hacking towards release
We've endured two delays to get here, but Watch_Dogs is finally within release sights, and ahead of that event we go hands-on with the latest build. Read on for our full thoughts!
inquisitive minds
AusGamers managed to catch-up with BioWare's Cameron Lee, an Aussie expat who serves as a producer on Dragon Age: Inquisition. Check out our full interview!
oracle of ages
Batman: Arkham Knight is set to be Rocksteady's final in the Arkham series, so it's fitting that it's just so damn big. And Batmobiles. Nuff said. Click for more!
to the moon, athena
We caught up with 2K Australia and Randy Pitchford to discuss Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and why Australia is making an impact on the moon. Click for more!
Post by trog @ 03:34pm 12/04/10 | 50 Comments
If you're a pre-order customer for Natural Selection 2, you might be interested to note that the team have released an "engine test", offering a first glimpse at this anticipated shooter:
Today is a big milestone for Unknown Worlds: we've just released the NS2 "Engine Test" to everyone that has pre-ordered the game!

This is the first version of the game and game engine where you can run around on a couple small maps and fire the rifle at animated dummy targets. It isn't supposed to represent gameplay for NS2 (or really, any gameplay at all!) but serves to help us test our technology to make sure we get it running smoothly on a wide variety of computers.
If you're a pre-order customer you can download the engine test locally from AusGamers now to check it out.





Buy now from Green Man Gaming for only GBP£18.99 (USD$24.99 on Steam)!
(compare all prices)






Latest Comments
E.T.
Posted 04:59pm 12/4/10
Are they using the quake 2 game engine or something?
gamer
Posted 05:40pm 12/4/10
are you serious? have you been under a rock?

they made their OWN ENGINE. its quite optimized and has all the features of modern engines with some of their own extras in there.
Eorl
Posted 05:42pm 12/4/10
thats why its taken them yonks, because they were building a engine from the ground up
Khel
Posted 05:45pm 12/4/10
Because they're idiots
gamer
Posted 05:55pm 12/4/10
yes... and all people who make their own engines are idiots khel, including carmack and valve am-i-right?

what was it carmack was licensing his quake1 engine and dev tools for per game? oh that's right somewhere in the later half of the six figure range.
Eorl
Posted 05:58pm 12/4/10
I'm pretty sure they aren't idiots for making their own game engine. They have their reasons. Maybe they want to sell the engine for other game developers?
ctd
Posted 05:59pm 12/4/10
Just relax guys. The game isn't out yet. All that matters is who is at the top of the scoreboard when you press TAB and I guarantee it wont be youz.
Bah
Posted 06:08pm 12/4/10
and all people who make their own engines are idiots khel, including carmack and valve am-i-right?
I dont recall id running out of money and having to find suckers to buy their game before it was released.
gamer
Posted 06:11pm 12/4/10
do i really have to point out that ID already made a fucktonne of money from its previous 2d games wolf and doom bah? of course not, because your trolling.

also lest remember that id had massive investor capital, these guys don't.
trog
Posted 06:16pm 12/4/10
Khel's point is there are a plethora of excellent engines around for pricing that makes re-inventing the wheel look like a bad idea. These guys had to spend most of their dev time working on technology instead of just making a game. I'm sure they had reasons for it but whether they pan out will depend on a) if they ship a game and b) if the game is any good. If either of those is a 'no', then writing their own engine was probably a bad idea
Bah
Posted 06:19pm 12/4/10
also lest remember that id had massive investor capital, these guys don't.
It's almost like you got my point, almost.
Dazhel
Posted 06:29pm 12/4/10
Maybe they want to sell the engine for other game developers?


Selling an engine requires a crapload of work like tooling support, customisation points, etc etc.
NS2 is being made by a bunch of blokes in a tin shed having a tough enough time creating a single game let alone selling an attractive engine to potential buyers.

