Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Nintendo Wii, iOS, Browser-based, Google Android, WebOS
Languages Written In:
OpenGL, DirectX, Software Renderer
- User Reviews
ShiVa Engine is dedicated to run games produced by the ShiVa Development platform. It can run on several devices (PC, Mac, PDA, Mobile Phone) in standalone engine or web browser plugin.
- Object-Oriented Design
- Plug-in Architecture
- Gloss maps
- Shadow Mapping Cascaded Shadow Mapping
- High Level
- Mesh Loading
- Occlusion Culling
- Forward Kinematics
- Keyframe Animation
- Skeletal Animation
- Animation Blending
- Rendering Ocean
- Basic Physics
- Collision Detection
- Rigid Body
- Vehicle Physics
- Decision Making
- Finite State Machines
- 2D Sound
- 3D Sound
- Streaming Sound
- 3D Sound
- Streaming Sound
- Streaming Video
- AI model for designer editor
- Ambience editor
- Animation editor
- HUD editor
- Terrain editor
- Material editor
- Navigation editor
- Particle editor
- Trail editor
- Lightmap compiler with ambient occlusion
Using LUA to define autonomous objects behaviors.
|License Name||Price in $US||Source Code Included?||Additional information|
|Standalone or web-browser plugin engine|
|ShiVa PLE, for personal use only. Development of games for distribution is not permitted.|
|ShiVa Unlimited, for small teams. No advanced tools, royalty free|
|Full version. For students and staff for instructional, research, and other academic purposes, royalty free.|
|ShiVa Advanced, full version, royalty free.|
I've been using ShiVa for about two years now, I've released one 2D game with it ( on multiple platforms ) and am nearing the release of two other much larger 3D games, for both Desktop and Mobile platforms.
ShiVa's main strengths ( in my experience and for me ) is ease-of-use, out-of-the-box features, the ammount of/and platforms it supports, powerfull and easy to use Scripting (Lua), the painless art pipeline ( very important ), the price and licensing, and the friendly staff and community, and the support when I've needed it.
ShiVa is easy to learn for anyone that has at least some basic background in 3D, programming or scripting knowledge.
By taking the time to properly learn the basics ( such as becoming very familiar with the editor first, as you would with any 3D tool ) then moving on, a step at a time, instead of trying to take everything in all at once, again, like any sensible person would learning any complex tool, It now feels second nature working in ShiVa.
I don't plan on going back to writing games where I have to write everything myself, spend months on developing complex systems, writing pathfinding routines, getting Shaders to work properly with the rest of the engine, trying to support multiple and new platforms, getting Physics to work where the game is actually playable, writing editors, I could go on and on.
With a tool such as ShiVa, you can just focus on developing the game, and bringing it to market as soon as possible.
I suggested ShiVa to a friend a while back, and after only one night he said he "just couldn't get his head around it".He was getting mixed up with "sensors" confused about "colliders" and scripting was confusing with all these "handlers". He became quickly overwhelmed by the interface, got frustrated, and then gave up, not necessarily in that order ;-)
After taking my advice ( starting with learning the editor basics properly ) and spending a couple of weeks reading tutorials ( it's all there on the ShiVa developer website ), After about four months, he is now well on his way to finishing his first IPhone game made with ShiVa. He has limited scripting knowledge ( made a few mods ) and is mostly an Artist.
Im no ShiVa fan boy either, I've let them clearly know in the past when there was a problem, and I gave Unity a good month of learning and working with it, It's very good, but I now just prefer working with ShiVa than with Unity. As with any tool or language, you should always go with what you feel most comfortable with, and what will get you to the finish line in the shortest time possible.
I haven't posted for help much in the two years I've been using it ( most things you can sort out on your own ), but when I have or when I've needed to email support, My problem has always been sorted out or fixed, and they have always been polite and friendly.
The days spending months writing complex systems and code, just to get basic results up and running for me, is long over.
I've worked with everything from Virtools, Quest3D, Power Render, BlitzMax and Blitz3D, Ogre, pure C++/DirectX/OpenGL,and tons of other casual game frameworks, open source engines, and with third party libraries.
