UDK: Make the next Gears of War

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Ever sat down from a long day of hacking and thought to yourself  “I wish there was a cool video game out there made just for me. Better yet, made by me!” Today is your lucky day with the release of UDK – Unreal Development Kit.

In days of old, the only solution to satisfying your game creation desires was a cheap game making kit, or adding to the millions of Source mods. Epic has changed tables by now allowing anyone to use their engine (non-commercially of course) to create the game of their dreams; who knows, maybe even the next Unreal Tournament.

UDK is currently limited to PC, but plans are in the process for PS3 and Xbox360 development. For those who cant wait, we suggest checking out XNA. Whatever tools you use, ever made a cool game? Tell us in the comments!

[Thanks Kinigit]

41 thoughts on “UDK: Make the next Gears of War

  1. get this on a mug
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  2. There are many free game engines that have limited level of success.

    I doubt this will change anything… games these days require so many manhours that it’s now pretty impossible to compete in quality with any decent game (except maybe on the casual market).

    XNA does work on PC and 360 (through an app you need to buy on the Xbox Marketplace), but I don’t think there’s any option to develop homebrew on PS3.

    I’m currently downloading UDK to see if sources are included (which I doubt). With access to Unreal Script and Kismet people will be able to do decent small games, but for any real work you need access to the source code.

    I worked on a few “cool games” using Unreal Engine, Virtools and other proprietary engines.

  3. I use RPG Maker XP currently to make games for the wife. I have one in particular called Treasure Kitty but I would not dare release that upon the world. As for the rest I am slowly moving to mod source engine goofing around. We love playing hack n slashes together (BG2:DA) and I finally decided to mess with just extending our adventures. I ended up dropping everything tho when we got Sacred 2 for the 360. Now that we are done maybe I’ll get back into it. This looks pretty neat and glad to hear there will be a 360 version in the pipes. I really haven’t dug into the XNA community too much-disappointed at the immediate lack of tentacle pr0n sidescrollers- but ya know there is some guy out there somewhere working on it right now ;)

  4. I know its bad …
    … and I can not hold it back !!!
    … somebody has to ask it !!

    …will it run on my arduino ?

    No offense ;)

  5. sure hope they cut out that painfuly horrible storryline in the demo.

    i love the unreal engine. i’m glad they released an sdk for everyone with fiewer limitations than the last version.

  6. I am making an exact asteroids replica in python, and then I am going to put it in a homemade cabinet on a crt from the junk yard. then i am going to put it at the student union at the college and i will be rich.

    games that sell need to be stupid flash time wasters or really big projects(or wii).

  7. @Nonya-Biz: Unreal Scripts can easily be edited using Visual Studio, most keywords are the same except for a few specific keywords (state, latent, etc…). PixelMine also has a plugin to help with autocompletion and debugging of UCs. In game scripting can be done using Kismet which is very well done!

  8. what novice is going to go to the trouble of downloading, or buying visual studio? especially when they would have to figure out how to configure it themselves?

    i just don’t see why they cut out the unrealed script editor. they could have at least replaced it with something like UDE.

  9. This is just Epic’s response to Unity becoming free earlier this week. Though UE3 is the cream of the crop in most ways, its licensing and lack of Mac and console support are serious drawbacks.

    It’s awesome to have more engines easily accessible by indie developers. So many cut their teeth on the likes of blitz3d, they’re probably jealous of kids who’ll get to start with such advanced tech.

  10. @arrangemonk: You do realise that no one has any idea of how old you are right now? For all we know you could’ve started creating games last week.
    (sorry, a bit of an internet pet peeve)

  11. assuming that im working as software engineer while studiing i guess im still 22 for the next 2 weeks

    but you can never be sure

  12. Interested in how it’s going to make it to the PS3 given how the Sony development process works for studios..

    Also way more powerful engines than this are out there that do ~10x the work in a single sitting with same results. The legacy problem, especially with 3D, is content creation. Making 3D models that don’t turn players away takes years plus to learn..literally, and then it still takes a week to do one modern 3d character, and that’s if you’re major studio level in pipeline fluency.

  13. What this does is it allows mod teams who previously were modding (or considering modding) UT3 to move their mods to UDK and from there release their mods standalone with no need to buy UT3 to play them.

  14. So how is this different from UnrealED and Kismet that were out before? I don’t see how you can give people more control than direct C++ coding…

    Also, XNA sucks for anything remotely complicated. It’s simple, and fast, but the managed system doesn’t allow for much freedom in memory and asset management, and the MS overhead is pretty high. If you want to make a game, learn C++ and use DirectX or OpenGL.

    Console development isn’t really feasible with a system like this. Unless they make something like the XNA Connect system, it will be near impossible to deploy anything playable.

