Hero Engine is a 3D game engine, which together with a game service HeroCloud, is a MMO game development system (client and server). It includes the tools to make 3D MMOs and other games and run them at no cost.
This seems almost too good to be true, but it does seem to be genuine and a great way for any group of game developers and artists to create something memorable and make money.
Only if you make money do you pay a proportion to them — 30% of revenue. As they say: “Free, including access for up to 99 developers. Once (or if) your game is published and begins making money, we keep 30% of revenue.”
You need to create 3D models so having Maya is a requirement, as is a reasonable spec Windows PC, but other than that, the software they provide, and the hosting, etc., is free. Their cut comes out of your revenue from the game. No, it’s not a scam but it’s certainly not an easy way to make money. Here’s a partial list of things you have to do to make your game.
- Create the 3D graphics for the world, characters, etc.
- Design the game
- Work out the data requirements
- Develop, Test, Repeat…
That’s an impressive amount of work, measured not in days or weeks but realistically months to get to a launch. Some of the included tools are for creating and managing characters, objects and game states, and persisting them (saving to and loading from disk), logon, chat and movement and a finite state machine based artificial intelligence for creatures.
It’s an unusual venture. Unlike, say Unity, which is a great development system for creating standalone games (and web/mobile), but you have to buy it, this provides lots of development tools and the service and all the hosting, data used, etc., is included. You’re not tied to creating an MMO, you can create any type of game. An earlier version was licensed to Bioware, now part of EA for the Star Wars MMO and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The HeroEngine system has been designed to let artists, world builders, scripters, game designers, producers, and customer service all collaborate live, online, in real-time. There’s a full game example, Hero’s Journey, with code, so plenty of examples to work from. There’s an enormous amount of work gone into this. So if you’re time rich and money poor…
As their revenue comes from yours if you’re successful, they’re taking a bit of a gamble, but it’s a great way to get people involved.
The screenshot comes from Dominus, a sci-fi MMO built using the Hero Engine and currently in beta with a free sign-up.