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Uhh, Hero Engine?

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  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    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...

     

    Good job using stereotypes to defend your game.  I'm sure you are fully qualified as well to judge everyones credentials.  Heres a thought for you .. Anyone can inheriently know something they like versus something they don't like.  And if they like something enough, they often times research into it further to become one of those mysterious "professionals".

     

    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.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by KarteliI'm sure you are fully qualified as well to judge everyones credentials.

    I am not judging posters credentials, I am judging content of posts made here so your "point" is moot.


    Read post above by Quizzical - quite lengthy post offering insight into some very rough, basic layout of matters being discussed here.

    In fact, thing is more complex once you try to make a business process out of it...

  • heroenginesidekickheroenginesidekick Washington, DCPosts: 5Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    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.

    Thanks for this. Well explained. 

  • ThorkuneThorkune Eastern, KYPosts: 1,828Member Uncommon
    If you watch some youtube videos on the Hero engine, you will see that it is actually a very versatile engine.
  • olepiolepi Austin, TXPosts: 1,150Member Uncommon

    The Hero Engine is available in "cloud" form for $100 a year, I would suggest trying it out, if you are a developer.

    In my field, high tech chip design, we also have the same problem. Most companies in the old days built their own CAD tools to design chips, and their tools did it the way each company wanted it.  Over the last 30 years, companies have moved to commercial software, and eliminated most or all of their in-house development.

    Now, as a commercial tool builder, we have to be concerned with what ALL the companies want. If X wants a feature that no-one else wants, we probably won't do it, unless X is big enough, like an Intel. And, let's say X has a brilliant new idea, and wants us to put it in as a feature, do we tell all the other companies about it? That would give away X's special idea.

    In layman's terms, EA/BioWare bought a prototype Corvette, and then replaced the engine, transmission, suspension, and steering. And guess what? It's not that good. Production Corvettes could actually be better.

    ------------
    RIP City of Heroes. One of my favorite MMO's.

  • General_Dru-ZodGeneral_Dru-Zod Unknown, CAPosts: 136Member
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    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.

    Zod absolulely loathes long post, however I knew it would be a notable learning experience... Zod thanks you.

    image

  • simpliussimplius nakskovPosts: 1,043Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ignore_me
    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.

     

    yup ,,shit happens..but i sure wont pay people for it

    im not a computer guy..i can barely upgrade my drivers

    but it looks like SWTOR have some guys with the same qualifications

    so whats the reason for me to pay them?

     

  • FromHellFromHell NY, NYPosts: 1,311Member
    Originally posted by Thorkune
    If you watch some youtube videos on the Hero engine, you will see that it is actually a very versatile engine.

    those videos are not from the "biowared" pre-release version of Hero Engine.

    Secrets of Dragon?s Spine Trailer.. ! :D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwT9cFVQCMw

    Best MMOs ever played: Ultima, EvE, SW Galaxies, Age of Conan, The Secret World
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2X_SbZCHpc&t=21s
    .


    .
    The Return of ELITE !
    image

  • Loke666Loke666 MalmöPosts: 17,975Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Aeonblades

    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!

    2. What? En engine doesnt really "look" at all. Sure, the hero engine is not the best around, and Bioware is using an old version but the games look have a lot more to do with art than the actual engine. Some moron decided that he wanted a "clone wars" look on the game instead of more realistic.

    The engine do have its limits that affect graphics but with good art the game would still have looked great. 

    TORs failure to be the next Wow have very little to do with the engine (even if it didnt help). The art did have some things to do with it, but it was a lot more about the multiplaying parts were not good, the PvP was really boring and the fact that tons of voice acted sidequests gets annoying. The story is good but you just dont get people to play a MMO for years just for the story.

    As for how much the heavy instancing was the engines fault and how much that were intended design choices Bioware thought would be fun I leave to be unsaid.

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon

    Like most things around here, people just jump on the bandwagon. Stupid Engine! Hero Engine sucks! They hear it somewhere then laugh about it like they actually know what they are talking about.

