Savvas Eleftheriadis (aka Velzevoul)
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The Jolt3D! Engine is a real-time 3D game engine. The engine has been created for one reason: for easy access to the DirectX world, especially for beginners.
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This is the easiest engine you'll ever come across. It has so many functions that make complex tasks trivial. An example is jIs_Line_Intersect_Triangles(), which you can use to check for camera-to-object collision detection. Although it has lots of great features, and is easy to learn, it suffers from a major flaw. That flaw is: there's only one person developing it. He's a great programmer, very helpful, and kind. But it's such a large engine, that it takes some time for new features and bug fixes. If you're an experienced game developer, this engine is currently stable enough for a serious commercial game. Also if you're just a hobbiest, this engine is perfect because of the short learning time and amount of great features. Check out the forums at jolt-3d.sourceforge.net to see the examples and projects I've made to demonstrate how trivial your code can be to get surprising results.
I tried few engines: OGRE, Crystal Space, Blender.
As for me OGRE and Crystal Space are complicated a bit, and they are 'heavy', Blender has seemed to me a little bit slow, and it doesn't give a full control over your applications. Jolt3D is a golden mean for me. It is very 'light', very easy for use and among other things it is very powerfull.
PS: As it has been mentioned earlier, don't judge the engine by demos, try use it first.
Jolt3D! makes it easy. It has a simple function based interface with functions categorized into its subsystems.
The documentation is good, the engines comes with a "User Guide" which in fact is a reference.
Jolt3D! comes in a small package with a prebuilded DLL the header files and only a few others needed files. It depends on "Newton Game Dynamics" and "Bass Sound System" - but that should be included in the package.
The features are good but the engine lacks of a powerful scene management, indoor rendering and the landscape/terrain subsystem could be better.
I was impressed at first with all the features. Then the demo crashed after after about 12 examples. They have all their demos in one fragile exe...all 43 of them.
I tried to fix the demo to see the rest of the demos but it doesn't compile. I don't think he keeps the demo code up to date with the engine.
Also, to get any of the current stuff you have to fix the links on their webpage.
And last of all when I posted a message on the forums about these problems no-one even responded.
Right now I'm looking at using OGRE and Freeworld3D together. Much better support there and much more stable stuff.
( Updated July 07, 2006, scroll to bottom to see new text )
Was developing a game in another engine and after about a month we found problems that were not easily overcome, if at all. Started looking at other engines and downloaded demos.
It's a shame, but the majority of the demos I've downloaded for other engines just plain didn't work. Some engines were not in a format I was comfortable with (I used MSVC++ .net 2003, some required CGWIN, etc..).
Jolt3D's demos all worked. It seemed it had the basics for what we wanted, so downloaded source and finally decided to go with it.
Been working with it a few days and we are almost already back where we were with the other engine after a month! Well, it helped a lot that we are using C++ so a lot of my code was reusable, and all the GUI 2D are was reusable, the only thing we couldn't reuse was the maps from the other engine.
My map designer complained that Jolt3D didn't have lights like the other engine. Well, it does have lights like the other engine, it's just none of the demos showed it.
It also has a LOT more than the demos showed. It has networking, sound, keyboard, 3d file support (many supported), skydome, etc...
Also, most of the demos show terrain that's, well, looks subpar. It turns out you can get the terrain to look rather good if you take some time at it.
I also know the developer is still working on the engine, which is a great bonus.
The world editor needs a little work, but is rather good.
All in all, I would suggest this engine for both the beginner and advanced programmers.
Like all engines this one has a few quirks you just have to figure out. For instance, imported a .3ds building into map, but in my game it was showing "holes" and such. Changed bit depth from 16 bit to 32 bit and it looks great. At first I couldn't figure out why I couldn't see the terrain. Well, turns out it's easier to see the terrain when you actually move the camera to a spot over it and not outside the "world" :)
July 07th, 2006
Just an update to my report. All the "quirks" I talked about up there have pretty much been resolved. vlzvl
(the engine designer, I call him "V" because I can never remember how to spell that name :D ), anyway, Vlzvl generally comes out with a new version every month. Each version will include any bug fixes that have been reported and new functionality.
The last version included 3D sound, although it is not something I've had time to use yet, it is something I requested as well as a few others. Jolt3D is continuously being improved with users suggestions and feedback.
I am quite happy to be using Jolt3D as I feel it's becoming quite mature. I've increased the Stability & Performance from 4 to 5, as it's become extremely stable.
amazing engine, gives you easy access to directx , easy to use functions, has it all, and it can be usedwith dev-C++, thats a big plus, this is an excellent engine, wouldn't be surprised if someone wrote a commercial game with this engine, 5 stars all the way!
