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Dom_152

How does the Unreal Engine work?

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I've been wondering how everything in the Unreal engine fits together. I've looked at some resources on the internet but none go into the detail I'm looking for, probably because you would have to license the engine to find out this stuff but I'm not sure. I know that most games that use the Unreal engine make heavy use of UnrealScript to do most of the gameplay specific code but I'm wondering how does that fit into the native C++ code that's written. How is a generic Unreal application written in C++, what's the setup? Where does the C++ code end and the UnrealScript begin and how do they work together? Sorry for all the questions but I'm trying to understand as much much as I can about game engine structures and how it all comes together and any answers will be a great help.

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If you want to know this so you can build your own engine, stop. Build a few games, you will see how this will all come together. Use something like Lua for scripting (since its written and well documented how to integrate them with C++/C#). Then after a few small games, think about writing an engine.

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I'd be intrested in the OPs questions as well though, out of pure intrest. I have written games, with my own engines, but still intresting to hear about succesful engines like UE.

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As I understand Unreal Engine games are written heavily in Unreal Script - little or no custom C++. Although I have little experience with the Unreal Engine.

I'm planning to just implement an API in C++ then call it through my scripting language. The C++ is behind the objects you create... you call methods on them and they are translated into C++ method calls.

The C++ code will also initiate events that will eventually call the scripts.

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Quote:
Original post by umbrae
As I understand Unreal Engine games are written heavily in Unreal Script - little or no custom C++. Although I have little experience with the Unreal Engine.


That is not generally true. There are some studios that mostly use unreal script but it is certainly not universal. Where I work we have substantially modified the engine, and a lot of our code is in C++.

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Original post by jjd
Quote:
Original post by umbrae
As I understand Unreal Engine games are written heavily in Unreal Script - little or no custom C++. Although I have little experience with the Unreal Engine.


That is not generally true. There are some studios that mostly use unreal script but it is certainly not universal. Where I work we have substantially modified the engine, and a lot of our code is in C++.


Have you worked with the engine then? I wasn't aware you could modify the engine itself. I was under the impression that the actual engine source code was closed source and licensees only got libraries and examples of UnrealScript code. If you have worked with it could you explain how the engine is generally setup in the C++ code, like what stages you go through? That would be great!

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Original post by Dom_152
Have you worked with the engine then? I wasn't aware you could modify the engine itself. I was under the impression that the actual engine source code was closed source and licensees only got libraries and examples of UnrealScript code. If you have worked with it could you explain how the engine is generally setup in the C++ code, like what stages you go through? That would be great!


If you're at a big publisher and pay a few million dollars they give you full source. But then along with that also comes an NDA, so we can't talk about it... =)

-me

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Quote:
Original post by jjd
Quote:
Original post by umbrae
As I understand Unreal Engine games are written heavily in Unreal Script - little or no custom C++. Although I have little experience with the Unreal Engine.


That is not generally true. There are some studios that mostly use unreal script but it is certainly not universal. Where I work we have substantially modified the engine, and a lot of our code is in C++.


This is true where I work as well. We use our own, heavily-modified version of UE. Most of the day-to-day coding is done in C++, but we do use Unreal Script frequently as well (there's really no way around it). Unfortunately, I can't say much beyond that (see Palidine's post).

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I thought there might be some NDA or something considering how little information there is around. Worth asking though. Thanks for the information. I'm sure I once came across some source code for a game that used the Unreal Engine but I can't remember where I found it. I'm also not sure how legal it was either :S

Because of all the confidentiality it seems I won't get the answers I originally wanted but would you, as people who have worked with the engine, say that the fact that UnrealScript is so closely tied to game development using the engine can be a hindrance or an annoyance at times? As the previous poster said "there's really no way around it".

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