Unity and UDKSubmitted by Earok on Fri, 11/27/2009 - 17:45
There has been some fantastic news for Indie game developers over the past month.
First of all, the formerly $200 US 'Unity Indie' Engine and IDE was simply renamed to Unity and released to the public freely.
A couple of weeks later, the Unreal Development Kit was also released freely. The UDK is more or less simply the powerful modding tools for Unreal Tournament 3, but it can export stand alone games.
This is great news for me also, as both of them could potentially turn out to be my migration path away from the obsolete Blitz3D, without needing to learn the complicated OGRE rendering engine.
Of course this also creates a dilemma. Which one do I use? Both of them seem to have their strengths and weaknesses. Unity is already cross platform, having support for PC, Mac, Wii and iPhone. While the UDK seems to have higher system requirements, the underlying Unreal Engine 3 technology has been proven to be one of the world's most powerful engines, having been used in dosens of blockbuster games. I don't yet know which one is more flexible, but it's worth noting one of the example games for the UDK is a top down puzzler.
The only way I can fairly judge either Game development platform is to try and develop the same thing in both of them. Therefore, I have resolved to attempt to remake 'Blow Stuff Up', in both Platforms, over December.
Despite being a incredibly simplistic First Person Shooter, the design of Blow Stuff Up offers huge potential for testing out the power of each engine. I will experiment with Physics, Particle effects, Terrain generation and manipulation, Foliage, Procedural mesh generation, 3D Sound (Including Doppler), AI Pathfinding, Fire and Water effects, 3D Transformation and Rotation, and others.
The development will be split into several Milestones, with frequent blog posts charting my progress. The hope is that by the end of the month, not only will I have made up my mind about which one to continue with, but the results from my experiment will help others make their decision.
I'm also keen to get collaborators on this project, as well as advice from anyone who is already using UDK or Unity.
My next post will be on my milestone plan for developing the remake. Stay tuned!