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Epic Opens Counterclaim Against Silicon Knights

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the getting-ugly-over-unreal dept.

The Courts 56

You may recall the recent announcement of Silicon Knights' suit against Epic over the Unreal engine. The Escapist reports that Epic is firing back, launching a countersuit against SK and claiming this is all just a ploy to renegotiate their licensing deal. "In its counter-suit, however, Epic says that Silicon Knights was aware that the Unreal Engine 3 was still under development when the licensing deal was signed, and that new features would continue to be added as part of Epic's development of Gears of War. 'SK's lawsuit is a pretense,' [Epic's Mark] Rein said in his statement. 'SK does not have any valid claims against Epic. SK filed suit in a bid to renegotiate the License Agreement, in the hope that Epic will prefer that to the burden of responding to discovery and associated adverse publicity.' Epic is seeking minimum compensatory damages in excess of $650,000, as well as other injunctive relief."

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56 comments

Bah! (2, Insightful)

Miltazar (1100457) | more than 6 years ago | (#20186539)

Both the original story and this story is little on hard facts. Neither the original suit or this counterclaim by Epic has any real facts to clue in to who is right or wrong. Perhaps Epic is right, or maybe Silicon Knights are just incompetent. Personally, despite me not liking any of SK's games, I'll wait for the conclusion to the trial or the settlement to make any decisions who to flame.

Re:Bah! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20186985)

Regardless of the usual crappy Slashdot story summaries, SK has laid out a extremely damaging specific facts of promised but unimplemented features, promised but missed by huge margin deadlines, supporting evidence from other developers having the same problems with Epic's engine, even some apparent public statements from Epic where they made it clear that they were putting a priority on their own internal games over devoting time to licensees - in other words getting features and bug fixes ready for their own games for E3 while letting other developers wait until after the show for the fixes and features to propagate.

If even a tiny amount of what SK claims is true, Epic deserves to get slammed hard in court.

Things Gears doesn't do correctly itself (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20188319)

Gears will frequently draw shadows through objects. Say you're hiding behind a concrete corner on Gridlock, many times your shadow around the corner will give you away. Many other times your shadow will just be drawn through the obstruction giving your specific location away. It's not limited to obstructions in your plane. If you're on the bottom floor in one of the halls in the mansion, and someone walks above you, you can see their shadow. Then there's weapons firing blanks and appearing to have infinite ammo. Shots you fire comming out of your camera rather than the end of the weapon. And network synchronizations issuses, of which there are many.

Oh and the glitches. Weapon slides, machine guns firing sniper or shotgun rounds, or rockets, kung fu flips launching players into unreachable places, 2 minute 30 second jumps hundreds of scale feet into the air landing anywhere in the map but not the area of play, to simply walking on air.

Gears is a LOT of fun to play. Fantastic, very pretty looking game. But, it's pretty clear that even it is unfinished.

Re:Things Gears doesn't do correctly itself (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20188537)

Gears of War looks impressive in the silly marketing shots Epic puts out where they add a million levels of AA that their engine can't handle in real gameplay, and where they ramp up texture and normal map detail and finally render out the frames at some absurd resolution and then downscale in Photoshop.

In actual gameplay Gears of War is an absolute mess. Foreground objects are covered in jaggies, background is completely blurred out, draw distances are usually only 20-30 feet back, and the amount of objects on the screen is usually limited to a tiny number. And even then to get it to run on the 360 Epic had to rip out the unified lighting model.

The game and engine are a mess. The only reason the game is even worth mentioning is it was latched on to by 360 owners as 'proof' of graphical power after the first year of games looking shockingly bad.

In the end Gears of War has done exactly the opposite for the 360 since no one believes the silly marketing shots are real anymore and now realize just how absurdly far Epic had to gimp the levels and gameplay to get their shiny guys in armor running on the 360.

If the game didn't have the massive resources of Microsoft's marketing money behind it it would have been your average 6 or 7/10 UE3 game with crappy online play(laggy p2p with only 4vs4 matches).

