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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Different UE2 versions? (Read 11482 times)
GreatEmerald
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Different UE2 versions?
Sep 4th, 2008 at 7:53pm
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Hey people, what do you think happened during the Unreal Engine 2 development? I'm talking about the differences between Unreal II Alpha, final, XMP and UT2004. Logically, they should improve and improve in graphics and editor usage, but it's the other way round... Unreal II Alpha can be seen with working weapons and maps, and boom - they're not in the final version for some reason! Although there were actually finished! Or they have been reverted, like removed alt fire or changed fire modes. Like Singularity Cannon and Spider Gun. The Shian classes are in, but can't be seen or used, although that level was complete or nearly complete. What happened that could of caused such a massive loss of data - nearly a fourth of the game! The multiplayer was meant to be in too, but the lack of inclusion is probably Epic's decision as they didn't want Unreal II to break UT2003 sales.
And now there's XMP. It would be logical if it would be an add-on for Unreal II - but it's completely standalone! And not even compatible with Unreal II directly - like, they use .unr map extenstion, while U2 uses .un2. Also, the engine seems to be different, yet similar. And very, very advanced. While in UT2004, you can clearly see the regression in the graphics and editor, especially Particles. Many tools that were enhanced in the XMP editor (for example, the Terrain tool Layers tab actually shows both the layers texture and the actual appearance of the layer on the height map, while UT2004 shows.. nothing). The Particles were much more better in XMP too - they have like 10 different types of particle emitters (including a hair emitter Shocked ), while UT2004 has nothing more than 2. The particles in XMP are very configurable and dynamic - you can see around 200 jumpy balls from an EMP grenade in XMP, and nothing more than 20 in UTXMP in both max detail. UT2004 has a particle wizard though, and that's the best part of the editor probably. Everything else is better in XMP, from dynamic Skyboxes to detail difference, which made both low end and high end PCs capable of running U2XMP. So what do you think what caused the mass regression in the engine - maybe they were developed separately, UT2003 engine being an earlier version, and that was never upgraded to the U2XMP advanced one?
  
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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #1 - Sep 4th, 2008 at 9:43pm
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Well, there's much things to be explained.

First, there were massive cuts in the single player campaign in Unreal II (that why U2's Singleplayer sucks a little), and XMP was planned to be implemented in it, but it was canceled for the game to ship on time. Otherwise, Unreal II would have suffered greats delay, wich would have annoyed players. This is why there is a huge amount of unused, changed or deleted content with some traces in the engine but no appearance in the game (and some of them being unusable).

Secondly, XMP. It should have been the multiplayer mod for Unreal II, but it was canceled for this reason. After the release of the game, they fixed parts of the editor, enhanced somes things and tweaked some others, and it was released to give U2 a multiplayer potential.

Now, for the particles and the engine. First, the two games are totally different : U2 is focused on Single player and UT2003/2004 is focused on multiplayer. This means that the needs are very different. In MP, you want a fast and fluid game. In SP, you want a beautiful and immersive game. That's why U2 is, for me, the best-looking Unreal : They limited the amount of details and eye candy in UT to make it more fluid and fast. Otherwise, players would get stuck, gameplay would be slower, there would be framerate problems. So they decided to find the exact middle between a beautiful game and a fluid one, And i thinks in UT2004, they were very successful. In Unreal 2, they were showcasing their new engine, so they did put in it as much details and great content as they could imagine. The result is visually outstanding and for me, is the most beautiful game, despite the short and disapointing campaign.

Now, for the particles. First, you have to know that Unreal 2 uses Unreal Engine 2, when UT2003/2004 uses Unreal Engine 2.5. Here is the list of unreal agmes with their engines :

Unreal 1 : Unreal engine 1
Unreal Tournament : Unreal Engine 1
Unreal 2 : Unreal Engine 2
Unreal Championship : Unreal engine 2.5
Unreal Tournament 2003+2004 : Unreal Engine 2.5
Unreal Champiosnhip 2 : Unreal Engine 2.X (*)
Unreal Tournament 3 : Unreal Engine 3

(* 2.X is a special version optimised for Xbox)

Unreal Engine 2.5 Is the latest Unreal before the Unreal Engine 3. Unreal Engine 2 is a special version. It's a strange mix between 2.5 and 1. if you search UDN, you will find pics of UT99 weapons in Unreal Engine 2, Unrealed 2.0 icons on Unrealed 3.0 etc... This is why some maps have the .unr extension, wich was used previously in Unreal 1 and UT, and not the .un2. Still, strange.

