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Talk about the progression of the mod and maps, and where we would like to go next. Be sure to voice your opinion on the possible engine switch!

Posted by AnotherOne1 on May 6th, 2011

Hey all!

Let's catch up shall we? I (Alex) have recently been hired as a software engineer by a local company and unfortunately I've lost quite a bit of free time to devote to this project. But let me please make this clear to all of you.


Hahaha, just trying to restructure life and giving this project the A-Tension it deserves even if it is on evenings and weekends. And yes that pun was intended, horribly, horribly intended.

We also have been looking more and more into the UDK, it definitely gives us larger maps to work with as well as a gorgeous set of tools and our models will look infinitely better. I am willing to take on the port to the Unreal engine as long as our community is behind me!

So please comment and respond about what you think about switching engines, bearing in mind that this would increase options for both map detail/size, overall graphics and distribution down the road.Now lets get to the current progress on source, Zach has been working on detailing out cities more as well as implementing our goal system into a new work in progress city map.

Trying to nail down the art style has been weighing us down hard so any suggestions are always good!

Overview - City Map 1Goal system in place - City map 1Is that a crane? - City Map 1Rooftop corridor - City Map 1

And as a closer, check out a little Minecraft skin of the old suit.. Oh did i say old suit? =]

Little Fun In Minecraft

Please let us know what you think about the engine switch guys, as well as the art style it really helps us out!
Comment/Email/PM's are always appreciated.

- Alex Soustek (Tension Team)

Post comment Comments  (0 - 50 of 52)
SPY-maps May 7 2011 says:

a engine switch, my god, not you too guys!?!?!

i can imagine that the UDK does look very promising right now, and maybe it would be a good choice to do so. but, please keep in mind that a whole lot of projects that have been changing from engine did die simply because you have to start all over again, (ok, not really all over, but still, i guess you know what i mean.) a lot of team take the jump to another engine and after some time they see that they get because of this so much extra work that they stop eventually. i don't say this will happen to you, but the risk is there. and, you already said yourself that a team member had to leave and that you only can work in weekends and evenings on this, and to make a engine change then??? i wouldn't do it, although i do get it that it looks very appealing. but it will make that a whole lot of what already was done has to be done all over again. changing engines is not so quickly done as it first maybe does seem to be...
i suggest you finish this project, and then go to a new engine.

but, this is just my personal opinion.


+11 votes     reply to comment
Neoplayer2 May 7 2011 replied:


If you switch to UDK, does that mean I would have to own a UDK game? Or could I just get the mod?

+2 votes     reply to comment
tymaxbeta May 7 2011 replied:

Honestly, all this switching is Valves fault in my opinion, if they could just catch up with the time and release SOMETHING for independent development, the world would a better place, you think that if I could build indy games on Source I wouldn't, you're crazy. Source is one of, if not the, best engines out there, Gabe needs to realize that every other major engine [literally now with Crytech out there] has gone indy, it's time for Valve to put out a tool set, but until then, UDK is the closest thing to Source we have in terms of the methodology behind level scripting and creation. I know first hand that switching to UDK is sad, but it's the next best thing to Source for me, if these guys are doing full game quality work, and Valve wont support them, mainly because Valve hasn't supported ANY community mods on Steamworks since 2007, or earlier, then let them have their way. Valve needs to come back an support the modding community, or make a toolset. Why did they ever stop supporting us anyhow?

+3 votes     reply to comment
AnotherOne1 Author
AnotherOne1 May 7 2011 replied:

We have been thinking about this for months, trust me I'm not exactly giddy to write a ton of effing unreal script. Hell i have just now acknowledged it as "possible" to port.

We would take baby steps, since as the coder i'm not doing a whole lot right now anyway (gameplay being pretty solid) i would take a stab at it. We wouldn't go deleting our source code or anything. Worst case we drop back to right where we are in Tension...

I would never discard all the work I've done on source, that'd just be ridiculous i wish i had the resources to develop both in tandem :/

I am fine with the source engine as a code base (love it actually) but i know for a fact the tools are so awful.. And as we look at a large chunk of content creation ahead it definitely looks promising.

+2 votes   reply to comment
DuckSauce May 7 2011 replied:

Remember me? From GraviNULL, added you on steam way back, we talked for a bit then.

If you guys make the switch, contact me if you want some help with smaller tidbits about UDK, been using it for a bit so I can save you some documentation scouring or code digging, so if you wanna talk hit me up on steam sometime.

