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    Request for UDK light release

    Dear Epic Staffers and community,

    How much i like the UDK as it is, i would like to have the following:

    UDK Light (or something named like this).

    What is it?

    It's the Unreal Engine 2 (latest build) version of UDK. (just like there was a UnrealEngine 2 runtime programme in the past)

    Why?

    Simply because UE3 is for modern hardware only (to be able to run it smoothly anyway). UE2 however, is looking at the current generation, for mediocre and lowend systems (thus more then few years old hardware and even modern laptops have in many cases troubles with the monster called UE3 )
    So, for indie developers targetting the real casual market space (most casual users don't have the latest,greatest hardware, and are not youngsters anymore (thus 30+ in age), UDK as it is now won't suffice that audience, to be able to play the game made with it. Thus loosing potential as developer (and good usage with UDK, resulting in less commercial licenses for Epic)

    UE2 is still fairly modern in rendering possibilities, though outdated in some aspects in general, compared to UE3.

    I think Epic would do a great favor to release a UE2 based UDK programme aswell, same principle as with the UE2 runtime programme, but this time with the same license as UDK has. (free for noncommercial, royalties due in commercial usage + 99dollars upfront etc etc etc you know what i mean)
    And ofcourse removing the prohibitation of creating games, which was in place with the UE2 runtime back then.

    I know UE2 (latest build) isn't updated anymore (or barely), since all focus is on UE3 and the future UE4, however, with access to the UDN pages for UE2 (the ones that applies to us anyway) and the product being as is, it could still be usable.
    Although integration with the tools would also be possible i guess. (build in: PhysX, Speedtree, Bink, and maybe Scaleform too? FaceFX i doubt, but who knows)

    No need for future updates, but what i'm talking about is a possibility as we all are (well 90% ) indie devs here, to broaden our clientbase (users), for project generated with UE under the hood.
    Some games don't require the latest nicest graphics, but require modest, thus UE3 is too much horsepower.

    I hope Epic will consider this, it's fairly easy to do (looking at the history UE2 runtime etc), and will for them broaden the userbase too.

    thanks in advance.

    #2
    Even cheap integrated display card in mobo's support SM3 these days. I know a lot of people who aren't gamers but have laptops/PC's capable of running Unreal 3 with few major effects turned off.

    So simply provide the player with proper video options instead of setting everything ON or High. Epic working on Unreal 2 is a waste of time for them and for us (and AAA developers who'd rather see more changes in their AAA engine over a dead tech.. the same people who pay millions to license Unreal3 :P ).

    /personal view

    Comment


      #3
      sm3.0 is just mainstream (worldwide) a year or so, to be exact. (it exists longer, but that something else.)

      Furthermore, people forget, that worldwide, the most homecomputing hardware is a mediocre machine, not high-end as gamers think. Gamers are not mainstream computer users, but high-end. The little kids so to say. (teenagers, and 20ers)
      Not the main folks. Like 30plussers (working and having a family), and thus not that much time on their hands for leisure infront of the computer.
      The casual game group in short.
      This group doesn't buy a new computer each 1 to 3 years, or hardware *unless broken*.
      no, this group uses a computer for approx 5+ years before thinking about replacements or upgrades here and there. "it works, i can do my work with it, and do some games too"
      is their vision, in contrast to the gamer group, who think more like "I need the newest hardware available, cos then i can play or do everything i MIGHT need/want in the near future, and because it's cool factor 10+, outdo my friends"

      Since most dev's here, are amature level, thus no track record of any significance, my guess is they don't think of this problem: "dev's vision, compared to user base hardware"
      If a amature dev wants to aim at the safe side of the selling spectrum, dev's should aim at the mediocre hardware side of things, since then the casual group ASWELL as the gamer group can use it. (thus double sales)
      SM3.0 is on the avarage worldwide usage level too modern still, and not generally widely adapted yet (meaning everyone has it at home, as minimum level).(it's getting there, but not yet).

