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Gamestudio is a fast and easy authoring system for interactive 2D and 3D applications - especially video games, multimedia tools, or simulations. It offers three levels of access: click-together, scripting, and C++, C#, or Delphi APIs.
Level, Model, and Script editors included.
|License Name||Price in $US||Source Code Included?|
|Free Edition - Comes with A8 engine, script debugger, model and level editors.|
|Extra Edition - Adds script compiler and artwork library.|
|Commercial Edition - Adds network and shader support.|
|Pro Edition - Removes 3DGameStudio logo and includes 12 months support|
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This development solution is mediocre at best. You will never be able to create AAA software with it.
1. The engine code is poorly written / coded. But amateurs will never know this because well.. only amateurs use this.
2. Much of it is hard to figure out and use because of it's poor structure / coding.
3. Uses lots of old Legacy stuff.
4. The tools are no where near what professional game development tools are supposed to be.
If you want to blow some cash just to screw around as a hobby I guess it's ok but you won't ever make anything of actual value using this.
Don't even think about this engine! its just crap, its capable of being used for full games but the programming is limited, the graphics are limited. it doesn't even support uv mapping to a meaningful extent! you can create soem cool games with this engine but nothing approaching a serious game.
people say others should not be so hard on the engine because its for beginners. but if you're a beginner why would you limit your learning to what 3dgs has to offer? yes, that is right, i say it will hurt the learning process if you're new to the world of game developing! avoid this engine, don't pay them a dime. speaking of paying, have you ever checked out their pricing? they're charing an arm a leg for basic features FREE or way cheaper engines give as a standard. they're simply trying to suck money out of the unknowing, well, now you know...
It's clear their not comming out with anything else and what they have sucks by yesterdays standereds. I can't believe this engine is number 3 on devmaster. It has playstation 1 rendering quality and tools that have no features it's modeler sucks and it c-script is horible support is not thier as advertised for C++ dll extension. and the community is not that great. This may have been a good engine 5 years ago, but now it sucks.
For coders I'd recommend C4 or Torque (i personly am not a fan of Torque but it would be rude of me not to point it out.)
For non-coders look at Bliz Basic, RealmForge or FPSCREATOR. ( I thought all three were crap. But thats what you get for a decent price engine for non-coders)
For Mac users I'd recommened Unity3d
I realize that a complete release of any game-authoring tool represents a significant amount of work and investment and applaud the effort! With that in mind, I really hate to be overly critical of someone's work, but... There seems to be a bit of hype in the reviews I've read so far, so I thought I would share my experience (although limited) with the A5 & A6 demos.
I felt that the game engine design itself is outdated, resembling DOOM more than anything (Yes DOOM, not Quake... D-O-O-M ;) DOOM was a great game, so if you are a creative an innovative designer, it's possible to overcome that ;] As a game designer, you will have to recognize this as an inherent limitation though.
The WED is reasonably intuitive and easy to learn, but again, irregardless of new features, it reminds me of the old DOOM editing tools. (D-O-O-M, not Quake!) :0
The 3d modeler is... ahhh, interesting.... I consider myself to be a competent modeler, and I really couldn't produce anything I wanted to use with it. But to be fair, perhaps that's just due to my ineptitude.
If you want to shell out $50 to play around with a DOOM style game engine that's fairly easy to learn, then this is for you.
Personally, I think it's behind the times. Its pricing structure is completely off the curve for what's being offered. FAR more powerful, full-featured game engines are available for substantially less than the $899 price tag wanted to fully license this product with networking. (And I'm going to resist the temptation to list those, but I'm sure you can find them on devmaster... somewhere ;)
I think you're making a good effort and have established a community, hat's off to you there, but my advice would be drop the whole price tag to the $49 to $150 range to keep competitive.
Just one man's opinion.
I first checked out Conitec's 3DGS system back with A5. I was attracted to its very "all-in-one" setup and approach to things. What put me off from the system, ultimately, was the poorly organized and presented tutorials, as well as the difficulty of getting a straight answer to the most basic of questions.
