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Thread: Most suitable modern day engine for a remake

  1. #26
    Why not use the Arx engine? It's open source and the game it was designed for is basically Underworld 3.

  2. #27
    Two good engines that would take away the legwork of the graphical side of things would be Unity or Unreal.

    Note that no current engine really supports the tile-based format that Underworld uses and UW has it's own system with stats ranging 0-30. All these things would need to be constructed from scratch. Then the physics as someones else mentioned. Then... well, the rest of it. There's no short path. A game is just a tremendous amount of work. There's no way around this, no matter what engine is used, unless they suddenly release the source code out of nowhere which I'm not holding my breath for.

    Original UW Editor :

  3. #28
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Australia
    That's very cool. I've never seen a screenshot of the editor before. It looks a lot like dromed but much more colourful.

  4. #29
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Not sure where Running_Wild actually got the screenshot from (but would be interested to know) but I do know it was included in the old Game Bytes interview with Doug Church and Paul Neurath back in 1992. The relevant part of the conversation about the editor was:

    GB: What type of design tools do you use to create the dungeons,
    characters, generally the whole game? Did you create an 'editor' of sorts
    to 'layout the game'?

    Doug: Absolutely. We have an editor we use to layout the dungeons and
    the objects. In fact, see the accompanying screen shot. (Press F-10 or
    left mouse button). Until March of 1991 we only had an editor. The game
    is written so that the editor, the playtest game, and the shipping
    executable are all the same code. Various compile time flags are turned
    on and off to set what gets put in (enabling and disabling various
    subsystems and subeditors, allowing various cheats and cheat menus, and so
    on).

    The editor allows the designers to terraform and texture a level, and then
    place objects in the map as they want. The object browser allows the
    designer to bring up data on the current object such as quality, status,
    and so on, and edit any special flags for that type of object (what spells
    are on it, data on traps and timing, directions doors open, and so on).
    From the editor, a single key stroke or menu choice allows you to enter
    "game mode" in which you can just play the game (although you can disable
    creatures, set quest flags, teleport around, and so on).

    So the designer typically works in the editor to set up a particular room
    or scene or trap or puzzle or conversation, saves the work, pops over to
    the game, tests it, then goes back into the editor and reloads and
    changes it, all within the editor. The only design task not built into
    the editor is the conversation compiler, which is a standalone piece of
    code.

    For conversations, one writes a source file and compiles it, then goes
    into an editor and creates the appropriate character, and then can go
    into game mode and talk to said creature. Overall, I think the editor is
    the coolest piece of software we have written, but mostly just because it
    is the most complex.
    Very cool indeed, particularly given the era in which it was written.

  5. #30
    Very cool. I read the Game Bytes interviews, but I think I only had the text. I never ran the software versions of the issues, so I'm not sure I've ever seen that editor image before.

    As for remakes, I've long held that the only practical way of creating a remake of these games is to actually be running the original code.

    I simply don't believe that a small number of people are going to accurately recreate all of the game logic from scratch in their spare time, without any source code.

    OTOH, something which executed the original code and functioned as a layer between that and the modern code (to translate user input, audio, and rendering) might have a hope of resulting in a complete game. That would still be extremely difficult and complex, but I think it reduces the scope of the original code that needs to be understood for a full recreation of the game. People would effectively still be playing the original game.

    It also puts the focus firmly on "making the game work". If that was actually achieved, well then you could start to think about making it prettier. (I think that the projects which start out with fancy graphics and no concept of how to implement the game are always going to be doomed.)

    Not that I believe that anyone is going to do this, mind; I'm just not convinced that other approaches are worth pursuing in the long run (although presumably some of the existing attempts could be used to provide the modern rendering solution).

  6. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Al_B View Post
    Not sure where Running_Wild actually got the screenshot from (but would be interested to know)
    I just happened upon it one day while searching for some Ultima Underworld or Ultima 7 stuff. I had always wanted an Ultima Underworld editor (and, yes, I know of yours. Thanks for that awesome work!) so I was astounded when I found a picture of their editor. I figured if anyone would appreciate it, it would be the members of this forum.

    This is the site where I got it from :

    http://web.archive.org/web/200804211.../ftp/graphics/

  7. #32
    New Member
    Registered: May 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcat View Post
    As for remakes, I've long held that the only practical way of creating a remake of these games is to actually be running the original code.

