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Runtime Edition for Unreal3?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ugoerr, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. ugoerr

    ugoerr New Member

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    Hi,
    anyone know if epic will release a runtime edition of its new unreal 3 engine?

    Thank you
     
  2. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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    I doubt it. Not in the near future anyways. UnrealEngine 2.x was rather 'old' when UE2Runtime came out. Also UE2Runtime didn't really do much and just sparked a lot of flames, so I doubt they will bother with that venture again.
     
  3. ugoerr

    ugoerr New Member

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    It's right, but how is possible to acquire an unreal 3 license for educational purpose? I found unreal runtime very useful for these kinds of applications but in anyway it's already old compared to unreal 3, HL2, doom 3, etc...

    Furthermore, unreal runtime is the only technology which represents the state of the art in real time computer graphics for educational purpose. Others techonlogies as VRML, X3D, etc... are good standard but they aren't update as unreal.
     
  4. oneirotekt

    oneirotekt New Member

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    Not really, if you know where look. The Quake3 engine source was released under the GPL license recently, and it's a very well-designed engine that is still quite modern in some ways. More importantly, it's full source, so if you want to mess with things "under the hood" you have full access, unlike Unreal which is limited by design to Script versus Native code.

    Even better, you are free to release and distribute anything you make with it, provided that you also release the source code. This doesn't even preclude you from making money off it, just read up on the licensing terms and you can probably do what you want with it. Educational use is absolutely encouraged.

    The source hasn't been out for long, and it may not meet your exact needs, but people are already starting to do neat things with it, and I think in time it will be an excellent development base for independent and educational projects. Like many other I was sorely disappointed with the UE Runtime. Epic had a good idea but they got scared of the financial implications and promptly abandoned it. John Carmack on the other hand recognizes the value of releasing his tech for the benefit of programmers and designers everywhere.

    Hell, id even released a free game product in the form of Wolfenstein Enemy Territory, and people have released stand-alone mods for it. This has not impacted sales of Doom3, RtCW or any other id product in the slightest. Epic would do well to learn from this example. Give people good tools, share your knowledge with them, and developers will flock to your technology.

    Not to diss Epic too harshly, they're a business of course and they are afraid of doing things that would lose them money. But like many businesses they make incorrect assumptions about consumer behavior and lose out on potential market opportunities (to say nothing of developer and consumer goodwill).

    edit: here's a link to the development wiki for various Q3 source projects, which also provides access to the source:
    http://quake3.quakesrc.org/
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2005
  5. eastgate2

    eastgate2 Member

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    Interesting read, oneirotekt. I want to understand something though. Why do you say " Epic had a good idea but they got scared of the financial implications and promptly abandoned it" ? What do you mean by this?
     
  6. Switch`

    Switch` Pixelante

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    People should keep in mind that UE2 Runtime is a commercial product aimed for organizations, companies and groups of professionals wanting to develop something different from a computer game. There is access to headers/native code for those that need it.

    Before UE2 Runtime there was Unrealty which was essentially UE1 Runtime. It was used ie in NASA's Virtual International Space Station project.

    In my opinion it's safe to expect that there will be UE3 Runtime at some point.
     
  7. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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    Well think about it for a moment. Say Epic released UE2Runtime in which everybody was freely available to do whatever you wanted. A lot of people would jump on the bandwagon and suddenly a lot of free functional games are out on the internet for people to download and play. Of course Epic would see that as a potential threat to their UE2 based games as they are off similar technology ... and compared to a lot of other engines I've used ... Unreal is by far one of the easiest to learn and use for those who aren't solely programmer experienced.

    So the potential threat is there, and thus as a business you do not want to create unneccessary business threats as that in itself is detrimental to your own business.

    The second potential problem is that awful games come out. People who play these games maybe under the impression that the engine itself is horrible and will firmly reject playing any games made under the same engine. I am sure you have heard the firm argument that because Doom 3 is dark, the Doom Engine must be dark by default, or that because Doom 3 doesn't have open environments that its the engine's fault and so forth. The general public often cannot determine what is an engine fault and what is the game design issue, and as a result they are often merged together.

