Unity is a multiplatform game development tool, designed from the start to ease creation. A fully integrated professional application, Unity just happens to contain the most powerful engine this side of a million dollars.
Before unity I was writing an entire engine by myself, which was too complexe, too time consuming and way too difficult to pull off alone in the time I wanted to do it in.
Unity has (almost) everything I need. It has it's downsides, but It has sped up my development time 10 fold since I switched over.
Why to give this a 10?
Seriously there are many engines that deserve a 10 because of the following reason:
They make a developer's job easy. Not only it keeps updating to be more useful and make the job easier, fixing bugs, optimizing the tools it has, etc.
Years ago anyone that wanted to publish a game, had to study and be polish every aspect of it separately. Lightning, compatibility, rendering, game play, visuals, etc. And we have to agree that it meant that you needed specialists for the job.
Yes you may still need them, but not to the level of before, Unity like many other game engines, make this job easier. You no longer need to make an engine from scratch, or personalize one from zero to suit your needs.
Time and effort saving, along with the cheapness of the engine (even a free version is available). Is what, among many other things, makes me like Unity.
Unity made our developing dreams come true. We love it, and the work people do on it to make everyone's lives easier. I remember when we started working with Unity, and I remember it took some time for me to figure out some of the limitations of it, a lot of forum hopping, posting and outreach. So if you're not willing to get in touch with the community then this engine might frustrate you.
Also on bigger projects and game environments, the editor and play feature doesn't represent how the game will play built. These are minor expected issues. Especially considering the alternative. It's helping out indie developers everywhere, and it would be a perfect learning tool for anyone. We would(and have) personally recommend Unity to any developer.
Unity3D passes as mediocre for me.
I love the fact that it's heavily optimized for lower end machines and people who want to get their feet wet in the world of game development. But if you're looking for a more realistic game, unless you pay $1500 for the engine or $75 for a subscription, you will be drastically disappointed because the free version of Unity is lack luster. It simply doesn't have the "great features" that Unreal Engine 3/4 or CryEngine 3 provides. It's way to expensive for those who want a great looking game and make it presentable to Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and Patreon. I can see where 3rd party support would come into play, but if you don't have backers to get you and your team the money you need to make your game believable you are stuck with a poorly planned and designed feature set.
I've played around with Unity, I loved the time I spent with it but the fact that's it's free version is so restricting when it comes to serious game development is where I parted ways with it.
I would recommend to everyone who wants to create a realistic looking game, I would opt for alternatives to Unity such as CryEngine or Unreal Engine 4, heck, even Leadwerks Game Engine. Sorry Unity, you could be great if you just lifted the silly restrictions and make it more affordable for people just starting out I would probably go back to you.
Here's why I think it's a pass via comparison:
Let's start with Unity3d's feature set. You only get next generation visuals and options if you pay a ridiculous subscription fee of $75 or a wallet burning $1500, still uses baked lighting which is dated technology (if you're using the free version) perks of Unity though and the reason why I didn't rate it below a 5 is the fact that you are free to distribute your game however you please (commercial or otherwise) without the need to pay the creators of Unity "royalties" I believe. But, most hardcore gamers are looking for prettier games. However, casual gamers won't care one way or another as long as they can play it.
Unreal Engine 4: Oh boy, this one is currently what I'm using. Features Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Mobile distribution as well as Occulus Rift support for an easy price of $19 per month and 5% royalties to Epic Games if you make over $50,000. So what happens if I cancel my subscription? Not a thing, you still get all of next generation features and a huge community and great tutorials with some of them created by Epic Games themselves.
CryEngine 3: I've used it but moved on, since it's restricted to First-Person type of games unless you're star Citizen. You get all of the next generation features for free, but it's glory is halted by a small community and a company who is currently facing financial trouble. You have a free model and a subscription model and there is no real difference between the two, except that the subscription model allows you to sell you game with no royalties due.
I cannot stress enough that everyone should go for something more this generation unless you want a basic looking game.
A low cost system that allows for the freedom to build almost any game that can be imagined from a 2d to 3d to beyond. Integrated VR technology and excellent audio systems make for an immersive environment. Consistent technology updates and an active community make the system extremely flexible and advance its' usefulness all the time, keeping it from stagnating.