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Treyarch says Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Doesn't Need a New Engine to Advance Graphics

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#1
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 doesn't need a brand new game engine to improve the graphics over previous games in the series, Treyarch has insisted. Black Ops 2 is built using the latest, most advanced version of the engine that Call of Duty developers have used to build the first-person shooter series since 2005's Call of Duty 2: a heavily modified version of the id Tech 3 engine. Some fans have called on Activision to invest in a brand new graphics engine in order to spruce up Call of Duty's visuals. But Treyarch chief Mark Lamia said continuing to upgrade the current engine was enough to meet the development team's design goals. "People always ask me, 'Is this a new engine?' he told One of Swords. "I liken it to people who live in an older house that has been remodelled. Just because you're remodelling the house and it will look new or it will have a new kitchen, you don't tear out the foundation, or break out some of the framing. You might even go as hardcore as replacing the plumbing, and we will do that sort of thing, as an analogy. It's a gross simplification, but it's one way to say that. There's a lot of good still in that foundation that you wouldn't get rid of, and we don't. We look to advance in the areas that support our game design.

"Engines, each time they get touched, they change. The creators alter them; they don't modify what they don't need to, and then they alter what they need to. You can't make a competitive product if you're not upgrading that engine along the way." He added: "I think the whole thing about a new engine... sometimes that's a great buzzword. Well, I have a new graphics engine - is that a new engine? Where does it start and stop? Elements of the code, you can trace back for a very, very long time... but whole parts of the code are entirely new. Two areas we did focus on for this game were the graphics and the lighting - a pretty significant amount of work is going into that."When Activision announced Black Ops 2 earlier this month it promised a "visual overhaul", with graphical upgrades a mix of "tech and technique". In a demo to press played on an Xbox 360 build of the game, an unpopulated level set on Socotra Island in Yemen showed HDR lighting, bounce lighting, self-shadowing and a new texture technique called reveal mapping - all running at 60 frames per second.

"I think what people are asking for is for us to push," Lamia explained. "They want us to make a better-looking game; they want things. I don't think those are things people can't ask for. We asked ourselves that very same question - we wanted to advance the graphics. I think the questions are valid. The answer may not need to be an entirely new engine, but you might need to do an entire overhaul of your entire lighting system. "The trick is, we're not willing to do that if we can't keep it running at 60 frames per second - but we did that this time. So this is the Black Ops 2 engine."

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#2
Thank you Crap Daddy for this one!
 
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#3
Here is a video about this topic. It is in english with german subtitles.
 

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#4
and que the CoD bashing in 3...2...1....
 
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#5
I am definitely looking forward to play zombies.
 

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#6

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#7
Skyrim used a heavily modified Morrowind Engine and that is about 10 years old, so I guess I am fine with this decision.
 
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#8
and que the CoD bashing in 3...2...1....
Not really the COD bashing... Its more the "console bashing" about how developer base their game on what an outdated $100 machine that breaks every 6 months can do in terms of graphics - there I did it, I bashed xbox abit!
 
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#9
Skyrim used a heavily modified Morrowind Engine and that is about 10 years old, so I guess I am fine with this decision.
Tech 3 engine is from 1999.......its 2012.........let the engine die.
 

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#10
Doesn't matter what engine they use. They'll sell millions of copies and make lots of money. I don't see the big deal. Besides, it's not up to them whether they use a new engine or not. If their customer base decides it's not worth buying their games anymore, maybe they'll change then. Untill then they'll be swimming in their pool of money and make the same game over and over again.
 

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#11
But Treyarch chief Mark Lamia said continuing to upgrade the current engine was enough to meet the development team's design goals.
Here's the money quote.
 
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#12
The simple fact they have been beating this engine into the ground for the past several years, means they have made Billions of dollars of profit, so why can't they spend the resources to make a more advanced engine?

Oh, that's right, they don't care so long as it sells and they can regurgitate the same crap with a new menu. It's alot like the Madden series as of late, no real innovation, just updated rosters, and an animation or two added every year.
 

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#13
Tech 3 engine is from 1999.......its 2012.
If the engine is built robustly, you can add on a lot of new stuff to it with minimal modification to the code. In fact, I am pretty amazed by how much they managed to doll up such an old engine.
 
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#14
If the engine is built robustly, you can add on a lot of new stuff to it with minimal modification to the code. In fact, I am pretty amazed by how much they managed to doll up such an old engine.
The engine cannot be dolled up anymore. Its dated as hell. I mean really Carmack is on to the Tech 5.5 engine! iD has created two completely new engines in the same amount of time! I mean really? They can't even break down and buy the license for the Tech 4 engine?

