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Hedgehog Engine - To Stay or Go


Faseeh

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Yes stay, why should it go?! Sonic games have never looked so good since the Hedgehog Engine arrived, and with the next Xbox/PS4 coming relatively soon, this engine can run much better than it currently does (maybe even as good as it does on PC).

SEGA should upgrade the engine for the next batch of consoles though (i.e Hedgehog Engine 2.0). Since it's a graphics engine, it can be used for any type of Sonic game really and it's rendering power will be of great use when a slower Sonic game is being made. Hedgehog Engine =/= Super-fast, linear gameplay....well it doesn't have to.

P.S - I excluded the Wii U but not because I'm a PS3/360 'fanboy', but I highly doubt that the engine would run supremely better on the Wii U compared to its HD counterparts...maybe I could be wrong, who knows.

Edited by KrazyBean
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Sonic games are suffering because of the HE. The massive improvements it needed between Unleashed and Generations didn't come to fruition and I can't imagine they will be any time soon. There'd be some real benefits in making Sonic games easier to produce, concerning both visuals and gameplay whilst also saving time and money. A new rendering/lighting engine would help a lot.

The real problem SEGA has to overcome is how they are going to make the game look amazing, render graphics at super-fast speeds and make it have a steady framerate if they were going to make a new engine.

The Frostbite 2.0 and CryEngine3 engines for example look amazing, but they are used for FPS's mainly. FPS's do not run nearly as fast as a Sonic game so they don't have to worry about super-fast graphical rendering.

The Hedgehog Engine is powerful, but it needs power to run sufficiently on a console...I say that it's the hardware's fault, not the engine.

If they make a new engine, I would be up for it though.

Edited by KrazyBean
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The Hedgehog Engine is powerful, but it needs power to run sufficiently on a console...I say that it's the hardware's fault, not the engine.

No, if you want a game to run on Console,you adjust it so it runs the thing properly. You don't just blame the hardware you want your game to be on.

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No, if you want a game to run on Console,you adjust it so it runs the thing properly. You don't just blame the hardware you want your game to be on.

Yeah, but they would probably have to sacrifice some things even more for the engine to be optimized properly on a console. If they had more power to work with, that wouldn't be the case.

Look at Battlefield 3 on console for example...it looks pretty 'meh' even though it's running on the same powerful engine. Crysis 2 on console looks pretty good for console standards but it does lag quite a bit here and there.

Edited by KrazyBean
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Yeah, but they would probably have to sacrifice some things even more for the engine to be optimized properly on a console.

Sonic games are mainly on consoles with very few PC releases. Why would they not develop it with the console in mind in the first place?

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The first thing I'd like to say, we're not qualified enough to talk about such things as game engines. smile.png

Anyways, what does it do? Everyone knows it's an graphics engine.

I thought it's all-in-one engine - graphics, sound, data management...

Do you guys remember what everyone hated in 06? Loading times. Well, yeah, to solve any types of problems regarding this, this engine had an important feature. Everyone seems to forget it though.

Loading times aren't a problem of 06 engine's nature, it's a problem of optimisation.

It can load streamed texture data off of the disc at rapid speeds.

It's not engine itself, it's console optical disk drive that reads data from disc. Hmm, am I nitpicking?

It could render everything at amazing speeds.

Again, I'd rather say such thing about graphics card, not the engine itself.

SEGA also have used up a lot of money for this as they have a render farm for creating the GIA data. Quoting GiantBomb again, 'calculating pre-baked Global Illumination data for a single level in Sonic Unleashed would take a networked render farm of 100 computers an average of 2-3 days'.

I wonder why it takes just several hours for a shitty PC to calculate lighting for custom Quake 3 map. The precision difference can't be THAT much.

All this said, I really like it and I'd like it to stay and develop and tweaked for the gameplay changes and all those things that the next generations bring in.

I wonder if anyone going to return to BSP map principle, I mean, final compile that gets rid of up to 80% level surfaces, keeping map to look the same. It's like, -70% hacking abilities, but +70% performance.

Well, i'm okay with this engine.

Edited by crystallize
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Generations uses the hedgehog engine, but not the unleashed renderer.

that one is unlockable in the PC version and it has lot's of extra effects including a better implementation of motion blur, god rays and better HDR effects.

makes the game look amazing.

Edited by Anti Alias
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When I made my status earlier, I wasn't referring to the gameplay style at all.

To be fair, while you've already covered all the technical flaws behind the Hedgehog Engine that should discourage the use of it as a general engine, one can argue that despite not being a game play engine, it's one of the things heavily hampering the game play as well, frankly because most aspects of the design have to be built around the capabilities that the graphical aspects can support. The Hedgehog Engine was built largely in part to support the kind of game play Unleashed wanted to offer, namely boosting and streaming the level while you play.

