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The Controversy Over Bethesda's 'Game Engine' Is Misguided [Kotaku]

Oct 25, 2017
482
If you give me access to a build environment and the source code I will endeavour to be more specific in my complaints. HTH. HAND.
 
Oct 29, 2017
259
UK
Jason is right and he is also wrong.

If you keep adding to an engine thats already poor, or even changing blocks of code for some things then all you end up with is an engine with lots of flaws and lots of development problems.

Creating a new engine is a massive undertaking (and no one ever codes it from scratch they would pull it from the existing code) and shouldn't be taken with a pinch of salt, but as every single Fallout and Scrolls games exhibit issues they've always had, doesn't look like they are fixing or changing stuff that matters. Mainly the issue with this is that you cannot always re-code something without breaking lots of things. So yeah so they added in multiplayer but it probably didnt impact things that would improve the core engine. The total war games has the exact same problem... when you have an old engine you cannot fix it properly, you are always building on top of a house of cards.

If you look at the Fallout engine its years behind something like RDR, Horizon, Spiderman and god of war. That's the difference of making an engine using modern techniques compared to building on top of an old engine and trying to push in new techniques into a game using a mish mash of stuff.
 
Oct 25, 2017
142
User banned (1 week): Antagonizing and insulting another user, acount still in its junior phase.
This is funny because, very obviously, Jason Schreier doesn't know what he's talking about and he's way too dumb to realize it.

A "game engine", as used in discussions in forums and articles, IS NOT A PIECE OF TECH. Nor it is a "collection", as he says.

A game engine is an heuristic. It's a term in language that works like an umbrella and that encompasses the overall "look and feel" of playing a game. *Playing* it, not building it.

Of course the look of Morrowind or Oblivion doesn't PRECISELY correspond to the look of Skyrim or Fallout, but the analogies and the general feel are absolutely there. You could make an experiment and let someone play a Bethesda game without knowing it's Bethesda and he'll know, if he's competent, within minutes. And certainly not because that game would be very complex.

If an engine is an engine, then it provides a structure. No matter how much you WRESTLE it, the structure is a structure and by being structure it imposes itself and will create limits.

No matter how many times Bethesda explains how they rewrote everything in their engine, PLAYING those games will always reveal the truth. And the truth is that they are too scared to abandon the pipeline they used until this point because they cannot afford to wipe everything clean and restart from zero. Because IT IS indeed an engine, and they don't want to discard it.

For Fallout 76 we have changed a lot. The game uses a new renderer, a new lighting system and a new system for the landscape generation.
And yet it's the same shit, as glaringly obvious to anyone who played even for 5 minutes. All Jason Schreier says falls apart right there because it is PROVEN by playing the game and realizing how the "engine" is still the same.

What Jason Schreier says is only vaguely correct in the sense that "engine" is not a word used precisely in this context. But it's only a discussion on the specific use and meaning of that word, and it doesn't even remotely touch the actual discussion that takes place when players criticize this "engine".
 
Nov 1, 2017
421
Indiana
My big take away from the article, besides getting some knowledge about "game engine" terminology dropped on me, is in the quote from Todd Howard. He says:

"We like our editor. It allows us to create worlds really fast and the modders know it really well. There are some elementary ways we create our games and that will continue because that lets us be efficient and we think it works best."
I may be taking this out of context heavily, but it seems that all Bethesda's decisions from here on out with this engine and it's associated assets are catering to the modding crowd and all that implies. The paid mod fiasco saw a serious backpedaling from Bethesda with the Creation Club created to assuage that. I don't know what to think about this precisely, but if the PC (and now console) modding community remain as vocal as ever, could they be the crowd that may further delay or stymie the transition to new creation tools for Bethesda?
 

Nax

Member
Oct 10, 2018
582
Sorry, this was a bad article. The problem with iterating on bad code is exactly that - it's bad code. Their engine is just a mountain of bad, unmaintainable code. But they've dumped so much money into it, it's easier in the short-term just to keep attempting to extend it rather than doing a full-on refactor.

