Unreal Engine 5

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UE 5 looks great indeed. But even the Unreal 4 Engine has not maxed out by most games.




S4 with the UE 4 could also look really great. But to be honest I do not have any issues with the graphics S3. I would be more than happy if s4 looks the same.

As long as the combat system is a bit updated and the Stamina System is toned a bit I would not have any issues if 4 looks exactly like part 3.
 
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Yeah. And using Unreal 5 might force them to hire more developers for the game.(Since better graphics always require more work.)
 
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mjqjazzbar
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Ys Net should chase gameplay and storytelling, not the latest and greatest graphics. They simply can't compete. If UE5 helps them streamline their development process, then it's worth the switch.
 

BruceWayne911

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Ys Net should chase gameplay and storytelling, not the latest and greatest graphics. They simply can't compete. If UE5 helps them streamline their development process, then it's worth the switch.

Agreed, I'd rather have a fully fleshed out Shenmue 4 game with the UE4 than a great looking Shenmue 4 with gameplay compromises.
 
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UE 5 looks great indeed. But even the Unreal 4 Engine has not maxed out by most games.




S4 with the UE 4 could also look really great. But to be honest I do not have any issues with the graphics S3. I would be more than happy if s4 looks the same.

As long as the combat system is a bit updated and the Stamina System is toned a bit I would not have any issues if 4 looks exactly like part 3.
There was a UE4 demo from last year that frankly looked way better than the UE5 demo we got this year



So yeah, still plenty of room to grow.
 
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The unreal engine 4 is a beast indeed. I really wonder if the features of this engine tha was used for movie Special effects only can be used for gaming with the next gen hardware. There is still lots of potential left as I have already stated in the previous post.
 
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Aug 2, 2018
Yeah. And using Unreal 5 might force them to hire more developers for the game.(Since better graphics always require more work.)
This isn't quite true - the main features of Unreal 5 are targetted at reducing work with lighting and LOD (Level Of Detail) as well as targeting features of next gen consoles (SSD drives and their specific hardware).

These features for small and medium teams take away a lot of the optimization work that is so time consuming. You can make amazing things on PS4/XBox One era machines but it requires a huge amount of work to balance all the resources (and clever game design to hide loading etc. etc. etc.).
 
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I think Yu should expand upon Unreal 4 for IV and V considering him and his team have a pretty good grasp on everything about it. Plus the days of Shenmue being a graphical powerhouse are done which that has never concerned me. I think III looks fantastic as is and it'll only get better as the series marches along and the team gets more time with it. III was a nice introduction to what they'll be able to accomplish in the future games.
 
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This isn't quite true - the main features of Unreal 5 are targetted at reducing work with lighting and LOD (Level Of Detail) as well as targeting features of next gen consoles (SSD drives and their specific hardware).

These features for small and medium teams take away a lot of the optimization work that is so time consuming. You can make amazing things on PS4/XBox One era machines but it requires a huge amount of work to balance all the resources (and clever game design to hide loading etc. etc. etc.).
But if the goal is to reuse assets from S3 then that's not reducing work at all because it will require the creation of brand new high detail assets. To say nothing of establishing a brand new development pipeline and learning the intricacies of a new engine.
 
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But if the goal is to reuse assets from S3 then that's not reducing work at all because it will require the creation of brand new high detail assets. To say nothing of establishing a brand new development pipeline and learning the intricacies of a new engine.
Shenmue IV won't be reusing art assets wholesale from Shenmue III, and UE5's art pipeline actually saves time overall because artists won't have to do extra work like authoring LODs.

The real timesaver will be Shenmue IV starting with the gameplay systems, logic, etc. of the last game already in place if/when it starts production.

UE5 isn't a brand new development pipeline or new engine either, and is very much built on UE4's most recent iterations. Unless Shenmue IV is literally coming at the end of next year, there's no reason not to move development over to UE5 when it has a production ready launch next year. If YsNet are still working on their pitch, or have (hopefully) gotten the green light for development, then they've got plenty of time to play around and learn UE5 while still building and prototyping in UE4.
 