    I however don't know what I am talking about, so I won't say. It's the same thing with EQ2 everyone screams "idiots made it too CPU intensive!" not even realizing back then all games were more CPU intensive and SoE was trying to make it future proof (their predicitons were wrong) but thats how the cookie crumbles.

    image
  • XAPKenXAPKen Northwest, INPosts: 4,917Member Uncommon

    Why did Hero get a bad rep from SWTOR?  In my opinion it's because the game doesn't look that good (artwork is fine, rendering effects are minimal) or run that well.

     

    Repop, from the screens I've seen, looks far better using the current version of the engine.

     


    Ken Fisher - Semi retired old fart Network Administrator, now turned Amateur Game Developer.  I don't Forum PVP.  If you feel I've attacked you, it was probably by accident.  Realm Lords 2 on MMORPG.com
  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Austin, TXPosts: 510Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    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.

    I believe that anyone who looks at this critically, with understanding about a lot of the things you mentioned, has no problem with Bioware/EA buying a pre made game engine and running with it.

    The problem that I, and thousands of others, have is that they bought a completely untested engine when there are half a dozen very well tested engines out there.

    Why not license Funcom's engine?  The Dreamworld engine is, in my opinion, one of the best out there.  Ok, lets say that they decline to license it out, which given their money troubles I highly doubt it, but lets say they said no.  Well there's still several very good engines to use.

    Why in the world would anyone with a brain in their skull buy a completely untested engine, and then write a AAA MMO around it?  I can understand if you're an upstart company with limited resources, but we all know this is hardly the case with SWTOR.  It had an amazing amount of startcup cash.  More than probably any other MMO in history.

    Also, you're missing a big facet of how MMO design works.  Typically a company will up-staff with developers when they start working on a new title.  They need to get tons of code written, animations created, databases back-ended... tons of work, and most of it done on the engine they are using.  When the game goes live, they typically start dumping bodies.  You need dozens of people to build an MMO, but you only need a fraction to maintain it and push out content.

    What's my point here?  That there are typically a lot of devs who have worked specifically with any given game engine, with their resumes floating around.  So you license that game engine, then you go finding people who spent several years using it that are no longer employed by the company.  Now you don't have to start from square one on learning how to use it.

    For instance, there are probably enough devs out there with experience on the Unreal engine to fill a cruise ship.  No need to waste time training a team up to write a game on the most popular engine in the world.

    TL:DR, BioWare/EA wasted a lot of time and effort reinventing the wheel, when there are a half dozen wheels out there that they could have put on the car.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by h0urg1ass
    I believe that anyone who looks at this critically, with understanding about a lot of the things you mentioned, has no problem with Bioware/EA buying a pre made game engine and running with it.

    And that is the point.

    If you have had any understanding of the matter, you would not say anything like you did...

    Development of any proprietary technology results in something untested. Would you call anyone doing so stupid because they are using something untested?

    You can look at it the way that EA bought specific technology they did not want to build in-house.


    In software development all the time, technology is being modified, rewritten and used in completely different ways. Example? GameBryo engine.

    Warhammer Online and Skyrim use same engine just GameBryo running Skyrim is so massively modified it got branded as new engine - Creation Engine.


    There isn't only 2 options - buy and use "stock" engine or create your own engine from scratch.

  • H0urg1assH0urg1ass Austin, TXPosts: 510Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by h0urg1ass
    I believe that anyone who looks at this critically, with understanding about a lot of the things you mentioned, has no problem with Bioware/EA buying a pre made game engine and running with it.

     

    And that is the point.

    If you have had any understanding of the matter, you would not say anything like you did...

     

     

     

    Development of any proprietary technology results in something untested. Would you call anyone doing so stupid because they are using something untested?

    Yes, in this case it's completely stupid.  It's reinventing the wheel.  I'm pretty sure I stated that somewhere.  You only reinvent the wheel when the technology you need doesn't exist anywhere yet, and you are forced to innovate.