      SM2.0 is however. (it over 8 years old technology, and adapted worldwide in 2003, since then ALL manufactures implemented it standard, then add another 5 years to phase out old hardware in the homes, so you can now safely state: it's standard)

      So, i think having both options would suffice EPIC and us more. Freedom to choose both sides, depending on the project at hand.
      For epic, for eventual licenses, etc.. (did you know they still license out UE2 as of today, and it being licensed aswell?)
      and US, for the obvious reasons.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by saymoo View Post
        Not the main folks. Like 30plussers (working and having a family), and thus not that much time on their hands for leisure infront of the computer.
        The other people I mentioned are over 40, married with kids and use their computers to surf net or do business related stuff. They don't even casual game and still have integrated cards capable of running Unreal 3 in cheap pre-built computer.

        Originally posted by saymoo View Post
        no, this group uses a computer for approx 5+ years before thinking about replacements or upgrades here and there. "it works, i can do my work with it, and do some games too"
        I am pretty much your "hardcore gamer" and I didn't upgrade my machine for 4 years before upgrading my display card only. A year later, added more ram. But that's it. Still using same PC to play Crysis, Splinter Cell Conviction (Unreal 2.5 engine btw, custom build from what I know, but looks amazing) to freakin Peggles.

        If amature devs want to aim at the "safe side", they should stick to licensing or using a free engine like Unity over demanding a low-end engine from AAA developers.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by NikSha View Post
          The other people I mentioned are over 40, married with kids and use their computers to surf net or do business related stuff. They don't even casual game and still have integrated cards capable of running Unreal 3 in cheap pre-built computer.
          so you want to say that a cheap pre-build computer in like 2006 or 5 (thus cheap integrated hardware, e.g. max. 128MB gpu's with just sm2.0 on it, e.g. Ati 9500 chipsets, which are on the x300 , or the Nvidia 5600) can smoothly play UE3 powered games, like e.g. Vegas series, UT3, Brother in Arms' hells highway, and whatnot? no they cannot. They need to lower everything to minimum to even be able to play the darn game at all at barely reasonable smoothness.
          (choppy when the enemies get crowded, etc..)

          I know, cos i've been there myself (had a Nvidia 6600 GT 512MB back then, above average for that time, and even then i had problems). (now i do have a highend machine)

          i guess you had a not so cheap gpu integrated, or your definition of cheap is slightly different.

          anyway, all i'm saying is that UE2 is still actively licensed, so why not make a version for indies out of it? (like UDK is) So we can also make great games for those users out there, with the great tool UE.
          but with less up to date features (UE3 features), but same middleware solution foundation.

          Comment


            #6
            Most games worth playing take a long time to make. Even with a team of people. If someone wanted to make a quick UT2 mod style game, then I'm sure they could do it quickly. But any game with substance, custom models and animations and scripting with well developed plot/functions in a well designed world can take several months, if not years.

            You don't use UDK to make games for people right now. You use UDK to make games for people next year. SM3.0 will be mainstream very soon. Probably before anyone just starting a full sized game manages to finish their vision.

            I don't think a UDK Light idea would work for any team wanting to make money. By the time their game was made, most gamers would see it as a joke. Most non-gamers wouldn't buy it because they're non-gamers and they'd either have a 3.0 card or be about to get one when the game was released.

            Comment


              #7
              I don't think it would be worth it to have a lower-end version of the engine available, there's not enough people that would use it at this time.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by NikSha View Post
                Even cheap integrated display card in mobo's support SM3 these days. I know a lot of people who aren't gamers but have laptops/PC's capable of running Unreal 3 with few major effects turned off.

                So simply provide the player with proper video options instead of setting everything ON or High. Epic working on Unreal 2 is a waste of time for them and for us (and AAA developers who'd rather see more changes in their AAA engine over a dead tech.. the same people who pay millions to license Unreal3 :P ).

                /personal view
                That's not really true -- there's plenty of SM3 hardware out there that is just plain too **** slow to be able to run anything the UDK made.

                I personally wouldn't have a problem if they released the Runtime package, with a similar licensing scheme as UDK, so long as it didn't sacrifice UDK improvements. It's already packaged, and the entire UDN for it is already up, and this that and the other - just needs a licensing change.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Blade[UG] View Post
                  That's not really true -- there's plenty of SM3 hardware out there that is just plain too **** slow to be able to run anything the UDK made.
                  Blade is right here.. (i forgot the current wave of machines completely)


                  as concluded before (and now with Blade' comment added even more): UE3 is still too resource consuming for the average computer.
                  And having an UE2 foundation makes it better to chew for end users in general (yes even hardcore gamers seem not to have problems with the graphics UE2 spits out, looking at some recent UE2 powered games)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    There is no point for epic to support a dead tech, the only reason there is an UDK is that it's a smart way to get to be developers/indie studios to adopt, and get used to, the unreal environment. It's smart marketing.

