Development Blog Update - Unknown Worlds Podcast #26

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  • MaxMax Technical Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment Join Date: 2002-03-15 Member: 318Super Administrators, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, Constellation, Subnautica Developer, Pistachionauts, Future Perfect Developer Posts: 1,737 admin
    QUOTE(GaidinTS @ Jul 15 2008, 06:55 AM) »
    Why stick with BSP's, I hear that compared to some newer technology out there, they are quite inefficient. What about octrees, or some other method of representing 3dimensional space.

    Right now we're doing the traditional Quake method of precomputed light maps, PVS and BSP because it's an easy transition from Source, but we're exploring other options. We'll be talking about this more in future blog updates.
    Max McGuire
    Technical Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment
  • corpsegrindercorpsegrinder Join Date: 2004-02-02 Member: 25994Members, Constellation Posts: 10
    Good news here smile-fix.gif


    I was thinking about : Biodome Engine


    image
  • trepid_jontrepid_jon Join Date: 2003-05-09 Member: 16155Members Posts: 4
    Awesome. Any NS2 news is great news.

    The editor looks pretty cool.
  • PricePrice Join Date: 2003-09-27 Member: 21247Members Posts: 1,281 Advanced user
    QUOTE(Karba @ Jul 15 2008, 08:16 AM) »
    I think the best names given to date are this ones:

    - Max Engine

    year i like it, its like Max and Maximum engine smile-fix.gif



    any statement of bunnyhopping?
    Buy NS2 @ Steam![Support the Indie Devs!]
    ( my english isn't the best... )

    ,,NS1 was one of the best mods."
    ,,NS2 is one of the best MP games."

    A NS2 classic mod, will it be a remake?
    New NS2 Maps: Biodome, Ignore: BVKnight, Metal Man
    EVERYONE is a Winner, because you won the race against 400–800 other Sperms :P
  • TheTitanTheTitan IL, USA Join Date: 2003-08-28 Member: 20307Members, Constellation Posts: 132 Fully active user
    Why don't you guys call the engine NS (Naturally Simple). Then you can have NS1 NS2 .... NS all games run on it ... smile-fix.gif
  • SuperflySuperfly Join Date: 2002-11-01 Member: 3485Members, Constellation Posts: 245 Advanced user
    QUOTE(spellman23 @ Jul 15 2008, 09:39 AM) »
    There's also been some grief between Steam and Apple, both sides complaining the other isn't playing nice. So, that's why so far no port of Steam into your Macs.

    But hopefully Steam will figure out that over 50% of college student laptops are Macs now, and some Mac users still wanna play games.




    FYI I work at a University and know for a fact that your math is slightly off by say about 40%. We have seen a significant increase in Mac users over the past few years, but nowhere near 50%. It sill reflects the market at around +-8% (it fluctuates). Just thought you should know before you start quoting the Mac evangelists smile-fix.gif.
  • FraxinusFraxinus Join Date: 2008-03-02 Member: 63783Members, Constellation Posts: 177
    QUOTE(Price @ Jul 15 2008, 02:28 PM) »
    year i like it, its like Max and Maximum engine smile-fix.gif
    any statement of bunnyhopping?


    or sidestrafing tounge.gif
    -Frax*
  • YokaiYokai Join Date: 2007-09-03 Member: 62153Members Posts: 7
    Gorge Engine pudgy.gif

    Also, in contrast to the Source and Gold Source engines, how will the new NS2 engine compare in the ability to modify? Will this new engine support user created maps, models, etc.? Will NS2 come with a map editor, or will the NS2 map editor be released at all? Do you have any plans to support the making of complete mods based on your engine?
  • aeroripperaeroripper Join Date: 2005-02-25 Member: 42471NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation Posts: 2,392 mod
    How about "The Max Selection Engine"? lol, it sounds like a bad variety hour show.

