Engine default



Not specified


Supported Platforms:

Languages Written In:
C/C++, Basic, Delphi

Languages Supported:
C/C++, Basic, Delphi

Graphics APIs:

  (21 reviews)

None (be one!)

Royalty free 3d game engine designed to be easy to use, featuring C++ syntax, multi-bone skeletal animation, mesh warping, texture animation, accurate collision response, constraints, stacked objects, wheels with suspensions, volumetric shadows, particle systems, true mirror surfaces, 3d ogg sounds and more.

Supported Features


  • Plug-in Architecture Built-in chasing cameras, multiple simultaneous viewpoints, split-screen, custom sized viewports
  • Fixed-function
  • Fonts
  • advanced 2d and 3d rendering
  • Programmable rendering sorting
  • Environment Mapping
  • Particle System
  • Fire
  • Fog
  • Mirror
  • Render trails
  • Alpha/glowing surfaces
  • bumped environment mapping
  • Hardware rendered trail and particle systems, with programmable gravity, air-resistance, ‘melting’ and ‘burnout’ effects.
  • Classic and dynamic reflection mapping, true mirror surfaces


  • Per-vertex
  • Per-pixel Dynamic sun-like and local colored lights


  • Shadow Volume
  • Fully hardware rendered volumetric shadows which can cast shadows on object in scene.
  • Volumetric shadow receiving, casting and self-casting supported
  • Dynamic shadow casting for morphing meshes
  • Hardware rendered dynamic volumetric shadows


  • Basic
  • Multi-texturing
  • Bumpmapping
  • Mipmapping Alpha texture mapping, all available blend methods, advanced management of transparency sorting


  • Mesh Loading
  • Skinning
  • Vertex location, normal, texture coordinates can all be altered runtime. Vertices and faces can be generated and destroyed real-time too.
  • Glass rendering for both standard and skinned meshes

Scene Management

  • General


  • Skeletal Animation
  • Morphing
  • Import models directly from X format
  • Per-bone dynamic control
  • Controlled ragdoll physics
  • DirectX® skeletal animation (play/stop/reverse/speed-control), per-bone dynamic control, ragdoll physics, vertex animation (water surfaces, etc), and mesh morphing.


  • Basic Physics
  • Collision Detection
  • Rigid Body
  • Vehicle Physics
  • Ray collision
  • Classic and breakable joints, rotational stops, angular motors, soft constraints, springs.
  • Hi-level functions allowing for easy setup of wheeled vehicles with working suspensions (realistic car dynamics, accurate driving simulations, etc).


  • Client-Server
  • Client/server-based Network Messaging
  • Built-in synchronized-simulation system, providing straightforward methods to keep synched several simulations running on different connected computers.
  • DirectPlay’s client/server based networking supporting LAN and Internet connections.
  • Virtually unlimited number of players. You decide the amount of data to synchronize or share, thus allowing for extreme optimization and massive multiplayer games.


  • 2D Sound
  • 3D Sound
  • Dynamic 3d sound sources providing easy integration with physics simulation.
  • Global (position-independent) stereo and mono sounds/music.
  • Support for .wav and .ogg formats.
  • Dynamic start/stop/pause/resume control.
  • Fully hardware processed playing and mixing.
  • Built-in media player. Play intro movies (.avi, .mpeg, etc) with one single function call.


License Name Price in $US Source Code Included?
Proprietary Free No
Royalty-free and one year free upgrades. After one year you can purchase an additional year of free upgrades for $49.50.

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  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 gdev2 May 25, 2007 at 00:56

features: 5
This is a 3D graphic engine with lots of features to be used for game programming by programmers. It has ODE Physics already incorporated. Unlike many, I consider its picky mesh requirements for ODE as a good feature. Of course, the best is when a program fix holes in a mesh!

Ease of use: 4
If you know C++ and OOP programing, and you want to make your own classes/objects to finish a game software, this is the best choice.

stability: 5
I couldn't crash this engine, I used C++.

support: 5
Have enough to begin with. I had good experience with its forum.

This engine is for serious OOP/C++ programmers.

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Good, easy engine

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Baune Sep 21, 2006 at 13:59

I thought it was very easy to work with. If you start from scratch on a project it's better than if you already have lots of code you want to fit in here.

