Thread: Engine thoughts
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:18 AM
Shadori Absolia Shadori Absolia is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 3

Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
At the beginning of every game I take a step back and consider if I should switch engines or if I should just enhance our current engine. Note: we are almost to alpha with our latest game, Din's Legacy, so the last time I did this was several months ago.

When I started working on our first game, Depths of Peril, in late 2004 the decision was fairly easy. The choices were mostly license an engine like Unreal or Quake ($100,000+ per game), use an open source engine (usually graphics only and open source can cause lots of issues), or write my own engine. Given the options available at the time, I felt writing our own engine was the only realistic choice for us.

Fourteen years later, things have changed greatly. There are now several powerful engines that provide an entire game framework and don't cost too much, the big two being Unreal and Unity. If you are just starting out, these are great choices (so are probably many other engines), but Soldak isn't just starting out so it's much more complicated.

Some pros of other engines: better graphics (this is the big one), better physics, mobile versions, console versions, and probably many other small things.

Some cons of other engines: dynamic world problematic (need to be able to load huge parts, if not all, of a world in the background), random levels problematic (works against things like packaging, light maps, and pathfinding - basically everything that happens when you build/compile a level), might have to redo or rework many of our current assets, licensing costs (not nearly is bad as it used to be), learning curve, start over with game code or lots of porting work, no source code (some have it and some don't), and probably various other things.

The pros and cons list is where I get stuck every time. The pro of having better graphics would be very, very nice, but the cons list is basically everything that makes a Soldak game unique. Potentially losing dynamic and random worlds is basically a non-starter for us. Add on top of that all of the ramp up time to learn how everything works, rework/redo old art work, and port or rewrite all of our needed game code, it really just isn't feasible (we would go out of business before finishing the game). This is essentially why every game, I stick with our engine. Our engine has drastically changed over the years though, as I add new features. If I was from the marketing department, I would probably just say it is a new engine each time there is a major graphics change or brand it in some way.

Now if we ever decide to make a more linear RPG that will be a different story since a lot of the cons would go away. Anyway, these are some of my thoughts when I have to make a decision about an engine for each game.

As always comments are welcome and encouraged!
hey shadow i'm here to suggest something better
my best advice is go to Chucklefish studios and ask them for advice no stuff I play there game starbound among other neat games Chucklefish studios is a British based game studios if you was wondering. I dont not work for them but I have I reviewed the scripting of the files with the game (which is modifyible and api-able and if im not mistaken they made there engine from scarch I as this cuz I mod here and there but often I private edited mine to suit me which for is not easy given my lack of a ful understanding of scripting and the api framework of most game engines nowadays also fun fact to consider is that unity is designed with the devoplers in mind so if im not mistaken you make it api enabled or non moddible but depends what road you take with this engine the graphics isn't all that important is more the underlining factor of ingame modding organization something im getting a bore over with having to go in to the game directory to do this whch old and is time consuming and I feel that unless a few things considered look into these engines

cryengine (mmo engine among other things)
Unreal engine (newer up to date version)
avoid quake it's outdated and newer game engines do alot what this used to do and more

or you can talk to other devolpers from other game studios if they are will to chat about and ask for ideas and see if what you want is a confirmed choice trust im no programer but i know once you start something and you realize it's not what you wanted then it can back fire on you and lose lots of fundings over it i've seen it with many gaming companies out there plus if you ever do get to the point where your swamped with tasks and your not really able to to keep with the game updates (not discrediting you here or anythng @.@ so understand i know how overwhelming things can get; i play lots of games balncing them and get swamped quite often @.@)
make it so the player base can help out if they are willing subnuatica is usually open to public advice and ask quite often what they want to see in the game and you take these suggestions and see what comes of them.

cuz imo it's always good to get a 2th and 3thrd opition on the path of the game and unity and cryengine among others can help make game devlopment more flexible xP
so dont be afraid to test the waters with things dispite the pros and cons like life there is the good and the bad and you have to take both sadly as you cant this other without the other it's of the matter looking at this from the player's prespective as well if you put yourself in the player's shoes and then thinks from that as well as your own vision of the game you might or might not get a clearer idea of the best choice *python* is a good choice too btw I forgotten to mention it in the list X.x

Last edited by Shadori Absolia : 10-13-2018 at 11:27 AM. Reason: forgotten to say this @.@
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