Re:Things Gears doesn't do correctly itself (2, Insightful)

Allison Geode (598914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20198735)

have you even played gears of war? the game is gorgeous, and while i pretty much only played it in single and co-op, i've not had any of these issues you're complaining about. does your display suck? is your xbox configured properly? on my setup, the game actually looks *better* than the promo shots and commercials (perhaps because the still promo screenshots don't convey how smooth it looks when in motion, and the commercial, being on a channel which doesn't come in on HD, weren't capable of outputting the same resolution as the game.)

Re:Bah! (1)

bobstevens_took_my_n (799815) | more than 6 years ago | (#20222631)

If even a tiny amount of what SK claims is true, Epic deserves to get slammed hard in court.

It depends on the specifics of the contract. I haven't seen it, have you?

What was promised? What was delivered? I'm not going to take SK's word for it just because they think I should... and neither is a court of law. (I hope... the judicial system is pretty ridiculous these days.)

On the other hand, Epic's claims are pretty obvious from SK's complaint itself. They've developed a derivative engine. They want the legal rights to use it without Epic's IP hanging over their heads. They want to not have to pay anything, at all... and in fact want a cut of Gears profits.

Epic's support sucking? I don't doubt it at all. Epic's engine hard to use? I'm sure it is. But more than one thing troubles me about the SK lawsuit... starting with the fact that they want to keep using UE3 for free.

I don't like that the discussion is so polarized on this, really. "SK is incompetent" "Epic is incompetent" blah blah blah... like they can't both be a little bit true. It seems like both parties are at least a little wrong in this situation, but I imagine only one will win this lawsuit.

Re:Bah! (3, Interesting)

Hench3 (946011) | more than 6 years ago | (#20187557)

SK's original lawsuit is actually rather detailed: They lay out the case well and describe specific instances of Epic's breach of their agreement. I recommend actually reading SK's filing; it makes for interesting reading. The /. summaries are lacking in details, yes, but the linked articles/filings do provide a vast amount of detail. Try reading TFA next time.

Re:Bah! (1)

Miltazar (1100457) | more than 6 years ago | (#20192399)

RTFA? Last I checked this was slashdot. Seriously though I actually DID RTFA. I've read them both. I was referring not to details about the lawsuit but details about what ACTUALLY happened. Until we see/hear hard facts about what Epic did, or what SK didn't do, and not just what they claim happened in a lawsuit/counterclaim I'll reserve my judgement.

Re:Bah! (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20188031)

despite me not liking any of SK's games
Whaa?! Someone has obviously never played Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.

Re:Bah! (1)

Miltazar (1100457) | more than 6 years ago | (#20192423)

Actually I did, bought it for my girlfriend the day it came out. Its an average game, didn't really bring me into the game and it just didn't interest me. I personally preferred the RE and SH games over Eternal Darkness. In all honesty it bored me to tears, except the occasional "psych out" thing that happened. Thats what I disliked the most. Yes it was original, but it really brought me out of the whole atmosphere of the game. So far, IMHO, they haven't really shown they have the skill to work with UE3.

FP ! FP! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20186543)

FP!

Re:FP ! FP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20186695)

U FAIL IT - 4-EVA
Pleez 2 b l4/\/\3 315e\/\/h3r3

ZZT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20186643)

Yep, yep, good 'ol Tim Sweeney should have stuck it out with writing new ZZT text character based engines instead. :-P ;-)

Damage Done To Epic Permanent (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20186883)

Every game developer has dreams of licensing their code out to other developers and racking in huge amounts of extra cash. Almost no one does because they know that supporting other developers in disparate projects is an gigantic effort that requires essentially an entire company focused on that effort and not just answering emails and putting out patches when you feel like it.

Epic was dumb to think they could get away with charging companies huge amounts of money for services they had no facility to support. In essence what Epic did was like someone writing insurance policies and taking fees without the capability of paying claims.

Unfortunately this lawsuit over the Unreal Engine 3 mess is cloaked in how people feel about the various companies. Unreal Tournament and other Epic games fans of course are trying to portray Silicon Knights as a bunch of screw ups and vice versa.

