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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » should swtor have built their own engine?

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254 posts found
  hercules

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/21/03
Posts: 4797

 
OP  1/23/12 11:44:18 PM#1

 recall a long time ago some developer saying that each mmo is unique and needs its own engine built for it ,in response to why they abandoned the use of the unreal engine for that mmo.

Now we have the hero engine which is at best a 2005 engine which was meant for hero's journey but sold as a engine .it was originally designed for a fantasy mmo .

So how would you rate the hero engine in swtor which i feel is not performing well .lag when more then 30 people on the screen is horrible and  the game for what it looks seems to suck a lot of power.

what do you think?

should swtor have made a tailored engine rather then use hero engine

no
yes
unsure
(login to vote)
  xKingdomx

Novice Member

Joined: 8/24/10
Posts: 1550

1/23/12 11:49:56 PM#2

Well I wouldn't say a complete new engine, but rather tailor an existing engine to swtor needs, based on a better engine than HERO engine. Hero engine poses a lot of programming restirction.

Bioware have people experienced with Unreal Engine from Mass Effect series, I was surprised they didn't use Unreal at first. Not to mention Unreal have a much better support base than HERO.

 

But then again, SWTOR's game mechanics is 2005 anyway. So was it needed to have an advance engine? Not really, but they have restricted themselves right out the door, eliminating protential mechanic upgrades.

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As much WoW as a WoWhater would, if a WoWhater could hate WoW.

  Ringbus

Novice Member

Joined: 1/15/12
Posts: 32

1/23/12 11:53:18 PM#3

It was a monumental engineering failure to use the Hero Engine.

There really are two separate monumental screwups:

1. Buying the junk Hero Engine in the first place

2. Realizing the tech they bought was junk and not starting over with their own in house tech

In regards to 1. it is a classic game dev house clueless VP blunder. They see some flashy tech demo with all sorts of marketing bullet points and buzzwords and leap at it. They think they are going to save hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars because they have this magic engine.

In regards to 2. it is a complete engineering failure to not stop the project early on after realizing they were in trouble with the crap engine the VP saddled the project with and make it clear that work needs to restart from scratch.

 

 

  xmenty

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/22/10
Posts: 691

1/23/12 11:53:54 PM#4

Well I should think EA should demoted all the lead dev as they are all incompetent.

 

Pardon my English as it is not my 1st language :)

  Jimmy562

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/12/06
Posts: 1099

1/23/12 11:54:34 PM#5

Either make their own or, as suggested, use an already established engine. Hero Engine peformance is one of the worst I've seen in an MMO.

  Tortanic

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/21/12
Posts: 87

1/24/12 12:15:04 AM#6

There are better free engines on Sourceforge.

The Hero engine is on par with EQ2's failboat.

  Souldrainer

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/21/06
Posts: 1878

1/24/12 12:34:23 AM#7

Hero engine is trash.  I will never know why they used it.   Unreal 3 engine has potential and they used it for ME3... have no idea why they didn't just add a chat client to it and call that a day.  That engine is a beast!

 

 

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  User Deleted
1/24/12 12:41:06 AM#8

I don't know anything about platforms, programming, developing mmorpgs, but here is an article I think some of you have read.

http://venturebeat.com/2012/01/21/heroengine-is-the-unsung-platform-behind-star-wars-the-old-republic/ 

One quote from the article, that I'm sure some of you will take issue with:

 

The Star Wars game proved that the HeroEngine works. ""

 

I would like to know what some professionals in this area think. If you actually understand the technology here, please break it down for those of us who don't understand the issues.

 

I post this as an observer. It's an interesting issue and it relates to whether the bugs (delays) will be fixable to a satisfactory degree or not. If not, it goes to the long-term survivability of this game.

 

  VirgoThree

Tipster

Joined: 12/09/03
Posts: 1222

FFXIV:ARR, Malboro Server, Scarlet Raven

1/24/12 12:44:13 AM#9

I'm quite ambivalent to this subject. The primary reason why I say that is because we seriously have a lack of information to make a claim as to whether this engine is garbage, coders are bad, or all of the above? I've personally had no issues with game performance but I'm not dismissing others issues. Clearly there are optimization issues and these issues aren't easily fixed.

With that said I really won't form a strong opinion either way unless BW exposes their source code to the masses and Hero SDK implementation to the masses, which I highly doubt will ever happen.

  Tortanic

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/21/12
Posts: 87

1/24/12 12:50:25 AM#10

They should have went with U3 or something solely in-house. (Stable, extremely extensible, plays nice with basically every hardware configuration possible, great support/company. There's a reason over half the games released in the past 5 years have used it.)