Tools such as ShiVa and Unity are not limited "click together" tools as some would have you believe, If your Indie, and are a small team, going with either one would be a wise choice IMO. Which one you go with, depends on what you want for your money.
I'll finish my review, regarding some of the comments about ShiVa being buggy. Stonetrip has really brought ShiVa up to par lately, and there are several reputable game developers now using ShiVa ( names removed ) that have released many decent games on many platforms without problems.
Good mobile engine.
I primarily bought ShiVa as a replacement for Unity3D for iPhone development. In comparison ShiVa is much better priced and there are no restrictions on displaying the Unity3D default.png logo upon application startup. I also found that ShiVa was able to build for Android also with no changes to the existing project, which at the time of using Unity3D was not possible although I believe this may be possible in the future.
In terms of features I have found not much difference between Unity3D and ShiVa whilst developing for the iPhone, this includes the physics implementation in both engines - I find the physics (ODE) in ShiVa very good for what I require on a mobile device. I must add that I have not built an application using OpenGL ES2, only OpenGL ES1.
I did find that upon adding many physics entities (colliders/sensors) in ShiVa that the game performance did suffer a little on the iPhone (3G). I think this is possibly a limit to the device itself.
ShiVa was very easy to pick up and use although I did find the scripting a little strange at first (Lua) as I came from a .Net/C# background and I like the ability to use OOP features which just don't exist in Lua. Having said that I can see how Lua is much easier for somebody with no programming experience to pick up, possibly not so for C# (used by Unity3D).
I did find some disturbing limitations to using Lua that are possible in C#/Obj-C but this is to be expected from a scripting language and there is work-arounds that would seem odd when using OOP techniques.
Documentation for the ShiVa engine is very good and the forum support is top notch in terms of people willing to help you. I did find this was similar for Unity3D although I hear that now that Unity3D is becoming more popular the forum support is becoming less helpful.
My only real gripe with ShiVa is that I have submit 3 requests from within the engine menu with issues, 1 was over 5 months ago and I am yet to receive a response from StoneTrip. I have had a few issues with the IDE freeing on Windows 7 with the only way to fix the issue is to restart the software.
Overall I think ShiVa is a great engine for developing mobile device games at a fantastic price and at a rapid rate. In terms of value for money, Unity3D just doesn't come close. If you want to get rid of Unity3D's awful logo in-game you have to purchase the full Professional edition AND the iPhone Professional software which is a bit of a rip-off in my opinion. I understand some will disagree!
Excellent Engine with Outstanding Tools
Shiva is and excellent engine with superb tools. I have tried a number of development tools from Unity, to SIO2, to Dark Basic, to even creating my own and have found Shiva to be the best option for my needs especially when turn around time is taken into account.
The engine is very stable and have noticed very few crashes (almost all of which have been due to mistakes I have made in code or going beyond the platforms capabilities (ie iPhone).
The engine works very well across all of the platforms I have built for (mostly iPhone, mac, desktop) and has does an excellent job of scaling feature to match the platform I have built for. For example I am able to build the same game for both windows and the iPhone and the the engine will automatically disable features that are not supported such as normal maps and shaders that are not available. The only issue I ever ran into was using terrain on the iPhone where I made the terrain too large for the device to support. This was easily fixed by properly sizing the terrain for the device.
The one issue I do see with the engine is the lack of being able to create custom shaders, though the engine does include a number of nex gen features built in that covers most needs.
The tools are very intuitive and turn around time is very quick. It was vey easy to just jump in and create something very quickly. I really like the material creation and using drag and drop for assigning materials, textures, and AIs really speeds up the process. The interface is well organized and easy to use. It works the way I think and so was very easy to wrap my head around what I was doing without being impeded by the tool itself. Having autocomplete is also very helpful as I do not need to constantly reference the documentation to find the syntax I need. In comparison I found that when using Unity I spent more time searching for options in the GUI to do what I wanted than actually building the game, and when using SIO2 and Dark Basic not being able to see the the realtime result while I was working really slowed me down.
