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Prospects For Open-Source Engines Now That UE4/Source2/Unity Are Free?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Luke_Wolf View Post
    The answer is absolutely yes they would have.

    This is a result of the Indie scene coming into it's own. The open source community had effectively nothing to do with this. Basically the big engines see that there's a huge market for indie games, however their former price schemes excluded the indie developers from using them as they have little to no budget, as a result the game engines have figured out a "Pay later" scheme to get indies to use their engines.
    But indies don't really need source code access. It always has been the pro option, actually it still is, for anything but unreal/physx. Personally I don't see how the, we put it on github and let anyone look and contribute, idea could have happened in a closed source world. There wouldn't be a github in the first place. Everybody would just be doing their own stuff, and offering precompiled SDKs.

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    • #32
      Just to pitch in- I'm involved with a project that's using Blender's Game Engine for prototyping graphics and gameplay. We've recently switched from old-school approximations to physically based rendering as OGRE was our primary target and OGRE 2's High Level Material System allows for it.

      UE4 going free was big news for us, and we're definitely considering it. However, in our journeys with BGE, we've noticed that the tools are evolving and it's possible to get something very close to what we need out of the box with Blender. So, for us, all three of these options are on the table to evaluate until the prototyping phase is over. Unity and Unreal are both robust systems, but some of the open source options aren't far behind. Complete physically based rendering is already fairly performant even on WebGL at the moment, so the rendering technology isn't going to be an exclusively AAA feature for long.

      I think the issue is more along the lines of AAA developers using AAA engines. If a developer was willing to abandon console support, I'm sure they could create something substantial with what's been freely available to the community (OGRE in particular). I think it's easy to underestimate these engines when the majority of projects that use them are volunteer projects with little time to produce impressive visuals or complex behavior. While I'm personally drawn to UE 4 for the sake of expediency, I don't feel particularly trapped by any of the available options.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by log0 View Post
        But indies don't really need source code access. It always has been the pro option, actually it still is, for anything but unreal/physx. Personally I don't see how the, we put it on github and let anyone look and contribute, idea could have happened in a closed source world. There wouldn't be a github in the first place. Everybody would just be doing their own stuff, and offering precompiled SDKs.
        As far as I'm aware Unreal has always given source level access to it's licensees, certainly if nothing else it was always an option. The difference is this time around instead of Licensees keeping their changes in private forks to themselves Epic decided to make themselves a proper upstream. Also for a very long time games and game engines have given out mod toolkits under non-commercial licenses for the mod scene to play with, the difference here is more that the existence of the indies has shifted things from non-commercial to pay us later.

        And sure you can blab on about github and git and such, but that is irrelevant to the discussion of why Epic 'opened' up UE4, it only answers how Epic was able to do so.

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        • #34
          What's the UE4 github download link? This doesn't work:

          git clone https://github.com/3dluvr/UnrealEngine.git
          Cloning into 'UnrealEngine'...
          Username for 'https://github.com': bla
          fatal: repository 'https://github.com/3dluvr/UnrealEngine.git/' not found

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          • #35
            Never mind this seems to work:
            [email protected]:/media/michael/DATA$ git clone https://github.com/EpicGames/UnrealEngine.git

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            • #36
              Originally posted by DMJC View Post
              Linux won't compete with Windows for game editing until we have programs like Deep Exploration, Fred2, the Descent *32 tool suite, 3d studio max, lightwave
              Never heard of, I guess I only need Blender and I run Photoshop CS6 perfectly on Wine 1.6.2

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              • #37
                Originally posted by DMJC View Post
                Linux won't compete with Windows for game editing until we have programs like
                Deep Exploration - CAD. Why do you need it for game asset creation to begin with? Not only that but there're numerous CADs in Linux
                Fred2, Descent *32 tool suite - what are those? Not only i've never heard of them but i couldn't find anything that would be even remotely close to 3D, 2D, physics or anything that would help in game creation tasks.
                3d studio max, lightwave. You must be living under the rock for some time. Not only majority of animation, modeling, texturing etc tools came first on Linux and still have bettr support here. But 3dsMax is next in line after Softimage(that was a much better software) and Lightwave is stagnating for quite a while. There're alternatives, you pretty much named some of the very few 3D software packages that don't exist on Linux(without WINE). Add in Cinema4D and you'll have full list. Everything else including Blender(since we're talking about FREE part of game engines whats the point of bringing up expensive 3D animation tools?) is here.
                Editor On Fire - its OSS and crossplatform
                tool that adds some metadata to the vorbis files
                Really? Not only you can do it from command line but there numerous software with GUI, what are you talking about?

                You have Photoshop open on one screen, and your model on the other, and your model updates when you switch from your painter to your model viewer. Linux has nothing like this, yes there are 3d model viewers, but none of them reload on focus.
                Again, since you're talking about non free software why don't you remember, i don't know Mari(?) where you can paint right ON the 3d model without pain of switching your focus from one monitor to another And to some point even Blender.
                Not only that but there is External Paint Autorefresh plugin that does just that between GIMP/Photoshop and Blender.


                Stop spreading false info ok there?

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                • #38
                  Open engines won't really budge from this, from multiple reasons.

                  1) 5% is still a huge amount, even with no entry fee. As long as there are royalties at all, or any other artificial limitations like a forced banner at load time, they will have a place.

                  2) The ones who care about copyleft will not use a proprietary engine.

                  3) Artists are the bottleneck, good programmers will gain very little from a prebuilt engine. I'm quite able to implement any technique I need, and in the way I need, not limited to whatever way the proprietary powers that be decided it should be implemented. Likewise, if I don't have a model, I still don't have a model if I run UE4

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                  • #39
                    I think this puts pressure on open source engines to reorganize and prepare themselves for this new challenge. Those many open-source engines now need to consolidate themselves into fewer, but higher quality, engines. Otherwise they will be irrelevant.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by sarmad View Post
                      I think this puts pressure on open source engines to reorganize and prepare themselves for this new challenge. Those many open-source engines now need to consolidate themselves into fewer, but higher quality, engines. Otherwise they will be irrelevant.
                      I feel like this is happening naturally, as I've stopped considering certain engines for my work and I'm sure other serious game developers have as well. You even see open source projects like SuperTuxKart rewriting their rendering engines from scratch for the sake of overcoming these issues, and those are GSoC students and volunteers.

                      Of course, if people had the guts and know-how to switch projects entirely and consolidate their efforts, we might get something truly impressive. However, classical behavioral studies and literature like 'The Mythical Man-Month' explain rather well why this isn't the case. I'm fairly certain that real progress will only come from major refactoring as we have in OGRE 2 or an entirely new project that has the right goals.

                      So you're right- they won't consolidate, and they will become irrelevant. How many irrelevant open source projects are alive and kicking simply because they're relevant to a small subset of people? I'd say that's a massive proportion of all open source projects.
                      Last edited by scionicspectre; 09 March 2015, 05:12 PM.

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