View Full Version : Source Engine is ‚??long in the tooth,‚?? say Epic, pitches Unreal to indie devs

07-15-11, 05:40 PM
Yesterday, Epic rounded off the two day Unreal University event in London, offering a day of free seminars to students and enthusiasts looking to make new games using the free Unreal Development Kit. We sat down with with technical artist and level designer Alan Willard and Epic‚??s European territory manager, Mike Gamble for a chat about the popularity of the UDK among fledgeling developers, and how it stacks up against popular competitors like Valve‚??s Source SDK. Their verdict: Source is ‚??long in the tooth.‚??

Why would an indie developer use the Unreal Development Kit, and not Source? ‚??Because it‚??s current, right up to now,‚?? says Gamble. ‚??It‚??s DX11 if you want it. It‚??s what we built Gears with. Source is a little long in tooth, isn‚??t it? There‚??s a lot of modding done with Source, but I think you‚??ll find a lot more original content made with the UDK.‚??

The Unreal Development Kit has been free to download since late 2009. It offers users a full suite of programming, level editing and movie making tools. Earlier this year, Epic hiked the cap (http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/02/23/epic-increase-udk-royalty-cap-tenfold/) on the amount a developer could make from a game before having to pay Epic a license, easing the pressure on new developers and encouraging more to consider the UDK as a viable option. Still, the number of mods and levels made in Source each month heavily outnumbers those created using Epic‚??s tools. But why?

‚??Valve has a history of buying mods. I think that‚??s somewhat attractive to people,‚?? says Willard. ‚??It‚??s like ‚??hey, maybe if I make a really good mod Valve will buy.‚?? It‚??s where Portal came from, it‚??s where Counter-Strike came from, Team Fortress. Counter-Strike was a HUGE mod. It was hugely popular, a lot of people played it, so people are going to be attracted to making a mod for it.‚??

Gamble says that while there may be fewer Unreal Engine mods, their community is more focused on coming up with brand new releases. ‚??Our community is building games. There‚??s IOS games, there‚??s PC games. Things like Hawken. That‚??s a real poster child for us.‚??

The Unreal Development Kit is available now as a free download from UDK.com (http://www.udk.com/download). There‚??s a wealth of advice with tutorials on how to use the kit on the Unreal Development Network (http://udn.epicgames.com/Main/WebHome.html) site.

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07-15-11, 05:49 PM
Source doesn't look dated, which is pretty much what matters right. L4D2 and Portal 2 both look great and run great on even dated systems.

07-15-11, 05:55 PM
Eh I'd say it looks dated, but has held up very well. It has definitely benefited from the lack of graphical improvements thanks to ports from this generations consoles. Crysis 1 is still a forerunner in graphics and how many years old is it?

07-15-11, 06:20 PM
Really you think L4D2 looked dated? Valve keeps improving the engine with each release. I don't see any worthwhile benefit from DX10. When next gen console is soon to be released MS will get serious and then you will see something amazing.

07-15-11, 07:51 PM
DX10 and 11 are jokes IMO. The Source Engine is my favorite game engine of all time and has really held up well since CSS came out.

07-15-11, 09:02 PM
Not sure how source handles their stuff but I was a bit put off modding with UE3 with having to "cook" all of your packages. I'm sure once you figured it out it wouldn't be that bad, but it seems like UE3 wasn't the best engine when it came out. Lack of AA support and bad texturing is usually the first thing that comes to mind with UE3.

UE3 is almost 4 years old now... so it's not like it's exactly a new thing either. Source is about 2 years older. One thing about steam buying mods is that Unreal did that as well with RO.

@Six... I think that DX10 and DX11 could show much more improvements than they do. When you talk about all of the AAA games that are out it's either UE3, source, COD (IW engine, based originally all the way back to Q3), and CryEngine2. Other than some tweaks all of those engines are 4+ years old. None of them really thread properly, and probably weren't really designed with DX10 in mind. DX10 came out at the end of 2006 so with most of those engines being released either prior to that or less than a year after it DX10 wouldn't make a lot of sense. The first real AAA engine should be frostbite 2, and it might actually show what can be done with DX10 or DX11.

07-16-11, 07:49 AM
DX10 and 11 are jokes IMO.


07-16-11, 09:08 AM
DX11 is actually really nice, IMHO.