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Shenmue IV won't be reusing art assets wholesale from Shenmue III, and UE5's art pipeline actually saves time overall because artists won't have to do extra work like authoring LODs.
It saves time if you're using their nanite system, which is bleeding edge tech that is completely untested on consoles and basically requires an SSD for PC. It allows you to import assets directly from ZBrush (or other 3D sculpting program), and that's if you're creating every asset from scratch, which they're not necessarily doing. Furthermore, that means that a much higher standard is being set for the assets and considering the "stylized" look of many of the NPCs in S4, that means that most of those will need to be thrown out. Also, nanite does not work with deformed meshes, so now you're talking about having two separate pipelines, legacy for the character models (which still need to be LODed which Unreal has tools to automate anyway), and high quality for all the static meshes. That's a ton of work. UE5's high end features are for ultra budget games, developers who can figure out a clever way to use nanite for everything (ie: games about robots or other non skeletal meshes), or film production.

The real timesaver will be Shenmue IV starting with the gameplay systems, logic, etc. of the last game already in place if/when it starts production.
No the real time saver will be using everything that's been set up from S3 to create content (cutscenes, dialogue, scripting etc.) and not having to port those tools over. I've ported projects to different engine versions of UE4 and had things break.

Unless Shenmue IV is literally coming at the end of next year, there's no reason not to move development over to UE5 when it has a production ready launch next year.
There are countless reasons. A game on a budget as tight as S4 with as much content as it needs will need to reuse as much from S3 as possible and this mentality of pursuing the latest shiny new thing will no doubt lead to budget/time issues, delays, cut content and other horrible things. Particularly since this is a rabbit hole that Suzuki has shown himself the type to fall down.

If YsNet are still working on their pitch, or have (hopefully) gotten the green light for development, then they've got plenty of time to play around and learn UE5 while still building and prototyping in UE4.
Prototyping what exactly? You run around talking to people, picking up objects and getting into fights. They made Shenmue 3; how different do you think S4 is going to be?
 
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Gonna preface all this by saying I am by no means an expert in Unreal Engine and I'm still very much learning, so if I'm wrong about some of this stuff on the technical level - I'm wrong. But I'm going to reply to the best of my ability about the tech *as I understand it*.

It saves time if you're using their nanite system, which is bleeding edge tech that is completely untested on consoles and basically requires an SSD for PC. It allows you to import assets directly from ZBrush (or other 3D sculpting program), and that's if you're creating every asset from scratch, which they're not necessarily doing. Furthermore, that means that a much higher standard is being set for the assets and considering the "stylized" look of many of the NPCs in S4, that means that most of those will need to be thrown out. Also, nanite does not work with deformed meshes, so now you're talking about having two separate pipelines, legacy for the character models (which still need to be LODed which Unreal has tools to automate anyway), and high quality for all the static meshes. That's a ton of work. UE5's high end features are for ultra budget games, developers who can figure out a clever way to use nanite for everything (ie: games about robots or other non skeletal meshes), or film production.
UE5 isn't production ready yet so neither of us can say *definitively* that Nanite runs totally fine on consoles with no drawbacks, hiccups, or tweaks; but both the engine reveal and recent livestream had footage of demos utilising Nanite running on PS5 and Xbox Series X. There is no way the engine is shipping if one of its flagship features doesn't work on consoles, and I'm not sure why SSDs are particularly relevant when both new consoles come with one by default...?

Not sure why you're going on about stylisation here either tbh. The pros of using Nanite are removing the need for authored LODs and instead using multi-million triangle high quality art assets at runtime without a major performance cost. Shenmue III's character art wasn't low poly nor was it intended to look so (Ryo's Shenmue III model is 100,000+ triangles), so I don't see where the concern is regarding an artistic clash? It would be no greater difference than much of the environmental art in Shenmue III, except maybe looking much nicer closer up and rigid meshes (which make up quite a lot of practically any game world) having a far lower performance impact than they would otherwise.

Nanite doesn't work on deformed meshes *yet, as per the documentation stating that rigid meshes were their priority in development because of the overall prevalence of them in projects that would use UE5. They may have a solution for deformed meshes in place by the time the engine is production ready, or they may not, but it can still be used for rigid meshes all the same.

Again, not sure why you're talking about two pipelines here. Whether they stick with UE4, or they move to UE5 and it doesn't support deformed meshes by the time the engine launches proper, YsNet would still have to do that "ton of work" on characters that require LODs regardless, but at least with UE5 the environment team could have some of their workload reduced using Nanite for rigid meshes. UE4 does have automatic LOD authoring tools but they're not magic and do require someone to actually manually adjust the distances at which LODs load in based on what the player may or may not be able to see, and then do that for *every* static mesh. Nanite is pretty much just "set it and forget it".

I think you might be under the impression that Nanite is all or nothing in UE5? It's actually not, and you can use a mix of objects that do or do not utilise Nanite in a project. The Valley of the Ancient project just released is a mix of Nanite and non-Nanite objects.