What they're doing is repeatedly patching a leaky bucket. The only way to truly improve their workflow is to basically start over. This is an architectural problem.
 
Nov 4, 2017
2,230
I understood that engines evolve other time and that it wasn't the same engine that was used to make Skyrim that made Fallout 4 - my problem was/is that all of Bethesda's games have made me feel so naseaus I can't play them/even watch them very long. There's something about the way the camera moves that makes me feels sick. This has been consistant across the games with the engines which have been developed from each other. When they announced they were changing engine for Starfield, I thought it would be like how BioWare moved from Eclipse to Frostbite for Dragon AGe, and there was a higher chance I'd actually be able to play the game. Knowing now that the new engine will be an evolved iteration of their previous engine changes things for me, in that it makes it much more likely I will encounter the same issue and not be able to play. If the issue has appeared in every game made by the previous iterations of the engine, I don't really see how it won't appear in the new engine which is still based off the old ones. It does make me more disappointed tbh.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,503
I'm glad Jason wrote that article, although judging by the responses in here, it's falling on deaf ears. Yeah, maybe it's semantics, but if you're going to complain about something, at least complain about the right thing. It's more productive to say "this game is ludicrously buggy" or "this game doesn't look good" rather than "this game's engine sucks." If you're not someone who is actively using the engine, you don't know that.
But developers market and hype their "engines" all the time.

Unreal

Crytek

Creation

ETC

So maybe don't blame the audience for using the words and ideas that have been hammered in our heads since BUILD ENGINE, DOOM ENGINE, QUAKE ENGINE, ETC ETC ETC
 
Sep 11, 2018
1,110
Are RockStars Bully, Atlus Catherine, Ubisofts RockSmith, Larians Divinity 2 or Firaxis Civilization IV known for their bugs, poor animations, dodgy physics or performance problems?
Well they don't really make the same games as bethesda, but I do know that obsidian made a fallout game with it and it was a mess too.
 

Plum

Banned
Member
May 31, 2018
3,412
Then gamers should be more specific in their demands other than "lol they are still using shitty engine lol." If gamers want to critique the developers on the tech they are using the least they could do is educate themselves before spouting off online.
Except those specific complaints are all still out there and, as such, it's evidently clear what problems people have with Bethesda's games. Just because sometimes they may (the article doesn't give any real reasons why the engine could literally never be at fault) lead to semantically wrong demands doesn't make those complaints any less visible.

Bethesda's not dumb, they know what the issues with their games are, they've just chosen not to fix them despite being given many, many chances to do so.
 
Aug 30, 2018
108
What do you want titles for these topics to be exactly?

'Bethesda Game Studios next-gen RPGs to use some of the same technology as has plagued their games for the last decade +, maybe that's a problem, we don't know.'

Something like that?
The complaint wasn't raised about the title? It was raised about the full article quoted in the OP. Or I don't understand you response.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,012
Then gamers should be more specific in their demands other than "lol they are still using shitty engine lol." If gamers want to critique the developers on the tech they are using the least they could do is educate themselves before spouting off online.
players have been very specific about wanting uncapped fps, ultrawide support, and fov sliders, but bethesda continues to make the same mistakes. as soon as fallout 76 was announced, you can find forum posts of players wondering whether the game would support 21:9 because fallout 4 didn't and still doesn't.

players blame the engine for it, which does make sense even if it's an incorrect assumption. in schreier's mario example, the sequel re-uses the physics from the first game, which is fine, except in bethesda's case where apparently their physics system breaks at higher fps. maybe bethesda should rebuild the physics in a way that allows for uncapped FPS rather than iterating on the same system that they've used for literally a decade+ that forces an fps cap.
 
Nov 11, 2017
636
Sorry, this was a bad article. The problem with iterating on bad code is exactly that - it's bad code. Their engine is just a mountain of bad, unmaintainable code. But they've dumped so much money into it, it's easier in the short-term just to keep attempting to extend it rather than doing a full-on refactor.

