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Darkplaces or FTEQW for a game?

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Darkplaces or FTEQW for a game?

Postby BloodShot » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:56 pm

Hey guys, I've been working with learning the ins and outs of DP for a little over a year now and I have a small group of people working on a game with me.

We have a lot of the weapon code done, very little in the way of enemies or entities yet aside from basics like a model entity for mapper-specified models or particle emitters.

The code is branched off of quake 1.06 as a base, and we are stripping away things we don't need. So far it's all ssqc, utilizing darkplaces features defined in dpextensions for model attachments and the like, or using shaders from Q3.

I want to know if it's feasible to switch to FTE, and if we should. We are looking into a FPS with lite-RPG style elements, with NPCs and dialogue trees, travelling between maps hexen 2 style (which i know FTE supports) and stuff like that. I'm assuming we will have to strip out things from dpextensions and learn their FTE counterparts - what of particles as well? I'm guessing there's not much overlap between DP's effectinfo scripting and FTE's particle system, as we currently have a pretty massive amount of particle effects already finished.

I guess I'm looking for pros and cons of DP vs FTE, whether it can have the same level of fidelity, performance with realtime shadows, other things like that - to decide if we should stick with DP or switch to FTE since it's still relatively early on.
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Re: Darkplaces or FTEQW for a game?

Postby toneddu2000 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:00 pm

Hey guys, I've been working with learning the ins and outs of DP for a little over a year now and I have a small group of people working on a game with me.
Hey, good for you!
I am a FTE-fan so, probably my list of PROs will be a little unbalanced but, hey, we're humans!

CONS
  1. Rendering part is obsolete and not comparable to DP's one, no gi, realtime shadows are quite weird sometimes. It seems to be implemented deferred shading system but Spike never released a working shader to test with, so.. If you tested r_shadow_realtime_bouncegrid (or whatever the cvar name is) on DP you'll see what I mean. But I must say both engines are quite outdated even compared to Tesseract. A comparison with Unreal or Unity would be impossible..
    Keep in mind that is not even possible to create dynamic directional lights(like sun), so you have to create a big omnidirectional light and put it very above the surface (yuck..) with all the imperfections that you may imagine.. But DP has same problems I guess..
  2. Spike updates FTE every week or so (which it's great) but he "forgets" to write proper documentation, so you have to poke him here or there to understand how to use things that, sometimes(I've to be honest), they're just broke and won't work (until next release probably)

PROS
  1. CSQC system is light years further respec DP, you can literally do EVERYTHING with it. Even a 2d game if you're skilled enough. You can draw 2d / 3d elements on screen to create rich GUI like AAA engines
  2. GLSL shader system on top. You can just trash quake3 shaders system (if you want) and use only GLSL. See this for a lame example
  3. FTE plugins are.. incredible. You can use Chromium browser via libCEF, ODE physics, IRC chat and a lot more
  4. Spike is always present on this forum to help you. Try to contact LH and we'll see..
  5. Command line is pure gold in FTE. You can do a lot of cool things with it
  6. FTE has a builtin modelviewer to test animation
  7. Advanced animation support (ragdoll system [via ODE], advanced skeletal system, animation event system)
  8. Updates every week (but see #2 of cons) with tons of features, this makes probably FTE a little more unstable than DP but Spike knows what he's doing so fixes are quite immediate

I hope to make things more clear (or more complicated, that depends), but if in you're team there's a skilled C/C++ programmer, go for FTE and implement PBR shading system, realtime cascade shadow system, voxel cone tracing GI and FTE will become a a good alternative to Godot game engine! Or, just use fte and use Shpuld's games look and feel (which it's awesome) and you're good to go!

Good luck with your project!

PS: are you sure to use a Quake-derivated engine for your project? Wouldn't be better Unity? I can say for sure that's great and free under 100k per fiscal year of profit
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Re: Darkplaces or FTEQW for a game?

Postby Spike » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:48 am

r_converteffectinfo can convert dp particles to FTE ones. alternatively just set r_particledesc effectinfo. Be sure to use particleeffectnum as a precache to avoid networking race conditions.
r_forceprogramify 1 will get fte's shader system to try to mimic DP.
most of dpextensions.qc will work in FTE as-is. Obviously it won't provide any FTE-only stuff, but most DP stuff works in FTE just fine, so long as you avoid engine-specific cvars (or values).
Avoid ODE, in both engines.
GI is somewhat irrelevant when you've got precomputed lighting (hence why q3 doesn't use its lightgrid for lighting the map). Its useful for terrain or dynamic map editing sure, but for q1/q3bsp then meh.