+4 votes     reply to comment
thefoofighter May 7 2011 says:

Really? Another mod going to Unreal This is turning into a joke :( Well if you wanna become Scripting Guru's go for it but Hard coding is the only true coding way and Personally i think you should finish what you started on the Source engine and then make it an indie game. That way its like Orion - a source version and an unreal version. The unreal version being more successful than the source version but the source version is more like a teaser. I dunno I think its a shame that so many mods are switching cause i think valve will take their finger out and release a new engine with the same licensing as unreal. Just a matter of when :P

+6 votes     reply to comment
AnotherOne1 Author
AnotherOne1 May 7 2011 replied:

Very insightful.

Ah yes the "when" is always the kicker, I'm sure you're familiar with "Valve Time" it's hard to sink time into waiting for valve to drop an update. Alien Swarm was a baby step in the right direction and look how long that took em..

It's definitely a tough choice.

+1 vote   reply to comment
ponpat May 7 2011 says:

I am not so deep into the pros and cons of both engines but I can say: I love playing mods for source and I hate playing Unreal Engine Games... I hate the feeling this Engine gives me. Bullet Storm geve me that feeling, Homefront, too, Killing Floor and also The Ball Also Borderlands give me this feeling even if I loved this game and thon conzept of some of the other ones but when I play with the UE3-Engine I always have this bad feeling even if I didn't know it was the Unreal Engine.
Must sound very stupid and it is very subjectiv but I personally hate playing ue3 even if I always give the Engine a new chance the feeling in the games for me is terrible... So plz stay at the Source Engine or make it like thefoofighter said.

+1 vote     reply to comment
cW#Ravenblood May 7 2011 says:

I knew that this wasnt dead cuz Nilghai was sometimes in his build :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
kazumo May 7 2011 says:

No :( This game is unique for the Source engine...I would really like to play it, the source engine is so awesome, it runs on almost any PCs, It would suck to change the engine, but...if you guys want to do this :(...I will untrack because I can't play Unreal Engine games on my PC.

+3 votes     reply to comment
MattB1023 May 7 2011 replied:

Why was his comment thumbed down? Like him, I have a **** PC and can't run Unreal Engine games well. I can get 10-20 fps on low settings on most Unreal Engine games. I don't support the switch, but I will still track if you so, in case I upgrade my PC.

+3 votes     reply to comment
bopence May 7 2011 buried:


i suggest if you were to change engine, go Cryengine 3! looks better than udk or source at the moment. and the feel of the engine and mechanics is much nicer.

-6 votes     reply to comment
medve May 7 2011 says:


-1 votes     reply to comment
DDguy May 7 2011 says:

UDK is nice, but i would have wanted to see how this goes in source..

well, if you REALLY are going to change the engine, best of luck ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Quansword May 7 2011 says:

I would support going to udk full heartedly, honestly, it looks better, and if you go to udk then anyone could play this, I dont know why people are complaining.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Bon. May 7 2011 says:

For those saying moving to the UDK is a joke, ultimately it will provide a better quality product. Although some may be in disbelief, the Source engine is very outdated, the tools used to create games on it are also extremely outdated and tedious to use, even Gabe admits that. Moving to the UDK will provide so many advantages and i completely support any mod group wanting to switch to it. The possibilities that the UDK can offer outweigh those of the source engine by far.

- Will

+2 votes     reply to comment
Otter. May 7 2011 says:

For me the UDK has a really different feel and not in a good way.
I tried out "The Ball" and I didn't really liked it. The maps where gorgeous yes, but the lighting still felt really weird and not very realistic, and don't get me start on the movement. It's like I was playing with a Quake live character (or UT, but since I played UT in a really long time I don't want to compare) I felt that I always crouched, the visibility/perspective was too wide, etc.
If you add a little head bobbing, some nice sounds it would be so much better on the Source I think, so I don't support an engine change.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Bon. May 7 2011 replied:

Otter that is how that game was configured, anything from first person shooters to MMO's to RTS's can be crated using the unreal engine, its up to the designers to create the 'feel' as you put it. If you have seen the latest tech demo's from the UDK, im sure you will understand the sheer power of the UDK. As for unrealistic lighting, ive never played a game or mod on the source engine where ive thought wow that lighting looks real.

+3 votes     reply to comment
KILLER89(FIN) May 7 2011 says:

Valve is going to improve the Source´s modding tools.
Just wondering though, when they roll them out.

The tools are masochist´s wet day dream in their current state.

+3 votes     reply to comment
jjawinte May 7 2011 replied:

"tymaxbeta" summed up all the debate about this increasing trend quite neatly and realistically with this opening portion of his initial comment above: " Honestly, all this [ engine ] switching is Valves fault...". We all wait for Christmas once a year as it is.

