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Default Unreal Engine to be made free to use

March 2nd, 2015, 22:39
Epic still want a 5% cut if you make money, but if you wanted to make a free community-based rpg , Unreal Engine is now free to use.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag…gine-Made-Free

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March 2nd, 2015, 22:58
I wonder what this mean exactly. Are they trying to kill their competitors by forcing others to reduce their price tag? Or are they desperate to find new customers?
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March 2nd, 2015, 23:07
I think they just have to improve their offer in the face of Unity and Crytek.

Crytek is available for $9 per month, with no percentage cut. If I were in a small studio, that would still make more sense to me, as margins are so tight that a 5 percent cut of revenue would hurt.

But if you wanted to make a community based RPG engine, Unreal seems to be a no brainer.

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March 2nd, 2015, 23:40
Kill me if I understand any logic behind it.
$9 per month… % on… what did they say there, quarter, revenue… What 3K, man…

Not % on each sold game copy?
How does it work with steam sales?

Anyway, I'm completely confused. No wonder indie developers stick to the horrid RPGMaker.

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Yesterday, 00:57
Crytek just charges you $9 per month per copy of their game editor - so $9 per month per developer, basically. They don't get any cut of the profits.

Unreal editor is now free to install for everybody. If you make a game with it, and you sell over $3000 worth of copies, you have to give %5 of all your sales to Epic.

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Yesterday, 01:34
@Ripper: That's only for the basic level of CryEngine though. I have severe doubts that, for any kind of commercially non-hobbyist product, you are going very far without Crytek's bigger full license package.
CryEngine is supposed to be very powerful but also very complex, even for seasoned developers.
The Star Citizen developers of Cloud Imperium Games have often times commented on the challenges of learning how to properly use the engine, for example, and they do have the full license package including several Crytek people in-house for basically 24/7 support (plus people they outright hired full time who previously worked at Crytek).

So I'm not sure how viable the basic $9 CryEngine package even is. What good is an almost free engine if you need to invest thousands of hours just learning the ropes?
Unreal Engine seems to be much more accessible by comparison. For example, Mike Hoge (formerly at Piranha Bytes) and his still very small team is using UE for a new project called Spacetime. Going by early comments, Mike seemed to be quite happy with their choice of engine.
How many small-time devs using only the $9 package do we know of that are using CryEngine and producing results? Have you heard of anyone?
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Yesterday, 01:38
Basically if the game farts I don't have to pay anything to Epic then?
Now we're talking! Where do I download their phoneengine crapware?
If only I had time like Cleve… Although I wouldn't make something like Grimoire. I'd copy EA and just make another DLC:The Game.

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Yesterday, 01:45
I can't speak to the complexity issue - I just don't know enough about it.

I don't think the $9 package is "basic", as such. I believe you get access to the full software, and it is intended to be a viable option for indies. If you're right about the complexity, I guess that could be putting them off. I believe the "full license" package is negotiated on a case by case basis, and includes a high level of support, and even onsite assistance.

I don't have a dog in the race though. I'm just guessing that many indies would prefer to avoid a %5 cut in revenue.

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Yesterday, 01:54
But Ripper imagine you're selling Train Simulator… Erm… $10 horse armor DLC.
And you sell a million copies of it.
Would you really care for 5% cut?
I wouldn't.

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Yesterday, 02:05
It all depends on the margins, Joxer. The %5 is taken from the gross sales, not the profit. So if your profit margin is %10, that's a big deal.

Sure, if the game is a runaway megahit, your margins will be much higher, and you'll still be pretty pleased with your pile of gold. But I don't think sensible studios bank on their games being blockbusters. And, in that case, the money men would still be displeased about paying out %5 of a fortune, when they could have paid a tiny fraction of that in license fees.

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Yesterday, 02:16
Well I was subscribed to the UE4 engine source but was about to cancel since I've been too busy to use it. Happy that its free now as it makes that simpler. For what its worth I was planning on a free game/tool so Unreal still sort of makes sense.

Difference with Crytek is you don't get source code for $9/mo. Unity Community also does not give source code and can have poor performance thanks to Mono (which IL2CPP should help fix) but is substantially easier to work with. I wanted to do some custom assets and found the free Unity tools difficult to work with in that regard and Unreal is also difficult but has source though.

Unreal is giving out source code now for a AAA game engine not just the editor. Developers without source code are at the mercy of the engine developers. If there are bugs and even when there are none, the source code is invaluable in tracking down bugs or understanding how things work. I will say though that Unreal has much slower iteration times and it takes like an hour to compile the engine from scratch and get it working.
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Yesterday, 02:16
But Ripper I don't think my DLC would be a megahit.
In fact I hope that it won't.

There would be just a few thousands of people stupid enough to pay 10 bucks for horse armor. From those I could make a decent monthly income by selling that garbage. If 5% goes to Epic, ah, well, they made it possible.

Again, I hope people are not stupid any more to make a smashit out of bloody DLC. But who knows. Maybe I'm too optimistic.

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Yesterday, 02:32
Originally Posted by figment View Post
Developers without source code are at the mercy of the engine developers. If there are bugs and even when there are none, the source code is invaluable in tracking down bugs or understanding how things work.
Yes, I'm sure you're right. The lack of source code for Unity doesn't seem to have deterred many indie developers, though. Given that so many of them accept this drawback, is there any other factor that would put you off the $9 CryEngine package?

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Yesterday, 02:39
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
is there any other factor that would put you off the $9 CryEngine package?
Not really. Unless Ubi decides to monetize their FC3 engine and who knows what will happen with CDprojekt's engine they're using with TW3.

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Yesterday, 02:57
I would probably still recommend people to look at Unity first before Unreal. Mostly because I feel that Unity does have a faster iteration time. Cannot say much about Crytek since I'm not too familiar with it.

Supposedly Unreal can do on the fly code compiles but it never worked like that for me. I'm sure Unity is still easier to work with for many uses and that counts a lot for something.

If you do need something complicated or custom then Unreal is fairly attractive I think. I think I'll stick with Unreal for the customization I can get with source but I will acknowledge its a double edged sword without a hilt.
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Yesterday, 15:44
Great that it is free, finally I can check it out again… I ran into the same problem as you figment… lack of time.. so I didn't want to pay for it.
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