  • vallan haamuvallan haamu Join Date: 2008-07-16 Member: 64636Members Posts: 1
    I vote for "The vallan haamu engine"
    Mathematical heart in a immaterial body.
    Start the engines.
  • SwiftspearSwiftspear Custim tital Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22097Members Posts: 7,019
    I've seen a few really impressive engines come out of one man/small team projects in open source. Usually not FPS engines... but if spring can do it with an RTS engine, then it's possible. The ammount of AI code required to make an RTS engine work is obcene, and the rendering technology is just as high end as FPS engines these days, just optimizations are pushed to a much higher degree. UWE isn't a big publisher, they don't need to provide a strong single player base for their engine, they don't need to provide an advanced AI interface, they don't need to push into new techonology that the industry hasn't already established. Rendering technologies are all open and well documented, to make an engine that can render on the level that HL2 can is not a big deal. Animation and modeling formats are well established and well documented. They can be alot of work to implement, but it can definitely be done by a small team, or even a 1 man team. Mapping formats are well established and well documented... actually that's probably one of the easier parts. Physics have recently become easily available through the platforms like PhysX, which is simply an amazingly powerful system that really makes the sky the limit for physics integration into games (it's also obscenely customizable, but a small team like NS shouldn't be fiddling with that too much). These days you really don't need a huge team of people to make a decent engine as long as you run generally industry standard technologies. The indie scene has amazing technology available to them if they are willing to research and work. You don't have to work most of the stuff up from scratch and more.
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  • mattoXmattoX Join Date: 2007-08-01 Member: 61739Members Posts: 82
    Well hopefully they cover most of the questions of this topic in a new podcast, well... The ones that they are at liberty to say. smile-fix.gif
    My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my potion forever.
  • kababkabab Join Date: 2003-12-15 Member: 24384Members, Constellation Posts: 560
    edited July 2008
    QUOTE(Max @ Jul 15 2008, 01:03 PM) »
    Right now we're doing the traditional Quake method of precomputed light maps, PVS and BSP because it's an easy transition from Source, but we're exploring other options. We'll be talking about this more in future blog updates.

    Won't a PVS and BSP system be next to useless for the commander view?

    Its 2008 you can get super fast DX10.1 cards for ~$200 can we please have proper real-time dynamic lighting!!

    Whilst baking is really nice and perfectly suitable for many things i think a game like NS could really take advantage of a unified dynamic lighting system.
  • -orb--orb- Join Date: 2008-07-16 Member: 64640Members Posts: 1
    Call it the Natural Engine :D
  • DelphicDelphic Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58262Members Posts: 431 Fully active user
  • chisschiss Join Date: 2008-06-05 Member: 64395Members, Constellation Posts: 124
    Great stuff.

    +1 to "news on bhopping", despite how irrelevant it is to this podcast.
  • GaidinTSGaidinTS Join Date: 2003-08-10 Member: 19319Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 128 Advanced user
    QUOTE(kabab @ Jul 16 2008, 04:21 AM) »
    Won't a PVS and BSP system be next to useless for the commander view?

    Its 2008 you can get super fast DX10.1 cards for ~$200 can we please have proper real-time dynamic lighting!!

    Whilst baking is really nice and perfectly suitable for many things i think a game like NS could really take advantage of a unified dynamic lighting system.


    You actually bring up a very good reason for them to use their own engine. Now they could potentially use a completely different rendering mode for the commander view. Use BSP / PVS for first person, and something more appropriate for the commander view, where you wouldn't include a lot of the unnecessary detail that may be present in the first person view.

    Another quick thought, is there any plan to maybe port the original NS to the new engine. Maybe you could open it up to the community to do. If you could port the original over seamlessly, then you could release the original for free to the public, and use it as free advertising for NS2. Bring in a bunch of new blood with the free ns, and get them addicted and wanting to buy NS2.
  • RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Members, Constellation Posts: 964
    Call it Ubiquity.
    NS2 Idea Map - Add your next suggestion thread here if you want it to be remembered!

    http://nsdojo.net - Covering a wide array of advanced topics on one of the deepest games ever made.

    "Women aren't intuitive, ... so we would be better off without them surely." --Pheus
  • FlayraFlayra Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment San Francisco Join Date: 2002-01-22 Member: 3Super Administrators, NS2 Developer, Subnautica Developer Posts: 6,941 admin
    Thanks for the engine name suggestions and feedback everyone. I think "Evolution Engine" has the most support so far (although it's not unanimous).

    We're probably going to have another podcast or blog entry answering some of your questions in more depth shortly.
    Charlie Cleveland
    Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment
  • MooMinMooMin Join Date: 2005-01-15 Member: 35727Members, Constellation Posts: 19
    brave move, i hope things work out, i mean i don't know much about making games but it sounds insane biggrin-fix.gif
  • spellman23spellman23 NS1 Theorycraft Expert Join Date: 2007-05-17 Member: 60920Members Posts: 3,365
    QUOTE(Superfly @ Jul 15 2008, 11:34 PM) »
    FYI I work at a University and know for a fact that your math is slightly off by say about 40%. We have seen a significant increase in Mac users over the past few years, but nowhere near 50%. It sill reflects the market at around +-8% (it fluctuates). Just thought you should know before you start quoting the Mac evangelists smile-fix.gif.


    Sorry. I realize they don't have much foothold in total market share, but University market share is skyrocketing. Especially in laptops. A quick survey of my own campus gives Mac laptops near 50% of laptop market share if not more. although that may be skewed by more Mac people responding/showing their laptops publicly.

