July Map Build

For the month of July my school class was Art Creation for Games, and we worked through the process of crafting and then implementing a a small map in the unreal engine. RitterS_Week1


So the map was created in the unreal engine, but the assets that I used were all created by me inside Maya and zBrush mainly. Though there was a lot of work also done in photoshop for preparing the textures and I did use crazybump, and xNormal to help create the final textures and maps for several of the objects.



One of the funnest thing to do and to create was the big tree, it was the first time that I had done anything with zSpheres, and I think there’s a lot of potential for creating some awesome work with zBrush. I’m hoping to spend some time learning more about the software soon.



So this map was built with the Unreal engine and Maya, I’m very confident that I now have the skills to build a great many different things in unreal. However as I start to look into doing my own commercial video game project I’m a bit worried that I may need to switch to a different set of software. To purchase a commercial Autodesk Maya license is between $5,775.00 and $8,395.00, ouch. So unless they have a good deal for students upgrading from an educational to commercial license I’m pretty sure I’ll be looking elsewhere. I’m leaning towards blender. I’ve heard some good things about it and it is free/open-source, so it should be reasonably capable though it may take some time to become comfortable and proficient with it. One of the other licenses that I’d need for my own game development is for the game engine. Now unreal does have a relatively nice way of letting independent developers use their engine for the low price of $100 however, as soon as your game has made more than $50,000 in sales, they take 25% of all the games revenue. Which if your game takes of at all can add up substantially. I’ve been looking into the possibility of working with Unity instead, Unity charges a one time fee of $1500 for a commercial license and then never takes another penny from your game sales, that being said, you need to have a separate license for each of your team members who will be working with unity and if you are collaborating on a project together, you’ll probably need to have the team license expansion, which is another $500 which means that with unity alone, you’re looking at at least $2000 per person on a project. I’m hoping to start work on a game reasonably soon, with a friend, so we’ll be two developers and we’ll need to spend at least $4000 on our engine license. That is a substantial difference compared to the $100 license fee of the unreal engine, but if you were losing 25% of all sales to the engine creator, you’d be paying that amount for every $16000 in sales anyway. One other thing that makes Unity much more tempting though is the fact that they provide you with complete access to the engine, you can change the engine and rewrite parts of the code as needed to get the functionality you need and want.  Unreal only provides that level of access if you are a full license holder and not just an independent license holder, full licenses with unreal are very expensive and intended only for established developers. On top of that the only other piece of software that I’d really like to have for working on games is zBrush, which they do offer a 50% discount to upgrade a student license to a commercial license. The current price for a zBrush license is about $795 so I’d only need to pay about $400 for the commercial license there and then I should be able to create all the assets I need for a game and I should be able to create something I enjoy with a whole ton of work. I will add that I have been looking into motion capture to help expedite the workflow as an independent developer and sole artist on a project and I’ve found a number of options that range from $300 to $2000 and look like they would be fairly useful. Traditional motion capture set-ups tend to be tens of thousands of dollars to set up, so even the $2000 platform looks very nice with how much it is capable of doing at its price point.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.