Just from the facts we already know and the huge problems and delays other UE3 projects are having Silicon Knights' case is very, very strong. Regardless of what the eventual outcome of the case(s), developers have gotten the message to stay the fuck away from Epic and UE3 if you ever want to ship a game on time and on budget.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#20186997)

Just from the facts we already know and the huge problems and delays other UE3 projects are having Silicon Knights' case is very, very strong.
I find Epic filing a counterclaim instead of settling out of court to be telling that the case isn't "very, very" strong.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (1)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#20187069)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unreal_3#Unreal_Engin e_3_2/ [wikipedia.org]

That's the list of games that are out or in development and are currently using the Unreal 3 engine. Take off anything made by Epic and that's a lot of games. The only ones suing Epic so far are Silicon Knights.

Now, considering several of the games on that list were very successful and had good releases, what's more likely? That Epic are a bunch of fools with a broken engine that they can't support? Or that SK, a company that's only made half a dozen games, has gotten in over their heads and is looking for someone to blame?

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20187205)

Er, only a half dozen games isn't exactly a lack of game experience in this industry.

Who wrote the original Unreal engine? And how many games has that company created?
(Look it up, it's more fun that way ;)
(Oh, and note, I mean the developer, not the publisher!)

Anyways, from what I can see, the problem is that Epic promised SK a bunch of features that SK needed were in the pipeline and would be available to them, which is why SK chose that particular engine. To date, Epic hasn't provided those to SK, while they have continued to move the engine forward anyways in the direction they desire for Gears of War.

What is NOT clear is if there were any timelines agreed upon...that will probably end up being the crux of this dispute. If Epic has not given what was promised to SK when they signed on within timelines that were agreed upon...doesn't matter WHY Epic hasn't produced, fact is, they haven't produced what was required.

On another point, the fact that games using this engine have already shipped has little bearing on this. Those games might not have needed features that SK is waiting on and were promised. (Or worse, perhaps some of these games WERE given functionality that SK is waiting on that Epic still hasn't provided to SK...which seems to be the particular argument surrounding Gears of War)

Anyways, can't really side with either here, no where near enough information is available. Guess it'll be up to the courts to decide.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (1)

Hench3 (946011) | more than 6 years ago | (#20187627)

The SK filing clearly details a timeline they claim was agreed upon for features that Epic consistently missed. It's all SK's actual ruling. TFAs are useless in that regard; you only get the full story from reading the filings.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (1)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 6 years ago | (#20187657)

Yep...however just because it's in the filing doesn't prove it either.

Until someone posts the actual agreement in question, this is all just hearsay and speculation.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#20187819)

Er, only a half dozen games isn't exactly a lack of game experience in this industry.

They've been around for 15 years though. They released 4 games from 1992 - 1996, but only two since. Something's wrong with their development process.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (2, Informative)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#20189309)

If by development process you mean "two guys with day jobs", then yes, there's something wrong.

Everyone was making games in the early 90's, even I managed to churn out some colorful fun thingies back in the day (and made a bit of money selling them too). Unless they're creative geniuses that take 5 years to produce something mind-blowing (not the case), then they're just a handful of guys with delusions of grandeur. Game houses in the 21st century have to keep busy, it's grown far too competitive a market to be sitting on your ass whining about features, which, by the time the court case runs its course, will be long-obsolete anyway! If you lose, you're in big trouble. If you win, well you get an aging engine to plug into your already stagnant project.

It's called development hell, and lawyers only make it worse. We don't need another Daikatana.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20187853)

You have to be joking using wikipedia as a source for anything gaming related.

Go ahead and list the number of games that have shipped using UE3 that aren't made by Epic themselves...

Hint, it is a very short list. Almost every UE3 based game has had massive delays or been outright canceled. The engine is a mess to work with from every developer interviewed using it - although the troubles they are having with are usually cloaked in diplomatic language.

