Development Blog Update - Unknown Worlds Podcast #26

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  • WarmongerWarmonger Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13126Members, Constellation Posts: 181 Advanced user
    I am totally stoked that you guys are designing your own engine. You both sound really pumped and I'm sure the improved morale will help get the game done quicker.

    I'm with Invader Zim, Argh, and Cxwf for giving it the name "Evolution Engine."

    Can't wait for some screenshots.
  • psypsy Join Date: 2008-07-11 Member: 64600Members Posts: 1
    I've worked with Max, and I've seen Max work. I don't think you know who you're dealing with smile-fix.gif
    He's seriously one of the best. These are good things.



    QUOTE(killkrazy @ Jul 10 2008, 07:18 PM) »
    The Darwin Engineâ„¢ (or just "Darwin")
    I'm half excited, half scared... I'm not doubting Max, that's not for me to do, but can he single handedly create a multiplayer game engine that is on par, or beyond that of Source? .. I'm hoping so smile-fix.gif
    It does, however, seem like all the screenshots look like HL1 engine, but I'm not a coding tech-head so I don't know what that means in reality confused-fix.gif

  • BreadManBreadMan Join Date: 2002-12-15 Member: 10854Members, Retired Developer Posts: 128
    QUOTE(killkrazy @ Jul 10 2008, 06:18 PM) »
    It does, however, seem like all the screenshots look like HL1 engine, but I'm not a coding tech-head so I don't know what that means in reality confused-fix.gif


    If you look at the two links to previous news entries in the post you can see more "in-game" style shots of what the engine can do (could do that is, who knows what it can do now after another 9 months of development). It is visually at least an equal of source.
  • obsidobsid Join Date: 2003-09-16 Member: 20909Members Posts: 133
    Hum…..
    I don’t know, I’m not quite as excited about this news as other people seem to be. Having written a good portion of a graphics engine myself I know that there is soooo much that goes into it, that has almost nothing to do with the gameplay you want. Just starting with (skipping what you said you already got) full hardware rendering using sharders to do water and other effects, skybox’s with proper parallax, inverse kine, full surround sound audio, HDR, multiple core rendering, foliage(leaves and trees), soft particles (ie flamethrower), each of these are very very tough to get exactly “right” and vastly help the game look/feel (especially on older hardware it has to be very optimized).

    I know during the NS1 stage there was tremendous problems with CPU/memory usage (although a lot of that was caused by the crappy HL engine), I am somewhat fearful of a repeat of this when NS2 goes live.

    Also this is going to VASTLY increase the total download size, as you can’t assume they have the source engine already installed (and then just make modifications).

    Overall I fear this is a step in the wrong direction sad-fix.gif.
  • KarbaKarba Join Date: 2006-09-23 Member: 58040Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Gold Posts: 175
    I've just thought , if there is a UT3 Engine, why not THE NS2 ENGINE tounge.gif , simple and for all the family biggrin-fix.gif
  • BreadManBreadMan Join Date: 2002-12-15 Member: 10854Members, Retired Developer Posts: 128
    edited July 2008
    Oh, one other editor feature request: settable hotkeys. Preferably saved in a user prefs file that can be backed up when reformatting.

    Edit: and third-party plugin support!
  • ChromeAngelChromeAngel Join Date: 2002-01-24 Member: 14Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor Posts: 2,677
    OH MY GOD!!!!!

    Huge news bomb guys. Thanks for coming clean.

    Will NS2 still be using steam?

    Graphics wise are you using DirectX or OpenGL? I'd love to see NS2 run natively on Linux wink-fix.gif

    I'm surprised you built your own editor. As you're building almost from scratch it seems more intuitive to build levels of modern complexity in a modelling app like Max/lightwave/Blender/XSI, levering their geometry tools then add in gameplay elements later with some kind of utility. I wonder why no one else seems doing that already...

    Unreal's physics never felt as good as Havoc IMHO (possibly. because it was more realistic then the dramatised havoc exaggerations).