I would say more, but this site's shitty inability to remember that you're logged in swallowed my post.
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Re: Darkplaces or FTEQW for a game?

Postby toneddu2000 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:38 am

ODE is not that bad, just remember to delete ode element before removing entitites or FTE will crash.
Spike wrote:GI is somewhat irrelevant when you've got precomputed lighting (hence why q3 doesn't use its lightgrid for lighting the map). Its useful for terrain or dynamic map editing sure, but for q1/q3bsp then meh.

The problem is not precomputed lighting, that, for how much I disgust it, very talented artists created masterpieces with it. The problem is when you want to do level design with a modern approach (read: using static meshes instead of bsp boxes or eventually some tubes patches). Try to use radiant to compile a map with 200 meshes and we'll see.. Plus, honestly, seeing a monster passing in front of a precomputed light and feeling the "disconnection" between the character and the background.. in 2017..ugh..
As I said earlier, imho it's better to go for a cartoonish look (like Warsow did)

Spike wrote:I would say more, but this site's shitty inability to remember that you're logged in swallowed my post.
LOOL. That's why I always do Ctrl+C every time I press "Preview"! :biggrin: Yeah but really, there's someone alive that manages this forum? If some jerk would hack this site, no one will reset it? Really?
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Re: Darkplaces or FTEQW for a game?

Postby frag.machine » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:24 am

toneddu2000 wrote:The problem is not precomputed lighting, that, for how much I disgust it, very talented artists created masterpieces with it. The problem is when you want to do level design with a modern approach (read: using static meshes instead of bsp boxes or eventually some tubes patches). Try to use radiant to compile a map with 200 meshes and we'll see.. Plus, honestly, seeing a monster passing in front of a precomputed light and feeling the "disconnection" between the character and the background.. in 2017..ugh..


@toneddu2000: we must set our expectatives accordingly when we pick a idtech2-derivated engine to a game project, regardless how feature-rich it is. You sound like someone who expects ABS breaks, leather seats and computer assisted driving in a hot-rod built over a Ford Model T (which is basically what Spike did with FTE :) ). Quake wasn't designed to efficiently render tons of arbitrary meshes and/or real-time lights. Of course the features are there in the case of FTE, but more as a curiosity that you carefully place in a regular map as a novelty than something you can slap everywhere to build an entire level from it. If your project requires this, you should consider picking something more modern like Unreal or Unity. Don't waste your efforts and enthusiasm fighting with an engine that won't do what you want (at least not in the way you want); save your energies to turn your project reality instead.

@BloodShot: Darkplaces is a great engine, and it was my engine of choice for years. That said, it's a dormant project at best, more likely just abandoned. If you're set to use a Quake engine, I'd strongly recommend to stick with FTE, unless you have a coder in your team to fix the eventual bugs you'll find and/or add required features.
I know FrikaC made a cgi-bin version of the quakec interpreter once and wrote part of his website in QuakeC :) (LordHavoc)
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Re: Darkplaces or FTEQW for a game?

Postby toneddu2000 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:19 am

frag.machine wrote:@toneddu2000: we must set our expectatives accordingly when we pick a idtech2-derivated engine to a game project, regardless how feature-rich it is. You sound like someone who expects ABS breaks, leather seats and computer assisted driving in a hot-rod built over a Ford Model T (which is basically what Spike did with FTE :) ). Quake wasn't designed to efficiently render tons of arbitrary meshes and/or real-time lights. Of course the features are there in the case of FTE, but more as a curiosity that you carefully place in a regular map as a novelty than something you can slap everywhere to build an entire level from it. If your project requires this, you should consider picking something more modern like Unreal or Unity. Don't waste your efforts and enthusiasm fighting with an engine that won't do what you want (at least not in the way you want); save your energies to turn your project reality instead.
Well, I don't consider FTE as a model T! :biggrin:
Personally I've found much fun banging my head against wall to do something usable in CSQC than using Blueprints in UE4..I use Unity every day and it's a great engine. I personally like both for different reasons, tailored on artists and small teams needs. Anyway, Spike is updating FTE every week so, compared to DP, is a living creature that I consider completely usable. I only said that, with directional dynamic lights and gi FTE will be a perfectly usable open source game engine that teams could use for their game, that's it.
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