Here's what that project looks like when looking at the Nanite triangles in the environment (the coloured splotches) and non-Nanite objects (the black masked out parts; the player character, sky sphere, weeds, etc) via the viewport:

desktopscreenshot2021nkjw7.png


No the real time saver will be using everything that's been set up from S3 to create content (cutscenes, dialogue, scripting etc.) and not having to port those tools over. I've ported projects to different engine versions of UE4 and had things break.
I'm not sure if YsNet made any custom tools in the development of Shenmue III, but things like cinematics are handled in-engine through sequencer, etc. I'm pretty sure practically all those things you've listed were handled in-engine with the toolset UE provides by default, but don't know for definite.

Things do sometimes break from version to version in UE4 if you are porting your project forward and are using a beta plugin that got updated to a 1.0 version, or they've depreciated some tech, or they're requiring a tickbox to turn something on now, or some values got changed, or a node works differently... but you're still broadly working with the same framework you started with. It's not like porting from one game engine to another and it is generally beneficial to keep on top of the latest developments with the engine.

Shenmue III ported forward to newer versions of UE4 several times during development before they decided to lock it off for the version they were going to ship on, which from memory was 4.20 which released in mid-2018, so the game had been in development for approximately three years before they decided to stop updating the engine.

There are countless reasons. A game on a budget as tight as S4 with as much content as it needs will need to reuse as much from S3 as possible and this mentality of pursuing the latest shiny new thing will no doubt lead to budget/time issues, delays, cut content and other horrible things. Particularly since this is a rabbit hole that Suzuki has shown himself the type to fall down.
Well we don't actually know what kind of budget Shenmue IV may have, if it's even been greenlit at all, but that's kind of irrelevant to moving development over to UE5 once it's production ready.

It's not chasing a "nice new shiny thing", UE5 is very much an extension on UE4. UE4.27 will release later this year as a step forward from UE4.26, then UE5 will get a production ready release earlyish next year as a step forward from that. Even stuff Epic plan to depreciate out of UE5 will still be in the first few versions of the engine, if for whatever reason YsNet are relying on something in UE4 that has been replaced in UE5.

Improvements to UE aren't necessarily about giving developers more and more tech to create cutting edge visuals with, a lot of additions are about making it quicker and easier to make games as well as giving small teams the kind of production quality they wouldn't be able to achieve without the engine. Shenmue III is a perfect example of this, as there's no way YsNet would have been able to stretch what resources they had as far as they did without an engine like UE4 - and even then it has developed considerably since the game came out with things such as the control rig (to enable rigging and animating in-engine and saving time on roundtripping), and the sky, cloud, and atmosphere system for creating real-time "time of day" lighting changes on the fly as seen here:

desktopscreenshot2021vzk3p.png

desktopscreenshot2021d1kfg.png


Even outside of Nanite and Lumen, features in UE5 will allow developers of all sizes to take a step forward as plugins exit beta, and features added in the last few versions of UE4 mature further.

Off the top of my head:
  • New full body IK solver
  • Data layers (for making it easier to include persistent changes to the game world or day/night cycle map changes)
  • World partition system & hierarchical level of detail (for better loading and unloading of the environment)
  • Motion warping system (to warp a character's root motion to align with targets instead of creating bespoke animation, huge implications for dynamic gameplay instances like combat if used)
  • Modular gameplay and gameplay abilities systems (hugely beneficial to a game like Shenmue developed out of several individualised pieces that form a whole)
  • Enhanced input (making it easier to have control methods switch on the fly, or enabling context sensitive presses)
  • MetaSounds (more control for audio designers in-game)
None of these have very much to do with graphics and are all new or maturing features for UE5 that would benefit YsNet.

Prototyping what exactly? You run around talking to people, picking up objects and getting into fights. They made Shenmue 3; how different do you think S4 is going to be?
If YsNet are going to add anything to Shenmue IV, or improve upon what they've made, or make alterations to the core gameplay loop, it'll be prototyped. All games get prototyped, even sequels.

Want Ryo to be able to step over a fence in Shenmue IV? Then it's got to be prototyped as the developers ask themselves questions like "how high are the fences and are they all going to be this height?", "how are we going to animate this?", "is this activated with a button press or does Ryo automatically step over the fence if the player is pressing in that direction on the thumb stick?" and find the answers by building test cases.
 
