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Old 25th May 2010, 11:45 PM   #1
Vortex Convict
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NA PALI: A Potential Mod for UNREAL 2?

Hello, everyone,
I've been familiar with someone else on the forum wanting to recreate the first UNREAL through the UTIII engine, but I was curious as to whether UNREAL can be recreated as a mod for UNREAL 2.

I know that UNREAL 2's engine is flawed and very difficult to work with, which accounts for very few mods being made for it. However, the engine in UNREAL 2 is incredibly beautiful, and to quote loosely what PC Gamer reviewer remarked about the game, the engine would look spectacular in the hands of an inspired modder. I like the richness of the UNREAL 2's colors and the immensity of its environments, and the potential the engine has for DEUS EX-like interaction (whether it can be pulled off or not). I have this image in my head of a even larger version of The Trench level, with a super-titanic Titan (60 ft. as opposed to 30 ft.) approaching you with a volumeric yellow/gray sky above populated with alert gasbags.

The conversation branch part of UNREAL 2 could be used for communicating with the Nali or wounded humans you may encounter.

Plus, the engine is less blurry than UTIII.

Is the engine too flawed to do an UNREAL mod for UNREAL 2?
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Old 26th May 2010, 10:09 AM   #2
EQ²
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vortex Convict View Post
Hello, everyone,
I've been familiar with someone else on the forum wanting to recreate the first UNREAL through the UTIII engine, but I was curious as to whether UNREAL can be recreated as a mod for UNREAL 2.
You've identified at the start the biggest problem you face, in that this is already being undertaken, in a newer more capable engine, and it's a mammoth task in any engine. Starting it in another doesn't seem to make a lot of sense from that point of view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vortex Convict View Post
I know that UNREAL 2's engine is flawed and very difficult to work with, which accounts for very few mods being made for it.
Unreal 2 has it's flaws, but the engine is very capable and some of the capabilities that Legend added were unrivalled at the time and for some time afer. However these features were very poorly documented (making it difficult for modders to get started), sometimes buggy or very unforgiving (the particle system is outstanding, but a tiny mistake when creating one can crash the engine for example) and combined with the fact that the game was never that popular and had a fairly small following lead to very little being made in the way of mods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vortex Convict View Post
However, the engine in UNREAL 2 is incredibly beautiful, and to quote loosely what PC Gamer reviewer remarked about the game, the engine would look spectacular in the hands of an inspired modder. I like the richness of the UNREAL 2's colors and the immensity of its environments, and the potential the engine has for DEUS EX-like interaction (whether it can be pulled off or not). I have this image in my head of a even larger version of The Trench level, with a super-titanic Titan (60 ft. as opposed to 30 ft.) approaching you with a volumeric yellow/gray sky above populated with alert gasbags.

The conversation branch part of UNREAL 2 could be used for communicating with the Nali or wounded humans you may encounter.

Plus, the engine is less blurry than UTIII.

Is the engine too flawed to do an UNREAL mod for UNREAL 2?
The advantages in using the Unreal 2 engine itself would as you say be the conversation engine, although it's overrated, and very good AI support, however I wouldn't say these really have enough weight to justify using the U2 engine. By the same token, quite a few of the main technical innovations made in U2 were ported into U2XMP (the multiplayer add-on) which used a later code-drop than U2 itself and fixed a noticeable batch of problems that U2 had, and had better (although still not fantastic) modding support, so why not use that as a base?

More to the point, if you were to pursue a UE2 remake of Unreal, why not use a UE2.5 game like UT2004? In terms of general ubiquity of the base game surely that's the most sensible choice: it doesn't make sense to pile masses of work (and remaking all of Unreal on a different engine would be masses of work) into a game that a small number of people have, than another with a very similar engine that is ubiquitous. Sure, 2004 doesn't have terrain that casts shadows and it doesn't have ParticleSalamanders (alas), but besides that there are very few reasons to not consider it.

I think the answer to your question is probably (and this is just my opinion), "no it's not too flawed, it's an incredibly capabable engine which demonstrated some superb innovation, but the minor flaws which it does have were all addressed in later code drops of the same engine, and moreso in 2.5, so why not use those?"

Plus, going back to the start, this project is already on the make in a later engine, so what would you aim to achieve?
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Old 26th May 2010, 10:38 AM   #3
GreatEmerald
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From my experience, there are quite a lot of neat things in Unreal II, but yes, like EQ2 pointed out, they are very much undocumented. But things like AIScripts, the dialogue system, the particle awesomeness (personally I never had it crash, if there's an error it only turns the salamander off until you fix it), and neat things like changing every single default property of spawned things or search for actors by any property or value. And the Golem studio, the very undocumeted yet pretty promising thing.

But yes, there are drawbacks like the obvious broken netcode, no light preview support in the editor and the infamous "..." bug. Lack of SVehicles might also be a problem, but there are always KVehicles. And ultimately EQ2 raises the right point: porting the whole Unreal would be a heck of a job. There must be a dedicated team working on things like that and for a long time, something that rarely, if ever, can happen.
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