Until they have something on the shelf I'm gonna go with Because they're idiots as well.
ctd
Posted 06:33pm 12/4/10
I wish they stuck with NS:Source but they didn't and they had their reasons. I was a massive fan of the original so I will give them the old benefit until the game is released. Then we will see if it is shit or not.

I am no programming superstar but I remember them saying that this engine wasn't totally from scratch for NS2, a guy they are working with had this shit done already... well the base of it or something. He worked on Titan Quest or some faggy dragons game no one cared about.
gamer
Posted 06:35pm 12/4/10
Yeah Daz, im sure these guys know the work involved after all they have a working engine and tools. It's not like its fuking vaporware.

excellent engines around for pricing that makes re-inventing the wheel look like a bad idea


All of which cant be resold via a engine licencing model so your argument is moot.

---

Wtf is with you guys? These guys wanted to create more then a game, they wanted to create a set of assets... the same model ID and Value used and they are doing it 'out of a tin shed' without very little support. Hell they obviosuly dont even have that support from those people meant to be giving it, gamers.

It might not work out, sure but at least they are fuking trying and making good progress at the moment. I dont understand why you goto ride them?
Eorl
Posted 06:50pm 12/4/10
That is most likely most of their customers ctd. Old supporters of NS:Source. I mean, i've never heard of these guys until I heard some news a few months ago on NS2. I would rather use someone elses engine, unless I was intending on making a engine to sell.

Who knows, we'll just have to wait until they either say yay we made a game or nay we didn't. From a guy whose learning how to do game development, I'd stick to other peoples engines until I had a name for myself.
Dazhel
Posted 07:09pm 12/4/10
It's not like its fuking vaporware.


Uh, until it's released yeah it kinda is vaporware.

Soliciting orders for something that's just got to an "Engine Test" phase is what got me offside.
If the VCs aren't interested are these guys really on solid ground?

Edit:
yes... and all people who make their own engines are idiots khel, including carmack and valve am-i-right?


Interesting comparisons
- id software and John Carmack created Commander Keen, Wolfenstein, Doom, made their millions and THEN started selling 3D engines.
- valve software licensed Q2 technology, created Half-Life & monetised some 3rd party mods, created the Steam revenue stream, made their millions and THEN started selling 3D engines.
trog
Posted 06:53pm 12/4/10
All of which cant be resold via a engine licencing model so your argument is moot.
engine licensing is the purview of only a tiny handful of software developers who make it their business. I don't follow NS2 too closely but I would be MASSIVELY surprised if they're trying to enter into this market. It's pretty crowded already full of things like Source, idTech and Unreal.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 06:58pm 12/4/10
I can only really think that they wanted to make their own engine because they wanted to learn the knowledge that goes into making it. So they can get better potential for cushy jobs if their game sells well enough to say, 'O hay, I made this engine and its pretty good so hire me instead of that guy'.
skythra
Posted 06:59pm 12/4/10
Uh, until it's released yeah it kinda is vaporware.
Vaporwear is a shit term. It takes 4+ years to make any game from ground up. It's people who use this phrase which is basically synonymous with duke nukem forever who are just bashing on the little guys.

Who cares what they have done, review it after its past beta ok?
Khel
Posted 07:07pm 12/4/10
It might not work out, sure but at least they are fuking trying and making good progress at the moment. I dont understand why you goto ride them?


Making a game is hard enough work as it is, especially with a team that small, I just think its absolutely ridiculous of them to take on the burden of also building an engine. Not only does it exponentially increase their workload, but they'll then also be building their game on top of an untested, immature, buggy (and I don't say this as an affront to their skill, but the first release of anything is going to be buggy) engine. Talk about making things way harder for yourself than is necessary. It just seems to me to be a very arrogant decision to make, and one thats certainly not in the best interests of the game or the gamers.

Thats why I ride them, because you keep claiming they're doing this for the gamers, that they're the little indie battlers who are out there in the trenches trying to make a difference, but this whole venture to me doesn't seem like its for the fans or for the gamers at all, it seems to me like this whole thing is purely for the benefit of their own egos; they're just sitting there stroking it and proclaiming that no engine out there is good enough for their game, and they can make a better one themselves. I've worked with people like that before, and it never, EVER ends well.