I wouldn't say that it's something most competent developers wouldn't be able to use outside of context but for Sonic Team the HE is a crutch that's arguably being milked to support it's abilities. It was particularly lazy in Generations and Classic Sonic had no use for it, and while Sonic Colors was replicating the basic mechanics of Unleashed the lack of using it had to make them build around an engine that couldn't go too fast, in turn giving a more grounded experience where going way too fast actually kind of worked if it weren't for the blocky level design.

The Hedgehog Engine is very powerful, but it needs power to run sufficiently on a console...I say that it's the hardware's fault, not the engine.

The Engine is just badly constructed and optimized. At some of it's rawest potential, UE3 and CryEngine can create some amazing stuff that excels what is seen on consoles, yet it's able to be optimized to a degree that it can run on most current-gen cheap hardware, something Hedgehog Engine isn't able to do at all despite that it does so many things other engines does - and worse.

The first thing I'd like to say, we're not qualified enough to talk about such things as game engines. smile.png

Actually, I'd say a lot of people are. Particularly Retro Tech Members who know enough about this stuff to comment about it's shortcomings. It's not really rocket science. It may be a complicated piece of work but that doesn't mean it can't be compared or criticized for what it is.

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I can see what you guys are saying. Thing is though, it was money used (maybe wasted for now). I'd like them to go back and fix some stuff.

Since the next generations of consoles will be better to handle graphics, I'd think the Hedgehog Engine could still be of use.

I really wouldn't want something that really took so much time and effort to be lost.

Blue Blood, I heard SEGA didn't want to sell it, not that nobody wanted to buy it. I'm wrong?

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Blue Blood, I heard SEGA didn't want to sell it, not that nobody wanted to buy it. I'm wrong?

I've never heard that. SEGA spoke about licensing it to other companies (like the Unreal Engine is), not selling it outright. Considering the lack of interest, it would seem this was a failure. There's every chance SEGA did decide not to sell it, but why would they do that unless they were sure that it just wasn't going to generate any revenue or positive publicity because it wasn't too good?

Edited by Blue Blood
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To keep a seriously unoptimized and completely obsolete engine around for the sake of it really makes no sense. Sonic Team is far better off using an existing engine such as CryEngine 3 or Unreal Engine 4 for the next generation, in my personal opinion...

Or Unlimited Detail could turn out to be a reality and make everything else look like a pile of dog shit by comparison. WHO KNOWS. God knows I hope it happens, I'm bloody well sick of seeing polygons in games.

Edited by Masaru Daimon
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To keep a seriously unoptimized and completely obsolete engine around for the sake of it really makes no sense. Sonic Team is far better off using an existing engine such as CryEngine 3 or Unreal Engine 4 for the next generation, in my personal opinion...

Or Unlimited Detail could turn out to be a reality and make everything else look like a pile of dog shit by comparison. WHO KNOWS. God knows I hope it happens, I'm bloody well sick of seeing polygons in games.

I suppose in the end it comes down to costs. An in-house engine, ala the HE in this case, is free. CE3 or UE4 would not only be expensive to use, but the team would be less experienced with them. Personally, I think they should turn their focus to making Sonic games look nice instead of impressive, if that makes any sense. They could do something much more interesting, cheaply and easily with cel-shading or an otherwise more cartoony art direction.

Edited by Blue Blood
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I suppose in the end it comes down to costs. An in-house engine, ala the HE in this case, is free. CE3 or UE4 would not only be expensive to use, but the team would be less experienced with them. Personally, I think they should turn their focus to making Sonic games look nice instead of impressive, if that makes any sense. They could do something much more interesting with cel-shading or an otherwise more cartoony art direction.

I always liked it when Sonic games were on the cutting edge of visuals, so I would like to continue to see Sonic games which make people go "WOW" when people see them. I'm not sure whether they could licence a much better Graphics Engine, or if they should just begin the development of a new graphics engine (Hedgehog Engine II or something), using much more up-to-date rendering techniques. I'm not sure if it would be worth it in the long run, or if SEGA could even afford to do something like that though...

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To be fair, while you've already covered all the technical flaws behind the Hedgehog Engine that should discourage the use of it as a general engine, one can argue that despite not being a game play engine, it's one of the things heavily hampering the game play as well, frankly because most aspects of the design have to be built around the capabilities that the graphical aspects can support. The Hedgehog Engine was built largely in part to support the kind of game play Unleashed wanted to offer, namely boosting and streaming the level while you play.

I wouldn't say that it's something most competent developers wouldn't be able to use outside of context but for Sonic Team the HE is a crutch that's arguably being milked to support it's abilities. It was particularly lazy in Generations and Classic Sonic had no use for it, and while Sonic Colors was replicating the basic mechanics of Unleashed the lack of using it had to make them build around an engine that couldn't go too fast, in turn giving a more grounded experience where going way too fast actually kind of worked if it weren't for the blocky level design.

Somehow missed this post.

I agreed with that all really, which is why I alluded to the gameplay at the end of the post. Has is just gotten to a stage were SEGA are too afraid to risk changing the gameplay and the engine along with it? I can't think of any other reason for them to carry on with it.

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