                    They won't support something they won't make money off in the long run.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Supporting a second UDK release of an old engine will cause delays with the current UDK release. It would require a team split in half ( 1 for UE2, 1 for UE3 ) just to run down any bugs/issues found. Then you get the crowd "Can you add xyz from UDK into the UE2 version?" that will further tie up resources. UE2 is a dead tech, rendered obsolete by the newer version. Developing on it would be considered backwards.

                      I think ID Software has it right, release the source for the old engine and wash your hands of it ( 0 support ). That does not mean I think Epic should follow suit.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        not really, imho, they just could build a binary release of the latest build, and open up some UDN pages related to that, plus some critical middleware integration like bink/physX (Karma is bad compared to PhysX).
                        And be done with it (UE2 provided as is product (no or maybe once a year updated for possible critical things, or updating bink/physx), community support). No biggy for them at all.
                        They've done it before, so why not now? (remember UE2 Runtime?)
                        It's not a dead tech at all, Epic as of today still license out ue2 to devs.
                        It's past gen, (i hate that term, since next gen is not mainstream yet, thus past is current, confused yet?)
                        Secondly, not everybody targets the hardcore gamers audiences with the toolset.
                        UE3 is too resource demanding for the hardware the casual gaming group use. Simple fact.
                        Learning from UE2 could benefit in the UE3 migration. For modern projects (needing the latest greatest featuresets)
                        In either way it's a win win for Epic. From both camps they will get users, and thus also commercial licenses for the binary version. And the investment for them is very low, maybe 3 employees for 1 week work. then nothing. (thus redirecting focus back to where they where), but still getting money (through licenses)

                        your remark about how ID software does it, is indeed a good alternative. But i doubt Epic will give away the sourcecode for the NR1 game engine used in gamehistory. And also since UE3 is for a large portion (as i understood) build upon/based on, UE2 code.
                        Thus option i suggested is then better, no need for sourcecode, no need for monthly updates, just dump it out in the open (binary), or just relaunch the UE2 runtime package (pro version = network enabled). And if they want they could add a commercial license along with it, same terms as UDK, but then cheaper ofcourse (since the full blown license cost is way lower compared to UE3). e.g. 15% royalties, and upfront 50USD. Just as a wild example ofcourse. But i think you get the idea.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I fail to see how this isn't creating a huge problem for them. They open up UE2 ( more like dust off ), fix critical issues, add in middleware, contact the middleware companies about extending licenses to cover an older version of the engine with the same license and monitor any critical issues that prevent you from completing your work. All for the sake of 25 people that might be interested.

                          The only reason games are still being released with the UE2 engine is because they've already done the modifications to the source to bring up the quality ( Bioshock/2 for example which is still using 2.5 ). Most companies stopped using UE2/2.5 in 2007. Most games made for UE2 have announced sequels moving up an engine. It is dead tech.

                          Perhaps it would be better to find out what the best way of trimming some weight off UDK would be better.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The last runtime release was the last release of UT03, which would not have any of the advances in UT04 era tech, and certainly would not have any of the newer stuff.

                            I see NO reason to make a special build, or to go out and make any further deals or source changes or anything -- just allow devs to license the runtime to the same terms as UDK.

                            On the other hand, Epic may have no interest whatsoever in doing that - I don't pretend to have any idea what their intentions are.

                            The runtime will work all teh way back on DX7 hardware. This is stuff that I think no modern game company has any idea just how much of this hardware is still in service in people's homes, and frankly, it ****** people off that they can't game on it. This might have a bit to do with why all those stupid facebook games are so ridiculously popular.

                            On the other hand, there's very few game devs that have any interest in using it, either, except for a few people in this forum. I definitely have no interest in using it, although I would definitely support Epic if they did move to it, on the offchance that I did want to pursue that option in a personal capacity.

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