Free to Use Development Software V2

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Free to Use Development Software V2

So with our last installment we noted most of the last generation of game development software, but here is the entire updated list to include new software, and up-to-date ones as well.

 

UDKLogo

Unreal Development Kit

At the time of this writing Unreal Development Kit (or UDK) has out the November2012 build, and it is one of the most widely used development software. There are various pros and cons to UDK that you should be aware of :

Pros

  • Free to use for NON-commercial games (free to play with no monetization)
  • Comes with most standard Unreal Tournament Assets to get your underway
  • Powerful scripting technology with UnrealScript
  • Easy to import new assets
  • Easy creation (click and drag interface)
  • PhysX… need I say more?
  • Real-time shaders
  • Awesome Lightmass system
  • Powerful terrain editor
  • Ability to create epic (pun intended) Cinematics
  • Unreal AI (powerful AI system)
  • Unreal Swarm (performance)
  • iOS support
  • VAST amounts of tutorials online

Cons

  • Commercial rates are kind of high (but still good)
  • No Android Support just yet
  • Has a tendency to crash on less than good PCs
  • Performance heavy
  • Would like to see more assets available
  • Foliage editor is buggy
  • -at the time of this writing- November build in February?

 

The next engine on our list is one not too many people use, but they should!


cryengine3

CryEngine 3 SDK

Hands down the most gorgeous editor I have ever had the pleasure of working with. This too is available free of charge for non-commercial games. As with UDK, Cryengine 3 SDK does come with some pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Visually stunning!
  • Stereoscopic 3D support
  • The best performance / per visual
  • Great audio system
  • Awesome support to anyone developing with it
  • Tons of helpful people on the forums
  • Character Individualization System (awesome for real-time switch of body parts)
  • Flawless character animation system
  • Procedural Deformation (great for metal objects!)
  • Advanced Rope Physics (responsive foliage)
  • Interactive & Destructible Environments
  • VERY user-friendly AI Editing system

Cons:

  • Commercial rates are unavailable without consultation
  • Does have a tendency to crash at times
  • Autosave?
  • Stereoscopic 3D is minimal at best

 

Unitylogo

Unity 4

Last time we wrote about Unity it was 2.5, and they have come a long way since then.

Pros:

  • AWESOME workflow management
  • Powerful editing system
  • Java, C# and Boo scripting support
  • Programming on the fly with Mono (realtime)
  • Awesome debugging system
  • Web Browser Integration for those wanting to develop for a website
  • Good asset store

Cons:

  • Would have liked a more powerful terrain editor
  • The debugger does have a tendancy to… bug
  • Realtime programming can sometimes make it freeze

 

These are just SOME of the newest additions, check back tomorrow for even more!

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Terry (179 Posts)

Terry is a very vibrant and dedicated Game Developer, which on some occasions makes him more critical than others. When he is not spending his time getting incredibly pissed off in a game of Halo 4 Multiplayer, he is watching the Detroit Lions, Tigers or Red Wings!


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