You can't compare it to someone like Carmack or what iD did either. For a start its not like Carmack said "Well I have all these cutting edge engines to choose from, but fuck it, I'm going to roll my own", he was genuinely breaking new ground and doing something that hadn't been done before, plus he had the resources to do it. These guys, by their own admission, have fuck all resources, so why they would even consider going the route of making their own engine, when there is any number of high quality cheap (or even free) engines out there, I don't know.

I'm not shitting on indie developers, hell I'm working on indie games myself. But you gotta be realistic, set some achieveable goals. With a team of two guys even making a game as ambitious as NS2 is pretty insane, I wouldn't say entirely unachieveable, but it would take a while, and you'd be working your fucking guts out. But then making an engine on top of that? That just blows my mind, thats just pure fantasy. And we haven't even touched on the networking side of it, I mean shit, you add networking into the mix and you're upping the complexity of it all by another degree. I just cannot take these guys seriously while they continue on this path. This engine release thats taken them months, and months and months to do, I could probably throw together in a couple of weeks using free components like Ogre. So are they really spending their time that effectively?
Dazhel
Posted 07:13pm 12/4/10
I could probably throw together in a couple of weeks using free components like Ogre.


Woah there Khel! You had me up until this point! :D
Khel
Posted 07:17pm 12/4/10
Well admitedly I haven't actually seen their engine test, so I may have been exaggerating :P If its just a couple of maps where you run around and shoot a gun at some dummies though, that could be easily thrown together in no time at all. And Ogre can do some pretty fancy stuff now, deferred shading and shit, I've seen some pretty sexy stuff coming out of it lately.
Dazhel
Posted 07:20pm 12/4/10
I'm guessing the reason they want to do their own engine is that hacking in fancy lighting and dynamic creep on the walls of alien bases is too hard in existing engines.
taggs
Posted 07:23pm 12/4/10
haha i love these ns2 threads where anyone who doesn't gush fanboi praise like gamer, or god forbid raises legitimate questions or criticisms, faces his almighty internet wrath.

keep on truckin', pal.
gamer
Posted 07:24pm 12/4/10
Good post Khel.
skythra
Posted 07:34pm 12/4/10
Oh i misread your post for a while and thought you said they were doing it on ogre..

:(

I have a friend who's managed to make a 3dFPS engine entirely using the ogre and is building map making tools to flesh it out at the moment. Considering thats all done in his spare time after work (plus he just had a kid so he's had to take a hiatus from the project), he's come a long way in not a lot of time. I've got a lot of respect for ogre after seeing his work, and seeing how good torchlight looked.

Whatever they decide to do, I would have done it differently, we all probably would have. You can't really complain that they've wanted to go the full yards, you just hope that by shooting so high they don't fall short.
Basket
Posted 07:35pm 12/4/10
i loved ns1, so whether they made a new engine or not i can't see this game being a piece of crap, id rather them take there time to make it decent then turn into ea like they did with hellgate london
Dazhel
Posted 07:43pm 12/4/10
Khel: I usually just go to the QGL site but there was a cool suggest from whoop in the other thread
Plasma
Posted 07:54pm 12/4/10
There's a blog post on their website about why they wrote their own engine.

The cliff notes though is that they started with the Source engine, and found it to be very hard to integrate with what they wanted to use the engine for (some dynamic elements, gameplay style, etc).

One of the lead developers 'Max' on the team had already written his own game engine partially years ago (although not finished) but they began using it to help develop their game (to preview in-game models without loading up the Source engine for example).

At one point I think they just noticed they had a pretty functional game engine already, and they were spending more time debugging Source instead of writing game code.

