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FFVII Remake Game Engine

Discussion in 'Final Fantasy Discussion' started by h00aoj, Jan 5, 2017.

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  1. h00aoj

    h00aoj Balamb Garden Freshman

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    https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/final-fantasy-vii-remake-built-with-ue4

    It's confirmed that SE is using Unreal engine for FF7R, a common/standard engine for developers. I think XIV is using another standard-engine as well.

    Will this affect developing-time for the better? Could it be a new business strategy for Square Enix - move away from creating their own engines?
     
  2. llazy77

    llazy77 ShinRa SOLDIER

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    Yes Luminous engine gave them hell, they are not touching that again with a ten-foot pole.
     
  3. h00aoj

    h00aoj Balamb Garden Freshman

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    The same hell they had with Crystal Tools with FFXIII? =)
     
  4. xXShuyaXx

    xXShuyaXx PSICOM Soldier

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    Umm... not to be a buzzkill, but this information has been known for a looooong time now.

    One of the reasons they gave was that they didn't want FFVIIR to look similar FFXV in graphics.
    Luminous probably won't be ditched anytime soon, it may well be revamped again in the coming years. If they want to stay in the league of AAA titles, they kinda have to. As UE4 is a beast engine, but doesn't quite cut it into the top class. It's developer friendly that's for sure.

    The reason why Crystal Tools going into the Luminous engine was such a troubled development, was that they started with the vision that it would replace all of their engines for every platform. However, their vision was too grand to be practical with the technology back then and that didn't work out. They lost a lot of H&R due to that.
    However, if they use the time now to redevelop a new engine for the sole purpose of creating a single platform game, then they would be able to move faster.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
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  5. BladeRunner

    BladeRunner Chocobo Knight

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    I doubt they're just going to abandon it after putting so much recources into developing it.
     
  6. Lulcielid

    Lulcielid Forest Owl

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    plus they've already trademarked the Luminuous Studio Pro.
     
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  7. Ikkin

    Ikkin Red Wings Commander

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    Creating a fully featured engine is difficult, news at eleven.

    Nevertheless, the current version of FFXV was created in three years with an unfinished engine that hadn't yet been tested on consoles. Luminous acquitted itself quite well under the circumstances, especially since we still have no idea when FFVIIR is releasing and even Kingdom Hearts III's Episode Duscae equivalent* has yet to be released.

    Not to mention, FFXV does stuff that UE4 has never even attempted with regards to open worlds.

    * And it's impossible to deny that 0.2 is a much rougher-looking game than Episode Duscae in a myriad of ways. The character models and materials shaders (particularly the skin shader) don't hold a candle to Episode Duscae's. =/
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2017
  8. Bazztek

    Bazztek Yevonite

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    Then why did SE just recently file a trademark for Luminous Studio Pro?
     
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  9. llazy77

    llazy77 ShinRa SOLDIER

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  10. Lulcielid

    Lulcielid Forest Owl

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    Trade offs would have happened regardless of whether Square were into the tech race or not.
     
  11. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    UE4 is a really strong engine and can work in a variety of different styles (for instance, Street Fighter 5 and Tekken 7 both use UE4 but couldn't look more different).

    SE has historically struggled with the engine/tech race, and I think when 2.8 comes out you'll see how much polish they can achieve when they're in a pre-defined engine with proper tools. Also, CC2 is doing the heavy lifting on 7 development wise, and they're a studio who have a history both with Unreal and third party engines in general.

    If they want to continue to chase their own engine they need to have one studio develop games in that engine and iterate on it. EA did this with DICE and Frostbite, and it took three generations of the engine and over ten years before the engine and tools were mature enough to be deployed right across all of EA. SE is a long, long way from that - the struggles with FF15 prove that. UE4 is about as mature as engines get, so... it's a no brainer.
     
  12. Guitar (pseudo)God

    Guitar (pseudo)God Red Wings Commander

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    I thought Luminous was Julien Merceron's brain child before he left SE to work on the Fox Engine for MGSV..?
     
  13. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    He did a lot of work on it, but Luminous ultimately has its lineage going back into Crystal Tools and Glacier, IO's engine. Basically to build Luminous SE tried to take the 'best bits' of their existing engines from Crystal, IO and SEJ, and use those as a basis on which to build an engine that one day could be rolled out company-wide... but it didn't really pan out that way, and Luminous is still less mature than Glacier and... whatever Crystal's engine is called, I forget.
     
