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Full Unreal Engine 4 Developer Kit $19/MO + 5% / Why can't Unity Offer the same!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by im, Mar 19, 2014.

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  1. sandboxgod

    sandboxgod

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    I love both engines so have used both to a fair extent

    I disagree with your remarks about Blueprint. It is an amazing tool. It makes programming quite easy and intuitive. I'm not sure what problems you've had but my ue4 project has been sailing quite smoothly and it's all mostly Blues. Now, I do know C++ but really a talented Unity coder should be able to jump into 'Unreal C++' with a little time investment. Now as far as transfering an entire project over you might have a fair point.
     
  2. sandboxgod

    sandboxgod

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    Ah good post!

    I really wanted to try UDK but back then programmers only had UnrealScript. You can research that on your own but let's just say you could not debug or rapid prototype with it. That alone kept me away. Also, it was 20% or 25% royalty payment after 50k.
     
  3. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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  4. create3dgames

    create3dgames

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    Yeah, looks like UE3 was different from UDK because UE3 included the source code and UDK did not. However, with UE4, there is no "development kit", the source code is just included. Their website says "The Unreal Development Kit is the free edition of Unreal Engine 3". So, it looks like UDK is being phased out and UE4 is the future for Unreal tech. A bit confusing..
     
  5. GMM

    GMM

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    I too love Blueprint, it is by far the best implementation of visual scripting i have ever encountered and will speed up development significantly for a lot of things. My main problem with blueprint is mainly that some values are simply not exposed as default, effectively meaning that i could not dynamically change a lot of Camera component settings as they are not exposed to the blueprint system per default (Epic have acknowledged this). Saving/Loading data also didn't seem very straightforward with the Blueprint system.

    C++ is not the worst thing to get into coming off C#, but as you said it would take some time to get the workflow up to an efficient level.
     
  6. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    The free/pro split is relevant here. To me Unity 4 was miserly comparing free to pro. Free is quite a joyless experience after pro. It would have been perfectly easy to give free some of the pro features to the free version and pro still be an essential purchase for serious work. The point made above about employing people.

    If you're paying 3 or 4 people you're definitely over the 100k a year barrier, and isnt this what pro is meant for? So if you keep the 100k barrier and put almost all pro features in free (Not all of course, but rendertextures and compute ability with at least OpenCL as well as DirectCompute would be nice), when you are a professional you will have to buy Unity 5 Professional. Makes sense right?

    Then Unity free will stop all these ridiculous threads, as it will be extremely generous/powerful, and license purchasing make sense/scales well. If that works out profitably in the accountants books, that's good publicity explosion way before U4 hits fully. I hope this is why UT are being quiet and confident at the moment
     
  7. exitcode

    exitcode

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    The UDK editor is ugly and is not as friendly and comfortable as Unity. Unity keeps it simple but has huge amounts of features. It's unfortunate though that you have to pay another $500 for collaboration, which is crucial for more than one developer - I'll have to make do with Git.
     
  8. AmazingRuss

    AmazingRuss

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    Free has to suck relative to pro if they're gonna sell pro. Otherwise, why would I fork out my $1500?

    Honestly, if someone can't make $1500 with the free version to buy the pro, they dont NEED pro.
     
  9. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    UDK is nothing special, but UDK is not the same thing as UE4. UE4 is admittedly pretty slick, and it is a viable competitor for Unity.
     
  10. goat

    goat

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    Honestly the valuable thing you'll gain with a successful mega-hit game is the intellectual property of the characters and the franchise. If the game was done in UE4 they'll share in 5% of that. The various App Stores and publishers - 30% (to generalize although that's not likely to be 100% accurate).

    Now with your intellectual property and franchise you are free to offer sequels in whatever engine or action figures you like to maximize your profits.

    But that scenario is so unlikely that in the time it takes UE4 to be good and efficient in mobile publishing Unity will have a much stronger competitor on hand.

