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Epic Battles Against Evil
July 10th 2000, 05:32 CEST by andy

According to Epic's top code monkey Tim Sweeney: "Monolith is dead in the water. They'll be out of business within the year. You mark my words! Mwahahaha!"

Or something like that.



In an interview over at Unreal Universe, Tim was asked about Epic's current position on licensing. Here's the full question and answer:

Monolith has something along the lines of 120 people working at the company now, with almost half dedicated to the LithTech engine development and support. What does Epic need to do to take back control of the 3-D licensing scene?

We're operating in a totally different world than Monolith. We're a small and focused team of 18 people, in the biz for the long-term. We put all our efforts into making a new hit game every couple of years, supporting a flourishing user and mod community, and signing perhaps 4 to 8 really good partners per year to license our technology. This is what we do now, and this is what we'll be doing 5 years from now. Even if our "style" of game, and even our preferred platforms, change.

This bears no resemblance to a 120-person investor funded operation that requires $10 million per year (that is, 50 new licensees per year at their current typical rates) just to break even. Monolith's strategy is predicated on a belief that a market exists for 50 to 100 engine licenses per year, or that a company in that market can attain a very significant valuation in an acquisition or IPO. I don't have any idea whether that strategy will work, but it's a very different strategy than ours.

I remember back in the shareware days, Epic, Apogee, and another shareware publisher, MVP Software, were cutthroat competitors for a while. It's tempting to ask who "won" that jihad, but that's not how it went. Over time, Apogee (now 3D Realms) and Epic changed focus to purely developing games, and 8 years later we're both among the top independent developers, as well as partners, with Duke Nukem Forever using the Unreal engine. MVP Software, by putting out mediocre games, never had the chance to turn into a legitimate developer, and faded away.

I think a similar thing will happen between Epic and Monolith. Though it's fun for the press to look at us as cutthroat competitors, clearly we're going in very different directions, and aren't going to be in the same market 5 years from now. Whether they are successful then will have nothing to do with how Epic "battled" them, and everything to do with how well they formulated their strategy, and built and managed a team to execute that strategy.

Now in case you're thinking that this is a shot out of the blue, and that it's not very nice for Tim to talk about a competitor in this way, here's a quote from an interview with Monolith's Jason Hall back in February:

Monolith, and now LithTech Inc., is changing the engine licensing landscape with a focus on a full service approach for the licensees. Do you expect your engine competitors to now make similar efforts in order to maintain a large pool of license deals?

If they plan on surviving in the engine licensing business they are going to have to. Quite frankly I find it unlikely that some of our main competitors will step up to the challenge. Competing with us at this point is going to be extremely expensive and most of our "competitors" aren't specifically focused on engine licensing. Most of them are focused on making "games first" and then "licensing second."

An example that I would use to illustrate this point would be one competitor, Epic: A query to Mark Rein of Epic asking if it was possible that licensing could potentially become a company's main source of revenue drew the following response: "No. The games make several times more money than the engine does. Before the original Unreal game shipped licensing revenue might was about even with other revenue sources (including revenue from older games and publishing advances toward Unreal) but once Unreal money started coming in, it quickly amount to much more than we had earned from licensing. You can't make a viable business from engine licensing." [Quote from this article.]

It is clear from his statement "you can't make a viable business from engine licensing" that Epic's focus is on making games first, then trying to license whatever technology they have and make some money off of that. This makes a lot of sense for them since they clearly believe that the real money is in making games - but now knowing that's how they feel, I find it hard to believe that they are going to try to keep pace with what we are doing with LithTech. Why would they? To them, it is not a viable business.

What I find interesting about their statements is that it is clear that their licensing program is secondary to their gamemaking. This means that all their licensees come second, not first. They do not get top priority. If Epic is working on a game, and a licensee needs a question answered, Epic will answer them only to the extent that it doesn't conflict with their primary interest, making games. I can think of a lot of situations where a licensee could theoretically wind up waiting quite some time to get a question answered (like if Epic was in crunch-mode trying to get their game out the door).

With LithTech, our licensees are the top priority. Nothing else comes before them, period. The engine licensing business has evolved into a technology AND service oriented business, where as you know, in order to be successful, the customer always has to come first. And for LithTech, the licensee always does.

Read all of that, did ya? Yeah, right, I bet you did... ;-)

Setting aside the ever-popular spectator sport of inter-company warfare, is Tim right about Monolith?

