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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    33

    Software Prices and Free Alternatives

    I thought this could be useful for others as I see a lot of posts regarding the software prices and what alternatives there are and I had already spent some time searching for the information on my own. I only do this to help others get a feel for costs so that they can budget accordingly for this MMO or for their own future projects.

    The list:
    (* means it will be used in the class)

    1) Unity*
    • $1,500 for Unity Pro (Not absolutely required but you will be missing out on certain things)

    - Free alternative:
    • Unity Indie


    2) Visual Studio*
    • $1,199 for 2010 Professional with MSDN
    • $549 for 2010 Professional with MSDN Essentials

    - Free alternatives:
    • Visual Studio Express
    • MonoDevelop (already included inside unity)
    • Khann pointed out Microsoft's WebsiteSpark which provides Visual Studio Professional, Windows Server 2008R2 and various other tools for free for up to 3 years.


    2b) Visual Studio extension: Resharper
    • Classroom and Open Source: Free
    • Academic: $49
    • Personal: $200

    - Free alternative:
    • nbyloff mentioned CodeRush which is free for visual studio customers. Does not work with Visual Studio Express though. Stackoverflow has a discussion on the two here.


    3) Autodesk Maya
    • $3,495 for 2011 w/o subscription
    • $4090 for 2011 w/ subscription

    - Cheaper alternatives: (be forewarned that some of these might not export to .fbx format)

    - Free alternatives:
    • Blender
    • Both jimmiduff21 and darkmobius pointed out that if you are a student you can go here to get a free 3 year license of Maya 2011 (also available for most other Autodesk software)
    • phrenzy84 mentioned wings3d


    4) ZBrush
    • $699 for 4.0

    - Free alternatives:
    • Sculptris (currently free, Pixologic bought this - and hired its creator - and are now developing it)
    • Blender (has sculpting tools as well)


    5) Photoshop
    • $699 for CS5

    - Cheaper alternatives:

    - Free alternatives:


    6) RavenDB* (this is free for open source projects but you need to pay for commercial ones)
    • $25 / month subscription or
    • $599 one time payment

    - Free alternative:


    7) Photon Indie*
    • free for 100 ccus (concurrent users), per app/server
    • $450 for 500 ccus
    • $950 for 1000 ccus
    • $1450 for unlimited ccus


    8) Novamind
    • express: $49
    • pro: $149
    • platinum: $249

    - Free alternatives:


    Addendum:
    9) Sound
    - Free alternatives:


    That should be it; I apologize in advance for any errors on my part. I saw mention of tortoiseHG as well for version control but I don't know if we will be using it and in any case it's free. I'll add more software and alternatives as they show up if you guys are interested.

    EDIT: Stickied this for when the forums start to get busier... Good job on this, Crash. - FatGav
    Last edited by Crash64; 02-28-2011 at 09:27 PM. Reason: Added free sound software

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Italy
    Posts
    152
    Thank you for your work
    Artanis

    My Blog (Italian): http://www.artanis.it
    My Web Site (Italian/English): http://www.fabriziotobia.com
    My Community (Italian): http://www.darksithlords.it

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    15
    Gimp is a free alternative to Photoshop.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    61
    I'd like to add that you can get Visual Studio 2010 Pro for free.

    http://www.microsoft.com/web/WebSite...o/Default.aspx

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    102
    You can also get a free 3 year of 3ds Max if you're a student and have a school email. Unfortunately I cannot find the link, but you can find it through google quickly I'm guessing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Bradford, UK
    Posts
    38
    It's worth noting that Blender also has fast developing sculpting tools built in. They may not be quite Z Brush standard but I think the results are impressive all the same.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Upstate, NY
    Posts
    504
    That format makes it seem like specific versions are required. I could be wrong, but this seems a little more accurate to me:


    1) Unity*
    • $1,500 Unity Pro (Not absolutely required but you will be missing out on certain things)

    - Free alternative:
    • Unity Indie


    2) Visual Studio 2010*
    • $1,199 Professional with MSDN
    • $549 Professional with MSDN Essentials

    - Free alternatives:
    • Visual Studio Express
    • MonoDevelop (already included inside unity)


    etc...
    The spice must flow.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    7
    Photoshop can also be replaced with Pixelmator - pixelmator.com - For $29

    It opens PSD fies fine, but may not handle certain effects or let you edit various layer types.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    McBride, BC Canada
    Posts
    905
    Houdini Apprentice is another free option for modeling an UV editing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    61
    Thanks Crash64.

    You can also get a free trial of Visual Studio 2010 Pro for 3 months, or you can consider something like the Microsoft Webspark program (link below), which was mentioned on a radio show a couple weeks ago by Chronos. Webspark gives you VS 2010 Pro for up to 3 years for free.

    Webspark: http://www.microsoft.com/WEB/website...ProgramDetails

    Note: There is no financial obligation with Webspark. It looks like you have to update you registration annually, and they want you to list URL's of websites you have developed and published on Microsoft software. Given the language of the agreements it looks like the worst thing that can happen if you do not meet their requirements is remove you from the Webspark program, which revokes you right to use the software for free. This makes sense as the whole idea of the program is to get web developers to start using Microsoft software.

    You can also run Unity Pro as a trial for 30 days. It was mentioned that if you contact Unity they may extend the trial for you for a month or more.

    Edit: Whoops, I just saw Khann posted about Webspark already. Thanks Khann.
    Last edited by jmz2k; 02-08-2011 at 06:32 PM.

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