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Uhh, Hero Engine?

TigasnakeTigasnake Philadelphia, PAPosts: 33Member

Hey all,

Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"

«1345

Comments

  • FreezzoFreezzo EnschedePosts: 235Member
    Bioware used a pre-release version of the Hero Engine, modified it and it gives piss-poor performance and doesn't render well. As it is [u]some[/u] version of the Hero Engine, the engine itself got a bad name...

    "We need men who can dream of things that never were." - John F. Kennedy
    And for MMORPGs ever so true...

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member

    Hero posted the story about how EA purchased the alpha version of Hero and wanted to "fill in the rest" later.  As a result, Hero would not support it for them, or provide them updates.  Perhaps EA realizes now the importance of companies dedicating their lives just to game engines.  It's not something that just gets filled in.

     

    The story of the Hero Engine was published as a rebuttal to EA saying they couldn't do much to improve gameplay because of the limitations of the engine.  Hero wasn't going to let that stand.

     

    http://www.heroengine.com/2011/11/heroengine-meets-starwars/

     

    Otherwise, todays Hero Engine is pretty good.  As said earlier though, SWTOR gave them a black eye.

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • tiefighter25tiefighter25 Winchester, MAPosts: 937Member

    To be fair, the Hero Engine is marketed at indie developers such as the developer behind the Repopulation. Hero's strength is two-fold, ease of use, especially for collabarative game design (as opposed to performance) and the pricing structure of the engine's licensing agreement. (The engine is cheap to license on the front end, simutronics gets a cut of the game's overall revenue on the back end.)

    Simutronics didn't refuse to suppoort SWTOR's modified Hero Engine, they simply stated before purchase that they wouldn't be able to. (They wanted Bioware to go into the deal with eyes wide open.)

    Simutronics decided to take a truckload of money from Bioware to license the Aplpha Hero Engine, with the risj that the Alpha engine may create bad press, which it did.

    Fair or unfair, the Hero Engine is a bit of a negative buzz word. As a example, Zenimax has done its best to reassure people that the game is built on an in-house engine, not on the Hero Engine. (Which Zenimax used to sketch out it's game enviornment.)

    *edited some of the many typos.

  • Muerte_XMuerte_X ventura, CAPosts: 104Member
    Yea, it has a bad name ATM. But at this point, with the exception of the Alpha engine used by SWTOR, we have not seen it in action in a finished game. I for one reserve judgement of the engine and will wait until I see another project finish a game with it.

    Often lurking, rarely posting

  • VrikaVrika FinlandPosts: 2,584Member Uncommon

    SWTOR's graphics are only slightly better than WoW, the engine can display only enough action on-screen for small-scale battles but can't handle larger crowds, and there's nothing technically impressive about it. It feels like SWTOR's engine can do just the bare minimum required for normal gameplay as long as the game's designed around the engine's limitations, but nothing extra.

    Considering that SWTOR's launch budged was likely the largest for any MMO ever made, people expected better. The engine is below medicore.

    This is not an insult to the Hero Engine in general, but the version of Hero Engine used in SWTOR isn't as good as it should be.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by Tigasnake

    Hey all,

    Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

    Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"

    Ok I'll give you 5 reasons:

    1. Piss poor rendering performance. Like literally, it hitches anytime you hit more than 5 models at a time, even on high end systems.

    2. Dated altogether. Looks like something from 2007, not 2013.

    3. Heavily instanced based engine. This cripples having anything remotely massively multiplayer.

    4. They used an older Hero Engine, and while the new versions are slightly better, it was really bad before.

    5. Bioware KNEW not use Hero Engine, but they did it anyway, despite public outcry. This is probably the biggest mistake of all. They were told not to, and did anyway. Surprise! It didn't work!

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Tigasnake
    Hey all,Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"

    Because people are mostly ignorant when it comes to software development, business and other "technicalities"...most do not get past "gamer" proficiency.

  • tiefighter25tiefighter25 Winchester, MAPosts: 937Member
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Tigasnake
    Hey all,

     

    Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

    Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"


     

    Because people are mostly ignorant when it comes to software development, business and other "technicalities"...most do not get past "gamer" proficiency.