[ Would-be ] developers and modders simply cannot afford to limit their visions and talents waiting around for Valve to release the tools to create unique and competitive projects. It's obvious that Valve isn't interested in being a part of this exciting new Indie business model, so to hell with them. You simply have to go with a decent company [ engine ] that is and learn some additional skills along the way.

Much success to the project;s progress in the future CGG !

+3 votes     reply to comment
Nilghai May 9 2011 replied:

Very good point indeed

+1 vote     reply to comment
DuckSauce May 7 2011 says:

From development perspective I say:
Source is so incredibly outdated, UDK is a different engine and while offering new advantages it may have it's downsides, just like Source does.

But, I've been using it for a fair while, so far there's nothing I couldn't do with UnrealScripts and doing it was always much easier than with Source's source code.

It also has a sexy editor and a variety of incredibly useful tools, that are just more up to date than Source's, assuming Source even has them.

From the perspective of the fans/watchers/players, you could get more players playing it... or less, I suspect it will be more, but there may be people out there with old outdated pc's that can't update because they may not be as well fairing as others out here, that's sad but...

I say go for it, it's a great engine, the requirements to run UDK games isn't insane, so you won't lose too many followers I think, but I recommend first trying to set up a basic version to see if the grappling and stuff can be "ported" over without losing the feel, otherwise you may be best sticking with Source, since the feel of the grappling is gonna be important for this kind of game I'd say.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Kamikazi[Uk] May 7 2011 says:

Here we go again with people thinking they can make a indie game just because they can change it to UDK. Finish this mod on source stop following the crowd and going to UDK just because you think you can be indie devolopers.

-4 votes     reply to comment
AnotherOne1 Author
AnotherOne1 May 7 2011 replied:

Hahaha, I woke up one day and decided i wanted to port all code from Tension over to UDK because i thought I'd get the nifty label of "Indie-Developer"?

No offense but it's nuts to think that's why we would switch..

+4 votes   reply to comment
DuckSauce May 7 2011 replied:

Hate to jump on you here, kamikazi, but that really was rude.

+3 votes     reply to comment
PeacefulPatriot May 7 2011 says:

Go for UDK. If you're facing technical limitations, it's probably the way to go.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Reeze17 May 7 2011 says:


0 votes     reply to comment
PeacefulPatriot May 7 2011 says:

You can just get Tension. It will install the Unreal engine with it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Bioknight May 7 2011 says:

Don't swich, source engine is awesome!
But i would support you say it's impossible/too hard with source ;)

+2 votes     reply to comment
GIJames May 7 2011 says:

Judging from what you have said, you should switch to UDK.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Potteh. May 7 2011 says:

I don't know why but I felt the post was rather lacking and more like it was written by a 14 year old. On the grounds of what you've stated. I'd say switching would be rather silly, without some incredibly interesting storyline anyway. I'd say go with Source on this one because let's face it, if it was on UDK, it would just look like Mirror's Edge with a grappling hook.

-4 votes     reply to comment
AnotherOne1 Author
AnotherOne1 May 7 2011 replied:

I don't know why it being on UDK would make it look any more/less like Mirrors Edge.. And the rest, just sorta rude mate TBH.

We would switch because of map size limitations (source == a ton of loads) among other things, why is stuff like that silly?

I understand where you are coming from, i love Source, but it's decrepit in it's current state..

+1 vote   reply to comment
Potteh. May 8 2011 replied:

I wasn't having a dig at the mod. But source can look fancy with the right amount of work, look at City17 with their shaders, look at manyer games that have been designed on the Source engine and can be great. The reason for the Mirror's Edge pun was purely based on art style, I've seen a lot of references to it in screenshots, so I presumed you were going for the similarities of Mirror's Edge. I mean look at the percentage of comments, there's a multitude of people stating that they would be disappointed if you went to the UDK. If I were you, I'd stick to Source on the bases of your demographic.

0 votes     reply to comment
Luigis_#1 May 7 2011 says:

well looks like I wont be able to get this mod.

-2 votes     reply to comment
eatleadsukka May 7 2011 says:

This would mean that i would have to play this on Unreal Engine? Not happening. I hate the look of unreal 3. If you switch you will lose your followers to a new audience.
So i do not approve.
As for the map size... I've seen some huge source maps (evocity_v2/v3). The map i just stated is amazingly enormous. Just about a full 5 square miles.
So think about that...

-3 votes     reply to comment
twincannon May 7 2011 replied:

so... you hate good graphics? Nice opinion bro.

