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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » Uhh, Hero Engine?

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121 posts found
  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6829

2/09/13 11:48:44 AM#41


Originally posted by h0urg1ass

There was ZERO necessity to write a completely new engine to push out a WoW carbon copy

Says guy that has 0 experience with coding or software development. Enough said.

  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

2/09/13 12:07:36 PM#42
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by h0urg1ass

There was ZERO necessity to write a completely new engine to push out a WoW carbon copy

 

Says guy that has 0 experience with coding or software development. Enough said.


Imposing such a requirement is not crucial when observing how other game companies manage to have graphically intense games running under COTS engines.

 

If SWTOR was the only MMORPG out there, then someone might believe you .. but since it's not, well, I think you are over extending yourself to defend a really bad graphics engine that cannot support the massive portion of "MMORPG".  Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.  SWTOR doesn't really do anything other games don't already do.  So the question still remains, why reinvent the wheel?

 

h0urg1ass did have a persuasive argument in closing statements:

Originally posted by h0urg1ass

Name recognition from a solid IP will draw millions to your game, but if looks and runs like shit, they won't stick around for long and that's where SWTOR is sitting.

 

If the original 70's classics looked like some really bad B-movie, with creesey fake looking ships & costumes, it would not have been very popular.  Imagine the horror when critics bash the 5 frames per second when a Star Destroyer goes by, or during space fights.  Unrealistic scenes would not leave people raving about this awesome new movie; it would even be embarassing to admit to have spent money to see it.

But instead, Star Wars movies looked excellent, and became peoples love and pride to talk about.  So I'd agree with h0urg1ass.  Visuals and a good graphics engine are a core foundation (wake up EA?).

 

I mean when was the last time you recommended a B-movie with fake looking visuals & low animation frame rates to friends?  .. or sat around and discussed it's lore with others..

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13178

2/09/13 12:41:27 PM#43
Originally posted by h0urg1ass
Originally posted by Quizzical

The upshot is that EA licensed the Hero Engine, bought access to the full source code, and made a bunch of changes to it.  Anything that the SWTOR engine does now is because of EA, not because it is--or perhaps more appropriately, was--the Hero Engine.  That licensing a game engine can create a lot of problems for your game is intrinsic to the nature of licensing a game engine.  The problems are all fixable or avoidable, even if you license a game engine--but only by putting in the work to understand exactly what it is doing, not by licensing a different game engine instead.

I believe that anyone who looks at this critically, with understanding about a lot of the things you mentioned, has no problem with Bioware/EA buying a pre made game engine and running with it.

The problem that I, and thousands of others, have is that they bought a completely untested engine when there are half a dozen very well tested engines out there.

Why not license Funcom's engine?  The Dreamworld engine is, in my opinion, one of the best out there.  Ok, lets say that they decline to license it out, which given their money troubles I highly doubt it, but lets say they said no.  Well there's still several very good engines to use.

Why in the world would anyone with a brain in their skull buy a completely untested engine, and then write a AAA MMO around it?  I can understand if you're an upstart company with limited resources, but we all know this is hardly the case with SWTOR.  It had an amazing amount of startcup cash.  More than probably any other MMO in history.

Also, you're missing a big facet of how MMO design works.  Typically a company will up-staff with developers when they start working on a new title.  They need to get tons of code written, animations created, databases back-ended... tons of work, and most of it done on the engine they are using.  When the game goes live, they typically start dumping bodies.  You need dozens of people to build an MMO, but you only need a fraction to maintain it and push out content.

What's my point here?  That there are typically a lot of devs who have worked specifically with any given game engine, with their resumes floating around.  So you license that game engine, then you go finding people who spent several years using it that are no longer employed by the company.  Now you don't have to start from square one on learning how to use it.

For instance, there are probably enough devs out there with experience on the Unreal engine to fill a cruise ship.  No need to waste time training a team up to write a game on the most popular engine in the world.

TL:DR, BioWare/EA wasted a lot of time and effort reinventing the wheel, when there are a half dozen wheels out there that they could have put on the car.

No matter what game engine you start with, you're going to have to make a ton of changes to it in order to get it to do exactly what you want it to do.  No engine with the changes you want is already tested and proven.

Don't think of changes in terms of high level features like theme park versus sandbox.  I'm talking about little details here.  How many textures do you use on a typical character?  Do you tend to use the same texture in multiple places on a character?  Do you tend to have a single texture shared between multiple characters?  Do you do that without making the entire characters look identical?  Do you use textures as anything other than pictures?  Do you use the "same" textures repeatedly but colored differently?  If so, do you process the recoloring on the CPU and upload differently colored versions as "different" textures to the the video card, or do you merely upload a uniform for the color and process the coloring in shaders?  The "correct" (fastest from a performance perspective) answer to that last question depends on your answer to a bunch of the earlier questions, among other things.