Shiva support is very good. Whenever I had a question and needed help I was easily able to email the developers or post in the forums and get a response very quickly. The forums though are really the best I have seen. The community is always ready to help out. It is also one of the only forums where I have seen an outstanding response from the Shiva admins, whether dealing with technical issues or just questions of how to do things, the Shiva admins are there and active helping out.
Overall I have found Shiva really nice to use and very quick to get started with. The more I use it the more features I find and the more I see just how robust it is.
I'm a Shiva user and here my opinion! Shiva rocks for many reasons, it is very userfriendly, it is powerfull, it has very great and intuitive tools, it has the most rapid and efficient visual compilation (multiplatform) tool that make us able to build an app for multiple targets in few SECONDS, it has a great support anytime we need help the directors of the project and community will give us a solution.
Believe me with Shiva we developed, from the groundup, in few weeks an iPhone app that won the first price as the most innovative application during the most important Italian ICT event. Now we are porting this app directly to other platforms and is matter of days using the new Shiva Unified Authoring Tool......
Thanks Shiva, we are not only enthusiasts developers but !PROUD! developers
ShiVa 3D - Is it for you?
First off, I'm relatively new to the iPhone market.
I've had about a years experience in development for the booming platform; however I'm a 5 year veteran programmer in languages like PHP, Java, and Actionscript.
ShiVa is an excellent tool for me.
I'm a very visual person, so having a GUI is necessary.
ShiVa's best feature is, well, it's features!
Most appealing to me is the editor itself. Having everything presented in an orderly fashion is great.
ShiVa also has a great particle system.
I recommend Shiva if you have some programming knowledge and are willing to spend some time with a somewhat steep learning curve (mostly due to the programming language, Lua).
Overall, a great engine for anyone looking to jump into the iPhone market.
A great engine once you get around the curve
When i first started using ShiVa I had very little expiriance in coding anything - just some small project in unity. The code samples didn't help much and the tutorials had huge gaps in them as far as the scripting aspect. ShiVa lacks the resources needed for training those who have never used a game engine before or who have only focused on graphical aspects of game development. However after tackling the learning curve I've found ShiVa to be one of the most impressive engines I've used. I find that you can accomplish very much in ShiVa with very little time. It's tools are powerful and useful after learning how to use them. After getting used to ShiVa the possibilities are endless. It does have other flaw though - it's import pipeline can be rather tricky for those who use free 3d modeling applications like blender and truespace and the information in some of the documentation is a bit out of date. The community is very helpful at times but sometimes you might be ignored all together. I would recommend ShiVa to a determined beginner that knows enough about code to get started or an intermediate artist who knows enough code to understand the scripting. I would also recommend it to advanced users who want a tool that works well and quickly with great potential results.
Features - It's features ensure quality and deserve notability - the only down side is that they are hard to make use of at first.
Ease of Use - I believe that ShiVa is a very simple tool to use once you get used to the layout and the scripting language. The learning curve is very steep for beginners though.
Stability & Performance - ShiVa is optimized quite well for this generation of computers but people with older systems might find themselves unable to play games made with it - also I've had the tool itself crash on me once or twice.
Support - The only form of support that I've seen available for no cost is the forums and the helpfulness varies based on your problem - it's a nice community but they don't have all the answers you might need.
Perfect for self-developpement
With lots of supported features, i have all i need and don't feel frustrated.
Relatively easy to use with a complete API and user friendly interface. High skilled developpers may be first frustrated because the code is more limited than C++ but they can play with the SDK.
The support is excellent, the response average time is under 24h.
Since the 1.8 version, the plugin is very stable on every systems and machines and the installation of it is very clean.
The framerate is correct on my iphone 3G.
Export from maya and 3dsmax with collada works perfectly...
A very good soft.
WOW (from a beginner)
I am looking for a comfortable way to create games for over a year. I Started with Dark Basic Pro (we have to start somewhere) moved to Blender (extremely buggy), 3D Rad, that was nice, but limited. It became free after I bought it. Mad I moved to Unity, worked 6 mounts with it. When you come from scripting only and you find Unity you say wow. But when you come from 3D Rad you say ok. Unity was a little too much for me scripting part. In a nutshell I was asking myselve: why use so much code while it can be so simple. When I was looking for a engine after RAD I looked at Shiva. I din't know what Shiva was. More I use it, more I like it. It is exactly what I am looking for. I speak French and I can put that engine in french and ask support in french by email.
