We’re often asked about the differences between our software and the WebGL version of the popular game engine Unity. To answer this question, I used the official Unity3D manual and some information found on their community forums and compared certain aspects of Verge3D and Unity WebGL implementations.
In Verge3D content is created using your favorite 3D editing software such as 3ds Max or Blender. This has benefits of a streamlined graphics pipeline without redundant imports/exports so that models can be tweaked/edited right in place. This also significantly reduces learning time, as a 3D artist can already be familiar with the material/lighting/animation system of the corresponding 3D suite and developed working skills in the past.
Unity3D is a game engine with its own editor that is tailored to game development. Models are usually imported in the editor from external 3D packages and often require certain tweaks before they can be used in the engine. It also offers its own material/lighting/animation system to be learned and dealt with.
Contrary to that, Unity developers are themselves responsible for finding and setting correct memory consumption limits for their apps which can sometimes lead to unpredictable behavior and crashes for some users.
Verge3D has been offering an intuitive and easy-to-grasp visual logic system called Puzzles. With Puzzles, it is possible to implement complex interactions even if you never programmed before. This logic system additionally offers functionality that is specific for the Web.
Although there are third-party add-ons for Unity3D that allow for adding interactivity without coding, they are primarily aimed at desktop and mobile game development. With Unity3D you have to be a skilled programmer for coding non-trivial stuff.
Verge3D can leverage native HTML/CSS for creating sophisticated, responsible user interfaces. Buttons, infoboxes, and menus can easily be integrated with the 3D scene with Puzzles to work in a bidirectional manner.
It is quite difficult to link a 3D scene to external web page elements in Unity3D. As such, Unity3D developers rather prefer to leverage its internal UI system, which is neither web- nor SEO-friendly.
Verge3D apps are self-hosted by nature. However, if there is such a need, you can quickly deploy your app on a cloud with a single button click, so that it becomes accessible via a private link, or shareable in social media.
With Unity3D you are on your own with deploying your apps on the Web.
There are probably many more differences between Unity WebGL and Verge3D left out of the scope of this article. I believe that even Unity fans would agree that if there is a platform-specific solution to a problem (such as creating 3D web interactives), it is most likely to work better than a universal approach that strives to cover all platforms at once. So if you are targeting the Web, choose a web-friendly engine!