What they're doing is repeatedly patching a leaky bucket. The only way to truly improve their workflow is to basically start over. This is an architectural problem.
Wait, is their engine open-source? Did you have access to it? How can you say that?
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,114
I love JAson and will read it later but in general it is a sentiment I have been having as of late.

GAmers in general suck and act very entitled sometimes. I know that the Bethesda games have issues but no one game is perfect. I know games like GoW, The Witcher 3 and the Naughty Dog games are praised, but I sometimes think gamers unfairly expect every game has to be that "good".

One example is the rendering issue people found in the 76 B.E.T.A. I read so much vitriol against Bethesda. All the classic "lazy dev" hits and it bothered me. I took and extra step and read about it some more and just like I thought it was a project/development decision like with every software project out there.

There are deadlines, limitation and sometimes choices can have to be made for the best outcome of the project. It seems to me that in this example and other Bethesda and whoever is criticized just made a choice that worked for them. All the armchair development and insult directed at them is just embarrassing bs IMO.

Even if we have a poster here that is a genius working in development, their comments would still be too much because that person is not part of that team or project. It is very easy to criticize something from an outside perspective.

Now, I am not saying criticisms are not valid and that those things shouldn't be pointed out, but I would love if some of the entitlement would be left out of it because it makes no sense. These expectation some gamers have are truly too much.
i don't think it's entitled at all to feel irritated that a team with the budget BGS has literally cannot implement better looking graphical effects than a single person (the ENBseries creator)
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,238
Ottawa Canada
He sounds like a corporate apologist in this piece. He spends the whole article complaining about people misusing the term game engine without ever acknowledging that regardless of the term used people's complaints are 100% valid. These are not mid budget AA games we're talking about, these are games that sell tens of millions. It's not unreasonable to expect a similar level of polish to what other devs manage. Seeing the same bugs present game after game absolutely deserves calling out. The root cause of those bugs isn't important to the end user.
you should read the thread. He just explained that he has been blacklisted by bethesda for the last five years. so its really doubtful that he is an apologist. re-read the article and try again.
 

StuBurns

Self Requested Temporary Ban
Member
Nov 12, 2017
7,199
The complaint wasn't raised about the title? It was raised about the full article quoted in the OP. Or I don't understand you response.
His complaint is about the titles of articles and YT videos.

'Engine' is just the catch-all people use to talk about technological issues within a game. Because a title can't be a paragraph long. He talks about people being right to complain, but how effectively and succinctly can you describe those issues in a title?

Engine is just shorthand, which the industry is even more guilty of using than the audience is.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,900
Los Angeles
great article, explaining these things for the masses. but what they do need, is to change frameworks. what they are using for the animation, needs to change. the design philosophy is another. these games don't look like the years they were released in. plain and simple.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,037
I think what a lot of the complaints boil down to is that there should be no excuses for all the jank and same issues that seem to carry over from their previous games.

Years ago, bethesda was kind the only option for quality open world rpgs. Now, that isn't the case. You have rockstart, CDPR and a few new comers straight up taking Bethesda to the cleaners as far as quality is concerned.

I used to buy their games day one, after fallout 4 that shit stops. They have competition now and I can wait until their shit hits bargain bin prices before I touch them(looking at you Fallout 76).

They have to be held to a higher standard now because they are no longer "the only game in town" so to speak.
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,900
Los Angeles
The article completely misses the point of the complaints.

It's entirely focused on people misusing the term engine, okay, fine. People don't know exactly what they're critical of, but they're still being critical for a reason, and a technological one.

This seems like the most pointless semantics debate to completely sidestep the actual issue people have.
um,
Fans and pundits should absolutely criticize games like Fallout 76 for their ridiculous bugs and graphical failings. But today’s controversy—and the notion that the next-gen games Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI would use the same “engine” as today’s games—is misguided at best.
is literally in the article
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,527
Everybody loves Source! Also, it's not exactly from 2004. It's way more revamped and overhauled compared to Valve's main Source branch, which is constantly updated. Source from 2004 is not the same as Source from 2018.
Many don't even realize that. There are some that still say that Call of Duty uses the Quake engine. Like yeah back in the day the engine was based off of that but almost none of the original code even exists anymore.