    Those are some of the issues, and by all means, not all of them.
     
  8. eastgate2

    eastgate2 Member

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    I agree solid snake, people's assumptions over engines are sometimes ridiculously funny. I.e, there some thief fans who think unreal engine can't have swimmable water just because ion storm screwed in implementing one in deadly shadows.(how can they destroy something already by-default working, that's beyond me. I know their renderer is per-pixel lighting, but anyway...)

    I hope to see runtime for the next engine, and then may be folks working in architecture visualisation will prefer it more, rather than static fly-throughs in max or maya or whatever.

    Funny though. The big ho-ho about the "virtual reality" of the last two decades is one step close to unreal engine and why it has been used only and mostly in games, I don't know. Only NASA made an attempt but as I remember nobody cared about it. Who knows maybe since the new "seamless world" thing, NASA may go upto mapping out (some) portions of Mars and let us walk through in it. Afterall, it doesn't look like it will require many polygons but some shaders of every possible red color:D

    Anyway, projects like these, sound interesting to me:
    http://darendash.home.comcast.net/UnrealToX3D.pdf
    http://www.ists.dartmouth.edu/library/118.pdf
    http://www.nps.navy.mil/cs/cjdarken/Paull_GAME6.pdf
    http://www.nps.navy.mil/Research/ThesisSummer02/moves.pdf
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2005
  9. oneirotekt

    oneirotekt New Member

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    The suggestion that releasing a free, noncommercial version of their engine to the game/mod community would ruin Epic financially just doesn't hold much water. Like I pointed out earlier, id releases their tech after it's sufficiently old, and they released a full free game with lots of content in the form of ET. The Quake source ports and ET standalone mods have not had any appreciable impact on sales of id games at all. They exist in completely different markets. Nobody is going to mistake Enemy Team Fortress for a cutting edge, blockbuster id title. Free games and mods almost never have the media visibility that AAA titles do.

    This argument is especially bogus as the barriers to entry for game development continue to rise, and there is an increasingly large gap, in terms of production value and content density, between what a few amateurs can do in their spare time versus a AAA title with a multi-million dollar budget and a team of dozens. Big companies swatting down little projects to stay on top is pernicious and unnecessary; they occupy totally different markets anyway.

    Epic of course can do whatever they want with their tech, but the limitations they leveled against people who wanted to work with the Runtime were needlessly strict, largely motivated by unfounded fears, and quashed what could have been a lot of neat stuff from the community. Even though their tech is tougher to work with in some ways, id has definitely done a better job with handling the licensing and usage terms, and I think that will bear fruit in terms of indie developer goodwill and general adoption.

    For anyone looking to do a free, standalone game, I'd highly recommend ditching the UE Runtime and giving the Q3 source (particularly the cleaned up build at http://icculus.org ) a look, or possibly something like Ogre or Torque. The people behind those engines are serious about helping people make cool games.

    As for a UE3 version of the runtime, even assuming they don't fail to make it attractive to developers, the content creation demands are going to be utterly beyond many small teams. Characters and static meshes for UE3 can take weeks to finish because of the myriad normal / spherical harmonic map details. The increases in fidelity are either going to kill off the indie scene entirely or they'll fall back to using more "primitive" tech so they can actually finish projects.
     
  10. Switch`

    Switch` Pixelante

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  11. Angel_Mapper

    Angel_Mapper Goooooooats

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    Funny, I remember people saying the same thing right before 2k3 came out.
     
  12. oneirotekt

    oneirotekt New Member

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    Yes, and I think that's been borne out somewhat by the smaller number of maps for UT2003/4 with original content. Far fewer people have the talent and time to decorate a UE2 map with the level of polish demanded by the increases in content fidelity compared to UE1. That has both good and bad effects - there's arguably less crap to wade through - but long-term the trend is not a good one if you're not working at a large studio. A *lot* of people have given up on modding since UT99 because of the effort involved.