    I'm having a hard time gleaning what you mean by this statement.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by Tigasnake

    Hey all,

    Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.

    SWTOR used an (early and proprietarily modified) version. The rage is associative.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by tiefighter25
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Tigasnake
    Hey all,

     

    Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

    Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"


     

    Because people are mostly ignorant when it comes to software development, business and other "technicalities"...most do not get past "gamer" proficiency.

    I'm having a hard time gleaning what you mean by this statement.

    I'm not sure either, trying his best to save a sinking Tortanic by saying we don't understand why they made bad decisions. I'm not exactly sure.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • SephirosoSephiroso Marietta, GAPosts: 1,160Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
    Originally posted by Tigasnake

    Hey all,

    Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

    Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"

    Ok I'll give you 5 reasons:

    1. Piss poor rendering performance. Like literally, it hitches anytime you hit more than 5 models at a time, even on high end systems.

    2. Dated altogether. Looks like something from 2007, not 2013.

    3. Heavily instanced based engine. This cripples having anything remotely massively multiplayer.

    4. They used an older Hero Engine, and while the new versions are slightly better, it was really bad before.

    5. Bioware KNEW not use Hero Engine, but they did it anyway, despite public outcry. This is probably the biggest mistake of all. They were told not to, and did anyway. Surprise! It didn't work!

    pretty sure swtor came out 2011...but that could just be me

    image
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  • simpliussimplius nakskovPosts: 1,043Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Tigasnake
    Hey all,

     

    Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

    Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"

     


     

    Because people are mostly ignorant when it comes to software development, business and other "technicalities"...most do not get past "gamer" proficiency.

    and how much more do i need?

    is it only chefs, who can eat at restaurants?

    is it only musicians, who can visit a concert?

    go ahead,,make a mmo , just for professionals,,,lets see how big a sub base you will have

    yes mmo players let off lots of steam an BS on game forums,,but since theyre the paying customers, it would be wise not to

    antagonize them

     

     

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Originally posted by simplius
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Tigasnake
    Hey all,

     

    Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

    Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"

     


     

    Because people are mostly ignorant when it comes to software development, business and other "technicalities"...most do not get past "gamer" proficiency.

    and how much more do i need?

    is it only chefs, who can eat at restaurants?

    is it only musicians, who can visit a concert?

    go ahead,,make a mmo , just for professionals,,,lets see how big a sub base you will have

    yes mmo players let off lots of steam an BS on game forums,,but since theyre the paying customers, it would be wise not to

    antagonize them

     

     

    I really enjoy the subject matter expert approach. It's fun to watch people try to justify shit by pointing out the chemical process by which it happens.

    A whole lot of work can go into something and it still sucks. You don't get a medal or a cookie, you get branded as the maker of a crap game. I would suggest that you game makers/programmers concentrate on making better stuff rather than trying to justify the work of your peers out of some sense of solidarity.

     

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon

    As others have stated the version that they used was unfinished.. it was biowares fault for wanting to go with an engine that was in an alpha state.

     

    Hero engine of today is totally different, its a very good engine for an awesome price.. The new version just released allows people to create their own shaders as well so we should be seeing even better graphics from it soon enough..

     

    As you said the repopulation is looknig very good and i cant wait for it to come out :) one of the only MMOs im looknig forward to this year.

     

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by simplius

    and how much more do i need?is it only chefs, who can eat at restaurants?is it only musicians, who can visit a concert?go ahead,,make a mmo , just for professionals,,,lets see how big a sub base you will haveyes mmo players let off lots of steam an BS on game forums,,but since theyre the paying customers, it would be wise not toantagonize them  

    Wrong.

    Because you enjoy listening a music, does it mean you can play it as well or cook a meal you get served in restaurant by professional?


    Same goes for forums posters. They are gamers but that does not qualify them as developers so when they start talking about MMO development or business, they simply have no clue what they talk about...

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by Sephiroso
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
    Originally posted by Tigasnake

    Hey all,

    Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

    Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"

    Ok I'll give you 5 reasons:

    1. Piss poor rendering performance. Like literally, it hitches anytime you hit more than 5 models at a time, even on high end systems.

