An Engine Panel at the 2007 GCDC examined the benefits and challenges of licensing an engine versus deciding to build ones own, and addressed questions to ask during the decision process and what to look for in support after the decision has been made.
Krawall Gaming Network's Goetz Klingelhoefer moderated, and Cryptic Studios' (City of Heroes, City of Villains
) Bruce Rogers, Crytek's (Crysis
Lazytown uses our engine to render the background for their scenes," Rein said. "I think you will see more and more of that."
Another audience question was, "How can you stay competitive in this business without having a $20 million dollar budget?"
"License our engine!" Said Rein.
"No, license our engine," Binks countered.
"Start of by making a mod, experiment without spending much more than the price of a game," Rein advised. "If you are starting off with a few hundred dollars, make a mod."
How to define next-gen audio? "Our recommendation is to use another solution for audio, because that is not the area where we see our focus," O'Neill said.
"We really rely on what the console can do," said Rein. "5.1, 7.1 -- the consoles kind of define where we are going with the audio system in our engine."
Binks added, "Audio is no longer at a point where we have problems with compression. So you can do a lot of stuff."
Will OpenGL ultimately die out, what with Vista and DirectX 10 on the scene? The panel agreed it won't; "I come from the academic area and there OpenGL is still widely used," Binks added, and Rogers agreed: "OpenGL will be there forever."
"The problem is it's not owned by any company, nobody cares about developing it," Rein explained. "It's certainly a stepping stone to DirectX. However, the more important Apple becomes in the market, the more power OpenGL will probably have."
The last audience question was on the topic of the legacy code still contained in the panelists' engines, and whether they considered making new engines from scratch. "We kept some legacy code in for good measure," Rogers said.
"Our networking code is our legacy code, which still works pretty well," Rein added. "At some point we will need a new engine to deal with new platforms' technology."