Seriously people think every problem can be fixed by saying: "Make a new engine!" like it's this simple thing to do.
 
Mar 21, 2018
2,082
So maybe don't blame the audience for using the words and ideas that have been hammered in our heads since BUILD ENGINE, DOOM ENGINE, QUAKE ENGINE, ETC ETC ETC
If people that know explain to the audience patiently why the audience is clueless, and the audience whines that it's not their fault, but that they'll continue using everything completely wrong anyway, then yes, the audience is at fault.
You do have the chance to correct your mistake. You chose not to.

And thus bethesda will continue releasing unpolished, buggy games, since marketing doesn't see the demands as need for changes - gamers sure don't seem to mind the bugs and the lack of polish, after all, just the nebulous engine that the devs keep changing somewhat every time anyway. Next time they'll probably change it so the gamers shut up, problem solved.

And the cycle repeats. You can't solve a problem if you keep complaining about completely unrelated things.
 

Popetita

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,957
TX|PR
Just because people don't possess the language to express their complaints, doesn't mean their voices should be dismissed, and it doesn't mean it's not news worthy.
I would argue even if people have the language to express themselves or even better if they work in development and are good at it, they should limit their criticism to what's real.

I see it as another way gamers try to dictate the product instead of being a consumer. Sure it is newsworthy but I don't see why it should be valid when the developers did their job to the best of their ability and delivered a game we like.

If so why don't we hear more about posters on these sites getting hired to fix these engines or these games? I do know it has happened in the past with some games (Dark Souls and Durant e come to mind) and in some other mediums like movies, but at the end of the day the team creating the game delivered the best product they could with the time/limitations they had.

Criticism is valid, but going beyond that seems like entitlement to me.
 
Aug 30, 2018
108
This is funny because, very obviously, Jason Schreier doesn't know what he's talking about and he's way too dumb to realize it.

A "game engine", as used in discussions in forums and articles, IS NOT A PIECE OF TECH. Nor it is a "collection", as he says.

A game engine is an heuristic. It's a term in language that works like an umbrella and that encompasses the overall "look and feel" of playing a game. *Playing* it, not building it.
What? A game engine has everything to do with building a game. This is simply factually incorrect:
Wikipedia: Game Engine said:
A game engine is a software development environment designed for people to build video games.
 
Oct 26, 2017
1,947
GAmers in general suck and act very entitled sometimes. I know that the Bethesda games have issues but no one game is perfect. I know games like GoW, The Witcher 3 and the Naughty Dog games are praised, but I sometimes think gamers unfairly expect every game has to be that "good".

One example is the rendering issue people found in the 76 B.E.T.A. I read so much vitriol against Bethesda. All the classic "lazy dev" hits and it bothered me. I took and extra step and read about it some more and just like I thought it was a project/development decision like with every software project out there.

There are deadlines, limitation and sometimes choices can have to be made for the best outcome of the project. It seems to me that in this example and other Bethesda and whoever is criticized just made a choice that worked for them. All the armchair development and insult directed at them is just embarrassing bs IMO.

Even if we have a poster here that is a genius working in development, their comments would still be too much because that person is not part of that team or project. It is very easy to criticize something from an outside perspective.

Now, I am not saying criticisms are not valid and that those things shouldn't be pointed out, but I would love if some of the entitlement would be left out of it because it makes no sense. These expectation some gamers have are truly too much.
I.. What? This is not some "aww shucks, we're all human and making games is hard" type of situation. This is a billion dollar company (at this point) that keeps putting out the same broken shit each time they release a game. People are not entitled for wanting them to get their shit together. They've been waiting a decade for Bethesda to get its shit together. This is a company that has the time and the money to get it right but they just don't and it's not like people are asking them to fix impossible things in their games. If unpaid modders can find a way to fix the untold number of problems in these games, then this company can sure as hell do it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,386
Would it be incorrect to complain about Bethesda Jank in general? It may not be the engine, but that doesn't absolve Bethesda of being goofy while everyone else has their act together.
 