I kept checking in over the next few years to see how it was progressing, but found it to be pretty much the same situation.
Now, they have A8 out. However, I'm still using A7, the last version I updated to Why did I update my version if I was unhappy with it? What I'd seen of A7 looked like it was significantly improved. I'd come to find out I was wrong. Conitec just got a little better at hiding its failings, so it took more time to realize them.
At the end of the day, the engine is still a mess. The tutorials are far too limiting/limited. Looking to the community for tutorials yields you some combination of the following:
- Tutorials that are outdated
- Tutorials that are in German or Spanish, without an equivalent in English (obviously only an issue to an English speaker, which I am)
- Tutorials that turn out to be dead links, which have been there for many months, but the Conitec folks never bother to clean things up.
I don't know what the tutorials are like in German and Spanish. All I know is the English ones are horrid.
I consider myself a fairly intelligent person. I am not impatient and can figure most things out that I put my time into. Any other engine I've ever tried - even the more obtuse ones - I've managed to reach some level of facility with.
I can't do this with 3DGS because it simply provides no good path for a person to follow. For any given task, it seems there's a number of different ways of handling it, with some methods relating to completely outdated technology, that's yet still present but unsupported in the newest versions. What makes this particularly bad is that the documentation is so fragmented and incomplete that you can never tell which approach you're supposed to be using, or which tutorial relates to which method of doing a given task.
If my review seems convoluted and confused, I'm not surprised. That's literally the result of me attempting to describe the problems with 3DGS. I'm sure there's a solid and usable engine under all that. it's just horribly mired in abysmal documentation, scattered tutorials covering different methods of doing things, across different versions, in different languages, that I literally have no idea where to even begin.
I can not understand how people are actually productive with this software. It remains one of life's mysteries for me.
This engine is relatively easy to use, with a little bit of programming in a fairly easy c-script and a built-in editor, you can get your game up and running in no time.
However, the engine doesn't support the newer graphic effects, the shadows are outdated, the lighting is pretty bad, and you can't have very many polygons for the things in the game.
The engine doesn't crash, it does run great with quick tests and everything, only a few bugs.
The support is your average commercial support with it's own pros and cons.
In the end, you are much better off getting a free engine like Sauerbraten that has good features and new graphics, then attacking the source code with a little programming.
3d Gamestudio has good features for your personal fun-to-play games, but the newer games have newer graphics, and that seems to be one of the things people look for nowadays.
The Quake III BSP-style no-patch geometry with bad shadows takes the graphical power away.
Hi, well there are some positives reviews and some negatives, so ill post now a negative since is my point of view of this game engine, i own the extra edition and is good, is good for make fast prototypes of games but making a game seriously is bad.
Yes it is easy, similar to tv3d or 3dstate but:
1.MED model editor is an awfully waste of space in the package, even the bones are crap.
2.WED world editor is lacking of some features its easy to use but limited and tedious .
3.SED script editor is good with highligthing and autocomplete limited, but, has errors strange errors and debugging is certeanly a painfully path.
I think the lack of this game engine is the render engine the look seems old something miss, the same models in gstudio looks awful in another engines looks good and even excellents models.
Besides its limitation being the 4 versions out there.
I know the commercial and pro version can handle shaders but the effects dont look like shaders looks like another engine with lighting properties.
This engine is useful for beginners for making basic games but if you want to make decent games choose another engine this is limited.
In considering this product it's necessary to remember that it is a commercial product. This product is very easy to use, however, the script language is definitely inadequate, this is a major failing of the product. An object oriented language to replace the C style script (without classes) has been promised some time ago but there is no announcement as to when this will happen. In addition, the product does not implement shaders well. Performance is slow. The engine is 'not a rip off' but is a little outdated when considering the price asked. Compare DXStudio, cheaper, very easy to use.
Features: Outdated graphics. TERRIBLE modeling program. Professional, while the only version that is capable of developing a truly commercial product, is incredibly overpriced. Prices pretty much suck all-the-way-around, $50 for an engine that's hardly on par with Quake 2 is highway robbery.
