Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Game Engines

Game engines appear intimidating to the naked eye, but when you open up the software and have a gander… they continue to intimidate. Opening up Unreal gave me the same feeling of being out of my depth that 3DS Max did on my first day at uni. But here I am, handling Max like I’ve been using it for years. Over the Summer, I am determined to make UDK like me… or at least tolerate me having a tinker with its settings.

Engines are pretty darn important, they provide the tools to blend all the different elements of a game together. They..err.. drive them, if you will. There are a fair few out, as you can imagine, each with their very own list of perks.

The Unreal engine is the first example that comes to mind (I wonder why). It’s a very popular engine that has been around since 1998. Since then it seems like piles and piles of companies have used some element of unreal to run their game. From Bioshock to Brother bear. It’s even used by companies who already have their own in house engines,for example BioWare, Ubisoft and EA have all used a modified version in some games.  This is possibly because it works out relatively cheaper to use than creating a game from scratch.

Cryteks, Cryengine makes absolutely beautiful games and can be thanked for visuals such as this:


Unlike most other engines, the Cryengine does not need any middleware and can support its own physics, sound and animations.  Always a plus.

The RAGE engine ( I enjoyed typing out that work in capitals, I need to get out more) which created Red Dead Redemption seems to be exciting new blood. This newborn engine has the ability to handle large worlds, weather effects and a range of game play genres. And of course, the fact that is still growing shows promise of bigger, badder things to come! Here's some purdy pictures:



I’m going to finish off on a favourite. Naughty Dog Game Engine. Uncharted 2. Om nom..

I talk about this game waaaaaay too much, but I think it demonstrates exactly what the games industry can do. That game is just so visually stunning, it’s one of the only games I could sit and watch someone play for hours on end. I think it just shows what a good engine in the right hands is capable of.



The environments just look so crisp and believable, the animation on the vegetation is ultra realistic and the mood they have created with the lighting and colour schemes just hits you each time you enter a new level. Every single aspect has been put together perfectly to create an environment that invigorates your senses. That sounded like a herbal essences campaign but you now understand my passion.  I WANT TO MAKE GAMES LIKE THIS ONE. 

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