Plum

Banned
Member
May 31, 2018
3,412
If people that know explain to the audience patiently why the audience is clueless, and the audience whines that it's not their fault, but that they'll continue using everything completely wrong anyway, then yes, the audience is at fault.
You do have the chance to correct your mistake. You chose not to.

And thus bethesda will continue releasing unpolished, buggy games, since marketing doesn't see the demands as need for changes - gamers sure don't seem to mind the bugs and the lack of polish, after all, just the nebulous engine that the devs keep changing somewhat every time anyway. Next time they'll probably change it so the gamers shut up, problem solved.

And the cycle repeats. You can't solve a problem if you keep complaining about completely unrelated things.
Where is this narrative that gamers have literally never complained about the issues with Bethesda games coming from? Gamers have been complaining about Bethesda's bugs, outdated graphics, awful animations, and terrible console performance for nearly a decade now. Arguing that they haven't and that Bethesda "just doesn't know" what the issue is is the definition of a false narrative.
 
Oct 25, 2017
482
Or maybe I consider it my job to help clear up misinformation and try to explain to people what video game engines actually are and how they work, so they can criticize Bethesda games in a more insightful way than "their engine is creaky :("?
Would you consider Fallout breaking as the frame rate is uncapped to be an engine problem? Or no?
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,900
Los Angeles
Those things don't address the performance, which I believe to be the most common complaint by a long way.
the point of his article is simply about people misunderstanding and misusing the term "game engine". he's not not writing to disarm the complainers, he just wants them to understand what it is they are complaining about
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,037
I.. What? This is not some "aww shucks, we're all human and making games is hard" type of situation. This is a billion dollar company (at this point) that keeps putting out the same broken shit each time they release a game. People are not entitled for wanting them to get their shit together. They've been waiting a decade for Bethesda to get its shit together. This is a company that has the time and the money to get it right but they just don't and it's not like people are asking them to fix impossible things in their games. If unpaid modders can find a way to fix the untold number of problems in these games, then this company can sure as hell do it.
Well said.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,090
Gone
Meh, I’ve not been enjoying Kotaku’s recent run of ‘defend the industry, gamers are stupid’. It’s cheap and ignores any basis to the complaints or concerns. It feels very much like the same sort of press that came out after the initial MS reveal or the Me3 ending.
This seems like the most pointless semantics debate to completely sidestep the actual issue people have.
I agree with both.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,789
On the bright side, future gamebryo game will have mods at the least. When mods and community patches hit peak that's when I jump in with Bethesda games. All that money from Skyrim and are still seemingly dependent on mod fixes going by Fallout 76.

I'm looking at a Fallout 76 review video and skipped ahead and I couldn't tell if they were using footage of a older Fallout game or the new game. Seems like the usual Gamebryo jank (or just too many bugs to fix nature of Bethesda open world style) + server problems = winning combination.

Or this combination could = profit, unless somehow Bethesda bans people for finding exploits, but really that's not happening haha.
 

jett

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,941
That read like a bizarre puff piece in defense of Bethesda's continued use of a Gamebyro-based engine.

Schreier keeps repeating this line:
To reiterate: “For Fallout 76 we have changed a lot. The game uses a new renderer, a new lighting system and a new system for the landscape generation. For Starfield even more of it changes. And for The Elder Scrolls VI, out there on the horizon even more.”
A line we see every time Betehsda ships out a new game, suggestions that they have an essentially new engine, which is what they claimed when they first trotted out their alleged Creation engine (which was still built on Gamebyro).

