As you know from a previous article, there’s now an Early Access version of Unreal Engine 5. Obviously, I decided to download the engine and take a look.
When you install the engine, you have a Wizard screen similar to UE4. Here, you can start a blank project or a template, depending on what you want to do. For example, you can start some Architectural Viz project, or a Photo Studio for product display (that you could also use to display your models), or game templates. I decided to start with a game project, since this is what I usually use the engine for.
The interface is familiar, but there are a few changes. For example, by default the Content Browser is a pop-up window that can be displayed using the CTRL+SPACE keys, but you can also dock the pane to your interface, to make it behave more like it does in UE4.
Blueprints and Material editors work exactly the same. However, this is not a bad thing, since this makes the transition to UE5 a lot easier. When I first used UE4, coming from UDK (which is basically UE3), it was a little bit lost because all the infrastructure and inner workings had changed. For example, in UDK we had Kismet, and now we have Blueprints, which seems to be the same but are in fact vastly different.
As I said in the previous article, the differences between UE4 and UE5 are mostly technology-based, while keeping the workflows the same, so there’s not surprise both engines look pretty similar.
One nice thing is you can convert your projects from UE4 to UE5. Converting the project to UE5 is pretty easy. You just need to open the project, and the engine will ask you if you want to convert the project in place, or create a new copy. You should create a new copy, obviously. I didn’t try converting Just Let Me Go, since that project is pretty big right now (I will do it in a future article), but I did convert a small project with a character from Killer Dolls United. The rendered result, at least for this case, was virtually identical to UE4.
In the near future I will take a deeper look at some of the other features, and I will also convert a copy of Just Let Me Go to UE5 and see how it works with a “real” game. However, I will keep using UE4 to develop the game (or future UE-powered games), because UE5 is still in Early Access and definitely wouldn’t use it for a full production (neither should you). In the meantime, you can get UE5 and try it out for yourself.
Get Unreal Engine 5: https://www.unrealengine.com/ue5