In particular, what about this oh-so-subtle comment: "MVP Software, by putting out mediocre games, never had the chance to turn into a legitimate developer, and faded away." Will mediocre games bring about Monolith's downfall? Can they survive on engine licensing alone?

Or is it just plain wrong for Tim and Jason to fight it out in public?

C O M M E N T S
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#1 by "Andy"
2000-07-10 05:39:44
andy@planetcrap.com
To answer my own question, I think Jason said it best:
<quote>
in order to be successful, the customer always has to come first
</quote>
#2 by "Warren Marshall"
2000-07-10 05:40:34
warren@epicgames.com http://www.epicgames.com
Tim wasn't saying anything of the kind in that interview.  What he said makes perfect sense to me ... different markets, different strategies.

Of course, I'm biased, so ignore my opinions on this matter.  :P
#3 by "None-1a"
2000-07-10 05:41:42
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#Main Post</b> "andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>


Read all of that, did ya? Yeah, right, I <I>bet</I> you did... ;-)</QUOTE>

Yes I did thank you very much.


<QUOTE>Setting aside the ever-popular spectator sport of inter-company warfare, is
Tim right about Monolith?


In particular, what about this oh-so-subtle comment: "MVP Software, by
putting out mediocre games, never had the chance to turn into a legitimate
developer, and faded away." Will mediocre games bring about Monolith's downfall?
Can they survive on engine licensing alone?


Or is it just plain wrong for Tim and Jason to fight it out in public?</QUOTE>

Since Monolith spun LithTech off as it's own company Monolith can't even count on engine licensing to keep them aflot. Unless monolith can get out a great game in the next few years they'll be gone while LithTech will still be pluging along on engine work and licensee relations.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#4 by "Dethstryk"
2000-07-10 05:58:29
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
Hey people, not to bash on Monolith or anything, but look at their games! They can't go on licensing engines forever, and LithTech definitely isn't going to hold up for them after people realize it really isn't the super-engine it's supposed to be.

It's really obvious that Monolith's games come second, too. Try playing any of the past couple of titles they put out, and it just smacks you in the face. Sure, some of them are fun.. but I think everyone knows what I'm talking about. Some bad art, horrible bugs, bad physics, that kind of thing.

I'm going to have to side with Epic on this one. They have way more of a base to stand on when compared to Monolith.


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#5 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-07-10 06:00:40
http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/graveycam/ind
<b>#Main Post</b> "andy" wrote...
<quote>Read all of that, did ya? Yeah, right, I <I>bet</I> you did... ;-)</quote>

heh.  good call.
 


________________________________
<b>dumb·ass</b> <i>(Düm-èSS)</i> n. - Anyone who doesn't agree with me.
 
<a href="http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/Bad_CRC.gif"></a><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#6 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-07-10 06:01:49
http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/graveycam/ind
<b>#Main Post</b> "andy" wrote...
<quote>This is what we do now, and this is what we'll be doing 5 years from now. Even
if our "style" of game, and even our preferred platforms, change.</quote>

Am I missing something?   has Epic officially announced they are moving from PC games to the X box now?
 


________________________________
<b>dumb·ass</b> <i>(Düm-èSS)</i> n. - Anyone who doesn't agree with me.
 
<a href="http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/Bad_CRC.gif"></a><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#7 by "Mad_Dog"
2000-07-10 06:14:23
markyork@cox-internet.com
Ok, blah. Engine licensing.

If you want the most advanced renderer, you go with id's engine, bar none. Of course, you have to beat your head to a pulp to try to get your game to work in id's new engine... if you're quick, you get a Hexen II, or a Sin, or some such. If you delay, and delay, and delay, you get the DaikatananananaWTFeverItsCalled.

If you want to do a complex GAME, one where you have a design road-map already set, then you look at the 2nd tier. UT or LithTech. Each is easier to develop in (as opposed to Q3A)... but in choosing, you want the most bang for your buck. LithTech has to have SOMETHING going for it.. since today KISS:Psyco Circus (LithTech based) went gold.

I think LithTech has the right idea, if they can compete by keeping their engine on the cutting edge. At some point, we're going to see "Engine? Doesn't matter. They are all the same, rendering quality/speed wise. We choose this engine for it's ease of modification, and support." Lithtech is poised to gain that market, if it ever comes about.