    The advertising message is that Unity and UE4 enable non-coders to easily create games. A non-coder might think given their experience that Unity Free is for coders and the $1500 Unity Pro has all those features that make creating a game easy for non-coders. Now that UE4 is out with an offer that you can pay $20 once and 5% if you publish and exceed $3000 income from the published work per 3 months sales and use the outstanding professional features of UE4 and write a game as a non-coder with Blueprint and one must know that will have a big impact on Unity Free and Unity Pro (at $1500 up front) when Unity Free or Pro can't truthfully be used by non-coders. UE4 a model organized such that basically Epic's risk isn't your risk. You risk very little in the UE4 model and they risk practically everything, including their code base, and profit only when you profit. I'd have no trouble turning over 5% on those terms. It's not like I didn't know about those terms as they are prominent on the download page.

    Listen folk - it's Unity and UE4 advising they make writing games easy for non-coders, not you or I.

    I repeat my point here a bit but given that Unity is asking $1500 up front for a Pro product that really isn't up to the task of allowing non-coders to create games without both figuring out that they can't use Unity Pro to write a game without coding and then figure out what assets they need in the asset store that will get the Unity Pro purchaser very close to being able to write a game without writing any code, Unity advertising you can create a game in Unity as a non-coder is misleading. That is Unity's fault, not ours. No wonder so many disappointed teens flocked to Unity in failed attempts to create their own MMORPGs. That would be exciting to a lot of them but it wasn't the reality of what Unity could do, it was taking a vague advertising message to heart. Thank goodness most of them learned that lesson with Unity Free.

    I say this as someone that only need buy two more asset store plugins to have all the functionality I wanted out of Unity to begin with. I will continue to use Unity but I'd be daft not to try UE4 and then choose with is better for my needs. It's not like $20 it costs to use UE4 is going to make or break me and Blueprint seems tantalizing close to the promise of allowing non-coders to create games. I say that as a someone that can code better than the typical new university bachelor's graduate. For me, writing code isn't the point of a product like Unity or UE4.

    And no adding all that functionality was not cheap for an individual on my income, although a real business wouldn't hesitate to drop that amount of money in a single purchase. What would interest them given the cost of Unity and the asset store plugins is sorting through the chaff vs the wheat and having something productive without productivity being interrupted constantly. The only Unity Pro feature I've bought an asset to replace is the A* Pro asset. I haven't bought any of the lighting, shadowing, and shader replacements because they perform so poorly in Unity Free anyway.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
  11. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    I literally can't make any money off free unless its an absolute fortune cause of personal circumstances. Additionally i'd have to guess you're not an artist, some of the features in pro that arent in free profoundly hamper artistic endeavour and plain hamstring interest and development in some important aspects of current and future computer graphics (The 32bit editor was seeming a bit archaic, the limitations on graphics in free would make free look like a fossil soon). There's not really any saying 'do the best with what you have', cause no that's not really good enough, some things you literally cannot do, that are kind of necessary to fulfill a vision.

    And I think you missed my point or didn't even bother reading my post, there could still be plenty of reasons to buy pro, such as if you want to survive on games development, you're going to need to employ people eventually, probably, how are you going to pay them? With your income. How many people can you employ for less than 100k a year including the rest of the costs?
     
  12. goat

    goat

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    Because the license requires it and always has once you make $100K.

    You should restate your statement to say if a business can't make $1500 with Unity Free they don't need Unity Pro because there are plenty of individuals (whether they organize as an LLC or equivalent or not) that have bought Unity Pro and that income will dry up with the UE4 model. It would dry up even if UE4 hadn't been placed on offer as that type of annual or biennial expense isn't sustainable. I don't know Unity's books but I hope they aren't relying on income from these folk.

    Many real businesses will treat Unity as a business expense to advertise product, e.g. Disney. They see games made in Unity as a way to help reduce advertising costs more so than a new revenue stream.
     
