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Uhh, Hero Engine?

135

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  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    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.

     

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this (as I don't believe there is any one glaring problem like Engine Is Bad), but could you be more specific as to why you don't "play the engine." It may help some to understand.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • LordZeikLordZeik mushu pork, NJPosts: 269Member Uncommon
    I am surprised that no one has brought up some of the other past failures associated with the hero engine. This engine has either killed or helped kill off a handful of mmorpgs. Faxion online being one of the more recent games to die from a combination of the engine and company problems. Nothing personal but when simutronics decided to not release their own game (for whichever number of reasons they gave)and instead sell out the engine to companies. That itself was a red flag. I have yet to see a game really flourish from this engine. In fact currently I think the engine itself has killed more games than are currently running or being worked on around it. Maybe that's why there is so much hatred for this engine?
  • FdzzaiglFdzzaigl Somewhere in nowherePosts: 2,322Member Uncommon

    I think the Hero engine in itself looks like it has great potential.

    Except for design choices that were unfortunate, I also found the worlds and characters in TOR to be visually pleasing.

    However, in the particular case of TOR, the performance leaves much to be desired when the engine is faced with tons of people gathering in one place. And that happens much sooner than in other games.

    Feel free to use my referral link for SW:TOR if you want to test out the game. You'll get some special unlocks!

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by ignore_meI'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this (as I don't believe there is any one glaring problem like Engine Is Bad), but could you be more specific as to why you don't "play the engine." It may help some to understand.

    Engine is a set of libraries you use for sw development. SWTOR is a product, engine is a tool used to create that product.


    So unless you happen to work with said engine(tool), be adept in coding and/or SW development/architecture, you are not capable of any valid evaluation.


    A tool and created software are 2 very different things.

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

     


    Originally posted by ignore_me

     

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this (as I don't believe there is any one glaring problem like Engine Is Bad), but could you be more specific as to why you don't "play the engine." It may help some to understand.


     

    Engine is a set of libraries you use for sw development. SWTOR is a product, engine is a tool used to create that product.


    So unless you happen to work with said engine(tool), be adept in coding and/or SW development/architecture, you are not capable of any valid evaluation.


    A tool and created software are 2 very different things.

    You're splitting hairs. You are saying that the game engine is a only a developmnet tool to intergrate the various systems which allow the game to run. Well the game doesn't  run well. So if the game engine is honky-dory, that could only mean the developers were incompetent in their usage of the game engine.

    Are you contending that the Alpha-Hero engine is great (despit Simtronics warnings) and Bioware just sucked at using it?

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by SBE1
    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.   

    What? Where did one Bioware fanboi say 'bioware is great', it is the 'engine' that ruined it. No one threw the Hero Engine in front of the bus to save Bioware's reputation. Fanboi or not. If people were upset with the hero engine, they placed the blame squarely on Bioware's shoulders for purchasing it.

    However I agree with your point about Bioware never making an mmorpg prior; it  does say a lot more about SWTOR's problems than the engine does, imo.

     

     

  • ZorgoZorgo Deepintheheartof, TXPosts: 2,226Member
    Originally posted by tiefighter25
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by ignore_me

     

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this (as I don't believe there is any one glaring problem like Engine Is Bad), but could you be more specific as to why you don't "play the engine." It may help some to understand.


     

    Engine is a set of libraries you use for sw development. SWTOR is a product, engine is a tool used to create that product.


    So unless you happen to work with said engine(tool), be adept in coding and/or SW development/architecture, you are not capable of any valid evaluation.


    A tool and created software are 2 very different things.

    You're splitting hairs. You are saying that the game engine is a only a developmnet tool to intergrate the various systems which allow the game to run. Well the game doesn't  run well. So if the game engine is honky-dory, that could only mean the developers were incompetent in their usage of the game engine.

    Are you contending that the Alpha-Hero engine is great (despit Simtronics warnings) and Bioware just sucked at using it?

    could it be that the alpha-hero engine sucked AND Bioware sucked at using it, or at least sucked at optimizing it?

