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Unreal Engine 4 (UE4)

The Unreal Engine is a game engine developed by Epic Games, first showcased in the 1998 first-person shooter game Unreal. Although primarily developed for first-person shooters, it has been successfully used in a variety of other genres, including stealth, MMORPGs, and other RPGs. With its code written in C++, the Unreal Engine features a high degree of portability and is a tool used by many game developers today. It has won several awards, including the Guinness World Records award for “most successful video game engine.”

The current release is Unreal Engine 4, designed for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS, HTML5, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and virtual reality (SteamVR/HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, Google Daydream, OSVR and Samsung Gear VR).

Download:
https://www.unrealengine.com/

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Unity 3D

Unity is an all purpose game engine that supports 2D and 3D graphics, drag and drop functionality and scripting through C#. Two other programming languages were supported: Boo, which was deprecated with release of Unity 5 and UnityScript which was deprecated in August 2017 after the release of Unity 2017. UnityScript is a proprietary scripting language which is syntactically similar to JavaScript. The engine targets the following graphics APIs: Direct3D on Windows and Xbox One; OpenGL on Linux, macOS, and Windows; OpenGL ES on Android and iOS; WebGL on the web; and proprietary APIs on the video game consoles. Additionally, Unity supports the low-level APIs Metal on iOS and macOS and Vulkan on Android, Linux, and Windows, as well as Direct3D 12 on Windows and Xbox One. Within 2D games, Unity allows importation of sprites and an advanced 2D world renderer. For 3D games, Unity allows specification of texture compression and resolution settings for each platform that the game engine supports, and provides support for bump mapping, reflection mapping, parallax mapping, screen space ambient occlusion (SSAO), dynamic shadows using shadow maps, render-to-texture and full-screen post-processing effects. Unity also offers services to developers, these are: Unity Ads, Unity Analytics, Unity Certification, Unity Cloud Build, Unity Everyplay, Unity IAP, Unity Multiplayer, Unity Performance Reporting and Unity Collaborate.

Unity is notable for its ability to target games for multiple platforms. The currently supported platforms are Android, Android TV, Facebook Gameroom, Fire OS, Gear VR, Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, HTC Vive, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft HoloLens, Nintendo 3DS family, Nintendo Switch, Oculus Rift, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation VR, Samsung Smart TV, Tizen, tvOS, WebGL, Wii U, Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Store, and Xbox One. Unity formerly supported 7 other platforms including its own Unity Web Player. Unity Web Player was a browser plugin that was supported in Windows and OS X only, which has been deprecated in favor of WebGL.

Unity is the default software development kit (SDK) for Nintendo’s Wii U video game console platform, with a free copy included by Nintendo with each Wii U developer license. Unity Technologies calls this bundling of a third-party SDK an “industry first”.

Download:
https://store.unity.com/download

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Blender

Blender is a professional, free and open-source 3D computer graphics software toolset used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications and video games. Blender’s features include 3D modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, raster graphics editing, rigging and skinning, fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, soft body simulation, sculpting, animating, match moving, camera tracking, rendering, motion graphics, video editing and compositing. It also features an integrated game engine.

The Dutch animation studio Neo Geo developed Blender as an in-house application in January 1995, with the primary author being software developer Ton Roosendaal. The name Blender was inspired by a song by Yello, from the album Baby. When Neo Geo was acquired by another company, Ton Roosendaal and Frank van Beek founded Not a Number Technologies (NaN) in June 1998 to further develop Blender, initially distributing it as shareware until NaN went bankrupt in 2002.

On July 18, 2002, Roosendaal started the “Free Blender” campaign, a crowdfunding precursor. The campaign aimed for open-sourcing Blender for a one-time payment of €100,000 (US$100,670 at the time) collected from the community. On September 7, 2002, it was announced that they had collected enough funds and would release the Blender source code. Today, Blender is free, open-source software that is—apart from the Blender Institute’s two full-time and two part-time employees—developed by the community.

The Blender Foundation initially reserved the right to use dual licensing, so that, in addition to GPLv2, Blender would have been available also under the Blender License that did not require disclosing source code but required payments to the Blender Foundation. However, they never exercised this option and suspended it indefinitely in 2005. Blender is solely available under “GNU GPLv2 or any later” and was not updated to the GPLv3, as “no evident benefits” were seen.

Download:
https://www.blender.org/download/