In shiva there is so many way's to do the same thing. When moving from Unity to shiva it is not that easy.
There might be only a few in the chat compare to Unity, but I progress 10x faster in my project and learning the engine than with Unity that have hundreds in the chat room.
If you are a starter in Unity... they don't want you. In Shiva there is a Beginner section. I believe everyone should find the engine that suit them the best. So far Shiva is #1, and unity is gone. It look like ShiVa they used they engine, Unity kinda grey, depressing. Shiva have nice color. When you are stock with a engine better have one you like, cause you will pass a whole bunch of time on it. So my concern is more learning than other thing. They have the PLE version I can make shadow, unity => 1500$ for shadow ;(
The IDE is way supperior that what come with unity UniScite. The AScript editor is really nice. When you change the name of a variable, it change it in all script, that is nice. The Scene explorer is supperior to unity Hierarchy, you can know what object have what scipt linked to it in a sec. In unity I have to open each object in the hierarchy, a long process.
Acessing the API help file is not a slow browser like unity, it is a fast helpfile. Many people that use Unity should consider Shiva. Unity block SVN and you have to buy the server, Shiva dose not. I never choosed Unity really in my hearth, I just wanted to leave 3D rad and find something better. I learned alot with Unity, but now time for something else.
It worth to learn it. I am sure we will ear more and more about ShiVa.
[EDIT] The engine is going in all kind of transformations. It now export to all kind of devices. But do some research on the forum, or just ask the forum if you target a market, it dose not mean it will work on all devices. Also they don't test on all devices their engine. Your''s to discover. But they do alot of updates on the exporter, so it's a good sign.
iPhone developers read:
As a lot of 3d engines today are used for 2d projects.. Please be warned that this engine is not suitable to be used for 2d game or GUI heavy projects.
Its GUI system - that would probably be your 1st bet for 2d - is targeted at FPS games and features strange coordinate system that results in inability to position 2d 'sprites' pixelperfect-ly and results in a lots of unwanted textures stretching and blurring.
This goes out especialy to iPhone developers since iP compatible 3d engines are used heavily for 2d on iPhone.
If you'll want to mimic some iPhone feature or gui elements with Shiva, you will run into a lot of trouble.
Im not sure what Unity offers, but since I see a lot of 2d games done in it, it might have a better ground for 2d games. Didnt test myself though.
Stable with a high range of possibilities
This engine offers a lot of tools for videogame development. The best of this engine is his stability. The import function are completely functional and support various kind of archives. It has a very nice HUD with an easy use and can start to make a game with a few knowledges.
Other advantage is the high graphics capability supporting the latest shaders for next gen games: cascade shadow map, normal mapping, pixel map etc
The best advantage is to compile for diferent plataform:
Pc, Mac, Linux, iPhone, Wii ...
Very impressive, lots of bang little price
this is the little engine that could, the dev tools look like they wish it was as easy as Unity
but for 200$ you get a lot of features Unity only offers in the 1500$ pro version
Plus you get free iPhone publishing included (though pretty difficult) in Unity it's another 1500$ (though, admittedly Unity iPhone is abetter solution, but 10 times better to justify 10 times the price? maybe not)
if you are thinking about unity, give this a review
there's a "personal learning edition" so u can basicAlly have an unlimited demo, and prove out everything you want to do b4 u spend any money
A good Web3D tool
After testing Turntool, a working engine, but only ditribute in the form of a 3DSMax (or Autodesk Viz, ArchiCAD, Cinema4D, MicroStation) plugin, and without specific interface for managing scripts for interaction, the transition to Shiva was done with great ease.
Indeed, by presenting an original interface,
but mostly functional, the soft uses powerful and complete tools panel, the organization of the scripts is logical and practical, the display engine is powerful and effective,
and different output formats enable production to decline for many platforms and uses.
