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Engine Choice...

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Well I am designing a mod...getting pretty deep into it now and I have reached the point of deciding what engine I will use. Right now I am really torn between Source (HL2), UE3 (UT2k7), or CryEngine2 (Crysis). Now I have no plans to start the production of the mod soon, so time is not an issue...but there are some design things I really need to decide on based on the engine I choose. Such as, level sizes(i.e. UE3 will support seamless levels, CryEngine has huge enviroments and Source is medium sized), target PC specs, and visual eliments used (i.e. Displacement maps, polycounts). All I will say about the mod is that it is a tactical realism shooter. And while that may seem generic, to give you an idea of what it is aimed to be like, think Raindow Six (original), and Ghost Recon. So with that said...what engine do you think would be the better target? Think as though you were working on it. Give some reasons why...and feel free to pipe in about what you may like to see in this genre. Here are the options again and reasons I may want them:
  • Source Engine (HL2, CS:S, DoD:S)
    • Familiarity
    • Large Community
    • Support
    • Graphical style (don't know how to explain it other than the Source look)
  • Unreal Engine 3 (Unreal Tournament 2007, Gears of War)
    • Next Generation
    • Large Community
    • Graphical Capabilities
    • Net code
    • Seamless levels, allowing very LARGE areas
  • CryEngine 2 (Crysis)
    • Huge open landscapes
    • Graphical capabilities
    • Destructible...everything
    • Day/Night cycle

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Tactical realism shooter, you say? I don't know, but really the Source engine looks best. A next-gen engine like UE3 wouldn't be recommended, since it would really suck for people like me who have older (relatively) PC's.

I have never programmed with Source or CryEngine, but I play both FarCry and CounterStrike:Source nearly everyday on the same machine. I always feel that CS:S runs faster (but then again, who hires the better programmers?).

All in all, I'd recommend Source.

Finally, a side note:
a game mod decides which engine to use for you, does it not? correct me if i'm wrong, but if you make a mode for HL2, it has to be done using Source, right? Same goes for FarCry mods (CryEngine), HL1 mods (UE1), Quake modes (UE1, again), etc?

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Oh one thing I would like to mention aswell, is that it is planned (at this moment) to be a Co-op only game...So AI would play a role...but I will say that they are all pretty neck-to-neck in that area, and with UE3 voice recognition it may prove to be more useful.

I have been leaning toward UE3, as it does show to have the most potential. But it is hard to gauge where Source will be at the time of UT2007's release (with all the upgrading by Valve and it being modular and all)

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I would wait until all three of them have launched before making a choice. Valve provides an excellent SDK for use with their engine, and there are some great mods springing up for it. Unless the other two can match it, I'd say Source wins hands-down if you're looking for a modding solution. Also, a lot of people have Half-Life 2, if the popularity of Counter Strike: Source is any indicator.

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Have you thought about using the Battlefield 2 Engine?

There are some pretty good looking mods coming out for it. Like the Source engine it's also available to use now rather than:
sometime when Vista is released for Crysis and the Crytek 2 engine
or
whenever UT 2007 is released? post PS3 launch?

Malal

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The Source engine has a rather messy code base (500'000 lines of mostly undocumented and uncommented C++ code). From the bits I've seen UE3 appears to have a much better toolset as well.

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Destructible enviroments are a plus, i think it may very well be the next thing for pc games. Crysis has a plus there. For the other engines one can always script certain parts of a map that 'destruct' but it won't be the same.

I've seen a mod team stear away from Source with a similar gameplan as yourself mainly because of its inability for large areas. I'm not a programmer myself but i know this team has tested the engine well. ( http://infiltration.sentrystudios.net/ )

Overall my choice is U3 out of the three. Maybe i'm biased though because i've known this engine since U99. At the moment i am working on a mod for the U2 engine which will also be a tactical realism shooter taking place in the nearby future.

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I know that the decision will be much easier after E3, but that is over a month away Sad \:\(. hehe. But yeah I will agree, UE3 is showing the most promise, and who knows what will pop up in it before release...it is still under construction.

As for the CryEngine, there really is very little known about it. As far as MP I have found no information...so if you can find some info on the technical aspects of the engine I would be most grateful. Heck even some from the UE3 aside from their site...but that is pretty detailed.

By the way you guys are being most helpful. I think that UE3 will not only be the easiest to mold, but it will be very fun and easy to make an aesthetically accomplished and polished mod. And I know that rain would probably play a roll in the mod and Source is not to savvy with that...but from that GoW preview the UE3 would do wonders.

But waiting is not a real option if I want to get the design done...

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