+2 votes     reply to comment
SysOp. May 7 2011 says:

I could say this from years of experience:



+1 vote     reply to comment
Redeemer_SVK May 7 2011 says:

I say go for UDK. VALVe has to feel that they abandoned moding scene by not delivering 'nextgen' toolset. And IMHO Source hasn't moved anywhere in terms of technology since OB. I don't live in year 2011 with y2011 hw to play y2007 quality games.

For a loong time I was realy big fan of Source and played Source mods exclusively (h:s, dys, emp, ins ... tried every mp mod released or that was popular those days). Hell, those games even rlz these days (playing dys+emp occasionally but it always rocks). But for new titles, I really want to see them on something better.

+3 votes     reply to comment
jjawinte May 7 2011 replied:

" Redeemer " hit's it right on the head here: I've been playing on Source and enjoying Source [ community ] mods for many years, but if it's new, I want it to feel that it's new when I play it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
DaLuig May 7 2011 replied:

*cough* Portal 2 engine *cough*

+2 votes     reply to comment
Redeemer_SVK May 8 2011 replied:

Where's the Portal 2 visually different from for example Portal 1 ? I really don't see any improvement in visual quality there. Same res textures, same boxy models ...

0 votes     reply to comment
PeacefulPatriot May 31 2011 replied:

Dynamic shadowing, massive maps, improved water reflection, self shadowing, scripted destruction and cinematic physics, massive improvements to all props and textures, improved animation...

+1 vote     reply to comment
curlymilton May 7 2011 says:

The Unreal Engine does have nice effects...but I've always found games on that\those engine(s) ( dating all the way back to UT ) to not behave that well in the movement department. Either way I'm sure I'll play this mod...but I'd rather it stay Source. The Unreal renderer looks odd to me as well. I personally like how HL2\L4D\Portal\etc. look...even if they have fewer bells and whistles. Plus, with less than 4 characters on screen at once, I don't see why the models can't be higher poly than regular Source games ( that have alot more player\npcs to render at once ).

+1 vote     reply to comment
curlymilton May 7 2011 replied:

Also, as a modder myself I am waiting to see what Golden Gabe rolls out on the SDK side of things now that Portal 2 is out.

+1 vote     reply to comment
DevinShadowV May 7 2011 says:

were can we download the UDK engine? plus yeah just wait valve is updating there source UDK soon

0 votes     reply to comment
curlymilton May 8 2011 replied:

You can get the udk through steam

+1 vote     reply to comment
m4x0r May 8 2011 says:

You have so much more potential with UDK, it might be harder, but you can actually make your own game rather than haphazardly attempting to turn Half Life 2 into a game you want to make. If you guys are willing to put the effort in, which it seems you are considering all the work I've seen so far on this mod, I say do it and you'll be thankful in the end. It's not like you've gotten to the point where the switch is impossible. All of your code-based ideas will be possible with your coder I'm sure too. And the people who are saying you'll have to start from scratch obviously have no experience doing anything like this. Don't take the comments of not being able to run Unreal seriously either. The Unreal engine is easily one of the most optimized gaming engines currently available, and if these people "can't run it" I doubt they can even run Source.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Leon_Kilean May 8 2011 says:

Rather do the Source version first, and if there´s still inspiration left, do a new, better build on UDK etc. That´ll get you a good amount of player feedback and a good perspective on actually how to make a better game on the better tools.

The art style so far seems good, I dig.

+3 votes     reply to comment
WNxKraid May 8 2011 says:

Since we've recently changed to UDK with our mod as well, all i can say is: do it.

Much more freedome with allmost everything.
Material system is far superior.
While i wasted a lot of time to achive a certain effect on source and never got it anywhere close to what i wanted, it took me a short research and a few minutes of work to get it right on UDK.

The only problem you need to keep in mind is that the focus of UDK is far more model based.
So either you got a lot more modellers then mappers on your team (or at least very productive ones), need very few props or your mappers are also able to create their own models.
In your case it might be the 2nd thing. (depending on the artstyle you'll choose in the end)

I've allready seen some youtube vids of a grappling hook working in UDK and we're planning to add something much similar to our mod (Grappling beam ala metroid prime).

+3 votes     reply to comment
jmarquiso May 13 2011 says:

Please don't switch engines at this stage. Get a workable demo or prototype out and when you have funding, change engines.

Basically do what you're doing. The current stylized look is beautiful, and will keep you distinct.

Source also has a greater sense of speed than UDK (I've noticed).

+1 vote     reply to comment
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