The fact that the game has trouble with full-resolution textures and scenes with more than 8 models on screen is evidence enough of the current engine's inadequacy.

  gaeanprayer

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/08
Posts: 2360

1/24/12 12:51:34 AM#11

I definitely think every MMO should have its own engine, especially one with the funding SWTOR had. I understand that building an engine is a very intensive, time-consuming process, but that's not an excuse. We're not talking about an indie company trying to get a leg into the pool, this is EA, more than capable of hiring a team of talented programmers to build an engine tailored to the SWTOR experience without limitations, and without restrictions or confines.

Yes, development would have taken longer, but the game would have been better for it. Plan for the future and don't start advertising your game way ahead of time, and you give yourself plenty of time to work on it.

The problem with using an existing engine is, instead of creating your vision of the game, you're tailoring your vision to the limitations of the engine. A game should not be limited; gamers are not stupid, and said limitations are felt by the people playing. If you have to take the time to create something truly special and amazing, then take the time to do so. No exceptions.

Besides, job market could use it.

"Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  User Deleted
1/24/12 12:51:49 AM#12
I want to see how much they can polish it before the next triple A titles release.
In the end I think it's not what engine a gaming company uses but how they use it.
Is it the engine's fault the game is the way it is or were parts of the game built by people with no talent?
  orsonstfu

Novice Member

Joined: 2/12/08
Posts: 205

1/24/12 12:53:43 AM#13

As quoted from a different forum.

 

Given that the MMO's genre is not new and Bioware has entered into the world of MMO's with SWTOR as its flagship IP.

I hear a lot of talk from people making representations on how it's hard to make a MMO and there are always glitches and problems, and the devs will sort it out eventually.

The computer industry must be the only industry where the customer base accepts faults with products

I raise this:

If Bioware was a new car company entering in to the car sales world and SWTOR was its shiny new prestige vehicle, would you buy it, after having test driven it?

Me: Excuse me the radio doesn't work.
Salesperson: Oh we have a workaround for that. Please plug in your iphone into the shiny usb port and you will hear your favorite tunes.

Me: The engine keeps misfiring and making strange noises.
Salesperson: Please provide our engineering department with a complete engine diagnostic so they may look at it in detail and get back to you some time in the future.

Me: I hit the Gas Peddle and nothing happens for a good second, same thing with the brakes.

Saleperson: We are aware of this issue and our engineers are working hard to have a fix for that in the future. May I suggest you plan your acceleration and braking in advance. this would help you a lot.

Me: The rear vision mirror and instrumentation are blocking my field of view and I cant move it. Other car companies let me move those things.

Salesperson: We spent years designing the dashboard and the instrumentation. you will get used to it. Trust me

  Castillle

Forum Bunny

Joined: 10/24/10
Posts: 2681

1/24/12 1:00:02 AM#14
Sadly swtor is using a very old version of the hero engine.
If you look at the more recent features, youll notice that it has advanced tremendously thanks to bioware . Think of it this way. Bswtor = unreal 2 engine. Current = unreal 3 .

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  gaeanprayer

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/08
Posts: 2360

1/24/12 1:06:24 AM#15
Originally posted by TROLL_HARD

I don't know anything about platforms, programming, developing mmorpgs, but here is an article I think some of you have read.

http://venturebeat.com/2012/01/21/heroengine-is-the-unsung-platform-behind-star-wars-the-old-republic/ 

One quote from the article, that I'm sure some of you will take issue with:

 

The Star Wars game proved that the HeroEngine works. ""

 

I would like to know what some professionals in this area think. If you actually understand the technology here, please break it down for those of us who don't understand the issues.

 

I post this as an observer. It's an interesting issue and it relates to whether the bugs (delays) will be fixable to a satisfactory degree or not. If not, it goes to the long-term survivability of this game.

 

I'm not an expert on the programming side of game development, but despite the praise articles like the one you quoted give to the engine, I so far have yet to see a legitimate reason for the praise. HeroEngine's been vetted on 3 projects and all 3 either failed, or are coming under heavy criticism: SWTOR, Faxion, and HeroBlade.

SWTOR is by no means failing but the arguments and criticism over the use of the engine for such a large-scale, 'important' MMO aren't without reason (they're all over the place, not just on this site). The only other game I know of being developed with the engine is Dominus, but I don't know much about it. Doesn't look particularly interesting, but I'm not a sci-fi person to begin with.