And that's just textures, and far from all of the questions you'll have to answer about textures.  How you handle the geometry of the scene brings up a bunch more questions.  So does how you implement lighting.  And how you animate things.  And how much you need to let players see at once.  And network code.  And sound.  That hasn't even gotten to game mechanics, so even if your feature set is identical to some other game, if you answer a bunch of little questions like the ones above differently from that other game, then the internal workings of your game engine have to be very different.

-----

Sometimes you do need to reinvent the wheel.  There are portions of your game engine that will run hundreds of thousands of times per second, or even millions of times per second.  In the case of pixel/fragment shaders, there are likely things that will run hundreds of millions of times per second.  You absolutely have to go over such heavily-used code sections and make sure that they run as efficiently as possible, or else your game performance will be terrible.  It's terrible to have all of your players lose 5% off of their frame rates because you couldn't be bothered to clean up a hundred lines of source code and optimize them for exactly what your game needs.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6829

2/10/13 3:51:48 AM#44


Originally posted by Karteli

Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.

When you play SWTOR, you do not "play" the engine.

Unless you work with the engine yourself(on code level), you have no idea about engine characteristics.

  User Deleted
2/10/13 4:05:02 AM#45
Originally posted by Tigasnake

Hey all,

Every time I see the word "Hero Engine", it's always negative.  Why?  Why is the Hero Engine looked down on?  I'm curious, because The Repopulation (which seems to be building anticipation) also uses that same engine.  However, whenever it's discussed in SWTOR.com forums or here, the Hero Engine is like a cuss word to express rage or justify bad early development decisions.

Thanks in advance for the constructive answers and not just "Because it sucks!"

If Ultima Online were using Hero Engine  , i would play it

If Anarchy Online were using Hero Engine , i would play it

If SWTOR were using the best engine in the universe,i would not play it.

Its not good engine but some games are so good that engine doesnt matter anymore,Repopulation does have some very interesting ideas,SWTOR in the otherhand does not.

and how many games there is made with this engine ? 1?  after faxion was shut down ?

 

 

  FromHell

Novice Member

Joined: 11/10/12
Posts: 1338

2/10/13 5:02:35 AM#46

Hero Engine is on DX9, but they are working DX11 implementation, that should make some more advanced graphics FX possible.

 

But we know the custom BW engine doesn´t get updates from the Hero Engine team..

I don´t like the plain look of most HE games TBH. Maybe the rendering engine is limited because of DX9.

I wish BW had licensed the Dreamworld Engine, there is a lot more possible with this DX11 engine, used for TSW and AoC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41UCqfdc-Uc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF3AqaCQUVA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG2EA2qspSY

Games on Hero Engine look quite different

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZA9JCbVnzY

I think HE is a lot more appropriate for cartoon look shader games, but obviously not (yet) to create realistic worlds.

 

And here is Cryengine 4 in DX12

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KKgQdq_PRo

 

 

 

Secrets of Dragon´s Spine Trailer.. ! :D
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwT9cFVQCMw

Best MMOs ever played: Ultima, EvE, SW Galaxies, Age of Conan, The Secret World
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2X_SbZCHpc&t=21s
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  tiefighter25

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/12
Posts: 949

2/10/13 6:27:00 AM#47
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by Karteli

Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.

 

When you play SWTOR, you do not "play" the engine.

Unless you work with the engine yourself(on code level), you have no idea about engine characteristics.

 

Well that's an interesting statement.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13178

2/11/13 3:48:40 PM#48
Originally posted by FromHell

Hero Engine is on DX9, but they are working DX11 implementation, that should make some more advanced graphics FX possible.

 

But we know the custom BW engine doesn´t get updates from the Hero Engine team..

I don´t like the plain look of most HE games TBH. Maybe the rendering engine is limited because of DX9.

I wish BW had licensed the Dreamworld Engine, there is a lot more possible with this DX11 engine, used for TSW and AoC

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41UCqfdc-Uc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF3AqaCQUVA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG2EA2qspSY

Games on Hero Engine look quite different

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZA9JCbVnzY

I think HE is a lot more appropriate for cartoon look shader games, but obviously not (yet) to create realistic worlds.

