Choosing the Game Engine
   that is Right for You
        Mark DeLoura
    Videogame Technology
          Consultant
     ...
Introduction
Topics

• The Evolution of Game Engines

• Choosing a Game Engine

• Available Engines
The Evolution of Game
             Engines

•   Graphics engines to game engines
•   Software 3D to hardware 3D
•   Consol...
Graphics Engines
       to Game Engines
• 1993: Doom (idTech 1)
Graphics Engines
       to Game Engines
• 1995: Software-rendered engines
  – Argonaut’s BRender
  – Criterion’s Renderwar...
Graphics Engines
       to Game Engines
• 1996: Quake 1
Software 3D to Hardware 3D
• 1996: Quake 1
Software 3D to Hardware 3D
• 1997: Quake 2 (idTech 2)
Software 3D to Hardware 3D
• 1998: Half-Life (GoldSRC)
Software 3D to Hardware 3D
• 1998: Unreal (Unreal Engine 1)
Software 3D to Hardware 3D
• 1999: Quake 3 (idTech 3)
Consoles Embrace Engines
• 1999: PlayStation2
Consoles Embrace Engines
• 1999: NDL’s NetImmerse 3D
• 2000: Intrinsic Graphics’ Alchemy
Consoles Embrace Engines
• 2001: Grand Theft Auto III uses
  Criterion’s Renderware
Consoles Embrace Engines
• 2003: Unreal 2 PC (Unreal Engine 2)
• 2004: Unreal 2 Xbox; PS2 in dev
Consoles Embrace Engines
• 2003: Vicarious Visions purchases
  Intrinsic Graphics (Alchemy)

• 2004: EA purchases Criterio...
Engines Embrace Consoles

• 2007: Unreal Engine 3
  – PC, Xbox360, PS3


• 2009: CryEngine 3
  – PC, Xbox360, PS3
The Mod Generation
The Mod Generation
• 1993: Doom (idTech 1)
The Mod Generation
• 1997: Quake 2 (idTech 2)
The Mod Generation
• 1998: Unreal (Unreal Engine 1)
The Mod Generation
• 2001: Tribes 2 (Torque)
The Mod Generation
• 2002: Criterion ships Renderware
  Studio
The Mod Generation

• 2004: Doom 3 (idTech 4)

• 2004: Half-Life 2 (Source)

• 2004: FarCry (CryEngine)
The Mod Generation
• 2007: Gears of War (Unreal Engine 3)
The Mod Generation
• 2007: Crysis (CryEngine 2)
Shader Evolution
• 1999-2000: “All games on a
  particular engine look the same.”
Shader Evolution
• 2000: GeForce3 released
Shader Evolution
• 2004: Doom 3 (idTech 4)
Shader Evolution
• 2004: Half-Life 2 (Source)
Shader Evolution
• 2004: Far Cry (CryEngine)
Shader Evolution
• 2007: Gears of War (Unreal Engine 3)
Current Engine Trends
• Game development costs are very
  high
  – Amortize development across
    multiple games and mult...
Choosing a Game Engine

• The most important decision you
  will make about game technology
1. Create Your Game Design
• A draft Game Design Document
2. Create Your Tech Design
• A draft Technical Design Document
3. Create Your Production Plan

• A draft Production Plan
4. Now Look at Engines!
Developer Survey

• February 2009 survey of game
  developers on game engines
  – Senior producers
  – Senior engineers


...
Game Engine Decisions
• The most important considerations
  – Cost: What can you afford?
  – Relevance to platforms, genre...
Cost: What can you afford?
• Tiers of game engines roughly
  match cost
  – MMO Engines
  – High-end Engines
  – Mid-range...
Cost: What can you afford?
• Deal structures are flexible
  – Survey: Preferred deal structure?


          17.9%

       ...
Cost: What can you afford?
• Other costs to keep in mind
  – Training
  – Integration time
  – Support and maintenance fee...
Cost: What can you afford?
• Potentially unhappy employees?
  – Survey: If budget and time were no
    object, which of th...
Relevance
• Platforms
  – MMO, PC standalone, consoles,
    handhelds, mobile
• Genre
  – Look for similar games which use...
Support

• Documentation

• Support team structure

• Samples and tutorials
Support
• Survey: Most important engine
  practices
  1.   Source code is available
  2.   Known to easily integrate
  3. ...
Support
• Get a demo license!
Functionality
• Survey: Most important engine
  systems
  1.   Multi-threading system
  2.   Rendering pipeline
  3.   Ani...
Tools and Pipeline
• Survey: Most important engine
  tools
  1. Profiling system
  2. Live preview on target platform


  ...
Tools and Pipeline
• Most important engine tools
  3. Standalone world builder
  4. Particle system editor
Tools and Pipeline
• More important engine tools

  5. Scripting system
     • Run-time script debugger
     • 51.3% of pr...
Tools and Pipeline
• Build Process
  – Average code change: 3.5 minutes
  – Average full rebuild: 105 minutes
         Usi...
Integration
• Existing custom technology
• Middleware technology

   Using Engine            Using Middleware
            ...
Integration
• Survey: Most popular middleware
  libraries
  – Bink
  – FMOD
  – Havok
  – Scaleform
  – Kynapse
  – Wwise
Flexibility
• What range of games are made on
  the engine?

