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Solid Snake

5:00 p.m. 26/10/2003 (New Zealand Time)

Well this is the first entry of my very own Unreal Wiki Journal page. I work for a number of projects but the only one that is publicly known is USkaarj. The other projects that I work on are more of a personal matter but one of them is about to finally go public after about a year of internal design development. Its really hard to do a proper design document it seems, and definately not as easy as one thinks.

Well where to start, I suppose I shouldn't indulge on releasing information about USkaarj 2K3 without permission I will just talk about my other mod/game (I call it a game, it doesn't even use UT2003. UT2003 was just a means for me to be able to use the Unreal engine) labeled Woven Dreams. It is loosely based of similiar Gameplay of Silent Hill/Resident Evil ... but I'll have less constraints since I am based on the PC. First things first, I started to code soft-shadows.

Soft-Shadow: Eh?

These were present in UT2003 whether or not you noticed. They also took up a lot of CPU usage if didn't tick off 'Shadows' in the UT2003 config tab. These shadows were software (I think) generated shadows of meshes, and ideally they could be any meshes really. Static meshes, skeletal meshes ... I think that's it. Ok, so only two types of meshes, but basically all of them that were present in the Unreal engine. So I adopted it and started to use it to create real-time dynamic shadows for my objects. After using Epic's original code, it dawned on me that they didn't create directional shadows. After a couple of hours I got that fixed.

The next problem came with the fact that it was slow. Horribly slow. It used a Tick function which sucked up FPS faster than a tick sucking your blood. I disabled that, and now all I had left was software generated shadows that weren't real time.

To cut a long story short... I'm still working on this. And when I am done, I'll post up some results.

Category Journal

My Weekly Rants about the public, the world ... and everything else. Weekly Rant [11/11/2003]

My rant today is about the world of forums. Forums are a great way to communicate people, especially when the people in that forum don't really have a lot of time on their hands and are around the world. Also it means that you can have more than one person discussing about something. In short it is a really really good way to communicate and discuss with people what you want to talk about or say. Unfortunately, it has a flip side. The flip side is, is that some people may feel that they are protected by the internet and that they can feel free to say whatever they like, whether it is socially acceptable or not. We get flamers, retards and all sorts of people in life, but it just seems like it is easier to do such a thing on the internet since you know that the other people on the other end of the line is thousands of kilometres aways. For example, usually when I browse in the BuF coding forums, there are usually some threads which basically ask for help. That's fine, nothing wrong since that was what the BuF coding forums was designed for. I usually respond by saying here is a link or here is a hint on how it may work. The next few replies and so forth then tend to start hinting that all they are looking for is code. The way I see it, it is like an insult. You provide them help in order that they can help themselves, but all they want is a quick and easy answer. Since when has programming/scripting ever been about ease and speed? Sure Unrealscripting is supposed to be easy and quick, but it is relative compared to something as difficult as C/C++. The other forum that I belong to is an Overclocking forums, and pretty much the same thing occurs there. Someone posts a help request (usually is something obvious as in 'I overclocked my PC and now it is unstable... why?!') and the people who offer their help usually get nailed or just flamed for their answers, (e.g Your computer is unstable because you have overclocked to high, reply: You moron, I overclock to get faster. Tell me how to make it stable). The last point that I'd like to make about this form of communication is that sometimes people just don't know what the answer is, so in order to sound smart they make something up. For example, someone said that UT2003 is exactly like Quake 3, and that Epic stole ideas from iD. He said that "I didn't played UT2003 yet, but look it has a rocket launcher and a lightning gun". It's this kind of stuff which makes me shake my head and just say outloud 'Pffft'. Now a days, I don't really bother with forums ... only ever now and then. Forums are a great way to communicate, unfortunately it seems like a few bad eggs spoil it for everyone else. What is your opinion?

Foxpaw: Well, I mostly don't like forums. There's some people on them who seem to know what they are talking about but there seems to be an overwhelming majority of people who just don't have a clue. (not that that stops them from pretending) This seems to be especially the case with topics that there's a great deal of media-fed misconceptions about. (guns and such) Like when there was some news story about a "cloaking device," and people started getting all batty and paranoid that cloaked people could be anywhere. Man, I had to tell them like 5 times before they finally understood that it was just a visual effect created basically the same way as the "green screen" used in filmmaking.

