If you've played Batman: Arkham Asylum
, Gears of War
, Fairytale Fights
, Hail to the Chimp
, Lost Odyssey
, Mass Effect
, Mirror's Edge
, Star Trek DAC
, Rainbow Six: Vegas
, or X-Men Origins: Wolverine
, you've had your share of fun experiencing a game created using the Unreal Engine 3 development kit... and these are not anywhere NEAR the list of all the games. I could go on for pages!
The Unreal Engine was released in 1998 as the game engine behind Epic's Unreal
, and since then, it has been serving as the definitive game engine for developers who don't have the time or resources to spend in building an engine from the ground up--as well as for those who want to harness the power of such a highly-developed, highly-tested engine. As you can see from my list of games above, the engine provides access to tools that can be used in a wide variety of games.
For those who don't know, a game engine is the software system that is primarily designed by larger or established development companies for use in creating their games. A game engine primarily includes the functionality of 3D graphics rendering, a physics engine, collision detection, and memory management for a game, among other things.
Epic's release of the Unreal Development Kit, or at least a "free edition" of it (the contents of which I don't know of--yet!) is a big deal for everyone from established game developers to hobbyists, as it opens up the ability to create truly professional games without the money to afford the UDK. Games sold commercially using the Unreal Engine will still be required to pay, but it is well known that they have a tried and true system for allowing developers to publish games using the software (read: affordable).
Here is a snippet from the press release:
An unprecedented milestone in game development, the release of UDK awards free access to the same world-class tools and technology used by many of the world’s best video game developers and publishers. Unreal Engine 3 is a constantly evolving game engine, and UDK contains all the most recently added features and technological enhancements, including many that have yet to be seen in an Unreal Engine game. Furthermore, Epic Games will release ongoing, upgraded builds of UDK for free.
Game developers, start your engines! (Hey, that pun worked on more levels than one!) The engine is in C++, so go grab a copy of Visual Studio 2008 courtesy of Microsoft
DreamSpark (for students), a nice little book to learn the language (C++ for Dummies, anyone?), and start cranking those games out!
All the tools are there for you, so if your dream is develop games... get started early!
Anyone going to take advantage of this besides me?