Note the ease of installation of the 3D player in its latest version (1.8).
The support is responsive, the community is dynamic and the production studio quickly evolve their product, with thinking and concerted manner.
For now, I do not see why I will look elsewhere.
One of the best game engine
I worked in few studio with various engine and i think Shiva is the best engine to develop games.
In Pirogue Studio, we've developped two games with:
-7m Handball Contest available on PC, Mac and iPhone:www.7mcontest.com
-Dinky Ball for iPhone and iPod: www.dinkyball.com
Shiva is really easy to use and performances are very good!
Now, Pirogue Studio developp a next gen game with Shiva.
Powerful and easy to use
Best thing is the very high number of devices supported by Shiva. You can easily make a lot powerful "next gen" effects for high performances devices, and in the other hand, make games for iPhone or other mobile device, in a "old scholl" style. Very productive and easy to use, the best choice for me.
One of the best
I have used ShiVa now for over a year, and I personally believe that it is by far the best value-for-money offering on the market. Yes, Unity may have some better features etc., but look at the price!
Also, I have found the forum to be well run, and you can almost guarantee that at least one of the devs is online every day.
With regards to the engine itself, I have found it easy to use, relatively intuitive, stable, excellent performance and you seem to be able to actually do what you want to do without having to jump through hoops to do it.
I'd also like to add that the community is excellent, with some very knowledgeable people about. These people are always willing to help, so long as you help yourself first, by checking that your question hasn't already been answered! And also there is the community input, such as the 17 chapter book that introduces ShiVa, and shows you how to write a simple game (take a look at the ShiVa website to download a copy).
Lastly, I would suggest that you download the FREE PLE version, and see for yourself just how easy building a game in ShiVa can be, before parting with any of your hard-earned cash.
A winning engine
I have been through many engines, including TGE, TGEA, DarkBasic Pro, DXStudio, and TV3D, but ShiVa is the best one. Compared to these other engines, ShiVa has the FEATURES (other ones might be easier but have less features) and ease to use combined in one enviroment. I like working in one window instead of having many tools and combine the game in the script part. I used to hate this engine because it sounded like a god and loved DXStudio, but unfortuanately for me, DXStudio had super sucky physics with vehicles so I tried Shiva. It works like a charm! However, the support is a little lacking; I find that DXStudio has better support.
Still, I would recommend this engine to everyone!
low cost, incredible value - a must-try
this toolset is worth every recommendation. want to make a game that looks great while making it really to set up, including shaders, high level scripting, physics etc? use shiva. you want to play it in your browser? use shiva. but it should run on mac and linux, too! with shiva, publishing to the major OSes is a matter of some few clicks. are you a mobile developer focussing on the iPhone? with shiva and dozens of shiva powered applications already in the app store, you cannot go wrong.
let's have a look at my rating.
- nice editor, easy to use once you read the tutorials. well organized. stable.
- shaders are easy to customize. to make your games truly cross-platform without changing a line of code, you cannot add custom shader files (yet), so you are "restricted" to what's already in there, but i bet it's all you need: normal-, sphere-, specularmapping, post processing like sepia, DoF and motion blur are just a small selection of what you get.
- shadow mapping is yet one of the weaker points of the engine, though it's worked on that issue. shiva brings its own shadow prerenderer for static shadows which is rather slow, but gives you beautiful results, but you can always import your prebaked shadow maps from 3ds max or alike. dynamic shadows received a huge update in 1.8, though are not yet on par with, say, unity (pro only) or alike.
- great support for texture files, music, HUD editor, megatextured terrains with roads and vegetation layers, ... everything out of the box.
- frameworks (premade code-sets) thjat let you create simple applications with almost no coding
- web player: play your games in your browser!
- iPhone, wii, smartphone, and ps3-support!
- mac and linux players are available (yay!)
ease of use: good
- the editor IS easy and well organized. people complaining in the forums are mostly not reading the manual. hey, it's a 3d application, not a word processor, what do those folks expect - of course it has a learning curve. but it is really not that steep.