Honestly, the less crappy UE3 games on the market the better. The gaming world just doesn't need more Bald Space Marines in Bumpy Shiny Amour crap like Gears of War. The engine is too shitty to handle AA and it is really only decent for making bullshots. Gears of War was forced to constrain the levels to absurdly tiny rooms and corridors and limit the number of things on the screen to just 3-5 or so at a time.

UE3 is a shit engine with shit support.

Hopefully it will be a lesson to other pc developers who think like Epic did that providing engines and support for real world commercial console games is an entirely different league than the joke tech and infrastructure they are used to with mod support.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (1)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#20189809)

I used Wikipedia because it was fastest way to access some comprehensive information. Yes, some of the info might be inaccurrate, but I'll bet you that at least 90-95% of the games on that list are in fact using the Unreal 3 engine.

Secondly, I didn't say it was an "amazing" engine, I said that so far only one company has a lawsuit pending in regards to that engine. If you can find me some evidence to contradict that claim, I'll gladly recind it.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20191253)

Almost every single UE3 title has suffered delays and development difficulties. Some have already been canceled.

A very public lawsuit indicates this is not some developer upset over some minor annoyances. For a developer to put in motion a lawsuit of this scale makes it clear that UE3 has been an utter disaster to work with.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (1, Insightful)

nivina (955352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20187905)

a) that's wikipedia, take it's information with a grain of salt b) rainbow six vegas does NOT use the Unreal 3 engine. The developers have said they used what is referred to as the Unreal 2.5 engine. Which reinforces a. i played rainbow six vegas on pc. it was very apparent that the engine was totally broken. it can't even give reliable pings a few patches later.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20191195)

Are you sure you're not thinking of Splinter Cell DA? That was on Unreal 2.5 tech, RB6 vegas is most definitely Unreal 3 engine based and I've yet to witness any real bugs with it or Splinter Cell DA for that matter.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (1)

sam_paris (919837) | more than 6 years ago | (#20188709)

Hrmm, Silicon Knights aren't some newbie devs making their first big game. They made one of the most critically successul games for Gamecube, and indeed one of my favorite games of all time: Eternal Darkness [gamespot.com] 9.4/10 (gamespot). There may well be other reasons behind this situation but to say its because they aren't experienced devs is very silly and betrays the epic fanboys..

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20188205)

Too Human has been in development since ps1. SK are a bunch of screwups in that regard. It just remains to be seen if Epic also screwed up.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (1)

vimh42 (981236) | more than 6 years ago | (#20190497)

You're right about that. Not to say it can't stand on it's own merit, but I'm thinking more developers will be looking towards id and tech5 with all the UE3 engine trouble.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20190939)

Regardless of how bad Epic is in writing and supporting an engine for next gen consoles, even suggesting to a real life console dev house of using an Id engine would get you laughed at.

Not only that, even with a massive amount of extra RAM Id's engine looks mediocre at best in comparison to what is out on consoles right now.

Id is a company living off their reputation from the mid-1990s. Technology and gaming have left them behind long ago.

Megatextures, LOL...Sorry John, coming up with silly marketing names isn't impressing anyone but the tiny Doom/Quake fanboy crowd.

So am I the only one (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 6 years ago | (#20191445)

That is a little suspicious that every time an Epic vs SK story comes up, there is some AC that comes along and posts about how "very, very strong" the case is against Epic, without providing actual evidence?

I am really starting to wonder if perhaps an employee of SK isn't coming here and trying to push their side of the story. I just find it odd that while there are plenty of named posters who question what is happening, and none seem to be sure (since there seem to be next to no facts out there) there's always an AC with a fairly consistent writing style that comes in and says how fucked Epic is and how strong SK's claims are.

One would wonder why they would be unwilling to put some kind of identification to claims like that.

Re:So am I the only one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20192027)

Gee, you wouldn't a fucking Epic FANBOY now would you?

The fucking case details have been very explicitly laid out for anyone isn't fucking moronic fanboy who just wants to cry about one of his favorite companies getting their asses sued.

