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A comparison of all the major game engines.

Xplainin

Banned
Not sure if the good folk at Digital Foundry still drop in here, bit this would be a good idea for one of your in-depth video breakdowns.

With the Decima engine making it's way to PC, along with UE5 coming down the tube next year, it would be good to get an understanding of the various game engine, in house and third party, to see what the strengths and weaknesses are of them.

This thread isnt me telling people what the differences are, it me asking what the differences are.

I guess the major third party ones That we would see on console and PC would be -
Unity
Unreal Engine
Cry Engine

There are some smaller ones that I am not sure if they get used much on consoles. These include -
Game maker
Godot
Lumber yard (Cry Engine clone)

Then we have the best in-house engine both on the ground and up coming -
Frostbite
Decima
Forzatech (being upgraded to ?)
Slipspace
Snowdrop
Id Tech
Source
IW Engine
Disrupt Engine
Anvilnext
Ignite
PhyreEngine
Destiny Engine
Chrome Engine
Fox Engine
RE Engine
Luminous Studio

I was surprised to see so many in house engines, and alot of them match what is currently being done on the big engines like UE4.
Plagues Tale by Asobo uses it own engine, and looks amazing. Asobo arnt big, and they were able to create an engine that holds up.

With what we have seen from the new UE5 demo, game engines are going to play a big role going forward into how games are going to look and perform.
Is it going to get to the point where smaller studios won't be able to create an in house engine that can match UE?
Will everyone just jump onto third party engines and not worry about putting their efforts into engine development?
I could still see the majors like EA, Ubisoft, Activision etc using and developing their own engines, but maybe not the smaller studios.

How much better is the UE than say Decima, or even Asobos engine?

How much is involved in creating a new engine?

What would Epic charge a major studio to licence UE for a game?

Whats the best in house engines?

How much do game engines rely on APIs for some of their abilities? (Such as say Direct X RT API for their ability to use RT)
 
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Dory16

Banned
Good topic OP. I have always wondered how much better UE is compared to the others, assuming that it is.
 

MCplayer

Member
Excelent topic, somehow no matter how much diferent games are, I can always identify it, I wanna know why.

Its like all the unreal ungine games like the same yet so diferent from one another.
 
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Amiga

Member
Sony studios have several engines but they all seem to be a bit similar. this combines the benefit of in-studio coding with the time saving pre-set code. they likely share a lot of code across these different engines. This is probably how GG went from FPS to 3rd person open world by borrowing from ND and Sucker Punch. this is much better than EA forcing DICE on every studio.
Bethesda have the great IdTech but it doesn't seem to suit Fallout/Skyrim
 

Tschumi

Member
I enjoy Unity and Frostbite :) Even though they're kinda workhorses for cash-cow games, kinda? I also like, of course, Unreal ...... just my dumb take, but i've had trouble really appreciating Cryengine for a while. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a beautiful game but there are just some tweaks and stuff about the way it works that don't really appeal to me.

REDengine is pretty great? I mean, Witcher 3 had just about the nicest visuals I've yet seen in certain zones~
 
Sony studios have several engines but they all seem to be a bit similar. this combines the benefit of in-studio coding with the time saving pre-set code. they likely share a lot of code across these different engines. This is probably how GG went from FPS to 3rd person open world by borrowing from ND and Sucker Punch. this is much better than EA forcing DICE on every studio.
Bethesda have the great IdTech but it doesn't seem to suit Fallout/Skyrim

Yeah and majority of MSs 1st party studios are all using UE5, so that should benefit them greatly. Would like to see MS 1st party use more proprietary engines though.
 

Xplainin

Banned
Yeah and majority of MSs 1st party studios are all using UE5, so that should benefit them greatly. Would like to see MS 1st party use more proprietary engines though.
Will be interesting to see how Slipspace goes with Halo. If it works well other MS studio's might take it on.
With Sony investing in Epic, maybe MS are less likely to promote UE with their studios.
You would think MS could develop a super engine of their own. They are levels, and levels above Epic with software development and resources to do it.
 
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As long as I could remember it was between Unreal and ID Tech engines for PC development superiority and I always sided with Unreal as did many developers.
 

M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
I am really hyped for Forzatech being used for rumored RPG. That engine is the shit.

From other RE Engine is amazing, also Decima is really nice. Don't like Frostbyte that much all the games looks weird in my opinion.
 

Mister Wolf

Member
CryEngine's use of Voxel Global Illumination is nice. Anyone who has played the PC version of Hunt Showdown knows what I'm talking about. Too bad in didn't make it into the console versions. The upcoming Crysis Remaster will also use Voxel Global Illumination.
 

Mister Wolf

Member
RE7 graphically was almost ruined by Mia's hair... Can't believe they shipped it like that to be honest. DMCV wasn't my cup of tea, but it looked good from the videos I saw. When I googled I also found one more using it:


Guess that will be the first RE Engine game to use raytracing since what they showed had raytraced reflections and GI.
 

Greeno

Member
Yeah and majority of MSs 1st party studios are all using UE5, so that should benefit them greatly. Would like to see MS 1st party use more proprietary engines though.

I think with the heavy investment in the Slipspace engine, it may become the main engine the studios use for projects down the line. Something similar to how the Frostbite engine is used by most studios at EA.
 
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All the unity games with super shit performance left a really bad taste in my mouth. Any time I hear a game I'm looking forward to is using it, I immediately start to lose interest.
 
I love the new Dragon Engine they introduced with Yakuza 6 despite it not running as well as the old engine on the ps4. I think it'll really shine on the ps5 and on PC it already looks amazing.
 

benjipwns

Banned
Industry desperately needs more start ups to combat the monopoly that Epic has with UE. Its not good for the industry for many reasons.
It's not cheap, especially for a startup. Epic has a huge support team, developed tools, etc. That's really what you're competing with, not the graphics engine technology as much as shown by Crytek, id and others matching or surpassing it on that front.