Then, UT2003/2004 was created by Epic and Digital Extremes, but Unreal 2 was created by Legend Entertainment. On Unreal Engine 2, the Emitter actor wasn't ready yet (implemented for UC/UT2003/2004), so Legend had to create their own particle system : the particle salamandar. In my opinion, it is the best system in terms of look. Still, on a performances point of view, Emitter is better and much more customizable. Particle Salamandar uses a different philosophy : A particle systems consists of a TEMPLATE wich is modified by FORCES. Emitter uses a particle systems where particles are affected by their own propreties.
Still, the difference in rendering is due to the voluntary "low" eye-candy in Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 for an obvious performance reasons during online play. If you wish, you can make absolutely incredibly good looking and unplayable things with Unreal Tournament 2003/2004.

Also, UT2003/2004 has no less than 6 emitters systems : Emitter, wich can contain Mesh Emitter, Sprite Emitter, Trail Emitter, Beam Emitter or Spark Emitter, and the XEmitter, wich was created by Digital extremes for different use (easier to configure, but still has some bugs).
So actually, Unreal 2 is the "logical" son of Unreal 1 and UT. It's engine is probably a heavily modified Unreal Engine 1, giving birth to Unreal Engine 2 (much like Half-Life is built on a heavily modified and much more beautiful Quake 1 Engine). Information I found on pics and descriptions on UDN seems to indicate that a large part of Unreal Engine 2 (and Unreal 2) systems were developed in unreal Tournament 1 while the rendering engine was being rebuilt.

I hope it helped you Smiley
« Last Edit: Sep 4th, 2008 at 11:53pm by Hellkeeper »  

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GreatEmerald
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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #2 - Sep 5th, 2008 at 1:34pm
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Have to disagree with a few points...

Quote:
Now, for the particles and the engine. First, the two games are totally different : U2 is focused on Single player and UT2003/2004 is focused on multiplayer. This means that the needs are very different. In MP, you want a fast and fluid game. In SP, you want a beautiful and immersive game. That's why U2 is, for me, the best-looking Unreal : They limited the amount of details and eye candy in UT to make it more fluid and fast. Otherwise, players would get stuck, gameplay would be slower, there would be framerate problems. So they decided to find the exact middle between a beautiful game and a fluid one, And i thinks in UT2004, they were very successful. In Unreal 2, they were showcasing their new engine, so they did put in it as much details and great content as they could imagine. The result is visually outstanding and for me, is the most beautiful game, despite the short and disapointing campaign.


You're forgetting U2XMP. It does have the same outstanding graphics - but is strictly for Multi Player. Plus, they have a great tool to quickly modify settings - even my old laptop can play U2XMP nicely on the lowest settings. While newer PCs like the one I'm using now can use the UltraHigh options and will have the same effects as Unreal II! And you can't say the netcode is bad. Every Wednesday people go play U2XMP, and no complains about the game being too laggy.

Quote:
Unreal 1 : Unreal engine 1
Unreal Tournament : Unreal Engine 1
Unreal 2 : Unreal Engine 2
Unreal Championship : Unreal engine 2.5
Unreal Tournament 2003+2004 : Unreal Engine 2.5
Unreal Champiosnhip 2 : Unreal Engine 2.X (*)
Unreal Tournament 3 : Unreal Engine 3

Wrong!

Unreal 1 : Unreal engine 1
Unreal Tournament : Unreal Engine 1
Unreal Championship : Unreal engine 2
Unreal Tournament 2003 : Unreal Engine 2
Unreal II : Unreal Engine 2(~.2?)
Unreal II EXpanded MultiPlayer: Unreal Engine 2(~.3?)
Unreal Tournament 2004 : Unreal Engine 2.5
Unreal Champiosnhip 2 : Unreal Engine 2.X
Unreal Tournament 3 : Unreal Engine 3

2.5 is a special version that supports skeletal vehicles, only for UT2004.
UC was released earlier than Unreal II. UT2003 too, but only a few months. And the UT weapons were not in U2: it was in UC! You can still see them if you have UC, the Flak, mini etc. look like the ones in UT rather than UT2003.
So I think that actually this happened: Epic made UC, then thought that it would be good to convert it to PC. They worked on that, while Legend were making U2. Epic published UT2003 which was based on the earlier, UC version of UE2. Then U2 and XMP was published, with the later UE2 version. Then Epic decided UT2003 was not good enough and tried to make something better. As UT2003 needed only a few fixes and game types, they didn't use UE2 XMP build as it would be hard to convert everything. So they still used the old UC UE2 version, just added vehicle support.

