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A gaming and technology blog by TWHL admins Penguinboy and Ant. A music blog by TWHL users Ant and Hugh.

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avatar Snehk 19th June 2017, 13:00 PM

I'm writing too much of these journals lately, but screw it. I need another advice, but this time it's development related. It comes to the engine specifically.

I'm considering changing the engine my project is running on. The choice is as follows:

id Tech engines (tech 3 or 4 specifically) - I'm a big sucker for id Tech and really love their engines, each of them is great and has it's advantages and disadvantages, but they are pretty outdated by now and not that flexible. I'm moderately experienced with working for Tech 3, 4th iteration being a bit too obscure though.

Source - I'm not too much experienced with Source, but having a good familiarity with GoldSource might help me with that.

Unreal Engine 4 - the big hitter lately, it has everything a modern engine should have, but I don't have any experience with it at all.

CryEngine - like UE 4, no experience with it.

Berserk option - develop a Half-Life mod, then go standalone with Xash/Solokiller's engine once it's done.

Since what I want to achieve is passable/decent graphics with great gameplay, keeping up a good and relatively efficient development and speed, and cross-compatibility, which engine should I choose?


avatar Windawz says: 19th June 2017, 13:34 PM
Berserk option/Source are the best choices IMO. You can make some of the locations for vanilla GoldSrc, create the assests you need, then test them in-game. And then, when Solokiller finishes and releases PowerSource you will be able to transfer all your work to that engine.
Or you can switch to Source and make a Dark Messiah of Might and Magic 2.0. But I can't help you with that because I'm unfamiliar with Source features and workflow as well.
avatar Admer456 says: 19th June 2017, 13:40 PM
CryEngine would require a decent amount of learning. :/
Trust me, when I used CE1 for the first time, it took me around 6 months to get used to it. But that's why it now listens to me like I'm its master. >:)

Any latter CryEngine is also nice, and the graphics are as you make them. Far Cry 1, and the Crysis series were made on CryEngine (FC1 used CE1, Crysis used CE2, and Crysis 2 and 3 used CE3, I think).

User Posted Image
User Posted Image
How would you do that in GoldSRC? XD

The entity scripting here isn't that hard, either:

User Posted Image

But this is just CryEngine 1, so I'm sure that the latter ones are better.
User Posted Image
I can't stop laughing at this one...

Now, Source is really nice, actually. It's basically GoldSRC 2.0. And I guess you could make the graphics acceptable enough, if you make good assets for it. It's cool. :^)

Unreal Engine 4... I can't say anything about that. I don't know anything about it.

The berserk option would be OK, but I heard that Xash3D has a few legal holes there and there.

And idTech engines... can't say anything about that, other than its lack of popularity (and maybe a lack of documentation, too, but I'm not sure).

It depends on the project and the features. I won't tell you which one to choose, though. But Source seems like a good choice, in my opinion.
avatar Windawz says: 19th June 2017, 13:44 PM
Well, he doesn't need a huge open world (the world will be hub-based) so Source/Berserk are the best options so far.
Wouldn't recommend Xash though, because the mod can be left unnoticed on such an engine.
avatar Admer456 says: 19th June 2017, 13:49 PM
Source is pretty handy sometimes. In GoldSRC and Xash, your map editor would have to be restarted if you made a change to your WAD (like putting a new texture).
Hammer 4 would just load that new VTF+VMT on demand. :D
It's one of those handy little things.

Source also has improved limits compared to GoldSRC, and you can do interesting stuff with it.

The *only* problem being that Hammer 4 can crash sometimes. That's the only problem I've had with it. Random crashes out of nowhere, it exits without a warning. Thank goodness we have the backup files. :)
avatar Windawz says: 19th June 2017, 14:03 PM
That's why I'm waiting for PowerSource.
avatar Admer456 says: 19th June 2017, 22:22 PM
I'm waiting too, lol. I'm particularly curious about sounds, since, I think, GoldSRC can't support high-quality WAV files (the highest I tried was 22050Hz).