Ease of Use: The BEST and most easy to use level designer I have ever used. Easy to understand scripting language (especially if you have prior experience in C or Java.)
Stability & Performance: The few times the engine has crashed on me were all my fault. The entire system works like clockwork everytime I open it up.
Support: An amazing forum filled with intelligent, friendly, and experienced programmers and artists coupled with a WEALTH of tutorials, workshops, free resources, and even a free monthly online magazine.
3DGS was a good engine, but it is definitely showing its age. The world editor is okay, but a bit awkward.
I do like the scripting language above those such as DarkBasic and Blitz. It's nicely put together in my opinion.
My MAIN problem with this engine is that yes, it is dated, and if you want more features which are also dated, you have to pay a good chunk of change for it. Their pricing schedule is not proportionate to the quality of their engine these days. Sure, back in '95 it would have been a good deal, but in 2005 it is a total rip off.
i wanted to like it. the lightmapper in the level compiler does a really good job.
but that's where the good stuff ends. the rest is crap, and the attitude the fanboys on the forum there is pathetic
my rationale is as follows.
1- no coordinated shader support. shaders are problematic and slow down the system dramatically. regardless of the hype, shaders are unusable in A6 they have basically been tacked on to the engine
one very talented user wrote a plugin, basically his own shader system using the renderer of A6, while it was a great effort that deserves applause its still a hack job at best
2- shadows still don't work right. get in the shadow volume, and the world except where the shadow should be gets shadowed. this bug has been reported for years.
3- shadows slow down the system dramatically
another long standing fault, its been this way forever
4- multiplayer code is problematic
5- commercial version only gets 4 multiplayer connections on top of that. you've gotta spend $800 for a pro version license to get many players together. and still, it won't work properly
6- you only get 1 physics object for the commercial version. gotta pay approximately $800 for the pro license to get more. and that is problematic as well.
7- constantly changing scripting language is the basis for mass confusion. they should of done it right the first time and just used one of the already well know scripting systems availble.
8- models imported and block geometry made in the level editor do not coexist well with the current lighting system.
9- the performance of the engine is slow
i know other have mentioned doom and quake comparison, a more real word view would be the halflife 1 engine with shaders and a junk terrain system thrown in, and junk networking
alot of these issues are being addressed if you look at their forecast page, so hopefully they will get it right in their next iteration
there's a lot more. and, although the forum has a few decent coders and developers. the most vocal ones are pure jerkholes. whose delusion are part of the public record. truth and fact have no bearing in their world.
this has been my experience with 3DGS so far
yours may be different
Why 3D Gamestudio continues to hold it's place in the top 5 3D engines on DevMaster.net is really quite astounding. When you look at the features or if you have tried to use 3D GameStudio, you will realize how bad it really is. All of the other engines in the top 10 list are better than this.
Here's a quick run-down on the features:
Tools - 3
MED doesn't deserve to exist, other than as the only tool you can use to make a model 3DGS will properly handle.
WED is half-decent as a BSP based level editor, but it lacks many features, and takes a long time to compile the levels. Remember, if you are using an engine like Irrlicht or Axiom, you could model your level in 3DS max (without any of the numerous limitations of WED), save it, and run it in Axiom or Irrlicht without ANY compile times whatsoever.
Gamestudio has terrible support for any format other than it's own .MDL format. Importing a complicated model from 3DS Max is all but impossible. JPG isn't supported either - at least not last time I checked
Abismal. Try it, you'll see what I mean. Lighting is about as good as an average game from 1998 perhaps?
Terrible. The Terrain has to be kept to laughably low polycounts, and even then the player is constantly falling through it.
Bad. Long compile times, when you try to make a half-complicated shape, WED will say things like "CSG Limitation - No concave shapes"... Also WED lacks features like bevel or extrude - again, at least last time I used it.
Bad. Can't use Delphi or C# or C++. They advertise it as if you can, but 3DGS's support for the languages is so bad, really you can't. The only language you can use is their C-Script scripting language. It's OK.
OK. They advertise it, but it's still filled with bugs. It's only included in the $1k Pro edition, too.