Mark/Mad_Dog<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#8 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-07-10 06:16:52
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
I think LithTech will rise or fall based on the first couple of licensees that actually show up on store shelves and make a big splash (whether it's bad or good). If everything that comes along is received with less memorable luke-warm reviews and noone really has anything to say about the games either way, then they'll just continue as they're going now.

As far as which makes more money, engines or games, I think it all depends on the quality of the engine and how well previous games have shown it can perform. Of course, the fact that most companies don't release their engine prices to the public (or even numbers on how many people have licensed their engines) or how much they've made on a particular game makes much of it speculation. The question does come up as to which made more money, though, Quake 2 or it's engine licenses. Given Sin, Soldier of Fortune, Half-life, Hexen 2, Heretic 2, Daikatana, and a few other lesser known games, I have a feeling it's engine licensing that's buying John Carmack most of those Ferraris.

Then again, John Carmack has the Quake games to show off his engines, just as Epic has Unreal and UT to show off their engine. Monolith simply has the lowest price (from what I've heard anyway, plus they're up front about their pricing), and a few tech demos. Maybe the Aliens vs. Predator sequel will be what shows off their engine ;)

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#9 by ""
2000-07-10 06:17:47
<i>Thinking...</i>
#10 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-07-10 06:22:39
http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/graveycam/ind
the whole engine licensing thing sucks.
 
oh look, another copycat game,  just what the world needs.
 
oh, a nerf game.  it's Unreal with different models and sounds.
oh, a klingon game.  it's Unreal with different models and sounds.
 

same shit.  over and over.
 

then they wonder why nobody is buying as many games.


license an engine,  then throw a little crap in it with some tiny changes, and expect everybody to do cartwheels.  That's not gonna work anymore.   We've seen it already.
 

 


________________________________
<b>dumb·ass</b> <i>(Düm-èSS)</i> n. - Anyone who doesn't agree with me.
 
<a href="http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/Bad_CRC.gif"></a><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#11 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-07-10 06:28:20
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
<b>#10</b> "Bad_CRC" wrote...
<QUOTE>license an engine, then throw a little crap in it with some tiny changes, and
expect everybody to do cartwheels. That's not gonna work anymore. We've seen it
already.
</QUOTE>

Maybe that's what LithTech has going for them, then ;) Until the 2nd title hits the shelves anyway.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#12 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-07-10 06:35:14
http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/graveycam/ind
who knows,   maybe people will buy it.
 
The whole idea of buying a game pre-written, then changing a few things and selling it,  just goes against what I consider the process of making a game.
 
again, use that god-awful nerf game.   It was the exact same as Unreal.  IIRC, it even used some of the same sounds.  couple ugly levels,  change the models... poof, you're done.  it didn't seem to change anything at all in the engine,  just a mediocre TC.
 
DNF is going to have some new stuff in it,  it might be interesting,   but, overall, won't it just be another mod to the same old shit we've seen?     (now, I think DNF will be at the far end of the spectrum, and may still be worth buying compared to the nerf game,  but will it be anything we haven't already seen?   I doubt it.)
 

just my opinions,  I'm entitled to them.



________________________________
<b>dumb·ass</b> <i>(Düm-èSS)</i> n. - Anyone who doesn't agree with me.
 
<a href="http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/Bad_CRC.gif"></a><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#13 by "Bad_CRC"
2000-07-10 06:37:08
http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/graveycam/ind
When's the next PCIRCHO?
 
How about Wednesday?
 


________________________________.
<b>dumb·ass</b> <i>(Düm-èSS)</i> n. - Anyone who doesn't agree with me.
 
<a href="http://hammer.prohosting.com/~badcrc/Bad_CRC.gif"></a><I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#14 by "None-1a"
2000-07-10 06:54:22
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#12</b> "Bad_CRC" wrote...
<QUOTE>again, use that god-awful nerf game. It was the exact same as Unreal. IIRC, it
even used some of the same sounds. couple ugly levels, change the models...
poof, you're done. it didn't seem to change anything at all in the engine, just
a mediocre TC.