On the other end, Unreal 3 has proven successful and is exceedingly versatile, not to mention the graphic capability and allowance for new and more advanced methods of global illumination (lighting, which is most of what makes things in 3d space so pretty; simulated lighting is responsible for probably 3/4 of everything that makes a game look like a game. It's responsible for the colors, the bump maps, normal maps, etc.) make it far 'prettier' while still being reasonable on most game rigs. I still think a company like EA would have done better to make their own engine, but either way, there were better options.

 

 

EDIT: http://www.darthhater.com/articles/swtor-news/15581-the-hero-engine-may-have-some-growing-pains

There is a link with some good reading material for those curious about the effect of the engine on the development of the game, and some of the issues that were run into. That the collaborative environment was strained due to the scale of the project vs. the capabilities of the engine could potentially hint at the poor optomization and other such issues being experienced by players now.

"Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  VirgoThree

Tipster

Joined: 12/09/03
Posts: 1222

FFXIV:ARR, Malboro Server, Scarlet Raven

1/24/12 1:12:39 AM#16
Originally posted by orsonstfu

As quoted from a different forum.

 

Given that the MMO's genre is not new and Bioware has entered into the world of MMO's with SWTOR as its flagship IP.

I hear a lot of talk from people making representations on how it's hard to make a MMO and there are always glitches and problems, and the devs will sort it out eventually.

The computer industry must be the only industry where the customer base accepts faults with products

I raise this:

If Bioware was a new car company entering in to the car sales world and SWTOR was its shiny new prestige vehicle, would you buy it, after having test driven it?

Me: Excuse me the radio doesn't work.
Salesperson: Oh we have a workaround for that. Please plug in your iphone into the shiny usb port and you will hear your favorite tunes.

Me: The engine keeps misfiring and making strange noises.
Salesperson: Please provide our engineering department with a complete engine diagnostic so they may look at it in detail and get back to you some time in the future.

Me: I hit the Gas Peddle and nothing happens for a good second, same thing with the brakes.

Saleperson: We are aware of this issue and our engineers are working hard to have a fix for that in the future. May I suggest you plan your acceleration and braking in advance. this would help you a lot.

Me: The rear vision mirror and instrumentation are blocking my field of view and I cant move it. Other car companies let me move those things.

Salesperson: We spent years designing the dashboard and the instrumentation. you will get used to it. Trust me

This type of thinking doesn't translate well to user run applications. I do not disagree that consumers should get quality goods, but the car is a single encapsulated product that you are selling. Sure the car is made of multiple parts from multiple manufactures, but those parts are a constant for the manufacturer.

In software development you are building a product that is meant to hook into multiple environments. You can narrow down the environement by picking OS and general system specs. However, there are still far more variables on a users machine such as hardware specs, drivers, applications installed, malware, and whatever else we can think of. All of these combinations can cause any number of critical defects ranging from performance issues to crashes.

With that said there are still plenty of defects that do not fall under the machine specific category. I don't care what company they are, unless they have a incredibly simple application they will not ship with out bugs. Given an infinite amount of time developers could always fix/improve their code, but there is a point when a company needs to say enough is enough to maintain profitability.

  altair4

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/04
Posts: 159

1/24/12 1:38:30 AM#17

http://massively.joystiq.com/2011/02/15/swtors-loss-is-playdoms-gain-gordon-walton/

Well this is the guy responsible for the choice of Hero Engine. Love the quote: "With great thanks and appreciation, we say goodbye to Gordon Walton for helping bring the game to the phenomenal state it is in today". I do so wonder why he "left" Bioware. :)

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=15386 Interesting interview with this Gordon. Seems he might be responsible for the UI being a huge letdown aswell among other things.

  User Deleted
1/24/12 1:39:59 AM#18

Roflmao bioware has no idea how to even build an mmo using a canned engine, if they had made their own engine this woulda been way way worse than it is.

  Quesa

Novice Member

Joined: 6/16/04
Posts: 1265

1/24/12 1:40:02 AM#19

I hate it when people write these types of threads/polls because they usually have absolutely no idea how much of a monumental task it is to create one from scratch.

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2326

1/24/12 1:45:08 AM#20
Originally posted by Quesa

I hate it when people write these types of threads/polls because they usually have absolutely no idea how much of a monumental task it is to create one from scratch.

You said it. Nobody here has the brain power, knowlege, or experience to make an intelligent answer to that question.

Let's build the ultimate MMO 1 feature at a time
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/398555/page/1

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