    As someone who has been working with UE3 for a living lately, believe me when I say that modders are going to be feeling the squeeze. People who are comfortable making their own static meshes and textures can scoff at that if they want. I personally felt the mod community was a lot more worthwhile when a wide variety of people could try out interesting ideas quickly and (relatively) easily... as opposed to now when it's arguably becoming, in many ways, the Special Olympics of professional game development.

    Dunno what you mean by "commercial product", but the only language alluding to "commercial use" in the EULA concerns the end user. The Runtime Demo itself is non-commercial in the sense that it's distributed at no cost.

    I don't suppose you'd care to actually respond to my argument. Posting a hilarious image is much easier and less embarrassing.
     
  13. Angel_Mapper

    Angel_Mapper Goooooooats

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    Actually I believe it was because UT2003 sucked, and a lot of people left.
     
  14. [SAS]Solid Snake

    [SAS]Solid Snake New Member

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    Hey, its not the community that said, its Epic. If you have issues with it 'holding water' argue with them not us. http://udn.epicgames.com/Two/UnrealEngine2RuntimeEULA,
    . Straight from the EULA unchanged. I don't just make this stuff up. I can see their point of view and in some ways it works for them.

    Well technically it wasn't iD who released ET for free... its like saying that it was Epic who released all of those Unreal Engine based games that were produced by different people.

    Granted that you do have that point about big game markets and the small game markets. Mods can often reach very professional quality if the team are comprised of very talented fellows. Sometimes the team is professional and are looking for an outlet to work on. However mods generally aren't designed to try to compete with big games out there. Although looking in the past and at the current state its still a mod that holds the greatest number of players on the market. Counter Strike is still the biggest mod that is being played, and the same as Desert Combat for BF1942 over the original. So mods do have the potential of completly wiping out the commercial sector ... that is, if they aren't competing with the game that they run on ... because obviously people would still need to buy the original game first (Which is what most companies do want).

    Yes they are very helpful people. And those are good engines. However, from my experience with Ogre that is more programmer sided rather than content driven. The UEngine is more content driven in that people can see results faster. As for Torque, I'm not sure as I haven't developed for that platform just yet.

    Well yes, thats because people want to get into the game development industry through this method. And thus are of course prone to just copy existing games such as Counter Strike, WWII and so forth. There are some modders who truly do it because they can. However, because these types of mods don't often attract content people they often either don't ever come out or just fizzle out of existence.

    Well your utterly correct in that the effort to create a mod or a game is increasing by a large fold and yes it is going to be harder for modders to make their mods. But looking through the timeline thats always been said. The work to make a Doom mod vs Unreal 1 mod is large. The work to make a Unreal 1 mod vs Unreal 2 mod is larger still. The comparision between a Doom mod and a Unreal 2 mod is unbelievable. Its always going to get harder but the results that can be achieved are amazing. Everyone knows its going to get harder, and well, that fact a lone has never stopped people at all.
     
  15. oneirotekt

    oneirotekt New Member

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    I agree, that's a strength. Honestly if all I wanted to do was show off my content creation skills (as part of a web portfolio, etc), the Runtime would probably work well. However, if all you can make is content, you are very limited creatively. There are already a number of good solutions for doing architectural vis and academic research. There aren't as many good solutions for experimenting with game design and interactivity in general, in a full 3D world with some high-level tools. Epic could have provided this, but they didn't. They threw away an opportunity and other companies are filling it.

    It was id who decided to release ET for free rather than as part of a retail product, they scrapped the single player stuff that (if memory serves) Nerve made. And id have demonstrated time and again that they aren't worried about the sales impact of releasing old tech for free. And I think that's proven to be good for them, long-term. So in my opinion Epic are drawing incorrect conclusions about how the indie/mod community uses and exploits technology.

    Maybe. It hasn't happened yet. Valve was smart about it. They realized Counterstrike was a potential moneymaker, and hired the team so that it could be a moneymaker for them. By comparison it seems much more short-sighted and dim of Epic to do the opposite and try to crush moneymakers before they even happen. Especially when past examples (id's GPL releases) indicate a different outcome.
     

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