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Inexpensive, relevant game development IDE for the classroom?

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#1 MackTuesday   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 03:15 PM

Sorry for asking yet another "what should I use" question, but there doesn't seem to be a treatment of my particular problem on the forum.

 

I'm running a new class at the community college on game development, and we're choosing a game development environment.

 

Our first consideration is Unity. The problem is, students would need to bring their own computers and download Unity themselves, because it's free only for independent developers. If we provide it in our labs, we need to pay for expensive licenses. The administration is trying to avoid requiring students to bring their own computers for this class. (The reasons for this are unclear.)

 

Is there a game creation IDE like Unity that sees significant use in professional game studios, and has less expensive licensing for educational institutions? Unreal Engine looks pretty good, is that the only other one?

 

What I do like about Unity is that much can be done without hardcore programming, because I will be teaching a very introductory course. How easily do students generally understand UE's Blueprints? Am I right in thinking that UE's overall ease of use is similar to that of Unity?
 

One more question: If we go with UE, will students be underserved by learning UE's free version 3 rather than the $19/mo version 4?


Edited by MackTuesday, 11 August 2014 - 03:20 PM.


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#2 ito123456789   Members   -  Reputation: 126

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 03:20 PM

Eclipse + SDL?



#3 MackTuesday   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 03:22 PM

Eclipse + SDL?

 

Sorry, I failed to mention that we were considering Unity because mere scripting allows much to be done with it. We can't go into deeper programming because it's a very introductory course.



#4 Jay Jennings   Members   -  Reputation: 118

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:26 PM

I'm wondering if there's a "loophole" you can use -- the students use the school computers, but in the first class they each download and install Unity themselves. It would mean they'd have to use the same computer each time they are in class, but I think it would bypass the problem you're seeing.

 

 Jay



#5 EMascheG   Members   -  Reputation: 656

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:33 PM

Maybe can use the Source SDK 2007 or 2013 or maybe GoldSrc ?? Are free tools, You only need a steam account registered. or Id Tech 3 or 4 Game Engine of Doom 3 that are under GPL License. Both use C++, There a good place where can find good tutorials, And don't need to get deeper to make basic thinks



#6 Jan2go   Members   -  Reputation: 804

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 02:32 PM

I'm wondering if there's a "loophole" you can use -- the students use the school computers, but in the first class they each download and install Unity themselves. It would mean they'd have to use the same computer each time they are in class, but I think it would bypass the problem you're seeing.
 
 Jay


Some people back in my school wanted to install student versions of Autodesk products like 3DS Max and Maya. The problem with this (according to the administrator, haven't checked it myself) was the fact that the licenses of these products did not allow usage in a classroom but only on your private computers at home. This might be a problem with other software as well.

#7 Kryzon   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 3042

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 04:31 PM

The Shiva3D educational package is similar to Unity, costs $400 per copy and publishes to several platforms:
http://www.stonetrip.com/shiva-editor.html

Monkey-X Pro builds 2D games for several platforms at a low price:
http://www.monkey-x.com/Store/_index_.php

#8 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4354

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Posted 12 August 2014 - 07:31 PM


: If we go with UE, will students be underserved by learning UE's free version 3 rather than the $19/mo version 4?
I'm not sure UE3 has blueprints. I thought it was UE4's feature.

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#9 MackTuesday   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 06:55 PM

 


: If we go with UE, will students be underserved by learning UE's free version 3 rather than the $19/mo version 4?
I'm not sure UE3 has blueprints. I thought it was UE4's feature.

 

Yeah, I wasn't worried about UE3's scripting facilities, so I just asked about UE4's Blueprint stuff, because it's supposed to be quite different.



#10 Kryzon   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 3042

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Posted 14 August 2014 - 08:34 PM

This seems interesting:
http://source.valvesoftware.com/sourcesdk/sourceu.php

#11 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 18620

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 05:29 AM

You may not still be looking in to this, but Unreal Engine 4 is now free for academic use.



#12 SkyFireZ   Members   -  Reputation: 152

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 11:33 AM

I'm surprised that people here don't even talk about CryEngine, as if it doesn't exist blink.png 

CryEngine has a free version of SDK for non-commercial use: http://www.crydev.net/dm_eds/download_detail.php?id=4
It is not as easy as unity, but it is as powerful as UE4.







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