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View Full Version : Your unbiased opinions on popular engines and SDK's.



Wunce
25-06-2011, 02:40 AM
I plan on beginning a large project that could take a very long time to complete, so I wanted to get some good views on each of the main engines (with free SDK's) that let me decide which one I should start experimenting with.

Some of the features I require:
- Wide open spaces
- First Person perspective (preferably good view model to world interaction, if that makes sense)
- Procedurally generated terrain with prefabricated buildings scattered around

Things I'm not too concerned with:
- AI
- High quality graphics
- Anything concerning combat

I'm trying to achieve a game whereby the player can have fun without killing a single person/creature. Too many games have a focus on killing, so mine will have a focus on dying (both cheerful themes). Players form a part of a rescue squad that have the sole purpose of saving as many people as possible from a range of disasters and tragedies. I would like to include Co-operative play, helicopters and stay heavy on the unscripted events.

thegooseking
25-06-2011, 03:08 AM
UDK can certainly handle what you want, and the scripting's fairly intuitive if you know Java. On top of that, I'd say it probably has the nicest interface and workflow of any of the options you're going to have.

soldant
25-06-2011, 03:50 AM
Hmmm... probably UDK I think. The Unreal engine is pretty good at doing large environments and outdoor stuff. Unity probably couldn't handle it due to overheads, but might be worth investigating as well. Unity would probably give you a bit more flexibility.

Wizardry
25-06-2011, 04:19 AM
Notepad and a C++ compiler is all I need.

Mistabashi
25-06-2011, 08:12 AM
- Randomly generated terrain and prefab buildings

I presume you mean some kind of procedurally generated terrain heightmap with prefab buildings scattered randomly across it? I'm really not sure if that would be possible in UDK - there isn't any engine I'm aware of that will do procedural generation 'out of the box'.

It might help to go into a bit more detail about what it is you're trying to acheive, and at what level of experience you're starting out at.

Rakysh
25-06-2011, 08:17 AM
Your unbiased opinions
I lol'd. Damn you minimum length.

Rossignol
25-06-2011, 08:46 AM
I use Unity and the terrain engine, FPS controller, and available building prefabs are all okay. UDK is probably better, but I think it's ultimately a bit trickier to use, and is a less favourable licence if you were going commercial with it.

TheLastBaron
25-06-2011, 09:20 AM
I think UDK is probably the "best", but I know a lot of people like the Desktop Dungeons guys use Unity because it's simple and you can easily port to to a different platform like if you wanted to make an android port.

Wunce
25-06-2011, 10:55 AM
I presume you mean some kind of procedurally generated terrain heightmap with prefab buildings scattered randomly across it? I'm really not sure if that would be possible in UDK - there isn't any engine I'm aware of that will do procedural generation 'out of the box'.

It might help to go into a bit more detail about what it is you're trying to acheive, and at what level of experience you're starting out at.

Ok, I'll go into a little bit more detail. My game will have a heavy focus on a planning phase and since Frozen Synapse came out I realised that without getting a randomised map each time, players will get into a rut and perform the exact same tactics every time when they find a plan that works.

The mapper on my team is familiar with Source SDK but I believe source is very different to the likes of UDK because it is "brush based". Pretty much little experience then, however I have about 6 weeks to learn the basics and start the project rolling.

Megagun
25-06-2011, 01:05 PM
There's some more things that we may need to know to give you some proper advice:

-Do you plan to go commercial? If not, do you want to keep the possibility of going commercial open?
-Are you willing to spend some money to obtain software licenses?
-Is this a school project?
-How big is your team, what is your team composed of, and what is the previous experience of all your team members in their own fields? How comfortable are each of your team members with manually editing configuration files? Who amongst your team members have any programming experience?
-What does your current planning look like? When do you want to release your first release, and of what type will this release be (pre-alpha techdemo? full release?)

Wunce
25-06-2011, 01:58 PM
Thanks for laying out exactly what you want to know.
1: Leave the possibility open
2: Depends on how much, but I'll leave that as no for now.
3: No, I don't like having a criteria nor do I like constricting deadlines.
3: At the moment its two people, I have programming experience in that I can pick up a new language fast. The other member is good at mapping however it takes him some time to complete his work.
4: Current planning is: Make it work, release it privately, Make it pretty, release a public beta. Not sure whether or not this will result in a commercial venture; I'd like to see community reaction first to avoid "I wasted my money" backlash.

I hope that clears any possible questions up. The current favourite appears to be UDK so I am going to look into whether it can do procedurally generated terrain tomorrow.

Malawi Frontier Guard
25-06-2011, 03:04 PM
3: No, I don't like having a criteria nor do I like constricting deadlines.
I would never get anything done if I didn't constrain myself in one way or another, even arbitrarily.
Good constraints are liberating in any craft, and I'm certain you will learn to embrace them if what you plan on doing is of any worth at all.

TillEulenspiegel
25-06-2011, 03:22 PM
Rather than constraints, I like to talk about goals. Specific, clearly-defined, prioritized goals. Abstract ones too to serve as guidelines. If you don't know exactly what you want to do, how can you do it?

As Mistabashi mentions, I don't think any engine is going to simply give you procedurally generated terrain. That's one of those things you really need to tweak to a specific purpose. It's not necessarily difficult, either; the algorithms have been written about extensively, it's just a matter of converting it into a format the engine supports.

And if you want to randomly generate and load pieces of terrain as the player moves around the world (a bit like Minecraft), you can certainly do that with OGRE and PagedGeometry, but I don't know how well other engines support it.