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Existing Unrealscript Project

So I have been waiting for UE4 for a while. My little company has been working on a UDK game for the last two years. It is literally in beta
http://www.voidrim.com

UDK is obviously dead. It has not received anything other than a cosmetic/trivial update in over a year, and the pricing scheme of UE4 makes UDK moot anyway.

The problem is I have an entire game client written in scaleform and unrealscript. I have not read any references to including scaleform or unrealscript in UE4. Did I miss it? What is the upgrade path like?

Unrealscript is not available in UE4, the only thing you can do with that code is try to replicate it using Blueprints or C++. Map files are also not compatible, you have to export your content to UE4 and recreate your maps.

Having gone through this myself, I can honestly say… it wasn’t that bad.
That said, if we had been in beta with people playing, the decision to switch would have been much harder.

As for Scaleform, or at least an alternate solution to it, the only thing I can suggest to do is see how for the CoherenUI plugin goes.
So far, so good.

Well, basically we are forced to switch. We cannot continue to support an ongoing product in UDK – it would be suicide. Combine the UE4 pricing scheme with the year long lack of updates for UDK – if there really is no transition plan then its fairly apparent Epic is aggressively replacing UDK with UE4 in the most dismissive way possible.

As a UDK developer for the last 2+ years I really feel left out in the cold here.

Is there support for any modern languages or is it all C++? I am actual developer, I know dozens of programming languages including C++ — I’m just wary of having to write game logic, AI and UI code in the “old entish” of programming languages. I did not actually anticipate the rug being pulled out from under UDK in my timeline~

I will say Unity has also come such a long way in that time, and unlike Epic they appear to actually have a path for upgrades when new versions come out. Obviously using UDK has been deemed a mistake by Epic. If I am being forced to completely re-write my entire game in a new language – It may be wiser to switch to an engine with slightly less rendering capabilities that has a stronger track record for updates, and 0% royalties…

There is only C++ or the Blueprint visual scripting system.
Blueprints pretty much replaces the UScript/Kismet combo you had in UDK.
Entire games can be build with Blueprints if you really want to.

As for the quip about Epic’s track record for updates and engine royalties… what can I say?
That is for you to decide.

There are still Unreal Engine 3 based games in production/being released.
If you do decide to switch, there are a number of people, aside from me,
who have done so and I am sure they will be happy to help out.

Just wait til’ you meet Rama.

@Gedden:
I may be wrong, as it’s been a while since I touched UDK, but are there any real problems with UDK that are ‘forcing’ you to switch? If not, stick with UDK for said product.
Are these problems not solvable without Epic’s updates? If not, stick with UDK for said product.

What I’m trying to say is, are you sure you’re being forced to switch to UE4? It’s always been my understanding that when using an evolving piece of software (in this case UDK) to create something, it’s best to start with a certain version of the product and stick with that version, unless you absolutely need that brand new feature that just came out, or that critical bugfix.
Otherwise you would end up spending more time adjusting, and porting, and reinventing the wheel, than actual development.

Just to be clear: I’m not trying to be an ****, I just seriously doubt someone is ‘forced’ to switch to UE4, as long as UDK is still available.

Another thing is, you do realise that you could probably, for example, create a Lua-binding for the engine, and do all your AI/UI scripting through that, right?

In any case, I believe that in the end, whatever you pick, pick what fits your project best, and you can’t go wrong.

If your game is in Beta you shouldn’t switch, Epic isn’t forcing anyone to switch. It took me a couple months to switch my project, but it was at the beginning of it so it made sense. Because you mentioned you used a lot of Scaleform is another major reason you probably shouldn’t switch. There is no good Game UI solution in UE4. I think Slate is really just for making Editor tools and panels, it’s not really capable for making a game UI.

The C++ that you write for GamePlay code is on top of a provided API, it is not that complicated compared to UnrealScript. Setting up a project, debugging and a number of other things are now much easier. The Blueprints do far more than what Kismet could but it’s really left to you on how much to rely on either, or use a combination. In my game I use both.

Is there any impediment to continuing to work with UDK3 for a while?

I haven’t started any project yet, but I plan to do so soon and I have made ​​the 75% of the code for that project.

I’ve been watching UE4 and I think giving a great graphic jump, but it seems somewhat slow for current machines.

My question is if to delay my project 8 or 12 months while I learn EU4 or finish it with UDK3, an after go for UE4.

If you’re 75% of the way in and UE4 doesn’t offer any immediate advantages for you, stick it out with UE3 and upgrade after you’ve shipped.

Well the problem is they have chosen to silently sunset UDK. Its not like UE4 is some radically different initiative – UDK was supposed to be the engine/process that Epic uses to target the indie developer community. UE4 replaces UDK in form, function and intent. I am not asking for a freaking unrealscript converter, but expecting some thought to go into an upgrade path is completely reasonable. Its also not like UDK is suddenly cheaper either, it still demands 20% more in royalties by default.