  13. Chaoss

    Chaoss

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    At the end of the day regardless of the eventual cost/money saved Unity are going to want to do something. I personally love Unity but I don't think I should be paying over $1k for software that crashes as much as Unity does. I'm waiting to see what Unity 5 brings to the table before I make up my mind on what Engine I should start my new project on.
     
  14. Kend

    Kend

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    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  15. Photon-Blasting-Service

    Photon-Blasting-Service

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    That is the truth.

    The first three asset packages I made were with Unity free version on a nine year old computer and OS. I bought a new computer with that money and I've made 13 more asset packages on that new computer. Unity free is absolutely amazing and will make you tens of thousands of dollars with relatively little effort.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  16. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    So are you saying to get pro you should as a matter of necessity make things for the asset store? Or make things you dont really want to make? How about if your circumstances don't allow you to make money from anything? Does that mean you don't need rendertextures and compute shaders?

    That sort of comment invites people to go use Unreal instead, that way they can make what they want without arbitrary limitations on usability, particularly for artists
     
  17. MaxieQ

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    Aren't we supposed to be able to make games with Unity? Do we have to build add-ons and spend our time doing that instead of making games?

    I'm glad that people have been able to make contributions to the community. Obviously I would benefit from that. But I think it should be voluntary, not required in order to be able to get a proper license.
     
  18. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    Additionally, it is not merely a question of whether Unity Free users could afford to upgrade to Unity Pro. I could easily afford to pay $1500 for Unity Pro, but there is no sane reason for me to when I can subscribe to UE4 for $19/month. In my case, I am purely a hobbyist. I am not looking to make money writing games. I write games purely as a hobby. So for me, the $19/month subscription is awesome. I was considering paying $1500 for Unity Pro, but decided not to after the UE4 announcement in March. Unity is currently at risk of losing all of the hobbyists within the Unity ecosystem. Unity could easily add another subscription option and target us hobbyists, but Unity has chosen not to. So basically, we can piddle with Free or we can switch to UE4.

    I have purchased items from the Asset Store, so Unity has made money off me in the past. I am not interested in selling anything through the Asset Store, especially not to generate money to buy Unity Pro.
     
  19. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    In the interview, David Helgason had strong points, staying focused on what they do the best and not disturbed from UE4 agressive offer. This just shows they just don't over react or fall in some price race for lower offer.
    They have people coming from industry they recruit to help them technically, so that's good point.
    What they should next , is solutions to give access Pro version to all users.
    For PC why not :
    - same as UE4 : monthly xx$ for Pro version , and you can stop subscription any time
    - intermediate price for Pro version based on your selling game revenue
    - One update per year at really lower prices for Pro version.
    For mobile :
    - A more global offer, lowering the price of Pro versions
    - Or some monthly subscription system as above that you can stop any time

    The problem with UE4 is Royalties, all people are not aware, but if you really sell good, than the engine will cost you very lot more than a single Unity Pro license.That's the price to pay to use latest UE4 editor and 3D features.
    The easy script and C#, asset store are Unity strong points. Unity should now quickly adopt a Visual language like BluePrints and make new offers or change some prices.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  20. caesarhernandez

    caesarhernandez

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    I've been using Unity since it came out and have upgraded to Pro with every release. I am really considering moving to UE4 simply for two reasons:
    - Price
    - UI

    The pricing model cannot be beat and the UI is gorgeous and it's fun to use; everything looks beautiful right out of the box.

    Also, I was a mega-UT fan and to be able to use the same engine to make my own games is a dream.

    Even if Unity matched the pricing model, I'm still heavily considering making the switch.

    ~Caesar
     
  21. Bradamante

    Bradamante

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    I am sick and tired of people asking Unity to copy Epic's distribution model.

    One of many differences between the two companies is that Epic has a firm grasp on the triple-A market and therefore doesn't even have to generate revenue with their offerings aimed at "low end" users. They could offer the thing for free, and for 99.9% of their users, they do.