It's almost to the point where "anyone" can install UE4 through EGS and create a game, there's a template for all kinds of stuff and so much is just dropdown boxes and stuff. You can literally do this right now and have a basic FPS running and be shooting a bunch of stacked boxes with complete physics in ten minutes.
 
Wait till the engine gets unshackled from current-gen hardware, it's gonna be one hell of a showcase. Village looks mid because it's a cross-gen game.
While I'm sure that following games will look even better, I believe that Village has been announced as next generation only
 
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MaestroMike

Gold Member
It's not cheap, especially for a startup. Epic has a huge support team, developed tools, etc. That's really what you're competing with, not the graphics engine technology as much as shown by Crytek, id and others matching or surpassing it on that front.

It's almost to the point where "anyone" can install UE4 through EGS and create a game, there's a template for all kinds of stuff and so much is just dropdown boxes and stuff. You can literally do this right now and have a basic FPS running and be shooting a bunch of stacked boxes with complete physics in ten minutes.

lol for real ??? has there been a fastest game made contest or something?
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
I'm going to get flak, but all I know is whatever tweak Quake 3 engine Call of Duty uses is a good engine. Especially for consoles which are gimped.

Ya I know it doesn't have destructibility like Frostbite or complicated physics or anything, but it's always played smooth, lobbies are smooth (for the most part), fast, and it seems to be adaptable to Battle Royal and still run fast. And some games have vehicles.
 

benjipwns

Banned
lol for real ??? has there been a fastest game made contest or something?
Yeah, there's a FPS template that automatically gives you a gun that shoots balls and an environment. The physics are built into the engine and boxes are the easiest thing to create probably, you can plop them in with a mouse click then select them and check the box for them to have physics. Then you compile/run it and can blast them over until it crashes because you placed too many in bad ways like an idiot.

You can add lighting sources with a click of the mouse. (Though you have to "bake" them.) Change all the textures, put chairs and foliage all over the place, etc. There's tons of free stuff in the store to add. I was just fucking around with it one day and added a whole bunch of buildings from a free "city" (buildings/roads/etc.) asset package and was driving a dumb free race car around it through stacks of boxes like it was an alley in Driver. This was maybe a half hour of legit work after I found the stuff in the store. It's pretty easy to see why it's so popular, especially if you have any kind of experience modding graphics, making maps, etc. for games.
 
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Kumomeme

Member
from what i understand good engine not necessary has pretty visual...but also user friendly, easier to work, good tools etc which is, one of reason UE4 widely adopted compared to Cry Engine for example

Kojima Production's Death Stranding has quite fast development, probably highlighting how good Decima is. I heard devs need to spend some learning period in development..having engine/tools that devs already familiarized or something that easy to learn can speed up the development..which is one of reason why FF VIIR use UE4.

Frostbite has pretty visual, but there lot of 'complaint' about how hard it is to work at..for example devs struggled to implement inventory sistem during dragon age inquisiton development, and how Amy Heanig highlight how struggled they want to implement specific mechanics for his cancelled uncharted like star wars game since the engine doesnt supported the required features.

before Todd Howard blame console's slow HDD speed as reason for slow horse in Skyrim..but there other game has fast horse ride so i wonder if it actually the Creation Engine problem.

and some engine only specific in genre, not necessary already can be used for another genre....frostbite good as shooter engine, but not as other genre for example which is one of reason lot of their game 'suffer'..luckly star wars jedi fallen order use UE4 instead..UE4 also supported multiplatform including mobile

UE4 excel in this aspect...while i read somewhere before one of problem with Crystal Tools is they trying to push it as multigenre engine despite we dont know how it does outside making rpg and we see how much 'damage' the engine does to XIII, XIV and perhaps Versus 13

also, good documentation and support is important which is UE4 has ..they even set up office at Japan for this generation..

and some devs probably comfortable with specific tools of engine that they used not to mention something that align with their style and philosophy..for example Kojima let platinumgames use their engine and tools for MGS Rising development than forcing them to use Fox engine, and currently even Platinumgames creating their own engine that would suit their needs

there is scalebility point too..i dont know if it tied to engine or programmers works or both..but there is engine that has good scalebility for example mt framework and fox engine..mgsv pc port is amazing

as for me, best internal engine last gen probably MT Framework, as how great the visual is (for that time), the development seems smooth and fast, great scalibilty with console/pc and how wide the genre it support..RE engine probably capcom's next MT Framework
 
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SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Should also take into account the scope of the engine.

For instance, Unreal Engine is really not a good choice for mobile games. On the other hand, Unity and Godot (albeit less feature-complete) are much more suitable for mobile game development and maybe even 2D game development overall.

We also have frameworks such as MonoGame/XNA, which was used to make games such as Axiom Verge, Stardew Valley and Celeste for instance.
 

Xplainin

Banned
Excelent topic, somehow no matter how much diferent games are, I can always identify it, I wanna know why.

Its like all the unreal ungine games like the same yet so diferent from one another.
In the PS360 era for sure you could tell an UE game. They all had that same look. The only game I remember that didnt look the same was Mirrors Edge.
 

Xplainin

Banned
So with Quixel megascans, is this a general plugin that can be used on all engines, or is it only available on UE? Their demo was amazing, and the rig used on it wasnt something over the top.
 

Kumomeme

Member
In the PS360 era for sure you could tell an UE game. They all had that same look. The only game I remember that didnt look the same was Mirrors Edge.
yes there this complaint for UE3....i heard it not case anymore for UE4 because during launch it already has 80% new code
 
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