DNF is going to have some new stuff in it, it might be
interesting, but, overall, won't it just be another mod to the same old shit
we've seen? (now, I think DNF will be at the far end of the spectrum, and may
still be worth buying compared to the nerf game, but will it be anything we
haven't already seen? I doubt it.) </QUOTE>

You still need good game design even with the engine is bought. Sounds like the nurf game had some crapy design behind it, or even with a totaly new engine you'd have still had one crapy game there (although more crash prone do to the custom engine, since a company that just changes te levels and models isn't going to take any time to work on a proper working engine).<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#15 by "Robert "Orpheus" Headley"
2000-07-10 06:58:53
Orpheus@unreality.org http://www.outhouse-Productions.com
Hey, Dont badmouth Nerf arena blast.
Maybe it was Unreal with new models and sounds. But, it was fun. Besides, No one should be deprived the pleasure of spanking someones ass online...just cause they dont like violence :)
#16 by "Jason Hall"
2000-07-10 07:00:26
Hall@lith.com http://www.lith.com
Man!

Talking about Monolith must just bring in the hits to this website eh Andy?!

First off, there is no "warfare" going on between Epic and Monolith. We are both just doing our own thing, no issues there. Much luv to Tim and crew!

One comment that I would make on this whole thread is that post #3 hit the nail right on the head!

The other comment that I would make is that Tim is correct in saying that LithTech Inc. has a completely different strategy and priority structure than Epic.

Side note - from reading his comments, it looks like he is confusing Monolith and LithTech together in some way and then trying to guess at our overall business strategy (lots of people seem to do this). He's quite a ways off wtih his personal theory on us but all in all a good read!
#17 by "None-1a"
2000-07-10 07:04:35
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a/
<b>#15</b> "Robert "Orpheus" Headley" wrote...
<QUOTE>


Hey, Dont badmouth Nerf arena blast.
Maybe it was Unreal with new models
and sounds. But, it was fun. Besides, No one should be deprived the pleasure of
spanking someones ass online...just cause they dont like violence :) </QUOTE>

If I wanted to play any Nerf stuff I'd just pull out my old Nerf Blaster, O head out to the paint ball area and play. That or fire up Q2 paint ball (much better then Nerf arena, with no violence).<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#18 by "Apache"
2000-07-10 07:15:55
apache@warzone.com http://www.unrealuniverse.com
hmm, good topic :-)

I was up at Monolith Studios last week for a couple days and actually saw what they were working on engine-wise, as well as checked out their latest crop of games in development. I'd tell you more of what I saw, but I'm saving that for a feature this morning.
#19 by "Tim Sweeney"
2000-07-10 07:43:35
tim@epicgames.com http://unreal.epicgames.com/
Hee hee, I love Andy's talent for twisting a fairly obvious and polite statement into a big controversy.  Go, Andy, go!

Now, let's see you twist Jason's equally polite response into a flame, preferably one involving chrome superbike references. :-)

-Tim
#20 by "Jason Hall"
2000-07-10 07:46:36
Hall@lith.com http://www.lith.com
Dude! I sold the superbike! I was sad to see it go...
#21 by "Valeyard"
2000-07-10 07:55:27
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
Lithtech <b>can</b> succeed.  They've got a fairly traditional, and proven, business model - supply people with the tools required to make a product at a reasonable price.

Just because 10 games use the same core technology, that doesn't mean that all 10 games will be the same...or that any of them are cookie-cutter games.  What's the point in spending 1-3 years developing a core technology that you can use for one or two products, and possibly license a few copies, when you can get nearly the same results by licensing someone else's technology?  Especially if they're committed to supporting it and providing you with all the tools/features you'll need.

Comparing the current engines:

Q3- Great renderer, best net code, fairly unsupported
Unreal - Good renderer, Good net code, moderately supported
LithTech - Screenshots are pretty?, ??, Fully supported?

Note:
These are <i>my</i> assessments.  Unreal would score MUCH higher on the renderer if they'd stop shooting themselves in the foot with Glide and properly support OpenGL.  I'm not trying to preach about Glide or Voodoo being dead, but there is a nifty standard out there that looks nice on all cards that support it.

Lithtech simply hasn't been proven, so I can't make any judgements.

I don't know if anyone is licensing Remedy's Max-FX technology, but it looks fairly sweet..still unproven though.

-Valeyard<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#22 by "Valeyard"
2000-07-10 07:55:58
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
As a side note to the Unreal renderer (in case anyone at ION or Epic catches this):

I haven't purchased Deus Ex yet, <b>solely</b> because OpenGL is flaky (at best) and the cross-hatched dithering overlay-thingy in D3D makes it look like crap.  I played the demo in D3D, with a fair framerate in 800x600...but it just wasn't as pretty.  I restarted it in OpenGL, cranked the res up to 1024x768 and the game was MUCH prettier and MUCH smoother.  It looked like I could have jumped up at least one more resolution, possibly two.