    I had thought that having DI affect lighting sounded like a big deal for Source. Knowing you had this in your back pocket explains it ^^

    *excited*
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  • spezifantaspezifanta Join Date: 2008-07-11 Member: 64602Members Posts: 4
    edited July 2008
    Will it run on Linux?

    Edit: ChromeAngel, you win this time wink-fix.gif
  • KarbaKarba Join Date: 2006-09-23 Member: 58040Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Gold Posts: 175
    One question, Source models and custom props are still compatible with this new engine? I mean, if the models are still compossed of .mdl and .vtf files.
  • NeoGregorianNeoGregorian Join Date: 2003-02-04 Member: 13093Members, Constellation Posts: 84
    Reuse can be more of a hassle than a help, I think you are doing the right decision (was actually wondering if you would do something like this a year back, due to specialized features like commander mode).

    As for a name, as I assume that your engine won't be made for that much reuse (as unreal engines / Source, etc.) that could be reflected in a non-generalized name. If you only make the engine for NS2, then why not just the NS2 engine? Or is that too boring =b
    Otherwise... The Gorge Engine, gorge always need some love.
    Insert witty signature here...
  • CoolCookieCooksCoolCookieCooks Pretty Girl Join Date: 2003-05-18 Member: 16446Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation Posts: 5,602
    Wow. I look deeply forward to playing around with this software. Will you still be releasing it on steam if you aren't using their source engine?
  • RuByRuBy Join Date: 2002-12-12 Member: 10732Members Posts: 1,019
    I don't know about this. Granted, I don't know much about creating an engine, but it seems quite ambitious to have one person do the work that in other studios has taken a whole team several years.

    I know you said no to freak out BUT I CAN'T HALP IT.

    That said, we'll just have to trust you. It is good to hear you're making more progress.

    As for the name, I like Darwin. It's also a good starting point for similar names like Beagle or Finch.
    Rubber*ducky or Rubert in NS, Kaelwe in WoW, and too many other sobriquets...
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  • sherpasherpa stopcommandermode Join Date: 2006-11-04 Member: 58338Members Posts: 1,043
    [I have zero tech knowledge so I could be talking out of my ass]

    I'd guess that using your own engine means less hassle implementing more of your features but I'd have thought that making your own engine would take more time that overcoming those problems.

    Max has experience making an engine right- I think he was a lead coder on Titan Quest? That's at least something.

    I don't like listenening to podcasts so maybe this has been answered but- can resources that you've already made be ported straight across to the new engine?

    And my usual pessimist final comment- disappointing that it's summer 2008 and we're only now finding out what engine you're working on.

    But fingers crossed, I want NS2 to be a big success.
    [Fanarama] you're like kryptonite to electronics, sherpa
  • antyanty Join Date: 2003-02-05 Member: 13143Members Posts: 87
    QUOTE(RuBy @ Jul 11 2008, 09:05 AM) »
    Granted, I don't know much about creating an engine, but it seems quite ambitious to have one person do the work that in other studios has taken a whole team several years.

    That's exactly what I thought. Having one guy working on both, the engine and the game will slow you down. I don't know much about engine coding, but I guess a previous poster was right: you will have to add so many tiny pieces to the engine that need more attention as they should. It will cost you months.

    I don't think that creating a new engine is the right decision. Switching to an existing one would make sense.

    I wish you the best of luck and hope I'm wrong.

    BTW: Getting a native linux version would be really nice wink-fix.gif
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  • CoolCookieCooksCoolCookieCooks Pretty Girl Join Date: 2003-05-18 Member: 16446Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation Posts: 5,602
    QUOTE(sherpa @ Jul 11 2008, 09:18 AM) »
    I don't like listenening to podcasts so maybe this has been answered but- can resources that you've already made be ported straight across to the new engine?


