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Best Engine/Game for Making Mods

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Hi Guys, I am an experienced C++ programmer and am currently working on my own engine. I think it would be useful to get some real world experience of how professional engines work and so to this end I am considering joining a modding project. I was hoping you might have some opinions on the best engine/game for this. Obviously I want to be using something cutting edge, so I guess my options are: Unreal Engine 3 - I made some basic levels for the original Unreal and the whole system seemed mod friendly and had good tools. It also seemed very well designed. But some questions - if I work on an Unreal Engine 3 mod can I use any game powered by Unreal Engine 3? Do they all come with tools, etc? Or is it best to grab Unreal Tournament 3 in a few weeks time? Crysis - I don't suppose people have used this yet - any experience based on modding for the original Far Cry? Graphically it's the mutt's nuts - how does it stack up design wise? Source Engine - Been around a while so I'm sure some people will have used it. I've heard Hammer is quite good. Please note I'm not looking for an actual project yet - just thinking about what technology I might want to play with. Thanks for any input!

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Afaik, Source and Doom3/Quake4 are the only modding engines you get actual source code for. Unreal modding is done via Unreal Script, and Farcry modding I believe was pretty limited in comparison so if that is any indication of Crysis modding it may be rather limited. Source engine is about your best best as far as your potential audience, though the code is rather messy. Doom3/Quake 4 sdk is about the cleanest and neatest mod code I've seen. Ultimately it depends what kinda modding you want to do, whether or not you mind using Unreal script versus a c++ sdk, whether you want to use vehicles, etc(vehicles in source engine suck as far as multiplayer mods). Some things to consider.

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Unreal's tool set is top-notch, and while I'm not a big fan of UnrealScript, it's pretty easy to work with, and it's syntax would be quite familiar to a C++ programmer. And yes, you'd need to get UT3 to mod, It's the only game that I'm aware of that will ship with the tools and allow modding.

I don't have experience with any of the other engines/tool sets, but I've heard some horror stories about working with the Source engine, in terms of code quality and documentation.

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When you say you can get source code for Source and Doom 3 what do you actually get? Just a SDK (headers, libs) allowing you to interface with their code, so that you write your mods in C/C++? Or you actually get source to significant parts of the engine under some restrictive license?

It's interesting you say Doom 3/Quake 4 has neat and clean mod code - I recall John Carmack be notorious for writing the most illegible code ever ;-) But you mean it is exposed in a clean way so you don't have to deal with the internals?

Oh, and in case it makes any difference, I'm actually talking about 'Total Conversions (TC)' rather than mods. Making some complete game based on an existing engine. Is it generally hard to make a singleplayer TC from a multiplayer game, and vice versa?

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Quote:
Original post by Driv3MeFar
Unreal's tool set is top-notch, and while I'm not a big fan of UnrealScript, it's pretty easy to work with, and it's syntax would be quite familiar to a C++ programmer. And yes, you'd need to get UT3 to mod, It's the only game that I'm aware of that will ship with the tools and allow modding.

I don't have experience with any of the other engines/tool sets, but I've heard some horror stories about working with the Source engine, in terms of code quality and documentation.


Yes, I'm quite keen on Unreal and am happy to script (though I might take a non programmer position for some variety :-) ). Will it allow single player mods with a plot, etc? I have a copy of UT2004 somewhere so I think I'll have a look at what SP mods are available.

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Ok, thanks. I think I will install UT2004 and try some of those mods to et a feel for it. I also notice Portal is out in a couple of weeks - I'm sure that will provide some interesting modding opportunities...

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