Reason why is that 3impact wants to do things it's OWN way.
You can't import other than direct x files and you can't create your own mesh using your own byte arrays.

This effectively stopped me from using the engine since I had written my own loaders and mesh generating code.
At least thats how it was when I tried it which is well over a year ago.

Other than that I liked what I saw. Physics is integrated and everything is very easy to setup using just a few function calls.

It's has some great graphics features which might not be ultra cutting edge (though very fast) but sufficient for most needs.

Good thing is of course the team is constantly upgrading.

What impressed me the most was the ease of use, every feature that might take 10-8 lines of code to envoke takes ONE line of code here !!!

I had NO problem at all using the engine from the BloodShed C++ compiler and VC+6. These things combines gives it a 5 star in ease of use.

I would also recommend it as a learning tool for every n00b out there. One thing that's important to understand about this engine
Its NOT a rendering library. It's physics, graphics, sound and network in ONE.

So even though theres not a world editor, this is truly a GAME engine. Or you could call it a Game Engine Library.

They have bindings for most languages except Java which I wasnt happy at all about.

But overall a very good little engine that is certainly worth 100 quits.

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What can I say?

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 JTilo Aug 29, 2006 at 00:37

Good ODE stuff, lousy approach (code wise) for taking advantage of the system. I don't think it will ever amount to much, just a toy, but for the folks with the code maybe.....

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Certainly easy to use

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 MrTAToad Jul 23, 2006 at 13:33

Had 3Impact for a while now, and whilst its certainly very easy to use (no need to muck around with C++ classes - the only other SDK thats this easy to use is DarkSDK), it does have a few sever limitations :

Everything needs to be done from a Run() function, which makes programming title screens, hiscore tables etc etc problematic - you need some sort of state machine to decide which area of the your program to deal with.

2D sprites aren't implented (which is a major problem has having to use 3D sprites for everything can be a hassle).

Program execution is fixed at around 60FPS (the function for changing that - as described in the docs. isn't implemented).

The license is, unfortunately, only for a year - so once that expires, you may have to cough up more money.

Support is good though, either via email or the forums.

Documentation is pretty good, but online only.

Graphics quality is good too (and is one of only a few that has functions for adding trails), ODE is pretty impressive, and its all smooth. There's just an impression of a lack of speed.

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Can anyone tell me...

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 RisingRealms Jul 08, 2006 at 23:32

...why 3impact is also that high in this ranking? The features are worse than TV3D, also no editors. It's not as easy as TV3D because you can't use all the languages you can use with TV3D.

It lacks multiplattform support, too. Performance seems to be good, stability and support, too. But like TV3D, 3impact is no game engine!

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Above average engine

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 eclectic May 19, 2006 at 19:16

Well... I guess that You can't get better engine for that $.
It really depends on what are You expecting from it. I find it very reliable and easy to use.

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Great all Rounder

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Pitmatic May 15, 2006 at 09:57

I have dabbled with a number of engines but for ease of use this really takes some beating and its being continualy improved and updated and the developers answer emails promptly (big plus).

It has its limitations but if you expect any generic engine to fullfill all your dreams with one or two commands you will be bitterly dissapointed.

If i have one critisism of the product it would be the devs need to better at marketing thier product and beefing the documentation up but the example programs really are very clear and it really is quite straightforward to use.

In the end use the technology your comfortable with and i would recomend anyone to trial all the technologies they can to find what suits them but i have found this a good fit.

Good Luck

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3Impact Best in Class!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 zumwalt May 10, 2006 at 19:01

Best forum support I have ever had, awesome and powerful engine, built in network support, built in physics, great and powerful tool, supports many languages, including vb.net and C#.net via free wrappers.

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3Impact is the BEST

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 mirekH2o Mar 25, 2006 at 08:32

The 3Impact is best thanks to its language support (C++, Delphi, VB, ...) and its big support by authors.
I think, the 3Impact game engine is the BEST commercial game engine.
If don't believe me ,you can try 30-days trial version. :D

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My review...

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 SPIDER Feb 13, 2006 at 14:57

This 3d engine is great, I am using it for about 6 month and I am really satisfied!
What can I say about it?
I appreciate the physics, I never had a single problem with the collision detection system, it s just perfect, the physic engine itself is awesome.
I would say, this 3d engine is more car racing oriented but of course other game type could be develop with it but my feeling tells me it’s just a perfect engine to develop a car racing video game...