Unfortunately, the zoom feature wouldn't work, icon's became pink and tons of other "problems" occured before the game just crashed.  With so many people using OpenGL compliant cards that <b>aren't</b> Glide compliant, isn't it about time to properly support the <b>standard</b>?

(FYI - it's a GeForce DDR on Win2K...upgrading to the 5.3 drivers made D3D MUCH smoother, but not any prettier)

I really want to play this game, I just wish it looked as good as it could...without my having to buy a seperate video card just for this game.  (Something I've considered, but few people would be willing to do).  I realize (or I've heard) that Epic has a deal worked out with 3DFX, but does that prohibit them from properly supporting a graphics standard?

Surely fully supporting the OpenGL standard would result in more game and license sales, wouldn't it?

(My apologies if my data is somehow factually innaccurate, this is just based on my experience with D3D vs. OpenGL in UT and Deus Ex.)

I'm looking forward to Duke...anyone at 3DRealms care to assure me that the OpenGL renderer will work properly when Duke is released?

-Valeyard<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#23 by "Valeyard"
2000-07-10 08:02:11
valeyard@ck3.net http://www.ck3.net
<b>#22</b> "Valeyard" wrote...
<QUOTE>I restarted it in OpenGL, cranked the res up to 1024x768 and the game was MUCH
prettier and MUCH smoother. </QUOTE>

Sorry for the multi-post stream of consciousness...but I need to clarify this.

I'm not saying that "pretty" is the key factor.  I loved Thief and Thief 2, and many other games.  Gameplay will <b>always</b> be the deciding element...and on that note, I probably will buy Deus Ex soon.

But to see the game in OpenGL for a few moments, looking gorgeus and running VERY fast and smooth...only to be forced back to the grainy images of D3D...it's just sad.

With nVidia chipsets becoming the clear market leader, and an OpenGL standard that is finally supported by most of the decent cards on the market...why is this such an issue??

-Valeyard
 (Frustrated and tired)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#24 by "godZero"
2000-07-10 09:00:10
godzero@gmx.de
<b>#Main Post</b> "andy" wrote...
<QUOTE>What I find interesting about their statements is that it is clear that their
licensing program is secondary to their gamemaking. This means that all their
licensees come second, not first</QUOTE>

Wow, great. Now the games aren't important anymore. Just the engine. Sad.

If Monolith <b>ever</b> makes anything that even comes near Unreal, I'll buy 100 copies of that(and I'm not rich)... <I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#25 by "godZero"
2000-07-10 09:03:17
godzero@gmx.de
<b>#7</b> "Mad_Dog" wrote...
<QUOTE>since today KISS:Psyco Circus (LithTech based) went gold.

</QUOTE>

AT LAST!!!

/off for some ordering...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#26 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-07-10 09:07:30
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
#22 & #23 ;)
Personally, I've found that UT has the best Direct3D renderer out there. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that the Deus Ex demo for some reason or another seems to run/look like crap in D3D.

OpenGL is definitely my preference when I choose a video mode for any game, and the only game I don't run in OpenGL is UT, for the very same reason (it's not well supported).

Epic: your D3D seems to run fairly well (then again, I have a 64MB GeForce 2, it'd better run nicely), but you really should consider supporting OpenGL properly. If you can make Direct3D look that good, I'd love to see what you can do with OpenGL.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#27 by "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart"
2000-07-10 09:13:41
brandonr@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com
Take it all as dogma.  Interviews about a company, answered by the company top man, will always be self-glorifying.

What I find interesting is how people get behind an API and argue it as Christ's own without understanding any of the technical issues involved.  I also find it interesting how many game companies blame engine-level implementation problems on either D3D or OpenGL...whichever one plays the worst.
#28 by "godZero"
2000-07-10 09:15:48
godzero@gmx.de
<b>#26</b> "PainKilleR-[CE]" wrote...
<QUOTE>I've found that UT has the best Direct3D renderer out there</QUOTE>

???You blind???:-) It might have the best engine, but D3D is still  buggy. O.K., they used Unreal engine and I believe I know how much hard work it needed to make D3D possible at all...<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#29 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-07-10 09:17:46
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
<b>#27</b> "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart" wrote...
<QUOTE>I also find it interesting how many game companies blame engine-level
implementation problems on either D3D or OpenGL...whichever one plays the worst. </QUOTE>

lol, then should we assume that UT's horrid OpenGL performance is due to limitations of the API? That would be an interesting idea, sortof like saying that Diablo 2's Direct 3D support doesn't work on my card because of the drivers ;)

