So, as promised, I’m going to discuss choices made as a new comer to Indie video games development.
Now let’s talk about video game engine and middle ware, Unity, Shiva 3D and UDK. I am not going to discuss in details the technical aspect of each engine or what each engine can and can not do, you can visit each middle ware site to get such information, but in term of capabilities, Unity and Shiva 3D are both useful when targeting multi-platform and hand-held devices, but UDK is the best choice when you want to develop some PC game with really awesome graphics and physics.
As an indie, one of the most important aspects is costs, and here is what I found:
- Unity : You get the free edition for PC, but without any fancy graphics options nor optimization, for this you need to spend 1500$, if you target iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod), you need 400$ for the basic package, same for Android, but if you want the full packet, with post processing effects, audio filters etc, it’s 1500$ each one. Total : 1500$ x 3 = 4500$
- Shiva 3D : You can have the PLE edition for free, use it to develop, deploy and test all aspects of your game, on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Airplay a.k.a Marmalade. If you want to go commercial, you can have the Basic package for 240$, but you will need to do some LOD work by your self. Total : 240$
- UDK : You can have UDK for free, do all the work, testing etc. and even publish your final games for free, if you want to make profit, you will need to spend 99$ then, after the first 5000$, give 25% of your incomes to Epic. Example, if you made 15000$ : the first 5000 are for you, we have 10000$ left, 25% goes to Epic and 7500$ to you, total income is 12500$. Total : 99$ + 25% of income over 5000$.
What I am going to do is, use Shiva 3D for short-term or middle-term multi-platform projects, like 2D platformers, games with simple 3D and testing some gaming ideas, I home this will guarantee paying the bills !
I’m not letting UDK down, as I will use it for middle-term and long-term PC only titles, with good 3D graphics, games with elaborate scenarios etc.
Finally, if you want to target Android, you need an Android device, for iOS you will need to buy your self a Mac and have an iOS device.
Next time, I will start talking about using Game Design as a weapon, mostly if you don’t have time or enough knowledge to get your self some good 3D models.