    Necessity is the mother of invention. -Plato

    Necessity.  There was ZERO necessity to write a completely new engine to push out a WoW carbon copy.   If, however, they were trying to break boundries and do things that no other game is doing at the moment, such as CCP is doing with the Carbon engine, then they would want to invest in coding a new game engine from the ground up.

    BioWare/EA have absolutely zero innovation tied up in SWTOR.  It's a pure hard copy of WoW with a bit of voice acting tacked on.  A half dozen existing and proven engines, already on the market, do this already!  No need to start over!  None!

    You can look at it the way that EA bought specific technology they did not want to build in-house.

    Like I said in my first sentence, I have no problem with them buying an engine rather than building a new one.  My problem is with which engine they chose.  They chose, what has turned out to be, a completely piece of garbage game engine for a AAA MMO.  It might be fine for a much smaller game from an independent studio, but a game that is based off of a hugely popular IP, that can expect to draw millions of subscribers, isn't doing itself any favors adopting a game engine designed for small niche games.

    I'm not even making that last bit up.  Go read about the Hero engine on their own web site.  They never intended it for games like SWTOR and were surprised that EA kept pushing to use it.


    In software development all the time, technology is being modified, rewritten and used in completely different ways. Example? GameBryo engine.

    Warhammer Online and Skyrim use same engine just GameBryo running Skyrim is so massively modified it got branded as new engine - Creation Engine.


    There isn't only 2 options - buy and use "stock" engine or create your own engine from scratch.

    Cmon man, you are putting words into my mouth.  I never said that they should buy an engine and then never improve on it again.  I simply said that you don't buy a completely unproven engine to base your AAA MMO from.  You buy one that is proven.  One that has a solid network layer.  One that has already been through trials by fire in other games.  Then you build off of that engine for the life cycle of your game.

    Face it.  They made a critically poor decision early on that has been one of the primary factors that has lead to a mass exodus from the game.

    Name recognition from a solid IP will draw millions to your game, but if looks and runs like shit, they won't stick around for long and that's where SWTOR is sitting.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by h0urg1ass

    There was ZERO necessity to write a completely new engine to push out a WoW carbon copy

    Says guy that has 0 experience with coding or software development. Enough said.

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by h0urg1ass

    There was ZERO necessity to write a completely new engine to push out a WoW carbon copy

     

    Says guy that has 0 experience with coding or software development. Enough said.


    Imposing such a requirement is not crucial when observing how other game companies manage to have graphically intense games running under COTS engines.

     

    If SWTOR was the only MMORPG out there, then someone might believe you .. but since it's not, well, I think you are over extending yourself to defend a really bad graphics engine that cannot support the massive portion of "MMORPG".  Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.  SWTOR doesn't really do anything other games don't already do.  So the question still remains, why reinvent the wheel?

     

    h0urg1ass did have a persuasive argument in closing statements:

    Originally posted by h0urg1ass

    Name recognition from a solid IP will draw millions to your game, but if looks and runs like shit, they won't stick around for long and that's where SWTOR is sitting.

     

    If the original 70's classics looked like some really bad B-movie, with creesey fake looking ships & costumes, it would not have been very popular.  Imagine the horror when critics bash the 5 frames per second when a Star Destroyer goes by, or during space fights.  Unrealistic scenes would not leave people raving about this awesome new movie; it would even be embarassing to admit to have spent money to see it.

    But instead, Star Wars movies looked excellent, and became peoples love and pride to talk about.  So I'd agree with h0urg1ass.  Visuals and a good graphics engine are a core foundation (wake up EA?).

     

    I mean when was the last time you recommended a B-movie with fake looking visuals & low animation frame rates to friends?  .. or sat around and discussed it's lore with others..

    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.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by h0urg1ass
    Originally posted by Quizzical

    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.

    I believe that anyone who looks at this critically, with understanding about a lot of the things you mentioned, has no problem with Bioware/EA buying a pre made game engine and running with it.

    The problem that I, and thousands of others, have is that they bought a completely untested engine when there are half a dozen very well tested engines out there.

    Why not license Funcom's engine?  The Dreamworld engine is, in my opinion, one of the best out there.  Ok, lets say that they decline to license it out, which given their money troubles I highly doubt it, but lets say they said no.  Well there's still several very good engines to use.