SK doesn't need anyone to 'push their side of the story' dummy, its all there in the filing details already made public.

Now fuck off.

Re:So am I the only one (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20195239)

well, it's a small industry, after all. you sign an NDA as an epic licensee that includes that you do not badmouth their product. and you sure as hell don't want to publicly show how your company has difficulties internally.
i suppose the reason for SK to come forward with this is to survive an inevitable legal battle with epic because they chose to develop their own product, inspired by or derived from their evaluation of epic's technology.

for me, it has been a few years since working with UE2 (on the art-side of a project) and i can only anonymously say that:
- epic has favoured some developers over others and it was known that the amount of support varied from company to company
- they made a number of demos, showing UE features that we later discovered as cheats, far from what was originally promised (GDC 2002 demo, anyone?)
- they promised features for UE2 that only showed up in UE3 later

and generally, i remember the support was a bit weak and you were more or less at their mercy as far as timing went. sometimes you'd wait for weeks or months for that promised stable build, green-flagged for a release.

needless to say, i have since avoided working for companies that choose to license their core technology from someone else and it has worked out noticeably better.

Re:So am I the only one (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20201309)

Maybe you're right. Another reason for posting anonymously when heaping on the Unreal Engine might be that those people who work for companies that are having development issues with the Engine don't want to identify themselves for obvious reasons.

Having developed on ue 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20192385)

I can honestly say that Epics very design, with a large amount of behavior being managed in unrealscript, provides strong support. In addition, Epic provides both mod (public) and developer (paid) support that is responsive to both questions and requests for bug fixes. They also have both private and public document sets and have paid employees that support their clients.

Suggesting that Epic doesn't have facility to support developers is just plain wrong. EPIC and their mod-development contests clearly show that they are BUILT on supporting developers. Your article is FUD, unsupportable by the experience of anyone I worked with, and mostly likely anonymous because you're related to the case in question.

For the record, I do not currently work or have financial investments in the gaming industry.

I certainly hope it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20193787)

I'm tired of different titles using the same engine over and over again. I played Thief 3 first and Deus Ex immediately afterwards and was constantly bothered by how everything had a similar "taste" (e.g. fires in both games were absolutely identical). Even though it probably makes a lot of business sense not to develop basic physics, graphics, AI pathfinding over and over again, I prefer the diversity since all engines have some shortcomings but in my opinion they give each game a different flavour and I appreciate that. It's undoubtedly true that games won't have as extreme cutting edge graphics as possible if they in every case have to be developed from scratch but I like the diversity more. It's sort of the same thing as if you (like I do since I'm a lazy cook) eat various frozen meals they eventually all start to taste the same no matter how different the ingredient are supposed to be.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (1)

DarkMantle (784415) | more than 6 years ago | (#20195155)

You're right, they shouldn't license an engine that's still in development if you don't want to find any bugs. They new it was in development when they paid for the license. It would be like me complaining to Linus because I decided to use last nights snapshot of the kernel build and found bugs. It's not finished yet.

And considering the number of projects on this engine, [epicgames.com] to only have one complaint seems like SK is jumping the gun.

Re:Damage Done To Epic Permanent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20195557)

How could they expect to get support? From what I understand, SK basically just got the right to take Epic's code as-is and start hacking away at it to make their own game. Where does support come in? SK knows they have to build their own game anyway, are they afraid of a little development? Did they expect to get a complete engine where all they have to do is specify some physics parameters, slap in some models, music, and textures and have a complete game?

Come from people who use the engine.. (1, Informative)

tont0r (868535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20187937)

I have some friends that work for a company that are working on a game with the unreal 3 engine. All I have heard is how horrible the support is. Also when they need to do something that the engine doesnt support, they end up writing this hack code to get it to work. Then when they get an update (since the engine is still in development), it will break what they made and they have to go back in there and rewrite it. It just sounds like a massive cluster fuck.

