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Archive for January 2015

Before starting development of the game the 1st thing one should decide is: “What engine should I use?”

In this article I would like to present a brief overview of the 3 the most powerful engines, in order to clarify their key differences, advantages and disadvantages.

Nowadays Unreal Engine 4, Unity and Cry ENGINE are rightfully considered to be the most popular and powerful among game engines.

Unreal Engine 4:                 

Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) is the brand new engine developed by Epic Games (its predecessor is Unreal Development Kit, or UDK the free edition of the Unreal Engine3. It was used in a huge amount of AAA games including Gears of War).

UE4 possesses amazing graphical capabilities including:

  • photorealistic graphics;
  • advanced dynamic lighting;
  • innovative particle system (handles up to a million particles in a scene at ones).

The Unreal Engine 4 got some changes and differs from UDK, so you will have to get used to them if you have had an experience in UDK. Still the ease of the UE4 makes it quite appealing for the new game developers who will do justice to such notable changes as:

  • UnrealScript is completely replaced by C++;
  • Kismet is replaced by the more intuitive Blueprint.

Unreal engine 4 could be used for development games for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Nevertheless, it is impossible to make a previous generation consolee game on UE4.  

UE4 is available for the developers at $19 per with a 5% royalty. Furthermore Epic Games gave free access to the engine for schools and universities as well as to the source code.

Unity:

Unity is the game engine with an extensive range of features, comfortable and user-friendly interface. Its cross-platform integration makes it prior while choosing software for mobile games development. Unity allows to port games quickly and easily onto iOS, Android, Win Phone, Blackberry. In addition the engine could be used for PS3, Xbox360, and Nintendo Wii U games development.

This engine could be easily integrated with any 3D-editor (like 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, CINEMA 4D, Blender, etc.). It also has capabilities for the 2D game development, supporting sprites and 2D physics.  That makes Unity great for development of both 3D and 2D games.

Still, its own inside editor can perform a limited set of operations.  It has no modeling or building features outside of a few primitive shapes, so everything has to be created in a third party 3D application.  Nevertheless it has a huge asset library, which could be either downloaded or purchased.

For the developers 2 versions of Unity are available: free and Pro. Annually Pro version costs $1,500 or $75 for monthly subscription, also it is possible to download 30-days trial.

Pro version greatly differs from the free:

  • global lightning;
  • render-to-texture;
  • custom splash screen;
  • IK Rigs, etc.

Also, the developers at Unity are preparing to enter the new generation with the release of their Unity 5 and continue the race with UE4 and CryEngine.

CryEngine:

CryEngine is an extremely powerful tool, developed by Crythek Company. Firstly it was presented in the 1st Far Cry game. This engine allows creating games for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It obviously surpasses Unity in graphical capabilities:

  • state-of-the-art lightning;
  • realistic physics;
  • advanced animation, etc.

CryEngine is quite intuitive and possesses powerful level design features and could be put on the same level with UE4.

Still, it could be quite challenging and take a while to get used to it and start using the engine efficiently in case you’ve never dealt with game engines before. So, if you do not require your game graphics to compete with games like Crysis 3 you’d better choose a more user-friendly engine.

For developers CryEngine is available at $9,90 per month with no royalty commitments. Also it offers commercial developers full source licensing for larger and longer term projects that benefit from a real partnership with Crythek. Platinum support is also available, with dedicated support staff, increased on-site presence and even co-development of features.

Thus, Unreal Engine 4 is a good match for games with photorealistic graphics, Unity is better for development of 2D, 3D games and CryEngine has amazing graphics capabilities along with the most appealing pricing. Still, I suppose that one should try each engine in order to define, which one suits his purposes in the best way.

To sum it all up I would like to notice that all these 3 engines are extremely powerful tools for the game development. Still, I suppose that one should try each engine in order to define, which one suits your purposes in the best way.

And what do you think? To what engine would you give your preference?

Look forward to your comments!

 

Tatyana Ogneva

Business Development Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

What does the future hold for BI, CRM, ERP and enterprise software in 2015? Lets see which enterprise software trends will have the greatest impact on IT organizations in 2015.

1. Hybrid cloud goes mainstream. “[We] saw a spike in multi-cloud strategies in 2014, and that will continue into 2015,” says Chris Wolf, CTO of the Americas, VMware. “CIOs will continue to seek out the flexibility that [hybrid clouds offer]. And senior IT decision makers will invest in hybrid cloud architectures to future-proof their applications and services.”

“The cloud has been a hot topic for a number of years, with companies moving applications to the cloud for speed to execution, lower costs, higher level of service and/or preservation of capital,” adds Marc Malizia, CTO of RKON Technologies, a managed cloud solutions provider. “As we move into 2015, we are going to see a continued increase in organizations shifting to some form of the cloud. Most will adopt a hybrid model, mixing cloud provider services with their in-house cloud computing platform.”

2. Subscription pricing for enterprise software. “Competitive pressures and new efficiencies will cause enterprise software pricing to continue to shift further toward subscription models,” predicts Engin Kirda, cofounder and chief architect, Lastline, which provides protection against malware. “Rather than large lump sum licensing or costly preloads on proprietary hardware, enterprise software will be increasingly priced on a per-user and/or per-year basis,” he says. “Not only will end-user-centric applications be priced this way, but other enterprise software and services, including data center management and breach detection, will also adopt this more predictable and scalable pricing model.”

