The scalability and evolution of game engines *spawn*

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by ultragpu, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. PSman1700

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    A notion from the latest DF video on marvels latest spiderman for PS5. Hence i didn't quote anyone.
     
  2. chris1515

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    This is a guess, no one has said this. The R&D on the SSD used Spiderman and Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart is from Insomniac. The title is like KZ SF or Infamous Second Son a lauch period title. The same for Horizon 2 if the game release Q1 or Q2 2021.
     
  3. eastmen

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    There is bunch of old code in windows and a lot of MS's time is fixing and replacing that old code. MS had tried multiple times to modernize windows with longhorn , vista , 8 and now they are doing it with 10x or windows core if you will.

    The problem is your giving examples of things that Creationkit can't even handle well. With the scaling that idtech is able to handle running way down onto a switch i think they'd be able to implement presistant objects on a mass scale with modern hardware. You can play fallout 4 and face the same bugs from fallout 3 and even earlier games.

    But i guess in like 5 years when these games come out we can see how good that lipstick shade they choose was compared to other games on the market
     
  4. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    I'm giving examples of things I am not aware other engines do.

    But the engine is more than just graphics. It's got to handle assets, data, AI, scripting, world generation. There are all things that Bethesda have built into CreationKit. Is it perfect? Hell no. Should they burn it down and start again? Probably not.

    The engine was a janky mess on PC and last generation consoles, just look at Fallout 3, New Vegas, Skyrim. Now look at the engine driving Fallout 4, 76 and Skyrim SE. It's the same engine with considerable less jank.
     
  5. Shifty Geezer

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    I reckon it'd be very healthy for Bethesda to invest in a ground-up rewrite/new engine. The cost of maintaining an engine managing assets in the many gigabytes is probably significant on an engine founded on data running into megabytes at best. Software solutions are so far advanced beyond what they started with, I think legacy structures will be weighing down heavily on their titles and slowing development.

    I know with every long-term project I've ever undertaken, I've gotten to the point where my understanding is so much better, I'd rather a ground-up rewrite than reworking the current code-base. ;)

    That's on the assumption that Bethesda's code is janky given on-screen and in-game results. We don't actually know what changes have gone on under the hood. Maybe their systems are truly awesome and not outdated under the hood and something else results in the questionable outcomes? But I'm confident that a new approach based on the best solutions in databasing will greatly speed their games operations, load times, and efficiency in data storage, and enable more creative games with better versatility in the systems.

    Of course, with SSDs they won't need to and can carry on with the hardware going all the heavy lifting, in the classic PC style. So I hold no hope.
     
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  6. Tkumpathenurpahl

    Tkumpathenurpahl Oil my grapes.
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    How many "newly written" engines are doing the rounds in the current generation? Dreams (which took ~8 years) and... what else?

    I remember reading an interview (some years ago) with someone from Naughty Dog, stating that they wrote a new engine for Crash Bandicoot, a new one for Jak and Daxter, and a new one for Uncharted. From that point on, engines just became too costly to develop from scratch, and so now, they modify their existing one, sometimes completely revamping elements thereof.

    So Spider-Man Miles Morales being on an existing, modified engine seems completely in line with the wider industry. Pointing that out, from out of nowhere, as though it's meaningful is just... well... we all know what it is.

    *Ahem*

    ... a non sequitur...

    *Ahem*
     
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  7. chris1515

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    You never rewrite an engine totally. You rewrite some parts and integrate SSD to an engine and rewrite all the streaming is big work. This is not like taking the PS4 engine without doing huge modification.

    There is much more inside an engine than the rendering part and this is not like Spiderman Miles Morales did not have new rendering feature like hair strand not hair card in this game.
     
  8. BRiT

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    Yes, there is much that's carried forward with game engines just like there are with other software. There's no reason to rewrite everything for every project. Work smarter, not harder. Adapt and adjust.

    The enterprise software I write for work today still has concepts and framework aspects that were first designed and written in late 90's and early 00's. Over that time, it's switched implementation languages a couple times, but for the most part has been intact in dotNet since 2002. Some pieces are redone and ported to newer libraries as better tech and methods are discovered. Comparatively it's all entirely new, but at the same time it's all entirely the same.

    It's an evolution. It's natural growth.
     
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  9. iroboto

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    They’ve been modifying this engine since 360 era?

    They may be at a point of facing scaling issues with how much code can impact each other, there may be new ways to do things.

    but it’s so much work as your write.
     
  10. iroboto

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    I would say if your engine has scaling issues, or is unable to meet your future needs because of a design setup; yes a new engine would likely need to be built. If it solves everything, then evolution makes sense.
    It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.
     
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  11. seahorsesaw

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    If Bethesda bring that mummy of an engine back to life for Elders Scrolls 6, I think their fans might come for them with pitchforks and burning torches.
     
  12. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    If Bethesda's engine was getting worse, as in more bugs and instability I'd agree, but it's getting more resilient. The leap from Fallout 3/New Vegas/Skyrim to Fallout 4/Skyrim SE is night and day.

