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Old 21st May 2012, 06:00 PM   #1
Sir_Brizz
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UE4 To Abandon UnrealScript, Empower Kismet

According to an article about Unreal Engine on about.com, Unreal Engine 4 will be abandoning the UnrealScript programming language for C++. Of course, many heads exploded at the news as it seemingly implied that script modding will not be possible in the new engine. However, never fear, we have contacted Epic and they have reported that script modding will be possible, it will just be in C++ instead of UnrealScript. The relevant text from the article:

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For those wishing to customize further, programmers can click on a property and edit the C++ code directly, with no rebuild time required.

In the past, gameplay code existed in UnrealScript. UnrealScript is the scripting language which forms the core of current community mods, and much of the gameplay code of all previous Unreal Engine titles.

However, UnrealScript is being removed.

In its place, the engine will be 100% C++, and highly optimized.
This is an interesting deviation from the last 4 major iterations of the engine where UnrealScript has been front and center. However, this will hopefully also offer additional flexibility in what the engine can do when it is modded. The same article reports that Kismet will be empowered even more:

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Unreal Kismet is being evolved to a far more powerful system. Epic claims that you will be able to create a mod entirely using the updated visual scripting system. The next generation of Kismet now allows for scripting of object behaviors, as well as the previous functionality for levels. It includes a system for visual debugging, as well as a template system referred to as blueprint, for placing of objects with pre-defined behaviors in the world.
So it seems that you will be able to make a mod end-to-end in Kismet, if that is what you want to do. Should make for an interesting update to what has remained a somewhat consistent line of editing tools for Unreal Engine.

Epic also let us know that more information would be coming out around E3, which happens June 5-7. Stay calm, deep breaths!

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Old 21st May 2012, 07:25 PM   #2
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Nodal systems like Kismet are becoming more popular in 3D software like Maya, it's an straight forward way to build something with out touching a line of code. I'm glad they're shifting from a proprietary language like Unreal Script to something a lot of people know. Now anyone can start scripting for games who happens to know C++ with out having to worry about learning a new language. Honestly, this news alone makes UE4 worthwhile, even if they don't go nuts on the graphics improvements this time around.
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Old 21st May 2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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Bah. I don't like C++. I only like to work with UnrealScript, hell even just plain C variant would be better. Screw this then and that new Kismet stuff too, will just be for dumb modders who cannot write even a simple line of code and who just want it easy, soon there will be hundreds of trash/lookalike mods among it and will be hard to distinguish some real quality from the rest. lol

Maybe not, but that can happen I guess. I would like if they at least offered the possibility to still use UnrealScript, or both. And not this one sided thing.

It was bad when Quake 2 had it like that, because many of the mods never released sources and when there was upgrade or sourceport it stopped working due to the libraries not being compat. Hope something like that won't happen here.

Last edited by Leo(T.C.K.); 21st May 2012 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 21st May 2012, 08:21 PM   #4
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I will miss it. I can see why it had to go, but it was my most favorite programming language among all of them out there, both concept as well as syntax-wise. Oh well, maybe I should go back to writing MIPS programs in Assembler. :/

The info comes also with the bitter aftertaste why Epic has neglected the severely needed improvements about the UnrealScript language itself, such as optimization features for the compiler as well as support for multidimensional arrays.
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Old 21st May 2012, 09:42 PM   #5
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The info comes also with the bitter aftertaste why Epic has neglected the severely needed improvements about the UnrealScript language itself, such as optimization features for the compiler as well as support for multidimensional arrays.
I'll bet Epic finally got sick and tired of being a programming language company. Think of all the resources spent on UnrealScript, keeping whiners like you happy!

Look at the hole they dug for themselves to support UnrealScript: A complicated build system, needlessly long build times, the necessity to recook for consoles whenever script changes, obtuse core macros to stitch in the C++, etc.

This way they get to focus more on the new Kismet -- which will find a wider audience in time, I'll bet -- and on the engine itself.

Also, game company execs will be happier because it is easier to find C++ programers than UnrealScript programmers.

Of course, if all you've ever programmed in professionally is UnrealScript, you'll miss it. Time to learn real coding! If you were a C++ programmer before UnrealScript, you probably realize your C++ skills have *severely* degraded over time. Here's hoping you remember what coding was like before you were forced to do things "The Unreal Way."

Personally, I say good riddance UnrealScript!
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Old 21st May 2012, 10:40 PM   #6
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Well I guess I am one of those dumb modders
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Old 21st May 2012, 11:37 PM   #7
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Well I guess I am one of those dumb modders
You're a mapper for most part anyway, am I right? But still UnrealScript isn't that hard (as I am mapper as well) and it suited my needs always, there were always plenty of tutorials to go by to. But C++ is one of the things that I don't like. Okay, I guess why this happened, but...I think they could leave unrealscript as another option. And even if not, well there could be some Uscript to C++ compiler/converter at least.
But I didn't like working with kismet, it is just way too simplified visual mess, working with these "energy flows" instead of real code, which for me is easier to write than getting all messy with only visual side of that.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 12:09 AM   #8
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So you can now program in C++ without the need for compiling it? How does that even work? I can kind of understand why they'dd get rid of uscript, it's nice but very slow compared to lua or javascript which is what most engines use for scripting afaik.

I think the idea here is that everyone can do basic prototyping, so there's less of a disconnect between programmers and the rest of the pipeline.
Allowing non-coders to script without the foreign programming skills, and allow the programmers to spend more time to do low level adjusting.

What would be next then? Some procedural texture generator for doing conceptual texture work without the help of dedicated artists? I think the idea of having tools to allow for easy transference of skillsets seems legit, especially if one part of a team is working ahead and thereby stalling another.
Ofcourse you wouldn't want the programmers painting and the artists coding, but this way it should allow the experts to spend more time refining.
Realtime lighting also removes the bottleneck of waiting for bakes. Honestly seems like a good deal to me.