Weekly Rant [1/11/2003]

Well, I've decided to change this into weekly rants instead. That should ease my time a bit better and it should also allow me to think a little more about my rant before I write it. This weeks rant is not so much on bad things but more of an obversation on the community I grew up in ever since I was about 8 years old. That's the modding community. My modding of games start with Doom II, when I started to make maps and a variety of other stuff with it. It was a hell of a lot of fun, and making a large square with a lot of weapons proved a lot of fun in multiplayer, although at first it didn't seem that it would (Duke3D's Stadium level also proved that). After I spent a few months in Doom II shifted to Duke 3D. Shifting from Duke 3D to the Unreal engine was a far bigger change than shifting from Doom II to Duke 3D. No longer was I merely editing superficial things such as levels, graphics and so on, I was able to edit a lot more than that. Yes I did know the Duke 3D CON editing, and I did that too (in fact I created some of the stuff like transparent water and I was also in the team that *was* making eBuild). Using the Unreal engine expanded so much more possibilities for me and I suddenly found out that I could create much more of visions rather than moulding my visions to the engine's limitations. I mean sure, I can't create a massive battle scene (Like Total War can) with the Unreal engine, but that's not quite what my visions are anyways... Hence I've started to call all of my mods games. These projects themselves aren't standalone and you would still need to own UT2003 to play any of them, but I believe that the project on themselves aside from that fact are games in their own right. Their gameplay in style and direction are so different to UT2003 that it can't be a mod. I can say this with all confidence that I believe that the only standing fact now a days is that a mod can never be standalone. As in you can't download a mod and just play it with out pre-installing the official game. So many of us here hardly ever use the UT2003 original source code (many of us would gladly switch to UnrealRunTime2 and do a lot of work from scratch, if we were allowed...) and the only real reason why I still subclass from xPawn is simply because it is easier and compatiable with all the other sources I still have to use, and plus it makes the final download a lot smaller. Take for example my own two projects, i) Woven Dreams and ii)Inquistion. They both do not take the standard FPS approach with Woven Dreams being a 3rd person Silent Hill/Resident Evil style game, and Inquistion being very similiar to Diablo II (well mash Diablo II, Fallout II and most BioWare RPG's and you get the rather gooey paste that is Inquisition). These aren't FPS's at all, and the only link that you could probably tell that these were built on top of UT2003 is the fact that you would have to installed UT2003 before you were able to play it. Everything is just that different. Okay, you might be able to tell that it was using the Unreal engine, but you can with other Unreal games such as Splinter Cell and Raven Shield. Lastly the third project that I am working on, USkaarj is a pure RTS game (I may include some things such as being able to switch to the FPS view of a soldier or something). Maybe it is just me, but I hardly ever like to work on a FPS. A lot of other mods do a great job of creating another FPS... but I would prefer to create something different. What's your opinion?

Daily Rant [30/10/2003]

My rant today is about people who make games, aka us. There are many way to make a game, and you can do it through a number of ways. The two most popular ways of doing it I believe are either programming an engine from scratch or using an existing engine. After that both of the content creation is essentially the same, as in you do the same tasks making the textures, models, sound, music and gameplay (most important of all). I joined a group this year at my University... and they had a very different opinion about the way I saw things. First of all, most (but not all) of them thought that my method of making games was very limited, because I use an exisiting engine that someone (well in this case Epic) else had wrote. I couldn't understand why my method was limiting, aside from the fact that I would not be able to create certain things such as cell-shading, complex rendering algorithums, pixel & vertex shaders, Direct X 9 features. However most of these issues didn't really attend to the fact that these increased the game playability. We did some case studies of some older games and why they were so great and fun to play, even though the technology was severly limiting back then. They are really dedicated to making good games and they have some good ideas, but I doubt that anything will really result because of some observations I have made in my lifetime in making games. Granted, I haven't spent a long time there (Short over 12 years) as some of you guys out there. My first observation is that creating a game from the ground up takes a long time, programming the engine, writing the tools and then creating the development tool. It takes a full-time production team of about 5 or more people to create something and that's usually within 2-3 years. What I don't understand is how these group of people can expect to produce a game from the ground up within 1-2 years. I pretty much deem that as a practically impossible task to do, especially since they are still students at the University, and have other much more demanding tasks to do. Getting concepts and ideas onto paper is a lot, lot different to getting it into a working form on the computer. I tried to sway them to use the Unreal engine as a ground basis first, to test all their ideas and concepts. This way it would be entirely possible to start creating content and script/code to play with concepts and ideas and to see the graphical possibilities that you are capable of (Do they really expect to produce a graphic engine which is better than a commercially avaliable one?). They had an arguement with me, and I eventually just had enough and basically disassociated myself with the group to the extent of working with them to make a game. They had their own ideas on how to make games and I had my own. That's fine, but to start accusing that making a mod is less of an achievement than making a game? I think that's where things start to go wrong. Making a mod is hard work, and possibly even harder work than creating a game from scratch. This can because people have expectations of your work because you use a good engine. Telling the difference between a mod and game now a days is difficult. More and more we see that games are often just using existing engines such as Quake, Unreal and Lithtech (I am sure there is more). I could say a lot more, and I probably will tommorow about this ... but to finish up this rant, I am merely a little dissappointed that people who also make games can also believe that they are more superior at making them just because of a different method. Please, input your opinion. My opinions are always biased because they are personal to me, and I would like to receive input ... even if they are negative(but don't get personal).

