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Compared to the creation engine, new vegas engine is old. But what about compared to WoW, Rift, Black desert, Blade and Soul...'s engines?
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To me, the 2nd reason really is the deciding factor since all code is based around how to program the hardware... it's strengths and limitations; whether using a graphics card(gpu) for a game, or system chips for base i/o.
Over time, new hardware 'methods and designs' are developed which provides new and better systems for coders; it fundamentally changes they way they need to do things. Go far enough back and the coder really needs to do pretty much everything as the chip sets only controlled certain things, such as playing a sound, sending an 'image' to a raster display or showing some 'sprites' (simple and limited hardware graphic overlays- if you will).
Whereas now a days, the idea that the offloading of processing onto either multiple cores or other 'processing units' like gpus can greatly effect 'throughput' (bandwidth, fps, etc.,)... even using DMA to bypss the normal systems way of access system ram allows for more concurrent processing. All of that kinda promotes or leads to a new coding/ designing philsophy... which is usually more efficient and better code.
The only thing I think a coding team could do to try and future-proof things as much as possible, is to program towards 'modularity', but even then, most modules are based around the hardware at the time of the development. But, it's still quite possible, however development time will more than likely increase; increasing development costs, etc.,. No way they're going that direction.
That's why most companies build code around the 'best' hardware of the time; each and every time. Which has the net effect making the engines outdated compared to newer ones, as is the hardware they were built around; try playing a modern fps on a 32meg gpu from the late 90's or early 2000's- the game simply won't run as the hardware registers need to offload some of the graphics work simply didn't exist on the chipset of the time.
In the example of Bethesda and going back as far as Doom- John Carmack realized that being able to 'mod' their games was something he wanted to build into his game engines, and in turn really enjoyed seeing some of the modding communities 'creations'.
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All code is iterated on, that's how development works. You don't start from scratch every time unless you are insane. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when you can make it run smoother and go faster.
All the talk about Gamebryo and any other engine being old and not improved is complete nonsense. The engine in these games (TES engine, and Creation Engine) are only partially Gamebryo, and have been iterated on for nearly two decades. The Quake (one, not three) engine is the basis for Gold Source, Source, Source 2, iDTech and many many many other engines. Unreal is just as old. The Crytek engine is also over a decade old, and the FarCry engine spawned everything that Ubisoft uses now. All of these engines use various technologies from other companies too, such as Havok, Wyse, Scaleform, SpeedTree, FaceGen, BINK, MP3, OGG/Vorbis, Microsoft technologies,, AMD technologies, NVIDIA technologies, OpenGL, DirectX, etc etc etc.
Ask yourself if you actually know anything about these technologies or programming before you start such topics.
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There's going to be a close resemblance between the engines (Morrwind-Fallout4 and beyond) since all of them are built by the same game company (or another such as Obsidian with New Vegas) using the same design tools with the same design philosophy; 'development philosophy' being the main driving force even from the original Gamebryo.
It's that 'design and development process' which is a trademark of the Bethesda team (and pretty much all other game companies- they code as they think) and their games; results in the engines having the same types of features, though the engines themselves can be quite different code wise.
By keeping things 'similar' procedural wise, development time (as Todd would say... "familiarity with the tools we use") is greatly reduced; they have less to do coding wise, the more creative opportunity they have time wise to apply to the game itself. Imagine if the types of data and how it's represented consistently changed from Morrowind through Fallout4... modding tools development and time would greatly increase since everyone would be starting all over 'reverse engineering' wise, from scratch.
Because certain types of games are going to have similar features, they could be called 'the same', though they're different. It's just with Bethesda, if there's a weakness in concept-to-code wise on the 'team level', the same problems are more than likely going to carry over from engine to engine.
So it could seem like Gamebryo, and be similar in procedural design, but not Gamebryo per se. If you notice as each TES or FO game comes out, Bethesda removes more of the 3rd party code replacing it with their own versions that do the same types of things.
Hope some of that makes sense...