  • Matticus75Matticus75 Posts: 396Member Uncommon

    I think I recall seeing somewhere that getting the hero engine allowed mutiple devs to work in the same enviroment at the same time, and that the reason Bioware went with the engine was to have the ablity to produce mass content faster than most other MMOs, but in the end all it allowed was those who put the money in the game used it to reduce cost, by cutting the development team and producing content at "the standard acceptable rate" as all other MMOs

    In the end in the simple terms is:

    1) It takes 10 devs 5 months to produce X amount of content, reduced to:

    2) 5 devs to produce the same amount of X content in 10 months (which is the usual time of all other MMOs averaged for example)

    Cut cost in half and new content comes out at the same rate of "expecations" of the average of other MMOs (aka at a snails pace)

    Moral of the story, if technology improves things, then it only imporves the wants of those who are the stronger, and not those of the weaker.............

    Business is not in the habit of making a profit, its in the habit of maximizing profit, it does this not by providing what consumers want, but merely what consumers respond to..... Thus we will see more of this repeated

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by tiefighter25

    You're splitting hairs.

    No, I am not. You are just oversimplifying a matter you have no expertize in, resulting in erroneous judgement.

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon

    Don't confuse the Hero Engine that's currently produced and marketed by Idea Fabrik with the version of the Hero Engine used in SW:TOR. They are not the same animal.

     

    The developers of the Hero engine are game engine developers only. They have been dedicated to developing, expanding and improving their product since they sold a beta version of the engine source code to EA/BW in 2005.

     

    There's a very good reason why there are specialist companies that focus on developing game engines. It's not a trivial effort, and requires a level of technical expertise that's probably overkill when you're building a game. And the constantly changing hardware landscape and new DX-spec releases means that the engine development can never stop, otherwise it becomes outdated. There's always room for performance improvement, new features, etc.

     

    We have no idea what BW did with the beta version engine source code they bought originally. But I'd imagine that it's highly unlikely that BW created a substantial "game engine division" to continue developing, expanding and improving the incomplete Hero source code that they bought back in 2005.

    They most likely filled in the missing parts that were relevant to their needs and tweaked some others. Then the devs that were tasked with those engine changes were most likely re-absorbed into the game implementation team. Their focus would have primarily switched from "building the functionality" to "using the functionality". BW is a game builder after all, not an engine builder.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by SpottyGekkoBW is a game builder after all, not an engine builder.

    Oh dear...

    How do you make a game without a set of code you one calls an engine? :)

    Infinity, Aurora, Oddyssey, Eclipse - all BW proprietary game engines developed to make their own games.

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

     


    Originally posted by tiefighter25

    You're splitting hairs.

     

    No, I am not. You are just oversimplifying a matter you have no expertize in, resulting in erroneous judgement.

    Oh i see.

    So, you are the arbiter of who's opinions are valid.

    You know all the inner workings of Bioware.

    You know exactly what was involved with their use of the Aplpha-Hero engine.

    We are all just poopy-heads.

    To show your credentials, you even brought up an engine Bioware created, and modded for several generations and then abandoned.

    So tell us all knowing one, instead of just saying everyone is a jack-ass, what is the story behind Bioware's use of the Alpha-Hero Engine?

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by tiefighter25
    Oh i see.So, you are the arbiter of who's opinions are valid.You know all the inner workings of Bioware.You know exactly what was involved with their use of the Aplpha-Hero engine.We are all just poopy-heads.To show your credentials, you even brought up an engine Bioware created, and modded for several generations and then abandoned.So tell us all knowing one, instead of just saying everyone is a jack-ass, what is the story behind Bioware's use of the Alpha-Hero Engine?

    I never claimed I know BW inner workings or draw conclusions based on it.

    I never claimed I know exactly what were the reasons to go with Hero engine, albeit pre-released product, or draw conclusions based on it.

    The point is, YOU make such claims and draw conclusions despite having no clue of the matter and I am only pointing out this apparent facts out.


    You are just looking for something you can trash on, and yes that makes you a poopy-head :-P

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

     


    Originally posted by tiefighter25
    Oh i see.

     

    So, you are the arbiter of who's opinions are valid.

    You know all the inner workings of Bioware.

    You know exactly what was involved with their use of the Aplpha-Hero engine.

    We are all just poopy-heads.

    To show your credentials, you even brought up an engine Bioware created, and modded for several generations and then abandoned.

    So tell us all knowing one, instead of just saying everyone is a jack-ass, what is the story behind Bioware's use of the Alpha-Hero Engine?


