The top game engines powering a new generation of development
Over the last 12 months Unity has continued to democratise the creation of games, reducing development times and costs to helping to usher in a new wave of industry creativity.
In the last year, Unity development tools have been released for Windows Store, Windows Phone 8 and Nintendo Wii U. Great progress has also been made on development tools for Xbox One, which will be offered free to approved Microsoft Games Studios and ID@Xbox developers. No other engine supports more desktop, web, mobile and console platforms.
From Fireproof Games’ The Room 2 to Facepunch Studios’ Rust, Blizzard’s Hearthstone and Press Play’s Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Unity was at the heart of numerous recent hits from developers of all shapes and sizes. It’s one of the most powerful, versatile, and valuable game development systems in the industry.
In 2013, Crytek’s award-winning engine transformed into the new CryEngine, offering access to new features across all platforms, including physically based shading, GeomCache and image based lighting, as demonstrated in Xbox One launch title Ryse: Son of Rome.
Used not just in the the game industry, but also in fields like architecture and education, CryEngine now offers an engine-as-service program, giving users access to the toolset for a monthly fee. Games currently being developed using CryEngine include Cloud Imperium Games’ Star Citizen, Warhorse Studios’ Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Turtle Rock Studios’ Evolve and Robotoki’s Human Element.
Crytek’s Cryengine continues to be one of the most powerful, feature-heavy engines on the market, helping developers deliver technically stunning games.
UNREAL ENGINE 4
While Unreal Engine 3 has continued to highlight the quality of its mature toolset with a string of hit titles over the past 12 months, the launch of Unreal Engine 4 heralds Epic Games’ claim on a new generation of hardware.
With Unreal Engine 4, Epic’s goal is to put the engine within reach of anyone interested in building games and 3D content, from indies to large triple-A development teams, for just a small monthly fee. And that approach is already bearing fruit.
Zombie Studio’s Daylight, one of the first games built using UE4, launched earlier this year and some huge triple-A franchises and creative new projects are set to follow, including Lionhead's Fable Legends, Black Tusk’s Gears of War and Opaque Multimedia’s The Forest.
Driven by relentless and rapid updates, Unreal Engine 4 will only get stronger.
Providing an impressively low barrier of entry to developers, YoYo Games’ GameMaker has been at the heart of a string of hit titles in the last year, helping to launch new talent and find fresh success for established developers.
GameMaker makes games development 80 per cent faster than coding for native languages, allowing the creation of fully functional prototypes in hours and full games in just weeks. Recent successes include Messhof’s Nidhogg, Chucklefish’s Risk of Rain and Suspicious Developments’ Gunpoint. And thanks to a range of purchasing options and new features, the engine now provides multiple new opportunities.
Foremost among these is YoYo Games’ recently announced collaboration with Sony, which enables licensed PlayStation developers to create and publish GameMaker: Studio games to PlayStation platforms free of charge. It’s a fantastic new addition to an already irresistible prospect for independent studios.
Launched in March 2013, Project Anarchy is the complete mobile 3D game production engine from leading games development technology provider Havok, offering award-winning tools for free.
Project Anarchy provides access to Havok’s suite of Physics, Animation and AI tools, as used in cutting-edge franchises including Skyrim, Halo, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted and Skylanders. Additional licenses are available for further platforms, but for developers publishing to iOS, Android and Tizen, the licence doesn’t cost a penny.
It’s this combination of free access and professional grade tools that makes Project Anarchy such an attractive proposition for mobile developers of all shapes and sizes. And with Havok’s own tech demo Anarchy RPG showing what can be achieved, expect to see more from Project Anarchy in the months to come.
About The Develop Awards
The 2014 Develop Awards will take place on Wednesday, July 9th at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Brighton, and recognises the best innovators and development talent in the UK and Europe.
If you want to attend, you can book single seats and standard or gold tables by contacting Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk or calling 01992 535646.
There are multiple new awards this year, with a total of 24 prizes up for grabs, while PlayStation 4 lead architect Mark Cerny is 2014's Development Legend.
There is a host of big names backing this year's Develop Awards, including Crytek and Deep Silver as Platinum Partners, a slew of Gold Partners in King, UKIE, Amiqus, Keywords International, Codemasters, Perforce, Cubic Motion and Unity, Event Partners Wales Interactive, InnoGames and Tandem Events and Table Gift Partner OPM. Epic Games is Drinks Reception Partner.
For more information on the sponsorship and partnership opportunities still available, contact Alex.Boucher@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647.
You can find out more about the Develop Awards at the official Develop Awards website.