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To Epic: The Consequences of Your Failings

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    To Epic: The Consequences of Your Failings

    Dear Epic.
    I will try and articulate my feelings towards UDK as best I can, without flaming. I am required to use your.. ehm.. software(if one could call it that) for my Game Engines class, my advanced leveling class, my Game Networks class, and Game AI class. I have to say that because of your software, this has been the most aggravating, frustrating, needlessly stressful year of my college career. I have convinced my professor to use CryEngine 3 instead, as it is more stable, offers more technology, uses a universally taught language (c++), can be recompiled, and isn't updated and introduced to new bugs every month.

    Let me start by ruling out the possibility of it being user error. The problems I have, persisted on many different machines, with many different users, trying to accomplish the most mundane tasks included in every 3D editor to date.

    System Specs:
    24GB ddr3 1600 ram
    i7 980x
    2tb sata 6gb hdd
    NVidia GTX 580

    all drivers are updated.

    Terrain Editor
    The terrain editor was the most frustrating as it was the tool that introduced me to Epic's incompetent programmers. One must create the terrain, create a texture, create a material, add the material to the texture, add the texture to a terrain material, add the terrain material to a terrain layer, THEN apply the layer to the terrain. Fine, not a problem. However, when using the terrain editor, if one were to decide he didn't want a specific terrain layer on his terrain, there is an option to delete it from the terrain editor. This is great, except upon clicking delete terrain, UDK crashes, every time, without fail. This tells me that UDK's programmer either A. don't care (since this problem is in every version of UDK from the past year) or B. hold the attitude of "Just be sure it's what you want, because some of our tools don't work".

    Another issue with the terrain editor, is its inability to support its own modeling tools. Go ahead, open UDK and make a terrain. Raise and lower the land as you see fit. Make a river bed, mountains, ditches, valleys, volcanoes, etc. Now use the smooth tool. Use it for about.. 5 minutes just smooth everything. This causes UDK to freak out and cause billions of geometry errors and put holes all through your level that are unpatched by adding terrain textures and such. There is no way to undo this. You simply just save every 5 seconds to a new file, and when it breaks, you know you have used the smooth tool too much.

    When looking for answers I posted on several forums with pictures, and somebody commented "The terrain editor is outdated and unsupported. Use the landscaping tool instead". Now what programmer in their right mind put outdated tools in current renditions of software that they don't support anymore? What if Microsoft gave us everything we have new in Word 2010, AND kept all of the old tools from Word 98, but didn't support them? You think some people would be just a little ticked when the saved button they clicked didn't work because they clicked it on the "98" side? Who has two tools in their engine to accomplish the same function?

    BSP Brushes
    Tetrahedron: Try and make it with two many vertices, and UDK will crash guaranteed. It has come to my attention that BSP brushes were even considered by Epic themselves to be outdated, inefficient, and not recommended. So then WHY are they in your current releases every single month? Maybe, you should spend more time fixing actual obvious bugs than just reuploading the same program with a new title every month. Which brings me to my next problem.

    I opened UDK today, and I will now have to uninstall it, and download some completely different version because it randomly has broken lighting now. That's right, none of the lighting works. The default sky scene is a bunch of blue and black streaks. However, if I download a different version, the sky look perfect! Reinstall the same version that had broke, streaks again. This troubleshooting rules out the possibility of bad drivers, corrupted files, or other 3rd party problems. Its just UDK and its horrible, horrible software. The fun part is, almost every bug I have encountered, happens in every version of UDK, which is released monthly. So what are you fixing?

    You don't offer anything Cryengine doesn't other than a nice material editor. As a software engineer in training I cannot even explain in words how disgusted I am at UDK. I have never been more frustrated with a piece of garbage software in my 23 years of life. When I see a button that says it will do something and I click it, as the user I expect it to perform its task, not break the program. If your program is breaking with simple tasks, maybe you shouldn't have released it yet, or should be working hard on fixing it.

    UDK's performance is not bound by the performance of your computer. This means no matter how powerful of a computer you have, it will break at the same point. It destroys itself. Example, my computer can handle say, 600 boxes being created. Well if UDK can only handle 100, its going to crash every time you make 100 boxes. It will lag whenever the program can't handle things anymore. It just a horrible mess of a program. Cryengine3 is a decade ahead of you Epic and you had better get your act together or they're going to steam roll you starting at my university.

    I have restarted my projects hundreds of times because of your program. I have lost so much work, so much time, and frustratingly had to re-install your program over and over and over with different useless and unnecessary versions. All I can say is I cannot wait until this semester is over, and I never, ever, ever have to touch UDK again.

    A ****** off end user.



      Each engine is simply a tool that needs to be used for what it is best suited for. It goes without saying that there are tons about CryEngine that are far superior to UDK and there are also a ton of things(mainly the toolset) about UDK that are far superior to CryEngine. I feel your pain on a lot of levels, no doubts there but at the end of the day it's my opinion that a mediocre or even poorly built engine with an incredible toolset is more valuable to an indie developer than a technically superior engine with a relatively limited toolset. Although we've been using UDK for years and have never encountered any of what you are saying, that could come down to my first point that we know the strengths and weaknesses of UDK and stick within those boundaries.

      Lessons to learn, that's for sure. Good luck with slugging your way through the course with an engine that is causing yuo such a headache.