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/03...o_buy_macs.html
    http://db.tidbits.com/article/9177

    zomg propaganda:
    http://movies.apple.com/movies/us/apple/ge...512_480x272.mov






    Back to the real topic on hand, go UWE go!
    helping bring perspective and learning since the olde days

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    <Mexican> For a while, I thought it was 'Oh ######'!


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  • RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Members, Constellation Posts: 964
    Now with OSX running *nix, I would like to move to Apple if it were affordable, and games were to support it.

    With that said I'm not holding my breath for either of those two things, but still, I've been very happy with Windows XP for years, and it's a major change in my point of view. This may be mirrored by others in the market.
    NS2 Idea Map - Add your next suggestion thread here if you want it to be remembered!

    http://nsdojo.net - Covering a wide array of advanced topics on one of the deepest games ever made.

    "Women aren't intuitive, ... so we would be better off without them surely." --Pheus
  • OBhaveOBhave Join Date: 2003-03-13 Member: 14462Members, Constellation Posts: 204
    edited July 2008
    These are exciting news indeed, and I think there´s a lot of wisdom in their decision. As my years in gaming have gone by I now mainly care about multiplayer in games and I´m often pissed off when I like a game´s MP, but the balance/bugfixing/networking has come second to a lot of SP crap and such...

    [rant]
    Seeing developers spend time on AI can be especially frustrating. It´s just a VERY hard thing to do. Even highly specialized people fully dedicated to researching this can´t make a computer opponent that comes even close to a human in certain games. I´m of course not bashing AI development in general, I only mean that when dealing with certain types of games (competitive, intricate, tactical games, with a lot of freedom, that are "fuzzy" in what the current best move is, and require real-time adaptation) you might as well skip making an AI, cause even if you put 90% of your resources into it, it´s still gonna suck.
    [/rant]


    It seems these days games have to be "everything and the kitchen sink". I wish more developers would do what Unknown Worlds is doing now, focus on an MP experience with no resources spent on SP or bots or anything. Think about it, how did Tribes manage to be such a great game and light-years ahead of it´s time? When you focus like that, not only do you have more time to do your thing WELL, but also more time to innovate.



    ......

    As for the talk I´m hearing here about putting this-and-that eye candy in the game, dynamic shadows and whatnot: There´s things that contribute to the "feel" of the game (and that is often a matter of good art, not "more stuff") and then there´s the "wow factor" of more polygons/texture resolution/visual details.

    [another rant]
    The aforementioned wow factor fades pretty quickly and soon you don´t even care about it. Because at the end of the day it´s still a computer game that needs to run in real-time and doesn´t look anything close to RL or a movie. In fact, as games try to approach photo-realism they sometimes become UGLIER if anything. I remember seeing a certain boxing game on the Xbox360... the models looked incredible, but those lifelike models combined with traditional, fast, simple animations with little regard to those lifelike models´ poor spinal columns just made the game awful to look at. Plus, as you add more detail into a game small missing details become glaringly obvious at you. Remember Doom3 and the hype about it´s shadows? Well turns out everyone hated how dark the game was, and besides the shadows were totally lame because the flashlight didn´t make ANY shadows and objects didn´t self-shadow and blah blah... etc...
    [/another rant]


    So basically what I´m saying is that it becomes a sort of all-or-nothing situation or the illusion just doesn´t hold up! This further compounds the existing problem of diminishing returns in the graphics race.

    I highly recommend to everyone here John Carmack´s QuakeCon 2007 keynote (yeah it´s long but keep in mind that the entire second half is questions from the crowd)

    ...consider what he has to say about this stuff. Even he, a die-hard graphics geek for more than a decade and a half, is bowing out of the graphics race. He´s toning down the graphics of his next game in favor of other things.

    I´ve given this a lot of thought, and I´m impressed that even HE feels this way now... developers should now turn their main focus to other things. There are exciting, untapped areas to explore here: There´s genre combining like NS (FPS/RTS) and Rage (FPS/racing) are doing, physics (actually letting it influence the gameplay instead of just being eye candy), letting the player influence the playing field (SourceForts is exploring a teeny tiny bit of that iceberg, and who knows what NS2 will do with it´s Dynamic Infestation and perhaps other things they have in mind)...

    So there´s genre combining, physics and environment manipulation... then there are surely things that NOBODY has thought up yet. But think about it: All of these three things require special engine features. So for branching into new possibilities for gaming we NEED new engines, cause the existing ones are all essentially focused on the "graphics wow factor".

