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Migrating from CryENGINE: couple of questions

Hi guys,
Me and my friend are in process of developing an indie multiplayer “magic-shooter” videogame. We’ve been working in CE Free SDK for about 1.5 months, and now, as I saw the UE4 videos and the surprisingly generous subscription offer for it, I am thinking we should move to UE4 development. Before that, I also spent quite a lot of time in UDK. I have some questions to the people who already got their hands on the engine:

  1. How well does the UE4 handle big open spaces, water volumes and terrain? In UDK there was good terrain tool, however the water volumes were far from the ocean and river functionality in CE. For example, there was no water tessellation, until ofc you made a custom material with it, which was quite hard, as UDK had a pretty bad support of DX11 features :slight_smile:
  2. Is there a volumetric fog/clouds supported in UE4?
  3. Is it possible to import terrain heightmaps and texture maps, generated previously in e.g. World Machine?
  4. If we are willing the let the community of our game to make their own multiplayer maps for the game after its release, does it mean that each modder will have to buy UE4 license, so that he/she would have access to the editor?
  5. And finally, the most valuable thing for us: while working with CE sources, we suffer a lot from very poor code documentation and generally complex code structure (Yes, I understand that some genius people work in Crytek, and the code offers very good performance. But as an indie-dev, I respect readability and feature implementation simplicity over the code complexity). How hard it is for small amount of skilled C++ coders to implement new features into the code (e.g. writing the magic system out of the weapon class and making it work in the network), in terms of the amount of working hours needed?

Thank you.

Can’t anwser all of your questions, but since I have experience with all your mentioned engines, I give it a go:

  1. Well, when it comes to open world games, CRYENGINE still has the edge over UE4. Basically all their tools are tuned towards realistic and open world environments which helps alot. In unreal engine 4 you can still achieve the same result, but you need alot of extra work for dynamic time of day or a realistic water shader.
    Landsacpe does a great job. It’s even better than cryengines terrain, it just lacks random generation, but imported heightmaps kinda solve that.
  2. Not out of the box like in cryengine, but you can create a blueprint that just spawns particle clouds and tune them via a few parameters to achieve the same effect.
  3. yes, just tested it.
  4. As far as I know, thats how it works. But thats the same for cryengine with their new subscription model.
  5. Here you get the biggest plus for unreal engine! The game code base is just clean and slick. If you were familar with unreal script, then you don’t have to learn much. The class hierarchy is pretty much the same. Even networking and function names are the pretty much the same.
    In cryengine there is a tremendous amount of preprocessor magic and other things that basically makes it impossible to keep track of what you are doing if you did not master the engine yet.
    So the point for programming easily goes to Unreal Engine.

Conclusion

When it comes to Unreal Engine 4 vs Cryengine, then Unreal Engine wins pretty much every batte for me. The only big plus cryengine has is the out of the box open world gameplay, which is actually pretty awesome.
Still, I prefer Unreal Engine for all its other tools and neat way of programming.

Thanks for the answer. Well, as we are working on multiplayer shooter, the time of day translation is not needed :slight_smile:
Have you tried the terrain tool itself? From the presentation videos, it seemed that there are instruments like adding erosion, making it possible to adjust terrain effects without going to World Machine every time.
The clear engine code and also the very nice-looking particles in UE4, which would probably make the magic effects look great, make me feel that we should move to UE4. I will wait for some other answers, in case there is some other useful info :slight_smile:

UE4’s source is fantastic indeed. Well-documented, well-structured and you’ll find what you need intuitively and fastly!
UE4 and UDK’s terrain toolbox featured a few erosion tools. Still that’s nothing ‘great’ compared to World Machine or such.
However they’re useful helper tools.