I trust them! :)
gamer
Posted 09:38pm 12/4/10
HOLY CRAP - I just googled that 'ogre' thing you guys are going on about to learn more and found this was made with it

Plasma
Posted 10:02pm 12/4/10
Here's one of the blog entries I was talking about: http://www.unknownworlds.com/ns/2008/7/engine_questions_and_answers
iFraktuRe
Posted 10:39pm 12/4/10
Ogre is not an engine, it's simply a 3d rendering thing afaik.
Reality
Posted 10:41pm 12/4/10
who are you ctd? i've never seen you on ausns before
Dazhel
Posted 11:04pm 12/4/10
Pre-purchase NS2?
January 16, 2005
...snip...
We will still need help from investors and a publisher, but the idea is to wait as long as possible before doing so.


No shit, heh.
Pinky
Posted 11:11pm 12/4/10
OGRE can be considered more or less an engine. It has all the makings, particle engine, renderers, mesh format support and skeletal animation. It's as engine as an engine comes.

When you purchase a commercial engine though you get all the support, map editors (sometimes), and so on as mentioned above somewhere.

I'm with Dazhel and Khel - they are idiots. Best of luck to them though!
Dazhel
Posted 11:14pm 12/4/10
Best of luck to them though!


Amen. May fortune favour the bold/foolish!
Tetsuo
Posted 01:46am 13/4/10
Yes god fobid if we ever lived in a world where people weren't attempting to be innovaters and were sheeps following the masses. Both sides raise good points but at the end of the day they made that decision and if the game comes out and it is shit then bummer but if it comes out and is pro then thank fuck we do live in an age of innovaters willing to risk it all for the better.
Eorl
Posted 08:01am 13/4/10
Ogre sounds more like a 3d rendering software then engine per say. Compared to Unity or Unreal, its more close to 3ds max.
weedy
Posted 08:17am 13/4/10
Never liked the first NS but i have to say well done to Unknown Worlds for doing the engine test pre-release. Maybe if EA had done this prior to releasing BFBC2 they might have realised their game has serious conflicts with particular hardware setups e.g. mine :(
Midda
Posted 09:51am 13/4/10
Yes god fobid if we ever lived in a world where people weren't attempting to be innovaters and were sheeps following the masses.

Explain to me how exactly their engine is innovative. What does it do that other engines can't already do?

Ogre sounds more like a 3d rendering software then engine per say. Compared to Unity or Unreal, its more close to 3ds max.

This doesn't even make sense. Do you know what 3D Studio Max is?
ctd
Posted 10:24am 13/4/10
who are you ctd? i've never seen you on ausns before

Well I used to hang around there in 2003/4... pretty much until HL2 was released. Kind of been checking it out a little bit since UnknownWorlds announced a 'Fall 2009' released date lulz.

edit: Also clocked up a fair few hours of NS on GA#1 after that announcement then the hype died and everyone realised a fall09 release was a load of shit.

Loved that GA server even with its shitty setup. Same dudes, same trolls every night lol.

last edited by ctd at 10:24:55 13/Apr/10
Hogfather
Posted 10:31am 13/4/10
Khel has a very good point. Joel Spolsky is my hero - he calls these kind of guys architecture astronauts:
"That's one sure tip-off to the fact that you're being assaulted by an Architecture Astronaut: the incredible amount of bombast; the heroic, utopian grandiloquence; the boastfulness; the complete lack of reality. And people buy it! The business press goes wild!"

The hallmark of an architecture astronaut is that they don't solve an actual problem... they solve something that appears to be the template of a lot of problems. Or at least, they try.
A big part of my job is reining in excited and enthusiastic people who want to do very big things when we can achieve sensible things by implementing solutions with robust, reliable frameworks.