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Lumen alone will save tremendous amounts of time while looking better. I'm no developer, but I used to play around with UE4 creating scenes and importing assets... Baking lightmaps was by far the most headache inducing aspect from my time with it. Not only it takes a lot of time to bake after each iteration, but the results can be buggy due to certain factors like improper UV mapping.

Lumen just... works. Instantly. And the results are even better than the baked lighting.

Something I liked is that Emissive materials can also light up the scene with full GI and shadows... So devs can now model, say, a light pulp, and make it emit light. Instead of sticking a Point Light in there that doesn't match the light pulp shape.

This scene has no "lights" per say, it's entirely lit by Emissive materials:

 
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Nov 23, 2019
UE5 isn't production ready yet so neither of us can say *definitively* that Nanite runs totally fine on consoles with no drawbacks, hiccups, or tweaks; but both the engine reveal and recent livestream had footage of demos utilising Nanite running on PS5 and Xbox Series X. There is no way the engine is shipping if one of its flagship features doesn't work on consoles, and I'm not sure why SSDs are particularly relevant when both new consoles come with one by default...?
Because those consoles are still new and, depending on when you think S4 will be released, targeting those as exclusives especially without offering a "next gen" experience is a recipe for disaster for a game with as small an audience as Shenmue. Not everyone is going to pony up for the hardware to play the game on PC if it's using nanite without LOD optimization and, as you point out, there's no telling how it actually performs on consoles.

Again, not sure why you're talking about two pipelines here. Whether they stick with UE4, or they move to UE5 and it doesn't support deformed meshes by the time the engine launches proper, YsNet would still have to do that "ton of work" on characters that require LODs regardless, but at least with UE5 the environment team could have some of their workload reduced using Nanite for rigid meshes.
Only if you're exclusively targeting platforms with SSDs. And my point is that YSNet should be reusing assets from S3, so they should keep as many NPCs and art assets as they can, rather than starting from scratch. Especially in a game with as many NPCs as Shenmue. There's a very good reason that games like Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty reuse their engines for several sequels and those games aren't wanting for budget.

I think you might be under the impression that Nanite is all or nothing in UE5? It's actually not, and you can use a mix of objects that do or do not utilise Nanite in a project.
No, I'm saying that the benefits of nanite do not fundamentally change the pipeline for the easier. One of the main perks is that with such high detail, you no longer need normal maps, except for all the characters and art assets that don't use nanite, which is a substantial portion of a densely populated game like Shenmue.

I'm not sure if YsNet made any custom tools in the development of Shenmue III, but things like cinematics are handled in-engine through sequencer, etc. I'm pretty sure practically all those things you've listed were handled in-engine with the toolset UE provides by default, but don't know for definite.
No game uses only the built in tools. I've worked on nothing budget indie games and even we didn't use the built in tools exclusively.

It's not chasing a "nice new shiny thing", UE5 is very much an extension on UE4. UE4.27 will release later this year as a step forward from UE4.26, then UE5 will get a production ready release earlyish next year as a step forward from that.
I mean if you're just talking about "keeping the engine up to date" then sure, whatever. But 1. if YSNet hasn't secured funding for S4 by now then I would assume it's unlikely that they will or if they do it will be too late to reuse anything from S3, which will leave them in a worse position than they started in and 2. engine updates are very different from trying to achieve the kind of graphical fidelity that UE5 is being sold on. Things like nanite and lumen will best be used (at first) by high end console exclusives, where they don't have to worry about getting it to work on a bunch of different hardware and they're the kind of software that sells systems (think something like Final Fantasy 7 Remake).

None of these have very much to do with graphics and are all new or maturing features for UE5 that would benefit YsNet.
Yes, those are the kinds of things that can make development easier (depending on what's in store for S4), not nanite, which very much has everything to do with high end graphics and hardware.

If YsNet are going to add anything to Shenmue IV, or improve upon what they've made, or make alterations to the core gameplay loop, it'll be prototyped. All games get prototyped, even sequels.
I mean, it really depends on how much they intend to change or improve for the sequel. From everything I've seen on these boards, most people seem to view S3 as a sort of proof of concept, that had to be truncated a bit so that we can get a more fleshed out sequel with a shorter development, which makes sense. Now that they have the knowledge, tools, and asset library, they can make a more content rich experience (which I would assume/hope they're already deep into preproduction on), not something where they need to go back to the drawing board...

Lumen alone will save tremendous amounts of time while looking better. I'm no developer, but I used to play around with UE4 creating scenes and importing assets... Baking lightmaps was by far the most headache inducing aspect from my time with it. Not only it takes a lot of time to bake after each iteration, but the results can be buggy due to certain factors like improper UV mapping.