Daily Rant [29/10/2003]

My rant today is about people who whine about anything that can be whined about. Why whine when or if you couldn't do any thing about it. My first take is on the people who are at University. I was talking to some new 'freshers' or commonly called first years, the other day. They were basically complaining about how hard University was and why did University have to be so hard and that they came to University for the booze, parties and girls/guys. I didn't say much but isn't the point of coming to University about learning? And also you get a choice on what you want to do, and well, it you choose a set course then you choose that decision in the first place. Don't get me wrong, this wasn't a complaint or a statement on how hard the course is, it is about why did the course have to be that way. Sounds confusing but there is a really subtle difference. It is like this, in New Zealand we get all sorts of people complaining about the government, but they are under-age to vote for the government (I suppose the is a pretty good excuse) or they didn't vote in the election at all. What I don't get here is, why are you complaining about the Government when you had a chance to be able to to do something about it? Fair enough that you can complain/whinge after you have tried to do something but before then? Hmm, well. So how does this all relate to the world that we all love and share of Unreal? Well, I think it relates pretty well to the BeyondUnreal Coding forums. Sometimes, a new person pops up, stating he(she?) has a problem with Unrealscript. He doesn't post up any script, and gives a rather vague description of the problem, and usually does it in about 3 posts all after one another. Problems such as "My weapon doesn't work", "My gametype doesn't show up", "I don't know how to do anything!". Maybe I never understood this part of growing up, but I always tried to do self learning ... and that was the same approach with Unrealscript with me. Sure, if you can receive extra help, receive with thanks and open arms, but demanding for help on the online forums? Sometimes, you might receive more than you wanted. I sometimes reply to these with "Please post up your code so that we can diagnose your problem.", only to get a reply such as "OMG, he is trying to steal my code, why do people want to steal code on these forums for?". Before, I tried to argue the point of code analysis to get a fix for what the problem is, but now ... I don't even bother with a reply and most of the time the thread gets forgoteen, unless if the person then posts again to start whining and blame the community for not helping him/her or whu the online community now sucks because it has turned 'evil'. Puh-lease. If you start demanding help from people... and expect the demand to be met, it seems a bit unrealistic to me. I know we all run into problems at some stage of our Unrealscripting careers, but I don't believe this is the best way to solve things... To me, the online forums are just like as if you would be talking to the person. Yes you can't see the person and if you rain a volley of insults to that personm there isn't a whole lot that he/she can do about it ... but everyone in that community probably just ignores you. Or maybe my rant shouldn't be about excess whiners/complainers but rather about people who believe that the internet is a shield that can protect them. Well that's my rant for today, and I guess this is a really subjective rant.

Daily Rant [28/10/2003]

My rant today is about the public who refuse to read the readme's, website information and everything else that tell them essential information. Right now, I am making this mod called Karma'ed. It is essentially a toy that uses the ragdoll function in UT2003 and you can push it around with your mouse. It's pretty fun in a loony way and it kills time pretty easily too. Anyways, when I released the last version (before I started university again) I decided to make two map conversions from the UT2003 game so that the levels would at least look half decent and not look like they were just there for testing (well the first couple were). These maps were rather huge, about 1-2 megs each and I thought that it would be a pain to upload the entire mod as one huge package, that could be about 6-7 megs. What a mistake. Soon after releasing it I started to get mail from people that were complaining that the mod didn't work. The error that was reported was something to do with "Index.UT2". I had no idea what this problem was, and for the majority of the people that were playing this ... had no problems with it. After asking them to download the maps, they responded by saying the problem was fixed. What I don't understand here is that, what problem was there to begin with? I mean, you tried to play my mod without any maps ... what are you trying to start the game with? I then read Mych's page about how mod authors should not expect any type of reading from the public, and I started to understand. Even though my readme.txt(it should have it), the front page of the website, the news quote and the download page all tell the person that they *must* download the maps that are also on the download page and unzip them before they can start playing the game, I shouldn't expect them to follow those suggested guidelines. It's like what a taxi driver told me a few days ago... "The red lights, they are just suggestions.". Well, that's my rant for today and after I have successfully sued McDonald's for selling me too hot, hot coffee ... I'll purchase an Unreal license.