  14. Guitar (pseudo)God

    Guitar (pseudo)God Red Wings Commander

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    Interesting. One thing about developers, we love to reinvent the wheel.

    So if I'm reading between the lines correctly, BD2 was saddled with Luminous and given the directive to make it work..? I didn't get the sense in the ATRs that there was any love lost between Tabata and the engine. But I could be completely off.
     
  15. Nova

    Nova Chocobo Knight

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    How is it less mature, though?
     
  16. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    I don't think they were 'saddled' with anything, I think if Tabata/Nomura had really wanted a different engine they could've pushed for it, I'm sure, but certainly there is a degree of pressure for SE to keep their flagship game on their engine. Again, to use EA as an example, EA had Battlefield and Mirror's Edge in development at DICE as Frostbite went from version 1 to 2 to 3, and those games served as a major flashpoint in developing that engine. Part of why Mirror's Edge was greenlit at all, I'm sure, was because it was a wonderful technical showcase that Frostbite could do environments beyond gritty, muddy warzones - Mirror's Edge ended up the opposite. These flagship games showed what EA's engine could do while their sports games used weird cobbled-together solutions and Bioware used UE for their games.

    After over a decade Frostbite was mature enough, and it was only in the last few years we got Bioware using it for Dragon Age (and now Mass Effect), and for the first time this year EA Sports are using it. That's probably the kind of roll-out SE envisioned for Luminous eventually, but it's proved difficult. One of the other weird things that's going on is while Luminous has been growing, people at Crystal and IO have still been building on and improving their own engines, which is a weird duplication of efforts EA avoided.

    On balance I think the best engine SE has in-house right now is Foundation, which is Crystal's engine as used in the last two Tomb Raider games, but FF15 has some absolutely mad animation systems and stuff that are incredibly impressive. Foundation is just ridiculously nice in other ways though - stronger texture stuff, lighting work, better scaling on different machines. Glacier is very good too but for very different reasons.

    Well, by engine maturity I simply refer to - the more one gets used, the better it gets, the more snug and easy to use it becomes. Foundation has a strong editor, Horizon, which makes editing the game much easier. Glacier has some great hooks for all Hitman's live content stuff. It also helps with scale-ability - so while we know they struggled greatly to scale FF15 to the two console platforms, which is part of what caused the delay, Glacier, Frostbite, Foundation etc are 'more mature' and so they can assemble different formats a lot more quickly/easily with a lot less headache. This impacts a lot of things, right down to testing, like the ability to make a change and send it to testing more quickly. Maturity has a big knock-on effect, which is why (for instance) EA held back on letting anyone but DICE use Frostbite for 10 years despite it across those 10 years being consistently one of the best console game engines around.
     
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  17. Ikkin

    Ikkin Red Wings Commander

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    ...I thought FFXV's lighting was generally considered to be the most impressive open world lighting in the industry. Tomb Raider has some weird conservation of energy issues that can look really unnatural at times, which doesn't really happen in FFXV apart from actual glitches.
     
  18. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    I mean, it's all subjective in the end, but I think FF15 universally looks amazing lighting-wise in certain specific situations (the campfire is amazing, bright daylight is amazing) but in other instances less so (TR has it pipped in dark, non-orange lighting like dungeons, for instance). Tomb Raider's feels to have more range to me, in addition to pushing more solid performance. Obviously the scale of TR's world is different, though. But if I was CTO of SE and somebody said "we need to pick one engine tomorrow, the others disappear," the one I'd pick would be Foundation, because I think even in the areas where Luminous surpasses it it's still competitive, and it's actually reasonable to use and quite flexible, two things not true of Luminous.

    I don't think either is as good an engine as CDP's engine or Frostbite at its best, but I think SE should really pool their resources from all corners of the globe and really get behind one engine sooner rather than later.

    Engine isn't everything, obviously... Bethesda continues to cling to an engine that is a legit piece of shit and shifts 20 million copies every time. I imagine that engine's days are numbered, though, especially with ID beavering away on some tech stuff.
     
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  19. Ikkin

    Ikkin Red Wings Commander

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    I guess the other question is, are you comparing FFXV and Tomb Raider like-for-like -- in other words, as PS4 games -- or are you granting Tomb Raider the advantages provided by higher-quality PC settings? The PS4 footage I found of Tomb Raider seemed to demonstrate the material shaders issues I'd mentioned even more than the outdoor scenes, even if non-orange light was less likely to cause (literally) glaring conservation of energy issues.

