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Old vs New engines (Forums : Development Banter : Old vs New engines) Locked
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Jan 13 2013, 7:34am Anchor

Hi. 

I've played around with Source and Unity a little, and unfortunactly, I've found that my PC isn't really up to scratch to making anything on it, as it's too slow (it's getting on in years and I'm not in a position just now to get a new one.  Slender is sluggish on my machine, that's how bad it is just now). So I've had a look at some older games like Deus Ex.  They've got documentation, and an established mod-base behind them.  And the level tools seem pretty fast in compiling.  There's also a built-in inventory system, and I've seen mods such as The Cassandra Project that prove that a solid indie-mod can be made using it.  The Deus Ex SDK, for now anyway, seems to fit my goals.  It'll probably mean that since it uses an older version of the Unreal engine, I'll have a transferable skill-set as well. 

But from what I've heard, there's a bit of snobbery nowadays behind older engines.  Some people won't even play Deus Ex nowadays because the graphics aren't up to scratch with the standards expected of games today (more fool them). 

So I'm really wondering what are people's experiences with using older engines and releasing mods with them now?  Have your mods been ignored just because it's not a brand-spanking new engine?

Jan 13 2013, 9:14am Anchor

I can't speak as a dev, but as a player there are quite a few mods with a large following on old engines. Sven Co-op still makes the news when it has a new release, Cry of Fear was a big deal on Half Life 1, and the mod Firestorm Over Kronus still has people waiting for a Soul Storm or Dark Crusade campaign release.

Although, it is worth noting that most of those mods have been in development for years. Sven Co-op over a decade if I recall right. It even has a small group of players who talk nostalgically about the "good old days of 3.0" despite it technically being the same game.

My limited understanding is that old engines are much more restrictive and take longer to accomplish the same task.

Jan 13 2013, 4:24pm Anchor

Well, old engines have old technology with everything that speaks for and against it. On the one hand they have low requirements since they had to run on the hardware back then. On the other hand they kind of limit you in what you can do, because technology has advanced without them.
Newer engines are usually more powerful tools. You can recreate Deus Ex on Unreal so that it even looks the same, but you cannot recreate an Unreal game on the Deus Ex engine without sacrifice.
SabreXT pretty much nailed it with the last sentence. The point is that the tools/SDKs have advanced with their engines. I have no experience with engines that are that old, but I'm moving from Source to the CryEngine which is a huge step forward already. Creating outside environments is not only easier and quicker; the results look better.

Jan 13 2013, 5:14pm Anchor

If you're making a standalone mod/game then it's not as much of a big deal (alien Arena, Digital Paint, World of Padman, D-Day, Urban Terror & a ton others use Q2/3 tech.  Steel Storm, a commercial title, uses Q1 GPL and runs on a wide set of systems).  If you're making something for a specific game then you'll be limited by those who play the game, yes.  That's why most popular mods are for popular games: more people to play them (makes sense).

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