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What would it take to update an older game with better graphics/physics/particles effects

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A game like Wolf:ET for example. For starters I assume all the models would have to be redone at a higher poly count using more sophisticated modelling an animation software, with better lighting effects than they had back 10-15 years ago?

 

I take it the rendering engine would have to be overhauled if you did this?

 

How about integrating say Bullet physics into the game, again I assume you just couldn't do this with the current engine?

 

What could you actually do to completely overhaul the game, graphics, particles, physics, maybe adding vehicles, planes etc..

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Of course some of these are more difficult than others. Replacing the textures with higher res ones and the models with higher poly ones, that's the easiest part. It was quite common to do this as an integrated pack for Quake based games, Half Life mods, that sort of thing. If the rendering is shader based, you can substitute more complex shaders. If you're willing to put in the effort, you can overhaul the engine heavily; there are Q3 engine variants that support full shaders, physics, etc. Lots of Call of Duty games were essentially built that way.

Edited by Promit

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titanfall was done with the half life engine and that is based on the quake engine. that's the scale you can achieve its just a matter of investment (time, money, knowhow).

it also depends on what side you want to invest, you could redo lot of art (most) and make it look way better. you could also redo all tech. and adding vehicles etc. would be rather a challenge on gameshow and network side.

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