The rendering is quite good, the processing is fast.

Customer service always answer my questions, also, there is a forum with a few high skilled people and those dudes are here to help, I appreciate that.

I see myself as a novice, I mean I am not that good with c++ but 3impact is easy to use, so it s not that painful and I learn c++ while developing with 3impact, that's cool.

The engine support only 1 kind of file format: *.x but it isn’t a big deal, it isn't a problem for me.

The price is fair, currently I am under a collaborate license which is half the price if I recall correctly, but I look forward to switch to a full license!

3Impact is a great engine ^_^

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Not for the "point and clickers", but for everyone else seeking for a full engine

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 khilkemen Oct 19, 2005 at 17:13

I've been using 3impact for about one and half years now, and so far I've been very satisfied with it. Now when the version 4.0 has come out, there are almost all the features I'd like my engine to have. All that's really missing, is custom shaders. 3impact has vertex buffers, good networking, support for multiple textures on the same mesh, and so on. Of course it lacks some features that other engines have, but mostly they are some high-end stuff (soft shadows, motion blur, HDR), that at least I don't need. (Yet, that is.)

3impact is a fast engine, or at least it isn't at all slower than it's competitors. I think most of the users will find 3impact to be easy to use. At least if you want to code your game, and not to "point and click" it together. 3impact also gives you control over nearly everything what's going on in your game. As expected, you can set just any DirectX rendering mode for your meshes, or define different split frictions for your collision couples' sub-parts. Not everything is supported of course, but more features are added with every new version.

From version 4.0 on, 3impact is provided as both .exe and .dll forms. The .exe version will execute a .dll done by the coder, but the .dll version is executed by the coder's own program. This makes it possible to use 3impact with just about any programming language supporting standart windows dlls.

One of the features that bring 3impact to the top is the physics. Yes, yes, the physics are based on the ODE library, but still they are accurate and intuitive to use. And it's only the physics that are based on the ODE, collision detection is coded by the 3impact team and has nothing to do with the ODE. There are of course some situations when the physics just go mad, but most often it's a mistaka done by the coder.

As for stability, 3impact has never crashed for me due to a bug in 3impact's code. It's has always been my mistakes, that crash the engine. Also, in most of the cases the engine won't crash, but instead it tells what the problem is. As one can expect from a good engine.

I think the support team for 3impact is one of the best out there. There have been few times, when some new feature hasn't worked on everyone's computers as supposed to. Each time the problem has been solved within two days, even if it was just a very rare problem with certain type of graphic cards.

Also, as expected again, the developers listen to the users. In many cases a feature asked by a user has been added to the very next version of the engine.

The source code for 3impact is not provided, but at least it means that a new version of the engine won't be missing a feature from the earlier version. That is sometimes the case with open source engines, if you've done some nice feature yourself, but the same method won't work in next official version. Still, the developers are considering a possibility to license the source code for some high price.

So virtually I really have no bad word to say about 3impact. It has served my purposes well, and soon I'm about to release my first complete game done in 3impact (not my first game ever, just my first game with 3impact :P).

(Did this get posted twice??? I did some editing, but now the old version seems to be there too.)

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many features that don't work

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 engine_master Oct 17, 2005 at 03:07

i have tested this engine and found that many of the mentioned features are broken and are not stable. so many bugs that are not fixed. the owners of the engine are busy adding more broken features and porting it to other languages instead of fixing the so many bugs that stoped many of the users from finishing their work. you can easily find about the so many bugs this engine has by visiting the engine forum.

i forgot to mention that documentation is worth nothing. by the way they say the examples source code is heavily commented. check out how many comments you can find and how useful the comments are.

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I like it

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 SongAngel Sep 28, 2005 at 01:44

What really attracted me to this engine was the simple API and integration of physics. It's very easy to enable realistic physics for any "body" in your scene.

I am hardly an expert programmer with 3D, but I have tried several of the engines out there and this summarized what I found:

Crystal Space - great features but you need a degree to learn to use it
OGRE - you need too many other libs to create a useful game (it's not a game engine).
3D Gamestudio - easy to use but too proprietary on file formats and the modeler sucks.
Irrlicht - very cool but documentation is lacking.