Think about that. This is the Quake 3 engine. Its older the Doom 3!
 
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#15
I would rather have a game that is fun and offers good game play instead of pretty, however both would be bad.
 
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#16
this isn't a matter of the engine being good enough so much as the design goals being very very low.


Treyarch chief Mark Lamia said continuing to upgrade the current engine was enough to meet the development team's design goals.
 

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#17
Think about that. This is the Quake 3 engine. Its older the Doom 3!
Add larger textures, update DirectX 9 to the latest and greatest tweaks, processes, and whatnot and viola! Most engines are very basic at their core anyways. They are in the business to make money and puting money and resourses into a new engine is just stupid considering the amount of money they make off of what they are doing now.
 

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#18
The engine cannot be dolled up anymore. Its dated as hell. I mean really Carmack is on to the Tech 5.5 engine! iD has created two completely new engines in the same amount of time! I mean really? They can't even break down and buy the license for the Tech 4 engine?

Think about that. This is the Quake 3 engine. Its older the Doom 3!
Apparently they think its still possible to doll it up for the next COD game :laugh:

Personally I think COD games look ok, certainly not spectacular, but good enough so that you will forget how crap it is during the "heat of battle" (in reality just hearing some stupid 13 yr old bragging his lungs off.)
 

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#19
Skyrim used a heavily modified Morrowind Engine and that is about 10 years old, so I guess I am fine with this decision.
Gamebryo?

The thing is is that with CoD yeah its a tweaked Idtech3 engine, but its idtech3. The game engine used in Quake 3! They say the game is going to look better then the prior installments, but like always they will have to be within the 60fps mark. I feel like things like this have been said to the community before each CoD release yet it looks EXACTLY the same as the previous games.I mean I was playing MW3 during the free weekend and it looked more like CoD4 then MW2 really, and MW2 did have better graphcis then Cod 4.

At this point i guess its alright to keep using this same engine, but when next gen consoles come out I expect CoD to use a new version of idtech or completely other different one.
 
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#20
In fact it's so damn good it will outlive Bobby Kotick. Who needs the Unreal engine which gave us the Good Samaritan demo. And how dare NV and AMD ask in excess of 500$ for a graphics card?
 
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#21
Treyarch says Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Doesn't Need a New Engine to Advance Sales
;)
 

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#22
you know theres an issue when that statement has "sales" in it rather then entertainment or immersion or quality.
 
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#23
Add larger textures, update DirectX 9 to the latest and greatest tweaks, processes, and whatnot and viola! Most engines are very basic at their core anyways. They are in the business to make money and puting money and resourses into a new engine is just stupid considering the amount of money they make off of what they are doing now.
Yeah I know......then I play 5 minutes of the Frostbyte 2.0 engine and remember why I have a 300 dollar GPU and the Tech 3 engine has no place on my SSD anymore unless its Quake 3 for nostalgic reasons.
 

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#24
Yeah I know......then I play 5 minutes of the Frostbyte 2.0 engine and remember why I have a 300 dollar GPU and the Tech 3 engine has no place on my SSD anymore unless its Quake 3 for nostalgic reasons.
even BF3 and Frostbite 2.0 could have been pushed even further.
 
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#24
"I liken it to people who live in an older house that has been remodelled. Just because you're remodelling the house and it will look new or it will have a new kitchen, you don't tear out the foundation, or break out some of the framing. You might even go as hardcore as replacing the plumbing, and we will do that sort of thing, as an analogy. It's a gross simplification, but it's one way to say that. There's a lot of good still in that foundation that you wouldn't get rid of, and we don't. We look to advance in the areas that support our game design."
That's a stupid analogy, sure you can build an extension to a house but it can only be so much before you decide you need a bigger house and move. Yeah you can fit a new kitchen but again its the same house, the same walls and foundation. Same idea with the engine.
 

Kreij

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#25
An "engine" is just code and can be modified to any extent if they have the rights to modify the source code (which I'm sure they do).
If they have heavily modified their current engine, then they have a TON of code in their code base that relies on their mods.
If they get a new engine, they will have to redo it all, or at least spend a butt load of money on regression testing ... and that is not necessarily a good financial move if their design requirements won't facilitate all of the new bells and whistles of a new engine.

Sure, the latest engine tech is impressive, but there is a lot more that comes into play when trying to manage the creation, and budgets, of a AAA game.