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unreal editor, unreal engine, torque

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Ok, ive been trying to research for game engines lately since, me and some friends in school want to do something in realtime since we all know how to model, rig animate etc. For the programming part we are going to get programmers, but also learn some by ourselves. In my search to find the best option for making a third person game, or first person game, Ive found Torque game engine and unreal engine. so here are my questions: -Is the unreal 2004 level editor that comes with the game the complete engine? if not, what is the difference? are there some restrictions in the editor? tools that are not there? - if they are different, I would really apreciatte a link to where I could find those references or if you know them you can put them here. I would prefer here. what i would like to know is, what am i available to do with the unreal editor?can I make kind of machinima with it? kind of like a movie? -In short I would like to know if there are differences between the editor and the engine, and if they are indeed different, what am I capable of doing with the editor. (maybe just an overview) -Now for torque: my main concern with torque is the graphic quality that you can obtain with the engine. are the shaders good? does it come with a level editor as well? I already downloaded the feauture demo, but I would like to hear from people using it. Please understand that my main confusion is about what can do what? what is it possible. Its the same things that happens to me every time I move to a new field of software, i get confused as to what is the best option. For example when starting with 2d graphics I didnt knew what was photoshop different to illustrator, or painter etc. Or 3d, I didnt knew what was different between zbrush or max, or maya and xsi. Im just telling you because I dont want you to tell me the classic "go and do some research" couse I really have done research but im still confused. anyway thanks

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Original post by danydrunk
-Is the unreal 2004 level editor that comes with the game the complete engine? if not, what is the difference? are there some restrictions in the editor? tools that are not there?


I think your confusing yourself here. The level editor AFAIL is only for making the actual levels, placing movers and such like (I used to use Unrealed for UrT but not to much depth'd) and maybe scripting. The engine is the code base and is different to the level editor. The engine is the bit that loads everything and decideds how to draw it and stuff.

AFAIK the level editor is complete and will elt you do anything that Epic can do level wise. For the engine if Epic are like iD there will only be the game specific code released (which is all you need to make a mod).

Hope this helps you and good luck with you mod :) (and apolgise for any misinformation in my post)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
What confused me is that a friend at school was showing me a level he did for unreal 2004, he told me that if you wanted to then make a commercial game you would then need to buy the license, wich is very expensive, but since we are doing it just for learning we dont need to buy it. so the impression he left on me was that the editor was pretty much it without the license......he said, you could write c++ there, import models from 3d software, tweak gameplay etc. So what would there be left ? I wish I could get out of this confusion as soon as possible to start to work in our stuff.

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The engine is the code/system that plays the game. It loads the levels, models, displays the graphics, plays the audio and runs the AI/scripts/physics that make up the gameplay.

The editor is the tool you use to create the maps etc and write the scripts that the engine will run when the game is played.

The creators are happy for fans to make levels/mods with the editor, that run in the game engine. What they don't want is people to make money from their engine (unless they get a share). If you want your mod/conversion to be a commercial product you need to pay for a license to publish the game.

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Original post by Obscure
The engine is the code/system that plays the game. It loads the levels, models, displays the graphics, plays the audio and runs the AI/scripts/physics that make up the gameplay.

The editor is the tool you use to create the maps etc and write the scripts that the engine will run when the game is played.

The creators are happy for fans to make levels/mods with the editor, that run in the game engine. What they don't want is people to make money from their engine (unless they get a share). If you want your mod/conversion to be a commercial product you need to pay for a license to publish the game.


so you are telling me that then it is the complete thing? the editor? just without a license? and what degree of flexibility can you have with scripts, what kind of stuff can you do, that its not in the game.

please keep your help coming, im starting to understand jeje thanks

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woah woah dont get confused here.

An editor is just a tool for organising and creating data that an engine can then use. The "Engine" makes things work, the "Editor" provides the data that it will work with.

In general anyway, with UT2004 a lot of the gameplay code is implemented in UTScript which is a scripting language created for the Unreal series of games, it's kinda the grey area between editor and engine where you've actually got some control over the logic that the game uses, but without actually changing any of the underlying "engine".

You can create some very drastic mods for UT2004 just as a mod or total conversion, this is almost definately the route you would want to go down having read your post.
The disadvantage of scripting a mod is that you have only the features that the engine currently supports... nothing more. If you want a feature that the engine doesnt support then going down the modding route is not for you.