Re:Come from people who use the engine.. (1)

metroid composite (710698) | more than 6 years ago | (#20189183)

All game engines suck. I've worked with UE3 for a few months and it's much better than any other game engine I've touched, though sure you have to hack in a few things--better than needing to hack in everything. The support was enough for us to get a few prototype levels up and running in...I believe less than a month; again much faster than the ramp-up on any other engine I've worked with.

If you expect dramatically better, then either you don't have any real experience in game development, or else I want to know where you work.

Um... Duh? (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20188121)

This is why you don't use unproven technology. You get shafted. And this isn't the first time such an incident has been out in the public eye either. Now if only Troika would have known that before getting fucked around by Valve, having to rush Bloodlines and ultimately being dissolved because of its failure.

Other game devs having problems? (2, Interesting)

axia777 (1060818) | more than 6 years ago | (#20188163)

Where are the other that are having such problems with the UnReal 3 engine? I know LOTS of other companies are using it, so how many are having such difficulties? Is this a case of one company, Silicon Knights, messing up big time and wanting their money back for their fuck up? Or is this a case of them being the only company to go public about how much UnReal 3 sucks donkey turds? I guess the courts will figure it out, but it just seems strange to me that Silicon Knights are the only ones bitching about UnReal 3, that I have heard of, and I read A LOT of on-line news sites. From Gamasutra to Gamespot(where I read about this story first actually) to GameDaily. No one else has said a word. Anyone here have links to any other stories about companies complaining about UnReal 3?

Re:Other game devs having problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20188291)

Because you wouldn't post this sort of information to Gamasutra or Gamespot or GameDaily. That's where you post press releases highlighting how great your game is, with glossy screenshots and all the hype you can muster. You don't say in that article "oh yeah, we're using this broken engine and it is delaying our ship cycle."

It's not wise to smear the unreal engine in a public press release if you've got a contract with them, since that would make them less than motivated to fix the issues you're having trouble with.

On the other hand, if you talk to the actual developers off the record, you'd hear the muttered incoherent curses about the engine. I have two friends whose studios are using unreal and there's no end to the amount of bitching they do about that engine.

Re:Other game devs having problems? (0, Flamebait)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#20188475)

i see a lot of AC's with "friends" in the business, i wonder if those friends work for the SK PR department.

Re:Other game devs having problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20215767)

just to speak for myself, I just usually don't post on slashdot, so I don't have an account. I got here because this particular issue interests me, and don't feel like making an account just for replying to this single topic. So to answer your question: People with accounts are just people that post on slashdot regularily, but probably don't have a clue. People without accounts, that still want to say something are probably the people that know what it's about.

Re:Other game devs having problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20188385)

Lots? Don't be silly. It is almost only 360 developers using Epic's engine, and a few mostly inconsequential cross platform games on the PS3/360. No PS3 exclusive titles are using the engine - they would get laughed at if anyone was insane enough to try when games like Killzone 2, Heavenly Sword, Ratchet and Clank, and so on are there to have to compete with.

Epic's engine is attractive for mostly pc centric developers to not have to deal with the nightmare of doing 360 development and where the fanbase is still impressed with bumpy shiny materials slapped on everything, eg. Halo 3, Gears of War, etc.

Re:Other game devs having problems? (3, Insightful)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20188817)

No PS3 exclusive titles are using the engine

Unreal Tournament 3

they would get laughed at if anyone was insane enough to try when games like Killzone 2, Heavenly Sword, Ratchet and Clank, and so on are there to have to compete with

And why is that? Because Unreal Engine 3 runs inferior technology compared to those games? Go get a clue, or better yet, go get a job working with graphics engines all day and you will realize that *all* of the above games use practically the same technology, with only slight variations. Everyone's got parallax mapping and cubic shadowmapping, etc etc. Some have slightly smarter implementations, but overall UE3 has it nailed down pretty well. There's really nothing that's seen in the Killzone trailer that can't be realistically done on UE3.

nightmare of doing 360 development

Yes, because strong support, an extremely complete documentation set, the availability of an industry-standard API (DirectX), as well as the availability of a common OS API (Windows) is such a nightmare? If anything I've heard that PS3 development is a nightmare. The Cell is a beast that requires a ludicrous level of low-level assembly just to get working, much less high level code for you to run your game.