    The new map creating software is using VTF/MDL files so yes the majority of artwork and stuff created can be easily used with the new system.
  • KarbaKarba Join Date: 2006-09-23 Member: 58040Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Gold Posts: 175
    If I understood well in the podcast ( my understanding of spoken english is limited tounge.gif ), Max said that this "new" engine is mainly the Source engine with some adjustements on his own, due to the SE has a lot of tools and stuff intended to single player games that they really don't need.
    So fortunately, this engine shift doesn't mean necessarily a huge delay in NS2 development.
  • Lt_HendricksonLt_Hendrickson Join Date: 2003-03-21 Member: 14761Members Posts: 692 Fully active user
    Personally I believe the engine name should be something retarded like 'broken' or 'nubtard' or 'screw you' engine. Anything that after you win the game of the year awards you will win, when other programmers ask what engine you made it on you get to tell them.


    As for how does one guy do what takes a whole team 7 years in 3 months, I took computer science classes, as like everything else in the world, most people are dumb. Those who arn't excel ALOT.
    Time to lerkxor!
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  • FD2FD2 Join Date: 2005-07-24 Member: 56649Members Posts: 9
    edited July 2008
    A cross between the Crysis and hammer editor would be great :O Can't wait to see what new things you can do in the editor.
  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Members, Constellation Posts: 3,225
    edited July 2008
    Well this is a hefty blow to your potential mapping community but it has its pluses for your internal development pipeline.


    Learning new tools for a new engine when there are so many other Source games and mods out there you can map for using your existing skills is going to be a ######. A lot of people won't make the jump to the new engine so in terms of post-release growth via custom map content, it's a bit of a shot in the foot. As much as I loved mapping for NS and the creative freedom a sci-fi setting gives you, I only have so much time and I probably won't be spending it on learning a new editor if it is dramatically different to Hammer. There are some bonuses to your editor that Hammer does not have, so it's not completely doom and gloom, but definitely unsettling for most mappers until we hear more information.

    The editor looks a lot like Hammer, but in terms of functionality I guess we'll just have to wait. Also as a mapper I am extremely hesitant to be ploughing my time and effort into a relatively new level creator which will undoubtedly have teething problems. Game-breaking updates to Hammer is bad enough, but your software is going to be much younger and much less tested than Hammer has been (since your level creator will only be tested by one game's team of mappers versus many Valve games and even more external games teams and mods). With only one guy covering all the programming, it's difficult to see how Max is going to find the time to fix his engine and the game and the level editor. This is not a small concern.


    In short I'd like to hear more on the features the new engine and map editor will support, and how the hell Max thinks he's going to achieve all of this single-handed without burning himself out and into an early grave.
  • PrivatePrivate Join Date: 2007-06-10 Member: 61204Members, Constellation Posts: 91
    Big announcement today - Was I the only one being all "tech release! tech release!" before Charlie spoils the moment with his now famous engine line? I was ready to bin my vacation plans just to muck about in hammer for a couple of weeks...

    Still - Now I'm just looking forward to the NS2TR even more, and I'm confident that Max will pull off the engine quite nicely, and in a timely fashion. There ought to be a Max fan club somewhere... Why isn't there a Max fan club anywhere?!

    As for engine name, Unknown Engine has a humorous quality to it that I quite like, Evolution Engine is bland but good, but come off it everyone! "The Maxor Engine" is so catchy you will never get rid of it!



    QUOTE
    The new map creating software is using VTF/MDL files so yes the majority of artwork and stuff created can be easily used with the new system.

    Max succinctly remarks that the valve tool chain cannot be used due to "business reasons". I don't know whether this includes the actual valve file formats (I expect it does, they mention a new material format), but as the tools themselves cannot be used it makes little difference. Someone will still have to write compilers - maps and models - as well as other bits and pieces. Assets already finished for the Source engine are ported fairly easy though. As the source is still around (3dsmax stuff, images, stuff like that), the port is "merely" a matter of attacking stuff with another set of tools. I expect an afternoon should leave plenty of time for both a port and coffe brakes.
    Private - I'll be the one running away, screaming like a little girl. Eeeeeeee... .
  • SkackySkacky Join Date: 2005-06-05 Member: 53189Members Posts: 195
    That looks awesome guys!
    I can't wait for the game. ;D
    Punching Gorges in the face since 2002. --Gorge Clooney in game
  • w0dk4w0dk4 Join Date: 2008-04-22 Member: 64129Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 351 Fully active user
    Great news!