Quote:
This is why there is a huge amount of unused, changed or deleted content with some traces in the engine but no appearance in the game (and some of them being unusable).

That still doesn't explain everything, though. Like, why did they actually revert some classes? Like the Singularity Cannon alt fire?
  
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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #3 - Sep 5th, 2008 at 4:35pm
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Well XMP is much slower than UT2003/2004, so it's gameplay, doesn't suffer as much  from the extra particles and effects that can be seen. If you looked into the textures and objects from U2, you'll also notice that most of the texture from U2 and U2XMP are 512*512, while UT2 uses more 1024*1024 textures. This kind of thing has a great impact on performances. And I never said U2's netcode was bad Wink This and a different kind of servers (less gametypes,less player models, etc...) allowed for more effects i think. Also, the way U2 handles players model isn't the same as in UT2004.

Weapons in UC are very special. There are not taken from UT99 (though i agree they are more accurate in their representation of original weapons).

About the engine version, yes, you got me, UT2003 is UE2 and not 2.5. Anyway. If you compare UT2003/2004, there are some little improvements in visual rendering. What i think happened is that after UT2003 semi-failure and U2/UXMP, they decided to mix the two (with the teamplay and vehicles of U2XMP in UT2003). The result being UT2004. I don't think UE2.5 is two step back, one step forward, from UE2. I think it's a differently focused engine for a differently focused game.

About changes in the Final U2, since they deleted a great amount of maps and reduced drastically the lifetime of Unreal 2, they had to adapt the gameplay. I don't know what the SC's altfire looked like, but it may not have been  appropriate for the kind of situation that finally appeared in U2. Appropriate tools for appropriate tasks is something difficult to establish in a game.

There's not much changes between UE2,2.5 and 2.X anyway. If you look at UC2, you'll see some textures and static meshes found in UT2004. If you look at UT2003 and UC, you will see... well... That they are almost the same game. If you look at UT2004, it has some things from UT2003, and some things from XMP (vehicles).

Legend's GREAT work for U2 was made for single player campaign. I think that my PC can have 70/65 FPS on UT2004 and 45/50 on U2 XMP. It's more than enough, but there is still a big difference. U2XMP being not as fast and nervous as UT2004, the difference is unnoticed, but  it is present.
  

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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #4 - Sep 6th, 2008 at 1:44pm
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Actually, I can't say that UTXMP is slower than the main UT2004. I convert maps, and overall the feeling is greatly the same. You can jump a lot higher in XMP though. And the fact that there are less gametypes and models shouldn't make clients slower, at least noticeably.
Well, UC flak from first person looks almost exactly as UT99 flak, but from third person it looks like UT2003's.
And why didn't they leave all the content they didn't finish in the game? Like, the maps? Surely there would be modders that could make it playable.
Actually UT2004 vehicles are skeletal, and XMP's are Karma. Just like the Bulldog from UT2003.
Well, the difference in the FPS is greatly customisable in U2XMP. Like, you can get rid of extra EMP jumping balls by lowering the particle density (~30 would be just like in UTXMP, while I use 225).
  
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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #5 - Sep 6th, 2008 at 2:05pm
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About the content hat didn't shipped with the finished game... Unreal 2 needs a lot of CDs already, so i think it's a purely economic choice Wink Also, some mappers, such as Matthias Worch, did finished some early levels soon after the game was released, so some might have not been included for them to finish it on their spare time. On the other hand, I think the most surprising is that they included some unused content in Unreal and UT2004.

About vehicles, UT2004's vehicles uses rigid vehicles, when XMP and U2 used the karma-based vehicles (soft ones ?), so the feeling is very different (and much better, i think, in xmp).

About the speed... Depending on the class you choose, you might end up slower in XMP :p Also, the players have different characteristics (they are much lighters in UT2004), so the gameplay is not exactly the same (just try a conc'jump with the Ut2004 imported grenade launcher... omg).

