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Half-Life 2 / UT2003 engines comparisons.

Discussion in 'Programming' started by nickelplate, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. nickelplate

    nickelplate New Member

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    What are going to be the main differences between the two engines? What are their respective strengths and weaknesses? What kinds of mods are best suited for each engine?
     
  2. Wormbo

    Wormbo Administrator Staff Member

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    Without knowing much about the engine used for HL2 I can say that the Unreal engine has always been very mod-friendly. It's very easy to write a small modification that will be compatible with a lot of other modification by using a mutator. As far as I know mutators are a unique concept of the Unreal engine and even only adding gametypes is much easier than in e.g. Quake engine games because all it takes is the new gametype's code and an INT file while the Quake engine games don't offer such an interface for mod authors. There you have to rewrite the menu, client and server code and multiple mods can't be combined.
     
  3. Doc_EDo

    Doc_EDo LEFT

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    AFAIK,
    HL2 has everything UT200x has, and up on that it has:
    1. Bump mapping (this is huge so instead of using 100 static meshes you use one BMP bump map)
    2. Sources (real time refraction of light for water glass etc..)
    3. Materials for objects (every object that can be destroyed breaks apart in peaces depending on what material it has been made of, wood metal etc..)

    It's possibile that even Karma is more advanced that in UT2, but I'm not sure about that one.
    Also I think HL2 has better AI.

    The only bad thing is that they currently dont have plugg-in mutators, AFAIK. I have seen something that reminded me of mutators in ST:EF 2, and that's on quake3 engine. So there's a possibility that they will create that functionality later. Still that's nothing important for me.

    I'll definately mod/map for HL2 when it comes out. :) :tup:
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2003
  4. Radiosity

    Radiosity Minty Fresh!

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    I'll be too busy modding/ mapping all the new stuff for UT2K4 :D
     
  5. Dark[NSF]

    Dark[NSF] Northwest Secessionalist Forces

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    Unreal Engine forever.
     
  6. Doc_EDo

    Doc_EDo LEFT

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    UT2K4??? I already have that. It's called UT2003+mods. :lol: :rolleyes:
     
  7. Dryn

    Dryn New Member

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    I look at it this way: I know unreal inside and out, I know its quirks, and I know how to make stuff. Thus I'll probally keep on with unreal.

    However, if HL2 plays as good as any of the worst info out there, its still going to ownzer all; which, from valve, I totally expect it to! As for engine, that one is about 2x more powerful than unreal if you tally it out, but just for use of use I'll keep on with unreal. (similar P counts, but they have the potential for a mcuh more interactive environment. They have a more advanced particle system, shader / texture system, and the best AI tech I have seen yet. The physics, driven by Havoc, are the best on the market, and for person-animation, they have one stunning system there.) Still though, unless you need wicked animation and refraction shaders, you should be able to make an equivalent game in either engine; the only real catch in the end is gameplay and use of the technology.

    (and Doom3 is to be wasted; HL2 kicks its ass in all-but-raw-polies, and then grinds its kicked ass into the ground some more with the stunning animation potential. As for unreal; unreal's always been strong, and I think it will only keep getting stronger as time goes on).
     
  8. elmuerte

    elmuerte Master of Science

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    so, on the graphic side the Source engine is better than the currently released Warfare Engine.
    What about the technical side of it.
     
  9. Sir_Brizz

    Sir_Brizz Administrator Staff Member

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    Only the build of the Unreal Engine we have...the actual tech demos show that the Unreal Engine is FAR advanced from what we have now even in the WORST case scenario. Things like what Doom3 and HL2 are doing are things that have been in the UEngine for MANY months, just hasn't been practical to include them in any games so far. You can see by overall quality of levels and models that the engine itself hasn't been lacking for years...and I would wager in the next couple of years we will see the UEngine releasing MORE than incredible games...I personally can't wait, the engine supposedly can handle millions of polygons in a scene with virtually no frame rate lag. :D:D
     
  10. Evil-Devil

    Evil-Devil silence

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    HL2 looks really nice even the engine specs, but all we know that epic has never pushed the engine to its limit. Look at UT and his MODs. For example Tactical Ops looks very well compared to UT. And even the ut2k3 and upcomming ut2k4 mods, which still uses the same engine might push the engine to its limits. We haven´t seen yet what the unreal engine can really take. So lets try to get all of it.
     
