Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

The Epic in Unreal Engine 3 82

Posted by Zonk
from the very-imposing-or-impressive-surpassing-the-ordinary dept.
CNN's Game On column has a look at Gears of War developer Epic Games. The piece goes into the company's success as a tools merchant as well as a game developer. They discuss the excitement that Unreal Engine 3 has generated, both for AAA and less ambitious titles. From the article: "Several titles, including the forthcoming 'HoopWorld' and 'RoboHordes,' will use the engine for less than AAA games. And don't be surprised if educational titles or children's games use the engine as the Xbox 360 reaches the end of its life cycle. While Epic will continue enhancing and improving Unreal Engine 3 for the next four or five years, work has already begun on Unreal Engine 4, which the company sees as a powering force for the fourth PlayStation and third Xbox machines."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Epic in Unreal Engine 3

Comments Filter:
  • by smbarbour (893880) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @03:18PM (#15012473)
    What I want to know, is when can I expect Jazz Jackrabbit to use the Unreal 3 engine?
  • by karolgajewski (515082) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @03:24PM (#15012527) Journal
    It's really disappointing to see the industry try and reach for the stars (already talking about the end of the 360 lifecycle when titles are still coming out for the original Xbox) with vague promises of better engines.

    How much better? What is there left to make totally realistic?

    From text adventures where you interacted with set definite objects, to games like Wolf3D, to Doom (and the beginning of the whole multiplayer craze) to the first Unreal (which made the whole looking up and down really important) to the second and third Unreal engines. Is there anyone who can really say that there is really that much more to be done in terms of physics and movement?

    One would figure that once you iron out the engine and it works well, you then improve the artwork, and after that, you should really improve gameplay and build on the replay value. Too many games these days could damn well be one game with different maps and skins.
    • by Senobyzal (826207) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @03:32PM (#15012589)
      We've got a ways to go, IMO. Physics engines have gotten a lot better, but as machines get more powerful, I hope to see more fully-destructable, persistent environments, more accurate facial and movement simulations, longer draw distances, and other improvements. When I had friends come over and see the latest NBA2k game on my 360, folks were blown away; some said that it looked "almost like TNT". But after a few minutes, you could see the flaws in the character animations, limits to the crowd drawing, etc.

      We will hit photo-realistic in the not-too-distant future, but we're not quite there yet. I'm glad to see that folks like Epic keep pushing the envelope.

      • I'd like to see the actual bullets you shoot have an arc. I know that some bullets are designed to have smaller arcs, or some initially rise when they spin (as I'm told...), but they do drop to the ground. I've played a couple FPS single player games where you had to compensate for distance (Deus Ex), but no multiplayers.

        This sort of thing would make it a bit harder for the people playing Halo2 who seem to be able to snipe people while dodging tanks and jeeps. I know they'd eventually be able to compensa

        • by BenjyD (316700) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @06:06PM (#15013713)
          I believe the bullets in multiplayer Battlefield 2 have some 'arc'. You have to lead the target depending on the range, and I think sniper bullets drop with distance (although I'm not a sniper-weenie).
          • In my experience, you also have to account for the wind in BF2.
            • in my experience it was holes in the game-code that you had to experience. . . *ducks* Seriously up until 1.2 there would be times where bullets would just randomly not hit where they are expected to go (and not like bullet drop or wind, just wierdness) that was pretty much fixed in 1.2, but now there are problems with bullets just missing (going right through) the hitboxes or whatever. It really starts to piss you off when you're a so called "sniper-weenie"
        • I'd like to see the actual bullets you shoot have an arc.

          I believe America's Army has this
          • As someone who played a sniper as often as possible in America's Army, I can tell you that they certainly do NOT have this, unless they've added it in a very recent release. In AA there is no compensation at all, for either wind or gravity. You might find yourself having to compensate for network latency, but the game generally moves slow enough that this isn't much of an issue.

            The general rule is that if you click on their head, you shoot their head, assuming you're using a sniper rifle, which has very
        • Pretty sure that the Red Orchestra ut2004 mod (and now standalone game) have this as well.
        • Lots of games have the ability to do this. It's usually not done because many people don't find it as fun, and because of problems with lag.
    • How much better? What is there left to make totally realistic?

      People have been saying that for years. There is still a lot of room to grow. For example, most every game should eventually have the changable terrain that we saw in Red Faction. Also, the in-game characters still have a lot of room to grow in terms of realistic movement.
      • For example, most every game should eventually have the changable terrain that we saw in Red Faction.

        I think that issue is rooted in game design rather than technical limitations, just like there is no technical limit that forces RPG stories on the PS2 to be completely linear. The less variables there are to take into account the better you can predict what the user will do. Changeable terrain means you have to think of what could happen to your level design. In a game where wooden doors aren't indestructib
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Is there anyone who can really say that there is really that much more to be done in terms of physics and movement?

