VII - Triple-A Engines

UDK, CryEngine, HeroEngine, Havok, et all
Professional Tools for everyone
First of all I'd like to point that I have low or none experience with these engines, it is one of my goal download and start learning them. However, as far as I've seen, there are some considerations that an approaching user can do.

First of all these engine finally provide a license option for Indie Developers. HeroEngine provide a 30$ per seat license per year, UDK have a one-time fee of 99$ and the CryEngine now offer a monthly subscriptions (note: all of them will get a portion of your revenue when your game is released). So basically they are now accessible to everyone.

UDK Logo

What really prevents me to use this engine is their complexity: these engines are designed to be used by a large team with specifics competences in every area. Every tool is designed for a specialist: the artist can create the particles without the aid of a programmer, the rendering engine can work on the shaders while the level designer creates traps and puzzles. However every part require a lot of time from every specialist. I recently tried to use HeroEngine for a project of a friend but that engine was so complex I found overwhelmed by the quantity of documentation to read to even move a simple character.

The HeroEngine interface.

To summarize: these engines are very good options but I would recommend to a small team, not to a single person. The time required for every single aspect of the game could be more then the benefit of using on these engines. There are some exceptions, like the splendid Antichamber but, if you read it's story, it's a game developed in several years.
Working on one of these engines, however, is the best training ground you can have.


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