    2. Dated altogether. Looks like something from 2007, not 2013.

    3. Heavily instanced based engine. This cripples having anything remotely massively multiplayer.

    4. They used an older Hero Engine, and while the new versions are slightly better, it was really bad before.

    5. Bioware KNEW not use Hero Engine, but they did it anyway, despite public outcry. This is probably the biggest mistake of all. They were told not to, and did anyway. Surprise! It didn't work!

    pretty sure swtor came out 2011...but that could just be me

    Thanks for nitpicking. So the graphics are only 4 years outdated not 6.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    Even though ea is using the modified hero engine from alpha, they told hero they knew what to do.  What happened was they got a pos engine and nobody at EA or bioware could really code with it due to the limititions of the chopped up version.  When we see the words hero engine we tend to point at what ea/bioware failed to do with it. 

     

  • ktanner3ktanner3 lakeland, FLPosts: 4,074Member Common
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by simplius

    and how much more do i need?

     

    is it only chefs, who can eat at restaurants?

    is it only musicians, who can visit a concert?

    go ahead,,make a mmo , just for professionals,,,lets see how big a sub base you will have

    yes mmo players let off lots of steam an BS on game forums,,but since theyre the paying customers, it would be wise not to

    antagonize them

     

     


     

    Wrong.

    Because you enjoy listening a music, does it mean you can play it as well or cook a meal you get served in restaurant by professional?


    Same goes for forums posters. They are gamers but that does not qualify them as developers so when they start talking about MMO development or business, they simply have no clue what they talk about...

    Exactly. Though I must admit to getting a good laugh out of posters whose biggest investment was a video game making the claim that the investors of this game are clue less and don't know what's going on. . I mean really guys? Do you think that the investors in games, movies or any form of business became who they were by just throwing money at something and hoping for the best? 

    Currently Playing: Star Wars The Old Republic

  • GwapoJoshGwapoJosh Auburn, INPosts: 991Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
    Originally posted by Sephiroso
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
    Originally posted by Tigasnake

    Hey all,

    Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

    Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"

    Ok I'll give you 5 reasons:

    1. Piss poor rendering performance. Like literally, it hitches anytime you hit more than 5 models at a time, even on high end systems.

    2. Dated altogether. Looks like something from 2007, not 2013.

    3. Heavily instanced based engine. This cripples having anything remotely massively multiplayer.

    4. They used an older Hero Engine, and while the new versions are slightly better, it was really bad before.

    5. Bioware KNEW not use Hero Engine, but they did it anyway, despite public outcry. This is probably the biggest mistake of all. They were told not to, and did anyway. Surprise! It didn't work!

    pretty sure swtor came out 2011...but that could just be me

    Thanks for nitpicking. So the graphics are only 4 years outdated not 6.

    The Repopulation is mostly open seamless, so you are wrong about number 3..

     

    Edit:  And EA chose to go that rout with the graphics.. They wanted it to compete directly with WoW.  A "Stylized" cartoon..

    "You are all going to poop yourselves." BillMurphy
    image

  • MyriaMyria Lowell, MAPosts: 570Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Tigasnake

    Hey all,

    Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

    Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"

    Talking point #201 on on the herd's official rant on the evils of ToR is "The Hero Engine sux!!!!!11!!one!!!!".

    That's pretty much it. Most of them don't even know what a game engine is, in any meaningful sense, they just regurgitate the same crap over and over.

  • MMOGamer71MMOGamer71 Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 1,930Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Karteli

    Hero posted the story about how EA purchased the alpha version of Hero and wanted to "fill in the rest" later.  As a result, Hero would not support it for them, or provide them updates.  Perhaps EA realizes now the importance of companies dedicating their lives just to game engines.  It's not something that just gets filled in.

     

    The story of the Hero Engine was published as a rebuttal to EA saying they couldn't do much to improve gameplay because of the limitations of the engine.  Hero wasn't going to let that stand.

     

    http://www.heroengine.com/2011/11/heroengine-meets-starwars/

     

    Otherwise, todays Hero Engine is pretty good.  As said earlier though, SWTOR gave them a black eye.

    Pretty much this.

