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Dim3 is an open-source freeware engine designed to be completely changeable without touching the code. For those that want to dig deeper, the code is also included. dim3 has a complete range of features and rapid-development editors. dim3 is designed for speed, ease of use, and ability to customize.
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This is for Mac only, as the Windows version is barely usable. Would be a great idea if it was implemented right.
I've been using dim3 for several years now -- In fact, it wasn't even at version one yet when I first discovered it. Production has been very fast considering it is being coded by only one person. Every month or so a new version is released -- Be it beta or final. Recently some key features are being added.
The editor and animator are great tools, but still need much work. After using them for as long as I have, my workflow in them is fairly quick. For beginners, however, it might be a bit slow. It is very easy to use them, but they are slightly slow to work with.
The engine its self is very functional. It has proven to be very stable on most systems. If there is a problem one simply must post it on the forum and it's fixed soon afterwards. Excellent support! Engine optimisation needs work. I find that it runs a lot slower than other games with twice the content. I suspect the algorithms could be far better. Shadows aren't soft. Reflection seems to be possible with GLSL shader code, although a lot people cannot write it, which brings down ease of use. Several key features in animating are missing. Alpha sorting is just coming out, which is good.
Overall, it lacks features and runs slower than it could. It is very easy to use and to learn to use and has great support. Because it is an ongoing project, I recognise new features will constantly be added from the community's request -- 3 for features, 4 for ease of use, 4 for stability and performance, 5 for support.
The first way I determine the usefulness and general aptitude of a 3D engine is to see how many projects are out there that have actually been made with the engine. To my surprise several different games are either in the works or are completed, built by the Dim3 Engine (shooters, racing games, and others).
Since it runs on the Mac it has an inherent stability that sometimes Windows engines don't have (at least in my experience). The forums and third-party sites related to Dim3 are numerous and well-rounded, with plenty of resources.
As far as features go: it has some built-in features that some commercial engines don't have, but still, the graphics aren't the best. Don't try to make at outdoors game with it unless you want to spend some serious time. The graphics are between Genesis 3D quality and Irrlicht quality. If you get my point: a few years out of date. Still, it supports characer animation, multiple cameras, dynamic lighting, realtime shadows, and other such useful features.
Basically, the lowdown: if you're on a Mac, try it. It can port your end product to Windows and Linux anyway!
EDIT: After use, I edit my ratings. I lower the features yet raise the support.