games and animations. But they lack fluidity when compared to other engine options like Unity. Meanwhile, Unreal’s 3D environment and visual rendering capabilities are beyond comparison.
The result is a 2D game that would require more time to create the same smooth and fluid experience as the one developed in Unity. It comes down to the developers to experiment, persevere, and find a balance between visual fidelity and best performance. The developer also needs to get past Unreal’s steep learning curve and get accustomed to its comprehensive toolset. While 2D game development with Unreal Engine is possible, it requires significant effort, skill, and patience from the developers.
Some Notable 2D Games Developed with Unreal Engine
Here are some awe-inspiring 2D games that were developed using Unreal Engine:
Octopath Traveler is a role-playing video game developed using Unreal Engine 4 that consists of 2D character and environment animation. Square Enix successfully created an “HD 2D” environment; every other studio is now trying to replicate it.
The Siege and The Sandbox
It is a 2D stealth Metroidvania with one giant continuous world that links new palaces, old prisons, an ancient mausoleum, and a network of caves in between. The developers behind the game aimed to keep the authentic pixel art while utilizing the advanced tools of Unreal Engine.
The Vagrant is a 2D action RPG game. The selling point of the game? The game’s designers hand-painted the entire game, including its characters and the environment. Their lead developer explains how they were inspired by Vanillaware 2D titles like Odin’s Sphere and Dragon’s Crown.
Such games are the defining examples of using Unreal Engine to develop visually engaging 2D games.
ChicMic is an experienced name when it comes to game development with Unreal Engine. The team has over a decade of experience delivering successful projects for clients worldwide. Unreal Engine is a competent tool to help beginner and experienced developers create 2D games. And with innovation holding priority, 2D-3D hybrid games will take center stage.