But the article is not about people's complaints, it's about the string of inflammatory headlines titled "Bethesda says it won't change engines for Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI" and why those headlines are meaningless.
And maybe there are fundamental issues when your foundations are garbage? Skyrim had a game-breaking bug on PS3 that made the game run at 1FPS when you reached a certain amount of playtime.
 
Nov 4, 2018
461
Wait, is their engine open-source? Did you have access to it? How can you say that?
Open Source no but before they forked Gamebryo into its own thing for Fallout 4

Well it was just straight up Gamebryo and there's a but load of games that uses it. And they were not made by Bethesda.
Some notable names being
Catherine (the original I dunno what the upcoming remaster uses)
Civilization 4 (Firaxis then changed for Civ 5 )
Rochsmith

So on and so forth ...

So the article is on point when they say that the engine isn't really to blame here. Other great games using it came out and didn't face much of any of those problems really .

Again bein' able to lift Mjöllnir of the ground is a remarkable feat sure but that alone won't turn you in the best blacksmith of the world.

So anyone blaming it on the engine is way off base here true ... That doesn't address the elephant in the room though which is the bugginess and lack of polish that plagues a lot of Bethesda games...
 
Feb 27, 2018
948
I honestly wonder if any of you actually read the article, which is very clearly written in response to today's stories about how Bethesda is using the same engine for Starfield and TESVI, stories that are misleading and misguided. The article also makes it very clear that you should indeed be criticizing Bethesda's shortcomings. Here, let me make this easy for you by giving you a nice little excerpt, since it seems to be too much trouble to read the whole thing:



I really liked this forum, but posts like "I guess that's just what you gotta do when most of your job requires not pissing off any devs" -- referring to the one journalist who isn't going to lavish Fallout 76 press events at the Greenbrier, and the only one who's been blacklisted by Bethesda for five years because he refused to be an extension of their marketing -- make me wonder why I bother.
Ignore the assholes and keep up the good work!
 
Aug 30, 2018
108
His complaint is about the titles of articles and YT videos.

'Engine' is just the catch-all people use to talk about technological issues within a game. Because a title can't be a paragraph long. He talks about people being right to complain, but how effectively and succinctly can you describe those issues in a title?

Engine is just shorthand, which the industry is even more guilty of using than the audience is.
Oh I see, gotcha. For some reason I thought you were talking about the thread's title and was very confused.

I guess I can see how the engine shorthand is useful for titles, but couldn't hurt to go more in depth as to specific issues. Also couldn't hurt to learn more about the tools that are used to build games if their development is something you are interested in or aim to criticize.
 

StuBurns

Self Requested Temporary Ban
Member
Nov 12, 2017
7,199
I would argue even if people have the language to express themselves or even better if they work in development and are good at it, they should limit their criticism to what's real.

I see it as another way gamers try to dictate the product instead of being a consumer. Sure it is newsworthy but I don't see why it should be valid when the developers did their job to the best of their ability and delivered a game we like.

If so why don't we hear more about posters on these sites getting hired to fix these engines or these games? I do know it has happened in the past with some games (Dark Souls and Durant e come to mind) and in some other mediums like movies, but at the end of the day the team creating the game delivered the best product they could with the time/limitations they had.

Criticism is valid, but going beyond that seems like entitlement to me.
I would certainly agree with all of that post. With the exception that it kind of renders all criticism invalid, no?

Because it presumes that this is about a purchasing decision, I.E. I won't buy the next Elder Scrolls unless it doesn't have so and so issues that previous entries have had.

I see it more as shaping the hopes and expectations of a product. The same way we talk about games after the fact. I think the movement in RDR2 is clunky... Okay, that doesn't mean I can unbuy it, and I wouldn't even if I could. But it's still a criticism I believe to be valid. The difference being if voiced before hand, it's more likely to impact development.

Bethesda aren't going to throw away their core technology because we bitch about it, obviously, but if it even gets them to reevaluate a little aspects of it, and makes it even 1% better, that's a clear win.
 