  • AeonbladesAeonblades Home, GAPosts: 2,083Member
    Originally posted by GwapoJosh
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
    Originally posted by Sephiroso
    Originally posted by Aeonblades
    Originally posted by Tigasnake

    Hey all,

    Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

    Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"

    Ok I'll give you 5 reasons:

    1. Piss poor rendering performance. Like literally, it hitches anytime you hit more than 5 models at a time, even on high end systems.

    2. Dated altogether. Looks like something from 2007, not 2013.

    3. Heavily instanced based engine. This cripples having anything remotely massively multiplayer.

    4. They used an older Hero Engine, and while the new versions are slightly better, it was really bad before.

    5. Bioware KNEW not use Hero Engine, but they did it anyway, despite public outcry. This is probably the biggest mistake of all. They were told not to, and did anyway. Surprise! It didn't work!

    pretty sure swtor came out 2011...but that could just be me

    Thanks for nitpicking. So the graphics are only 4 years outdated not 6.

    The Repopulation is mostly open seamless, so you are wrong about number 3..

     

    Edit:  And EA chose to go that rout with the graphics.. They wanted it to compete directly with WoW.  A "Stylized" cartoon..

    I meant the version of hero engine Bioware/EA used, not newer improved versions.

    Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
    Have played: You name it
    If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,068Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ktanner3
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by simplius

    and how much more do i need?

     

    is it only chefs, who can eat at restaurants?

    is it only musicians, who can visit a concert?

    go ahead,,make a mmo , just for professionals,,,lets see how big a sub base you will have

    yes mmo players let off lots of steam an BS on game forums,,but since theyre the paying customers, it would be wise not to

    antagonize them

     

     


     

    Wrong.

    Because you enjoy listening a music, does it mean you can play it as well or cook a meal you get served in restaurant by professional?


    Same goes for forums posters. They are gamers but that does not qualify them as developers so when they start talking about MMO development or business, they simply have no clue what they talk about...

    Exactly. Though I must admit to getting a good laugh out of posters whose biggest investment was a video game making the claim that the investors of this game are clue less and don't know what's going on. . I mean really guys? Do you think that the investors in games, movies or any form of business became who they were by just throwing money at something and hoping for the best? 

    Actually the investors - meaning shareholders when talking about EA - might be clueless. What they are "investing" in is the ability of the company to pay them a dividend / increase the share price; their ability to know what the consumers want.

    And EA management haven't delivered in recent years and so there share price has fallen - which doesn't matter in the sense that shareholders (typically) do not invest directly in a firm these days. (Rights issues are an exception of course). If EA "run out of money" then it might matter - and they may have to cut back on the stock options ....

    Now whether posters know what they are on about is another matter; I think it fair to say that some do - within an area of expertise - and some don't.

     

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon

    nvm...

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Blaming all that ails SWTOR on the Hero Engine is pure ignorance.

    Let's start by asking what the point of a game engine is, anyway.  Let's suppose that you want to make a game.  One option is to make your own game engine.  This isn't nearly as difficult or expensive as some people seem to think.

    It is, however, time consuming.  Your engine will start at the level of "hooray, I can draw a triangle!"  Then several triangles.  Then triangles that aren't just solid colors.  It will at least be weeks and might be months before you're far enough along that it's recognizable as a primitive game engine.

    So how is time consuming not expensive?  You don't have 100 people working on the game engine early on; you probably have one or two.  But you can't go hire a hundred artists the day you start work on the game engine, as there won't be anything for them to do until the game engine is much further along.

    Enter the option of licensing a game engine.  A lot of the things that you implement in your game engine will have already been implemented in a lot of other game engines.  If you license a game engine, you can use the code that someone else has written and not have to recode everything from scratch yourself.  That lets you get started much faster and have something up and running within days that looks more advanced than what you'd have had several months in if you coded your own game engine.

    But then comes the downside:  every game engine wants to do things a particular way.  If you make your own game engine, the way the engine will want to do things is exactly the way you want your game to do them.  If you later change your mind about how your game should do things, you change the game engine to match.

    If you license some other game engine, the odds that what the engine wants to do will exactly match what you want to do are basically zilch.  If you do hit a perfect match, then you're trying to make a mediocre clone of something else and should cancel the project immediately.  You can expect a lot of overlap between what the game engine wants to do and what you want to do, and indeed, choosing a game engine to license is largely about getting a game engine that already does as much of what you want to do as possible, and does it as well as possible.