    So now Epic would like to grow "top-down" into the indie/low-end market. What do people need there? Right, a asset store, because they lack the funding to pay their own artists. I sure do. Unreal 4 has it's "Marketplace". Right now it's being used to distribute Epic's own stuff, but they have already said they want to grow this into a Asset-Store-like model, where user distributions are being sold and profit is being shared.

    As the Unity CEO once publically stated, Unity is the Asset Store. Epic knows. Asset providers go where user demand is. That is currently with Unity. Epic now basically has a year let's say to attract as many users over to Unreal 4 as they can. They would give you a free Ferrari if you switched. Once the users come, asset providers will follow.

    I am pretty sure that's their thinking - and it's something that Unity can't and shouldn't reproduce.

    Another reason is that copying is a strategy of weakness. That's what CryTek did after Epic's announcement. Unity isn't weak. They are ahead of the curve. That is why I firmly believe that this is outdated. If David Helgason can look at this page and not start crying he better do some soul searching. Ask Hilmar Pétursson how that works, he's been there. So, the hard and long search for the next big thing in revenue generation for Unity has begun.

    Might be something nobody thinks of. Like a free Pro, but a flatrate on the Asset Store. Or a free Pro but revenue from services. Or a free version where you buy features from the Asset Store.

     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  22. goat

    goat

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    To sum it up it comes down to Unity needs to supply Blueprint type functionality, UE4 needs to publish to mobile and efficiently run on mobile and the two of these (and maybe CryTek and others) that supplies their asset stores with enough varied art will win.

    Even with all the art, some of it very good, in the Unity asset store it's rather slim pickings. Unity does have UMA which in my view is languishing now but I believe with thr new uGUI it will pick up. Since it's an MIT license there is nothing to keep folk from UE4 from porting it.

    Long term, and accounting for all the improvements in Unity 5 and for future versions of UE4, it is UMA that has the most interesting capabilities to offer artistically and game wise to me; but I don't know anything, I use Unity Free.
     
  23. goat

    goat

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    When I say languishing I mean those that are contributing are doing a great job but UMA's generally not well known considering it's ultimate capabilities.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  24. nipoco

    nipoco

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    Honestly, UE4 is aimed for bigger projects with corresponding budget. Games that attract mostly core gamers.

    UE4 costs twenty bucks a month, but the actual game development takes ten- if not hundred thousands of dollars. It's incredible time consuming and expensive to produce art content, that actually can utilize UE4's power.
    The apartment demo took two of Epic's seasoned artists two full months to produce. A small room without any gameplay. No go figure how long it takes to make even a small game in that style. With some characters, gameplay, GUI etc...
    Not to mention Unreal's high demand regarding the hardware requirements for the editor and the game builds.

    It's all about thinking economical and realistic. Unity's workflow is still more efficient for smaller indie games, compared to UE4. It's less time consuming and plays nice with non-Autodesk software.

    If you're just a hobbyist who loves to thinker around, or an artist looking for an industry job, then UE4 is the way to go.
    If you look for making actual money from your games, you're better off with Unity in most cases.

    And having a Unreal Engine splash-screen in your game doesn't make your game magically succeed. Look how Dead Crusade and Caffeine both failed with their crowdfunding campaigns, although they got quite a bit of attention from media outlets like Kotaku.

    Really I'm far away of being a Unity Fanboy. And everyone can read that in my post history. But I'm realistic and it took me just some days working with UE4, to realize that UE4 is not suitable for me as one man band.
     
  25. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    We do not have access to Unity's statistics to determine if Epic's new strategy is adversely affecting them. Even if we did it is still too early to draw a conclusion. UE4 simply has not been out long enough.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  26. Teo

    Teo

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    Agree UE4 is only out for 2 months, but look at the progress they made in 2 months. Also their WIP section looks very nice. Is just a matter of time until peoples will realize how noob friendly are Blueprints and fact that you can do a full game with them with out touch a line of code. And when more and more UE4 games will be out, peoples will start to dig into more.