- it requires however basic knowledge of game design and general pc skills, if you don't know what a HUD is and wonder why textures should be square or textures with procedural materials created in a tool like 3ds max are not exported with a single click, you might get frustrated in the first hours. what i want to say: it is an easy tool, not a total beginner tool.
stability and performance: excellent
- rare crashes, can stay up for days without any issues. i truly have nothing negative to say here.
- developer portal, featuring a wide selection of (video and written) tutorials, a community wiki, a forum, online and offline docs, tons of examples, frameworks, download section
- forum support even for those who are just evaluating the software (PLE)
- shiva admins/developers are answering your questions -> your direct line to the developers!
- frequently updated docs
- public betas for registered customers
- free SDKs, free try-out version (PLE), free updates (buy 1.x, get all updates until 2.0 free)
and much more.
shiva is often criticised for having bad docs, a lack of tutorials and support. i can assure you, this is simply not true. support is one of the greatest i have yet experienced. reporting a bug is welcomed and most likely to be fixed in a matter of days (iPhone publishing tool) or weeks (editor auto update). the forum is now almost 100% english, so no understanding problems await you. if people cannot find the really big button on the very top of the developer page that screams "tutorials", nobody can possibly help them.
sure, the docs don't explain what a variable is, the fundamentals of LUA coding and how to create an alpha channel for your maps. so if you have never coded before or done 3d design, you possibly won't be very happy with the reference-style documentation. but all others ("serious" developers) will love it for its clarity.
shiva offers no modelling or map making capabilities, you need to be proficient in a 3d suite like c4d, 3ds max, lightwave, and others. the DAE pipeline ensures a good and not too hard to set up import.
a must-try! get your free personal learning edition (PLE) today. it is fully featured, but cannot export.
good way for beginners and none dev master
Very good 3D engine offering of big capacity for creation.Available and pro-active technical support.
My favourite functions : the terrain éditor and ocean builder as well.
I also appreciate the multiple possibilities of deployment in particular towards the iphone.
The permanent improvement of the software with visible consideration of the users.
Also Shiva is particularly adapted for small firms (SOHO) or independent developer.
A great all-in-one 3D solution
The render engine is great.
A lot of features.(the ocean maker is a very interesting tool).
The HCI is very smart and easy to use.
The developper team answers all your questions and the forum is very useful.
An amazing middleware to make easily 3D applications with recent RT algorithms.
Iphone developpers gooooooooooooo
seems simply the best
I have tested also some engines until now:
Blender Game Engine
... and some more but not so intensive. All engines should have a good performance, good graphical features and without C/C++ compiling. Overall i search a simply to use 3d authoring environment. All of the engines above has it own benefits and special features and some things missing. But with Shiva, it seems at the moment, you get the most features and best power for your money.
For me it's very easy to use, has all needed features (a nice GUI, modern shader support, LUA scripting ...) simpy to say all what you need to create a sophisticated 3D realtime application. Linux, Mac, iPhone platform authoring inclusive.
Also important, the user count incl. the (forum) support seems have to be reached the needed mass for ongoing support of the product.
Engine recommendation from me.
very good engine
I am a computer graphic designer and ShiVa is a very good engine easy to use. Recently with the integration of the HLD, we can even create an application without a line of code... Very well!!!
Later we can take out the applications on lot of platforms, as Windows, Mac OsX, Linux, Smartphone, PDA, Iphone etc.... Even Web player...
For the support, there is a forum where we quickly have answers...
Edit : The news version is very well
What are you talking about?
For those of you looking deeply into actually making games, please do not take into account the posters who say this engine is a mere "draft" and that games are not possible. They say this because they are probably Unity users. Shiva is about to release 1.8 with a multitude of awesome features for any AAA title. The idiot poster who just recently stated that any serious developer wouldn't get anything from this platform or hasn't used it, is a fool, who has no idea on how to code, model, use music files, animate, etc...
I am underway with a AAA title for the iphone, which by the way, you get for FREE with Shiva. Unity is thousands when all said and done just for iphone? WHat a freaking joke.
I tried UNity and it has its good points, but it is unstable and very slow. PLUS IT IS $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
BUY SHIVA AND GET TO MAKING ANY GAME YOU CAN THINK OF!!
