#1 3d engine in the world is now free.

This might be earth chaining:
udk.com/index.html

Its free if you make a free game:
udk.com/licensing.html

But its also not that bad if you make a commercial one:

The 25% royalty on revenue is a deal killer for me.

In today’s world, with so many free graphic engines, charging a 25% makes little sense. If it was something like a MMORPG engine or something like that I would understand, but with UDK you are doing most of the work anyway, I don’t get who would benefit from this. People that can make a good game with UDK can make it with a free engine, also.

Oh well, I guess there’s somebody. Students that have learnt the UT engine in college.

id charges a 5% royalty for single title games that use the id Tech 4 engine.

On the other hand, the Quake 3 engine is freely available.

All in all, Panda3d still looks like the best choice to me for indie development.

US 2.500 is a large expensive value for a game development, considering if unreal is the best engine, if you are going to do free games this does not have sense (for free games i could use ogre, irrlicht, darkbasic), since the final product for that engine are not free quality. Is a trap like Unity made making free 2.6 Indie, since they knew that if you finish using indie, you will need pro version late or early.

Not sure I understand what you mean, but the free version of UE3.0, as far as I’m aware, is not some crap “specifically for Indies” with half of the features cut out. It’s the same as the previously full-priced stuff, you just don’t have access to the source code and you can only develop for Windows. That’s it.

Also, you don’t need to pay $2.5K for development, especially if you want to make a free (beer) game. If your game is free - your usage of UDK is also free, it’s clearly stated in the licence (unless you make software for internal use, but we’re not talking that here). And so it is untill your revenue reaches $5,000. Only then you pay 25% of the value exceeding $5,000 (i.e. (revenue - 5,000) * 25%). From my point of view it’s a relativelly fair deal.

First of all, there is no up front payment, which is important for beginer studios with little cash. Also importantly you pay only when you’ve already made some money, and IMHO Unreal Engine, the de facto standard in (AAA) game development is worth the 25%.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sticking with Panda :wink:. I’ve already changed the engine for my project once this year and I’m not gonna do this again, even for UDK xD. Besides, for me the real showstopper is the necessity to work under Windows and to release only for Windows. I’m not trying to start a flame here, it’s just my personal opinion, I simply don’t like Windows’ workflow. Besides, I really like Python.

Still though, I’m not going to say UDK is not a good deal for such an engine. Also, comparing idTech4, a previous generation technology containing not much more than a renderer with the middleware all-in-one package that UDK is is kinda non sense.

Also, don’t forget about one thing - the psycology of the market. 25% may look like a lot, but for me it doesn’t when I take into account the simple fact, that the “Powered by Unreal Technology” logo will probably raise the number of sold copies considerably. The technology itself is not everything, like it or not. And with more copies you can make the same or even more money even with the -25% in place (depending on the final quality of the product, which is much more than the engine, obviously). And there is no doubt that UDK has the potential to speed up development.

In the end, I think that UDK may change the ecosystem of indie development. There is a reason why this engine is the most popular one ever for AAA, and I see no reason why it wouldn’t become the same for Indie given the current offer.

yes, just saw the commercial license costs US 2.500, … i just say is a trap, because the power of unreal engine 3 is high, you won´t make games like pacman or a counter strike with lightmaps using udk, is supposed to create big games with a lot of graphics, effects contents, however if you someday finish a game of Quake4 or Unreal Tournament 3 quality, do you think are you going to let it free?, you will want to sell it!, so finally you´re destined to buy the license, because that i said that for Unity 3D Indie (free), because Indie is a great and fast engine but lacks important things, so later or early you will request more stuffs to complete your game, in that case you will finish buying a Unity pro license…

They´re trying you to probe the engines freely, so you will learn to use them, then later you will finish buying them.

They have theirs strategies. :slight_smile:

This is from the UDK Licensing page:

My bad, I wrote that there’s not up-front while there is - $99. Still, you pay it upon release of a commertial game, so you can still enter the development and even finish it for free. Anyway, the rest is solelly based on your revenue. So you will, eventually, pay someting for it, but it will be 25% of your revenue if it exceeds $5,000, not some fixed value of 2,500 or whatever.

The $2,500 per seat per year applies to the situation in which you’re using the UDK to “develop an application that is not distributed to a third party”, thus you do not intend to sell it nor release it for free to the public. In-house usage only that is.

However, as I said before, the UDK is not “indie-version” as far as I know (can you maybe show some proof that it is?). It is full-featured Unreal Engine 3. It has the renderer, Kismet, the whole shebang. -> udk.com/features.html

The only way you pay for it is by giving 25% of your revenue away to Epic. That’s it. There is no “fixed value” here like the $2,500 you’re talking about. You’ll pay exactly that amount it you earn exactly $15,000, i.e. (15,000 - 5,000) * 25% = 2,500. However, if you earn only $7,500 you’ll pay (7,500 - 5,000) * 25% = 625 USD, and if you earn only $4500 you’ll pay nothing (except for the aforementioned $99) because it doesn’t exceed $5000.

It’s not the same as with Unity 3D because this is the full featured engine, only the amount of money you pay for it depends on the amout of money you earn from using it. It may end up being more or less than Unity Pro depending on the market response to your game, but if there’s no or very little response you pay only $99. So the risk you take by using the UDK is very little in fact.

And again - nowhere on the UDK site is said that the UDK is, by any means, not feature complete. And there is no UDK Indie and UDK Pro (to say it in Unity nomenclature), there is only one UDK and how much you pay for it depends only on how much you earn from it.

25% of your revenue is a killer. This only has sense for a free game or if one if planing to earn no more then 5k$. If it was 25% of net profit then it would be a real choice.

I have no idea how it is in the game industry, but most “normal” companies make a net profit around 1-3% of their turnover (5-10% if they’re really good or sale luxuries goods). If I was to go to my boss and tell him “Hey, Boss if we get this Thingy for 99 we could make 5 million for only 25% of our revenue” he’d kick me out cause then we’d having 20% loss…

I don’t know maybe for a internet business with no money going into shipping, packaging, wages, rent, tax, medical care, marketing, brand promotion etc. 25% is acceptable, but I’ll believe it when I’ll see it.

dont forget about the fees that are charged by the reseller, the 30% apple charges for the iphone app’s is one of the lowest in the market. afaik it’s usually about 50% of the sale price. so in the end you have a leftover of about 25% of the sale price.

while all those features a unreal engine has are great for large projects, a good game concept with usable graphics is worth much more then a game looking very well. afaik the games developed by disney using panda3d dont have the aim to provide the best graphics, because a large portion of the casual gamers and parents still use computers that are not “state of the art”. steam regularely makes surveys on the users computers, but i think they have more “real gamers” then the usual market.