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Post by trog @ 02:36pm 24/02/11 | 15 Comments
Good news for anyone interested in independent game development today from Epic - they've increased the threshold for royalties for their Unreal Development Kit by a factor of ten!

This means that, if you're making your own game, you can use the UDK completely royalty-free as long as you're making less than USD$50,000. So if you're an independent games developer - or thinking about becoming one! - then this means you can earn a pretty reasonable chunk of cash while keeping your costs low. From the official statement:
We're really excited about folks making some amazing things with UDK and we realize that a lot of you are just started in the business so not having to pay royalties on your first $50,000 should help you get a financial footing toward building a quality game development business.

One thing some folks didn't seem to realize is that whether you sell your product through digital distribution (or a retail location) the company doing the sale to the end user (called the "retailer") takes a cut (typically around 30%) for their efforts. The price they sell it for is called the retail price. The amount of money they pay to you on each sale is called the wholesale amount. When you pay us royalties you pay on the wholesale amount, i.e. the money you actually receive.
There are some examples of the UDK royalty structure in their forum post (registration required).

AusGamers is proud to be an official mirror partner for the Unreal Development kit; you can grab the latest version of it now from our speedy file server, and we've also got a video which runs you through the UDK features. Get cracking!



game developmentepicunreal engineudk





Latest Comments
Midda
Posted 03:35pm 24/2/11
Nice. This is definitely something I'd like to pursue. Indie development is where it's at.
Eorl
Posted 03:35pm 24/2/11
Hmm, nice to hear, but I still wouldn't program with the UDK when I have Unity. It's a nice engine, but extremely over-complicated.
Khel
Posted 04:23pm 24/2/11
Yeah, I had a look again at Unity the other day, its looking like a really nice, full featured engine. The free version is rather crippled though, a lot of the features you'd want to make a real game up to today's standards are in the pro version that you need to pay for.
Midda
Posted 05:20pm 24/2/11
Yeah, Unity is still probably the engine I'd be leaning toward. You can do so much with it without even needing to know C++. Very accessible. And even though the free version is crippled, isn't a pro license only like $1500 or something? That's pretty damn cheap.
Eorl
Posted 06:42pm 24/2/11
Hell, you can just use Java xD
Khel
Posted 06:55pm 24/2/11
Oh yeah, I'd probably still use Unity as well, but for someone without $1500 who needs to rely solely on the free versions, Unity's free version is probably gonna give you less than the UDK does.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 07:51pm 24/2/11
$1500 wouldn't take long to earn, a couple weeks of late night Woolies shelf packing should do it.
FraktuRe
Posted 07:57pm 24/2/11
Unity is such a pain in the ass to make anything look good though. It's pretty easy on the coding side, but looks s*** in almost every game.
Eorl
Posted 08:12pm 24/2/11
Actually, with a good artist, you can do amazing stuff with Unity. I found that when I made my first game, we focused more on the cell/cartoony shading, and it looked wicked. And also, Unity now has a full free version, and you can earn up to $10,000-$15,000 before you have to pay royalties. Which is pretty wicked for a indie developer.

I just feel UDK is a b**** to use, and not really that impressive anymore.
WetWired
Posted 09:06pm 24/2/11
Yeah that's the one thing Unity lacks, a decent default shader base to work from. But I had mesh in Unity within minutes having never used it before.
Eorl
Posted 09:18pm 24/2/11
That is what I love bout Unity, it's just so simple and easy to use, and if you want to go advance, you can.
Nerfington
Posted 09:57pm 24/2/11
I'm not really familiar with unity, beyond this demo http://unity3d.com/gallery/live-demos/tropical-paradise - is it actively being used in any products that you guys know of? Seems pretty powerful, something I would have thought somebody would have jumped all over to make some kind of browser mmo or something.
Enska
Posted 10:36pm 24/2/11
Khel
Posted 11:46pm 24/2/11
Yeah that's the one thing Unity lacks, a decent default shader base to work from.


The free one does, the paid for pro one doesn't. The pro one even has full support for stuff like deferred shading and DX11 shenanigans now.
Eorl
Posted 03:02am 25/2/11
Heh, I remember that demo when I was in Tafe doing my game diploma. Changed the stalks so they were gigantic, was hilarious. The only thing Unity can't do naturally, is MMO's. Though there are some Free-To-Play ones that have tweaked it to work.
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