Game Engines: Too specialized for one game?

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Jedi2016, Jul 19, 2008.

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  1. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Doesn't sound that way to me. Especially what ShaidarHaran said to which I posted that...

    We have several examples of UE3 games that look nothing like Gears/UT3, which don't have that 'UE3' look.

    An engine doesn't create a look. It churns out triangles to the GPU to rasterize, which applies whatever textures and shaders the programmers create. If an engine comes with a selection of shader example, developers could just copy/paste them. But the reality is someone needs to create those textures in that style. It's all artist choice. If they choose to loose the detailed bumpmaps and choose clean colours, they'll end up with Mirrors Edge instead of Gears, on the same engine.
     
  2. rekator

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    I think that somes games decided to follow and got similars visuals than Gears not due to the Engine but more to give the "feeling" to gamers to play a "Gears" game.
     
  3. ShaidarHaran

    ShaidarHaran hardware monkey
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    It's not ridiculous at all. UT3 looks like R6V looks like just about every other UE3 title (except the stylized and/or low-budget titles Shifty mentioned).
     
  4. Shifty Geezer

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    The existence of stylized/'low budget' titles proves that the look is not fixed to the engine, that the engine can create different looks. The look is not tied to the engine, only the choices of the developers in using that engine.
     
  5. Hazuki Ryu

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    If you guys had to chose an engine to say that it makes the best use of the 360's hardware what would you chose?

    I really liked what Rare has done with kameo whatever engine they use, not necessarily saying it's my choise though.
     
  6. ShaidarHaran

    ShaidarHaran hardware monkey
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    mumbledamnfactsgettinginthewayofmyopinionmumble

    :p

    Would you agree that *most* titles which share an engine *tend* to have very similar looks? It was of course silly of me to say that all titles which share an engine will look alike.
     
  7. obonicus

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    On the other hand, for a highly hypothetical exercise: let's say an engine renders purple spectacularly: it's really a joy to see the way purple looks, it's one of the engine's features. Don't you think that the developers licensing that game may tend to make more purple games? If they're paying for the engine they might as well adapt to its strengths, right?
     
  8. _phil_

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    That some people actualy believe overwise is completly beyond me.That's totaly irrational.
     
  9. Cornsnake

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    I think the reason some games look similar is because, certain styles are more popular like gritty realism for example, developers all face the same problems trying to achieve certain effects and a lot of them have a tendency to exaggerate the latest effects like HDR.
     
  10. Dominik D

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    This is fallacy. The original point was that engine forces art style on the game. It was proven by examples that it's not true. Now you're trimming down conditions the way you like them to prove the original point.

    The problem is that real factors determining art style are not part of this discussion. If brown/grey shooters* sell well, people will make brown/grey shooters. If dominant middle ware on the market is UE, people will buy it. Just because people make brown/grey shooters on UE doesn't mean that this engine can only produce games with this art style. Nor it can mostly work with games like that.

    Furthermore deeming "low budget games" unimportant in this argument is a very low rhetoric. How about I exclude all the games that will be published outside of Holiday 2008 window? This gives us GoW2 and Mirror's Edge. Wow, I proved my point - this engine _can't_ give you the same art style more than once.

    That's not my point however. The reason why games look similar is because games looking like that sell well. It's because you get GoW source when you buy UE and developers can and will reuse shaders. Art style is not only what effects and shaders are used. It's much, much more as proven multiple times in this thread.

    *this is just a simplified example of an art style
     
  11. ShaidarHaran

    ShaidarHaran hardware monkey
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    You're looking for an argument that doesn't exist. I've already admitted my original contention was wrong.
     
  12. chachi

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    It's more likely the engine behind a wildly popular or visually spectacular game is licensable and people want to make games that share the qualities of that game because they want to cash in on the association. Looking similar to Game X isn't seen as a negative by them or most people.

    For sure some elements of the engine are going to be the same, if they have shaders for different materials and you use those shaders in the same way then that will look like Game X but nobody is making anybody use the exact same shaders, color palette or even the same type of environment. Look at Mirror's Edge. Like SMM said though the stuff that their own game uses is likely to be what they optimize and test the most.

    This just seems like more console wars fallout along the same lines of "bald space marines, lulz".
     
  13. Dominik D

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    Where? You're talking about "damn facts getting in the way of my opinion"? You never admited you're wrong but when you do, this discussion will probably end. Yes, some games look alike. That has very little to do with their engine.
     
