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AirborneAR

Question about Open World Survival Game Engines

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If you were trying to design a game like DayZ, WarZ, Rust, or H1Z1 from scratch, which engine would you use?

 

I understand that it's suggested I put this in "for beginners" but I'm not looking for beginner advice.  I'd like to know what the pros would use.

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If you were trying to design a game like DayZ, WarZ, Rust, or H1Z1 from scratch, which engine would you use?
 
I understand that it's suggested I put this in "for beginners" but I'm not looking for beginner advice.  I'd like to know what the pros would use.

It's not the most useful question -- what the pro's use is only the right choice for them because of their situation. Do you have a team of a dozen senior engineers who you're paying $100k a year, and a budget of $10M to spend on your game? If not, then the right choice for you will be different to the choices made by "the pros".

 

Personally, I'd probably build one from scratch specific to these requirements :P
...But I've spent 8 years working as an engine programmer, so I've got a lot of reasons to make that choice. If your team didn't have an experienced engine programmer, it would be a much more crazy choice to make.

 

If your team all have 5 years experience with Unity, then that would be a sane engine to choose. They're probably able to bend Unity to their will enough to pull off a DayZ.

 

If you've got experience with Unreal, that would be a good choice.

 

If you're an experienced Arma modder, then you could copy what DayZ did and start out as an Arma Mod!

 

A pro team would evaluate all their options and weigh up the pros/cons specific to their situation. One of the biggest weights in this is how much experience their team has with each of the engines. If engine B is slightly more popular in this genre but the team has previously shipped 5 titles using engine A, they're very likely to just continue using engine A and to perform any customization/extension required to make this next game.

 

 

Thanks for your feedback!

 

I'm actually not a coder, and there is no team yet :)  Please don't stone me to death yet!  lol

 

What I do bring to the party is a crap ton of business experience, marketing, finance, and a titanic amount of knowledge about the survival games industry.

 

I'm trying to find a team to bootstrap (no funding), a semi-functional game (enough to demo it), to start some sort of kickstarter or other funding campaign to fully flesh out the game.  A game that is from day 1 built to the consensus desire of a gaming community.

 

I've seen all the devs in the past fail, and the reason why is.........they don't talk to / listen to their customers.  Sure they might take occasional stabs at community outreach, make a few posts in reddit, or do livestreams where they answer 10 random questions, but they don't really take the time to sit down and UNDERSTAND their customer base.  That's what I can do.  I can actually go and find out what the customer base is EXACTLY looking for, then tailor the game to that need.

 

Edit:  Sorry, got into the marketing pitch and didn't really followup on what we were both talking about.....lol  What I really meant to say was "since there are no coders yet, what game engine do you think would be the best suited to a game in this genre (ability for coders to make it, features, cost, etc).  That way I can focus on looking for coders for "game engine X" instead of trying to find coders only to find out the game engine they code in isn't a good fit.

Edited by AirborneAR

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You're going about this completely backwards. Normally seeing you gather a team of engineers based on your pitch (and proper compensation of course), and you let them decide what technology to use for the project, since they'll be able to make a much more educated decision than you ever will.

 

The problem is I don't have a team yet.  And if I randomly assemble a team without choosing the engine first..........I'll get 3 unity guys, 4 unreal engine guys, 2 cryengine guys, and 1 guy who works on some smaller indie engine.

 

Can 3 unity guys, 3 unreal guys, 2 cryengine guys, and 1 random engine guy all code on any engine?  So if the team chose unreal, all 9 of those guys can do unreal?  If so, then I am coming at this completely backwards.

 

I apologize for my ignorance either way :)  I'm a business guy trying to assemble a team of rocket scientists, without knowing anything except "rockets go whoosh into sky"....lol

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And if I randomly assemble a team without choosing the engine first..........I'll get 3 unity guys, 4 unreal engine guys, 2 cryengine guys, and 1 guy who works on some smaller indie engine.

 
 

 

 
Well then you've failed at putting together a team. Recruit two or three highly skilled technical people for your lead types. You will need somebody to handle art, somebody to handle game design, and somebody to handle code and engineering. You can usually find people who are highly skilled at two out of three of these, thus two to three people (although sometimes you can get away with not having one of those three areas well-covered). With that core team, decide on the direction to go technology-wise based on your game concepts. This may involve evaluating and prototyping in several engines.
 
