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Game engine Vs Game play debate:

Old 04-30-03, 09:27 PM
  #1  
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Game engine Vs Game play debate:

Apparently, game makers spend as much as 75% of their time designing game engines, and only 25% on making the game. This made me think. Would the game making community be better off if it split into 2 separate factions? One part of the prodution process could make various FPS, Sim, RPG, RTS and other kinds of game engines. They can make the game dynamics, they figure out how the physics works, and how objects get rendered. There will be competition amongst the engine makers to make the most realistic/adaptable/easy-to-use engine that takes advantage of current processors. The engine makers have no dealings with, or make any money from the public.

Instead, they get as many software groups as possible to liscence their engine out. They let them, or even help them mod the hell out of the engine to streamline it. This way games will be more stable, since more games have a similar backbone. Hopefully they will be adaptable enough so that they don't all look the same. This isn't really an issue. Deus Ex 2 looks nothing like quake 3, and Tropico 2 looks nothing like railroad tycoon 2. With nore time to devote to gameplay, we can expect better storylines and levels, and shorter develop times. With games being increasingly cheaper to make, we can expect the software powerhouses to start making a few gambles now and then, and we might see some more great "experimental" games that will revolutionize the industry. However, the until that day, we will be forced to play clones of dune 2 and wolfenstein 3-D.

From an economic standpoint, this all makes sense. Is it programmer hubris that makes them think its worth delaying a game by 2 years to improve the gamespeed and graphics by 5-10%? Don't they know that they are fighting time itself, and no matter when the game is released, eventually it will look old? Don't they realize that if it was a great game in the first place, people will go back to it, regardless of how it looks?
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Old 05-01-03, 12:07 AM
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My friend and I had a conversation similiar to this (he's a game programmer). Basically, he was saying that its better to use an existing engine. Because it cuts back on time, might not even be as good as one already made, and again cuts back on time=money. Everyone's trying to re-invent the wheel when they should be just be making new games better. Its amazing how much can be added to an existing engine, how often companies are too lazy to take advantage of it.
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