Eve Online game engine

I have wondered about what kind of game engine the devs use for their development of Eve Online. After some searching, it looks as if there are different methods used, where for instance the game engine called Unity is used for creating props and assets before being exported to the in-house game engine.

Anyone else also remember the Carbon technology engine?

This is from 2010 but looks quite impressive even for today’s standards.


Eve uses its own custom game engine, it does not use an “off the shelf” game engine.

Also, make sure not to confuse “game engine” with “graphics engine,” or for that matter, “physics engine,” “collision engine,” etc. These are all different. As far as I know, Unity is a graphics engine. Also, as far as I know, Eve uses its own custom graphics engine.

Most professionally-developed games will use their own game engines. I have seen very few “off the shelf” game engines out there, and those which exist would be very specific to whatever game you are creating (e.g. hexagon-tiled turn-based strategy game engine).

1 Like

Interesting, I’ve been watching some tutorials with Unreal and it seems like a very capable software, with ability to make borth games as well as graphics assets.

There may be some rudimentary game engine included. Or, my guess is, there is a programming language or scripting available, allowing you to program and embed your own game engine within their framework.

Eve predates most commercially available game-engines.

1 Like

Well, again, show me a commercially-available game engine. There are certainly commercially-available graphics engines. There are commercially-available (and open source, or free) physics and collision engines. But very few if any game engines. The few I’ve ever seen were open-source, free software, and again, very specific to the type of game you were making (sprite based side scroller, hex-tiled turn-based strategy game, etc).

Seems to be quite a selection to choose from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_game_engines

Even though the game itself was created in 2003, it has been updated and upgraded quite a lot since then. The game is nothing like it was when it was first launched.

Right at the top, it says the list “mixes game engines with rendering engines as well as API bindings without any distinctions.” So it is basically calling anything a “game engine.”

I don’t have the time to go through that list and ‘vet’ it, however just casually scrolling through it I saw Quake engines, which would be used to make Quake-like games. Again, this conforms to what I said - a game engine has to be very specific as to the kind of game you are creating. Sure, you can take the hollow guts of a Quake game, and design it so that someone can just ‘fill in the blanks’ and have a clone of it. But if your game is in any way not a “cookie cutter” clone of something (like Eve), you are going to need something custom and specific to your needs.

As to the Quake engine, it would include the rendering, physics, etc. So it is actually combining the game engine with the rendering engine and physics engine.

True, but rewriting the game to work on a off the shelf game-engine would be much more work than to just update the engine they used to build the game.

Agreed… but what would be the reason for doing this anyway? And what would this mythical off-the-shelf game engine be? A Quake engine?

Eve uses its own graphics engine.

Which has to deal with some relatively unique challenges.

The primary one is scale. How many other games have assets which range in size by 5 orders of magnitude? You have Drones (<10 meters). You have ships. You have capital ships. You have keep stars (125KM). That’s unusual. And you can have thousands of these assets on screen, at the same time.


Yes, there’s an interview with Hilmar somewhere saying that they had to build everything from scratch. He was encouraging small indy game companies to go for it, because they have some many pre-made tools available now. Anyway, here’s a 2003 Eve trailer if you want to see the graphics CCP was showing off then.


That’s really cool to see how it was back in the day when the game first started out. It has come far!


EVERY game that allows you to make plugins (or mods) for them is a game engine available.
Counter strike was a mod based on half life engine.
TES series are (from morrowind on) game engines which allow you to recreate complete new games inside.
I’m not even talking about minecraft.

A game engine is designed to make ONE game. Because each game has its own issues.
So of course, since you make the game engine specifically for this game, you will also make the graphical engine, because it is also made for this game.

What you are complaining about, the absence of game-independant engine, is a nonsense.
There are a lot of game whose engine is available and can be modified and/or used with modified parameters.
You can try to fit an existing engine into a game. Until the moment you realize there is a design divergence that leads to bugs, poor performance, or so much maintenance that it’s not worth it. It’s almost as much a good idea as fitting a nuclear submarine engine on a bike and expect to go through the ocean with it.

That tech demo had to have been prerendered. As anyone who’s been around long enough to remember the CQ will tell you that it certainly didn’t even come close to that in real time.

Mr Epeen :sunglasses:

1 Like

I remember. Do you know wether this dress exists in game?

I think it was made with nvidia assets. Or that cancelled WoD game.

What you’re seeing in that video is not EVE nor was it meant for EVE. it’s World of Darkness, CCP’s pet project they were very much willing to leech and butcher EVE’s corpse over, quite literally. That company goal and attitude is what eventually resulted in the Summer of Rage, also known as Incarnage.

Quit stalking me, and work on your reading-comprehension issues, moron. I did not complain about the absence of game-independent engines. I merely told the OP what you just said - that they essentially don’t exist (and for good reasons).