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Old 22nd May 2012, 01:25 AM   #9
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I'm curious what the improvements to Kismet will bring. Right now, Kismet stuff is limited to a single level (or "level chain" master levels blah) so developing an entire mod in Kismet is a pain.

Switching to C++ doesn't bother me much, but I am interested in what the API will be like in C++. Will it be the same API that a licensed version of the engine provides? This might give some more power to mod developers.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 02:35 AM   #10
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Wooo C++ I learned the right language....
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Old 22nd May 2012, 03:20 AM   #11
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I'll bet Epic finally got sick and tired of being a programming language company. Think of all the resources spent on UnrealScript, keeping whiners like you happy!

Look at the hole they dug for themselves to support UnrealScript: A complicated build system, needlessly long build times, the necessity to recook for consoles whenever script changes, obtuse core macros to stitch in the C++, etc.

This way they get to focus more on the new Kismet -- which will find a wider audience in time, I'll bet -- and on the engine itself.

Also, game company execs will be happier because it is easier to find C++ programers than UnrealScript programmers.

Of course, if all you've ever programmed in professionally is UnrealScript, you'll miss it. Time to learn real coding! If you were a C++ programmer before UnrealScript, you probably realize your C++ skills have *severely* degraded over time. Here's hoping you remember what coding was like before you were forced to do things "The Unreal Way."

Personally, I say good riddance UnrealScript!
Where did that guy come from? His post wasn't there before. Is he trying to troll, not even registering? Besides, long build times and need to "recook" for consoles is not just unrealscript fault, in fact I would say it's worse with C++, in fact unrealscript is not platform dependand by per se, so really...meh
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Old 22nd May 2012, 07:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiney View Post
So you can now program in C++ without the need for compiling it? How does that even work? I can kind of understand why they'dd get rid of uscript, it's nice but very slow compared to lua or javascript which is what most engines use for scripting afaik.

I think the idea here is that everyone can do basic prototyping, so there's less of a disconnect between programmers and the rest of the pipeline.
Allowing non-coders to script without the foreign programming skills, and allow the programmers to spend more time to do low level adjusting.

What would be next then? Some procedural texture generator for doing conceptual texture work without the help of dedicated artists? I think the idea of having tools to allow for easy transference of skillsets seems legit, especially if one part of a team is working ahead and thereby stalling another.
Ofcourse you wouldn't want the programmers painting and the artists coding, but this way it should allow the experts to spend more time refining.
Realtime lighting also removes the bottleneck of waiting for bakes. Honestly seems like a good deal to me.
Good points!
A much more powerful Kismet will be the nice DIY toy for designers to implement their ideas without the help from programmers who usually are too busy to help you right away.

Textures, materials, or even meshes could be procedural and save your time to let you focus on something more important. Visual artists could also benefit a lot from this, and enjoy more time of actually being an artist. The way should be, if something computer can do, we don't do it.

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Originally Posted by Sir_Brizz View Post
I'm curious what the improvements to Kismet will bring. Right now, Kismet stuff is limited to a single level (or "level chain" master levels blah) so developing an entire mod in Kismet is a pain.
I am curious too. I guess in Kismet V2, you can script for more universal usage. You can save your script as a template and get instanced in somewhere else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo(T.C.K.) View Post
You're a mapper for most part anyway, am I right? But still UnrealScript isn't that hard (as I am mapper as well) and it suited my needs always, there were always plenty of tutorials to go by to. But C++ is one of the things that I don't like. Okay, I guess why this happened, but...I think they could leave unrealscript as another option. And even if not, well there could be some Uscript to C++ compiler/converter at least.
But I didn't like working with kismet, it is just way too simplified visual mess, working with these "energy flows" instead of real code, which for me is easier to write than getting all messy with only visual side of that.

Kismet in UE3 is sort of visually messy. All those lines, in and out, crossing each other, when scripts getting complicated, the whole set looks really messy and creepy. Sometimes I feel the same when editing materials in UE3.
This is the downside of visual interface. But this is also hugely depending on the design of the interface.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 08:10 AM   #13
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So you can now program in C++ without the need for compiling it? How does that even work?
This has been possible for a long time - the idea is that you can edit and recompile code very quickly. It's not instant, but it's great for small changes such as when debugging. In Visual Studio it's called 'edit and continue'.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 10:17 AM   #14
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Epic could take a lesson from The Foundry's Nuke software. It's the best node-based scripting software I've ever used.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 10:22 AM   #15
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I'll miss UnrealScript quite a bit. That being said, hopefully we'll get greater access to the game code than before. I'm so tired of "native" class specifiers and hidden implementation on the majority of game classes. It'll be really interesting to see how this turns out.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 12:58 PM   #16
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UT3 seems to be CPU-bound, especially in large-scale multiplayer matches. I hope it will resolve this and make future Epic Games' games faster.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 02:44 PM   #17
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Last time I tried, UnrealScript was a crossbreed of C++ and Java, while Java is a simplified and higher-level clone of C++. Also, UnrealScript had some built-in features aimed specifically at game design. What's the progress here?

C++, especialy in 2011 version, offers pretty much unlimited possibilities, but no one needs neither is going to use these possibilities in a game script.

I'm just hoping that Kismet will be an actual replacement for script. Visual programming is much more suitable for specific task like game design, but still some things are easier and faster to write down that to paint.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 11:32 PM   #18
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Tim Sweeney: "We are replacing our scripting system with something completely new, a highly-threadable system."
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Old 23rd May 2012, 12:15 AM   #19
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I'm going to be so pissed if they don't offer this tech in UDK.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 10:07 AM   #20
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