What if Shenmue III had ported the original source code to UE4?

Joined
Feb 3, 2019
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Shenmue II
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Okay hear me out here. This came to mind as we were talking about the Like A Dragon: Ishin announcement in the Ryu Ga Gotoku section.

I don't have the tech know how to know if this is possible or not, but would it have been possible for YSNet to port the original Shenmue code over to UE4 and basically build a new game out of it?

Again, I don't know if this is technically possible and the last I heard, they apparently couldn't use the source code anyways (at least when it came to the fighting aspect - or so I heard) but would it even be possible to do that?

Take the original source code, port it over to UE4 so you have all your systems in place and then build a new game out of it?

Or would that just be a theoretical nightmare and would it have just been easier to rebuild it all in scratch like they actually did?

Just a thought. I'm not a programmer so I have no idea if this would even be possible.
 

Kenzo38130

"Youngest shenmue fan"
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It is possible of course , yakuza did that , gta trilogy did that and a lot of other game did that too even some fan game remake did that (sorry for ly bad english)
 

Spaghetti

Site Staff
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Sep 21, 2018
I'm basically a layman with these things, but it's possible. The question was always whether it would be practical, which it likely wasn't.

The first hurdle is access to the code. There have been conflicting stories about how much of it was actually available, but even then there may have been complicated rights issues about whether it could be reused. YsNet has access to the Shenmue IP and production materials, but actual code could be a different story. I seem to remember a quote from Yu Suzuki floating around that they were allowed to "look" at the code, which might mean they were allowed access as a reference but straight up lifting parts wasn't part of the deal.

The next is actually getting it to work in UE. It may have been easier if they genuinely did have access to source code, but judging from the huge job Lemon has done decompiling code (and writing an interpreter?) for use in Dragon and Phoenix Collection, it might have just been easier to rewrite stuff from scratch. I understand that a lot of NPC management and progress tracking works very similarly to the original games.

Returning to a series 20 years later with a new team, new engine, and new platforms was always going to be a serious technical challenge.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
I wonder one day if we will get confirmation if using Shenmue’s fighting engine as it was based on VF required additional approval and or license to be used or if it was part of using the games original source code.
 

RyoHazuki84

俺が益荒男
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龍が如く7~光と影の行方~
Knowing Sega and source codes (looking at Panzer Dragoon Saga and Sonic 1)....
 
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