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HeWhoDarez

Re-inventing the wheel?

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HeWhoDarez    140
Hi guys, I have a small debate raging amongst my project team regarding the "Game Engine". Originally the game design was drafted with the idea of re-using an exhisting game engine (and tools) to create content with a few modifications added to support the design. The game is an MMO ( http://www.jackpotmedia.net/ ) and we looked at using Kaneva originally (and are still watching) but later found Big World technologies to be quite interesting. The debate between the two is a mute point as we havnt evaluated Big World yet but still I was quite happy with this plan (confident I can raise enough cash for it). Subsequently, I have recruited a couple of experienced game devs who are interested in building the whole engine from exhisting API's. Now my experience of c++ is limited anyway, but I am under the impression that this is an enormous undertaking: linking the GRE, Audio, Networking etc API's together for an MMO. My main concern is that the additions we originally planned for the (outsourced) game engine were quite a big set of changes: =========================================================================== VOIP built in and the 3D engine would ideally be spatially aware of 3d voip objects ("3d" voices in game). Template systems eg. to allow discussions without voip in an enclosed environment (similar to a guild channel but with a bigger and better interface). Trading system will need to be implemented whereby ownership of in game objects (eg. buildings and vehicles) can be transfered to either an individual or an in game organisation. LOD system that culls invisible mesh data and renders LOD based on location and Velocity of camera. Construction will require updating in game geometry for all users. Effectively this will mean all buildings etc will become entities instead of static mesh objects with the potential for enormous overhead. The Combat system will need to be addressed to allow for hand to hand combat animations in 3rd person view using keypress combinations for special moves. Audio streaming from player run/listen to in game radio stations etc.. ========================================================================== Adding the Game Engine itself to this list would add a considerable ammount of time to the project and I currently plan to be using a prototype to pitch for venture capital around xmas (I should point out that this mmo does not require npc's or quests). Assuming the whole team (10 ppl) was working efficiently how much work is there in the above requirement? And would it be easier to implement these changes into an exhisting (complete engine) than build them into our own engine? Cheers.

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Alpha_ProgDes    6934
yes. especially if you don't have experienced programmers (ie. more than 2) on your team. you'll gain more immediate experience with augmenting an existing game engine than trying to build one from scratch.

so in short, go with the existing game engine. it's better for you [smile]

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TheTroll    883
The answer is easier then you think. You need to ask yourself one question, is there an engine that meets all of my needs? If there is then of course you want to go with an engine because it will speed development and also cut down on bugs. If you can not find an engine that meets all of your needs then you either have to change your design to fit the engine or do it from scratch.

theTroll

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Sneftel    1788
Quote:
Original post by TheTroll
If you can not find an engine that meets all of your needs then you either have to change your design to fit the engine or do it from scratch.

Not true at all. Modifying an existing engine is nearly always more efficient than redoing it from scratch. Or do you really think all those games based on the Unreal engine just used it out of the box?

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Razorguts    278
Quote:
Original post by HeWhoDarez
The debate between the two is a mute point...

Ahh, the classic silent debate. :)

OK, sorry, just breaking your cods for no reason.

Existing engine definitely sounds the better option. In mainstream production, building from scratch typically adds 8months-1year to the development schedule. Building upon existing tech to fit your needs (and you'll likely refine your needs as development progresses) would be much more feasible.

Regards,

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