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deadlydog

Can you tell what engines a game used?

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Besides looking through the credits or release notes of a game, visiting the website (if they have one), or looking through the source code (if it's available) is there any way to tell what engines they used (Ogre, FMOD, etc) for graphics, sound, etc? And I do not just mean commercial games either. Like, if I just downloaded one of the games from the GD Showcase that just has the executable and resource files, is there any way to tell what game engine they used? Like an executable parser or something? I don't need to know for any specific reason. I was just wondering. Thanks.

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Original post by deadlydog
And I do not just mean commercial games either. Like, if I just downloaded one of the games from the GD Showcase that just has the executable and resource files, is there any way to tell what game engine they used? Like an executable parser or something?


Unless you can identify accompaying files, such as FMOD.dll, OgreMain.dll, etc... , there is no good way to tell what engine a game has used, if it has used an engine. I mean most engines are closed and not even told about for commercial games. You could go though the .exe and look for references to functions that might give clues, but that's about it really (assuming they have not stripped everything out and have not done obfuscation)

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as Drew_Benton said, the file structure and packages that are in the program files collection should give it away.

what do you see exactly? Is there any way you can get a file listing?

Often in the splash screen/trademark screen of a game will it show the game engine.

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If a game developer is using a 3rd party engine, I would imagine that they must state what engine they're using somewhere right?

I mean, a lot of license agreements stipulate that credit must be given to the 3rd party component developer in the final project documentation or web-site.

I would also assume that if a game is using a specific licensed engine, they'd probably want to advertise that somewhere on their site.. If I was writing a game that used "Engine X", I'd want to let everyone know what a kick-*ss game it'll be, because it uses "Engine X".

I realize this is all assumption, but it makes sense to me.

Edit: After reading
Quote:
deadlydog wrote: Besides looking through the credits or release notes of a game, visiting the website (if they have one)

I realize my post is totally unhelpful :P. Sorry.

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Original post by pragma Fury
If a game developer is using a 3rd party engine, I would imagine that they must state what engine they're using somewhere right?

I mean, a lot of license agreements stipulate that credit must be given to the 3rd party component developer in the final project documentation or web-site.


Not if I'm (or company) is paying $500k+ for the license.

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Some do, and you can tell very easily, but only because the engines have a certain feel to them.

Examples
Grand Theft Auto - Manhunt
DOOM, HEXEN, HERECTIC
Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior
Dark Cloud - Dragon Warrior (newest one on PS2)
Turok - South Park

Example:
Both these games having been developped by Level 5. It's very apparent they are both build using the same base technology.
Dark Cloud 2
Newest Dragon Quest

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Original post by STLDude
...
Not if I'm (or company) is paying $500k+ for the license.


Which engine are you using?

I know that Doom and Unreal both require a copyright notice/splash screen saying that the game-engine is licensed by your company.

I don't know of others that would charge $500K +...

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Original post by STLDude
Quote:
Original post by pragma Fury
If a game developer is using a 3rd party engine, I would imagine that they must state what engine they're using somewhere right?

I mean, a lot of license agreements stipulate that credit must be given to the 3rd party component developer in the final project documentation or web-site.


Not if I'm (or company) is paying $500k+ for the license.


.. if my company paid that much for ANY software, you can bet they'd be using that as a selling point.

Interviewer: Does your game use a proprietary engine, or are you using a 3rd party one?
Marketing Guy: Our game uses pragma Fury's SuperDuperUltraCrazy engine, so it's gonna kick ass!
Interviewer: Golly gee wizz! Your game is gonna rock!

It is true that some licenses let you keep information about 3rd party components secret, but not many.


Also, as Vampyre_Dark mentioned, if you've played enough games that use a certain engine, you start to recognise the 'fingerprint' of that engine.

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Say that some company broke the copyright law and didn't put the splash screen at the beginning of the game, or whatever the stipulation was. Could the company ever get in trouble if they don't ever state what game engine they use anywhere. For example, what if someone just downloaded a pirated version of RenderWare or Torque or whatever and used it to make their game. If they never state anywhere what engine they use, could they get caught....although I suppose any legitamite company would pay to get the license, as they probably would be asked at one time or another what engine they used, and they (RenderWare, Torque, etc) probably wouldn't care if joe schmoe used their engine to make pong or something that's not really going to be selling on the market.

I dunno. Thoughts? Comments?

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Original post by deadlydog
Say that some company broke the copyright law and didn't put the splash screen at the beginning of the game, or whatever the stipulation was. Could the company ever get in trouble if they don't ever state what game engine they use anywhere. For example, what if someone just downloaded a pirated version of RenderWare or Torque or whatever and used it to make their game. If they never state anywhere what engine they use, could they get caught....although I suppose any legitamite company would pay to get the license, as they probably would be asked at one time or another what engine they used, and they (RenderWare, Torque, etc) probably wouldn't care if joe schmoe used their engine to make pong or something that's not really going to be selling on the market.

I dunno. Thoughts? Comments?


I think you answered yourself when you mentioned "pirated version" .. ahrr.

Someone would have to inform the engine creators of the illegal usage. If the engine author(s) think they can prove their software is being used illegaly, then they can certainly pursue legal action against the guy/company who's using it. Take a look at the whole SCO vs IBM/everbody scenerio that's been going on forever

Besides being legal, it's much easier and cheaper to simply license the software than to risk getting caught. I worked for a company that went through something similar, and the legal fees were well over a million dollars before settling out of court for more than another million dollars. It wasn't a piracy issue, but was similar. These things get ugly.

[Edited by - pragma Fury on June 2, 2005 8:22:51 PM]

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Original post by deadlydog
I don't need to know for any specific reason. I was just wondering.


Hmm your other post seems to be a good reason. Not that I find it wrong but... this is way to down the same road to not be related and my Sherlock genes just itched so much I had to scratch :)

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Original post by Seriema
Quote:
Original post by deadlydog
I don't need to know for any specific reason. I was just wondering.


Hmm your other post seems to be a good reason. Not that I find it wrong but... this is way to down the same road to not be related and my Sherlock genes just itched so much I had to scratch :)


Yeah, my report is what got me thinking about this, but it's not going to be included in my report at all, I was just wondering.

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