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With CD Projekt choosing Epic's Unreal Engine 5 over their proprietary REDengine for the next entry in The Witcher series, the editors over at Gamepressure decided to have a chat with a number of Polish developers in order to learn their thoughts on this move and video game engines in general.
If you're interested in the technical side of the industry, you should check this interview out. Here's a sample question:
GP: Is there a truly universal engine at all – one for everything?
Xibuk: (Frozen District): In my opinion it is not possible to create a truly universal engine. Such an idea seems tempting, as it would theoretically let you cover the entire market, but such a behemoth would lose versatility as soon as you wanted to do something more specialized and complicated. A different approach is used for RTS games, a different one for FPS games. Rendering is differently, we have to create logic. Universal engines pay for their versatility with complicated editors, significant times of project building or the weight of the initial project itself.
Kris Krej (Frozen District): In my opinion the engines are already very versatile. I don't know if it would be possible and necessary to push that any further. If I wanted to develop a text-based game on Unreal Engine that works as an html page, it would be an incredibly weird idea. It's a bit like wondering why you can't make one universal knife: one that's good for spreading butter, bushcraft, and precision surgery. Maybe you could, but what's the point?
Grzegorz Rdzany (Flying Wild Hog): Theoretically it is possible, but probably no one has done it yet, because it would require enormous effort, perfect architecture and immense discipline in implementation. It also seems that it would not be beneficial. The problem is that different types of games have different requirements for each individual engine system. Some games need to display a lot of animated objects, but with relatively low detail (such as strategies), and others need less objects, but with a high level of fidelity (e.g., FPP games). In some, the player moves relatively slowly (walking sims), and in others, very quickly (e.g., all kinds of racing games and some arcade). There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these parameters and their extreme values. Reconciling them within one technology is a real challenge. Usually, it's easier to just apply different engines to different needs.