  14. zed

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    of course the engine plays a major role in how the game looks like.
    doom3 had stencil shadow as a key feature, sure u could make 2d pacman with it, but youre ignoring the engines strengths
    an engine designed for a flightsimulation prolly aint gonna be that good in a corridor crawl game + visa versa

    WRT UE3, where are the games using AA?

    look at levels ported from one game to another with mods (using the same assets) often they look quite different, eg HL2 level viewed in doom3
     
  15. ShaidarHaran

    ShaidarHaran hardware monkey
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    I don't see how such a statement could be interpreted otherwise. Even if you choose to misinterpret my words for the sake of argument, my following statement (which you just quoted) in which I stated "I admitted I was wrong" is in and of itself an admission. I can't believe we're even having this discussion...

    This statement is as ludicrous to me as my earlier statement was to some of you. To say there is no link between games which share an engine and which look alike is absurd.

    I've already admitted all games which share an engine need not look alike, and clearly not all do. However, every engine has certain constraints (boundaries) which game developers must work within, meaning that some things are going to look alike unless you really go out of your way to make it not (i.e. a totally different "style" of game). My low-budget title comment was uncalled for.
     
  16. the ignoramus

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    I can tell a Source rendered game quite easily, although this may have a lot to do with that engine's age-- i.e. the lack of extensive texture mapping, the low poly character models and lack of a robust lighting model--Source rendered geometry always appears somewhat flat because of this.

    TF2, Portal and Left 4 Dead are easy to identify as Source games.

    Even with the new HDR effects, motion blur, more uniform self shadowing and incremental updates to the physics system, the engine still seems like a product of the Doom 3 era.
     
  17. Jedi2016

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    That wasn't quite what I was saying, I was just having a hard time putting it into words, and used the phrase "art style" in specific regards to Epic's internal use of UE3. GOW and UT3 have a very similar look and feel, which is definitely Epic's art style at work. My point was that the engine was made more for that art style than for other art styles.. it's far easier to make a Gears-looking game than to make something completely different.


    This more or less backs up what I was trying to get at, as I mentioned above. Yes, the engine can be tweaked to come up with something totally different, but it's up to the individual developers to do that. Geezer pointed out above somewhere that a lot of devs don't go through that trouble. As pointed out, probably for marketing purposes. Everybody lauds Game X for it's amazing graphics, so everybody wants to make a game that looks like Game X. Much easier to do that by licensing that same engine.

    I think a good example of "proper" (IMO) third-party engine use is Bioshock. They molded parts of their style to suit the engine's strengths, while at the same time molding parts of the engine to suit their art style. I think the result is an excellent blending of the two.

    The way I see it, there are several solutions for a developer:

    1) Buy Engine X and make a game that looks like best-selling Game X.
    2) Buy Engine X, make slight modifications to Engine X, and make a game that blends the strength of the engine with the strength of the art, and vice versa. (Bioshock)
    3) Buy Engine X, make heavy modifications to Engine X, and make a game that looks completely different from the "norm". (Mirror's Edge)
    4) Screw Engine X and make your own Engine Y, custom-made for your game.

    I think I agree most strongly with Geezer's statement:

    There's two things that hit home here. For one, a lot of developers don't put the effort into creating something truly unique.. we all know this to be true. Second, it's easier and quicker to do it that way, because sales of games like this tend to share a certain look.. I think Yahtzee said that most games these days tend to be done in shades of brown and gray. As you go down the list I just posted, it gets more and more difficult (read: time-consuming and expensive).

    That's sort of the "next-gen look" that they think people want to see. There's a lot of grim, broken, post-apocalyptic-looking games out there. Fallout 3 I can understand because of the story, but there's a lot of devs making similar games just because everyone else is. Me, I like a little color in my games now and then. Hell, I was enjoying seeing some bright blues and reds while playing UT3 earlier tonight (ironic, isn't it?). Mass Effect also has good use of color. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that it's easier to follow the engine creator's style and play solely to the strengths of the engine, rather than making the engine work for you.
     
  18. bagofsuck

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  19. catisfit

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    Further examples:
    - Operation Flashpoint 2 will use the GRID engine
    - Resistance 1&2 and Ratchet & Clank use the same engine

    Then of course there are some just plain strange decisions:
    - Mirror's Edge will use UE3 instead of DICEs own Frostbite, developed for Battlefield: Bad Company
     
  20. _phil_

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    Easy one : Beast integration with UE3.
     
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