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Artman2004

Your favorite game engine?

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idtech3 - the movement is just the best ever (imo) and feels good in most any game using it.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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The unreal 1 engine and the Unreal Tournament game that went along with it. Shame Epic never open sourced it or that game.

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id tech 3 as well. Its feel is what made Q3 such a solid competitive game. That and the console which allowed maximum tweaking.

 

It also powered other greats like Jedi Academy/Outcast and RTCW.

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Same boat as dpJudas.

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Unreal 1 engine. It was the ''crysis'' of that time. Three decades later, it still amazes me. Nostalgia glasses are stuck in my dumb-ass head. 

 

And of course, Doom engine, three decades later and it still is kicking.

I would also like to mention whatever engine Blizzard used for Diablo 2 and Starcraft, those games have such a style.

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53 minutes ago, Boaby Kenobi said:

The Source engine was amazing for its time and some games using it still look, play and sound good even today.

Oh yes! I forgot about source. Really played a lot of Half-Life with bots back in the day lol. CS Source was also some of the first games that made my jaw drop with water reflections. Half Life, despite the age, still looks pretty good.

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I just absolutely love how the Quake 1 engine feels. It has a certain floatiness to it that Quake 2 seemed to do away with, Quake 2 felt much more grounded and solid. Quake 3 seemed to have gone back to it, but I never played Quake 3 all that much, and the iD Tech 3 games that I did play (Soldier of Fortune 2, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and most of the COD games until they started using their own engine) felt really solid in the movement department, the jumping didn't feel right. I've never had more fun jumping around in a game than I did in Quake 1.

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When it comes to FPS engine, I go with id tech 3, Unreal Engines 1 to 3 and Source engine.

 

Other than FPS engines, I really love the engine used in second generation C&C games (Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2) mostly due to the ease of modding and lovely isometric style. It doesn't have pathfinding issues of Starcraft and AoE engines.

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Idtech3 hit the sweet spot for me. It still had the aesthetics of the previous decade's games but was modern enough not to look dated.

Anything that came afterward moved more and more into the uncanny valley realm.

 

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I have a holy trifecta of engines i enjoy for multiple reasons.

Blade Engine:

Used in: Severance: Blade of Darkness/Blade: Edge of Darkness

 

Developed by Rebel Act Studios, Severance: Blade of Darkness can be described as a ''proto-Dark Souls''. Released in early 2001, but developed from 1996-2000, Severance preceded most modern gaming visuals by multiple years. Severance delivered Doom 3 style stencil shadows, marred with an at times amazing lightmap system, and it also had realistic particles and reflective water. It did all this on DX7 hardware and lower.. Anyone running a Voodoo or even a Nvidia TNT2 could have this kind of visual fidelity, which would only catch on when shaders became apparent.
 

Features:

  • New portal engine allows real time lighting, volumetric lights and shadows.
  • Real time physic and fluid system. (Weapons do not clip through walls but stop moving when hit against it.)
  • Volumetric fog.
  • More than 16 different realistic outdoor/indoor environments: frozen landscape, desert, Arabic Palaces, Hindu Temples, volcanos, Lost Island, mines,.....
  • Four characters to choose from, each one with specific skills.
  • Playing Character progression depending on your abilities.
  • Up to 100 different weapons: sword, axes, spears, bows, shields, magic weapons,.....
  • Up to 25 different races of enemies: orks, trolls, golems, demons, skeletons,.....
  • Up to 100 puzzles and traps combining physics, hydraulic systems, arrows, fire, stone balls,....
  • Up to 100 different types of objects you can take, burn, break, throw and use as a weapon (tables, glasses, stools, bones,...)
  • Powerful combat system:
  • Facing (locking) enemies. Dodging.
  • Amazing combos:
  • More than 1700 animations based on Motion Capture System. Up to 20 differents attacks per PC.
  • Shield blocking. Mutilations and wounds. Real time blood. Magic attacks. Destructor attacks.
  • Advanced AI System.
  • Different defensive tactics for enemies depending on their intelligence level (stupid and agressive ork, organized and efficient Dark Knights).
  • Frenetic multiplayer arena mode:
  • TCP/IP, LAN, IPX.
  • 4 Characters with a total of 12 different skins, Parental lock for gore (disable mutilations and blood). Training level. Original Motion Track.

