Needle vs Unity-WebGL?

Hi, our team has been using the official Unity-WebGL version for quite some time and we were wondering what the key differences between these two platforms and the specific advantages of each.
Are every feature of Unity WebGL (such as shuriken particle systems and UI for instance) supported by Needle?

Original Post on Discord

by user 637184545296482304

Hey, thanks for asking! Not all features and not all combinations of features are supported, but we’re aiming at having good translations of most major systems.

For example, animations, timelines, audio, models, materials, lightmaps etc can be exported, while particle systems are currently not supported (but on the roadmap).

Major advantage of Needle Engine is that since we’re using our own light and fast runtime, you have fast iteration times (usually < 1s to be live in the browser) and a tiny footprint of applications compared to Unity WebGL (e.g. full self-contained websites with Needle can be <500 kB compressed, Unity WebGL starts at somewhere around 5-10 MB for an empty scene)

UI (Canvas) is an example of a system that’s partially supported; a lot of it already works but since it’s a complex system we’re working with our users on what areas have priority / need to be improved.

Also, with Needle Engine you get VR and AR “out of the box” with a lot of control, which are not supported by Unity WebGL (there’s some rather hacky third-party solutions)

Also, Needle Engine strives to contain solutions for common scenarios (e.g. multiuser, collaboration, runtime data import/export) that are not built-in to Unity.

Thanks a lot, this is much clearer now :slightly_smiling_face:

by user 637184545296482304

Great! Out of curiosity: where would you have expected that information @PatrickJ? Happy to add it in a better place!
(I think we have parts of this on the website/in the docs but a bit scattered around)