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#30 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-07-10 09:20:35
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
<b>#28</b> "godZero" wrote...
<QUOTE>???You blind???:-) It might have the best engine, but D3D is still buggy. </QUOTE>

hmm D3D runs great for me in UT. On the other hand, load up any Q2-based game in Direct3D and it looks like shit (runs faster than OpenGL on most of them, but looks nasty). Then again, with UT's OpenGL, I have no choice, since I don't have a Voodoo card and the performance under the Glide wrappers I have is not the greatest. It's a little hard to compare the Direct3D to the way it *should* look when nothing else functions properly or works on my card. Still, D3D works great for *me* in UT.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#31 by "godZero"
2000-07-10 09:37:58
godzero@gmx.de
<b>#30</b> "PainKilleR-[CE]" wrote...
<QUOTE>On the other hand, load up any Q2-based game in Direct3D and it looks like shit </QUOTE>

??? The only Q2-based game with D3D I know of is HL. What did you mean by "any"?

Yes, D3D is the only option for us nVidia users. I still have my good ol' V3, but I'm too lazy to change cards three times a day in order to play three different games:-)

You can tweak the hell out of OpenGL in UT with some manual editing, though. It works for me, but it's a bit slower than D3D. There are also some nice glide wrappers out there. I have one which really covers _everything_. Perfect picture quality in UT, but it runs arround 25 fps in 8x6, so what the hell...I can live with D3D.

I also wouldn't agree that OGL is a better API than D3D. Take a look at 3DMark2000 or Max Payne, Halo,... They look MUCH better then Q3. From what I've heard, D3D is now easier to program than OGL and it should become even easier with DX8.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#32 by "godZero"
2000-07-10 09:42:19
godzero@gmx.de
Fuck, VE's server is down again<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#33 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-07-10 09:47:19
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
<b>#31</b> "godZero" wrote...
<QUOTE>??? The only Q2-based game with D3D I know of is HL. What did you mean by "any"?
</QUOTE>

oops, I thought there was a D3D option in Kingpin and Sin, guess I was wrong (hell, neither of those games lasted long on my hard drive, and I usually go straight to OpenGL anyway).

<b>#31</b> "godZero" wrote...
<QUOTE>I also wouldn't agree that OGL is a better API than D3D. Take a look at
3DMark2000 or Max Payne, Halo,... They look MUCH better then Q3. From what I've
heard, D3D is now easier to program than OGL and it should become even easier
with DX8.</QUOTE>

hmm 3dmark, umm yeah, Max Payne? let me know when a playable demo is released, same with Halo. Q3, IMO, looks like shit, but that's probably got a lot to do with their choices in textures. Like I said, UT was the first game I saw that *I* thought looked good in D3D. Diablo 2 and TA:Kingdoms used D3D to basically enhance 2D games, which is also a nice touch (without the aforementioned problem with Diablo 2 on my GeForce 2 card, I did have it running on my GeForce before I upgraded). I just like to have a choice, and in my past experience, when the choice is there, OpenGL has always been the right way to go. Direct3D usually runs a little faster, but OpenGL usually looks better. UT makes it painfully obvious that someone that knows Direct3D significantly better than OpenGL can make Direct3D look a lot better than OpenGL, and I think Half-life proves things the other way around.

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#34 by "Sutekh"
2000-07-10 09:50:21
Webster@mpks.net
I didn't see anything negative in Tim Sweeney's comments... If I was correct, he was simply saying that Epic and Monolith were moving in different directions.

If there was any real slam of any sort, it was Hall's stating essentially that Epic's licensees come as a second as compared to theirs.

I'm sure there are many Blood 2 buyers, including myself, who definitely find this very EASY to believe. We heard an awful lot of great things about Lithtech Engine but never saw any true final fix patches to Blood 2... or any apologies for the gaming not being what they'd been saying it would be through their marketing blitz. The game was abandoned, despite statements saying, "we support the game." Support isn't just "Hey, we like this game we made, here's how it might run on your system without crashes every other Thursday," but "Hmm... the game crashes every time the customers play it but every other Thursday. Let's find the problem and fix it."

But that's just my opinion.

Fortunately for Blood 2 it apparently has a very dedicated community. If only the company had shown the same trait.

