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IDTech 4 engine - what for?


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Also, Brink uses a heavily modified version of id tech 4, I think it looks/works just dandy.


Well, it's laggy as hell even on the lowest settings. Beautiful but unplayable. Not to mention unbearable player movement.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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Well, it's laggy as hell even on the lowest settings. Beautiful but unplayable. Not to mention unbearable player movement.


Well then it would be interesting to know what the part is that actually slows the performance down, processing of the crap going on in game or the rendering. In my book the rendering shouldn't be that expensive. But on lower end cards the deferred shading might become cumbersome due to fillrates and stuff like that.


But come to think of it, it was dreadfully slow on my PC too when I last played it... You might be on to something there.

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Let me put it this way - it's more about art assets and gameplay to a good game than what engine it uses.


As for low adoption rate, it is simply because UDK / Unity is used in every studio around the world. Most people want to work at some established studios instead of going on their own. So why a person who wants to go in that career direction will deal with idTEch 4 when no one in the industry uses it? That's the only reason for low adoption rate.


I liked your explanation, in a way it is true, we are here in the presence of a game that was made using Doom's engine and I can no reason at all people havent picked it up, now that it is open, and announced many (at least a few) projects like this or even Shoot them ups, as you suggest. Dark messiah, Dark Mod, they open a path developers could explora more with this engine, thats for sure.


And the market presure issue, I guess it is the same in many industries, there are many advantages of using free software in an office environment, there are several free alternatives available, but people tend to always go for the "industry standard", there's little incentive in investing years learning the free alternatives if they are not being used by anyone, and because very few use them, they remain obscure and not trusted by companies.

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Again, it all depends what you want to get out of it. If you want to be indie and make/publish your own games, there is no market pressure. There was a time when going with UDK guaranteed news coverage. Those times are pretty much gone. So as long as you have good looking screenshots/videos showing off decent visuals and good gameplay, engine doesn't matter.


Let me outline downsides of vanilla idTech 4:


- Old methods of handling geometry (can't have scenes with million+ of triangles; DarkPlaces engine can handle those easily)

- CPU bound on pretty much every aspect (whether I have GF8800 or GF Titan, fps will solely depend on my CPU)

- No multi-threading (with engine heavily relying on CPU, not having threading is horrible waste of resources; sound engine seems to be running on its own thread, but that doesn't save the day)

- Bad networking design (well, almost every single game from idSoftware had crappy network performance). While this one is subjective thing, competitive multiplayer using idTech 4 is pretty much no-go. However, casual MP is ok with pings lower than 150 ms

- No free master server (can't even get one from idSoftware)


Multi-threading is not an easy task at all (proper scalable threading). Only handful of people in game dev business can tackle this issue. That's why using Doom 3 BFG engine is a way to go as it has threading from Rage, which is state of art currently.


The rest is solvable. Even using ARB shaders. GPU skeletal, cascaded shadow maps (or even GPU assisted stencil shadows), HDR deferred lighting would free CPU to deal with AI and utilize power of modern GPUs. It would be of help threading collisions and physics, but with freed CPU resources it should be alright. Geometry handling isn't hard to fix either. So with that you will get significant performance boost. Networking can be ported from Doom 3 BFG (it's mostly in the game code anyway).


So with all that being said, how is idTech 4 is not a competitive engine? :)


I didn't mention what kind of non-FPS games can be made with stock idTech 4. You can make point and click adventure / horror / quest game. You can make coop first person adventure. Doesn't have to be a shooting game. Just exploration.


What I think is that people simply prefer easy way of modding. Source and UDK provide that kind of easy way. Not only it's easier to mod with those engine, Valve even allow you to make money with modding and has a centralized way of sharing mods. idSoftware never wanted to do such thing.

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All this talk has got me interested in doing another game using TDM as a base.


Would anyone be interested in pooling resources on an isometric or platform game? Doesn't even have to be that complex, just work out a base that has the view, player, some enemies...

(I'm fine with doing the artwork portion.)


It would be really cool just to have a base out there as a showcase.

Dark is the sway that mows like a harvest

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TDM has switched to the GPL base as of 1.08. The exe is built from the 2011 gpl release.

The only thing keeping us from standalone are some d3 assets, not the code, & all bets have already been off for a fork game. I was actually surprised we hadn't seen one yet (save Tels' project).


We'd use Tdm as a base because we've been working with it for 7 years now, so we know it inside-out, and it gives things over vanilla d3 good for other games one could coattail on, like the better ai, or object manipulation, etc.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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