    So, my congratulations and best wishes to Unknown Worlds in their undertaking... I´ve been thinking of giving them another donation anyway and after these news... I just can´t help myself anymore.

    (yeah yeah, poor collage student and all that... yeah yeah, spending very little for years now, saving for an apartment and all that... bah but I justify it with having played NS like 50-200 times more than the average video game I buy... and that previous donation was only the price of ONE game heh =P)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    image OBhave
  • tigersmithtigersmith Join Date: 2004-11-11 Member: 32749Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Supporter Posts: 762 Fully active user
    I really think this is great news. Im really not worried that much considering max is a very good programmer. As some of you know remember. Max did the engine(or helped make it) cant remember. for Titan Quest, which i really enjoyed.

    As us poker players say..KEEPPPPPPPP GOINNNNNG

    Unknown Worlds ftw!
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  • SwiftspearSwiftspear Custim tital Join Date: 2003-10-29 Member: 22097Members Posts: 7,019
    QUOTE(GaidinTS @ Jul 16 2008, 10:08 AM) »
    You actually bring up a very good reason for them to use their own engine. Now they could potentially use a completely different rendering mode for the commander view. Use BSP / PVS for first person, and something more appropriate for the commander view, where you wouldn't include a lot of the unnecessary detail that may be present in the first person view.

    Another quick thought, is there any plan to maybe port the original NS to the new engine. Maybe you could open it up to the community to do. If you could port the original over seamlessly, then you could release the original for free to the public, and use it as free advertising for NS2. Bring in a bunch of new blood with the free ns, and get them addicted and wanting to buy NS2.

    I have to agree. SO much of NS mapping has been working with amazing lighting design and technique. Giving mappers more lighting tools is something I would personally make a priority for an NS sequal, as this is a game that brings new players in ENTIRELY on the strength of it's immersion (it's hard to learn NS, but fun because of the immersive way it plays, and then once you get over the immersion there's alot of reasons to stick around, the melee vs ranged combat is just incredibly rewarding)
    O_O image
  • kababkabab Join Date: 2003-12-15 Member: 24384Members, Constellation Posts: 560
    QUOTE(OBhave @ Jul 16 2008, 01:46 PM) »
    All that stuff by you

    What i suggested is not outrageous for some games i could care less if they have no funky lighting system.

    But this is NS its all about the environment/immersion/ambushes and mostly in very atmospheric indoor area's.

    Having a proper lighting system would bring so much to the gameplay of NS this is one game which can really benefit from a good lighting system beyond just the eye candy factor.

    Doom3 is not the best example as it uses a very outdated shadowing method and technology has dramatically changed since then. Its running off technology which is over 5 years old so its not a very good comparison.

    I'm not saying they go CRAZY with the latest rendering technologies but they should really give a thought to what technology is around today.
  • GiGaBiTeGiGaBiTe Join Date: 2003-10-07 Member: 21489Members Posts: 1,115 Advanced user
    QUOTE(Shamtree @ Jul 15 2008, 12:31 PM) »
    I don't think there would be any advantages to using another format when NS2 is indoor and BSP does indoor environments easily.


    Its already been shown that some mappers have wanted to make large outdoor type areas but binary space partitioning really doesn't do well in that situation because the way the algorithm works. You can do some hacks and tricks to alleviate some of the issues, but it will just get worse as the more complex / bigger the area gets even with optimization.

    If UWE is making their own engine, I think it would be a big mistake to keep binary space partitioning in the long run as it would end up crippling the expandability of the engine and hit a brick wall like with the gold source engine and NS1.
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  • PricePrice Join Date: 2003-09-27 Member: 21247Members Posts: 1,281 Advanced user
    oh pleeeasse made an anticheat thing, vac is bull######, you can fake it
    Buy NS2 @ Steam![Support the Indie Devs!]
    ( my english isn't the best... )

    ,,NS1 was one of the best mods."
    ,,NS2 is one of the best MP games."

    A NS2 classic mod, will it be a remake?
    New NS2 Maps: Biodome, Ignore: BVKnight, Metal Man
    EVERYONE is a Winner, because you won the race against 400–800 other Sperms :P
  • ReekeReeke Join Date: 2003-11-28 Member: 23688Members Posts: 773 Fully active user
    QUOTE
    If UWE is making their own engine, I think it would be a big mistake to keep binary space partitioning in the long run as it would end up crippling the expandability of the engine and hit a brick wall like with the gold source engine and NS1


    Kind of agree. To me, bsp is why source still has the same "blocky" look that quake was throwing around a millennium ago. I think ut3 does it well, sure you can still use brushes but it doesnt rely on them in the same way source does, its perfectly happy to use models with occlusion.
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