     

    I never claimed I know BW inner workings or draw conclusions based on it.

    I never claimed I know exactly what were the reasons to go with Hero engine, albeit pre-released product, or draw conclusions based on it.

     

    The point is, YOU make such claims and draw conclusions despite having no clue of the matter and I am only pointing out this apparent facts out.


    You are just looking for something you can trash on, and yes that makes you a poopy-head :-P

    OK Mr. Assumption.

    Emoticon all you want. For lack of a better term, I'd say you're full of it.

    Your postings that everyone is dumb and shouldn't be commenting can be abrasive.

    I guess I'll pretend to enjoy htem, like some sort of exotic aquired taste.

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     

     

    Oh dear...

    How do you make a game without a set of code you one calls an engine? :)

     

    Yes, that seems to be a very serious dilemma...

    But there is a solution to that seemingly insurmountable problem: You license somebody else's engine !

     

    Sure, BW have their own "battle-tested" engine code library, which they've been improving on since the late 90's, but that's for single-player games. 

    They licensed Unreal 3 for the entire Mass Effect series, and are licensing DICE's engine for the next Mass Effect and Dragon Age installments. So they don't seem to be using their own engine code anymore, not even in their headline SPG's.

     

    Why would that be, I wonder ? Is BW finding it too expensive to continue developing their own engine ?

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by SpottyGekkoWhy would that be, I wonder ?

    There are several factors.

    Market has changed and these days your options for engine licencing as well as engine capabilities are much broader.

    Whether developing your own engine is more expensive or not depends on project. I would say that most benefit in licencing an engine is speeding up the development. Developing proprietary engine might take about 2-3 years and many things may change in that time. You may as well just find out that market has moved on and you are left out of the trend.

    The other thing you also pointed out is that BW made so far single player games only. I do believe that it was one of the major reasons why BW licenced pre-released engine because they were mostly looking for this specific technology - network layer of the game, to fill their assets.


    There are pros and cons for each path and you will never know how your decision pans out until you get "there".


    Also:
    Licencing an engine does solve anything. You still need some engine, being it developed inhouse or licenced.

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     

     

    <snip>

    The other thing you also pointed out is that BW made so far single player games only. I do believe that it was one of the major reasons why BW licenced pre-released engine because they were mostly looking for this specific technology - network layer of the game, to fill their assets.

     


    There are pros and cons for each path and you will never know how your decision pans out until you get "there".


    Also:
    Licencing an engine does solve anything. You still need some engine, being it developed inhouse or licenced.

    I've no doubt that one of the major reasons BW bought the beta code for Hero engine is because it saved them a huge chunk of development time. One can only shudder at the thought of how long it would have taken to develop SW:TOR if BW had to build the engine from scratch...

     

    BW did not buy a "pre-released" engine as you say. The Hero engine wasn't commercially available when BW bought the code. Nobody had used it other than the developers themselves, and their MMO had not launched yet. It never did.

     

    BW clearly intended to adapt the engine to their needs. That's why I said in my earlier post that the Hero engine used in SW:TOR is not comparable to the Hero engine that is currently available for licensing from Idea Fabrik. 

    I see no mention anywhere of "continued co-operation" between the HeroEngine developers and the BW team. So I'm assuming that BW did not benefit from continued updates and improvements to the code since 2005. Once you start changing source code it becomes increasingly difficult to use the update patches from the original developer. What they are using is what they added or created in the 2005 version of HeroEngine.

     

    So don't judge HeroEngine by what you see in SW:TOR.

     

     

  • PhryPhry HampshirePosts: 6,289Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by SpottyGekko

    Don't confuse the Hero Engine that's currently produced and marketed by Idea Fabrik with the version of the Hero Engine used in SW:TOR. They are not the same animal.

     

    The developers of the Hero engine are game engine developers only. They have been dedicated to developing, expanding and improving their product since they sold a beta version of the engine source code to EA/BW in 2005.

     

    There's a very good reason why there are specialist companies that focus on developing game engines. It's not a trivial effort, and requires a level of technical expertise that's probably overkill when you're building a game. And the constantly changing hardware landscape and new DX-spec releases means that the engine development can never stop, otherwise it becomes outdated. There's always room for performance improvement, new features, etc.

