Why we’re not converting Enola to Unreal Engine 4
Long story short: transitioning from UDK to UE4 means reworking everything (code related) again.
I’m a big fan of new technology just like anyone else, so when UE4 was released to the public I was wondering about transitioning to UE4 (on a side note, I met with the Epic guys at PAX and they were trying to convince me to use UE4 instead, heh). However, I then really took the time to analyze the whole scenario.
Enola is very close to completion, as we are just missing a couple of levels (and a ton of bugs). The thing is all the major systems are in place, and pretty much all the inner workings too. Unreal 4 uses a very different technology, so all those systems would need to be remade from scratch. Packages don’t work either (as far as I know) and that means we’d need to reimport every character, every model, every texture and audio file.
Long story short, transitioning to UE4 means reworking the whole thing.
Some people may say the transition would be worth it because UE4 is better technology, with better audio and graphics. However, I am kinda realistic and I have no reason to assume our first UE4 project would look completely next gen. The engine does half of the work, but experience is the other half.
On a side note, save for Epic’s own projects, I haven’t seen many UE4 projects that make me go “that really shows the power of UE4.” You can take Daylight for example (the horror game that has been getting so-so reviews). Visually, there isn’t much difference between it and an AAA project made in UE3. I also saw a project made by some guys who transitioned from UDK to UE4 and the “before and after” screenshots made me think “they could have gotten the same result just by spending some more time with the UDK post process effects.”
So, without ENOUGH time to actually work with UE4, there wouldn’t be much difference between the current game and a game made with UE4 (on a side note, Enola doesn’t look like a high end UE3 game either… more like a game 5 years old game, but I don’t really care, heh).
Even if I like technology as much as the next guy, I am not much into making games that look extremely high end. I’d rather make a game with a visual identity than make yet-another-semi-photorealistic game.
UE4 will be used for a future project, I think. In the meantime I will just try to learn to use the engine.
See you next week!