  15. Unity or Leadwerks. Leadwerks is probably the most powerful engine you can get if you don’t have the cash for a engine from a big studio. You can get it for like a hundred bucks.

    1. i’ve done some stuff with the source engine, all asset creation (models, brushes etc). I’ve looked at unity but haven’t tried it yet. I made a player model for ut3, so maybe I could get stuff into it. I’m not much into programming though.

      @tj,
      Thanks for showing us Leadwerks, I like what I see.

  16. Epic Games’s “Game Maker” for DOS. I made a top view Zelda style game of my middle school and sold it to friends and eventually teachers. I made $200 selling floppies! I also used to have Pie in the Sky’s “Game Creation System” which was based on the Quake engine if I remember correctly. I think I’d prefer a 2D game maker to the crazy 3D advanced things due to the amount of time you have to spend on accomplishing so little.

  17. I have used DX studio for a 3d simulation package and am impressed at its ease of use.
    It uses javascript for scripting and can interface with external dlls.
    The thing that pulled me towards their engine was the ActiveX support so I can have the 3d content rendered to a windows form or to WPF using a windows form host.
    The forums are very active and if the engine doesnt support something that you need they are pretty good at getting it in the next service release for you.

  18. The reason indy developers shouldn’t use most of the mentioned open source engines is because they want a high level interface to work with so they can actually accomplish their goals productively.

    You use the id engine for example you’ll end up writing thousands of lines of code just for a single character control. You also have to handle your own data types and do garbage cleanup. You might as well write from scratch.

    With engines like Leadwerks and propriety licensed engines from major studios everything is highly abstracted while maintaining flexibility, and that’s how development has evolved and should be. It’s counter-productive to back-step with low level API code.

    On that same note though none of the engines have things like collision morphing(the algorithm for meshes you use to emulate damage). So if you want bouncing boobs or car damage you’ll have to do it on your own with a state machine and physics engine.

    This is just engine discussion though. The main problem is content development. A highly skilled modeler takes on average a week to do a single model because of many reasons such as poly reduction, texturing etc..

    Non-Active objects are simple with the exception of quality texturing. Zbrush is about the only practical solution for that and they micro manage all the aspects of the interface like blender and 3d max do so it becomes a headache to work with.

    MakeHuman is about the only software I feel has evolved for this problem, and their roadmap indicates the game dev features wont show for years, and most of the CG community want that project dead because it threatens job security..never-mind the blatant innovation is presents.

    Also for noobs: Literally the only difference between a 3D game developed in 1999, and a ‘next gen’ one on the PS3/x360/PC is physics, and normal maps. The reflections and such are just new shaders.

  19. Written by Eric:
    >I doubt this will change anything… games these
    >days require so many manhours that it’s now pretty
    >impossible to compete in quality with any decent
    >game (except maybe on the casual market).

    I’m not sure the term “quality” is very appropriate these days. Many professionally titles look fantastic, but they are riddled with bugs, and the game play is totally linear… and boring. That’s the best you will see, despite publishers pour a ton of money into these things.

    The issues with bugs are the worst. Some games can’t be played for more than 5 minutes without the damn thing crashing. Games have become too complex and the project deadlines too stringent. The end result you get is a game that needs 10 patches for it to be playable.

    I guess using an existing game engine has the advantage that some issues have been ironed out by the licensor. But that doesn’t stop you from introducing new ones ;)

  20. @tj: Not to nitpick, but I would argue shaders are exactly the biggest difference between a 3D engine in 1999 and today. 3D-accelerated engines of ’99 didn’t have shaders, as far as I know. Bump mapping is a simple shader trick that wasn’t available before the ability to change the graphics rendering pipeline.

    Besides simple shaders, there have been significant improvements in lighting, for instance soft shadows, ambient occlusion, and environment mapping. You wouldn’t find these in a ’99 era engine. Particle systems are getting more complex(+physics), but I think we’re 1 generation of hardware away from seeing the really cool stuff – some of the water techdemo’s come to mind.

    I haven’t used SpeedTree myself, but it seems like roughly the equivalent to MakeHuman for trees and shrubbery.

  21. @cptfalcon: There where some implementations on a per-engine bases.

    I’ve also used plant solutions like SpeedTree, they are good. They are still a small portion of the equation though.

    Dynamic water/liquid I think just needs to be implemented, I’ve seen plugins for some engines, and there are some demos that do it. Most newer games seem to use normals and a shader with particles for collision.

  22. Re. the shader arguments – one could look at this this way:

    Pre 1999 graphics hardware can be regarded as systems with hard wired fragment & vertex shaders. Programmable shaders can be thought of making previously hard wired features accessible in software. But the fundamental principles of dumping 3D models to the graphics pipeline remains the same. Point transformations, hidden surface elimination, clipping, texturing, etc., must be still done the same way.

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