    Maybe Unity have a hidden ACE in their hands to show us soon, else I don't understand how they can be so relaxed. Even Crytek gone for $10 per month, after UE4 come out.
     
  27. thxfoo

    thxfoo

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    There are many examples of single guys doing games in UE4, and they look awesome so far.

    That was said in this forum multiple times already. But you have to see that they developed the tech in parallel, that's why it took so long. If you want to do the same thing now that everything is in place you would be much faster.

    That is getting better fast. And with epics tempo I don't worry about that. E.g. flappy chicken from google play store runs without problems on my S***ty phone. And they can and will optimize it even more. It is 26MB now, and I'm sure they bring it below 10MB some day (the HTML5 one is 9MB atm).
    https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/shipping-tappy-chicken
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  28. sandboxgod

    sandboxgod

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    I should add a lot of UE4 projects were fully funded like City of Titans and Obduction.

    Granted, there's a lot of factors that contribute to the success of a kickstarter. You seem very intelligent so I am sure you already know this probably better than I do (I've never ran a kick, I only back). I suspect the engine being used is one of the smallest factors. In the case of Mighty No 9, for example, everyone fully backed it w/o knowing it was going to jump to Unreal.

    In regards to the perception 'UE4 is aimed at bigger budgets'. I do think you'll tend to see bigger Indie teams on UE4. Because the upfront costs are much cheaper (Unity Pro vs UE4) and they don't have to buy all those unity asset store plugins as well which tend to be per seat. But this can vary from person to person. Unity's Asset Store is so great one man can do so much. I understand where you are coming from there.

    Within the next year, if everything goes smoothly, I should have games released on both Unity UE4.
     
  29. nipoco

    nipoco

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    No not really.
    It's because it takes so long to create the models, textures, materials, lighting etc. and polish the scene to the max. The engine itself is your last concern here.

    Anyway, if you think that Unreal Engine is your thing. Go with it man!

    Personally I can't take any advantages of Unreal Engine at the moment.
    As I see it right now, it is mainly for industry artists to pimp their folio, or big budget projects. Not for the typical one man indie shop.
    Maybe that changes one day. It's a fast paced field. So who knows.

    At least UT has to put more effort into Unity and the customer support, if they want to stay relevant :mrgreen:
     
  30. nipoco

    nipoco

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    Don't get me wrong. I believe there will come a lot awesome indie games powered by UE4.
    And as you said, I think most will be from bigger indie teams rather than one man bands. That does not mean it's impossible to make it as single developer. It's just not that easy.
    And indeed there are some successful crowdfunding campaigns for UE4 too.

    I just wanted to point out that a good looking UE4 game is not a guarantee for success. Game development is still a hard pill to swallow.
    Even with that low entry price. Of course it's also not doom and gloom.
    But I saw lots of people lately that really think UE4 will make their games magically.
     
  31. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    People think that about Unity too. This isn't anything new.
     
  32. Deleted User

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    I'm not sure if anyone will agree with me here, but UE4 feels like UDK / UE3 with a smarter API and some improved segments. There's a reason I went with Unity in the first place, it's because it was so fast to get a game together. Not just because of the asset store but the thousands upon thousands of code examples from beginners to experts having issues you could learn from.

    There is so much knowledge available for Unity and workflow with things like materials is extremely rapid, you can stick a scene together in next to no time. I, by myself made a 15 level hack and slash of a fair size in three months in Unity and rarely did I ever feel frustrated with it. Now I have a team behind me it's given me a new opinion on Unity, I've hit the wall a fair few times with bugs and limitations that being said the amount we were able to achieve in a small amount of time was amazing.

    Do I think UE4 is a better engine? Yes I do, I think UE3 and a couple of tweaks is a better engine. Do I want to use it for my projects? Not really. With Unity I can spend more time improving the game, sure I became hell bent on improving Unity's graphics and performance because lets face it how it comes out the box is pretty poor to say the least. With Unity 5.0 I know it will change.. (UE4 now takes the crown for worst performance ever).