 

 

Links:

Paradise Engine:

Used in: Outcast

 

1999's Outcast is a natural contender for this list. Unlike many engines of this time frame, Outcast went with a software rendered engine. Paradise was the name given to the API that controls all the 7! engines present in Outcast, including GAIA, the AI engine. Outcast pioneered a lot of real time visual effects seen only later on video cards with shader hardware support. The resultant look of the game and visual fidelity is, in my opinion, a predecessor to later Xbox 360 titles, over 6 years later, but in very low resolution (Outcast supported a resolution of max 512x384 at the time.)

swimming%201.jpg
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Features:

  • Depth of field
  • Self-shadowing
  • Dynamic shadows
  • Colored lighting
  • Lens flare effects
  • Terrain engine made up of voxels
  • Translucent water (Including dynamic water ripples)
  • Bump mapping

Links:

  • The Making of Outcast: A extensive look back by one of the developers of the game. Documents the entire history of the game.
  • Paradise API: Features. A detailed list of what the engine in Outcast was capable of.
  • Fresh 3D's Outcast page: Fresh 3D updated Outcast to 1.1 to support more resolutions and compatibility with Windows systems. This page keeps more history on the game.

Trespasser Engine:

Used in: Jurassic Park: Trespasser
 

1998's Trespasser, led by Dreamworks, essentially tried to be Far Cry/Crysis, but in 1998. Sporting a large island to explore, Trespasser is the most known title of the trifecta described here. Not only did Trespasser support a unique physics system, it also had a rather unique animation system, the protagonist giving feedback on how many bullets there are left, along with a unique sound foley system, that could intermix any sounds in real time to produce new ones, a novelty feature that has not been featured in many games since. The game also attempted to give dinosaurs realistic behaviors, with agents employing a decision-based system based on emotions. In practice, this led to dinosaurs displaying rather erratic behavior, from being hostile to scared in a split second. Trespasser was too ambitious for its time, but became a cult hit, with a steady community to this day.


Features:

  • Bump mapping
  • Level of detail
  • Advanced ''Box'' physics (Everything acts as if it is encased in a invisible box)
  • Terrain engine
  • Reflective water
  • Player shadows
  • ''Advanced'' dinosaur AI 

Links:

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The Source Engine, Source 2, Unreal2, and the PopCap Framework are my favorite engines of all time, Source is fun and has impressive graphics, Unreal2's ragdoll physics are so weird (look at postal 2), and the PopCap Framework is incredibly easy to mod and has 2 of my favorite games on it

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The Doom Engine (aka Idtech 1) is my favorite 3d engine, Southpaw is a good one too since it really pushed the GBA to its limits. On 2D engines however, Christian Whitehead's Retro Engine that powered the remakes of Sonic 1, 2 and CD, as well as Sonic Mania is my favorite. It just feels so good.

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7 hours ago, Redneckerz said:

I have a holy trifecta of engines i enjoy for multiple reasons.

Blade Engine:

Used in: Severance: Blade of Darkness/Blade: Edge of Darkness

 

Developed by Rebel Act Studios, Severance: Blade of Darkness can be described as a ''proto-Dark Souls''. Released in early 2001, but developed from 1996-2000, Severance preceded most modern gaming visuals by multiple years. Severance delivered Doom 3 style stencil shadows, marred with an at times amazing lightmap system, and it also had realistic particles and reflective water. It did all this on DX7 hardware and lower.. Anyone running a Voodoo or even a Nvidia TNT2 could have this kind of visual fidelity, which would only catch on when shaders became apparent.

 

Aha, I love Blade of Darkness. I walked into a store one day, saw this BoD game and bought it without knowing anything about it. The lighting really was amazing with things like a torch casting shadows through a portcullis or grate and a goblin walks by a fire and you see the shadow moving on the wall... what a great game. The music and the architecture combined with the lighting gave it an awesome atmosphere.

 

The biggest disappointment for me with Blade of Darkness was the editor. Even with following instructions I wasn't able to get a single room to work. With the funky way it worked and stuff being in Spanish, I have no idea how they made the levels for the game with that thing.