Overall - bad. Don't use it. Try the trial, you'll see what I mean. As I say, all of the other engines on DEvMaster's top 10 are better - both Open Source and Commercial.
3D Gamestudio is a good engine for anyone starting out and isnt looking to make an AAA game. It has a satisfactory level editor, tons of features, a good scripting language and the worst and most incompatible model editor ever. If you want to make a simple game its fine, but as soon as you want to make a decent 3D game you will be looking for something else.
I've used this engine in a class that I took, and let me tell you, this C-Script that comes with it is baaaad news! Ugh, coming from a programmer, this is one of the worst "languages" out there. The only thing that makes up for it is that you can write plugins in C++ etc. Features are alright, quality is average. Nothing about this engine stands out other then the fair pricing. I recommended to my prof that we choose a different engine for next time.
I've tried to work thru the tutorials and templates that come with the comercial version of this product. THEY DON'T WORK PERIOD!.
I defie anyone at 3dgs to show me a working game...the tutorials they supply are very limited...and there is very little explanation of why things are done. For example, they will say to chage variable weapon_fire to 100 but not say why. The templates work for the beta version which took me a week to find.
3DGS is a Love it or Hate it engine... Personally, I like it, but only the Pro version, which I´ll be reviewing here.
Features: It have great features, the physics engine is neat, the standard features are good enough. The model editor is useless, and some people will talk a lot about the SDK, but I tell ya, this means nothing on 3DGS. Outdated lightining and shadowing.
Ease of Use: While 3DGS is very easy to use and it gives you three levels of usability, (The first one is hell easy... You get a FPS quickly) you´ll be kinda annoyed because the editors look like you´re using a early open source app, not very organized and you´ll spend most of the time tuning your world to give it a decent look because of poor features, and I mean it, because most of the tips from the Aucknec User Magazine are aimed at it. With Blitz3D, one of my favorite engines, with little code and no assets you can make a great looking game or demo in a little time.
Stability & Performance: I´m reviewing the A6 engine here... While it´s very stable and kinda lightweight, the A6 features a lot of bugs, Conitec released recently the 6.22 update, right after the 6.20... Let´s hope A7 don´t inherit those bugs.
Support: Conitec have a class A support. The community are not "community" enough, but the forum is huge. Lots of info.
Conclusion: 3DGS A6 Pro is a decent engine, but for it´s features, it´s a bit outpriced for Indie Developers and Enthusiasts. It´s more likely that for the price, you will stick with Torque and buy the Network and Shader Engine. But the other versions should fit other developer needs.
Kind of Engine (For all versions): Maker(FPS)/Prototyping/Indie Engine
Aimed for: Lone Developers/Indie Developers/Small Sized Companies
The whole run of A6 has been very bugged.
It's been a turd this year.
A5 was much more stable.
I'm a commercial engine owner, I must say that the guy that codes this engine doesn't have a clue.
He's a bug fighter, constantly defending his product.
This freakin guy runs away after every release he makes.
"I'm goin away for 2 weeks"
Get use to that quote this guys a runner.
All bugs are driver bugs to Conitec, LOL
There is one guy who holds this piece of crap
together, Im sure this is the only guy at conitec that understands games. He has a good background.
He makes the templates for there engine.
Although hes being handicapped by an inferior engine.
Full C should be coming soon, so conitec says.
Anyway, this engine is behind the tech curve, I have to agree with other users.
Gamestudio is fighting to make features work that were circa 1999 at best.
3D Programming All In One
Gamestudio is nice because the FPS framework is already there. Unfortunately, it is full of clumsy interfaces and components that, while ok on their own, feel like they are held to each other by string and duct tape.
I've been using it for about 2 years now, and while it is a complete package yes, the model editor is pointless and shouldn't even be considered as a model editor.
The other user has done some quality work with the engine yes, but nothing I've ever seen even resembles a game, mostly virtual walk thrus for companys and are not really impressive scenes.
Mostly small indoor spaces.
Lets get into the meat of the engine, first and foremost is control, the professional user has absolutly none -- period.
