giovedì 10 dicembre 2009

Ureal Development Kit - UDK

Unreal Engine 3 is one of the most powerful and maybe complete game engine available on the market. It is used by the biggest game development studios from all around the world, and it's power is fully proven by lot of AAA titles.
Last week Epic Games, released a development kit, bsed on this technology: UDK.
This decision is not so much strange, and looks like a move to completely erase the other similar technologies available today.

An important thing to consider is that Unreal Engine is not the only one technology available for game developers. There are plenty of systems to use to develop a game, some less powerfull, other less complete of middleware integrations and other again given at lower price (some freeware too).

Today an indie game development studio (like PlaySys) can benefit of the power of UDK, based on UE3, to develop it's prototype or, why not, complete videogames.

Is this a good or a bad new?

Depending on if you are a game developer or a engine/technology developer, there will be some pro and cons.

Regarding us, we are very happy of the possibility to develop with UE3, but we must consider the licence cost that we have to pay before selling the game. As UE3 is the most famous and complete engine, it costs LOT of moneys, depending on the size of the development studio or the title, but they remains lot of moneys.
The positive thing is that we can release a quality prototype to better find a publisher, without spending money in tryout licence for other engines.
Some months ago I had to spend lot of money to benefit from an engine for 2-3 months with the idea to develop a prototype.
Of course this availability of UDK, will change the things on the market; Unity developers changed the indie licence, giving out for free the basic version of the engine...that PlaySys bought one or two months before :(
I am really courious on what will happen on Torque Game Engine, one of the worst thing I have ever payd for, maybe they will decide to develop an high quality thing to compete on the market instead recycle theyr stuff (saying they are fully rewritting code).

I'm really happy on the availability of UDK, but at PlaySys we have to decide carefully the migration. We are advantaged because we use the editor since version 2Runtime (only for non professional tests), but Unreal is a very scaring kit, so noobs will have lot of troubles to spend over it.
What I want to say is that UDK isn't everything you need to construct great games, you'll need competence on every aspect of game development, ideas, a story to tell, lot of time, money to spend and mostly important, lot of passion!

Enjoy with UDK, but remember to give a look to other great technologies:

Unreal Engine 3
id Tech
Vision Engine
Vicious Engine
Torque 3D
Infernal Engine
Blitz Tech

*if you need a complete review of UE3 technology, about workflow, ActorX, SpeedTree, BinkVideo, Matinee, Kismet and so on, please let me know

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