    I don't think Bethesda care about the old die-hard fans who they still made RPGs like they did -20 years ago, they more interested in the tens of millions of people who enjoyed Fallout 4 and Skyrim/SE.
     
  13. Shifty Geezer

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    Especially over one game evolution! Was anyone expecting Miles Morales to not be the same SM engine with a new antagonist? That'd be an awful lot of work for one title doing exactly the same as the previous title. I'm still expecting a PS4 version to release, although if it does leverage the SSD, I guess that won't happen. It'll be weird to have a flagship mini-game though. I guess priced cheaper, it'll be a nice introduction to PS5?
     
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  14. Gerry

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    I think that's debatable. New Vegas was a buggy mess more because of time constraints placed on Obsidian than anything else. Fallout 76 has been ridiculed mercilessly for how buggy it is. I don't we have anything like enough evidence to say whether the engine is coping better or worse these days.

    I think the problem is that because the Creation engine is essentially only used to create Fallout/Elder Scrolls games, it simply isn't worth their while to spend a lot of time and effort in a bottom-up regeneering effort.
     
  15. Ronaldo8

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    Gamebryo is a software suite that features very old code. Which is fine. Being old more often than not mean being time-tested rather than being crap. You know what's crap through? Upgrading your PC to finally play the "definitive" version of skyrim only to encounter bugs and quirks from the early 2000s. Gamebryo must go.
     
  16. iroboto

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    very few games if ever get a new ground up engine. Most places will develop a new engine for a new IP, but an existing IP that has largely the same goals is unlikely to get one. See Dunia, Anvil, etc. Ubisoft runs a large portfolio of different engines To support their franchises and Snowdrop being their latest entry, but only available for new IPs.

    I can’t imagine a reason to make a new engine for an existing IP unless you just could not proceed for whatever reason.

    that being said, some engines look much more dated than others. And some have huge problems with scaling/evolution; Case in point Fall Out; Destiny, Halo etc

    there are probably a few others that are obvious but it’s not coming to mind at the moment.
     
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  17. DSoup

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    You might want to tell this to the folks clamouring for Bethesda to rewrite CreationKit. Like most engineering endeavours, it's often simpler to modify (or fix) something that already works (or mostly works) than start from scratch and never more than when addressing something very complex. Modern engines are fairly modular and we don't need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It's the same reason that genuinely new design airframes for aircraft are a rarity, they're mostly variations of something already proven.

    We saw a lot of genuinely ground-up new engines last generation because Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were radically different architecturally but this generation we're seen more iterative building on existing engines. I think people get too caught up in he name of the engine and assume that because it has the same name, it's not really different but that's not necessarily the case. The commercial engines don't change their name because they have brand recognition and for companies using internal engines, I don't think they change the name because it really doesn't matter.

    edit: inserted word.
     
    #57 DSoup, Jul 12, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  18. Shifty Geezer

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    It depends entirely on the engine and how well it scales and has been maintained. A call for one develop to update doesn't mean we expect all and every game to get a ground-up rewrite.

    Yet Bethesda were repurposing their old engine for that generation. ;)
     
  19. DSoup

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    And repurposing is typically what an engineer does when you have something that's worked thus far and you now need it to do something a little bit different. As you know, engines are often highly modular and it would be surprising if everything comprising that engine needed replacing at once unless you're making a very different type of game. We saw this lastgen with Assassin's Creed and this gen with WATCH_DOGS and The Division. These engines were developed with these types of games in mind.

    Bethesda's been cranking out similarly-structured RPG-games for decades now and they fundamentally work in similar ways which has not necessitated radical changes. For Starfield, they did indicate the new engine supports some new mechanics and I'm guessing this is probably vehicles and/or flight which the current engine does not have good support for. They grafted in PBR into the graphics engine this generation and the NPC and AI engines can handle hundreds of assets compare to dozens last gen.

    You see lots of weird engine choices, I still boggle at Days Gone using Unreal because massive open world games really doesn't feel a good fit for that engine and I recall reading how SIE Bend Studio had to fudge the physics for the motorcycles which are actually two-wheeled cars folded in half! :runaway:

    The people who complain about Bethesda's engine being the same as GameBryo, clearly never modded that engine or have used CreationKit. There is more different that similar. Fundamentally, it's trying to solve the same complex problems and these are difficult problems to solve. For the games that Bethesda like to create, vast open worlds full of items the player can interaction with and which the game can track and show, I don't know what engine would be better.
     
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  20. iroboto

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    Most of these engines when they need to support entirely new functions/features will often undergo a rebuild in a specific area. for instance Halo/Blam engine is based off quake 1. And was used all the way to H5. Each iteration of game going through engine modifications. With reach, 4 and 5 massive re-writes of big portions of their engine. Apparently after some reading Bungie attempted a ground up engine for H2 but Xbox didn’t have enough performance so they went back to modify blam.

    I largely suspect the wall was hit somewhere and it sort of showed with H5, namely lighting and PBR not quite correct. Forge maps being dramatically different from standard maps. But they managed a lot, turned a quake game in a 24
    Player vs AI mode in Warzone with vehicles and everything.

    I have no idea what wall they hit.

    But slipspace is their ground up engine for Infinite.
     
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