 

I like id tech1, 2 and 3 myself.

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Source, Source 2, Unreal Engine 3 & 4, idtech1 and 3, GoldSource, CryEngine 3, and Build.

 

Spoiler

 

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Edited by seed : Added some Source & UE3 worship.

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The Infinity engine.

 

I love the games made on it, I love the visual end results, and I would rather have a new D&D game on it (maybe not a Baldur's Gate expansion though...) rather than whatever Baldur's Gate 3 is going to be. Even if it ends up being okay, which it might. 

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2 hours ago, Doom_Dude said:

 

Aha, I love Blade of Darkness. I walked into a store one day, saw this BoD game and bought it without knowing anything about it. The lighting really was amazing with things like a torch casting shadows through a portcullis or grate and a goblin walks by a fire and you see the shadow moving on the wall... what a great game. The music and the architecture combined with the lighting gave it an awesome atmosphere.

 

The biggest disappointment for me with Blade of Darkness was the editor. Even with following instructions I wasn't able to get a single room to work. With the funky way it worked and stuff being in Spanish, I have no idea how they made the levels for the game with that thing.

 

I like id tech1, 2 and 3 myself.

Throwing a torch in a hallway and seeing light and shadow react naturally to it, full of stencil shadows is impressive even today. By the Gods i managed to get a copy last year and got it installed. Control wise its rather clumsy, but visually its still very solid. And, it can be played in first person!

The only real minus are its low quality textures of 256x256. Its here where Blade definitely has aged. But shadow/light work is similar to Doom 3, and that on pre-shader hardware. And the physics engine is soo good... Its a shame it was not used more. People say Doom 3 delivered the stencil goods or mention Deus Ex: Invisible War - But Blade did it all 2-3 years before either of them.

It should be the definitive benchmark game for any video card lacking shaders, so Radeon 7000, Nvidia TNT2, and so on.

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Probably the Build engine. I have no idea how to map for it, but I love the games made in it.

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Definitely the Unreal engine.  Especially 4. Everything just looks so nice and really good to look at. Example Kingdom Hearts 3. Just got the DESTROY ALL HUMANS REMAKE which also uses UE4 and the game looks amazing, really fun too. 

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It hasn't released yet, but I was about to explode when I saw Unreal 5. I think I literally went, "MMMMMHHHH! Delicious!"

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I agree that the Quake 3 engine was the sweet spot. And look at everything that was done with it.

 

In the original Rome: Total War, the units push each other and slide back and forth and deform quite a bit, giving the battles an elastic quality I've never seen elsewhere. Best ever cavalry charges in a videogame.

 

I'd also like to have some insight into how Cossacks: European Wars was programmed. The chaos that blossoms when you storm a town, with thousands of units milling around getting into little street-to-street melees, with buildings burning all around, is glorious and satisfying on par with a really big bonkers Doom fight. And it always runs like butter. The sequel, American Conquest, has clunky gameplay that doesn't really work but it can be breathtaking in its grandeur and detail.

 

I'm assuming Konami NES games share code, if not an engine as such. All their action platformers feel great.

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Other than id Tech 1, my another favorite game engines are;

-The first 5 Tomb Raider games' engine(s),

-Jedi Engine, and

-VR6, an engine used for The Hidden Below (1994, an FPS that's somewhere between Wolf3D and DOOM) and Battlerace (1995, a Wipeout-esque futuristic racing game), among at least one another FPS game.

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Gamebryo hue hue hue /s

 

Nah, Source is solid, if it is built in Source then I can probably tell immediately, I'm somewhat familiar with the SDK but only basic entry knowledge as Source is both accessible yet incredibly in depth, anyone can pick it up but only few can make really solid works with it.

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For visuals, I find UE4 is graphically the nicest, and I imagine UE5 will take its place soon.

 

For programming, for quick and small games I've used LÖVE and pyGame and of them I find the former easier and more flexible, but that's mostly preference. They are both capable engines for simple games.

 

For 3D/larger games, it's more complicated. Unity is accessible but has its own challenges. UE I've found usable but can be cumbersome (this is just my personal opinion; others may have achieved a "flow" there).

 

For playing, I have to say idtech3 has the best "gameplay feel" to it. The controls feel simply fantastic.

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