    Onos Engine sounds great biggrin-fix.gif
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  • EmanonEmanon Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16254Members, Constellation Posts: 692
    Watch the scope creep.

    Evo Engine
    Engine Evo
  • pSyk0mAnpSyk0mAn Nerdish by Nature Germany Join Date: 2003-08-07 Member: 19166Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Silver Posts: 1,651 Advanced user
    Why has noone suggested "scorpion engine" yet??

    All the oldskoolers left? tounge.gif


  • bobdroopybobdroopy Join Date: 2004-02-11 Member: 26403Members Posts: 2
    Does this mean NS2 will work on OSX???

    haha c'mon team- DO IT. wink-fix.gif
  • spellman23spellman23 NS1 Theorycraft Expert Join Date: 2007-05-17 Member: 60920Members Posts: 3,365
    Well, I personally have mixed feelings.

    On one hand, holy crap it's really complex to build a full engine and stuff. I have messed around with some physics and video rendering code enough to realize just how insane it can be.

    On the other hand, I am totally down with the idea of crafting your own tools. While Source has a lot of accessibility in terms of pre-made code, it's still code made by another team and as any programmer can attest, learning someone else's tool takes a long time to master. Even stuff like Python still has some grit to it and can take weeks to work through all the documentation and figure out all the little optimizations you can pull off, and then there's all the extra modules and libraries you can attach on.

    On the other hand, now we as mappers and such have to re-learn your tools instead of the stuff we've been doing in Hammer.

    On the other hand, enthusiasm is the primary ingredient to making a really good game, and since it sounds like you guys have had a positive experience with this new direction, I'm sure productivity and morale boosts will help make up any lost time.

    I think everyone stole all my ideas for the name of the engine already.

    Overall, spit me out the game, then I'll pass judgment. =] Here's to hoping for a massive success.
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  • kababkabab Join Date: 2003-12-15 Member: 24384Members, Constellation Posts: 560
    edited July 2008
    I dunno i am not so keen about this move sad-fix.gif

    I'm a strong believer in make games not engines..

    It quiet obvious the NS team is quiet small so everyones input is critical and having a large portion of your core programming team writing really generic game engine code which is already available from many other vendors seems like a waste of time sad-fix.gif

    Also i'm kinda worried about the tech :/ its 2008 now when is this game going to come out 2009/2010? One would hope any game coming in that time frame will have moved to a completely dynamic lighting system, particularly in a game like NS having a completely dynamic lighting system could add so much.

    I wish you the best of luck but i can't say i really support this.
  • SentrySteveSentrySteve .txt Join Date: 2002-03-09 Member: 290Members, Constellation Posts: 2,817 Fully active user
    edited July 2008
    wow.

    The disadvantages have already been said (third party maps) and most of the advantages have been mentioned. Hopefully the 'MaxFlay Engine' doesn't provide any major problems down the road, but if it does, I guess you guys are the ones in control since you made it -- unlike Source. The biggest advantage seems to be the increase in morale ("It's so much more fun to work on").

    Also, if you guys were really slick you would have hyped this up as the BUS.
    sentrysteve.txt
  • PrefixPrefix Éirinn go Brách Join Date: 2006-12-31 Member: 59353Members, Constellation Posts: 455 Advanced user
    edited July 2008
    Holy Awesome.

    Release it to the linux market too!

    (Edit: Please.)
  • sloppy_joesloppy_joe Join Date: 2002-12-25 Member: 11527Members Posts: 51
    I'm disappointed about the move to a new engine. I've been working on several NS2 maps in hammer for about a year and are now
    going to scrap 'em or use parts for something else. The best part of using your own engine is that success or failure will be up to you.
    good luck,
    Joe
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