Open source vs plugins

Hi I have a question.
What is the difference between unreals open source and plugins
So just basicly, what is the difference between open source and plugins ?

Thank you
Yaan segers

can someone please reply

Well the question doesn’t make any sense you have to be more specific than that.

Rephrase the question.

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it just what is the difference between open source and plugins

and what you would do with open source, can you do that with plugins to ?

it is basically a bad question, because they are not 2 different things:

  • UE4 plugins can contain source code, and if they do, it must be included to enable you to package the game,
  • it does not mean a plugin is always open source. e.g. marketplace plugins include the source but can be used only if you buy them
  • if you make a plugin or any code, you can share them e.g. on Github to be open source

but what you can do with unreal engine’s source code,
can you do that with plugins to ?

The Unreal Engine source code is available to modify if you truly need to modify the deep behavior of the engine. You’d be basically making your own engine version. Very few people actually need to do this. It’s a big hassle.

To organize add-ons for Unreal Engine that people can use in multiple projects, people can make plugins. Plugins are sold (some for free) on the UE4 marketplace.

Many plugins are open-source, meaning their full source code is available somewhere on the internet (often GitHub).

but why would you use the engine’s source code if you could do the same thing with plugins ?

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I think there is a big misunderstanding here. Building the engine from source code has nothing to do with plugins. They’re two different things.
You can build your engine from the source code or you could install it through the launcher.
That has nothing to do with plugins.

They are not the same thing. You cant say what the difference is.

Plugins are extensions for your game.

You can Install the Engine in the Epic Games Launcher or build it from source.

One thing you can only do with the Source Build of UE and not with the normal version from the Epic Launcher is setting up dedicated Servers, they will only work in the Source Build.

This question makes no sense xD

Plugins have to plug into something. That something is the engine.

Engine ( Modifiable ) → Plugins → Project

Why would someone modify the source code instead of developing a plugin?

  • In case you need to modify an engine behaviour that hasn’t been exposed
    I can’t think of other reasons

Why create a plugin instead of modifying the source itself?

  • You can keep getting engine updates with zero conflicts, the max that can happen is that they will change the API, depracating or renaming stuff, they always do, in every update, doesn’t take long since the compiler guides you exactly on what changed and what you need to do
  • It is even easier to port to new games, you can download any version of the engine, have a project, and just throw the plugin folder in the project and it is working
    There are a lot more reasons to do any i just think this is enough
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Need to understand the concept behind an 'Engine" and a ‘plug-in’. An ‘Engine’ can be considered as the ‘soul’ of any complex software (or hardware). I am calling it a ‘soul’ because it gives life (power) and character to the piece of software. Infact, almost 50% of a software coding (be it for gaming, calculating, audio, …) is the ‘engine’ , which more or less, remains fixed / same. The ‘engine’ also comes in other forms, like embided in an IC, called chipset. For example all of our handy Calculators, have a ‘calculating engine’ loaded in it. And the OEM purchases them in bulk to produce the gear. Same concept is applicable, when NVidia’s GPUs are produced by other partner manufacturers. The branded original Geforce, RTX… chipsets (loaded on ICs] ‘engine’, are provided by NVidia, which runs the GPU’s circuitry in the expected manner.
Now, if the Engine, is the ‘soul’ of the ‘body’…, than the various ‘plug-ins’ can be called, the cloths / dresses, jewelry / ornaments, cosmetics,… used by or on the ‘body’. They may increase the functionality or value of the ‘body’, but without them the ‘body’, (the software or hardware) will continue to function.
One more point is, the Softwares, Engine and the Plug-ins, all can belong either to the ‘Proprietary’ (profit making) or ‘Free / Open Source’ (or partly free) category. And there can be switching. i.e. once privately owned Cakewalk DSP, or Houdini Engine,… have become free. today!

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