Daily Rant [27/10/2003]

My rant today, starts with the mod called Counter Strike. Many people love it and some people hate it to hell. I belong to the group of people that hate it like hell. Alright, granted, I used to love it when it first came and out and Half Life on my computer ran really, really slow at 320 X 240 (Then I got my first 3D Accelerator and everything was the ok!). It was fun back then. There was no cheating and it was just, well ... fun. Then all the cheats came out, the wall hack and everything else. When all of this fuss was over, the next thing that had to bug me was the people who played it. I know it is stereotyping people, and I don't mean everybody who plays Counter Strike but just the few who think they own you when they manage to get a frag from you. I mean what is up with that? And then when you kill them, not only do they deny their death with obscenites but they start calling you a cheat, a hacker ... denying you the pleasure of actually killing them. I remember when UT2003 first came out in the demo form. I grabbed it real quick and started to play it online. I was running around in Anubis (Bombing run was so damn fun back then) and I managed to get a head shot with the lightning rifle from quite a fair distance. I was instantly slammed by volleys of insults from this guy calling me a cheat and so forth, only for him to finally say "Screw this game, I'm going back to Counter Strike". Jeez. Well, these people still annoy me ... and I was quite glad I made it public that Counter Stike was not to be played at any of the lans I ran (which turned out good, as we then started to play all sorts of interesting and weird games).

So what is particularly bugging me now a days? It's the amount of people that actually want to reproduce Counter Strike for another engine. They list all of features that they might/will have, such as how many guns, maps, player models, and all the usual hype stuff. But what about the game play? Oh yeah, you run slow when you have a heavy machine gun (Did anybody see how fast that guy [the one who had the .50 cal I think] ran in Black Hawk Down?), uhm, yeah you have lots of guns ... you have flash bombs. What do you do? You shoot the *bad* guys to earn money. Even if your Counter Terrorists? Yeah, they have to make a living too. ... well, I won't bore you with much else but I think it's crazy to even begin to think that you can call Counter Strike and its minions of clones 'realistic'. Sigh. I hope this all changes some day. To make myself clear, I'm not slamming those who use modern weapons, or modern environments ... what I am slamming is that people want to make mods that reproduce Counter Strike and nothing more. Hell, if I wanted to play Counter Stike ... I would just play it, not another clone of it.

Category Rant

Comments Area

Daid303: AAHHH, comments :) you're so right about the CS stuff. Nobody reads readme's, that's when I pust something really important in it, I just name it "READ_THIS_ONE_LINE_IN_HERE.TXT" with 1 very importand line in it (your case, you need to download extra maps to make this mod work)

MeanFish: haha@the readme thing...my suggestion would be to make a super-small map that consists of a subtracted cube with a texture on all six sides that says "IF YOU READ THE README YOU CAN GET COOLER MAPS THAN THIS ONE!" That, after all, would be pretty funny if nothing else.

MeanFish: Also, I understand your point about the Counter-Strike thing...it was starting to look like Counter-Strike Episode II: Attack of the Clones for awhile there (and to a degree still is). From a game design perspective though, I think its important to at least try to dissect which elements made the game so popular, because as a 3 year veteran of the game I can assure you that a completely different game with some similar elements could still work with that crowd. Where Counter-Strike succeeded and Day of Defeat failed is in that it still maintained a SLIGHTLY arcadey feel. Anyone who tries to tell me that Counter-Strike is realistic though should be hung by their toenails and fed nothing but generic pizza rolls (trust me, bad bad things!). If anything is missing in CS, its continuity of play and a lack of variety due to being limited to reality in terms of context. I've often wondered what a game that combined elements from CS(buy zones, semi-realistic weapon simulation, etc.) with a more action driven strategic context a la UT Assault or Half Life Team Fortress Classic would be like. With enough variety, I can only see good things. I finally gave up on playing Counter-Strike because I couldn't stand the people who play it any longer, but I can't fault the game for its players. The clones though...they missed the point entirely. If I want military, I'll watch Behind Enemy Lines or Enemy at the Gates. I suppose I went off on a bit of a rant myself for a moment there...sorry for hogging the page :-P [Solid Snake: Nah, it gives me a good read so I think it's all good :)]

