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Quick question to those that have used the Unreal 3 Engine for development. (Not the UDK).

How much work would it take to take a game made on/for Windows and output a working build on another platform?

Is it as simple as "File -> Export -> PS3" (or similar) or is there much programming involved?

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The only platform where it will be as easy as what you describe is Mac OS X. I don’t think it’s possible to answer properly without violating the Sony and Epic NDAs. Don’t you have access to the UDN mailing-lists? – sam hocevar Feb 15 '12 at 21:06
@SamHocevar I was guessing that he'd rarely (if ever) even used the UDK and kept my answer as generic as possible because of the points you mention, very good points indeed. Actually, what I wrote would work with almost any engine out there =) To Ólafur, unless it is a technically trivial game it is not trivial task to release a cross-platform title that will be competitive and especially with a team not familiar with the SDKs they are using. – Patrick Hughes Feb 15 '12 at 23:56

Assuming that you have not done any source code modifications to the SDK itself and have built your game from scripts, then it's simply a matter of letting Unreal prepare the packages for the different platform.

Note that this is if Unreal supports the platform you're porting to, if not then you'll obviously have to modify the code that packages the data for runtime use and write new low level hardware handlers.

Building a game that works with different control inputs (keyboard vs. gamepad for example) and designing a GUI will be where most of your work time programming is spent after the hardware support is decided. That schedule is no different for Unreal than any other port, you can do a cheesy job fast or a proper redesign for the platform depending on your needs.

Finally you will have to handle the new platform's TRC (Technical Requirements Checklist) needs and submission+approval needs and it would be a big mistake to not factor in that additional work.

Summary: "how much work" and risk analysis are entirely dependent on your dev team and source project quality so I tried to give broad strokes to cover the main issues - but don't have a real answer to your specific question.

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+1 just adding getting the build work will be fast for the PS3. Getting it playable and optimizing it will take a lot of time. There are much more limitations on the consoles hardware-wise than on a PC. Only 1 PPU Core, around 170 MB main-memory depending on your binary size, the graphics-card, the file-system. You will have to rewrite your code to put some work over to the SPUs, change streaming behavior to fit memory limitations. Overall, everything less than a year sounds not feasible to me, probably a lot more, not including learning time for the new hardware. – Maik Semder Feb 15 '12 at 20:04
@MaikSemder: you mean 2 PPU cores I suppose; otherwise I fully agree. – sam hocevar Feb 15 '12 at 20:58
hey @Sam, its 2 hardware-threads on 1 PPU. also stated in this wiki 3.2 GHz Cell Broadband Engine with 1 PPE & 7 SPEs – Maik Semder Feb 15 '12 at 21:09
@MaikSemder oops, I'm sorry I added to the confusion instead of making it clearer! So, 1 core but 2 threads :-) – sam hocevar Feb 15 '12 at 21:56
Hehe @Sam, I wish it were 2 cores :) – Maik Semder Feb 15 '12 at 23:03

Technically, this should be a fairly easy thing to do. Not as easy as the list of steps you had up at the top, but pretty close. This is only because that the underlying hardware compatibility between the different environments (PC and PS3 are the ones in the example) are to be provided via the Unreal 3 engine from Epic. They tout that they have already done a significant amount of the work, knowing where to do the visual effects on the PS3 vs where they are done on the PC and the like. Writing an independent API for playing sound effects that either gracefully downgrades or has parallels for the different effects that can be done.

Now, If you are wanting to know how much work and effort it takes for a team to port their engine to another platform, then I refer you to Patrick Hughes' post as that starts to go into more detail there. However, I do believe you will find that one of the selling points of the Unreal 3 engine is multiple platform support.

On a side note.. if you go back to the announcement videos for the PS Vita (was that really last summer?) you can see an clip talking to the team behind Dungeon Defenders where they state it took them about a week to tweak their game to get it running on the PS Vita.. Of note, their game happens to run on the Unreal 3 Engine (and has already been released on iOS, Android and PC I believe... I own the iOS and PC versions at the least :))

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