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Unreal Editor 3 Released for Free

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Today Epic Games has released the unreal editor 3 for free, titled "Unreal Development Kit" its now available for everyone to download! Check it out here http://www.udk.com

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Great if you want to built a prototype fast, but then you'd have to buy the real thing. Not bad for a small team, but 25% royalties sounds high.

From the UDK Commercial Terms: A team creates a game with UDK that they intend to sell. After six months of development, they release the game through digital distribution and they earn €15,000 in the first calendar quarter after release. Their use of UDK during development requires no fee. After earning €15,000, they would be required to pay Epic €2,500 (€0 on the first €5,000 in revenue, and €2,500 on the next €10,000 in revenue). On subsequent revenue, they are required to pay the 25% royalty.

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Looks like udk.com used to be owned by a university of kansas campus newspaper, but they let it expire 4-5 years ago and it was an ad farm until now.

Why I just looked that up I have no idea, but there you are.

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I dunno what they mean by "complete professional development kit" but I just downloaded it and it didn't come with the engine source code (which we had when I was working with it professionally). So it's not *that* complete. I'm not actually sure what this gets you over the Unreal Editor that comes with PC Unreal games. You get all/most of the .uc files that this appears to come with.

Has anyone spent more time poking at this? Does it actually come with a native SDK? I didn't see any headers or libs in there. What does it have that the UDK that's shipped with Unreal games doesn't?

-me

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Quote:
Original post by Palidine
I'm not actually sure what this gets you over the Unreal Editor that comes with PC Unreal games.

It seems like the point is that you can distribute your product without needing the end user to have purchased Unreal Tournament III or whatever.

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If you read into it's not just a free mod tool...it has mostly ALL THE FEATURES the real engine license has...your not stuck making only shooter mods...you can make whateve game you want just like the real UE3.

www.udk.com:

"UDK is Unreal Engine 3 – the complete professional development framework. All the tools you need to create great games, advanced visualizations and detailed 3D simulations. The best tools in the industry are in your hands."

"Can I create any kind of game with UDK?

Absolutely. UDK is the perfect solution for any kind of virtual world you wish to create, from racing games to simulations. Visit our Showcase to see some of the amazing creations our users have authored with UDK."

There you go

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The 25% seems like a lot, and it is a considerable chunk. But the trade-off is that a small developer no longer has to front a lot of cash. Besides, even the regular licence for Unreal engines features royalties. (a % of total revenue) It is a smaller %, but the money you have to put up front is immense. Unreal Engine 2 required a minimum of $350,000 up-front for a single game. They don't even list what the licencing fee is for Unreal Engine 3 on Epic's website, you have to contact them and get a quote. It's probably considerably higher than Unreal Engine 2.

This will help to open Unreal Engine 3 development up to small indie developers. As long as they keep their overhead at a reasonable level, the 25% is actually a fair price to pay. The real issue is that the UDK is currently only available for PC development. A little more cross-platform support would have been nice. Still, I understand that you can contact Epic if you have a game you are interested in porting.

With this announcement, it seems like the indie game development scene is BLOWING UP! And this is just on the heels of the Unity 3D announcement. The tools for indie game developers have never been better, or more affordable. Good times, my friends.

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Quote:
Original post by Palidine
Has anyone spent more time poking at this? Does it actually come with a native SDK? I didn't see any headers or libs in there. What does it have that the UDK that's shipped with Unreal games doesn't?


No native code, and no 64bit separate it from the professional license.
To be fair Unity is the same, only really Torque provides full source code.

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The stuff in the .uc files is just unrealscript. The commercial version comes with complete C++ source (and some C#) for the engine and the editor along with all the scripts for Gears 1 2 and UT3. It also gives you access to restricted pages on the UDN network website with complete online access to the Mastering Unreal series of books.

Despite this there isn't a lot that you can do with the pro licence that you couldn't do with this free version.

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Quote:
Original post by Buster2000
The stuff in the .uc files is just unrealscript. The commercial version comes with complete C++ source (and some C#) for the engine and the editor along with all the scripts for Gears 1 2 and UT3. It also gives you access to restricted pages on the UDN network website with complete online access to the Mastering Unreal series of books.

Despite this there isn't a lot that you can do with the pro licence that you couldn't do with this free version.


Yeah the actual professional license comes with an asston more stuff. This is just bad marketing, IMHO. It's not the pro developers kit, not even close.

And there is quite a bit you can't do without source. For instance, things we were doing in house: writing a new renderer, fixing the networking layer, integrating different physics libraries, integrating better AI tools, etc. Unrealscript is certainly very flexible, it's just slow and puts limitations on how far you can actually customize the engine.

Still, I think it's a very positive development, but it's just not what it was marketed as so I'm bummed.

-me

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Surely there must be some way for an indie developer to change over to a full $100k+ license if they see their game blowing up and realize that the 25% royalties will be more than a proper license would cost.

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Quote:
Original post by jackolantern1
Surely there must be some way for an indie developer to change over to a full $100k+ license if they see their game blowing up and realize that the 25% royalties will be more than a proper license would cost.

The costs of a full blown license for the Unreal 3 engine is A LOT. I can't give actual numbers, but my company looked into using it less than a year ago. Unless your game is going to draw in a few million dollars in revenue, this deal is good.

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It's still good to see major companies offering up their technology for indie developers to use. Even if it is restricted to non-commercial products. It gives an indie developer a chance to build a portfolio using AAA technology.

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