Foxpaw: I'd have to agree about Counterstrike and "realism" mods in general. If I wanted to experience realistic conflic I could move to Somalia. Extremely high detail maps, crisp textures and a realistic damage and movement system. :P

Solid Snake: True that, shame you can't respawn though :O

Foxpaw: I don't believe you respawn in CS either, do you? (and did I mention they don't have lag in Somolia? And noone there calls themselves ub3r 1337 haX0rz either. :D)

MeanFish: You respawn at the end of the round...which can sometimes be like 3-4 minutes later :grr:

DJPaul: Solid Snake, can I have a word with you sometime about those shadows you mention? I'm on ICQ on 71731104, or email me at djpaul@djgeneration.com, or leave your email address here and i'll email you. Thanks!

Solid Snake: Why not just say it here? Otherwise it is at ctan@xtra.co.nz

Foxpaw: I believe you actually can do cell-shading on the Unreal Engine, though I have no idea how it is done. I believe XIII uses it extensively and I've seen at least one screenshot of a model using cell-shading in UT2003. Unless I'm thinking of something different then you are.

MeanFish: With a license, doing cel shading would be as easy as adding an alternate rendering process to the engine as it is. I don't think its built in natively, but I could be wrong. It just seems unlikely that were it included natively we wouldn't have any access to it through uscript. Or DO we? dum dum DUMMM!!!! *insert dramatic music here*

Solid Snake: From what I know, scrapping the renderer and writing a new one isn't done with UScript but rather C++ (Native). Cell shading can be faked with fake textures and such so it looks 'alright' but it isn't true cell-shading like XIII, as in it doesn't generate proper cell-shaded shadows and the likes. Also the black outlines done in XIII is not just an inverted mesh with a black skin, it's done post renderly (is that a word?). It's like Deus Ex 2. They scrapped the original Unreal renderer and wrote their own. They have stuff like specular lighting, good shadows... licenses can get the code from a the shared code base but we can't do stuff like that.

Foxpaw: I dunno, I've seen two homer simpson models for UT2003, one is just a 3D one and the other one appears to be cel-shaded. It even has the black outline around it. I'm not sure how they did it though.

MeanFish: This may or may not shed some light on things, but either way its cool nonetheless...http://udn.epicgames.com/pub/Content/CelShadingExampleUT2003/ <—could this same effect be done on a character model texture?

Solid Snake: This is still not cel-shading. Fox Paw is correct that this just appears to be cel shading. Look at XIII carefully, and look how the dynamically generated shadows works. For UT2003 we have simple vertex shading to make it look like we have shadows cast across the player model and so forth. True cel shading allows the creation of true cel shaded shadows and so forth, and this is quite a complex process and it can't really be imitated by UScript or clever model & texture tricks. Import a UT2003 weapon into XIII's editor some time and you should be able to see a huge difference in what I mean.

MeanFish: Regarding your 10/30 rant, I just thought I'd say that you're completely right, but for other reasons. Consider the differences in resources available to us as game developers now compared to three years ago and you will quickly see that in the "great realism race" we have made great strides, with updated physics, higher poly models, and so on and so on. Even the mighty Epic didn't develop UT2003 from the ground up, they had help. They had Mathengine to go to when they needed some enhanced physics that they didn't have time to do themselves. They had DE to handle content creation when they didn't have time. In general, the game development process has become in many ways a fragmented process, much like movie production where you have your writer/director/etc, each of whom are rarely in the same team environment. It IS possible for a group of undergraduate students to write a game. It IS NOT possible for that same group to release one that is competitive in todays market. Not without a predefined base, whether it be a purchased engine license or a game with good mod support. And now for a better question...what separates mod developers from Digital Extremes other than an engine license? Go play the Community Bonus Pack and come back to me with an answer :)