Thank goodness I have found this engine. I have a virtual headache from dealing with so many other engines (Ogre looks good on paper, but is only a rendering engine; Crystal Space looks good, but it has zillions of files, is complex, and not a full engine; etc).
This one has great features, is incredibly easy to setup and use, and has phenomenal support. The editing tools that come with Jolt3D! are solid, and seem to be getting better and better. Overall, the author seems to be very dedicated to this engine, meaning that it improves at a much faster rate than other non-commercial engines.
This is it, the search is over!
P.S.: Do not be quick to judge this engine by the 'awe-factor' of the demos and screenshots. Yes, they look outdated, but not because the technology is dated. Rather, I would say that the main reason for this low-quality-look is the fact that there is only a single author working on this engine (and he is clearly not an artist -- just check out his website =D ).
Anyhow, just remember that no matter how good the screenshots and demos are for an engine, YOU are the one who has to make a game that looks that good. Jolt3D seems easily able to match some of the best looking engines here -- the author is simply not the artist to do it ;) .
There are really only four free engines that I am considering and testing for my game: Panda3D, Q Engine, KjAPI, and Jolt3D.
While KjAPI seems very solid upfront, it is the only one of the four engines I am considering that is still in Beta release. That would not be such a problem if the developers worked on it frequently, but updates seem few and far between. Also, the feature list seems to include a few things that are in progress or to be done in the future (although most engines probably hype their features up a little, in this manner). Overall, concern for updates and uncertain license terms are driving me away from KjAPI.
Q Engine looks very tempting. It has solid features, and seems to have excellent support for 3DS Max and Maya. However, it appears to lack both network and AI features. These could be added some other way, but this issue reduces the ease of use of the engine.
I am mostly divided between the other two options: Panda3D and Jolt3D. I like that Panda3D has built-in AI, but Jolt3D has better features. Panda3D seems a bit more streamlined and user-friendly, but Jolt3D is progressing very rapidly and is more robust.
Overall, I will continue to play around with at least Panda3D and Jolt3D, both of which seem exceptional so far. If Jolt3D gets built-in AI soon... the decision may get a bit easier :).
I stumbled across this engine 3 days ago, downloaded it and tested it real quick , and was so amazed of it's flexibility and power. it has all the essential 3D features for writting games and VR applications. it's also simple yet powerfull , straightforeward and gives the user the ultimate access to directX functions without the headache of the API. a little knowledge in C++ is required though to be able to write applications since it uses C++ classes wrapped in easy to use functions like syntax.
The Author is a very nice guy who is thriving to improve his Engine and will answer any question in a humble professional manner. he is also very supportive and will do his best to solve/improve any problem or even a future request.
The Engine is always being updated, and new features are added all the time.
The author also has written tools to be used with the engines such as the great World Editor which allows you to create 3D worlds for your game effortlessly. There is also a nice particles editor for creating particles to be used in your game/app.
these tools are very easy to use, and make the creation of your games a breeze...
I have tested alot of other engines before I decided to use this one , OGRE , illrich (too involved & poor documentation), quest3D (too visual for me) , Torque (too involved - maybe in the future) , Blitz3d & DarkBasic (too simple & limited for me) , Blender (too visual) , PLIB (poor documentation) , HGE (2d only) .. and many many others ...
so, go ahead and give it a try , you will be hooked on it !
it has all the features that a commercial engine does with a plus of ease of use and it does not lack documentation or support either, and best of all !!!! <<< IT'S FREE >>> !!!!!!! ...
This Engine rocks ,and it should be in the TOP ten list !
My 2 cents !!!
I had tried many different 3D engines before trying Jolt3D!.
to name a few, in all there were about 30 or more.
Most of them did not contain all the necessary things for a game. Some didnt have sound, some didnt have physics etc.... And the majority of those engines were complicated to add game content into and containd HUNDREDS and some had THOUSANDS of files.
When i tried Jolt3D! the first thing i noticed was there were only 5 Files to the engine. And i got something to work right away. It now only has 3 files to make it easier.
When looking into its features i noticed it contained almost every feature needed. Feature requests made by myself and others have always been added or at least attempted.
When asking for help i got responses and suggestions from many people.
I have personally not noticed any stabilty problems, and vel is always working to improve the engine code and its performance.
I started playing around with this engine some months before, after having tried a couple of other engines. I had problems with almost each of these, but Jolt3D worked right from the start fine and was VERY easy to use. However it has all the features you need to make a great game. Velzevoul, the creator of the engine, is a very nice person and always helpful. I have some contact with him over the web and he helped me ALWAYS when i had a problem.
I can only say it´s a pitty, that this great engine is not more famous. Try it out, you won´t regret!