As for models and such things. Yes, it does speed up the engine not to have more than 3/4 models and twice as much textures, instead of the many available models that can show up in a UT2003 match (as much as players, surely). And again, most textures in U2 are small compared to UT2004's, thus not needing as much memory.
  

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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #6 - Sep 6th, 2008 at 5:26pm
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Well, they could of provided additional download link for the unused content then.
Yes, the feeling is different... But that's mostly because of the camera I think. And Skeletal and Karma are just different methods of making vehicles, Karma is more expensive resource-wise as it spawns a lot of actors, while Skeletals are just one, big actor.
If you took the Heavy GL with Ranger, you would fly far too! Cheesy And yea, my Heavy GL in UT2004 is really fun to use.
Actually, all the models don't have to be loaded in the memory. That's why you have the option to do it - you don't need to do that in real time if you precache them, but on the other hand it takes resources. And they could have made it like UT99 - you can choose regular textures (up to 512x512) or S3TC (up to 4096x4096) and choose it depending on your PC. Like, my one could handle more details than now on Ultra High settings.
  
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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #7 - Sep 6th, 2008 at 11:14pm
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Again, I think that the main reason is that Atari had to... You know, pay for the CDs of the game, so...
And there was no reason to provide some content for PC that was planned to be average five years latter. That would be a weird choice.
  

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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #8 - Sep 15th, 2008 at 9:16pm
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Another interesting find:
Ranger's Taunt Anims are identical to those of UT2004! At least Egyptians.
And another:
It seems that Unreal II was planned to be backwards-compatible map-wise with UT. It has some actors (like VisibleTeleporter) that even though exists, but contain no code and a single flag "Obsolete".
  
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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #9 - Sep 15th, 2008 at 10:23pm
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For UT actors : it's because the whole engine was based on the UE1 engine, back in 2000 when it's development started, so the whole UT99 game was, at some point, playable with the UE2, as shown in the tech demos I'll try to find back on youtube.
---

5 minutes later :


here it is
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP5PkWKe4vs

This was the first public demo of UE2, in 2000, just one year after ut99. You'll find that many textures are from the UT99 game, and you will of course notice that the gameplay part is... UT99, in Ue2.
The reason is that UE2, as we can see it in Unreal 2, is the direct son of Unreal Engine 1, whereas the Unreal Engine 2 of UT2003/2004 is slightly different (more heavily in UT2004 though). That's what makes me think that Unreal 2 is much more of a fork of the Engine, than a real development. It's a strange mix between UT2004 and UT99 technology.
  

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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #10 - Sep 16th, 2008 at 12:32pm
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Not even checking the link as I saw that like 5 times lol. But I think it's more UC engine - it was released earlier. And U2 engine branch just didn't throw out the UT support idea.
Also, the UE2 of U2 never stops amazing me. When I play UT2004, I think that the graphics are pretty neat. When I go on XMP, I think that they rock a lot more! And when I go to U2, I see that all the others were absolutely nothing compared to the U2 graphics awesomeness.
  
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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #11 - Sep 16th, 2008 at 5:33pm
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Well U2 and XMp are absolutely the same.

As for U2vsUT200X, U2's graphics are more... neat i think. But it has to be taken into account that each piece of mesh in U2 has been built specifically, while UT2004 has many generic things that serves no purpose except filling the world of many maps. So it makes U2 more beautiful. U1 is also prettier than UT because it has content built exclusively for it in the first place, while UT99 has some generic textures to accomodate with multiple settings. Smiley
  

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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #12 - Sep 16th, 2008 at 6:10pm
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No, U2 maps got more attention. Like, WaterVolumes, more emitter use and such.
And yes, SP games tend to be visually nicer.
  
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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #13 - Sep 16th, 2008 at 6:43pm
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GreatEmerald wrote on Sep 16th, 2008 at 6:10pm:
No, U2 maps got more attention. Like, WaterVolumes, more emitter use and such.


..Than XMP ?

Once again : performance issue.
  

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Re: Different UE2 versions?
Reply #14 - Sep 17th, 2008 at 12:58pm
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Yes, than XMP. At least look at the time needed to make the maps... XMP maps were made very quickly, unlike U2's maps that have been developed to the absolute maximum you can get. Of course, some XMP maps are ports from abandoned projects, but not all.
  
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