    So for the amount of time it saves me, just as one person or as a team (I still like to do my own stuff in my spare time). It's still a bit of a no brainer to me. As I have to get 70,000 copies sold to make any sort of return I need rapid iteration in my life, even more so when I was doing it as a hobby I really didn't have time. Reason for speed maybe familiarity with the tool, but even starting out it seemed so simple to pick up. One of them easy to use hard to master scenarios..

    I do have projects in UE4, because of Unitys limitations. There were no getting around that, but I still think Unity is the best place to be.

    As for cost, well that depends on your situation and what they are going to do with Unity free. In light of Epics offering in some ways it's a good deal in others it's bad. That 5% for me I don't want, even if you're starting out and want to earn money I'd still not want that 5%. You have to pay for the likes of Enlighten and it costs a fortune, if you're a PC / Mac / Console developer then the price seems good to me it's only in the mobile segment where I kind of feel people are getting screwed slightly.

    On a final note, when you consider the amount of expensive middleware you don't get with UE4 Unity becomes more appetising Enlighten alone costs several times more than a Unity license. A lot of people think they don't need it, people doing 2D don't.. But it will help you compete.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2014
  33. tiggus

    tiggus

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    Shadowk: quick question about Enlighten since you seem pretty knowledgeable/excited about it. If I am procedurally generating my level will Enlighten provide any benefits? Ie. when the user loads the level lets say it is put together out of modular pieces in a random fashion, how does Enlighten help me with lighting?
     
  34. Marco-Sperling

    Marco-Sperling

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    Enlighten requires you to create meta data assets (specially crafted low poly assets that closely resemble your level shape - almost as mesh colliders do; thus with a special uv mapping as well) on top of your already existing (or to be created) 3d assets. So Enlighten - as I know it - won't help you with an automagic button... it adds workload on top.
    But if you can afford that extra step it takes you can get really astonishing results. Though I doubt that this stuff will work pretty well on mobile devices. But UT might prove me wrong here. Maybe in both aspects - maybe they have some helper tools available that significantly increase the speed at which these meta data can be created.

    See this DICE publication for information:
    http://dice.se/wp-content/uploads/GDC11_LightingYouUpInBattlefield3.pdf
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  35. Deleted User

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    Firstly @ Marco, that's an old publication back when I was working with it in FB. It has changed dramatically since then..

    I honestly don't know how much Impact Unity has had on Enlighten, from what I heard they have made quite a big one. Anyway, sure you still get real time radiosity via a threaded low res lightmap. So you will see benefit out of it.. (I know this from previously, not from Alpha / Beta before anyone from Unity jumps on me).

    Bar 2D, everyone should get some benefit out out it even if you're doing stylised / cartoony games. (I get that asked a lot for some reason).

    As for how it will be in Unity, I can't tell you it's against the rules I'm afraid. All I can say is look forward to it..
     
  36. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    That's initially why I went with Unity as well. I spent a couple weeks with UDK and felt like I wasn't getting anywhere fast. Compare that to Unity which took about a day or two to get equally as far along.

    Scripting was my biggest problem with UDK and I never managed to get one working before I decided to investigate Unity. Within minutes though of watching a UE4 video tutorial I had C++ code compiling and functioning. Blueprint was equally as effortless.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  37. Deleted User

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    We use UE4 for another project, so I've had some practice.

    It's not just about the code, personally I don't struggle no matter the language and I only see coding as a means to an end and generally code gets re-used and modified from code libraries / wikis anyway. Artwork is another matter, to make a game competitive art can't often be re-used, it has to look good and getting it in the engine / modifying without strict limits is also another bonus to Unity. Unity doesn't seem to care what you chuck at it, Unity just works and is easily modded. CryEngine was the worst for this, if an object size was out of bounds I was modding CVARS to hopefully get it working which didn't want to carry over to the engine export ETC. Became a pain. But that was the least of the issues with CE.