Alot of the more inexperienced users clamor on about the SDK, which is nothing more then a way to bypass using C-script language..
There no access to static light code bsp geometry code or anything else that would make it worthwhile.
Performance - The performance of the engine is somewhere around half-life 1 engine, when trying to build anything expansive indoor or outdoor, you will find yourself fighting the engine and the engine fighting you. This is why you never see any detailed large level screen shots from the community. It's quite a slow engine unless doing tight indoor scenes.
Looks - The static lighting of the engine isn't half bad, but the way it interacts with models or doesn't interact with models I should say is terrible.
All model are lit from brightness and color of the floor beneath them. Basically old technology.
Dynamic lights work well on geometry and models but your limited to 8 of those, there is an update somewhere down the road that will increase this to 128 but even so it will be limited to how many are in the same scene.
Ease Of Use - This is the big one for Gamestudio, while it is quite ease to get up and running quickly yes. As you get more experinced and try to build more detailed enviroments you find the product fighting you.
Let me clarify, with other engines Torque,Blitz,Cipher,Unreal and so on, it's quite easy
to build great looking scenes with out much fuss.
I find with Gamestudio, you spend alot of time adjusting materials and brightness values of models to get them looking right to fit the scene. This slows development down when trying to make bigger impressive levels. So most the time ease of use with Gamestudio simply doesn't speed up development it slows it.
In torque with the lighting pack, I could build a level indoor and outdoor combined in hours that myself and I'd bet most if not all Gamestudio users, would be fighting for days to match, and they wouldn't get it looking as good.
Source Code - You get none - period. And the SDK is just a crippled SDK to try and satisfy users begging for it.
Support - Support from conitec is excellent.
Development Speed of the engine - Slow, Conitec uses a 4 month beta cycle between updates to test new features which is a great system and I'm sure helps the stability of the product. The main problem is that many of the systems implented between updates are half done. On there website they do a comparison between all other engines out there.
They list there engine having terrain as does Torque and Unreal.
What it doesnt say is how inferior there terrain system is compared to these other engines, and I tend to find that most of there systems are implemented this way as I have explained.
They seem to be in a rush all the time to satisfy all the new users on there forum that are screaming for new features, and in the process they half implement the features and tack it on to rush the feature out the door.
I think that someday mabey years in the future there will only be a handful of users using this engine, who will always be around since everything on the face of the Earth has a group of hard core dedicated heroes who think their Orange Datsun is the best car that ever had three tires and a brick under one wheel put on the almost road.
I spent around $1800 on Gamestudio already and it was too much.
If you want to make demo or quick prototypes then Gamestudio is for you.
But if your interested in making a SHIPPABLE game then look elsewhere..
There's a much more inexpensive option that resides at the top of this engines list.
And purchase 3D Game Programming All In One to go with it.
Save yourself some time and money.
Who will pay for the license for a single project for one developer for such a hopeless engine.
You can not even download a version for tests. Documentation is shit and tools as well.
Again, I do not recommend heartily. Thank you for your attention and good night to the state.
PS. this engine should not be in this list
I dont want to repeat mistakes from the past. I am programming in C , 20 years now! Many other off shoot languages have come my way. Learnt many, left many. Many have ditched me half way thru my projects lacking foresightedness to withstand adaptation to newer technologies, hardware.
I have also programmed in 3DGS. fair enough. If i dont find a solution, I am sure I can find a work around. But I working on a new project for which I dont want to have my back against the wall. Coming to the point, I made commercial projects in 3DGS in the past. In spite of team efforts, time, money and energy spent on it, it remained a toy! And my producer is still making peanuts out of it.
I dont want my new game to be another *new* *improved* toy, While others are taking about XNA, XBOX 360 and Torque. I dont want to be in a toy league.
It is not that with 3DGS u cant make AAA title. I had this debate with JCL of conitec years ago. But big leagues does not only mean good engine, it also means if big, deep pockets are supporting it. Like Microsoft supporting torque. U can even get away with shady game when u r under the umbrella of big daddys.
The 3DGame System engine frustrates me.