Games are not products of the engine, but products of imagination, hard work, creativity, and the willingness to be humble when times get hard. Anything worth putting on the market is going to be hard. I am a 1 man team going to produce an awesoem game for iphone.....maybe I'll make $$$, and maybe I won't....but that is up to me, not the tool I use!
I believe that Shiva offers the best bang for the buck. PERIOD.
ANyone who tells you different has no idea of what they say.
I have no relation to no one game engine dev company, including to Shiva developers
All underwritten is my private opinion based on my experience of operations with different engines.
I wish to compare this engine from the point of indy developer view - cost, functionality, simplicity of use...
... And from the point of view of vihicle physics support - I like car games :)
I have tried many engines TGE, 3DRad, 3DGS, Panda, Irrlicht, С4, Unity, TV3D, DXStudio, Esperient, Visual3d, GameCore, Blade3d, NeoAxis. Is with what to compare.
Since the close competitor most probably Unity and besides I chose it for new workings out between them basically (to compare specially waited for Unity 2.5 for Windows release), also comparisons most often will with Unity
I tried Shiva and earlier - version 1.5 but then I somehow have not estimated this engine, now with version 1.7 I have changed my opinion
While I use free PLE version Shiva, I plan to buy Unlimited (Indy)
Set of supported platforms - Win, Mac, iPhone, Web-browser, Linux
On this indicator Shiva ~ = Unity, other eng with which worked concede to this to two
The tooling in "a base complete set" - very good, is all that is necessary
Unlike Unity Indy there are also dynamic shadows, reflexion and refraction, post processing effects, pathfinding etc.
(But in Unity Indy is splash screen:) though it unlike many also does not frighten off me)
To it still terrain engine as at Unity in general the prices to it would not be.
Physical engine - ODE - not the most fashionable, but at Shiva unlike Unity and DXStudio remarkable vehicle physics.
In Unity to achieve the good physics of cars it is necessary to use roundabout ways
(According to developers Unity bad work of physics of cars is defects PhysX).
Engine in which also it is good (and can and it is better) the physics of cars is realised is 3drad, but on other indicators this engine does not suit me any more.
Quality of a picture
On slow computers at the resolution 800x600 quality of a picture not on much worse than for example at 1400x900
(And with turned off smoothing!!!)
For example in 3DRad at reduction of the resolution the picture becomes very bad
Simplicity and convenience
Rather Unity, 3DRad or DXStudio editor of Shiva seems slightly more difficult, but in some days of work with it you start to feel it, script language Lua - language with transparent syntax, powerful, widely used in gamedev.
Supported formats of import - here Shiva considerably concedes Unity (and DXStudio) since a format only one Collada but since many 3d editors support either .dae or .fbx, it is not the big problem. Most convenient of all considered engines in this plan Unity, but in it is lacks - during import of .fbx textures aren't loaded (at least from Carrara), with .3ds all OK,
but the format does not support animation. In Shiva I loaded .fbx models with transformation to Collada (the truth while only without animation) without problems.
Performance and stability
I compared work on 3 computers:
1) powerful desktop
PC Win XP, AMD Quadro 4 x 2 Ghz, 2 Gb RAM, nVidia 8800 GT with 512 Mb
2) PC Win XP, Intel Pentium M, 1.87 GHz, 2 Gb RAM, Intel 915 with 128 Mb shared
3) PC Win XP, AMD Turion 2 x 1.6 GHz, 512 Mb RAM (only), ATI 1100 express with auto Mb shared
In one of review I saw that Shiva named slow, to what compared not clearly. If only with engines on C++?
Though when I considered old version 1.5 (and it is possible 1.6, do not remember), to me so it seemed, with 1.7 - framerate is good.
On my 2 laptops C4 (on Intel 3d card does not work at all) NeoAxis (OGRE) normally could not work, and Shiva at the res 800x600 with a good picture remarkably worked. Unity - about the same indicators as at Shiva.
3DRad - unfortunately on laptops even at the res 800x600 speed of work was bad + quality of a picture is much worse than at the high res.
DXStudio, Esperient... - very slow.