Still, Jason Hall might still have a very good point.  I remember back in the days of Unreal 1 when Epic's nose was to the grindstone fixing Unreal's bugs/netcode/whatever, and reading an interview with someone at 3D Realms basically saying Epic weren't fixing the major issues fast enough for their taste, so they were doing it themselves.

For a licensee that could definitely be somewhat... annoying.

Still, I don't buy engines. I buy games. If the game you sold me doesn't work and isn't what you promised me, I don't give a shit how great your engine is or who you licensed it to.

In the end, 'Lith and Hall bite the hands that feed them... the customers that bought their products over the years... so they can hopefully get rich licensing their technology out.

Hmm... there wasn't any animosity in that post, was there? :)

Sutekh
#35 by "Apache"
2000-07-10 09:50:46
apache@warzone.com http://www.unrealuniverse.com
<quote>Fuck, VE's server is down again</quote>

Tell me about it, I'm supposed to be doing the AM update. :-)
#36 by "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart"
2000-07-10 09:51:06
brandonr@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com
Pain Killer, nono that's not what I'm saying.  I'm saying that people argue for one API or another without really knowing the practical differences between them.  (I.e., why a programmer would pick one over another.)
#37 by "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart"
2000-07-10 09:52:39
brandonr@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com
You know, if you just made a game and never mentioned what API it used and it worked well of everybody's machine (or reasonably close for any software), people wouldn't give a damn about the internal implementation.
#38 by "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart"
2000-07-10 09:52:59
brandonr@3drealms.com http://www.3drealms.com
of = on
#39 by "godZero"
2000-07-10 09:53:58
godzero@gmx.de
<b>#33</b> "PainKilleR-[CE]" wrote...
<QUOTE>UT was the first game I saw that *I* thought looked good in D3D</QUOTE>

I actually like Shogo and Blood2(I know, I know) gfx.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#40 by "godZero"
2000-07-10 09:59:11
godzero@gmx.de
<b>#35</b> "Apache" wrote...
<QUOTE>


<quote>Fuck, VE's server is down again</quote>

Tell me about it, I'm supposed to be doing the AM update. :-)


</QUOTE>

Hehe :-)

Played that Voyager demo? As you know, I didn't expect much of it, but I actually like it(the gameplay). I was disappointed with gfx, though. I've expected more from Q3 engine based game...:-)<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#41 by "PainKilleR-[CE]"
2000-07-10 10:01:08
painkiller@planetfortress.com http://www.planetfortress.com/tftech/
<b>#39</b> "godZero" wrote...
<QUOTE>I actually like Shogo and Blood2(I know, I know) gfx.</QUOTE>

Well, I have to consider the fact that Blood2 never ran without crashing on my system, and therefore I never bought Shogo ;)

<b>#37</b> "Brandon 'GreenMarine' Reinhart" wrote...
<QUOTE>
You know, if you just made a game and never mentioned what API it used and it
worked well of everybody's machine (or reasonably close for any software),
people wouldn't give a damn about the internal implementation. </QUOTE>

You're probably right, but I'd still be curious. I like to know every little detail about a game's internal workings I can, even going so far as to read through a lot of the released source code if I can. Then again, that might just be simply an effort to improve my own programming (especially since all of the programs I get paid to write are in a completely different realm).

-PainKilleR-[CE]
#42 by "Apache"
2000-07-10 10:02:14
apache@warzone.com http://www.unrealuniverse.com
I thought Shogo was a blast; the deathmatch kicked booty. I didn't like Blood 2 very much, but that was mainly due to the bugs.

I was impressed with the LithTech 2.0 engine stuff, the tools looked about a zillion times easier to use than the old Dedit thingie they had with Shogo; you can pretty much make a game on any platform w/ the same tool set. Neat feature to have.
#43 by "Desiato"
2000-07-10 11:02:38
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
The real title to the article should read:

<B>"Two Different Companies With Two Dissimilar Business Plans"</B>

Whoop-de-shit.

Even from Tim and Jason's previous posts, *they* don't think it is a big deal, and neither do I.

(Oh -- I *did* read the whole "article", in case you're wondering.)

