I’ve kept a close eye on the Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) long before it became available publicly at this years Game Developer Conference (GDC-2014), for a nominal fee of $20.00 (USD). The unreal engine is beautiful and powerful, and gives indie game developers like myself an opportunity to create games on a similar level as fully-funded studios.
In my mind the twenty-dollar price point is a steal for the Unreal Engine (even though some might argue the 5% royalties you have to pay quarterly, are a bit much,) but considering that, with this announcement that the Unreal Engine will be provided to students and gaming institutions for free. It only bolsters my belief that Epic is trying to breathe new life within the games industry. Specifically new life when it comes to indie developers breaking into the realms of big budget titles.
We’ve seen countless indie titles made in the Unity Engine, Game Maker, and the Source Engine. But these games are missing a certain ‘It’ factor. I believe with this announcement, people going into the field of game development will be better suited earlier in their careers to make amazing titles. And apply that final round of polish needed to make their games not only stand out, but stand next to the bigger titles from larger studios, and in some cases, make them look unfinished and rushed.
This is not to discredit any of the work done in the aforementioned game engines above, but when a large number of Indie game studios are choosing the Unreal Engine for games like Rime, Primal Carnage: Genesis, etc., it raises a very important question: Are the other game engines unable to do the same thing? And if they are able, why aren’t more games like Rime and Primal Carnage being introduced to the masses? I plan on addressing this in an upcoming article, but in the meantime below, you can check out the full post from Unreal explaining their plans in detail.
[toggle title=”UNREAL ENGINE 4 GOES FREE FOR ACADEMIC USE”]
Since we launched back in March, many educators have been working with us to get Unreal Engine 4 into their classrooms. Additionally, over the last few months students in our community have been asking for a way to gain access to the tools without having to pay anything upfront. The steady increase in interest made us realize we need a much simpler way to partner with academia and so we’ve decided to go with the simplest solution of all – Unreal Engine 4 is now free for academic use, including personal copies for students enrolled in accredited video game development, computer science, art, architecture, simulation, and visualization programs!
All educators can now have unrestricted access to the engine simply by contacting us atunrealengine.com/education. Schools can integrate the same fully featured version of Unreal Engine 4 previously available only to developers, along with all future updates. Students will retain indefinite access to any versions of the engine they used during their coursework so they’ll always have the option to take their class projects and turn them into shipping projects any time in the future.
Game development continues to increase in complexity and as a newcomer to the process it can be quite challenging to learn the skills that will lead to a successful career. We believe Unreal Engine 4 can be a valuable learning tool for all types of aspirational developers, and now schools can freely integrate it into their courses to provide a modern toolset to help teach students the necessary skills. If you’re a programmer, what better way to learn C++ than with the entire Unreal Engine 4 source code at your disposal? For budding artists and game designers, Blueprint visual scripting makes it possible to build and ship entire projects without ever writing a single line of code.
Learning the fundamentals (and advanced techniques!) of game development with the same tools used by professional developers to ship successful games is one of the best ways to maximize your chances of starting your own development career. To help accelerate this we provide numerous free content samples, tons of video and written tutorials to explain all the major tools of Unreal Engine 4, and extensive documentation of all features.
We’re constantly evolving our learning resources and we’re excited to collaborate further with education professionals to build curriculum that gives students the best chances of achieving their development goals and land great jobs.
Source : UnrealEngine