Shipping the product is its most important feature. Soliciting pre-orders at the architecture stage is a massive red flag, this isn't even a pre-alpha. Stay the fuck away unless you are a venture capitalist.
trog
Posted 10:53am 13/4/10
A big part of my job is reining in excited and enthusiastic people who want to do very big things when we can achieve sensible things by implementing solutions with robust, reliable frameworks.
That's funny, I feel a big part of my job is to rein in people who want to use robust, reliable frameworks when tiny, simple, basic code would do the trick :)
Shipping the product is its most important feature. Soliciting pre-orders at the architecture stage is a massive red flag, this isn't even a pre-alpha. Stay the fuck away unless you are a venture capitalist.
This actually would be a cool model for game development. Everyone that has ordered really SHOULD be getting treated like an investor. Their money should come back if they game takes off as what they're doing is investing!
Hogfather
Posted 10:59am 13/4/10
That's funny, I feel a big part of my job is to rein in people who want to use robust, reliable frameworks when tiny, simple, basic code would do the trick :)
You can't build everything with tiny, simple, basic code. Some of the WORST messes I've agreed to fix were built using this idea, a "quick and simple" thing that grew ad hoc via adding more tiny, smple, easy modules into a fucking monster.
trillion
Posted 11:21am 13/4/10
This actually would be a cool model for game development. Everyone that has ordered really SHOULD be getting treated like an investor. Their money should come back if they game takes off as what they're doing is investing!


Surely though that money would be absorbed by the team to pay for the necessary hardware and overheads of bringing a game like this to the playing audience. In reality its probably not like they have the keys to piles of positive cashflow that a subscription model game like Blizzard or any one of the asian massives have established. I doubt they would be in a position to be able to offer any of it back as say options for future opinion in the creative direction of games produced after all involved have been paid their salaries for what, 4 going on 5 years in development time?
trog
Posted 11:23am 13/4/10
You can't build everything with tiny, simple, basic code.
NO WAY are you sure
Bikkies
Posted 12:06pm 13/4/10
I invested May last year, gifted a copy for My Bro in Feb this year. Atleast i got to play the engine test it does look good for indie.

I pretty much paid first up because i do want to see this game make it out i sorta knew it was a gamble at the start. Being seen as in investor instead of a pre order would have made me feel better at least. Hopefully i get my Black shiny armor one day.
Khel
Posted 03:50pm 13/4/10
Ogre sounds more like a 3d rendering software then engine per say. Compared to Unity or Unreal, its more close to 3ds max.


Its not 3d rendering software, its a 3d rendering engine, which is pretty much the core of any game engine out there. It also deals with loading assets, loading levels, animation, lighting, shaders, particles, all that jazz. Also contains an object framework that you can use to represent game objects, and has a bunch of helper math libraries and other useful stuff. Yes its not a complete package like something along the lines of Unreal, but its not hard to build a complete package with Ogre at the core. Throw in some free physics like PhysX or Bullet, some audio using OpenAL or FMOD, a networking library (haven't looked into them much, but I think we used enet at work), and before you know it you've got a full package.

I think the word "engine" seems to mean different things at different times. When I talk about engines, i'm talking about the low level guts of the thing. I'm talking about the renderer, the sound libraries, the collision system and physics, stuff like that. Thats the stuff that doesn't need to be re-invented. A lot of the time though when people talk about "Game engines" they're including stuff that sits at the app level, game logic and game objects and stuff like that. Thats the sort of stuff I could understand needing to be written custom if their game really is doing something crazy and different. I haven't used Unity, but its more of a complete package deal, where it handles a lot of that app level stuff for you and you don't have to actually code anything to make your game, you just drop objects into the world using their visual editor and then script the objects.
Dazhel
Posted 04:16pm 13/4/10
Everyone that has ordered really SHOULD be getting treated like an investor. Their money should come back if they game takes off as what they're doing is investing!


Yeah too bad the ROI is just a copy of the game. If what they're promising comes to be I'll be able to plonk the same cash down at release time to get the same thing with no risk. Combined with the development risks the team is taking NS pre-orders are making Telstra shares look like a good investment...
Commenting has been locked for this item.
50 Comments
Show
 
Log In
User:  
Pass:  

Advertise with Us | Download Media Kit | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
© Copyright 2001-2014 AusGamers™ Pty Ltd. ACN 093 772 242.
A Mammoth Media web development / Australian VPS Hosting by Mammoth Networks