I just started out in my indie game dev. Adventure and downloaded Unity, but the thought came in mind: which engine is better?
I read a comment that, and I quote "if you're new to the industry, the cryengine will bend you over and smack you till you cry" sounds hard!
But then I saw the Unreal Development Kit, and since Literal Epic Games have been created on it, and with some awesome lookin features, how does this compare to Unity?
I really want to test out the Unreal Development kit but I just downloaded Unity, so I want to know exactly which one will be better for me, as a complete beginner, and which one is easier!
From my hard experience with UDK, it is a very nice tool set with all of the industry standard middleware packages you could want, Speed Tree, Physx, Scaleform and the list goes on. Another great part of UDK is UnrealScript. Not only can you call directly into C++ functions with it, you can also invoke ActionScript directly too. This means you can for example, create fully working flash games and use UnrealScript to interface with them and then render to texture on an arcade machine (If you want to see a video of it I can post a link). You can also fully implement a database connection library in C++ and then use UnrealScript to post to a SQL database through the library (DLLBind). Don't even get me started on Kismet, Unreal Cascade, and the Material editor or I'll be here all night. All of this is available for free non commercially and if you want to sell a game it costs 99 USD for a UDK license and your sales are royalty free until you make 50,000 USD, at which point Epic claims 25% of your quarterly sales. Did I also mention that it is multi platform (everything except for the Wii).
The obvious downside to UDK is that UnrealScript is a pain in the ass to learn. Even though it is similar to C# and Java, there are some very powerful language features that take a bit of mental muscle to get under your belt (like how state programming is integrated into the language itself, or the configuration file system). Also, 75% of learning UnrealScript comes from learning the API that they provide (how Actors work, the Actor Component system etc) and it is a real pain because a lot of the code base isn't commented, though this gets better with each release.
As for Unity, I don't know because I've never used it, and probably never will because of the license fees. Why pay thousands of dollars for Unity when I can get Unreal Engine 3 for free, with all of the AAA middleware like SpeedTree, Physx, FaceFx etc. Plus if I decide to ship a title it only costs 99 dollars until I'm essentially loaded with money. If Unity offered a free version that doesn't have a trial period (if they do then I will surely try it out) then I would love to give it a second look.
Maya is fairly expensive so it is probably a good idea to go with something else, (Blender is free and there are alot of tutorials both for it and for using it with Unity)
You can get any autodesk product for free from here (legally): students.autodesk.com