"I'm writing too much of these journals lately"

By the way, you weren't writing too many journals, that's at least how I see it. :)
avatar Crollo says: 20th June 2017, 02:13 AM
I would wholeheartedly recommend UE4.
Being able to have a completely clean slate OR using pre-made templates is something you really learn to appreciate when you don't have it, especially when you only want to make minor tweaks to things and are locked out.
It is also (as you noted) a modern engine, and while it's fun to tinker with old engines, I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping up with modern technologies as older engines will create and compound poor understanding and techniques. A modern engine will significantly simplify the process of understanding game logic, shaders, lighting and so on.
I would go as far as to say that UE4 is actually as much a learning tool as it is a creation tool, with the way it connects abstract and difficult to understand ideas to something visible and tangible that can be learned from.
Although I will also add that all of these things should be present in any modern game engine (rather than just UE4), but I've only personally worked with UE4.
avatar Snehk says: 20th June 2017, 08:03 AM
I might give UE4 a shot, only hoping that this time their launcher won't crash on me every time I run it or halfway through download. This was the problem that stopped me from getting it a few months ago...
avatar Loulimi says: 20th June 2017, 09:52 AM
I'd recommend UE4. It has the benefit of being the only modern and up-to-date engine you mentioned. And it's widely used in industry.
I don't see the point in wasting time learning any of the other technologies you mentioned. They won't give you much flexibility and freedom and are out-of-date. There's not as much effort behind them as there is for UE4, where it's probably easy to find help or tutorials.
If you have the possibility of going with the most modern option, why refuse it?
If UE4 is too hard for you, there's still Unity.
avatar Snehk says: 20th June 2017, 10:39 AM
I'm not really into Unity and it's free and pro versions model. Epic did it better by simply giving out their whole engine with tools, even though there's 5% royalty from money you earn on game made using it.

The problem is, I've got the launcher running and configured, download started - but it won't download. It just stopped at "Please wait" right after I clicked download button. My connection is really slow, but it should've started long ago. Checking windows task manager, there's 0% internet usage from the launcher...

EDIT: Download started. Initialisation was just damn long. 5,4GB with my connection should be 2 - 3 days of download if they don't renew transfer for my mobile internet.
avatar Admer456 says: 20th June 2017, 11:15 AM
Crytek has their "Pay what you want" way of doing that. XD
CryEngine is free then, and, just like UE4 (I assume), it really pays off if you spend enough time learning it. :)

Too bad by current hardware doesn't allow any of that.
avatar Tetsu0 says: 20th June 2017, 12:08 PM
UE4 is sweet. Source would be the easiest to transition into however the asset creation can be a total pain in the ass in the beginning
avatar Windawz says: 20th June 2017, 13:09 PM
I have once read somewhere that maps for games on UE4 are created only with models and nobody uses brushes for that (a.k.a. BSPs). Well, after that I don't want to try UE4 anymore. xd
avatar Admer456 says: 20th June 2017, 13:49 PM
Actually, the very first Unreal Engines (1, 2 and 2.5, I think), used BSP. But it's soooo dumb, it literally works by carving/subtracting rooms and then adding brushes into those rooms. I'd never map for those...
avatar Windawz says: 20th June 2017, 14:49 PM
I like using brushes more, but weird geometry editing tools in all Unreal Editors force me to either switch back to GoldSrc (UE1/2/2.5) or use models instead (UE3/4). But since I'm not a modeller, I'd switch back to GS anyway, lol.
I hope Source 2 will be a good counterpart to UE4 and will not copy it at the same time.
avatar Tetsu0 says: 20th June 2017, 16:48 PM
You can still use bsp brushes, but honestly if you make a model asset pack you just snap them together and it's faster than brushwork. Looks better too
avatar Snehk says: 20th June 2017, 17:26 PM
Modelling an asset pack generally would work better than making a map with brushes. Would improve my modelling skills a lot too. Kinda reminds me of TES Creation Kit - to make interiors or outdoor objects you had to snap models together, and it generally gave good results (though I worked only with TES III kit).
avatar Windawz says: 20th June 2017, 17:34 PM
It means that you actually have to learn 3D-modelling software instead of the editor itself. That's why I prefer Source over UE4.
avatar Shepard62700FR says: 21st June 2017, 06:44 AM
The reason for the switch from BSP to models is because BSP was fine in the early days when the level was simple without too much complex architecture. Remember why 3D Realms switched from Quake engine to Unreal for Duke Nukem Forever between 1998 and 2003? They had trouble rendering the Neveda desert at a stable framerate.

In other words, BSPs nowadays would be more appropriate for physics collisions and models for rendering.