    I simply don't believe that a small number of people are going to accurately recreate all of the game logic from scratch in their spare time, without any source code.

    OTOH, something which executed the original code and functioned as a layer between that and the modern code (to translate user input, audio, and rendering) might have a hope of resulting in a complete game. That would still be extremely difficult and complex, but I think it reduces the scope of the original code that needs to be understood for a full recreation of the game. People would effectively still be playing the original game.

    It also puts the focus firmly on "making the game work". If that was actually achieved, well then you could start to think about making it prettier. (I think that the projects which start out with fancy graphics and no concept of how to implement the game are always going to be doomed.)

    Not that I believe that anyone is going to do this, mind; I'm just not convinced that other approaches are worth pursuing in the long run (although presumably some of the existing attempts could be used to provide the modern rendering solution).

    Why not use DOSBox as a base, and then add a 3D-engine?

    The 3D-engine could just be scanning/reading the tile-map/data directly from DOS memory.
    Almost all necessary info could be found this way, including the player position and direction.

    (The map is stored the same way as on disk, at around 80000h)
    Last edited by Ghrul; 18th May 2014 at 11:08.

  8. #33
    I don't think we need spoiler tags for memory locations :)

    All the necessary data is certainly available in memory -- that much is guaranteed. But knowing the player position and direction of view is just one aspect. At minimum you also need to know the status and position of all NPCs and other objects in the scene, and you need to be able to handle user interactions (with on-screen objects in the game world, as well as with the UI outside of the 3D scene).

  9. #34
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    I love it ever so much when the first thing a new member does is resurrect a year-old thread.

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2005
    Location: Wisconsin
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    I love it ever so much when the first thing a new member does is resurrect a year-old thread.
    Considering there's only 3 other threads in this sub-forum with posts more recent than this thread had before their post, I'd hardly think it's something worth caring about.

    PS: It's a 6 year old thread.

  11. #36
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    By "year-old' he meant it had been a year since someone had replied. The fact that the thread was started 6 years ago is irrelevant.

    It is pretty strange when someone replies to a comment made a year ago, as if it had just been made recently. Do they think that person is checking the thread daily for new responses?

  12. #37
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Probably not but I've worn out the F5 key on six keyboards so far in anticipation.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2005
    Location: Wisconsin
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    By "year-old' he meant it had been a year since someone had replied. The fact that the thread was started 6 years ago is irrelevant.

    It is pretty strange when someone replies to a comment made a year ago, as if it had just been made recently. Do they think that person is checking the thread daily for new responses?
    Let me dumb it down for you.

    NO ONE POSTS HERE. EVER. ANY REPLY MADE TO ALMOST ANY THREAD WOULD BE IN REPLY TO A POST THAT IS 6 MONTHS OLD OR MORE.

    Also, the person he replied to immediately replied back to his post. So, clearly, the intended recipient saw the message.

    I hope you understand the entire point of my last post now.

    PS: The post prior to the new member's post was less than 9 months old, and at the time of posting would quite literally have been the fourth post from the top of the forum.

  14. #39
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    hank morgan has done some interesting work on a Dark Mod conversion - making it possible to do a rough conversion of Underworld or System Shock map files to TDM.

  15. #40
    There's no need to discourage people from making on-topic responses to old posts.

    These days, conversations tend to happen on a pretty slow time scale in the classics forums, and I don't have a problem with this. I'm generally in favour of resurrecting an old thread to continue an established discussion, rather than fragmenting the discussion by creating new threads; and I also think that approach is more necessary as time goes on and the discussion dries up -- after all, if people didn't continue old threads then we'd just have a string of single-post threads with no connection to anything else.

    Of course I'd be very happy to see more traffic here (and please feel free to post), but in reality most people have said most of the things they're going to say about these games, so this is just the way things are.
    Last edited by Shadowcat; 17th May 2014 at 22:03.

  16. #41
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Australia
    Well, speaking of the lack of the activity, I didn't notice this thread had new posts either!

    Really happy to see that someone has managed to import many of UW's assets into a modern engine. While the other system aspects (conversations, game logic etc ) are missing, boy does watching this video make me hope that somebody does something with this.


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