 

And here is Cryengine 4 in DX12

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KKgQdq_PRo

A lot of advanced effects require the programmer to do a lot of things custom in a way that makes sense for that particular game.  Tessellation in particular means that you're going to need a huge number of different shaders in order to efficiently draw a wide variety of shapes.  No game engine is ever going to have everything that you might reasonably want.  A game that wants to make use of the full power of what tessellation can do is going to have to recode so many things at such a low level that licensing a game engine might not be the best idea.

Also, there is no DirectX 12 in the near future, and there might not be for quite some time.  Other than better transparency options and Windows 7 support, it's not obvious what it ought to add that DirectX 11.1 doesn't already have.  And it's not going to add Windows 7 support.

  heroenginesidekick

Novice Member

Joined: 1/16/13
Posts: 5

2/13/13 2:21:46 PM#49

Industry vet Monty Sharma and Gary Gannon talked about this exact topic on GameBreakerTV, starting at 9:04.

http://www.gamebreaker.tv/video-game-shows/did-the-hero-engine-kill-swtor/

  ktanner3

Master

Joined: 3/19/06
Posts: 4144

Trolls will be ignored

2/13/13 3:34:08 PM#50
Originally posted by tiefighter25
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by Karteli

Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.

 

When you play SWTOR, you do not "play" the engine.

Unless you work with the engine yourself(on code level), you have no idea about engine characteristics.

 

Well that's an interesting statement.

It's true. If a game is running like sh*t, you have no way of knowing if that is the fault of the engine or the peope that wrote the code on top of it. Since this the only released game using that engine, how can you accurately blame the engine for anything?

Currently Playing: Star Wars The Old Republic

  SBE1

Novice Member

Joined: 6/05/06
Posts: 339

2/14/13 12:00:21 AM#51
Originally posted by ktanner3
Originally posted by tiefighter25
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by Karteli

Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.

 

When you play SWTOR, you do not "play" the engine.

Unless you work with the engine yourself(on code level), you have no idea about engine characteristics.

 

Well that's an interesting statement.

It's true. If a game is running like sh*t, you have no way of knowing if that is the fault of the engine or the peope that wrote the code on top of it. Since this the only released game using that engine, how can you accurately blame the engine for anything?

Well, if you have Bioware fanbois saying they are the greatest game developers EVAH prior to the game's release, then obviously it can't be the Bioware code, it must be the engine.  Duh.

I mean, all you have to do is look at all the other MMORPGs developed by Bioware that can easily render large groups of players on the screen at the same time.....oh wait, nm.   

  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

2/14/13 1:42:07 AM#52
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by Karteli

Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.

 

When you play SWTOR, you do not "play" the engine.

Unless you work with the engine yourself(on code level), you have no idea about engine characteristics.

 

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this (as I don't believe there is any one glaring problem like Engine Is Bad), but could you be more specific as to why you don't "play the engine." It may help some to understand.

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  LordZeik

Hard Core Member

Joined: 2/17/08
Posts: 177

2/14/13 1:53:43 AM#53
I am surprised that no one has brought up some of the other past failures associated with the hero engine. This engine has either killed or helped kill off a handful of mmorpgs. Faxion online being one of the more recent games to die from a combination of the engine and company problems. Nothing personal but when simutronics decided to not release their own game (for whichever number of reasons they gave)and instead sell out the engine to companies. That itself was a red flag. I have yet to see a game really flourish from this engine. In fact currently I think the engine itself has killed more games than are currently running or being worked on around it. Maybe that's why there is so much hatred for this engine?
  Fdzzaigl

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/22/09
Posts: 2002

2/14/13 12:21:56 PM#54

I think the Hero engine in itself looks like it has great potential.

Except for design choices that were unfortunate, I also found the worlds and characters in TOR to be visually pleasing.

However, in the particular case of TOR, the performance leaves much to be desired when the engine is faced with tons of people gathering in one place. And that happens much sooner than in other games.

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6829

2/16/13 1:18:22 AM#55


Originally posted by ignore_me

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this (as I don't believe there is any one glaring problem like Engine Is Bad), but could you be more specific as to why you don't "play the engine." It may help some to understand.


Engine is a set of libraries you use for sw development. SWTOR is a product, engine is a tool used to create that product.


So unless you happen to work with said engine(tool), be adept in coding and/or SW development/architecture, you are not capable of any valid evaluation.


A tool and created software are 2 very different things.

  tiefighter25

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/12
Posts: 949

2/16/13 1:38:57 AM#56
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by ignore_me

 

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this (as I don't believe there is any one glaring problem like Engine Is Bad), but could you be more specific as to why you don't "play the engine." It may help some to understand.