Solid Snake: Definately, realism is taking a step forward but I believe that until we start to use some other key technologies, we will never approach realism. Until we start using volumes, b-splines (I hear the PSX[not PS1] uses it) to do 3D objects we will only ever get an approximation of space. Using polys is alright but the problem is that nature starts with a small thing and builds it up to a large thing. We are doing the reverse and while high quality textures will do for now ... it will get old sooner or later. Lighting techniques such as soft blended ray tracing and real time radiosity will be cool, but it will be a while before we see that happen. It is entirely possible for a group of under graduates to make a game which is compelling and fun. If that wasn't true I would never be able to do anything in the game design area. However what I was getting on to them, was that they wanted to produce a 3D RPG engine from scratch. Sure they can use Direct X to power it, but taming Direct X is difficult work. They not only have to concern themselves with game content, but also with game engine details and also the game tools. That is a lot of work, and from beginning of this until now, not even a single screenshot or concept art has been shown. What exactly are they doing? They are spending half of the year training their group how to use C++ and other languages, training other people how to use Maya and Max. If they intend to make a game in 1-2 years, when does that mean? Is it 1-2 years after they have finished traning? Or does the traning come in after 1-2 years. This is the first time the group has made a game, and the sheer complexity of a good RPG is difficult and even the masters, BioWare and so forth still have a difficult time doing it. Their additude towards the difficulty of the task compares similiar to a lot of the mod-to-be's out there. A great idea is sparked and the whole things gets initiated and then they find themselves stuck because either no one knows how to use UScript or they can't get a person to do the UScript (From obversations, us UScripters seem to be in hot demand). Comments such as, a full RPG system can be implemented in 2 days or making a purchasing system is easy. These comments coming from someone who doesn't even *know* how to even make these himself! I spent my spare yesterday focusing on my other project Inquisition. It was the first day and I had to start from the beginning, and as always a new mod is difficult to start. It took me roughly 5 hours to get it to a start where I wanted. To get the mouse code to work properly (Bits from the Wiki and a lot from Tanus ... man I owe you big time Tanus). I had worked with the mouse code before but this time round I was making it cleaner, removing redundant variables and so forth. Then I had the joy of getting it to work on the network which took more time. Then a few more to get an error aiming system going and then cleaning up of the code base. In the minds of these people who I talk about, they would probably say "I flipped a switch, turned the camera to birds eye and got the mouse going." They don't realise the amount of sheer work to do all of what they said in one line. I won't say anymore really, but I am just going to wait for another year and if they still haven't even got a basic engine going, I could say "I told you so." As a side note, I was particularly annoyed when one of them said: "Make your own engine, then you can say you've made your own game." I thought that was uncalled for. I haven't had time to play the community bonus pack yet, but I am assured that it is great from the actual screenshots that they've done!

HSDanClark: Regarding the comment "Make your own engine, then you can say you've made your own game"... that couldn't be further from the truth. I graduated from [Full Sail] in May. Twenty-two people started the program, and 14 months later, only 9 remained. These were split into two teams, one of four, one of five. My group decided to do a vehicular combat game (kinda like Twisted Metal) using the [Torque] engine. At the time, and I don't know if it's changed now, students had to make a complete game, not a mod, so UScripting was out. The other team decided to write their own engine because then they can say they made a real game. That was the reason they gave, and the reason they looked down on us for using a commercial engine. They had a student version of Renderware and 12 months of C++ training (with 2 months of DirectX and one month of OpenGL thrown in), and they had two months to do a game. In the end, my team finished our game using Torque, and it came out pretty well. Their team didn't finish their project, and had to present their game half-done. The AI didn't work, they didn't have any character models (except one that the class worked on in our month-long Maya class – Bugman), and that was it. The only thing they had going for them was that their menu system was complete – but if you know anything about DirectX, you know that doing a basic menu system is pretty easy 2D stuff. The moral of the story is that it doesn't matter one bit what engine you use or if you write your own. The only thing that matters is how well the game comes out. If you have no game, nobody's going to care how well the engine works. If these guys want to do an RPG with their own engine, more power to 'em, but if they think they're going to do it in 1-2 years with no previous experience, they're way out of their league.

Solid Snake: You've hit the nail on the head with that one HSDanClark, good post and definately a good read for me. That was what I was trying to get through to them. Experience in making games is a lot different to experience to playing games. It's like saying because I have used a computer for a long time it doesn't mean I know how it particularly know how it works. I suggested using Unreal in the form of UT2003 is it meant that they only had to purchase a $110 (About $50-$60 US) game and they can start editing it and seeing their concepts come to life. Well, I wish them all the luck and that, and it isn't like I am bitter and twisted against them ... I mean they could prove me wrong by making a good game, but it is a little bit like saying that you can not only pass the exam but get 95% in it as well with only 24hrs of learning the subject. I mean sure, some people can do it, but they usually have extreme talent or are simply geniuses. In the game design world, there is no geniuses, only smart guys who work very very hard at what they do. Well in my opinion.

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