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What's stoping people here making say the next crysis 2?

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A lot of coders in here, i know the basics of c++ but never gone much further. So in this day in age with all the info on google, what's stopping say the majority of skilled coders in here making a game as good as say crysis. That's probably a niave question but aside from the artwork and production work, we have leaked source code on the net for example and there are tons of examples and help. Is there still such a big gap between today as say 10 - 15 years ago when there wasn't much reference on the net? we also have a few open source engines.

Surely one of these days someone will release an up-to-date source code for free, then what....I am stuck because my knowledge isn't good enough as to what goes on to fully make a game engine.

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There is a vast gulf between "knowing the basics of C++" and having the skill to produce a top-notch game. You also brush aside "artwork and production work" without realizing that this is probably 75% of the real work that goes into modern AAA titles. Raw engineering is actually a fairly limited niche these days; very few people do it, and mostly you're juggling existing technologies with perhaps minor additions and game-specific tweaks.

Suppose I were to gather some of my colleagues from the industry and form a team. If we had a couple of tools programmers, a handful of really good artists, a good producer, some marketing resources, some hookups in the publication side of things, and a pile of cash and spare time, we could compete with a lot of the major games out there singlehandedly. But that's a hell of a lot of requirements.

The bigger issue, though, is why should we do that? I already get paid to work on AAA games. Doing it on my own would require sacrificing salary, job stability and certainty of the future, and access to a lot of really excellent industry resources (like other programmers, art teams, etc.). There's no win in it.


AAA games like the Crysis franchise are hideously expensive to create. There's far more going on than just programming.


But let's brush that aside - bad idea though it may be - and consider what would happen if we did just try and grab a bunch of random people off of GameDev to do a project.

  • You won't find many people to begin with; not many people have the time or interest in taking on such a huge project
  • You won't retain anyone for very long; there's no reason to work on it if there's no compensation flowing
  • You won't attract the really good people, because they're already getting paid to do it anyways
  • Those who are left probably aren't actually good enough to do what needs to be done, at least not in a cost-effective way

    Anyone can download code and run it. So yeah, open source engines and such make the accessibility factor a bit shinier in that regard. However, it is very difficult to download code and understand it, which is a fundamental prerequisite for extending and improving upon it. The larger the codebase, the less likely it is that a lone, inexperienced programmer will be able to manage it. The more inexperienced programmers you add, the less likely it is that anyone will reach a point where they can productively hack on the code itself (this is an interesting, albeit counterintuitive, fact; it's akin to the too-many-chefs problem). And remember, we're not going to attract anyone who is both experienced enough to cope with the code and willing to mentor juniors for free.

    So you have to contend with all of that just to make a game based on someone else's technology.

    Throw in things like platform development NDAs (standard procedure on all the consoles, for instance) and other NDAs/non-compete contracts/etc., and you'll run into a serious lack of people who are even capable of doing this, or available (legally speaking), or willing.


    Now, if you want to produce something that can compete, you cannot get away with merely working on someone else's base code. You must innovate. And that is, again, an order of magnitude harder than just learning someone else's code (which is no trivial feat when you're talking about 1-2 million lines of code in the first place). There are few programmers even in the industry who can handle massive code bases on their own; most are forced to specialize heavily in order to be good enough at their particular area of expertise to be competitive. If highly skilled generalists are rare, though, then highly skilled innovators are priceless.

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A lot of coders in here, i know the basics of c++ but never gone much further. So in this day in age with all the info on google, what's stopping say the majority of skilled coders in here making a game as good as say crysis. That's probably a niave question but aside from the artwork and production work, we have leaked source code on the net for example and there are tons of examples and help. Is there still such a big gap between today as say 10 - 15 years ago when there wasn't much reference on the net? we also have a few open source engines.

Surely one of these days someone will release an up-to-date source code for free, then what....I am stuck because my knowledge isn't good enough as to what goes on to fully make a game engine.


They do, there are professionals on this site. They dont do it at home or on their own dime because writing that much code and writing it well in ones spare time would take far too long. Thus indie games are smaller, less graphical, and more novel.

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More importantly though: why would we want to create the next Crysis? This would seem to be a misnomer; that we all strive to create AAA titles that surpass already available ones which, while true for some, doesn't hold up as a general rule for all programmers and creators here. Many would just like to innovate instead; creating something new and unique instead of something old and done. AAA wins in content and scale; indies win in innovation and style. Some rare legends win in both.

So, yeah...

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If highly skilled generalists are rare, though, then highly skilled innovators are priceless.


This is OT but... I'm jacking this line as my signature if you don't mind ^.^

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You can't use leaked source code legally, so it buys you nothing. How to make a large, cutting edge engine isn't a secret, it just expensive (in time and/or money). You might have to learn a lot about graphics and physics simulation too, or put up with the limitations of existing libraries that handle this for you.

A game engine just defines the limitations of your game. It still takes a lot of work to design and produce a compelling game inside these limits. For creative endeavours, the limits can be very the thing that forces you to come up with something new in an existing space, instead of just incrementally moving the limits back alongside the hardware.

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[...] aside from the artwork and production work [...]

In addition to what has already been said, you may be underestimating what you're "putting aside" when you discount artwork and production. There are hobbyist and indie developers out there who write and/or work with engines that are just as impressive as AAA games, but producing all the graphical content at a high quality, designing and play-testing good maps, having quality audio production done, etc. can be a truly monumental task if you don't have a (probably large) team of professional developers at your disposal. Good art and audio is time consuming to produce, and if you're not the one producing it there's also a lot of expense. Without all that high-quality content the best engine in the world still won't give you a quality product.


Hope that helps! smile.gif

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