UNREAL ENGINE 4 IS FREE FOR EVERYONE

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UNREAL ENGINE 4 IS FREE FOR EVERYONE

Post by BigBox on Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:38 pm

While this is good news, let's face it.  No indie-developer that can actually make a game won't take advantage to how this stuff is becoming easier, and easier to access.  They'll just make up excuses is to why that can't use it.  Then again, methods they use some how makes functioning sprites cost around $1,000,000 (not really, they're just over valuing their work by about 15 times it's actual value.)  Even though this stuff is free to use and any extra may cost pretty penny, but cheaper than pixel art apparently if you aren't trying to make anything at the quality of the Uncharted Series.  And, if there is a fee, Epic takes %5 after the first $3,000 earned quarterly.
http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/03/02/unreal-engine-4-is-free-for-everyone
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Re: UNREAL ENGINE 4 IS FREE FOR EVERYONE

Post by DP on Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:27 am

Coincidentally, source 2 is also free, and was announced today.

I won't touch the sprite comment because I can't think of a non-Skullgirls game that made use of sprites that cost a lot. But they also made actual 1080p sprites, by hand, with 60 frames per animation and high-quality animations. Even then they didn't cost a million per, I believe.
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Re: UNREAL ENGINE 4 IS FREE FOR EVERYONE

Post by BigBox on Fri Mar 06, 2015 5:23 pm

I know, so has Unity 5 minus the royalty program.

To be fair though, the art of Skullgirls and it's depth of detail is more akin to being a cartoon animator.  I'm talking about 8-bit art that's about 30 years old and that can be obtained and animated absolutely free with no other licensing sources.
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Re: UNREAL ENGINE 4 IS FREE FOR EVERYONE

Post by DP on Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:54 pm

Well, "free" still requires man-hours of work creating the sprites and each of the frames. It takes a while, and people don't wanna do it for free; that's why Axis has been sitting unloved for months lol. That said, I've never seen a studio claim that spriting cost a million dollars. I wouldn't doubt that a whole sprite-based game take $1 million to do as far as art goes, though, since it can take several people months of work just to get everything done. Let's remember a game like Shovel Knight had a budget of about $600K total at the very most, and that's usually almost entirely paying the 18 employees for a year and a half of work (whatever's left being the royalty fees of course).
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Re: UNREAL ENGINE 4 IS FREE FOR EVERYONE

Post by BigBox on Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:35 pm

DP wrote:Well, "free" still requires man-hours of work creating the sprites and each of the frames. It takes a while, and people don't wanna do it for free; that's why Axis has been sitting unloved for months lol. That said, I've never seen a studio claim that spriting cost a million dollars. I wouldn't doubt that a whole sprite-based game take $1 million to do as far as art goes, though, since it can take several people months of work just to get everything done. Let's remember a game like Shovel Knight had a budget of about $600K total at the very most, and that's usually almost entirely paying the 18 employees for a year and a half of work (whatever's left being the royalty fees of course).
I see your point that no one wants to work for free, but if a team of 18 can dish out something like Shovel Knight which is the kind of game that used to be made by one person for less the cost and their individual pay.  That's just sad, a team of 18 can do amazing things but they decide to over value themselves and say things like, "the art matters, but we'll gladly take your money for more than it's wroth in 2015."  And, ask for an outright ridiculous budget for what they're doing and then sell a game worth $5 for $20 on Steam.
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Re: UNREAL ENGINE 4 IS FREE FOR EVERYONE

Post by DP on Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:40 pm

The game is $15 for 8 hours of one playthrough. On top of the five DLCs they're doing that completely revamp the whole game, which are all free.

Now for the math. The game actually was around $1.5 million budget-wise, for 6 people. I got the staff size mixed up with Skullgirls I think, my bad. They didn't pay their composer until after the game hit at his suggestion. They allotted each employee $10000 per month, which includes his/her pay but also accommodations for the company, like the mandatory taxes which take a GOOD chunk of money (upwards of 30%), Kickstarter pay, studio rental, electricity, heating, etc.

Then they halved the budget for stretch goals to be released AFTER launch. So that's $600K, still double their Kickstarter funding, so they cut it in half AGAIN, splitting down to $5K per person per month for the two years of work. After considering studio expenses, the employees made $30K a year for 80 hour work weeks. And then they went without pay for five months to finish the game.

Here's a link that breaks it down.
http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-08-06-shovel-knight-devs-break-down-costs-sales

Yes, you can probably argue on paper that this is way too much compared to the old days, but the NES era also had a dollar twice as powerful as the 2014 dollar. $2.17 in 2014 money is equal to $1 1985 to be specific. NES era developers were ALSO underpaid, as well, and marketing was never accounted for in these games' budgets; the original Zelda spent over $5 million on commercials in 1985 money. We barely know the true budgets of ANY NES-era games. We know that Sonic 2 in total cost $10 million at the time.

My point is, though we all tend to think older games cost less inherently, they really didn't from the indications we have. People were still underpaid as they are today, but even then somehow these sprite games were hugely eexpensive. Not to mention even back in 85, these games could cost anywhere from $40 to $80 - over a hundred dollars on average after inflation. Considering these games could be painfully short like Mega Man, that says a lot about Shovel Knight's cost-to-playtime ratio. The only real difference now is that sprite games can't be buggy and get a pass like they did back in the day.
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