Start your (Game) Engines

I attended the DLTV conference which had too much funky stuff. AIE‘s session about the Unreal game engine and how it could be used in ICT teaching, was excellent giving me a good background and some cool ideas to try out.
Knowing little or nothing about all these different game engines, I thought it was worth some background research. Ralph Barbagallo’s Blog has a good overview of the various game engines, with some insightful comments. Digital Tutors provides a similar overview and Arges Systems gives an in depth comparison. For a fuller discussion I reads through some of the Unity Forums.
Edit: Unreal is now free for student!


  • Unity3D is more expensive with per seat / per platform licencing, but provides a greater library of assets to quickly add make games. It does have a free version with a 30 day trail of the Pro.
  • Unreal 4 is very cheap, $19/mo with no lock-in. The engine has been modified to enable easier scripting and C++ programming for the coders. Its asset library is relevantly new. This gets better for Academic Use, because the license covers all the institution’s computers.
  • Crytek is cheaper again, $9.95/mo, and has high quality graphics, but the engine appears to be difficult to work with.