• Talk to people who have used the
  engine.

• Work with the...
Other important factors

• Outsourcing

• Source code escrow
Most Importantly
• DEMO!
Currently Available Engines
•   MMO Engines
•   High-end Engines
•   Mid-range Engines
•   Casual / Web Engines
•   Open s...
MMO Engines
• BigWorld Technology Suite
• Simutronics’ HeroEngine

• Sun’s Project Darkstar (server)
High-end Engines
• Epic’s Unreal Engine 3
• Crytek’s CryEngine 3
• Digital Extremes’ Evolution Engine

• id’s idTech 4/5/6...
Mid-range Engines
•   Emergent’s Gamebryo
•   Terminal Reality’s Infernal Engine
•   Blitz Games’ BlitzTech
•   Trinigy’s ...
Casual / Web Engines
• Unity Technologies’ Unity
• Garage Games’ Torque
• Macromedia Flash
  – For example, PushButton Eng...
Open source PC Engines
• Irrlicht
• OGRE3D
• Panda3D

• Many more listed at:
  – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_game_
    e...
Another option:
       Use middleware

• Use middleware to supplement
  your own engine
Online Games
• BigWorld Technology
  – Tian Xia 2, Kingdom Heroes 2 Online,
    Chuang Shi Online
Online Games
• Simutronics’ HeroEngine
  – Star Wars: The Old Republic
Online Games
• Crytek’s CryEngine 3 (2)
  – AION, Entropia
Online Games
• Unreal Engine 3
  – Alliance of Valiant Arms (A.V.A.), APB,
    Huxley, The Agency
Online Games
• Gamebryo
  – Warhammer Online, Wizard 101,
    Dark Age of Camelot
Casual Games
• Unity
Casual Games
• Torque
Conclusion
• There are many, MANY engines

• Plan what you are making BEFORE
  analyzing game engines

• Each engine has u...
Closing
• Mark DeLoura’s contact info:
  – http://www.satori.org
  – mdeloura@satori.org
• Gamasutra engine articles:
  – ...
Choosing your Game Engine (2009)
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×

Choosing your Game Engine (2009)

8,622

Published on

Choosing to buy a middleware game engine for your next game is the most important technology decision you will likely make for your project. How can you evaluate engines properly? What should you do before looking at engines? This talk covers a framework for evaluating game engines, based on a developer survey conducted in early 2009. It also goes through a bit on the history of game engines. Alas, without notes or audio, there are a lot of things missing from this presentation. But hopefully you will find it helpful!

3 Comments
14 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • 19--Bom dia amigos, Venham conhecer nossos Servidores de Mu Online
    Online Season 6 O Jogando.net/mu n
    Fazemos sua Diversão com qualidade,há mais de 5 anos
    Servers ON 24 horas por dia.
    Vários Server esperando por você.Venha se divertir de verdade.
    Venham participar do 6° Megaultrasuperhiper Evento Castle Siege
    Sejam benvindos ao nosso Servidor.
    >>Venhas conhecer o mais novo Servidor o PHOENIX acumulativo,Max Stats 32767.
    >>Kits DIAMOND,Com asas LVL 4,os kits mais fortes e raros do servidor ,venham conferir.
    >>Qual o seu Time ?? Tenha o seu Time do coração no Mu Online.Sets do seu Time preferido
    >>Confiram a nova versão do Shild mais usado no servidor o SHILD POWER v3.
    >> Lançamento do NOVO Kit Fusion V2,Kit hiper top e bonito.
    Você só encontra no http://www.jogando.net/mu/
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002113910611
    Site http://www.jogando.net/mu/ HYCLEN Divulgadora Oficial !!!
    Tenham todos uma excelente semana
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • Good presentation Mark. A couple points that maybe you made verbally or maybe not
    1) there was a transition somewhere over the 2000-2004 that went from 'herculean effort from single tech lead programmer' (aka Carmack et al) to 'too big for any one man' with things like Half Life 2. That certainly played a role here.
    2) I did a similar presentation internally here, and one of the things I added in there was the attitude toward middleware/engines in marketing of game titles that went something like this (mapped to your different periods)
    - Real men don't use middleware (only second rate guys don't write their own stuff)
    - Middleware is a four letter word ('We licensed the quake engine but we completely rewrote it' - how many times did you read that in a press interview?)
    - MIddleware is a feature ('Built using Unreal!' so it must be good, right?)
    - future: middleware is a 'dont-care'? No one talks about which C compiler they use, or which modelling package, etc.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
  • It's a beautiful presentation, not just the template frontpage but all the slides :-)

