Why did you buy the old TQ engine?

Hey guys,

can anyone (preferably the devs) explain to me, why you bought the old game engine back instead of creating a new engine? (General answers like “It’s a lot of work” not appreciated :O) )

Thank you

You already answered your own question, it is a lot of work to create an engine… so why use the TQ one ? because they were familiar with it.

Initially this was a much smaller project by 1.5 people, so to get this done at all, they used an engine they already knew. If they had not had that engine, GD would not have ever happened.

What mamba said.

“In an update provided to the Grim Dawn Kickstarter project on April 18, 2012, Crate revealed that the core of the company consists of only two full-time employees, with additional work being provided by former Iron Lore employees when needed.[8]”


"Several months later on August 19, 2008 Crate announced the acquisition of the Black Legion intellectual property that has been in development at Iron Lore Entertainment before that studio closed. Iron Lore had attracted significant interest from publishers while pitching Black Legion in late 2007 but had not been able to survive long enough to close a publishing deal. Crate had hoped to pick up on the momentum that Black Legion had gained but due to the U.S. economic recession publishers opted to pass on a large project from the studio.[4]

After nearly a year of silence, Crate announced on July 27, 2009 that the company had acquired licensing to use Iron Lore’s Titan Quest game engine for their new action role-playing game project.[4] On January 21, 2010 Crate announced that the name of their new project would be Grim Dawn.[5][6][7]"

I suspect that Black Legion may have been being developed using the TQ engine and if they wanted to move forward with it that’s what they needed to buy.

With limited funds and staff it’s just easier to work with what you know rather than creating an entirely new engine from scratch or having to buy a much more expensive newer one.

Sadly unreal engine was not “free” back then

I do not think that creating new game with Unreal engines is very similar to making mod to existing game.

Not to mention that I played a lot of Marvel Heroes which used the Unreal Engine. It was far from ideal for an ARPG, at least in the hands of those developers.

Because the alternative was we don’t exist.

Besides, what do you think most modern engines are? They’re just iterations of engines created many years ago. Grim Dawn’s engine is for all intents and purposes a new engine at this point with all of the tech changes we had made to modernize it.

I am really amazed what you guys at crate made out of this engine and the game you created. I think every engine is setting restictions to the progress in game development. I just hope that you guys are still in love with what you made out of this engine and that it is still fun to work with it.

To be honest: Yes, I thought every new engine was built from scratch. I didn’t know that they’re just iterations of older ones.

Thank you for your reply(ies)!

Is unreal even good for isometric perspective games? I was told Unity was the way to go for Isometric games

Also, even for Grim Dawn II it seems (unless I am mistaken) they plan to update the existing engine rather than make a new one. Which kinda makes sense since it already does what they want it to. I know of one or two game RPGs that tanked due to custom engines but they’re too obscure, the most prominent example that comes to mind would be PoE. From what I’ve been told their engine still causes a lot of problems

Having actually played PoE since the Beta days, their engine isn’t any worse than Diablo’s engine, or any other game I’ve played. Every engine has issues, it’s the nature of technology. :slight_smile:

And, as always, people’s machines also play a factor in these sorts of things.

Basically, if you make your own engine (I heard TQ’s engine was made by the creators of the game, you can correct me if I am wrong) and you still have the files, the source code, you can always make a good or perfect (for a particular team) engine from a bad/messy one. If you compare Titan Quest and Grim Dawn, they’re basically the same (gameplay wise!), GD just has better graphics and additional features like damage conversion. So, basically, they use an old engine that has been upgraded. If they will keep the engine updated (if there’s a need for that), the engine will always be “new and better than any other” (for them). Grim Dawn COULD not have some features if they used another engine, because that particular engine would not support that.

For the end, a little quote one game developer made: “If you want to make a game, and you’re not sure if a particular engine will support what you wanna do in your game, build a new engine, even if it would be only for one game - we have to make that game special, not repetitive.” With “repetitive game” he meant two different games, but the same gameplay (for example Gothic and Gothic 2 or Cultures 2, 3 ,4).

Another major factor is that we didn’t just get the engine, we got the entire code base, which saved a massive amount of time / money because we didn’t have to recreate an entire ARPG gameplay, feature set and tools from scratch.

Even if you license a commercial engine, you still have a ton of work to do before you have any semblance of a game - unless what you’re making is very similar to what that engine was created to do. If you’re using Unreal to make a Gears of War clone, then you’d already have native support for a lot of the gameplay you wanted to create. If you’re making an ARPG, you’re not starting with much besides and engine and then you have to sift through or even try to rework existing code that is irrelevant to your game or not suited for it. Even the way levels are made in Unreal is not great for the way we wanted to build GD, so we’d either have to figure out how to work with it or create a new level editor and terrain system.

We’d still have to do a bunch of work before we could even click on the ground and make a character run around in an isometric view. Then you need to add loot mechanics, player inventory, skills, a skill system, combat mechanics and formulas… basically all the things that make an ARPG.

Starting with the TQ engine, we have everything, in terms of programming, we need to make a game with all the gameplay, features and UI of TQ. Then it’s just a question of what we want to improve, add or remove. We’ve reworked huge portions of both the engine and game. On the engine side, we recently rewrote the renderer from scratch and previously replaced the physics engine, pathing engine, shader model, sound engine, added post effects, etc. The only thing really limiting us from replacing all of the engine components over time is that it has to support the art we’ve already created and we’re sort of obligated to support older versions of directX because we supported them with the initial release and people running older systems wouldn’t be able to play if we didn’t.

Another issue is that a lot of what people interpret as being the look of the engine is actually the look of the art itself and how it was made. We started working on GD 8 years ago now and expectations for the size of texture resolutions and triangles on models was lower than they are today. A lot of what has improved with the look of the game over the years is just us updating art / redoing textures.

The thing that might have the biggest visual impact now would be to redo lighting and the way materials are rendered but that isn’t really feasible unless we move on to GD2 and leave all this current art behind. If we go on to GD2 and no longer have to support older DX version or existing art, then we’d be free to make bigger updates to the engine.

Like Kamil said, the date an engine was originally created is sort of irrelevant since you can continually update it and eventually replace every part of it.

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half-life 3 confirmed. :rolleyes:

You left out two important words in your quote: “unless” and “if”! :smiley:

i happen to think mine was a pretty faithful interpretation of the source material. :stuck_out_tongue:

Would it be thinkable to have a separate GD dx9 and a GD dx11 version, or would it be to maintenance intense to have 2 separate game versions? The games would remain the same beside the lightning and material rendering. Furthermore the dx11 version can have ongoing engine upgrades and would be featured on XBox One. These engine upgrade can then find the way into GD 2 in case that will be planed in future.

There might be a lot I did not take into account.

Are you saying that PoE tanked because of its engine?

Well, just look at the most recent examples of isometric games and guess for yourself. Unity is the obvious choice with Pillars of Eternity, but I’d have to say the Divinity 2.0 engine is far superior, but that could be just because they built their own engine to suit their game so it works seamlessly.

Personally, I’m glad we have a variety when it comes to different engines. This way you don’t see identical clones with different plots and spell animations.

Thank you Medierra for that detailed response. #PerfectAnswer

(Really cool how you guys keep in touch with the community btw.)