     

    We have no idea what BW did with the beta version engine source code they bought originally. But I'd imagine that it's highly unlikely that BW created a substantial "game engine division" to continue developing, expanding and improving the incomplete Hero source code that they bought back in 2005.

    They most likely filled in the missing parts that were relevant to their needs and tweaked some others. Then the devs that were tasked with those engine changes were most likely re-absorbed into the game implementation team. Their focus would have primarily switched from "building the functionality" to "using the functionality". BW is a game builder after all, not an engine builder.

    If you read Quizzicals rather long, but extremely informative post, it will help you understand why thats probably not the case, while its highly likely that Heroengine has been further optimised, its doubtful that it would have made any difference at all, if Bioware had used the present version of the Heroengine, rather than the version they did use.

    Personally though i do recommend everyone read Quizzicals post, it takes time and i probably didnt understand it all completely, but it was more informative than most any other posts i've ever read image

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by SpottyGekko

    BW did not buy a "pre-released" engine as you say. The Hero engine wasn't commercially available when BW bought the code.

    SW that isn't commercially released is pre-release sw...

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko RotterdamPosts: 3,845Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by SpottyGekko

    BW did not buy a "pre-released" engine as you say. The Hero engine wasn't commercially available when BW bought the code.


     

    SW that isn't commercially released is pre-release sw...

    That makes it sound like they bought the code while it was still in testing (i.e. feature complete), whereas they bought the code before it was even finished.  

    Quote: “There are whole sections of code that is only roughed in and not optimized for performance or security.  And there are very few comments and very little documentation.”

    So it can be said that they bought a large part of the code base that later became the HeroEngine.

  • kabitoshinkabitoshin Posts: 758Member Uncommon
    I think the engine looks great, except the skin animations look terrible.
  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by ignore_me

     

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this (as I don't believe there is any one glaring problem like Engine Is Bad), but could you be more specific as to why you don't "play the engine." It may help some to understand.

     


     

    Engine is a set of libraries you use for sw development. SWTOR is a product, engine is a tool used to create that product.


    So unless you happen to work with said engine(tool), be adept in coding and/or SW development/architecture, you are not capable of any valid evaluation.


    A tool and created software are 2 very different things.

    Ok. So given that explanation, what is your best guess as to why the game cannot support a decent number of characters on screen at one time? Serious question.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by ignore_me

    Ok. So given that explanation, what is your best guess as to why the game cannot support a decent number of characters on screen at one time? Serious question.

    No idea. I am not working at BW :)

    It can be just anything and it isn't easy to analyze and track down either.


    ie. CCP fucked up game performance with one of their expansion and never really found the issue. It took them like 2 years to get the performance somewhat back on track but iirc, it is still no way near how the game was before the expansion.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by tiefighter25
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by ignore_me

     

    I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this (as I don't believe there is any one glaring problem like Engine Is Bad), but could you be more specific as to why you don't "play the engine." It may help some to understand.


     

    Engine is a set of libraries you use for sw development. SWTOR is a product, engine is a tool used to create that product.


    So unless you happen to work with said engine(tool), be adept in coding and/or SW development/architecture, you are not capable of any valid evaluation.


    A tool and created software are 2 very different things.

    You're splitting hairs. You are saying that the game engine is a only a developmnet tool to intergrate the various systems which allow the game to run. Well the game doesn't  run well. So if the game engine is honky-dory, that could only mean the developers were incompetent in their usage of the game engine.

    Are you contending that the Alpha-Hero engine is great (despit Simtronics warnings) and Bioware just sucked at using it?

    So basically, the question is whether to blame the EA employees who modified the game engine, or the EA employees who used what the previous group did to create the game.  Or both.  Does the distinction really matter?  It's like asking whether the reason a game is buggy is that the programmers are incompetent or that their management won't let them take the time to properly fix bugs.  Does the reason really matter?

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Matticus75

    Business is not in the habit of making a profit, its in the habit of maximizing profit, it does this not by providing what consumers want, but merely what consumers respond to..... Thus we will see more of this repeated

    You're far too pessimistic.  Does anyone in the industry see SWTOR as some great success that they want to emulate?  If you're trying to make a successful game, then hoping to make a mediocre clone of some other game that itself wasn't successful isn't a very bright way to go about it.

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