Anyway, my frustration lead me to 3Impact and I purchased the full license. So far, I like it a lot and here is what I've found:

1) It's very fast and easy to use.

2) The API puts the burden on the engine not on you as the programmer. The logical heirarchy of the classes is nice.

3) It supports MingW and could really be ported (and has been) to just about any other language since it's DLL based.

4) The community is outstanding and even the developers answer questions regularly and take feedback seriously when looking at making changes or adding new features.

The few things I don't like are:

1) It has no support for loading of meshes other than DirectX files. (yes you can convert them to .x)

2) It has no built in LOD (but you can write your own I suppose)

3) You have to "combine" two or three models into one in order for the physics to work properly and it requires playing around with the values a bit. (it does comes with the converter).

Overall I would say that it's worth the purchase price and I don't think there is any perfect solution aside from writing your own engine.

The engine does support the most advanced features that people expect from todays games and the API makes them very easy to use!

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the limit is yourself

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 genetransfer Aug 22, 2005 at 03:29

I've been using this engine for the last eight months, and prior to purchase had no exposure to C++,(although i had used 3DRad prior to this so i had the fundamentals down),but that being said i have not found anything that i can do with this engine, and going from no C++ coding experience, this engine really helped me understand it, although like anything there are your intitial frustrations not understanding new things but once you break the pain barrier it all becomes simple. So the learning curve is quite good, but i believe i had the advantage of not having to unlearn another engines way of doing things i had a clean slate. I plan to actually release a commercial game with this engine eventually, as the only limitations i see are ones inability to adapt to new things, lack of creativity (not just modelling, as coding is an artform in itself which i believe should have its own gallery:)) and knowledge. I think alot of people go in with the misconseption that an engine will make you a great game as its the reverse, an individual has the ability create a great virtual experience, and in my experience with this engine it is a fantastic, and powerful tool to express creativity. Im a freelance 3d artist so this engin has given me the ability to interact with my creations. overall making an informed choice based on your own limitations is the aproach to take and make a great game whatever engine you choose.

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True Real-World Simulation

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 vertigo Aug 19, 2005 at 21:22

I have been developing entertainment based software and hardware for many years. I came across 3Impact just over a year ago and wanted to provide some feedback as to my experience using this software development kit - SDK.

3Impact's revolutionary technology allows you to create interactive applications that accurately simulate real-world conditions, the learning curve is small due to the varied examples containing well commented source code. Stability and performance is great, I have run applications on dozens of machines and never had a problem.

Compared to other engines 3Impact only lacks when it comes to importing file types, it currently can only import .X meshes. I personally have not found this to be a limiting factor.

Past projects have included applications controlling high-end motion systems and when used in conjunction with 3Impacts vehicle simulator the results are fantastic. Most of my customers comment that the motion is just like a real car or boat or plane and this motion model is 100% 3Impact.

I highly recommend 3Impact if you’re looking to develop state-of-art simulation type games, with low cost, ease of use, high performance and rock solid stability there is nothing else like it.


SDK Update:

3Impact is currently at v3.8a with v3.4 to be released September 2005, one big improvement will be a .DLL version allowing the developer to integrate 3Impact directly into his / her application and written in any language.

See the web site and forum for regular updates don't be afraid to ask at the forum the support / feedback is GREAT!

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Don't trust them!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 SoulReapeR Aug 15, 2005 at 21:51

This engine is definatly not worth $99, there are many engines (free/open source also) better then this one out there, don't waste your money on this!
Also i lost a big deal of respect for the company that created 3DRad (I think that 3impact is made by them as well) because the sample demos come bundled with, guess what? SPYWARE!! Yes those stupid "sphere" demos come bundled with spyware, not in the isntalation but on the uninstall, thank god webroot warned me cuz it was one of those memory running ones (the meanest), and I can't aford to have spyware on my computer, since there are many important things on it. Same scam as those programs that say "spyware free instalation" and install it when you run the uninstall. Sorry for my bad english (i'm portuguese) but still... I hope it doesn't happen to you.
Regarding the engine, Its not bad but, not good either. Lacks features, and well, there is better and cheaper.

