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HPL2 vs HPL1 vs other indie engines
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Hannibal Offline
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Post: #1
HPL2 vs HPL1 vs other indie engines

The Frictional team says they wrote HPL2 from scratch. I'm curious in what ways it's an improvement upon its predecessor, and how it compares to other modern indie game engines (C4, Torque, Unity) that they chose not to use, other than 'it's written specifically for this sort of game', if anyone has thoughts.

I noticed there were no true outside areas in Amnesia, which makes me guess it doesn't support heightmaps, voxel-based terrain, or skyboxes. It does have sweet support for dynamic shadows.
10-01-2010 04:41 PM
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Setlec Offline
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Post: #2
RE: HPL2 vs HPL1 vs other indie engines

As Urkle said already HPL2 isn't rewrite from scratch. most parts are just the same as HPL1, the rendering has been upgraded/dated with new features... so far there is no bench mark utility for HPL1/2 available and making comparison against other engines are not possible as many things aren't equivalent and etc...
10-01-2010 07:17 PM
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Hannibal Offline
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Post: #3
RE: HPL2 vs HPL1 vs other indie engines

(10-01-2010 07:17 PM)Setlec Wrote:  As Urkle said already HPL2 isn't rewrite from scratch. most parts are just the same as HPL1

MulleDK19 Wrote:No, it uses a new engine written from scratch

My mistake. It was a user, not a developer, who had said that. I found an interview from Jens in 2009, confirming there was some code re-use, and talking about HPL2's new capabilities:

jens Wrote:Engine wise it is quite different and there many parts that have been rebuilt from the ground up. The Penumbra games uses a portal system to do occlusion culling (check what objects not to draw) that placed a heavy burden on the artists. In Amnesia we used a fully dynamic culling system based on a technique called Coherent Hierarchical Culling, which does not give any extra work for the artists and give them more time to make nice graphics instead of worrying about performance issues. Another example is the shadows that were stencil (shadow volumes) based in Penumbra but is done with shadow maps in Amnesia. There are all kinds of new effects added as well, like Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, proper decals, etc.

Setlec Wrote:so far there is no bench mark utility for HPL1/2 available and making comparison against other engines are not possible as many things aren't equivalent and etc...

That may be true, but I'm certain someone who has worked with other game engines and used HPL or HPL2 would have some insights into the differences between them beyond "It's written specifically for this sort of game". Well, now that I've read the interview, I know the original HPL started out as an engine for a very different sort of game!

Still interested in whatever specifics others know or can make an educated guess about. Smile
10-01-2010 11:57 PM
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Argoon Offline
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Post: #4
RE: HPL2 vs HPL1 vs other indie engines

HPL 2 does support sky boxes and nothing prevents you of making large levels with terrain (no voxel terrain but that is not a problem theres a 3r party tool for that like terragen), trees (no LOD system afaik) and all, one thing you just need to have in mind is that your models need to be comprised of various submeshs for the automatic culling system to work as it should.

About the HPL1 and the other engines that you said, HPL1 is free and you have access to the source code only lack of coding skills will prevent you of using and improving this engine. C4 is VERY good but it costs money (+-100 € for the Basic edition) you have access to the source code is a very well written c++ engine and you have one year of free updates and developer support. Torque i don't know. Unity tools and easy of use is fantastic but in the free version you lack very important things that exist on the pro version and on other free render engines like OGRE and HPL1, one of them is real time shadows and Unity even on the Pro version don't give you access to the engine source code.
10-03-2010 06:09 PM
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Hannibal Offline
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Post: #5
RE: HPL2 vs HPL1 vs other indie engines

Thanks, Argoon.
10-03-2010 08:40 PM
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Argoon Offline
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Post: #6
RE: HPL2 vs HPL1 vs other indie engines

No Problem. Smile

Just to give more info to others that could read this thread and are looking for a low cost engine or even free i will make a list of the engines that i know and IMO are worth looking.

C4 engine (http://www.terathon.com/c4engine/ )
Unity (http://unity3d.com/ ) (Its free for commercial use)
Esenthel engine (http://www.esenthel.com/ )
NeoAxis engine (based on OGRE) (http://www.neoaxisgroup.com/ )

This are complete engines with good dev tools.
10-05-2010 01:28 AM
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