    Blueprints are great for prototypes, I'd not want to debug a full RPG with networking capabilities with BP's.. So I'll generally not use it.

    That being said, I love C# and even though I've got 15 years now of C++ experience. I'm not quick to want to jump back, even if UE4 does MEM and GC for me. Plus I don't like lightmass :D

    I like UE4 I do, but I still much prefer the workflow of Unity.

    Note: I'm still wondering why this is a discussion? If you prefer UE4 and it suits your fiscal needs then use it and be happy, if you prefer Unity then use that. It's only YOU who can decide what works..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2014
  38. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Learning the scripting language was never going to be a problem. The problem was finding a tutorial that actually stated where you put the scripts. Or at least any free tutorials. 3D Buzz undoubtedly had some coding tutorials but anything beyond the basics of using the editor were behind a paywall.

    Completely agree but I still would use Blueprint for adding simple functionality that is mostly unrelated to gameplay such as level-specific animation code. Though I might be tempted to use it as glue logic in some cases.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  39. I am da bawss

    I am da bawss

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    Hippo says (and got his permission) to repost my previous thread to here to help "stimulate" the discussion.




    I think this is the number one question people are asking, if Epic can do it, why can't Unity do it?


    Let's break it down into numbers:


    Unity is currently employing over 200+ employees (Linkedin report the company size as "201-500 employees") let's take the conservative estimate of 200 - and the average salary of $60,000 per year (The salary for software developer/engineer in Denmark is around $60,000 and goes up to $90,000 USD), the salary expenditure alone is already $12 million USD.


    Now, Unity Technologies runs 13+ offices globally with "official" HQ in San Francisco (although I suspect that one is just a front) - they also have offices in Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Korea, Lithuania, Singapore, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and elsewhere the United States. Let's assume the majority of their workforce are located in their "unofficial" Copenhagan HQ - from my experience, running an office of 150 would require at least $2 million a year - which includes electricity (heating and cooling, computers, servers), water utilities, office supplies/stationary, rent, computer hardwares, office furnitures, janitorial supplies, insurance premium...etc etc.


    Then there is the travel expenses - where each year UT would fly everyone to their Copenhagan HQ for the "Ninja Week" which would include air travel and hotel accommodations; and all the conventions around the world where senior Unity staff would attend - on top of that renting and setting up the convention space - let's put it on the conservative $1 million.


    Adding it all up, the total operating cost of UT is around $15 million, and that's on a very conservative estimate.


    That means for UT to break even, it would require them to sell 10000 Pro licenses to break even -
    but the corporate tax in Denmark is 25% (the tax man takes 25% of their total income), which means they actually need to earn $18.75 million to break even, which in turn translate to UT needs to sell 12500 Pro licenses to break even. There are currently 2.9 million registered developers using Unity, so if just 1% is converted to Pro license - Unity would just about break even - because Unity is on a 2 year cycle now (since Unity 3) those who buy would not buy again until next upgrade - so 12500 x 3 is 37500, so in this 2 year cycle Unity needs to sell at least 37500 Pro licenses to break even.


    One wildcard I didn't include is the revenue from the Asset Store sales - but looking at the forum it seems only the top 10 Asset Store sellers are barely making some decent living so I am guessing UT is only getting less than $225K a year from it ($1 million total Asset Store sales per year with UT taking the 30% cut and minus the 25% tax) so the number is not very significant.


    Now, if UT is to follow Epic's model - UT needs to get 82237 paying subscribers ($18.75 million/($19 x 12 month)) ASSUMING NONE OF THEM LEAVE THE SUBSCRIPTION FOR THE YEAR! But everyone is talking about just taking up subscription every few months just for the update instead of paying every month - that means that number needs to be at least 2x to 3x just to cover the cost of people leaving the subscription - which means at 2x UT needs to get 164474 subscribers while 3x means UT needs to get 246711 subscribers to break even! That's almost a quarter of a million people that UT needs to get if it wants to follow the Epic's model.