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With a toaster, rubber band, and frisbee I could make a better engine than this one

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 FaceOfMankind May 10, 2005 at 20:08

3impact is easy to use, which might be a good thing for people delving into the code world, but too rigid for hardcore coding.

Having no way to directly access the DirectDraw surface (e.g. having to use the JEDI lib instead) is a major pain in the ass. Also, if ODE is the controlling factor in the physics, why lock it down and not let exposure to the ODE core be used? Instead you have to sift through the 3impact iBlahBlah physics functions and your basic ODE knowledge doesnt mean jack, if you know it.

And like the dude before me said, only .X files? There are hundreds and hundreds of resources, encapsulations, wrappers and everything else on nearly every 3D graphics format out there. 3DS specifically is a no brainer. Sure you can use 3DS to export to X, then do all the conversions, only to see it doesn't work and why? Who know's because you have to create a collision group, mass object, AND model and pretty much guess the precision of each "face" on the model to get a terrain working with the model in question.

I've tried A6, which is a horror, and PowerRender, whose support staff is worse than their engine.

I don't knock people for doing great work, understandably enough a "game engine" in entirety is extremely hard to make.

My suggestion to everyone, if you want to make a "5 star E3 striking" game. Save your 99$ and either

1) Code your own engine, which is what my dev team is doing - or
2) Save enough loot to buy a descent engine. Sure the best ones are large in price, but the outcome could make you alot more than you put into it.

And yeah, the DLL locked into an EXE file might be "one way" to code an engine that you are selling, but its a bad way. For an engine your using for your own game, singularly, its a good idea.

One last word, SHADERS! That's all I got.

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Horrid File Support

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Johan May 10, 2005 at 11:02

The best thing I can say about this engine is that it is realy easy to use. It seems to have a good set of freatures but lack in a number of areas:

1) File Support, only .x? your joking right.
2) General speed disallows it from being used in large scale games
3) Shader support is limited. Although it has some pre build in shaders such as environment mapping and bump mapping.

The physics exposure in this engine seems quite good.
Sound is quite good.
Demo's are quite good.

I personally use this engine on a day to day basis.
It's cheap and you get what you pay for.
Time will tell if they will expose enough of the engine and provide sufficient documentation on performance enhancement.

I do not see you developing any comericial game with this engine unless it's a realy small game.

Realy people, you have to support more than just .x files.

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3Impact is a great deal

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 DejaVu Feb 27, 2005 at 16:43

I have been working with the trial version for about a month and full version for about a week. The simplicity of this engine is great, but the features are amazing. Technical support is fast, responsive,personal, and relentless. Cost is minimal for the power. This engine does not design the game for you, but allows you to develop almost any genre you can think of from first person shooter to third person rpg. It offers full network support for multiplayer action, big plus in my book. Demos are WELL commented. Only downfalls for me ..... tutorials are currently limited. But I think this will change as more developers discover the capabilities of this excellent product.

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Well designed, but no Mac support

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Bitfuel Oct 16, 2004 at 10:35

After brief evaluation I bought the full version one week ago as collaborative user - half price - because I needed a quick interface to prototype a pc/mac game with deadline 12/31/2005.

I found the API extremely well organized and powerful. Rendering, physics and mutiplayer systems are perfectly integrated and, above all, collision system worked at my first attempt!!

Another good point is advanced ragdoll and skeletal animation support that you can only find in expensive products and some of those clumsy open sources at sourceforge.

Tech support has been prompt so far.

I managed to put together my prototype in 3/4 days! Its surprising for such a cheap software. I would certainly use this engine for the real game in place of licensing a multiplatform expensive gdk, but 3impact doesn't currently support Mac. Too bad!

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  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Fiz Aug 23, 2004 at 22:03

The engine has some cool points, but with no engine source, and having to work of a .dll entry, crazy limitations on video resolutions, no info on the geo formats, slow compling to engine formats, no way to really automate content, it just turns me off. Cool demo's but in my opinion the engine is really just for the developers, with purchaser's just beta testing. A DX engine with a good ODE/collision implementation jammed in, nice shadows and neat sample coding (The only good thing I can say). If you like following a ball around go for it. Oh well, wish I had my $99.00 bucks back, a bad ivestment, tossed it, it happens. Bottom line, I think the whole deal sucks.

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Last edited Dec 28, 2011 at 13:11

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