    The high-end, mid-range and casual/web engines have typically nice world/level builders tools. They can import models from Maya, Max and Blender. But I find it suprising that there isn't a good open source general purpose world builder or level editor available.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Views
Total Views
8,622
On Slideshare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
352
Comments
3
Likes
14
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Choosing your Game Engine (2009)

  1. 1. Choosing the Game Engine that is Right for You Mark DeLoura Videogame Technology Consultant October 12, 2009
  2. 2. Introduction
  3. 3. Topics • The Evolution of Game Engines • Choosing a Game Engine • Available Engines
  4. 4. The Evolution of Game Engines • Graphics engines to game engines • Software 3D to hardware 3D • Consoles embrace game engines • The Mod generation • Shader evolution • Costs and complexity
  5. 5. Graphics Engines to Game Engines • 1993: Doom (idTech 1)
  6. 6. Graphics Engines to Game Engines • 1995: Software-rendered engines – Argonaut’s BRender – Criterion’s Renderware – RenderMorphics’ Reality Lab
  7. 7. Graphics Engines to Game Engines • 1996: Quake 1
  8. 8. Software 3D to Hardware 3D • 1996: Quake 1
  9. 9. Software 3D to Hardware 3D • 1997: Quake 2 (idTech 2)
  10. 10. Software 3D to Hardware 3D • 1998: Half-Life (GoldSRC)
  11. 11. Software 3D to Hardware 3D • 1998: Unreal (Unreal Engine 1)
  12. 12. Software 3D to Hardware 3D • 1999: Quake 3 (idTech 3)
  13. 13. Consoles Embrace Engines • 1999: PlayStation2
  14. 14. Consoles Embrace Engines • 1999: NDL’s NetImmerse 3D • 2000: Intrinsic Graphics’ Alchemy
  15. 15. Consoles Embrace Engines • 2001: Grand Theft Auto III uses Criterion’s Renderware
  16. 16. Consoles Embrace Engines • 2003: Unreal 2 PC (Unreal Engine 2) • 2004: Unreal 2 Xbox; PS2 in dev
  17. 17. Consoles Embrace Engines • 2003: Vicarious Visions purchases Intrinsic Graphics (Alchemy) • 2004: EA purchases Criterion (Renderware) • 2005: Emergent purchases NDL (NetImmerse, Gamebryo)
  18. 18. Engines Embrace Consoles • 2007: Unreal Engine 3 – PC, Xbox360, PS3 • 2009: CryEngine 3 – PC, Xbox360, PS3
  19. 19. The Mod Generation
  20. 20. The Mod Generation • 1993: Doom (idTech 1)
  21. 21. The Mod Generation • 1997: Quake 2 (idTech 2)
  22. 22. The Mod Generation • 1998: Unreal (Unreal Engine 1)
  23. 23. The Mod Generation • 2001: Tribes 2 (Torque)
  24. 24. The Mod Generation • 2002: Criterion ships Renderware Studio
  25. 25. The Mod Generation • 2004: Doom 3 (idTech 4) • 2004: Half-Life 2 (Source) • 2004: FarCry (CryEngine)
  26. 26. The Mod Generation • 2007: Gears of War (Unreal Engine 3)
  27. 27. The Mod Generation • 2007: Crysis (CryEngine 2)
  28. 28. Shader Evolution • 1999-2000: “All games on a particular engine look the same.”
  29. 29. Shader Evolution • 2000: GeForce3 released
  30. 30. Shader Evolution • 2004: Doom 3 (idTech 4)
  31. 31. Shader Evolution • 2004: Half-Life 2 (Source)
  32. 32. Shader Evolution • 2004: Far Cry (CryEngine)
  33. 33. Shader Evolution • 2007: Gears of War (Unreal Engine 3)
  34. 34. Current Engine Trends • Game development costs are very high – Amortize development across multiple games and multiple platforms • Multi-processor complexity – Encourages use of game engines that make multi-processor development simpler
  35. 35. Choosing a Game Engine • The most important decision you will make about game technology
  36. 36. 1. Create Your Game Design • A draft Game Design Document
  37. 37. 2. Create Your Tech Design • A draft Technical Design Document
  38. 38. 3. Create Your Production Plan • A draft Production Plan
  39. 39. 4. Now Look at Engines!
  40. 40. Developer Survey • February 2009 survey of game developers on game engines – Senior producers – Senior engineers • Results published on Gamasutra.com
  41. 41. Game Engine Decisions • The most important considerations – Cost: What can you afford? – Relevance to platforms, genre, design – Support – Functionality: Time saved – Tools and Content Pipeline – Integration into Current Technology – Flexibility
  42. 42. Cost: What can you afford? • Tiers of game engines roughly match cost – MMO Engines – High-end Engines – Mid-range Engines – Casual / Web Engines – Open source PC Engines
  43. 43. Cost: What can you afford? • Deal structures are flexible – Survey: Preferred deal structure? 17.9% Flat-rate 82.1% Royalty