Nov 2, 2017
369
OK, here is my complaint about them using their same in house engine. It's the same issue other studios have (SE for example). So much time and manpower is spent getting the engine to do what they want with their new game and then ironing out issues with the new functions that could have been spent better fleshing out animations, better art, and more qa/ debugging of game code.
Often, they are developing the new features for the engine alongside the developers who are building game functionality that utilizes said engine features. It slows game development down. Introduces new bugs in game code that used to work and now doesn't.
What Jason explains is why it's not the "SAME" engine with every game and he's right, but that's part of the problem. The engine is far behind on functionality and features that other engines offer out of the box. They can either spend tons of time playing catch up while taking time away from game development OR they can move to a middleware engine and after the initial hickup of moving over, focus solely on game development.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,011
Chesire, UK
A post that seemingly needs to be quoted in every thread like this:
All entity meta-data is loaded in a similar fashion to the player entity. So states like basic attributes, skills, inventory, etc... are constantly parsing instead of being called upon when needed. Basically the engine wastes a lot of resources on absolutely useless tasks.

Cell Based loading
; This significantly lowers the amount of entities allowable in a loaded cell aka a hard limit. Anything that surpasses the limit will basically break the engine resulting in game breaking issues or a crash.

Modular everything, basically the entire engine is a jigsaw puzzle that is stuck together with rubbers bands, tape, glue, gum, and anything else that could be used as an adhesive. If a module is updated, it broke another, then that get updated... then it continues on cascading through them all. Instead of building a comprehensive system that is efficient and easy to debug, they turned it into cooked spaghetti and dumped it on the ground.

The engine doesn't support in engine animations, or any real features observed in the games. They are all produced via modules... that must be loaded and remain loaded individually. To give you an idea forward kinematics, inverse kinematics, translation, nor deformations. So stuff like a train car in Half-Life 1 are impossible to program into the engine without using workarounds, hacks, modules, or by exploiting bugs. For example imagine a single entity, except all the variables that determine it's actions are exterior to its programming. In this case separate controllers are applied to the entity to get it to function. Instead of programming in the required information into the entity itself. Remember the Broken Steel tram? It was a NPC character wearing a hat running a path. The NPC, train hat, paths, and trigger initiators all had to be loaded, instead of a path and a single entity...

Height map terrain generation, literally one of the most annoying ways to make terrain. In this case the terrain can only deform on a single axis, which means static assets that use a lot of computational power must be used to make simple terrain like cliffs.

Literally no optimization tools, look at Fallout 4's Sanctuary. The entire area is just a bunch of static assets layered on top of each other, wasting all your computers resources to render something you're not going to see.

Most of the engine's operations are tied to the frame rate... *sigh* like physics calculations... So if the frame rate drops or increases, so does calculations the engine does. It's like playing an old DOS game on a modern PC without adjusting the CPU speed.

The lighting within the engine is so out dated goldsrc (The engine the original half-life used) is still considered better. Plus the module for lighting is so inefficient that a good deal of computer calculations get soaked up by dynamic and static light sources. There is also a max limit of light sources within a cell... Heaven have mercy on the soul of the modder or map designer that placed one too many lights in a cell.

The engine constantly trips over itself trying to load separate modules, this often results in conflicts or weird easily preventable bugs that directly impact game play. Kind of like backing a horse up a mountain side. A great example of this is Fallout 4's bug of missing inventory items that still weigh down the player. Which is caused by a desync of modules that are intended to operate in tandem.

It still uses a manual NavMesh system, Instead of programming an entity with a basic AI collision detection calculation for pathing, it uses a system that requires the entities to rely upon an actual separate mesh, that overlays everything the NPC can traverse. While some engines use navmesh systems, they instead only mark faces and vertexes of existing geometry for parsing without having to generate completely separate faces and vertexes.

