Monthly Archives: September 2012

Diary of a Hermit: Introduction

-By Adam

Quick question: What’s your favorite game ever?

I ask this question to a lot of people, and most of the time, their answer is a classic game that EVERYONE has played… except me.  Now, I’ve played a lot of games (and I mean a lot of games), and yet I keep running into legendary titles that I just haven’t gotten around to playing.  For instance, there’s this fascinating Nintendo game you may have heard of, called “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”.

Whoa, take it easy, I actually have played that one.  As a matter of fact, I finished it just a few months ago.  What’s that you say?  It came out 14 years ago? And people have been calling it (arguably) the best game ever made?  And it’s already been re-released several times over?  Okay, fine, you have a point.

So, while I’m pretending that you’re here talking to me, let’s make a deal: I’ll come out from under my cozy rock, dig up some classic game fossils, and tell you what it’s like to play your favorite old games for the first time, as a (reclusive) member of modern, civilized society.  Okay, so it’s not really a deal, I’m just telling you what I’m going to do.

Welcome to Diary of a Hermit, my new column about games I should have played already, but haven’t!  In our next episode, I will join Dante the White on a high-octane quest to avenge his pizza in Devil May Cry 3!  See you next time, folks!

Unity3D vs. Unreal Development Kit

Who will survive?

Unity3D and UDK are the two foremost free game engines in the independent, student, and amateur game development world. Unity was developed sometime around 2006 by Unity Technologies, while UDK, or Unreal Development Kit, was released by Epic Games in late 2009 as their own bid in the indie-friendly world. Both engines became available for free roughly a week apart from one another, and both, by this point, are getting a fairly strong following. Therefore, much in the way that you hear modelers discussing the merits of Maya versus 3DSMax, you hear a lot of discussion about whether Unity or UDK is the better game development platform. This article will serve as a comparison/contrast of the two for the benefit of this discussion, as I’ve had a lot of experience working with both.

Trying to define a “better” game engine is always tricky, because different engines offer different things. Virtually any engine can accomplish any task, it’s just a matter of how much work you have to do to make different tasks happen in one as opposed to another. It’s less that one game engine is actually “better” than another, and more that they’re better-suited to specific kinds of production. In the case of Unity and UDK, both Unity Technologies and Epic Games are firmly set in developing an engine that caters to a wide variety of different kinds of projects and publishing needs, so it’s an especially tricky discussion that requires a peek into a lot of details. We’ll break this down in terms of Unity’s features, then UDK’s, and then a comparison.

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