Desiato
#44 by "Apache"
2000-07-10 11:08:54
apache@warzone.com http://www.unrealuniverse.com
<quote>Played that Voyager demo? As you know, I didn't expect much of it, but I actually like it(the gameplay). I was disappointed with gfx, though. I've expected more from Q3 engine based game...:-) </quote>

Yup, I downloaded the entire 115 MB demo on my modem, I enjoyed it. Not as much as the Soldier of Fortune demo, but it was cool.
#45 by "Paul"
2000-07-10 11:15:06
pab05f@mizzou.edu http://www.planethalflife.com/aerotic
Monolith is huge.. but they also seem to be producing quite a few games as well. Time will tell.

How about a better thought.. I heard on the radio(from Ian Punnett on Coast to Coast) that China will be using Linux instead of Microsoft. Big lift for Linux if you ask me..

- Paul
#46 by "godZero"
2000-07-10 11:21:48
godzero@gmx.de
<b>#45</b> "Paul A. Bullman" wrote...
<QUOTE>How about a better thought.. I heard on the radio(from Ian Punnett on Coast to
Coast) that China will be using Linux instead of Microsoft. Big lift for Linux
if you ask me..

</QUOTE>

German government wants to switch to Lin, too. They want to support open source software. They even rejected Win2k, because they've found some major security leaks. Linux has a long way to go, though. The user interface still sucks (read: a normal win user can't do anything with Linux). I'm playing Q3 and UT under Linux _only_, 'cause they run quite a bit smoother...:-]<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
#47 by "Paul"
2000-07-10 11:22:17
pab05f@mizzou.edu http://www.planethalflife.com/aerotic
Apache said:
"Yup, I downloaded the entire 115 MB demo on my modem, I enjoyed it. Not as much as the Soldier of Fortune demo, but it was cool. "

I think the multiplay is a lot of fun. From a first look the speed of gameplay is steroid like. I cant' stand the slow speed of the player in Half-Life for example.. that's no fun..

I do not follow star trek much, especially voyager. I did watch DS9 once a month or so, because that series IMHO was extremely well acted, especially by the captain(or whatever he was).

I like the graphics. The textures look all right, and some of the level design is much smarter than what i saw in the boring Quake3:Arena demo. I didn't expect a few months ago to purchase this game, but I probably will now.

- Paul
#48 by "Dethstryk"
2000-07-10 11:36:03
dethstryk@damagegaming.com http://www.damagegaming.com/
<b>#40</b> "godZero" wrote...
<QUOTE>Played that Voyager demo? As you know, I didn't expect much of it, but I actually like it(the gameplay). I was disappointed with gfx, though. I've expected more from Q3 engine based game...:-)</QUOTE>The Elite Force demo just completely blew me away, but what else can I expect from Raven? I absolutely hate Star Trek games, but I was clinging to this demo and stayed amazed at it all the way through.

This is the first Q3A-engine game people have been able to get their hands on that I know of, and it looks pretty sweet. I definitely give kudos to Raven for once again making another good game. (They have an awesome track record, BTW.)


--
Dethstryk
Damage Gaming
#49 by "Paul"
2000-07-10 11:50:07
pab05f@mizzou.edu http://www.planethalflife.com/aerotic
Dethstryk:
"This is the first Q3A-engine game people have been able to get their hands on that I know of, and it looks pretty sweet. I definitely give kudos to Raven for once again making another good game. (They have an awesome track record, BTW.)"

I agree.. Raven has a consistent track record of producing high quality games. After the initial shock value of the Quake3 Engine in Quake3 Arena was gone, I realized there wasn't much of a game to be found. Elite Force has all sorts of cool goodies in the Demo. I really felt like I was in the game. As if I could control anything in the map at anytime just like real life. Very cool. I'm going to run through it 3 or 4 more times, but I would put a solid 85 - 90% rating for the demo.

This has me looking forward to the Sin Quake3 Engine project now..

It was difficult, but I was forced to delete the Daikatana demo(both of 'em) to make space for elite force. Now that I did that, I don't know if I will ever be the same;-). No more mechanical frog attacks.

- Paul
#50 by "godZero"
2000-07-10 11:55:37
godzero@gmx.de
<b>#48</b> "Dethstryk" wrote...
<QUOTE>This is the first Q3A-engine game people have been able to get their hands on
that I know of, and it looks pretty sweet. I definitely give kudos to Raven for
once again making another good game. (They have an awesome track record, BTW.)



</QUOTE>

The demo is great and I enjoyed it very much, but I've expected to run into a new area and just stand there for a few seconds, saying "Wow! This looks fantastic!". The visuals are rather Q2 then Q3 in my opinion.<I><B></B></I><I></I><I></I>
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