Re:Other game devs having problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20191325)

No PS3 exclusive titles are using the engine

Unreal Tournament 3

That is a fucking lie, mister. UE3 is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3

Re:Other game devs having problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20192093)

"Go get a clue, or better yet, go get a job working with graphics engines all day and you will realize that *all* of the above games use practically the same technology, with only slight variations."

Holy shit did you actually just type that shit?

"There's really nothing that's seen in the Killzone trailer that can't be realistically done on UE3."

Now that made your whole stupid little fanboy tantrum worth my day. Can't wait for the certain someone who is, ahem, intimately involved with KZ dev to read that bit o tech insight!

I can't honestly imagine what it must be like to spend an entire life being just another moronic fanboy banging out drivel. What is so scarry is there hundreds of thousands of idiots like you out there right now.

"The Cell is a beast that requires a ludicrous level of low-level assembly just to get working, much less high level code for you to run your game."

LOL! It's been seven fucking years and the stupid little fanboys are still trying to get the world to believe that bullshit.

Re:Other game devs having problems? (3, Informative)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20194595)

Now that made your whole stupid little fanboy tantrum worth my day. Can't wait for the certain someone who is, ahem, intimately involved with KZ dev to read that bit o tech insight!

There are very few real differences left between engines, graphically speaking. In the end you've got endless oodles of parallax maps, specular maps, diffuse maps, and all that nonsense. These tools are available to anyone, and they are everywhere. In the end the deciding factor between a game looking damned sexy vs. load of crap comes down to target hardware and artistic talent.

There are some interesting and exciting ideas floating about, but as far as I know none of the truly impressive ones have made it into a production game that's been announced yet. In the end the line drawn between different engines are almost entirely dependent on lighting technique, and the vast majority of games simply use the standard set by Doom 3 (aka parallax/normal maps, direct lighting, with hacky ways to predict an ambient value which Doom 3 sorely lacked). GOW (and by extension UE3) uses a very interesting hybrid precomputed radiosity + dynamic lighting solution that is akin to the method used in HL2, though avoids some of the larger mistakes Valve made with their implementation. It looks great, and it is probably the state of the art for lighting technology at this point.

The next step in the holy grail of graphics will be real-time radiosity and global illumination. We're not there yet. I've seen some interesting papers on the subject, but AFAIK neither Heavenly Sword nor Killzone 2 are going to be using that kind of tech. I don't know of any production game that has that type of tech rolled in. Indeed, I don't know of any hardware that is capable of running that type of simulation at playable framerates!

In a roundabout way, what I'm saying is that in this shader age, the "graphical capabilities" of an engine are really measured with the shaders, and in that arena there are very few techniques being employed. Some devs make optimizations and changes that make their results look marginally better, but often times this is not a one-size-fits-all solution and will only look good with whatever it is they're working with, content-wise. This is the source of my "all engines are created equal" comment. The true difference between engines now come down to data organization - how large you can balloon your maps while remaining manageable, how good your netcode is (this varies greatly between engines, truly). As you can imagine, a lot of what sets each engine apart from another is incredibly niche, and that is also why I object to any labeling of any engine as inferior or superior. Those two terms are simply not valid for describing game engines. Depending on the effects you want to achieve, there are different engines that suit your needs. To evaluate engines graphically, however, is foolish. Often times my non-graphics-coding buddies would comment between two screenshots, claiming that one looks far better than another. In 99% of these cases what they're noticing is the quality of the art, not the capabilities of the code running underneath. I've taken incredibly "poor" looking engines and made them look on par with Quake 4 (which granted is no longer truly state of the art) within hours. Any engine that supports HLSL/GLSL in the end can look just like any other, and even fancy shadowing techniques are very homogeneous across the industry.

LOL! It's been seven fucking years and the stupid little fanboys are still trying to get the world to believe that bullshit.