Then decide. Then recruit the rest of the team as needed.

Can 3 unity guys, 3 unreal guys, 2 cryengine guys, and 1 random engine guy all code on any engine? 
 

 

If they are any good, yes, they can learn the other tools.
Edited by Josh Petrie

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A relatively experienced engineer will easily be able to adapt to any tool, especially if it's a well documented tool like Unity, Unreal or CryEngine. The tool should be chosen for the benefit of the project first, previous experience with the tool comes second.

 

Focus on what you know and do best, leave the technical decisions to the people who have the technical background.

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Ok, so I was coming at it 100% backwards!

 

Team first, engine second.

 

Thank you VERY VERY much guys!  You guys have been a HUGE help!  :)

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You're going about this completely backwards. Normally seeing you gather a team of engineers based on your pitch (and proper compensation of course), and you let them decide what technology to use for the project, since they'll be able to make a much more educated decision than you ever will.

 

The problem is I don't have a team yet.  And if I randomly assemble a team without choosing the engine first..........I'll get 3 unity guys, 4 unreal engine guys, 2 cryengine guys, and 1 guy who works on some smaller indie engine.

 

Can 3 unity guys, 3 unreal guys, 2 cryengine guys, and 1 random engine guy all code on any engine?  So if the team chose unreal, all 9 of those guys can do unreal?  If so, then I am coming at this completely backwards.

 

I apologize for my ignorance either way :)  I'm a business guy trying to assemble a team of rocket scientists, without knowing anything except "rockets go whoosh into sky"....lol

 

 

Since you're a business guy you wont be assembling a team of engineers.  You have no idea who to interview and how to interview them.  What you need is to get a lead engineer with experience leading teams and let him or her to the team building for the engineers.  Same for the artists and designers.

 

Out of curiosity, how do you plan to get a team of people to make this game?  You say you have lots of business and finance experience but no money.  I'm really curious how you intend to do this because I've been in a similar situation of trying to put together a team without money.  It's not easy.

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Since you're a business guy you wont be assembling a team of engineers.  You have no idea who to interview and how to interview them.  What you need is to get a lead engineer with experience leading teams and let him or her to the team building for the engineers.  Same for the artists and designers.

 

Out of curiosity, how do you plan to get a team of people to make this game?  You say you have lots of business and finance experience but no money.  I'm really curious how you intend to do this because I've been in a similar situation of trying to put together a team without money.  It's not easy.

 

 

Roger, got it.  First thing is to get leads for the major programming departments.

 

The team will have to be recruited on vision.  The vision is there is a desperate need for this title in this one specific genre because so may developers have delivered up titles that didn't even come close to meeting the needs of the community.  The developers really don't understand the community, especially that it's a split community, with each segment wanting something different.  And they don't take the time to really find out deep down what the community wants.

 

Anytime you find a niche in the marketplace that is being underserved, there's money to be made there.  I could try to make the next Call of Duty, no way, I'd never even get close.  I could try to make some simple mobile game, no to that too, that market has too many different options / way too many competitors.  But in this one genre, because of what the devs have done to the gaming community, there is a vast unmet need that could be filled.

 

The no money thing is a problem, that's for 100% sure.  But when there is the promise of earning a large market share "in this one niche", there's also great rewards to be had.  So people will be doing some "free work" for the chance at "great rewards".  The structure of the company won't be "salaried" positions.  It'll be based on profit sharing.  Get more people in the game, get more money.

 

My biggest fear isn't finding people to help.  I know there are a lot of programmers that may have tried or may want to try to accomplish a survival title like DayZ.  

 

My biggest fear is keeping them working on it, getting it accomplished in a reasonable timeframe, and what to do with the "this guy worked 5000 hours on the game" but "this other guy worked 50 hours on the game".  When it launches, we can't bring everyone on board.  5000 hour guy is obviously in.  But what do you do about 50 hour guy?  I have to find a way to structure it so people know up front that if they put the full effort in, they're in for the full rewards.  But if they're not in it full time, then they get some money and are sent on their way?

 

I'm thinking that the leads of each department would determine who gets the positions once the company launches.  So the lead art guy would choose X number of artists, and we bring those on staff.  Everyone else just gets a smaller payout and moves on.

 

What do you think?

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