    And I think that scale is a bigger issue than you give it credit for when the gap is as big as it is between FFXV and Tomb Raider. FFXV needs to account for 4-5 Player Character equivalent models at all times instead of one, each with a pretty ridiculous animation load. Thanks to the random appearance of magitek dropships and daemons, it also needs to be able to handle the accumulation of something like 20 different enemies of multiple different types (each with their own unique and intricately detailed animations) in a single encounter. Thanks to the semi-random nature of summons, it needs to be able to handle the appearance of 200ft tall gods and the ridiculous camera angles they require under most circumstances. Thanks to Noct's abilities, it needs to be able to let you fight 100ft in the air, instantly appear hundreds of feet away looking in the opposite direction, and throw ridiculously huge magic effects into an already-hectic fray.

    In their current states, Foundation would definitely be the engine of choice if one intended to make a game of a similar scale to Tomb Raider. But I think it would be foolish to abandon Luminous' much greater ambitions just because it hasn't been refined to the same level as Foundation, especially since Luminous seems to include some forward-looking features designed to be used on more powerful hardware than what we have today. I don't think anyone else has made a real-time demo that even comes close to touching Witch 2.0.

    For the record, I think FFXV handily stomps the PS4 version of Witcher 3 in terms of graphics (I hate that game's twilight lighting in the screenshots I've seen, it's so weird and unnatural >_>; ) and I don't think there's any chance that a few more weeks will make this into a FFXV competitor with regards to graphics. It's also worth pointing out that Dissidia arcade has similar issues to KH0.2 (i.e. poly-starved models and weird material shaders) on slightly-more-powerful-than-PS4 hardware, and even FFVIIR showed signs of following in their footsteps.
     
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  20. APZonerunner

    APZonerunner Network Boss-man Staff Member Administrator Site Staff UFFSite Veteran

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    1) Yeah, I mean PS4 to PS4. But Tomb Raider certainly has the advantage of generally being much more able to scale well, which is one of the criteria by which I'd 'score' an engine. Its predilection to scale are one reason its Pro modes are so amazing, incidentally.

    2) Scale-wise I wouldn't say Tomb Raider's engine is any less capable than FF15, to be honest. FF15 does some great stuff with its magic effects and the like, but it pushes a lot of high-poly enemies at once, a lot of particle effects, fire & ice fx that rival FF15, and most impressively (I think) works Uncharted-style set-pieces is to a much more open game (something FF15 tries but fails to do, imo, with the Leviathan/Titan stuff being cool conceptually but lame looking). I'm not doubting that Luminous got FF15 to an impressive place, I just think Crystal's engine is more stable and capable. It's not to say Luminous is the worst SE engine either, since the Deux Ex engine is, I think, a disappointment after all they hyped it up to be. (Much like the game). Things you say there about semi-random nature of summons or ridiculous camera angles isn't exactly a big deal, though. It's a video game: you can put cameras anywhere. Any game faces these sorts of mechanical challenges (and things like the Warp Strike - Mass Effect's Vanguard Warp Charge is literally the same move as Noct's warp strike, broadly speaking, for instance - these things have existed.

    3) Witch 2.0 is fucking amazing, but let's not forget it was running on a Quad SLI Titan setup that'd literally cost nearly 10 grand to build. I'm more interested right now in what can be used to make games.

    4) I agree about the PS4 version of TW3, actually - there's a lighting issue with that game that on that platform really suffocates its art. But an engine is more than one platform, but it'll be interesting to revisit this when 15 comes to PC. RE KH -- I dunno what it is about KH2.8, parts of it do look cheap - but DQ11 looks absolutely gorgous on UE.

    Generally speaking, I'd say this: Luminous has been built to an impressive thing and FF15 is a very pretty game, but if it was such hot shit it would be being used for DQ, KH and FF7 - why would Square want to pay Epic 5% of all their revenue (before profit!) on FF7 remake, potentially their biggest game ever? Luminous just isn't really ready for the big leagues, but that's because it's still a frankenstein's monster that's difficult to use. If they're smart FF16 will probably use something else and they can keep Luminous studio doing research, or put a smaller game on Luminous so their biggest game can maximize a tried and tested set of tools. (For instance, perhaps let BD2's next game continue on Luminous, with FF16 made elsewhere on a more tested engine). Based on what (I think) I know about who is on FF16 I think this'll actually be the case, but that team might well be learning Luminous, IDK.
     
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