      There is. Look at the game Red Faction, which is now five or six years old (I believe.) It had a thing called "Geo-Mod", which meant you could use rockets and mines to blow holes in walls. It was great in multiplayer because you could dig a hiding place to sit with a rail gun, or dig a tunnel (or destroy a bridge) to the other team's base, giving yours a tactical advantage that would be diff
    • by slavemowgli (585321) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @04:07PM (#15012881) Homepage

      What is there left to make totally realistic?

      I don't know, but I remember feeling the same way when DOOM first came out in 1993 - how more realistic could a video game get? But time has told that a *lot* of things could still be improved, and time will tell the same thing 10 or 12 years down the road from now again, too.

      Keep in mind that in hindsight, everything's obvious - the fact that it's much easier for you to look back at the progress already made than it is to envision the progress that still lies in the future does not mean that there won't be any significant progress in the future anymore.

    • Is there anyone who can really say that there is really that much more to be done in terms of physics and movement?

      Record a digital video from outdoors and compare to quality computer game graphics. ;-)
    • Play Perfect Dark 0. Physics are still far from being perfect. I do think its a bit silly to be planning so far ahead into the future. Who can say what this generation is and is not capable of? Sony themselves threatened that the PS3 will be around for atleast the next ten years, completely skipping another launch in five years. What about the 360? Gears of War looks beautiful, so what next? Completely destructable, more free form levels, thats what!
      • Sony themselves threatened that the PS3 will be around for atleast the next ten years, completely skipping another launch in five years.

        Not entirely accurate- they projected the Ps3 to have a ten year lifespan. for instance, the Ps1 just recently went out of production, despite being released originally in Japan in 1994 and the states in 1995. Since then we've seen the Ps2 debut and mature, and the development and (planned) release of the Ps3 later this year. If the pattern holds true, expect to see a Ps

      • What about the 360? Gears of War looks beautiful, so what next? Completely destructable, more free form levels, thats what!

        I thought we reached that with Black (PS2/Xbox) already?
    • by The-Bus (138060) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @05:53PM (#15013624)
      What is there left to make totally realistic?


      A whole lot of stuff. What excited me about early (1998) news on the Prey engine was materials reacting the way real materials do: wood catches fire and is easy to break, metal bends, bricks shatter, etc. If this can be taken care of on the engine level, this frees up designers from needing to script events where if this x-y-z space is damaged, this brush animates like this, falling in such a manner. It can also make games more, not realistic but believable.

      Take Burnout for example. If I crash my sportscar into a van at 200mph, the van will pop off the ground and go flying like I swatted a ball. That in itself I don't have a problem with. But when a few seconds later I miscalculate a turn and hit a wooden newspaper stand and I explode on impact with the newspaper stand being undamaged, that I have a problem with. Putting things like these into the engine extends believability because your game world just gets a lot more cohesive.

      This is just one. A whole lot more needs to be done in audio, visuals, AI, and a number of other areas. As long as we improve these while still focused on gameplay, and we should be ok.
      • What would be even cooler IMHO, is when we get engines realistic enough to create alternate physics mindsets... such as materials that react like they do in cartoons (ultra-malleable metals (besides anvils), portable holes, etc). It'd be even more fun to try out "historical" physics systems. Imagine how crazy a game could get with "Aristotlean" physics...
    • "One would figure that once you iron out the engine and it works well, you then improve the artwork, and after that, you should really improve gameplay and build on the replay value. Too many games these days could damn well be one game with different maps and skins."

      The article is about the Engine... At epic, the teams workign on Unreal Engine 3 and Gears of War are seperate people. There are plenty of people working on improving the Engine, and plenty working ont he game, trying to "improve gameplay an
      • Gears of War looks to be one of the most innovative FPS games in a long time, attempting to invent a new sub-genre, the "cover-shooter", putting an extremely strong focus on using your environment as cover while in firefights.

        How is that new? Tactical shooters require that AFAIK and you practically need to use cover if you want to survive firefights in FEAR.
        • I dont really wanna turn this into a big debate abotu wetehr or not GoW is innovative or not... but have you seen videos of GoW gameplay? the kinda of cover use is a lot different than finding objects to hide behind while beign shot at, like ive seen in many other games.
    • Rounded corners. Q3 was meant to have pretty much solved this, but that seems to have been the first and last of it. Even Doom 3 has jaggies :-(
    • "What is there left to make totally realistic?"

      1. soft shadows; radiocity lighting; raytracing
      2. real physics
      3. really big maps
      4. voice recognition
      5. voice synthesizing
      6. innovative control methods

      just some of the possible improvements.
  • I was just floored to see a sprite in an Xbox360-only game (Full Auto). Don't think I've seen them in the unreal series though.
  • Tim Sweeney is one of my personal heros. He's just got loads of talent and drive, from what I can tell. He's up there with Will Wright, John Carmack, and Steve Wozniak.
  • Modding Unreal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tjwhaynes (114792) on Tuesday March 28, 2006 @05:22PM (#15013373)
    I've been gaming around since Doom first blew the doors off the FPS genre. As the games have become more graphically impressive, the amount of work required to produce a mod for a specific engine has increased. One area where Epic seems to have done better than id software is in producing mod-friendly tools. Witness the huge number of mods for Unreal Tournament 2k4 versus, say, Doom 3.