    So is it feasible? I don't know. I don't think it is possible for UT to go for this model as it is very risky and very little room for them to maneuver.
     
  40. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    According to Unity, they have two million developers or approximately eight times the number required to break even.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  41. goat

    goat

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    The WSJ is hardly a necessity and a digital only subscription is about $9 a month with 900,000 digital and 2.1 million print/digital subscribers. In the WSJ's case you generally subscribe a year at a time to avoid the daily costs of buying a printed paper.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wall_Street_Journal

    Contrast that with Spotify:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303749904579575710878185326

    with 10 million paying subscribers and 40 million members but they are loosing money because the cost of licensing a diverse set of musical genres to keep their subscribers happy is prohibitively expensive. They are in essence promising their customers everything (musically) and are loosing money because of it. Of that massive musical library they are renting out in order to rent to their subscribers you can be sure much less than 1% is actually listened to by their most avid listeners. It's massively wasteful or they are being massively overcharged or both.

    So UE4 and CryTek are gambling all those open source sites and CM sites are popular for a reason and I'm inclined to think they are right. There are liable to be eventually massive open source / open art communities grow up around these game engines.
     
  42. Marco-Sperling

    Marco-Sperling

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    Looking forward to it then. That publication I linked to may be old but I 've had the chance to look at Enlighten in a current studio production - and they still had to create target meshes manually. But that may just have been related to how they implemented certain features or on the version of Enlighten they had licensed. Cannot tell more. Don't know more.
    So I'm eager to see what UT brings to the table. Thx for your insights.
     
  43. Hikiko66

    Hikiko66

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    Better to look at monthly active devs, although, I think we should focus on how much they would likely make instead of how much they would be required to make to break even, because we don't know how much they need, and they're not going to tell us.

    http://unity3d.com/company/public-relations
    630 thousand
    What conversion rates could they expect?
    How many would stay on the $1500 option? (Would that still be an option?)
    How many would continue to use the free version?
    How many will switch to a competitor regardless of what unity do?
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  44. NoPiece

    NoPiece

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    @I am da bawss - Love what you have done! A few suggestions for your model

    Unity says on their website they have 300+ employees, so up that to at least 300.

    You pay taxes on profit not gross. Since you are looking for a break even number, I'd drop taxes as a consideration

    In the US, a rule of thumb for the cost of an employee is 2x salary (social security, health benefits, training, etc..).

    I didn't see any royalty revenue in the model. If they mirror UE4, there should be something for that.
     
  45. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Yes, but my point was that they should be able to migrate to a licensing model similar to Unreal and not have any problems maintaining their company.

    Keep in mind that these figures are only counting subscriptions. I strongly suspect Epic is expecting the bulk of their profits to come from royalties and that the subscriptions are only there to maintain the company.

    Really I feel Unity should go with two different models. Their $1,500 upfront cost with no royalties and a cheaper upfront cost with royalties. If and when someone starts making enough that they dislike the royalties, they could simply buy or upgrade to the no royalties tier.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  46. nipoco

    nipoco

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    In most cases Unity is more efficient for small game projects, while UE4 aims at bigger ones. That is the difference. Making a bigger game in Unity is indeed difficult too, if not harder.
     
  47. cannon

    cannon

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    Just food for thought, what will happen to Epic's revenues if they added a $1500 option for avoiding royalties :rolleyes:
     
  48. goat

    goat

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    They already get much more than that.
     
  49. cannon

    cannon

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    So you're saying, if they offered a $19 cancel anytime sub with royalties, and also had a $1500 perpetual license, Epic will get less money than they do now? Sounds logical.

    Just putting it out there for people to think about :rolleyes:
     
  50. goat

    goat

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    I'm telling you they already sell perpetual licenses privately. You could have bought one of those long before the subscriptions were made available and you can still buy a perpetual license from them, 'privately'.
     
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