Unreal Engine 4 is open source (sort of) for $19 per month

Well their subscription is 75$/month, so they had better be seven and a half times better than the latest CryEngine! :wink:

And as I said they do have a free version, just like CryEngine and UE but the limit of how much money you can make with it is about 10x more so no, they are certainly not in any “trouble”.

Eeh, and you have a nerve to compare free closed source Unity to open-source UE4 or closed source CE3.5 ? Blasphemy ! Unity free sucks.

CRYENGINE EaaS not yet out but there’re games made in CRYENGINE that are cool(by indie developers)
Liberico: http://www.crydev.net/viewtopic.php?f=353&t=105258
T.I.M.E.S: http://www.crydev.net/viewtopic.php?f=353&t=121348
Crymono Tanks: http://www.crydev.net/viewtopic.php?f=353&t=105093
Jurassic Park - Aftermath: http://www.crydev.net/viewtopic.php?f=353&t=106290

there’re more: http://www.crydev.net/viewforum.php?f=353

Yeah, but UE4 and Crytech are only c++.

exactly! that’s the remaining advantage of unity. it’s built around easier languages with automatic memory management.

crytech seems to have a lua binding though? can complete games be done with lua?

but if a big indie community builds around unreal engine 4 maybe bindings to managed languages will emerge sooner or later. then it could really look dim for unity.

Im posting this from the cryengine thread in off topic. Why i dont think cryengine is any good.
I was the most hyped person you could find for Cryengine, i even found UDK while searching for a leaked version of Cryengine, and it was a MASSIVE dissapointment. Yes, it is pretty, but its completely unusable for anything other than a FPS. Good luck trying to strip all the FPS code from the base, getting a clean state, and even worse, good luck trying to create the game becouse there is no documentation other than some broken things(i have SEVERAL examples) or just useless things. Not a single API explanation, or how Actors work, entities, how to do pathfinding, nothing. I spent more than 20 hours just to try to get a simple “go from point A to point B” using pathfinding from C++. I failed, HARD, in the forums, nobody gave a shit, the only way i could do that is to use the AI system wich is a complete blackbox and did completely wrong stuff i didnt like (like completely stopping and starting again if i changed the path destination). Not to mention, you couldnt extend that AI system until the last engine version, so if you wanted to do ANY kind of AI, you were completely out of luck.
Its scripting is absolutely terrible, a huuuuuge pain. The documentation page about how to expose C++ functions to LUA is broken, the built-in LUA debugger doesnt work, at all. Also, to create a new flowgraph node, again, no proper documentation and even if you reverse engineered the code from the few nodes that you have, its ridiculosuly complicated for what it does.
Also, if you want to add editable variables to the editor, you need to use LUA, and then you go back to the paragraph avobe.
I wasted tens of hours reading its example code, trying to figure out how the hell that engine works, and its code with strange stuff for class architecture, lots of things that are in the “compiled only” part on the engine, without source. And also it has like a comment every 300 lines of code or something like that, so its pretty difficult to follow. And i say this becouse its the worst code reading experience ive seen comparing to reading blender’s source( im not used to C but it makes sense), or OGRE3d source, or Bullet physics code.
In short, there is a reason there is like 2 indie games with Cryengine, and not with a lot of gameplay, games with focus on graphics only. The engine is very very very good for environments, it does pretty cool stuff for the level and its graphics, and so, cryengine has been most used for static, portfolio work than whole games with gameplay. And thats not mentioning the part of the DRM and unability to share a thing unless you discuss a license with Crytek. A little indie, in UDK, just pays that 99$ license and goes to sell stuff. In CE, you couldnt, you needed to license it personally with crytek, and absolutely no details, so if you have your cool game almost made, you want to license, and they say “500K$ with a 20% royalty” you are completely screwed, as you didnt knew the terms until you ask them. Now they seem to have added something to compete against UE4 subscription license. But at least UE4 has it terms public, 20$ monthly +5% royalty. Cryengine doesnt take royalties (apparently), but they also say its only for indies, so, until they give more details and completely remake their whole documentation, i dont even want to try again with that. Not kidding, after a day of messing around with UE4 i was already much more capable of coding stuff than with cryengine after spending more than 50 hours trying to make sense of its code.