    Now it's not an entirely fair comparison - Doom 3 is a more complex engine to develop for. Models require more than just geometry and one texture map/shader. But that complexity seems to be denting the number of maps/models/mods being produced for Doom 3/Quake 4/etc. UT2k4 ships with a shed-load of tools for modding and maps can be created reasonably quickly from the stock models. UT2k4 also managed to provide a decent download system so that you can just log into a server and download all the parts required without having to go hunting through the many websites looking for the appropriate map/script/sound.

    Unreal Engine 3 is going to require the same sort of resources as Doom 3/Quake 4 when it comes to creating completely new content. Maybe UE3 will benefit from modellers/modders having cut their teeth on the Doom3-style tech but it will be interesting to see just what creation tools come with UT2k7 and what the modding community creates.

    Cheers,
    Toby Haynes

    • One thing that should help immensely witht the ammount of work that must be put into making worlds and characters look good in UE3 is the new "Visual Material Editor" that is part of the new Unreal Editor.

      By visually connecting the color, alpha and coordinate outputs of textures and programmer-defined material components, artists can create materials ranging from simple layered blends to extremely complex materials and dynamically interacting with scene lights.

      if you wanna know a bit mroe about Unreal
    • Doom isnt popular because they focused their efforts to make it the best Single Player game. Even Quake4 which was a modified verison of the DOOM III engine, still didnt run very nice on many machines. I believe Enemy Territory:Quake Wars (a future game to use D3 engine with no single player) may still fail. Don't get me wrong iD has made great stuff, but as far as PC games go nowdays Multiplayer games are still the top choices for game engines. Its easier to modify a MP game for SP than vise versa. And the
      • Epic says that the majority of the people who buy UT2k4 never played it online, instead sticking to "single-player".

        Oh, and let's see... Quake 3 engine is no proof at all. How is its single player "not real"?

        Well, of course, only normal deathmatch with bots, a couple cinematics... But, I don't see what this has to do with the engine.

        And GTA has been modded for multiplayer, and it was a third-party mod, nothing at all to do with Rockstar.

        So, do you have any idea what you're talking about, or are these jus
  • I can just see it now. Super 3D Noah's Ark re-released using the latest Unreal engine to provide the most realistic flinging of feed at ornery live stock. Time to put the kids to bed. And by kids I mean baby goats.
  • UnrealEngine (Score:3, Interesting)

    by XO (250276) <blade,eric&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @12:34AM (#15015739) Homepage Journal
    Unless they make some massive enhancements to the underlying script language, which apparently they are loathe to do for some reason.. (it's not like they need backwards compatibility, you can't just go and plug in a new engine release to your data and have it work) this whole thing is completely out of hand.

    Running With Scissors has dumped Unreal, and I get this feeling that many other devs will probably follow suit, as soon as any contracts are up. I've been playing with an Engine v2 (build 2226) game and the code for it, and here's my summary:

      The language sucks. LP-Mud uses a similar but FAR more powerful language, that had Epic implemented that, and added their stuff to deal with states and animations and the graphical end of things, would've been absolutely AMAZING. Unfortunatly, the capability of their game programming language is hampered by the fact that several text-game programming languages are a ton better than it is. And that's pretty damn sad.

      The base classes provided: The code library that comes with the Engine, has been built as a hack on top of the original Unreal I code library, and just keeps getting hacked up since then.

      Unreal isn't a horrible choice for building a game, but if you're going to make a total conversion for a game that starts with the Unreal engine, or start a new game using the Unreal engine, my suggestion:

      Delete everything in the entire codebase that isn't native. Delete some of the things that are native, because if you want to improve on the junk, you'll need to not use some of it.

      If UE3 and 4 show large improvements to the language, it'll be awesome.. but, as it is, it's shortcomings are .. very difficult.
    • Rejoice. UE3 doesn't use Uscript anymore - they made a copy of LabView's "Gee" language called "Kismet" - it's a graphical programming language. You do everything with flow charts. Function calls are little boxes, variables are lines you draw that connect them together. They also have a text language that you can use within it for things that work better as text (like arithmetic).
      • i would much rather they just use phyton or something.
        • Ever tried it? I have - making Python into an embedded game-development language (calling Uscript "scripting" is an understatement of it's integration) for gaming requires tearing it to shreds and rebuilding it practically from scratch - triply so if you're going to be using it to run untrusted user-made code.
      • That sounds even more absolutely horrific.

        UScript would be fantastic, if it had associative arrays, or at least better array handling capabilities, and MULTIPLE INHERITANCE.
  • Is it somehow related to AAA batteries?

Real Users never know what they want, but they always know when your program doesn't deliver it.

Working...