  11. Dryn

    Dryn New Member

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    Well, thats another thing; many of these things like bumpmapping and pixel-shaders are becoming standard; its only a matter of time before Unreal gets its share down :)
     
  12. BlackHornet

    BlackHornet Global Warzone Project Leader

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    UT2k4 with bumpmapping.....that would be the best thing Epic can do.
     
  13. Doc_EDo

    Doc_EDo LEFT

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    We haven't? All I care is UT200x.
    It doesnt have bump mapping.
    It doesn't have source and no mirrors.
    AI sucks. I was trying to code so pawns avoid/escape from other pawns and it isn't supported. I have to rewrite the whole AI code instead of turning one variable like in UT.
    Put 20 trees into one room and you get lag. Another limitation.
    Lighting on static meshes in Unreal sucks ass.
    I had 1000 of errors trying to make static meshes lighting look right.
    In one map I just gave up on a whole room.

    The new Unreal engine has TONS of errors/limitations, so HL2 engine will look like next gen engine compared to it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2003
  14. Payback

    Payback Ive got a big stick

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    Once bitten, twice shy.

    You guys all go on about mutators and mods breaking compatibility with other mods, and how its the worst thing ever?

    Well... Talk to the Arg mod, the science and industry mod, my Action Half-life mod, and theres a couple of others but I forget the name. Modding for HL becomes less fun when something you've written stops working because someone found a way to cheat in counter-strike that relies on a method you were using....

    Every moddable game has issues though, this is Valves. Epics issues are still its modding tools IMO, which valve has got pretty much sorted.
     
  15. Mychaeel

    Mychaeel New Member

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    I think you fundamentally misunderstood something about the notion of maintaining compatibility between UT2003 mods and mutators.

    See Unreal Wiki: Maintaining Compatibility for details.
     
  16. jb

    jb New Member

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    The engine behind UT2k3 was "old" when UT2k3 first shipped. Engines are not something you can slap on an effect like DX9 VS/PS or Bump mapping and do it well. UT2k3 was build in and around DX7 effects.

    UT2k3 engine is fine for when it was released. It improved on most of UT engine limits (every try to make a map wiht more than 300 polys in your world veiw and say good by to your Frame rate) and raised the bar so to speak. Look at any other engine out there and they all have good parts and bad parts...
     
  17. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    I don't really see how a comparison can be discussed without HL2 being released. Anything in print right now is just Valve PR.
     
  18. Sir_Brizz

    Sir_Brizz Administrator Staff Member

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    Agreed. But we can also all agree that the Unreal Engine included in UT2k3 was old a year ago... Actual Unreal Technology has advanced FAR beyond what we see.
     
  19. Payback

    Payback Ive got a big stick

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    No, that page pretty much confirms what I thought about mutators. What bit do you think Im missing?
     
  20. Mychaeel

    Mychaeel New Member

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    Well... maybe I'm misunderstanding your point then. In that case, please clarify. ---

    You're saying that the same techniques that can be used to make mods and mutators generally intercompatible could be (ab)used to make cheats.

    If you look at the Wiki page I linked to, you'll find that the whole topic of maintaining compatibility can be summed up in a single Don't: That's "Don't replace shared classes like PlayerReplicationInfo/xPlayer/xPawn/... in a mutator."

    Everything else shown on that page are suggestions and techniques for working around that single Don't---and they're all very straightforward and simple; nothing elaborate or particularly sophisticated, and nothing one would expect to have to tell an author of a client-side cheat before he or she becomes aware of it. Those techniques are fundamental and common programming techniques applied to a certain problem.

    It's just that many newbie Unreal-engine coders are simply not aware of that one "Don't" and think that (for example) subclassing xPawn and adding a variable to that subclass is a perfectly good way to associate a new piece of data with every player. Obviously, no two mutators that use this technique could ever be used at the same time, entirely defeating the modular concept of mutators.

    The main point, however, is twofold:

    • UT2003, unlike its predecessor Unreal Tournament, has a cheat protection mechanism that simply disallows any code to be executed client-side that's not present and acknowledged on the server as well. Thus, any kind of client-side mod that could exploit any of those "compatibility techniques" is technically impossible.
    • You can hardly make the game more cheat-proof by not making your mutator compatible with other mods and mutators. The very concept of object-orientedness implies that any hypothetical cheat that'd work with a generic PlayerController will also work with your mutator's custom xPlayer subclass; however, should any two mutators both want to replace xPlayer by their respective custom subclasses, either one of them or even both would fail to work (to the legitimate user's chagrin).
     

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