  44. 44. Cost: What can you afford? • Other costs to keep in mind – Training – Integration time – Support and maintenance fees – Add-ons – Potentially unhappy employees
  45. 45. Cost: What can you afford? • Potentially unhappy employees? – Survey: If budget and time were no object, which of these would you prefer? 7.0% 9.3% 46.5% Create ourselves Use middleware 37.2% Purchase engine Other
  46. 46. Relevance • Platforms – MMO, PC standalone, consoles, handhelds, mobile • Genre – Look for similar games which use the engine • Design – What is most important? Graphics? Interaction? Physics?
  47. 47. Support • Documentation • Support team structure • Samples and tutorials
  48. 48. Support • Survey: Most important engine practices 1. Source code is available 2. Known to easily integrate 3. Resource management is tweakable 4. Ongoing access to current builds 5. Clear development roadmap
  49. 49. Support • Get a demo license!
  50. 50. Functionality • Survey: Most important engine systems 1. Multi-threading system 2. Rendering pipeline 3. Animation system 4. Collision detection / physics system 5. Streaming system 6. Networking design • Varies based on game, team expertise, other middleware
  51. 51. Tools and Pipeline • Survey: Most important engine tools 1. Profiling system 2. Live preview on target platform 37.5% Yes 62.5% No
  52. 52. Tools and Pipeline • Most important engine tools 3. Standalone world builder 4. Particle system editor
  53. 53. Tools and Pipeline • More important engine tools 5. Scripting system • Run-time script debugger • 51.3% of projects use Lua
  54. 54. Tools and Pipeline • Build Process – Average code change: 3.5 minutes – Average full rebuild: 105 minutes Using Automated Builds 11.9% Yes 88.1% No
  55. 55. Integration • Existing custom technology • Middleware technology Using Engine Using Middleware 10.3% 45.0% Yes Yes 55.0% 89.7% No No
  56. 56. Integration • Survey: Most popular middleware libraries – Bink – FMOD – Havok – Scaleform – Kynapse – Wwise
  57. 57. Flexibility • What range of games are made on the engine? • Talk to people who have used the engine. • Work with the code: how brittle is it?
  58. 58. Other important factors • Outsourcing • Source code escrow
  59. 59. Most Importantly • DEMO!
  60. 60. Currently Available Engines • MMO Engines • High-end Engines • Mid-range Engines • Casual / Web Engines • Open source PC Engines
  61. 61. MMO Engines • BigWorld Technology Suite • Simutronics’ HeroEngine • Sun’s Project Darkstar (server)
  62. 62. High-end Engines • Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 • Crytek’s CryEngine 3 • Digital Extremes’ Evolution Engine • id’s idTech 4/5/6 • Valve’s Source
  63. 63. Mid-range Engines • Emergent’s Gamebryo • Terminal Reality’s Infernal Engine • Blitz Games’ BlitzTech • Trinigy’s Vision Engine • Vicious Cycle’s Vicious Engine
  64. 64. Casual / Web Engines • Unity Technologies’ Unity • Garage Games’ Torque • Macromedia Flash – For example, PushButton Engine • Sun’s Java – For example, jMonkey Engine
  65. 65. Open source PC Engines • Irrlicht • OGRE3D • Panda3D • Many more listed at: – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_game_ engines – zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/游戏引擎列表
  66. 66. Another option: Use middleware • Use middleware to supplement your own engine
  67. 67. Online Games • BigWorld Technology – Tian Xia 2, Kingdom Heroes 2 Online, Chuang Shi Online
  68. 68. Online Games • Simutronics’ HeroEngine – Star Wars: The Old Republic
  69. 69. Online Games • Crytek’s CryEngine 3 (2) – AION, Entropia
  70. 70. Online Games • Unreal Engine 3 – Alliance of Valiant Arms (A.V.A.), APB, Huxley, The Agency
  71. 71. Online Games • Gamebryo – Warhammer Online, Wizard 101, Dark Age of Camelot
  72. 72. Casual Games • Unity
  73. 73. Casual Games • Torque
  74. 74. Conclusion • There are many, MANY engines • Plan what you are making BEFORE analyzing game engines • Each engine has unique features – analyze games, talk to users, demo the pipeline, examine the code
  75. 75. Closing • Mark DeLoura’s contact info: – http://www.satori.org – mdeloura@satori.org • Gamasutra engine articles: – http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/M arkDeLoura/124/
  1. A particular slide catching your eye?

    Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.

×