Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, FreeBSD, Xbox
Languages Written In:
C/C++, C#, VB.NET
C/C++, C#, VB.NET
OpenGL, DirectX, Software Renderer
None (be one!)
The Irrlicht Engine is a cross-platform high performance real-time 3D engine written in C++. It is a powerful high-level API for creating complete 3D and 2D applications like games or scientific visualizations. It comes with documentation and integrates all the state-of-the-art features for visual representation like dynamic shadows, particle systems, character animation, indoor and outdoor technology, and collision detection. All this is accessible through a well designed C++ interface, which is easy to use.
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A free C++ engine is always good; But Irrlicht is the best one out there. I intergraded this into my In-Studio tool and it worked great. It’s well worth the small download and gives you good quality, for little to know experience.
Advantages: VERY easy to use, new projects can be set up quickly, very organized and uniform. One of the draw backs, (lack of shaders) has been taken care of in version 0.7. Yay!
Disadvantages: No terrain LOD (yet)
But since it's open source, you can add your own LOD support or anything else you might need.
(sorry for my bad english)
Personally I use Irrlicht 3d Engine because it is very easy to use. My c++ knowledge only came from reading the book "c++ for dummies" and few projects I made in 2D with allegro. Anyway, I'm able to create a lot of great things very easily: only 20 lines of code and you have a working fps with a map, moving camera, etc.
Others things like collision, dynamic lightning or loading external files are also easy to do because there are a lot of good and complete tutorials.
While it's easy to use, Irrlicht is also quite powerfull and it has lot of interesting features.
in the coming version 0.7 there will be even more features with a new material system (including shaders) and .NET support so you can use other languages.
I also like it because it is portable, pretty stable and fast enough (but there still could be improvements in speed and some more optimizations...)
Irrlicht have also a big and dynamic community on a great and interesting forum.
There are also a lot of third party developers on IrrlichtNX so there is a lot of future for the Irrlicht Engine. :-D
It's fast and very easy. It is my first 3D engine and I am learning a lot (3D graphics and C++) by working with it. It does miss some features (which Ogre has, that engine is still Irrlicht's big brother ;) ) but niko (Nikolaus Gebhardt) is working on v0.7 which will bring a new material system (shaders and such, hurray :) !) and other nice things. Also the community is great and very noob-friendly.
I'm using Irrlicht for my diploma work at university. Its fast, easy and powerful. The engine of my choice. (And I tested a lot.) I never had a problem with crashes etc, so stability seems to be ok. Support is excellent, because of the nice people in the forum.
The two main features of Irrlicht are that it that easy to use and its use-it-for-ever-you-want-and-its-free licence.
Unlike in other engines you'll be able to create games and fast 3d applications from the start, without the need of undergoing a long learning process. Yet the engine is quite powerful, it has for example collision detection and response, cool 3d special effects and is very easy to extend.
In addition, you'll find a helpful community wich gives a lot of support.
I find Irrlicht to be very powerful in the fact that it is the most modifiable and well constructed engine I've worked with. I think it does look as good as other engines, such as Ogre or Truevision or even Torque, the only difference is the textures or models used. Take any media content from any engine and use it in Irrlicht and you will produce the exact same results.
I personally implemented texture splatted terrain, geomipmapping, dot3 bump mapping, shadowmaps and many other graphics techniques with Irrlicht in a matter of no time. It is very easy to understand the structure of the engine and change one part of it without effecting the rest as a whole.
The only aspect of the engine I would criticize is perhaps the speed of Irrlicht's implementation of the Octree structure and collision. Other than that, everything else has met my needs thus far.
Irrlichts two strengths is its ease of use and its support.
While most of the support comes from the community and not the primary developer, that community is large, helpful, and active. Even basic Learn C++ questions are answered without flames and RTFM n00b.
Irrlichts scenengraph is easy to use, robust, and fast. Any type of game should be writable without any need to write or re-write your own scenegraph.
On the downside, Irrlicht is missing many advanced features, like shaders. Though since it is currently only on version 0.6, more advanced features should be expected.
Irrlicht is very easy to use, well-documented, and very well designed. It is not as powerful or good-looking as commercial engines but it is free. The full source is included so you can easily modify or add on anything you want.
I've tried 4 engines (Sdl, irrlicht, ogre and Panda3D) and well I was least happy about irrlicht
I initially chose it for its good 2D support (as opposed to ogre) but the importing of skeletal animations and working with them was really a pain in the *ss
good basic documentation, decent community
except for the animations no notable good or bad points ... average engine
You can forget Crystal Space and OGRE with their steep learning curves and their LGPL licenses, Irrlicht is by far the BEST 3D engine EVER! It has all the up-to-date features such as those in CS and OGRE and then some! You don't havto convert your 3D models into CS or OGRE format, Irrlicht supports just about all the major formats! Man, you just have to take a look at the features. Also this engine is LIGHTNING FAST! I think the real reason for this is it's clean, organised, and small code, which compiles into ONE .dll file with a SMALL file size! You WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS, but using the latest version of Dev-C++, and the latest Irrlicht SDK (0.10.0), I compiled the source code without ANY ERRORS WHATSOEVER! I just extracted the source, opened up the dev project file, and compiled, and BOOM! Its seriously that easy, check it out yourself! I can go on blabbering about how great it is. Even if you are a beginner C++ programmer (as in you are able to write and compile code) you can learn this FAST! I think this is enough blabbering. Please, do yourself a favor and DOWNLOAD IT NOW! Not to mention its i-dont-care-what-you-do-with-the-code license, you can just about do anything you want with it! Dont be bummed by the crappy models and levels (low poly count) in the SDK, Niko only did this to reduce the size of the SDK download. Take your own High-Poly models and levels and run it in the engine and see for yourself the DOOM-3-QUALITY! As in, take DOOM 3 models and levels, and use them in Irrlicht and see the SAME RESULTS, BUT FOR 100% FREE! w00t! Ok ill be done now.. :D
PS: Please note Irrlicht is a 3D Engine, NOT a GAME ENGINE, but, you can EASILY integrate physics and sound libraries (there are TUTORIALS on how to do this in the SDK!) and make your own game! :P