Spawns and gibs, every time something is spawned it has to be fully loaded as previously stated, this also includes items and gibs. When something gibs the spawned entities often spawn inside each other and require a collision calculation to "bust apart", instead of using dynamic slices based on the existing mesh and having the engine calculate the slices. Plus the sudden extra calculations cause frame rate drops, and bugs quite often.
When people complain about Bethesda's "engine" this is the shit they are talking about. Stuff that has been broken in the same way since before Oblivion.
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,305
But developers market and hype their "engines" all the time.

Unreal

Crytek

Creation

ETC

So maybe don't blame the audience for using the words and ideas that have been hammered in our heads since BUILD ENGINE, DOOM ENGINE, QUAKE ENGINE, ETC ETC ETC
So here’s the difference between Bethesda’s engine and engines like Unity and Unreal: Bethesda isn’t trying to sell their engine on the side as a core part of their business model. Companies like Crytek and Epic Games have a massive incentive to hype their engines because it not only sells he games they make—which double as sales pitches—but also drives other companies to invest in the engine itself creating a feedback loop. Gamebryo was actually licensed and used by other devs, and looking at the list of games made using it, the problem doesn’t seem to be exclusively the engine. Games like Civ IV and Catherine didn’t seem to suffer from using it.
 

Popetita

Attempted to circumvent ban with alt account
Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,957
TX|PR
I.. What? This is not some "aww shucks, we're all human and making games is hard" type of situation. This is a billion dollar company (at this point) that keeps putting out the same broken shit each time they release a game. People are not entitled for wanting them to get their shit together. They've been waiting a decade for Bethesda to get its shit together. This is a company that has the time and the money to get it right but they just don't and it's not like people are asking them to fix impossible things in their games. If unpaid modders can find a way to fix the untold number of problems in these games, then this company can sure as hell do it.
But they have their shit together though? The games work, you can play them to completion. Sure they have bugs that should be criticized to some extent, but if their game were really broken then they wouldn't be a billion dollar company would they?

They are humans and that matters. Why? I feel sometimes you guys think every game has the best genius developer working for them at every role. So if someone at Naughty Dog does something amazing./

Can you explain what this means:

This is a company that has the time and the money to get it right but they just don't and it's not like people are asking them to fix impossible things in their games.
Because I get your point but that is not how software projects work...you just don't fix things magically even if you know what they are. Sometimes decision are made etc.

If unpaid modders can find a way to fix some games, why aren't they raking in the cash and being hired and praised all around? Some have done so like Durante, were is the rest? If the Bethesda games are so broken where is our hero modder that will go to them and fix their issues?

That is why I call it entitlement because it is not based on the realities of software development.
 
Oct 30, 2017
824
the point of his article is simply about people misunderstanding and misusing the term "game engine". he's not not writing to disarm the complainers, he just wants them to understand what it is they are complaining about
This would be an accurate synopsis if it were an article focused on taking Bethesda to task for their extremely long lineage of identically janky games that also clarifies what game engines are, but instead that worthwhile aim gets a passing mention or two in a piece devoted to an extended semantic wrist slap. The result here is more of a rebuff of Bethesda critics not especially well versed in game development using a bunch of “making games is hard” language couched in just enough “some of your concerns are valid” to wash his hands of responsibility.
 
Nov 4, 2018
461
So here’s the difference between Bethesda’s engine and engines like Unity and Unreal: Bethesda isn’t trying to sell their engine on the side as a core part of their business model. Companies like Crytek and Epic Games have a massive incentive to hype their engines because it not only sells he games they make—which double as sales pitches—but also drives other companies to invest in the engine itself creating a feedback loop. Gamebryo was actually licensed and used by other devs, and looking at the list of games made using it, the problem doesn’t seem to be exclusively the engine. Games like Civ IV and Catherine didn’t seem to suffer from using it.
I see I'm not the only one willing to point out non Bethesda games that were not plagued by immense bugginess thanks for the signal boost.

(heck in the case of Civ 4 their use of Gamebryo was so straight forward and tweaked so little of it , that linux gamers could launch it with wine fairly rapidly after release ... That's how solid that version of Civ was )