Autodesk Releases Maya LT For Indie Game Developers

Autodesk has introduced Maya LT, a new 3D animation product based on their award-winning Maya software. This new product also brings with it a subscription pricing model that they hope will make it more affordable to indie developers.

“We see indie game developers as a key part of the industry, driving innovative new production techniques and gameplay,” said Chris Bradshaw, senior vice president, Autodesk Media & Entertainment. “The market is fiercely competitive, and Maya LT can provide indie developers and small studios with a powerful, yet simplified workflow for designing and animating remarkable 3D characters, environments and props – at a price that fits within even the most modest budget. It’s a practical solution that closely matches the needs of the mobile game development production cycle and helps developers rise above the noise and really shine.”

Indie developers, whether working for mobile, PC, or web-based games, need a professional 3D animation software that can be used to create 3D and 2D assets to be used in game engines. Autodesk has developed Maya LT as a new product whose focus is on the needs of indie game developers. It brings the established toolset of Maya, with its extensive modeling and animation capability,  into the affordability range of indie game developers, and also allows them to import assets that were created in Maya proper (as well as OBJ and FBX), giving them access to thousands of available models from sites like Turbosquid. Through support for FBX export, Maya LT also can be used for game engines like Unity Engine and Unreal Engine. One other possible use for Maya LT is as a development tool for people creating mesh content for Second Life, since its limitations fit well within the restrictions used by artists developing that content, and Autodesk's free FBX Converter can be used to convert the  FBX exports from Maya LT into Collada DAE format for import into Second Life.

Smaller studios like Phyken Media, creators of the mobile game Wizard Ops Tactics, saw both the economic and workflow benefits of the new product.

“I jumped at the chance to try Maya LT, as the cost flexibility means we could grow the studio much more comfortably,” said Phyken Media President Kunal Patel. “With an option like Maya LT, our small team can accept bigger challenges and take on various new types of projects that may require more artists without having to worry much about any large upfront expenses. We even found operating expenses are much easier to determine.”

Features and Limitations:

  • Full support for all of Maya's 3D modeling tools including NURBS and subdivision surfaces
  • Includes Maya's Hypershade surface editor
  • Includes ShaderFX for the creation of HLSL and CGFX shaders
  • Export to FBX format of up to 25,000 polygons per scene (but the .mlt format allows denser meshes within Maya LT)
  • Supports import of .ma, .mb (Maya ASCII and binary formats), .mlt (Maya LT format), OBJ and FBX 3D formats
  • Supports import of AI and EPS structures drawings as objects
  • Supports import of BMP, PNG, DDS, EXR, TGA, and TIFF as textures
  • Supports use of (and export of) normal maps
  • Skeleton generator
  • Autodesk HumanIK inverse kinematics
  • DX11 viewport previews with DX11 shading
  • Full lighting and global illumination
  • Texture baking based off of Autodesk Turtle
  • Rendering of 2D image sprites
  • Does not support external renderers; cannot render 'scenes' or animations
  • No MEL support, and currently no plugin support or SDK.

Learn More About Game Development with Autodesk Maya LT

For more information, and to download a free trial of Maya LT, visit: www.autodesk.com/mayalt. Connect with the Maya LT development community at: http://area.autodesk.com/mayalt.

Pricing and Availability

Maya LT is available immediately for both OSX and Windows at a price of $795 for a perpetual license. Term licenses are available as part of a monthly, quarterly or annual rental plan in the near future, starting at $50, $125 and $400, respectively.