Licensing the Unreal engine costs a lot, and i mean a LOT! It gives you access to the sourcecode to the engine, this means you can make changes at a much lower level... to the engine itself, you'd only need this if you were going to be implementing somthing that the engine didnt already support.

finally (sorry for long post) the Torque engine is an engine in and of itself, it is NOT an editor, you could create an editor for it, (does anyone know if it comes with one???), it's main advantage is that it is available for an affordable price : Torque $100 vs UT $250,000, and you'll have the source code plus a community behind you.

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Unreal mods (and much of the core game) are written in a scripting language called UnrealScript which draws heavily from Java, but adds some incredibly useful abstractions such as the concept of a behavioural "state". The language rests on top of some native code which handles things like raw networking, graphics, and physics. This native code is written in C++ and is not available for mod authors.

The full license would include all the same tools plus the commercial license, plus the complete C++ source & permission to modify & redistribute it. The latter is the primary advantage of the full license.

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hey thanks a lot anonimous poster and liquid dark that is almost everything I wanted to know, it is much more clear now, my main confusion was the difference between the level editor and what was called the unreal engine, now i understand the editor runs on the engine but doesnt give you access to the core. thanks again.

-does somebody knows if torque comes with an editor?
- and just for debating, do you think the half life 2 editor will be good? user friendly wise? can anyone comment if its going to compete with UT? and does doom 3 has an editor? thanks again

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Original post by danydrunk

-does somebody knows if torque comes with an editor?
- and just for debating, do you think the half life 2 editor will be good? user friendly wise? can anyone comment if its going to compete with UT? and does doom 3 has an editor? thanks again


-Torque comes with complete sourcecode, so that if it does not come with an editor, you would be able to write one for it.
-No one can even guess about HL2's editing capabilities right now.
-Doom3 has a built-in editor available. It is very very similar to Quake3's editor.

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torque has a quite nice ingame editor. however, you cant create new objects with it - you have to do that in hammer or some comparable editor (for base objects), or 3dsmax or a comparable modeler (for non-structural stuff such as trees, rocks, etc). what it does do, though, is modify the terrain (both geometry and textures), place water, interiors, detail objects.. pretty much anything but modeling type stuff.

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Torque has a GUI and a terrain editor - not an indoor editor though (for that you can just use Worldcraft, Radiant or QuArK).

It's in the feature preview demo (the TGE demo, not sure about the TSE demo... probably is) - press F12 (or F11... i can't quite remember)

I managed to figure it out myself - it's really easy to use.

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danydrunk: As mentioned on the Torque product description page you visited when you downloaded the demo, and the Engine Overview section of the demo itself, TGE includes an integrated World Editor, GUI Editor, Terrain Editor and Terrain Generator.

You will need third party tools to create script files, images, sounds, and 3D models though, which is fairly standard practice. Besides anything else, it makes it easier to transition to/from other game engines, as there are fewer new tools to learn each time.

Almost any text editor can be used to write scripts, but life will be much easier if you use one intended for programmers which supports syntax highlighting, projects and/or macros.

Almost any 2D graphics program can be used to create the images, as long as it supports .gif, .jpg and .png file formats.

For animated 3D models, Milkshape and 3DStudio Max exporters are included, and a TGE user has created one for Blender which can be found in the Garage Games resource section.

For static 3D models (buildings etc.), QuArK and WorldCraft (formerly Hammer) converters are available. These tools are probably what you're thinking of when you use the term "level editor".

What you might not realise is that the demo is actually a fully functioning version of the game engine. The menues, overview screens, feature walkthrough and the demo games are all written using TorqueScript.

The main differences between using the demo and purchasing a license are that with the latter you gain access to the source code along with additional documentation, resources and support forums.

Of course, you need a license to distribute finished games or the engine itself, but the demo can be used during the early learning stages.

As for the graphical/shading capabilities of the Torque Game Engine, they aren't up to the absolute latest standards, but they are working on an updated version called the Torque Shader Engine.

Then again, there are a lot of people who don't have a graphics card with per-pixel shading capabilities, so it's a moot point.

If you do decide to use Torque, I would strongly suggest purchasing 3D Game Programming All In One by Kenneth Finney first (even before purchasing a license), as it takes you through the process of creating a full game using TGE.

It includes a CDROM containing a precompiled version of the game engine, (TorqueScript) source code and a selection of useful tools (such as Milkshape, UltraEdit, QuArK and Paint Shop Pro), although some of them need to be purchased/registered if used longer than 30 days.

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