3. Mobile CRM – and other enterprise mobile apps – will take off. “Salesforce set the stage for this trend in 2014 with investments in their mobile app and getting their integration partners to use it,” says Mark Seemann, CEO of Synety, a cloud-based software and communications business. And in 2015, “mobile will continue to be a crucial battleground for the larger CRM players, who will continue to bring their mobile app functionality closer to the level of their main Web product,” he predicts.

“As employees spend less and less time in the office, having solutions – CRM, BPM, etc. – that are mobile friendly will be essential,” says Michael DeFranco, founder & CEO, Lua, which provides secure messaging for the enterprise. “To succeed in the enterprise, solutions must prioritize the needs and behavior of mobile workers in their design, to ensure they are connected wherever they are, and are able to communicate and collaborate with colleagues back at the office.”

4. In-memory computing will become a leading differentiator in ERP. “In-memory computing approaches like SAP HANA and Oracle In-Memory Applications will become the main battleground area for ERP product differentiation, especially in the large enterprise space,” predicts Glenn Johnson, senior vice president, Americas, Magic Software Enterprises, a provider of application platforms, enterprise mobility and business integration solutions. “As market noise around Big Data continues, ERP brands that fail to offer in-memory computing solutions will fade when compared with leaders in this area.”

5. Deeper ERP integration. “ERP is becoming more versatile, providing deeper integration with procurement, human resources and customer service software,” says Michael Golz, senior vice president & CIO, SAP Americas. “SAP has made a number of strategic acquisitions, most recently with Concur, that help customers expand the value of their ERP system,” by having it to “interact with new areas.” That increased integration and depth will continue to blur the lines between enterprise software systems and help organizations derive greater value from their IT investments.

“Historically, ERP and CRM have been viewed as two separate systems of engagement,” notes Jeremy Roche, CEO, FinancialForce, a provider of cloud ERP software on the Salesforce platform. “However, many businesses are starting to realize the immense value in eliminating distinctions between front and back office processes, bringing ERP to the forefront,” he explains.

“Rather than continuing to allow vital customer information to be scattered among various pieces of a business,” he says, “companies will begin to merge ERP and CRM into one single system of customer engagement, so they can better support the entire customer journey, from the initiation of interest to the delivery of a product.”

If only senior IT executives had a crystal ball. Then they would be able to see what software they would need, or want, to license – and could plan and budget accordingly. And what do you predict? Share in your comments bellow.
 

Lina Deveikyte

Marketing Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com

Some Apple trends are easier to predict than others. Just what does 2015 have in store? Here are three bets which are safe to make in my opinion.

Apple iPay

Many Apple product launches generate universal appeal, predicting Apple successes isn’t very difficult. What is challenging, however, is identifying new trends, specifying actual sales numbers, and accurately forecasting an Apple failure. Here are three predictions for Apple technologies in the coming year.

1. Apple will sell 20 million Apple Watches, boosting Apple Pay adoption

I’m already on record stating Apple will sell as many as 12 million Apple Watches in the first half of 2015. While other predictions estimate Apple will sell anywhere from 10 to 30 million units of its new wearable next year, I believe actual sales will come in around 20 million.

The sales number itself isn’t seemingly that important, but it is — and here’s why. Watch sales have seriously eroded. When was the last time you really considered buying a watch if it wasn’t a Pebble or device also offering FitBit-type functionality? While there’s no doubt the Apple Watch will create considerable buzz and many will purchase the new gadget just to gain immediate digerati credibility, what’s most telling is Apple’s ability to reinvigorate an essentially dead market segment.

Then there’s Apple Pay. The Apple Watch will prove to be an important conduit to Apple Pay adoption. So, as Apple sells millions of Apple Watches and continues along its well-documented path of converting customers of other Apple products to its computers and smartphones, the company will also grow the Apple Pay army. Look for the payment option to grow in adoption exponentially in 2015 as a result.

2. The MacBook Air will receive a Retina display

Here’s a two-in-one prediction. Look for Apple to discontinue the non-Retina display MacBook Pro. The model is already becoming obsolete. Look for the trend to continue when Apple adds its Retina display technology to its MacBook Air line. While the upgraded display and impressive corresponding resolution may challenge battery life and increase production costs (whereas Apple worked to lower the MacBook Air’s price in 2014), Apple’s clearly pushing its products, including iPhones, iPads, and iMacs, to using Retina high-resolution displays.

3. Apple will lose its iBooks lawsuit appeal

In July 2013, Apple was found to have violated an antitrust law and engaged in collusion with book publishers when pricing iBooks products. Of course, Apple kind of did the same thing with music when it launched iTunes with $0.99 songs. But the devil’s in the details, and the United States Justice Department already won the District Court ruling to support the feds’ argument that Apple’s iBooks pricing strategy constituted price fixing, and Apple’s already previously agreed to a $450-million eBook pricing settlement entered into with states attorneys general in a separate but related lawsuit.

While there’s no reason to believe the Court of Appeals will overturn the original ruling, the case could be turned by Apple’s claim the pricing coordination was necessary to enable competition with a monopolist Amazon. Personally, I’d like to see that happen and prove my prediction wrong, as I believe Apple’s done well forcing competition within a tight eBook marketplace that was previously essentially owned by Amazon. As an avid reader who possesses multiple iPhones and iPads within my residence, it’s nice knowing an eBook alternative exists. I think it’s great that Apple is attempting to break a potential logjam that could provide commuting business users — who wish to read eBooks on their iPhones and iPads — with another eBook reader that possesses integrated purchasing capability and reasonable pricing for titles.

What other things do you predict will happen with Apple in 2015? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.

Source – Tech Republic

 

Kristina Kozlova

Marketing Manager

 

altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

E-mail: contact@altabel.com
www.altabel.com


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