    Why in the world would anyone with a brain in their skull buy a completely untested engine, and then write a AAA MMO around it?  I can understand if you're an upstart company with limited resources, but we all know this is hardly the case with SWTOR.  It had an amazing amount of startcup cash.  More than probably any other MMO in history.

    Also, you're missing a big facet of how MMO design works.  Typically a company will up-staff with developers when they start working on a new title.  They need to get tons of code written, animations created, databases back-ended... tons of work, and most of it done on the engine they are using.  When the game goes live, they typically start dumping bodies.  You need dozens of people to build an MMO, but you only need a fraction to maintain it and push out content.

    What's my point here?  That there are typically a lot of devs who have worked specifically with any given game engine, with their resumes floating around.  So you license that game engine, then you go finding people who spent several years using it that are no longer employed by the company.  Now you don't have to start from square one on learning how to use it.

    For instance, there are probably enough devs out there with experience on the Unreal engine to fill a cruise ship.  No need to waste time training a team up to write a game on the most popular engine in the world.

    TL:DR, BioWare/EA wasted a lot of time and effort reinventing the wheel, when there are a half dozen wheels out there that they could have put on the car.

    No matter what game engine you start with, you're going to have to make a ton of changes to it in order to get it to do exactly what you want it to do.  No engine with the changes you want is already tested and proven.

    Don't think of changes in terms of high level features like theme park versus sandbox.  I'm talking about little details here.  How many textures do you use on a typical character?  Do you tend to use the same texture in multiple places on a character?  Do you tend to have a single texture shared between multiple characters?  Do you do that without making the entire characters look identical?  Do you use textures as anything other than pictures?  Do you use the "same" textures repeatedly but colored differently?  If so, do you process the recoloring on the CPU and upload differently colored versions as "different" textures to the the video card, or do you merely upload a uniform for the color and process the coloring in shaders?  The "correct" (fastest from a performance perspective) answer to that last question depends on your answer to a bunch of the earlier questions, among other things.

    And that's just textures, and far from all of the questions you'll have to answer about textures.  How you handle the geometry of the scene brings up a bunch more questions.  So does how you implement lighting.  And how you animate things.  And how much you need to let players see at once.  And network code.  And sound.  That hasn't even gotten to game mechanics, so even if your feature set is identical to some other game, if you answer a bunch of little questions like the ones above differently from that other game, then the internal workings of your game engine have to be very different.

    -----

    Sometimes you do need to reinvent the wheel.  There are portions of your game engine that will run hundreds of thousands of times per second, or even millions of times per second.  In the case of pixel/fragment shaders, there are likely things that will run hundreds of millions of times per second.  You absolutely have to go over such heavily-used code sections and make sure that they run as efficiently as possible, or else your game performance will be terrible.  It's terrible to have all of your players lose 5% off of their frame rates because you couldn't be bothered to clean up a hundred lines of source code and optimize them for exactly what your game needs.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Karteli

    Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.

    When you play SWTOR, you do not "play" the engine.

    Unless you work with the engine yourself(on code level), you have no idea about engine characteristics.

  • ForumPvPForumPvP KingstownPosts: 871Member
    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!"

    If Ultima Online were using Hero Engine  , i would play it

    If Anarchy Online were using Hero Engine , i would play it

    If SWTOR were using the best engine in the universe,i would not play it.

    Its not good engine but some games are so good that engine doesnt matter anymore,Repopulation does have some very interesting ideas,SWTOR in the otherhand does not.

    and how many games there is made with this engine ? 1?  after faxion was shut down ?

     

     

    Let's internet

  • FromHellFromHell NY, NYPosts: 1,311Member

    Hero Engine is on DX9, but they are working DX11 implementation, that should make some more advanced graphics FX possible.

     

    But we know the custom BW engine doesn´t get updates from the Hero Engine team..

    I don´t like the plain look of most HE games TBH. Maybe the rendering engine is limited because of DX9.

