Game development is a process that involves designing and managing the different game assets (such a models, graphics, sounds and programming code), and, ultimately, integrating all these elements into a complete video game. As technology has progressed, video game development software has become more complex. Fortunately, many companies offer professional grade game development software packages free of charge. From 3D modelling programs to complete developer's kits, the resources available allow users of any skill level to design video games.
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Microsoft's XNA Game Studio
Microsoft XNA is the official game developer's kit for the Xbox 360, Windows and Windows Phone systems. XNA uses Microsoft C# and Silverlight technologies to implement the game projects. XNA has great community support in the form of tutorials and an assets market. An XNA license allows for game development and even distribution for a small fee, making it a complete creation and edition tool for the amateur game developer.
Unity Game Development Tool
Unity game development tool is a complete game edition solution for Windows, Nintendo Wii, and other platforms. Unity offers a world creation interface, and a robust content pipeline. Unity is better suited to design 3D games and handles models, lights, materials, and rendering. Unity uses C++ to program the behaviours and artificial intelligence. Unity's community offers tutorials, asset store and add-ons to customise the software. Unity is offered with a free license, and a paid version which includes additional tools. With a strong community support, availability of tutorials, and endless content (provided via asset store), Unity shines as one of the best Development tools.
Unreal Development Kit
Unreal Development Kit is a professional-grade tool for creating games for Windows, the Xbox 360, Wii, PlayStation 3. Unreal offers a full world editor and uses a proprietary language to code the scripts. Unreal's biggest advantage is the Light Mass technology, which is a tool that handles the use of light and speeds up the rendering process for the game. Unreal offers robust support as forums, tutorials, and plenty of examples. Unreal's license is free for non-commercial use. Unreal's commercial license offers terms that vary depending on the project, but allow some of the initial revenue to be royalty-free, encouraging amateur designers to release their projects. Unreal's advanced tools for light management, flexible licences and proven commercial success make it one of the best game development kits available.
DAZ 3D is a complete 3D creation, modelling, and editing tool. DAZ 3D has an active community support in the form of tutorials, resources, and an asset store. The asset store allows to purchase and sell your DAZ models (with many models available free of charge). DAZ's models are compatible with most game creation packages and other 3D modelling software (like 3D studio MAX). DAZ 3D's license offers a free version and a paid version. DAZ 3D is one of the best 3D modelling and animation tools because it is accessible to anyone (due to a free license), has plenty of models available in the asset store and has a strong community support in the form of tutorials and free models.
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