 

Engine is a set of libraries you use for sw development. SWTOR is a product, engine is a tool used to create that product.


So unless you happen to work with said engine(tool), be adept in coding and/or SW development/architecture, you are not capable of any valid evaluation.


A tool and created software are 2 very different things.

You're splitting hairs. You are saying that the game engine is a only a developmnet tool to intergrate the various systems which allow the game to run. Well the game doesn't  run well. So if the game engine is honky-dory, that could only mean the developers were incompetent in their usage of the game engine.

Are you contending that the Alpha-Hero engine is great (despit Simtronics warnings) and Bioware just sucked at using it?

  Zorgo

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 2194

Who did wrong? The advertiser hired to sell the game or the consumer who put faith in advertising?

2/16/13 1:44:27 AM#57
Originally posted by SBE1
Originally posted by ktanner3
Originally posted by tiefighter25
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by Karteli

Anyone can recognize bad engines when they see them, it doesn't take knowledge of coding.

 

When you play SWTOR, you do not "play" the engine.

Unless you work with the engine yourself(on code level), you have no idea about engine characteristics.

 

Well that's an interesting statement.

It's true. If a game is running like sh*t, you have no way of knowing if that is the fault of the engine or the peope that wrote the code on top of it. Since this the only released game using that engine, how can you accurately blame the engine for anything?

Well, if you have Bioware fanbois saying they are the greatest game developers EVAH prior to the game's release, then obviously it can't be the Bioware code, it must be the engine.  Duh.

I mean, all you have to do is look at all the other MMORPGs developed by Bioware that can easily render large groups of players on the screen at the same time.....oh wait, nm.   

What? Where did one Bioware fanboi say 'bioware is great', it is the 'engine' that ruined it. No one threw the Hero Engine in front of the bus to save Bioware's reputation. Fanboi or not. If people were upset with the hero engine, they placed the blame squarely on Bioware's shoulders for purchasing it.

However I agree with your point about Bioware never making an mmorpg prior; it  does say a lot more about SWTOR's problems than the engine does, imo.

 

 

  Zorgo

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 2194

Who did wrong? The advertiser hired to sell the game or the consumer who put faith in advertising?

2/16/13 1:47:03 AM#58
Originally posted by tiefighter25
Originally posted by Gdemami

 


Originally posted by ignore_me

 

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this (as I don't believe there is any one glaring problem like Engine Is Bad), but could you be more specific as to why you don't "play the engine." It may help some to understand.


 

Engine is a set of libraries you use for sw development. SWTOR is a product, engine is a tool used to create that product.


So unless you happen to work with said engine(tool), be adept in coding and/or SW development/architecture, you are not capable of any valid evaluation.


A tool and created software are 2 very different things.

You're splitting hairs. You are saying that the game engine is a only a developmnet tool to intergrate the various systems which allow the game to run. Well the game doesn't  run well. So if the game engine is honky-dory, that could only mean the developers were incompetent in their usage of the game engine.

Are you contending that the Alpha-Hero engine is great (despit Simtronics warnings) and Bioware just sucked at using it?

could it be that the alpha-hero engine sucked AND Bioware sucked at using it, or at least sucked at optimizing it?

  Matticus75

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/18/05
Posts: 391

2/16/13 2:24:38 AM#59

I think I recall seeing somewhere that getting the hero engine allowed mutiple devs to work in the same enviroment at the same time, and that the reason Bioware went with the engine was to have the ablity to produce mass content faster than most other MMOs, but in the end all it allowed was those who put the money in the game used it to reduce cost, by cutting the development team and producing content at "the standard acceptable rate" as all other MMOs

In the end in the simple terms is:

1) It takes 10 devs 5 months to produce X amount of content, reduced to:

2) 5 devs to produce the same amount of X content in 10 months (which is the usual time of all other MMOs averaged for example)

Cut cost in half and new content comes out at the same rate of "expecations" of the average of other MMOs (aka at a snails pace)

Moral of the story, if technology improves things, then it only imporves the wants of those who are the stronger, and not those of the weaker.............

Business is not in the habit of making a profit, its in the habit of maximizing profit, it does this not by providing what consumers want, but merely what consumers respond to..... Thus we will see more of this repeated

  Gdemami

Elite Member

Joined: 9/23/08
Posts: 6829

2/16/13 2:40:34 AM#60


Originally posted by tiefighter25

You're splitting hairs.

No, I am not. You are just oversimplifying a matter you have no expertize in, resulting in erroneous judgement.

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