    I wish BW had licensed the Dreamworld Engine, there is a lot more possible with this DX11 engine, used for TSW and AoC

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41UCqfdc-Uc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF3AqaCQUVA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG2EA2qspSY

    Games on Hero Engine look quite different

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZA9JCbVnzY

    I think HE is a lot more appropriate for cartoon look shader games, but obviously not (yet) to create realistic worlds.

     

    And here is Cryengine 4 in DX12

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KKgQdq_PRo

     

     

     

    Secrets of Dragon?s Spine Trailer.. ! :D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwT9cFVQCMw

    Best MMOs ever played: Ultima, EvE, SW Galaxies, Age of Conan, The Secret World
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2X_SbZCHpc&t=21s
    .


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

     


    Originally posted by Karteli

    Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.

     

    When you play SWTOR, you do not "play" the engine.

    Unless you work with the engine yourself(on code level), you have no idea about engine characteristics.

     

    Well that's an interesting statement.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by FromHell

    Hero Engine is on DX9, but they are working DX11 implementation, that should make some more advanced graphics FX possible.

     

    But we know the custom BW engine doesn´t get updates from the Hero Engine team..

    I don´t like the plain look of most HE games TBH. Maybe the rendering engine is limited because of DX9.

    I wish BW had licensed the Dreamworld Engine, there is a lot more possible with this DX11 engine, used for TSW and AoC

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41UCqfdc-Uc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF3AqaCQUVA

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG2EA2qspSY

    Games on Hero Engine look quite different

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZA9JCbVnzY

    I think HE is a lot more appropriate for cartoon look shader games, but obviously not (yet) to create realistic worlds.

     

    And here is Cryengine 4 in DX12

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KKgQdq_PRo

    A lot of advanced effects require the programmer to do a lot of things custom in a way that makes sense for that particular game.  Tessellation in particular means that you're going to need a huge number of different shaders in order to efficiently draw a wide variety of shapes.  No game engine is ever going to have everything that you might reasonably want.  A game that wants to make use of the full power of what tessellation can do is going to have to recode so many things at such a low level that licensing a game engine might not be the best idea.

    Also, there is no DirectX 12 in the near future, and there might not be for quite some time.  Other than better transparency options and Windows 7 support, it's not obvious what it ought to add that DirectX 11.1 doesn't already have.  And it's not going to add Windows 7 support.

  • heroenginesidekickheroenginesidekick Washington, DCPosts: 5Member

    Industry vet Monty Sharma and Gary Gannon talked about this exact topic on GameBreakerTV, starting at 9:04.

    http://www.gamebreaker.tv/video-game-shows/did-the-hero-engine-kill-swtor/

  • ktanner3ktanner3 lakeland, FLPosts: 4,074Member Common
    Originally posted by tiefighter25
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Karteli

    Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.

     

    When you play SWTOR, you do not "play" the engine.

    Unless you work with the engine yourself(on code level), you have no idea about engine characteristics.

     

    Well that's an interesting statement.

    It's true. If a game is running like sh*t, you have no way of knowing if that is the fault of the engine or the peope that wrote the code on top of it. Since this the only released game using that engine, how can you accurately blame the engine for anything?

    Currently Playing: Star Wars The Old Republic

  • SBE1SBE1 New York, NYPosts: 335Member
    Originally posted by ktanner3
    Originally posted by tiefighter25
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Karteli

    Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.

     

    When you play SWTOR, you do not "play" the engine.

    Unless you work with the engine yourself(on code level), you have no idea about engine characteristics.

     

    Well that's an interesting statement.

    It's true. If a game is running like sh*t, you have no way of knowing if that is the fault of the engine or the peope that wrote the code on top of it. Since this the only released game using that engine, how can you accurately blame the engine for anything?

    Well, if you have Bioware fanbois saying they are the greatest game developers EVAH prior to the game's release, then obviously it can't be the Bioware code, it must be the engine.  Duh.

    I mean, all you have to do is look at all the other MMORPGs developed by Bioware that can easily render large groups of players on the screen at the same time.....oh wait, nm.   

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