If you can't live without BSP and Hammer, for $50 you can have an Unreal Engine 4 plugin called HammUEr that allow you to get a VMF (Source 1 Hammer 4) file as a level in UE4 (with materials and such).
avatar Daubster says: 21st June 2017, 10:09 AM
+1 for UE4 - loads of learning resources, loads of power, great tools.
avatar Windawz says: 21st June 2017, 12:29 PM
If everyone likes UE4 so much then I wonder why this site is still alive. xd
avatar Admer456 says: 21st June 2017, 18:28 PM
Because GoldSRC is for kids, UE4 is for the grown-ups. ;)
avatar Windawz says: 21st June 2017, 18:55 PM

Tell that to the developers of "The Core".
avatar Admer456 says: 21st June 2017, 19:20 PM

No, what I was saying is that GoldSRC (and Source) are OK learning engines for kids, just like learning QBasic is a kids' introduction to programming.
UE4 is for the big boys, just like C++ is... you know.
avatar Snehk says: 21st June 2017, 19:54 PM
For the most part, it's nostalgia that keeps people mapping for GoldSource. I have to say that I've had a lot of fun playing on hldm servers (Half-Life on deathmatch and team deathmatch was the only game I played for really long time), and this encouraged me to start mapping. Working with GoldSrc is extremely fun and easy to get to, and you can still get some good looking stuff on it.

UE4 might be just as easy to get to, with blueprints and such. Just follow starting tutorials and when you'll learn enough, experiment. For GoldSrc or Source you have to code in C++, and most people would probably find visual blueprints easier to get to than learning programming language.


You make C++ seem as if it was extremely hard to get started. You don't learn basics of coding by trying to make an operating system, game engine or half-life mod. Getting started with simple tutorials is much easier. Take this for example:

#include <iostream> //this way you include libraries and stuff
using namespace std; /*This way you specify that you're going to use namespace, so you won't have to type std:: when trying to use it's functions*/

int main() //initialisation
string name; // you declare a string variable called name

cout << "What is your name?" << endl; //this will be written in console
cin >> name; //std::cin allows you to write to name variable
cout << "Your name is:" << name << endl; //this outputs text you typed

return 0;

It's not that hard as you make it.
avatar Windawz says: 21st June 2017, 20:22 PM
"For the most part, it's nostalgia that keeps people mapping for GoldSource."
HL/CS 1.6 (Had them both in the same folder) were my first games on PC. So yeah, that's one of the reasons I map for GoldSRC. The other one is laziness. I'm too lazy to fully switch to Source.

"UE4 is for the big boys, just like C++ is... you know".
I think Unreal Engine 4 is for everybody. It has blueprints, lots of detailed tutorials, etc. Even a braindead dumbass can make its own game on UE4 (can't say it will be a good one though).

GoldSRC is a closed-source engine that wasn't meant to be shared to the public, so it's not the best engine for practice.
avatar UrbaNebula says: 22nd June 2017, 13:09 PM
I sensed somebody say "Goldsource is for kids."

I'm just here to kill them and then I'll be on my way. :)

Truth be told, I've simply not had time to learn anything beyond GoldSource. Source and more modern engines depend to heavily on 3D Modelling which is quite a step above the basic hacks I've done of existing models...

Unity / UE4 interest me, but it's certainly not something I could approach alone. If I ever seriously considered developing on either it would most certainly be with a team.
avatar Admer456 says: 22nd June 2017, 13:12 PM
I've said GoldSRC is for kids, but I didn't mean it as "just for kids". Oh for God's sake, I should've added a few more sentences beforehand. I meant it's good as an introduction into modding for kids. *sigh*
Take it as a "Kids' introduction to modding". That's what I meant to say. xd

Plz don't kill me, I still have so many things to do! Seriously.
avatar UrbaNebula says: 22nd June 2017, 13:22 PM
Alright. You get a pass... for now
avatar Admer456 says: 22nd June 2017, 13:26 PM
Thank you. :D

GoldSRC is technically for everyone, but it served me as a good introduction to modding, and I was a kid at the time (2 years ago, LOL).
Now when I get my new PC, I'll probably get familiarised with the newer engines. :3

But as always, GoldSRC (and Source) stays in the heart. <3
avatar Snehk says: 22nd June 2017, 16:45 PM
You should've nuked him when you had the chance...

Anyways, it's been three days already and I still got to download 1.8GB of UE4 then install it to do anything.
avatar Admer456 says: 22nd June 2017, 19:11 PM
W-w-w-why? Why nuke me? So that de_kobbl is gone and never finished? Seriously, I'm sure none of you have ever killed a person in real life before, imagine how it would feel. :/
(yeah, I haven't killed anyone either)
avatar Windawz says: 22nd June 2017, 19:35 PM
"You should've nuked him when you had the chance..."