    At this point, the "license a game engine" option splits two ways.  You can buy access to the full source code, fork the code base, and essentially have your own game engine that used some other as a starting point.  Alternatively, you can just use the game engine as is and not get access to the full source code.  This is basically using the trial version of a game engine.

    If you take the latter option, then whenever you come across something where you want to do something one way and the game engine doesn't want to do it that way, you'll have to abandon what you had in mind and go with what the game engine can do.  This might be fine for a very simple game that you make as a solo project over the course of a month in your free time, but you don't want to launch a commercial game with a 6- or 7- figure budget that way, let alone an AAA game.

    The former option of getting access to the full source code gives you the option to change the game engine however you want.  This is what EA did for SWTOR, and what pretty much any big budget game has to do if it wants any hope of being successful.  This makes it so that when you inevitably come across something where you want to do things one way and the game engine doesn't, you can change the game engine to do things the way that you want to.

    But this comes with considerable drawbacks.  One is that as soon as you fork the code base like that, you can't get any more updates from the official version of the game engine.  The official version will continue to make changes assuming that the game did things the old way.  As soon as you start editing the source code of the game engine, it's now your own engine and anything else you want to add to it, you'll have to do yourself.  While that may sound bad, it's not nearly as crippling as not having the option to alter the game engine.

    Modifying the game engine also means that you have to do much of the work of creating a game engine yourself.  If you had written your own game engine, then you'd probably just happen to have people on staff who knows exactly how it works and why it was designed to work that way:  the people who wrote the engine in the first place.  But if you've licensed a game engine, then it's going to take a lot of work to figure out exactly how it works and why it was designed to work that way.  A lot of different pieces of code have to interact with each other, and if you change one without knowing exactly what the others do (or even what the others are), that can break all sorts of things.

    If you license a game engine and then put in the work to understand exactly how it does everything and why it does everything that way, then you've likely put in enough work that you could have made your own game engine.  Making your own lets you skip the licensing fees that you're paying to use someone else's game engine, too.  Licensing a game engine still lets you get started a lot quicker, which can matter a lot if you're trying to get a tech demo out to raise funds on Kickstarter.  But it can easily lose its advantages by launch day.

    There is also a middle ground of buying access to the source code to make a relative handful of changes that you absolutely have to make for your game, while leaving as much alone as possible.  That can be cheaper than either writing your own game engine or taking the time to understand exactly how the game engine you've licensed works and why it works that way.

    The downside of this is that, at best, your game will be horribly unoptimized.  A general principle is that even if you can take some general purpose tool and make it work for some specific purpose, the same effort at designing a tool for that particular purpose will give you a tool that works much better for that specific purpose.  A Swiss Army Knife may be able to do a lot of things, but it can't do any of them as well as a tool built for one specific purpose.  It can, however, serve all but one of its functions much better than the single-purpose tool.

    A game engine will have a lot of capabilities built in to do things that you don't want to do for your game.  At best, this is a bunch of extra cruft that makes your code base much more bloated and harder to maintain than it would otherwise be.  There are also important trade-offs in game design, and you may be using a game engine that sacrifices important things in order to get capabilities that you're not going to use, anyway.

    Worse, trying to only make minor changes to a game engine is likely to make your game into a buggy mess.  You change something to create capabilities that you need, but then it doesn't play nicely with other code that relies on what you changed in complicated ways.  It might be immediately glaring that there is a problem (e.g., now your source code won't compile), and just be a major pain to track down the source of it.  Worse, you might not even be aware of the problem for quite a while, and by the time you discover it, you have no idea what change you made that created it.

    The upshot is that EA licensed the Hero Engine, bought access to the full source code, and made a bunch of changes to it.  Anything that the SWTOR engine does now is because of EA, not because it is--or perhaps more appropriately, was--the Hero Engine.  That licensing a game engine can create a lot of problems for your game is intrinsic to the nature of licensing a game engine.  The problems are all fixable or avoidable, even if you license a game engine--but only by putting in the work to understand exactly what it is doing, not by licensing a different game engine instead.

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