I love the features, the availability of editors to cover the key areas of game design and that it's a very stable engine (I've never had an app crash on me made in it, unless it was due to creator error, forgetting a file, etc)
However, the 3DGS suffers two huge setbacks: Its pricing scheme and feature set.
I can't really understand Conitec's decisions on features to include in their different bundles, or what they charge for them.
Reflections are, unarguably, old technology. We're talking circa '97 tech here, folks; far from DirectX 9 pixel-shader effects like real-time refraction or displacement mapping.
Well, imagine being told you have to spend as much as $899 for the ability to have reflective surfaces in your game? That's what you can expect if you want to get mirrored surfaces out of the Conitec/Acknex 3D engine; something every other 3D engine out there, hobbyist level and up, have included their engines for years now. No joke.
How about $199 for the ability to use dynamic shadows? Another technology that, while newer than reflections, is still long removed of its "bleeding edge" crown.
Want a color depth greater than 16-bit, or resolution higher than 1024x768? Yep, expect to have to pay just shy of $200 for those as well.
Seeing a trend here?
I can't understand the pricing scheme, I really can't. It's the same pricing scheme from as far back as I can remember, and I haven't seen any real significant changes to it. This leads me to one of three conclusions:
1. Conitec is just that greedy.
2. They're that out-of-the-loop as to what is considered cutting edge, and worth charging extra for, for a while now.
3. All of the above.
The engine, overall, is out-dated and is screaming for an update.
As someone else here has accurately pointed out, the features that they put themselves on level with compared to other engines (Unreal2, etc) is not an honest comparison. For example, the Terrain support in G3D does not even come *close* to Unreal2 or Torque or several others they have covered on their comparison chart. Unreal2 and, to a lesser degree Torque, implement complete terrain *systems*, allowing modification of the terrain in the editor, multi-layered texture painting directly onto the terrain and the ability to set polys as invisible/passable so you can build into the terrain and create underground areas.
G3D's terrains are basically static meshes that are rendered, and nothing more. You're better off using an external BSP-based terrain solution (like Nem's Terrain Generator), which provides better results and more control with G3D, than their internal terrain setup. In any capacity, do not let the comparisons on their chart fool you.. they do *not* give the whole picture.
According to their future path, it seems to be finally crawling toward a more "modern 3D engine" status. But at what rate? With most every other engine worth a look now easily 2 or 3 generations ahead, are they ever going to try and really catch up, or forever remain years behind?
All that said, if you're looking for something that's great for prototyping or learning the overall flow of game design, it's a great package. But, unless the engine gets a major overhaul and some serious time-machine treatment to bring its feature list closer to the present, do not expect to create anything that can compete, in any capacity, with modern titles. Even many $10 bargain bin titles boast features more advanced than what the 3DGS can yield right now. If none of that matters to you, then it's probably worth your time to check out. If you're looking for something that offers more up-to-date technology and features, look elsewhere.
The A8 is a very good engine, with a lot of resources and easy to make a game, since a very low know about cod from the dev.
sorry about my terrible english.
maybe it is more easy to make a game with A8 than understand my english and review heheheheh
without multiple vertex weighting support?
for God´s sake!
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But there are good things about 3D Game Studio.
Essentially it demonstrates the core concepts of game engine implementation very good. This gives a beginner a pretty complete startup.
As pointed out earlier by another reader, the main user forum is an experience.
The amount of arrogance you can encounter at their forum is repulsive !
I only can second that. But that's a dynamic that evolved into a huge avalange.
It will not go away as long as the forum exists. Sadly, yes.
From an evolutionary point of view and as it stands now - 3D Game Studio has seen its best days. There is no arguing about that.
What would get 3D Game Studio a chance for evolvement:
Make 3D Game Studio Open Source.
It is the only way out of your situation.
You only will re-gain.
Think about it
AND!!!... A8 is OUT!!!!!!
im yet to try it out and test it against Unity 3D v3 and preferably a 3rd engine too.
What I couldn't find was the C++ SDK for 3DGS A8, and I hope Unity 3Dv3 has it.
if any of you have tried A8 please update us here...