Unreal Engine vs Open World *spin-off*

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Devious, Jul 26, 2020.

  1. Devious

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    Since Unreal Engine has come up a bit I have to ask; is there any particular reason why making open world games on UE4 is difficult? Going down the list on Wikipedia, the only open/semi-open world games I could see are: Days Gone, Gears 5, FFVII Remake, Crackdown 3, and Sea of Thieves. I might be reaching a bit with Gears 5 and FFVII Remake, but they feature some openness akin to the Halo games so I threw them in there.

    If there's a thread or video/tech paper that can point me in the right direction, that'd be great! If this spawns a bigger discussion and forces a new thread, sorry BRiT :oops:. I just need a short explanation so I can wrap my head around it. :mrgreen:
     
  2. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    So part of the answer is in this other thread here, but it's pretty much Data Bloat and Object Management and being forced to load everything that object refers to, and everything those other objects refer to, and so on and so forth. In addition to that, there is then garbage collection that has to happen on objects as they go out of scope. That is if they ever go out of scope. Needless to say, the loading and unloading of objects has been a hassle in the past.

    One of the patches from the UE 4.25 patch notes indicates how they flattened the properties of objects, which should ease memory pressure. Maybe they were able to solve the object reference chain issue as well, like keep it as an Object # lookup and not be forced to load in that object immediately, and only load the referred to object if the Property is used.


    https://forum.beyond3d.com/posts/2129883/
    https://forum.beyond3d.com/posts/2129890/

     
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  3. ComboBongo

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    It's interesting that both Avowed and Fable will be using Unreal Engine.
     
  4. iroboto

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    imo, I guess the question for us is scale. As in, how far in perpetuity can it go before it hits a specific limit in which some form of loading must occur.
    Rendering the open world environment without loading is capable for almost all engines, it can continually stream the environment without fail. But once you have enemies in and out, AI, objects, suddenly it's a larger issue.
    We see this with most UE games in which there are loading screens, QTE events, doubling up to open doors. These sequences aren't for loading the levels, but for loading the interactable objects within them.
    Pretty much most games (nearly all today) will have some form of cutscene or QTE, or little animation to hide these types loads.

    The more you are allowed to interact with, and conversely bring things with you that the world builders did not expect, and to have access to do more in the game, the harder it should be on memory pressure. Some games do it better than others.
    A game like Halo would have benefitted much from this, leaving it cross gen probably hurt it in this aspect. Objects come with more than textures, they come with animations, sounds, code, AI etc. All that needs to be loaded. So if you have 14 different weapons available in a level, 4 vehicles, 9 types of units, destructible objects, turrets, etc. This is a lot to all fit into memory at once. For XSX, it shouldn't have to hold it all in memory, the SSD is there to alleviate this pressure. For XBO and XSX, it should have been using much smaller assets to fit everything into memory.

    A game like Anthem I think is a classic example of where it's free roam was fine. But any adjustments to your inventory, character, or stepping into an instance required a full load. So you couldn't change your exosuit until you landed at the quest hub to make changes. Mission instances all required some form of long load. Games were limited to 4 players in a session. I suppose the reason for doing this is to ensure all the players would load into the level loading only the weapons and effects of themselves and their allies. Graphically some of these were more intense than others I suppose.
     
  5. TheAlSpark

    TheAlSpark Moderator
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    That's a great point, and perhaps worth keeping in mind when it comes to a game like Gears or Crackdown where there were very limited RPG mechanics, and so the biggest problem would have been the streaming & objects. We all know how Crackdown was in development hell anyway. :p

    For Gears, it was pretty darn clear you were loading a level section when going to certain parts of the big map just to load the enemies.

    Obsidian already has experience with modified UE for Outer Worlds, so it shouldn't be a surprise.

    For Playground, they may be leveraging the work done on FH3/4, but that doesn't mean it won't be a giant headache. ;) I'm not sure it's confirmed yet :?:
     
    #5 TheAlSpark, Jul 27, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  6. Unknown Soldier

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    I think Bend Studios and Days Gone would like to differ. It was a good open world game and the UE engine was fine.
     
  7. PSman1700

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    He probably ment graphically.
     
  8. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    Well you haven't heard what I heard directly. Here's what I can say publicly without getting anyone in trouble...

    There was extensive rework done on the engine for that. What they pulled off is nothing short of amazing. If you want to see what an open world UE4 game is like without that level of effort, look no further than Ark: Survival Evolved.
     
  9. Unknown Soldier

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    They still pulled it off though. So much so that I am willing to bet that Bend is still using UE and developing Days Gone 2. At least I would like to think so.
     
  10. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    Of course, why would they not want to be able to reuse the result of their multiple years worth of major engine rework?
     
  11. Unknown Soldier

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    Yet the UE does mix well with open world games. You just need people to design it properly.
     
  12. dobwal

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    Given that it’s code that devs are free to modify for their purposes, a few titles doesn’t mean an engine works well for a genre.

    UE4 is used for dozens upon dozens of titles and this thread can only parse out a handful of open world titles. Those handful of titles seem more like exceptions rather than the rule.

    Just because someone has built a car out of a cardboard box doesn’t mean cardboard is a good construction material for automobile manufacturing.
     
    #12 dobwal, Aug 14, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  13. techuse

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    Only 2 studios have been able to get impressive results out of UE4. Microsoft and Sony 1st party. I think that speaks volumes. Not even Epic has been able to produce something impressive.
     
  14. Unknown Soldier

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    Your analogy is terrible. UE engine is a competent engine that many developers have used through the years to build many good games.

    If you going to use a car analogy then it's akin to building a car using different design processes. Bend Studios built a Ferrari. Other open world developers build minivans, small cars, Deloreans.
     
  15. Unknown Soldier

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    Really? Kena looked awesome. That small studio in neither MS or Sony.
     
  16. techuse

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    That game isn't out yet so we don't know how it looks/performs. Better to compare it to games of its release window on similar hardware and see how it stacks up from a visuals and performance standpoint.
     
  17. BRiT

    BRiT (>• •)>⌐■-■ (⌐■-■)
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    Please don't switch to the highly subjective matter of looks. Let's pivot back to Open World games and the Unreal Engine.
     
  18. Lurkmass

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    UE4 is intended for AAA developers who do customizations to the base engine for their own specialized use case ...

    It has dated rendering techniques and sub-optimal memory management so should anyone be surprised with why so many games built on it are plagued with performance issues compared to the games built on fully custom engines ?
     
  19. DSoup

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    Everyone has already dogpiled on you on this but adding this dog to the pile. It can, and has, been done but in all the cases where we've had dev insight, it's not "fine" :nope: Going with UE for an open world games means a lot of work to get that engine into a state where you can even begin to think the actual game.
     
  20. Devious

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    Don't know how I missed this title; but Star Wars: The Fallen Order is another UE4 game that seems to be plagued with texture pop-in and asset loading (notably on XB1S. Also depends on whether you installed on an internal or external HDD).

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinm...hat-are-rarely-seen-on-consoles/#4a5319166042
    There was also this part in the Digital Foundry video where entire assets are missing (9:25 if the timestamp doesn't work):

    They also bring up the same problem they had in PUBG. Which is also a UE4 title. :yep2:

     
    #20 Devious, Aug 15, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
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