TLDR: Hyped for Cryengine, wasted a lot of time with it, screwed due to indie non-friendilness and abysmal documentation.

End of rant

From the MODO forum I think you can do the ‘pay whenever I need the update’ thing. This is to differentiate hobbyist with seat of the pant developer, I guess.

And oh, yeah, for pioneers. But if your game development plan is 1 year or 2 year (or more) thing, having it now is really a nice idea.

The free version is awfully limited compared to the likes of UE4 and Cryengine. UE4 is simply cheaper for the indie developer that wants some decent shaders/lighting. While the free version of unity is fine for mobile platforms and 2D games, it is not comparable to UE4 capabilities on PC/consoles.

There`s also the Oculus Rift integration which requires Unity Pro while UE4 has it for 20 bucks.

Wow… I’ve heard CE3 is horrible under the hood, but maybe you just don’t have enough skill to work with complex code? I can write similar rant about any engine, because I am not a programmer and most of the engine parts will look the same to me :stuck_out_tongue:

Either way, grab yourself idTech 4 and Doom 3 BFG engines and do whatever you want, free of charge. Most of the code is easy to follow without any docs.

Ive read idTech 3 and 4 source, blender source, Bullet physics source, Ogre3d source and im making my own engine in pure OpenGL just for learning. Trying to code in cryengine has been the biggest headache by far. Spent loads of hours there, while 2 days after getting UE4, i was already coding gameplay and other things.
Also, my forum join date is 2012, but ive been using blender since 2.30, just lurking.

Nice to see engines targeted toward indies focus on performance for a change.

If you are an indie developer you want the engine with the most bang for buck. Even though Unity is free, it’s also limited. UE4 is the full shebang and it’s only 20 bucks if you just want to play with it and if you are serious its only $228 a year with 5% royalty, which to me in the grand scheme of things is basically pocket money you would spend on coffee in a year. Also Unity just announced a preview of version 5, there is no final release probably until much later in the year. I’m pretty sure they heard about Unreal 4 through the grapevine and decided to announce first. However they probably weren’t counting on EPIC’s pricing, at this point $75 a month is more than you pay for Adobe Creative Suite, that’s not even counting all of the add-ons you need to buy for the Unity engine to actually be feature complete, since Unity is missing quite a few features.

Uneal Engine 4 is just a more complete engine from the outset. EPIC thought of almost everything that goes into game production among other things like pre-visualization and realtime rendering pipelines as well and made a complete product that doesn’t rely heavily on add-ons.

UE4 has all add-ons one would probably need, minus maybe some in-game ads that Android games are full of. Not sure about in-app purchases for Apple platforms, but afaik UE4 has full Steamworks integration.

I’ve been searching for news and comments about this a lot since the Unreal and cryEngine announcements.

Unity have said ‘no comment’ when asked will they review their pay model now, though I believe them to be very shrewd. Around the time the Project Anarchy engine was released by the havok guys as free for iOS and android, Unity went free for those platforms too. Perhaps this wasn’t coincidence, maybe there will be more announcements soon. They seem to do spectacularly well through the asset store alone so could cut corners here and there.

There is something of a caveat there though which is that the Unity free versions are limited in a few ways which makes typical 3d fps style games difficult to optimise for, lack of occlusion culling, limited navmesh, no GPU profiling. Perhaps some of that may change. Though for 2D gaming/apps these sorts of requirements might not be much of an issue.

My thought process has been this…

What’s my end goal? I’m fairly sure PC and Android will be my target platforms. Unity is the most stable for Android out of all the engines, and seems to be the most well documented. However, within the next few months it appears that Unreal will be putting an emphasis on polishing and patching this to catch up. CryEngine seem quite far behind on Android at the moment. Plus for any games outside of the FPS genre CryEngine (from the reports I’ve heard) is very unwieldy.

As an indie developer I’d rather not put out 1500 dollars for the Unity pro, along with 1500 dollars for the android pro, or 300 dollars a month on subscription right now. As I have no idea if the game/s will even make back that. But let’s say I did make 3000 dollars from my game, that means I may have spent 19 dollars on Unreal for 1 month, then they would expect 150 dollars for 5% royalty. That means 169 dollars in total. That means $2831 goes to me. Rather than breaking even with Unity.