        Before the thread gets closed because of the discouraged engine comparisons:
        Legacy stuff like Terrain is there for downward compatibility to older versions of the program. If a developer team were to upgrade to UDK January 2011 to March 2012, should they suddenly have lost all their Terrain and ability to edit it just because the new Landscape system exists now? This downward compatibility is probably the only reason why your tutor doesn't think about sticking to a single version of the UDK for the entire semester and instead always upgrades to a new version, according to what I could extract from your post.

        Same goes for BSP. It's a useful tool for laying out the bases of maps before going into more detailed art revisiting and works perfectly fine if you know about the limitation of the BSP technology (which is that complex shapes are prone to errors, something every mapper from previous engine generations knows and can work with). It's also kind of legacy but that doesn't mean that it's no longer used in today's workflow. Not in masses due to said limitations but that doesn't mean they are considered outdated in a way of "broken" but rather outdated as in "it won't satisfy the demand for visual quality that gamers expect of games today, so you will want to use StaticMeshes for the most part anyway".

        I have been using every version of the UDK until today btw and never encountered the bugs you described.


          sadly, the epic forums will not allow me to accurately depict my contempt for your post

          you get everything for free, stop moaning.
          do have fun on the crybaby engine


            It seems to me that you are just a slow learner and you don't have much experience. If you want a quicker learning curve and are willing to sacrifice quality then go ahead and use Cryengine. Your problems are all your computer. I update my UDK almost every month since it first came out and have never had these problems. Since I have used exact duplicates of the software, the only other variables are hardware and user error. Unreal is a superior engine, if you know how to use it correctly, and I feel sorry for the rest of the students at your university.


              Sounds like you're going to get really far in the industry.


                Unfortunately it's a shame that you've had such a bad experience with UDK. Here are my comments:

                Terrain Editor
                As mentioned, backwards compatibility. As you've mentioned Microsoft Word; did you know that the file format for Microsoft Word stores every single feature used since the very beginning? No? As Crusha K. Rool has mentioned, it has to do with backward compatibility. There was a version of UDK where UIScene was completely removed in favor of Scaleform. It was (at least in my opinion) the right thing to do; but it did come with some grievances to the community as it forced groups to stay with a particular version of UDK as it would break all of their existing menus.

                BSP Brushes
                It has been reasonably well discussed that BSP should not be used for created very complex brushes and shapes. This was well discussed back in UE2 even.

                This scenario doesn't rule out user changes and Unreal Editor modifications to the configuration files. It sounds like the Viewmode within the viewport had changed; either intentionally or unintentionally. However, a screenshot is the only real way to figure out what happened here.

                But what surprises me the most, is that you've made a total of two posts in this forum. This was one, and the previous one is where you discussed the problem with the Terrain Editor. Yet, all of the other problems you've encountered were never mentioned here ... it probably would have been a lot less painful if you just asked more questions perhaps?


                  As a software engineer in training
                  I hope your attitude towards UDK and your own shortcomings aren't reflective of software in the future.

                  If you remain attempting to do things in the games business, you will, undoubtedly, end up working with Unreal much, much more.

                  Your problems are simple -- first off, the delete problem simply does not exist, as far as I can tell. Deleting a layer works fine. Therefore, if it is breaking for multiple people on multiple hardwares, then it would be logical to conclude that they are all being taught how to use it incorrectly - which, of course, probably shouldn't cause an engine crash, however, if no one actually demonstrates how to cause the crash, then who is going to find it and fix it?

                  Secondly, you don't use BSP to model things. You use BSP to build cubes and other very simple shapes.

                  Rather than asking "WHY does Epic include these features", maybe you should ask "WHY do my INSTRUCTORS TEACH these features?" And the answer most likely is, your instructors don't know any better. They absolutely should stick to one specific version of UDK for an entire term, and dictate exactly which version that is. In the real world, you don't go and upgrade every month.

                  Thirdly, all software has limitations. Though I doubt that you're running into any limitations of UDK, it does sound a lot like you're running into limitations in yourself. Fortunately, yourself can be changed. As well, so can UDK, with it's regular updates.


                    Oh man, you've chosen the wrong career if you want stable software. If you can't handle the extremely stable UDK releases I can't help but wonder how you would deal with working at an actual game studio where you'd be lucky if several random features didn't break on a daily basis.

                    That aside, as SolidSnake said you really should have brought these issues up a long time ago. We're here to help you, but this hostility isn't going to get you anywhere.


                      Well... the first mistake is ruling out the user error it seems.


                        Comparing CryEngine to UDK? Go ahead and use CryEngine, enjoy being able to "distribute" your game.


                          The UDK is not bad but it is far from perfect. By switching engines you're just exchanging you're old problems for new ones, I promise.

                          There are things that annoy the hell out of me with the UDK, multifonts are terrible, prefabs unstable, it likes to move my objects around on it's own, AA randomly broke, Multifonts break, and etc but it's all managable.

                          The only thing that really bothers me is the impression that Epic could not care less about the UDK and it's users.


                            Instead of complaining about a universally taught language why dont you simply use a universally taught 3D modelling package </lol>


                              Originally posted by taz1004 View Post
                              Well... the first mistake is ruling out the user error it seems.
                              Add that to the issue tracker, maximum priority. To the Bat-poles!