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Blastfrog

Source engine vs. Unreal engine 3

Which engine is better for small indie devs?  

30 members have voted

  1. 1. Which engine is better for small indie devs?

    • Source
      11
    • Unreal 3
      19


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In your opinion, which is better for indie devs, for reasons such as licensing, release platform, graphics capabilities, ease of use to develop for, or any reason for that matter?

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I do love Valve and find Source to be a very good engine for playing. (I like the way moving and aiming feels, as well as the lack of plastic wrapping on every single texture.) However, UDK is a fantastic engine with lots of fairly good tutorials. It's a lot faster and easier to work with than Source, and the tools are much more stable.

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Is Source necessarily difficult and confusing, or just more challenging yet understandable/graspable?

What about the two engines when it comes to large (and I mean large), open terrains with vehicle gameplay? How about seamless map transition?

I kinda prefer source for it's last gen Quake-like feel over all, but the graphics in some cases (namely lighting) aren't that great looking compared to UE3 or Darkplaces.

I'm really torn as to which one to choose.

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Craigs said:

Cryengine 3 bitches.

This. It's a warmachine whose goal is to crush every engine that has the bad luck of being in the way.

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Membrain said:

I do love Valve and find Source to be a very good engine for playing. (I like the way moving and aiming feels, as well as the lack of plastic wrapping on every single texture.) However, UDK is a fantastic engine with lots of fairly good tutorials. It's a lot faster and easier to work with than Source, and the tools are much more stable.


The "plastic wrapping" is a design choice. You can do it in Source if you want. Valve is just better than that.

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eargosedown said:

Can either of you explain what you mean by plastic wrapping?


I think they might be referring to the highly glossy surfaces found everywhere in certain UE3 games.

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It happens when designers use too much specular, I guess.

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Some designers either wrap everything in really bright specular maps. This looks silly. Other times they use default gray ones that leave all surfaces looking somewhat shiny. This is what happened when Tenebrae was first released. Loading Quake would cause the engine to generate flat, gray specular maps and strange normal maps. The result was the maps looked lacquered.

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As someone who's not an indie dev, I can't really comment on which is better. They both seem super-solid to me from a user standpoint. UE3 has the slight advantage of being newer, though.

Or just what sgtcrispy said.

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Never did anything with Unreal, seconding what others said about the plastic look most games made with it have. Nowhere near as bad as Doom 3, but still very unnatural looking compared to Source. I'm not sure if it's the engine or just Valve's animators, but Source engine facial animation is far, far better than anything I've seen in any other game. It's hilarious how bad some newer games' facial animation is compared to HL2.

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I'd like to see more use of the Quake 3 engine. That really should be today's Doom engine as far as customization and map making is concerned.

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Technician said:

I'd like to see more use of the Quake 3 engine.


Call of Duty isn't enough for you?

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Everyone here attempting to compare engines talking about the specularity of a shader is clueless.

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I do MOD work on Source, I prefer it over Unreal level editing wise.

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Zaldron said:

Everyone here attempting to compare engines talking about the specularity of a shader is clueless.


Well, engine creators going to care to have "sane" defaults for their shader settings might bode well for the rest of their engine ;-)

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Nomad said:

Purely on graphical capability, I gotta go with UE3.

Everything looks like plastic and gross.

Honestly, most engines seem to suffer this (source engine makes everything look glossy to me :/). Serious Engine 3 of all things is one of the ones that comes closest to realistic light reflections on different kinds of surfaces (eg, matted metal should not look like shiny plastic).

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Again, the problem is the amount of specular set by the artists. To make it natural on Blender I have to tone it down a lot, or it will look like a plastic sculpt.

Edit: the Samaritan demo isn't that bad in this respect. UT3 was way worst with speculars.

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Technician said:

NO!


Good because Modern Warfare 3 just came out. I'm sure there's a lot more where that came from.

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Wasn't even aware that idtech3 was still being used, albeit a heavily modified version and everything.

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