Was “no upgrade path” decision made a year ago when the UDK updates suddenly stopped coming? 6 months ago? Why the vow of silence? Certainly they knew before today. Could they not have informed the community of this when that decision was reached? Certainly they know NOW and could say something?

I really feel dumped on the side of the road here. I feel like the message here is “You should have gone with Unity, sucker”

@Gedden

I have a couple questions for you. How big is your team and how much unreal script do you actually have? Like a file count? Do you have a website I could check your project out on?

Thanks TheJamsh.

No problem for me if I can publish my UDK3 game in a year or two. But I wouldn’t like they close that possibility.

I don’t like the new pay system very much. Many of us haven’t earned nothing yet with this, despite spend much time learning. The UDK3 system seems to me more fair: I earn, Epic earn. But UE4: Epic earn, me… perhaps.

Well you could’t get full UE3 with native code support for free either, this model allows Epic to push full engine to individual users.

Yes, it’s great that an AAA engine can be used for the people, they are giving us a great opportunity to work in this. But… I like the old method :slight_smile:

@mikepurvis
Our team is 3 people. One client dev, one server dev and an artist. 649 .uc files, roughly 68k lines of code. Our whole project is on gibhub but in a private repo.

I would guess the entire process could take 3-4 months FT. Another problem is the installer – UDK did not come with anything usable – I had to roll my auto-updating installer from scratch! Most of that work is going to go down the drain too most likely. I cant help but think I could probably rewrite the client engine in Unity in the same amount of time. In some very real ways it would be more work (new asset pipeline etc), but Unity allows development in modern languages which would more than make up for it. Not to mention I would get web deployment for free.

Man Epic put UDK developers in a really bad spot~ I feel like such a sucker for going with UDK now. I just never expected Epic to just silently abandon UDK immediately after they launched it.

I believe on their website it says as a previous UDK user you can choose to go with the new 5% gross royalty model if you want, instead of 25% after 50k (without actually using UE4).

Still not sure why you’re all of a sudden like “oh man I can’t develop on UDK3 any more”. I’m certainly sticking with the previous UDK for my current project - UE3 is a lot more proven.

I would contact Epic and have a chat about that. If I remember correctly the old model was net (after you had deducted publication rates) while the new model is gross. Add in the 50k waiver and it probably balances out over time.

Why not contact Epic directly and explain your scenario? I highly doubt Epic are going to continue using the same business model they did before with an OLDER engine being more expensive.

We have known for well over a year that UE4 was ditching Unreal Script, and we also should have known (or should have easily figured out) from all the development screenshots and stuff that’s been posted that UE4 wasn’t going to come in a UDK-style package that we just download one day.

Stick with UE3, read up about revised terms and conditions of the UE3 business model and if it doesn’t suit, contact Epic directly and explain your scenario. I am almost certain that the old business model will be revised soon if it hasn’t been already.

The UDK has been around since 2009, that’s hardly an immediate change seeing as how it’s 2014 now.

If you’re afraid of the royalty, as others have said, contacting Epic directly and explaining the situation would be best. They offer that option for a reason, there is no reason whatsoever not to at least send them an email before committing your team to a lengthy engine transition.

The release of the UE4 does not impact your game in the slightest. The UDK is still the engine it was two days ago, and the engine that plenty of others have developed full games under. The reason why the UDK hasn’t gotten significant updates, besides the obvious focus being on the UE4 for the last year, is that the UDK is for the most part feature complete, there’s nothing more that could be added to it in its current state without a major rewrite, which is what the UE4 is. From the sound of it, the sole reason why you want to update to the UE4 is that it’s newer, not because of any inherent problem the UDK currently has. So transitioning would put a very heavy load on your programmer to rewrite the code, and your artist to make every single texture again almost from scratch to match the physically based rendering.

If your game is anywhere past alpha at latest, there isn’t enough of a reason to transition from the UDK to the UE4. The main pull for the UE4 right now is on the coding side of things, with Blueprint and C++ making things all around easier for everyone to work with. The dynamic GI is gone, and your artist put in hard work for the last 2 years in normal textures and materials (And PBR was a well known addition to the engine ever since it was announced). Without being able to take advantage of Blueprint, C++, or PBR this late in your development cycle, the UE4 has nothing to offer you even if you -did- upgrade.

Hi Gedden,

I would just like to clarify that you are able to discuss your licensing terms with EPIC. Here is the official stance on the FAQ:

I am close to shipping or have shipped projects using UDK. What does this mean for me?
Your terms haven’t changed, however we’re giving you the option to choose your royalty terms. Pick whichever is more favorable to you and apply either the new UE4 royalty model (5% of gross revenue) or your existing UDK terms (25% of net revenue after you take home $50,000) to all UDK product revenue from January 1, 2014 onward.

Again, check the UDK forums as we’re posting info there as well.

Email us at udk-licensing@epicgames.com if you have any questions.

Further, you have the option to create a custom license, as stated here:

Thank you for your post,
Adam