Ion Cannon would be a better option (jk).
avatar Snehk says: 22nd June 2017, 19:39 PM
Nuke is only viable option. Cause when you blow Admer off the planet, you need those additional 456 loads of plutonium.
avatar Windawz says: 22nd June 2017, 21:06 PM
"Nuclear Missile launched..."
avatar Admer456 says: 22nd June 2017, 21:47 PM
Hold on a second, have I just realised that all of you were joking?
OMG, I did it again! Why do I have to take everything so seriusly? *sigh*

This is exactly why I dislike some jokes. :(
Because I take them too seriously.
avatar Windawz says: 22nd June 2017, 22:12 PM
I can't say Ion Cannon is a joke, especially if it's fully charged and ready to fire...
avatar Snehk says: 23rd June 2017, 07:10 AM
Take it easy Admer, no one's going to nuke you (you hear it Windawz? Tell uncle Rasputin you don't need those missiles anymore) for now...
avatar Admer456 says: 23rd June 2017, 08:43 AM
I'm really confused. Just admit it:
Do you really, 100%, wanted to kill me or not?
avatar Snehk says: 23rd June 2017, 14:06 PM
Do you literally take all jokes seriously?

Jokes aside, I'll let Urby do the killing first.
avatar Suparsonik says: 23rd June 2017, 15:09 PM
id Tech 3 and 4... not flexible?! You have the engine source code for christs sake! Those engines are a hell of a lot more flexible than Source or GoldSource ever was.
avatar Windawz says: 23rd June 2017, 15:18 PM

We wanted to test our new Ion Cannon.
avatar Admer456 says: 23rd June 2017, 16:07 PM
Not really... not all of them, but I often don't recognise when somebody's making a joke, and that makes me sad because I think I won't be able to socialise properly with anyone. ;(

Also, good luck to Urby because he'll have to find me first. I do remember posting a screenshot of where I live (in Google Earth). Hehehe, then he'd have to find my home, because my address doesn't have a number (Ošanjići BB - BB means "bez broja", "numberless").
Yeah, I think I'm safe from him. :)
avatar Windawz says: 23rd June 2017, 16:18 PM
To nuke somebody you only need to know what country one lives in.
avatar Admer456 says: 23rd June 2017, 17:14 PM
But he said he'd let Urby kill me first! Come on, man, it's not fair. >:/
avatar Snehk says: 23rd June 2017, 18:11 PM

I meant stock GPL releases. Usually one does not choose a game engine to rewrite half of it and then gets started with projects.

You need to be a good enough coder to change the code, compile engine and get it running without bugs. While I'm good enough to code my own programmes, coding game engines still is kinda like black magic. And also, I want to choose an engine that'd allow me to focus mainly on scripting game logic and making assets, not having to change renderer or audio, input or output.

Both Tech 3 and 4 are heavily outdated, and getting them to UE4 level would take so much time that Epic will release several UE4 updates and work on UE5 before Tech based engines would be halfway done.
avatar Suparsonik says: 24th June 2017, 21:11 PM
It depends on the project you're trying to do really. I'm using id Tech 3 and it's great. Call of Duty still uses it too, they really only changed the model format AFAIK.
avatar Snehk says: 24th June 2017, 21:42 PM
Yeah, id Tech 3 is a really solid and great engine, though it'd be much more beneficial to use iqm models than md3. But still, I want to mess with UE4 and see how it goes.
avatar Windawz says: 25th June 2017, 00:52 AM
Ok, it's your choice. Yet I still hope you'll end up working with the Source engine.
avatar Snehk says: 25th June 2017, 16:50 PM
Started working with UE4, following starting tutorials. It is indeed a really sweet and neat toolset!

I'm not going to drop working with older engines away, you still can learn some basics on them, make successful projects or experiment (many thanks to Solokiller for reference and explanations on an idea I have).

Maybe I'll add Source to the pool of engines I worked with one day...
avatar Suparsonik says: 25th June 2017, 19:18 PM
I am using IQM lol. Though my project is using an improved version of it.
avatar Snehk says: 25th June 2017, 19:58 PM
Well, IQM is (a bit buggily) supported by ioquake3, but there's no animation blending so you'd still have to make 3 separate models and connect them with tags like md3 models.

What improvements were made in your project's version of it?
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