Lumen just... works. Instantly. And the results are even better than the baked lighting.

Something I liked is that Emissive materials can also light up the scene with full GI and shadows... So devs can now model, say, a light pulp, and make it emit light. Instead of sticking a Point Light in there that doesn't match the light pulp shape.

This scene has no "lights" per say, it's entirely lit by Emissive materials:
Lumen is awesome but to the best of my knowledge S3 didn't use baked lighting, it was real time, so Lumen would likely just be an improvement (again, for emphasis, hardware permitting).
 
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Jul 27, 2018
Because those consoles are still new and, depending on when you think S4 will be released, targeting those as exclusives especially without offering a "next gen" experience is a recipe for disaster for a game with as small an audience as Shenmue. Not everyone is going to pony up for the hardware to play the game on PC if it's using nanite without LOD optimization and, as you point out, there's no telling how it actually performs on consoles.


Only if you're exclusively targeting platforms with SSDs. And my point is that YSNet should be reusing assets from S3, so they should keep as many NPCs and art assets as they can, rather than starting from scratch. Especially in a game with as many NPCs as Shenmue. There's a very good reason that games like Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty reuse their engines for several sequels and those games aren't wanting for budget.


No, I'm saying that the benefits of nanite do not fundamentally change the pipeline for the easier. One of the main perks is that with such high detail, you no longer need normal maps, except for all the characters and art assets that don't use nanite, which is a substantial portion of a densely populated game like Shenmue.


No game uses only the built in tools. I've worked on nothing budget indie games and even we didn't use the built in tools exclusively.


I mean if you're just talking about "keeping the engine up to date" then sure, whatever. But 1. if YSNet hasn't secured funding for S4 by now then I would assume it's unlikely that they will or if they do it will be too late to reuse anything from S3, which will leave them in a worse position than they started in and 2. engine updates are very different from trying to achieve the kind of graphical fidelity that UE5 is being sold on. Things like nanite and lumen will best be used (at first) by high end console exclusives, where they don't have to worry about getting it to work on a bunch of different hardware and they're the kind of software that sells systems (think something like Final Fantasy 7 Remake).


Yes, those are the kinds of things that can make development easier (depending on what's in store for S4), not nanite, which very much has everything to do with high end graphics and hardware.


I mean, it really depends on how much they intend to change or improve for the sequel. From everything I've seen on these boards, most people seem to view S3 as a sort of proof of concept, that had to be truncated a bit so that we can get a more fleshed out sequel with a shorter development, which makes sense. Now that they have the knowledge, tools, and asset library, they can make a more content rich experience (which I would assume/hope they're already deep into preproduction on), not something where they need to go back to the drawing board...


Lumen is awesome but to the best of my knowledge S3 didn't use baked lighting, it was real time, so Lumen would likely just be an improvement (again, for emphasis, hardware permitting).
I assure you Shenmue 3 use baked lighting extensively, save for maybe the Sun/Moon light.

Most last gen games relied on lightmaps to save on performance
 
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I assure you Shenmue 3 use baked lighting extensively, save for maybe the Sun/Moon light.

Most last gen games relied on lightmaps to save on performance
Are you basing that off anything? Because there's nothing in S3 that really gives away that the lighting is baked, even in interiors. UE4 has a limit of how many shadow casting lights can exist but most of the lighting in Shenmue is static, so it's a non issue. There's no GI or detailed shadows or other bells and whistles to indicate baked lighting, at least not to my eye, and you can't traverse the world fast enough that streaming would be an issue.
 
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Are you basing that off anything? Because there's nothing in S3 that really gives away that the lighting is baked, even in interiors. UE4 has a limit of how many shadow casting lights can exist but most of the lighting in Shenmue is static, so it's a non issue. There's no GI or detailed shadows or other bells and whistles to indicate baked lighting, at least not to my eye, and you can't traverse the world fast enough that streaming would be an issue.
Because using dynamic lighting for stationary light sources is massive waste of system resources. Shenmue 3 would run several orders of magnitude worse than it does right now.
 
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Nov 23, 2019
Because using dynamic lighting for stationary light sources is massive waste of system resources. Shenmue 3 would run several orders of magnitude worse than it does right now.
It would also look orders of magnitude better. It's certainly possible but I just don't see any evidence for it. They also didn't try to get it running on lower end hardware and I've seen UE4 games running on Switch without light bakes. Do you know for sure or are you just assuming?
 
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