If however I expected to make more than $60000 from my game then the pricing comparison starts to sway towards Unity. Or perhaps a phone call with Unreal could negotiate a zero royalty for 3000 up front? who knows?

My figures are a bit squirrely here though as I’m assuming somehow I have distributed the games without anyone else taking a cut. Also I’m assuming just one month of subscribing to Unreal when it would probably be tempting to subscribe for more.

Some of the most interesting things I’ve seen with the Unreal engine is the blueprint visual coding system. This seems to make the full creation of the game very accessible to artists that might not have a huge coding background. Also they’ve gone with FBX now and overall personally I’m really liking the workflow.

Plus with access to the source code adding in the few lines of code required for in-game advertising hopefully wont be too traumatic.

Overall I’m expecting some more news from Unity and I expect that I may choose to stick with that for 2D game creation and for any other artist-centric projects of flashy looking first person scenes I might look to produce in Unreal.

Oh, and to prototype first in Blender. :slight_smile:

It’s a great time to get into the game!

In any case, I think personal skillsets, experience, intended platforms and genre should be the main considerations first (and probably in that order) and then consider the price. That way you might get a clear sense of it rather than just going for the cheapest. It seems still unclear whether you can just subscribe to cryEngine for 1 month and carry on using it as you can with Unreal 4. I’m still a little on the fence with it all but leaning towards Unreal right now while waiting for more info in the coming month or so.

From experience in working with UE3 for a while as part of a university project (the uni that recently did a deal with Epic Games for software, hardware and other support provisions), it’s a turd that most people didn’t want to use, and in comparison to Unity is poorly documented and exampled in areas, and is difficult to quickly make progress or construct simple things in due to middle-ware and slow compiling. There were days where if the nFringe license servers went down, if the code we were doing required deep class searching then you were screwed for the day, as you had to re-register a non-commercial license every week just to get syntax highlighting and a proper searching of the base UE3 classes.

There have been plenty of discussions where, “if I did X feature in Unity it would be way easier”, came up, and most scripters if asked would prefer to have made a game in Unity. We weren’t allowed to because of this deal and partly due to Unity 2.5 only being installed, because Unity charge Educational Institutes the same rate for licenses as they do commercial companies which makes it damn expensive, so in that sense Unity are shooting themselves in the foot in regards to adoption, and being asses as well.

Until using UE4 for the last two days I was rooting for Unity, but I gotta say they really knocked it out of the park with the new engine and the licensing deal. Their sub model is way more friendly in terms of not needing to make a monthly commitment to it, the deal still works between Educational institutes and Personal/Commercial use, and its pretty damn accessible as a result. Also, the engine happens to be reeeeeeaaal good.

I’d actually be interested in contributing to a UE4 export script, or something along those lines so Blender plays nicely with it. Is anyone else interested in hooking up and making it work? :3

This turning into sad story. You don’t need to worry about 5% Epic is taking. Do you worry about 30% any digital distribution take? Too sad if you do.

I’ve talked to devs who were whining about Steam taking 30% and it’s too much… Next thing you know, they quickly figured out that they will make more money with Steam paying 30% royalty, than going solo and keeping all the profits.

If you worry about retaining profit, then look into GPL engines.

You also however have to take into account the efficiency of a game engine, and how quickly it enables you to do what you want in comparison to how much it costs you. Id say at least from initial experiences that more advanced engines that do ask some money or a revenue, save you more money by being able to work more quickly and with fewer issues than other engines that don’t.

The Game Engine scene doesn’t have a Blender-equivalent at the moment :stuck_out_tongue:

There are more GPL engines than BGE, more optimized, features-full. But this isn’t the thread for such discussion.

Apparently, someone on the Unity forums did a nice run-through of UE 4, and while it is true that he likes a lot of the things he sees, he also mentions issues he ran into once the gloss on his eyes wore off from the shiny graphics (as in, the big things are there, but the little things still need attention).

Also from what I’ve been reading, the Cryengine is the penultimate example of a software that emphasizes graphics over gameplay (good for shiny graphics demos, but not so flexible with games).

That’s not to say that Epic won’t take care of those things (hence this release being ‘for pioneers’), but hopefully they’ll direct development to where it’s needed. Also to note, this isn’t some random Unity fanboy, he’s actually been critical of the Unity engine many times before.