Last I checked, the PS3 came out in 2006, and the existence of Cell in the machine was only known, what, a year before that? Unless you're a time traveler from the year 2012, check those numbers.

Not to mention that there is still no threading support in the PS3 SDK. All those SPUs are not much good on their own, and Sony's massively advertised throughput for the processor assumes peak efficiency in all SPUs at all times. So... without an OS-level concurrency management system (aka threading, or whatever else you want), the onus for load-balancing your tasks is left to the programmer. That's just great, you're stuck writing your own threading library instead of building your game.

I've spoken to quite a number of PS3 devs. Most of the major hurdles when it comes to low-level programming on the Cell have been surpassed. The situation doesn't seem to be quite as bad as I'm making it sound up above, though all still agree that they prefer developing on the 360. I'm trying to be unbiased here - after all, I'm just a lowly game developer, I have no stake in rooting for any side. The consensus is clear though, PS3 is annoying, while 360 is a step above, though neither are as easy as they ideally should be ;). The fact that 360 code looks very akin to PC code does help though, both in terms of the economics of game development (larger talent pool to hire from, since PC-based developers can get in with less re-training), and in the level of comfort non-console devs experience when first getting their feet wet.

Now that I've fed the troll I'm off to bed. Sheesh it's late.

Re:Other game devs having problems? (3, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 6 years ago | (#20188421)

I dunno but I have a hard time beliveing its just coincidence that every single game using the ue3 engine due to be released this year has hit at least one delay.

Aliens -- (2009) Gearbox Software
America's Army 3.0 -- (2008) US Army
APB -- (2008) Webzen
Black Powder Red Earth - (2007) Echelon Studios
Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway -- (2007) Gearbox Software
BioShock - (2007) Irrational Games
BlackSite: Area 51 -- (2007) Midway Austin
DC Comics MMO -- (TBA) Sony Online Entertainment
Earth No More -- (2009) Recoil Games / 3D Realms
Elveon -- (2007) 10tacle Studios[35]
Fatal Inertia -- (2007) Koei[36]
Frontlines: Fuel of War -- (2008) Kaos Studios
Fury -- (2007) Auran
Gears of War -- (2006) Epic Games
Global Agenda -- (TBA) Hi-Rez Studios
Hour of Victory -- (2007) Midway Games
Huxley -- (2007) Webzen Games
The Last Remnant -- (2008) Square Enix
Lineage III -- (TBA) NCsoft
Lost Odyssey -- (2007) Mistwalker
Mass Effect -- (2007) BioWare
Medal of Honor: Airborne -- (2007) Electronic Arts
Monster Madness: Battle for Suburbia -- (2007) Artificial Studios
RoboBlitz -- (2006) Naked Sky Entertainment
Rogue Warrior: Black Razor - (2007) Bethesda Softworks
Stargate Worlds -- (2007) Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment
Stranglehold -- (2007) Midway Chicago
The Scourge Project -- (N/A) Tragnarion Studios
To End All Wars -- (2008) Kuju Entertainment
Tom Clancy's EndWar -- (2008) Ubisoft
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas -- (2006) Ubisoft
Too Human -- (2009) Silicon Knights
Turning Point: Fall of Liberty -- (2007) Spark Unlimited
Turok -- (2008) Propaganda Games
Undertow -- (2007) Chair Entertainment
Unreal Tournament 3 -- (2007) Epic Games
Upcoming Mortal Kombat 8 Game -- (Unknown) Midway Games
The Wheelman -- (2007) Midway Games
HEI$T -- (2007) InXile Entertainment

Re:Other game devs having problems? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20188533)

There was also that Namco GTA-alike that got canceled. Coincidentally, it was also one of the first to announce they were using UE3.

Somebody just shoot all the lawyers please (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20188733)

This legal crap is taking the country down. What happened to progress and profit by doing stuff, instead of stopping people from doing things and litigating as a way of life?

It's probably too late, sheesh ...

It used to be such a great nation. Somebody just nuke us please, and put us out of our misery.
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