GameCore... - rather slow.
On speed of work Shiva ~ = Unity.
Besides at Unity under Windows there are problems - Avert Fate (the demo from Unity) on my powerful desktop considerably brakes in places though the drawing thus is enough average. The environment of working out Unity 2.5 falls that there that here. I think developers of Unity will solve these problems, but now so.
Unlimited version - 169 Euro - OK, in it is all indy need for the development
Shiva unlim price = 3dgs Com = 3drad pro = unity indy =...
But in comparison with other engines I receive more functionality for this money
For iphone dev you haven't pay, in Unity it costs 400 USD (Indy)
1. Shiva is one of the best investments for Indy developers today.
2. This engine is underestimated, on a place of developers I would enclose a quantity of money in its promotion (but without price raising :) ).
3. I definitely plan to conduct new workings out with this engine and to another I advise to look this tool as PLE version is free.
Been looking for something like this for a long time.
I've tried -
and many many others.
Shiva is by far the best 3d game development app I have used. It's really easy to set up the interface to something you are comfortable with. It's really fast to work with, my levels come together really fast with this tool. It's pretty cheap for the Unlimited version, and you can publish as many titles as you want.
I think this is one of the best investments I have made.
give the editor a chance, and you'll certainly fall in love with this engine
i came across shiva one year ago and was pretty impressed by its feature list that sounded too good to be true. today, after a year and some test projects later, it still leaves me with a "wow". but i feel i should give you more details.
features: all you can expect from an openGL engine, like great customizable shaders, chunked terrain with roads, static and dynamic lighting, soft shadowing etc. wrapped up in an all-in-one-editor that (currently, more to come) features modules for AIModels, Ambience, Animations, Attributes, Games, HUDs, Materials, NavMeshes, Particles, PolyTrails, Scenes, Scripts, SoundBanks, Terrain... wich makes it quite versatile and not as intuitive as you might expect it. but seriously, give the editor a chance, after some tutorials, you will see how well-thought it all is and how short the time will become you require for making games with this.
one of the most outstanding features is the cross platform usability. currently, the players for your applications run on linux, windows, mac, iPhone, smartphone (winCE), some consoles are planned, plus, it runs directly in firefox/safari/internet explorer through a web player plugin, great for showcasing models online or distributing smaller games.
model import works with collada.
why didn't i give it 5 stars? the dynamic light set currently supports no point lights, only directional lights, which make it yet impossible to create doom3-like shadow effects, but that is certainly on the way and will be the 5th star.
ease of use: the scripting system is based on the lua syntax. functions have very descriptive names, like .rotateAround or .setTranslation that make the code very accessible and easy to read. most things can be done without much scripting, models can be dropped in the scene and get an AI with just a few clicks (you will, however, have to write an AI before that). the editor is very useful once you have learned it, it certainly has some learning curve, but show me one 3d application that has not.
publishing is a breeze. all textures are automatically converted to dds if you like, and the program pacvks all the required files into an stk archive that can re read by all the different OS players, o code customisation for the different platforms is needed wich is an incredible time saver.
terrain editing (megatexture-like approach!) and using vegetation on it has never been easier.
stonetrip offers premade frameworks for a model showcase, fps games, car racing games. just add the archives to your game and drop in your custom models and you are ready to go, if you like to. you could also make use of the HLD library, which is a collection of customizable scripts for some routine tasks, like opening doors and such.
stability and performance: i did not run into a single performance problem with this engine, i have my terrain filled with tons of trees, grass and things, and i still get incredibly smooth framerates. the editor seldom crashes and if it ever does, it's mostly related to your own bad scripting.
support: i often hear people complaining about the documentation. yes, it may not be always 100% up to date, but in fact, it has an own "developer" website subdomain which contains video tutorials, an api reference, the forum, code samples, frameworks etc.
the forum support is great. 4 admins/developers are answering your questions and even help you out with code. they are always friendly, even if your question is rather dumb, they will always try to understand your issue.
updates are delivered automatically through the updating system of the editor, and they come quite freqently.
the developers are located in france, but always answer in english or at least bilingual. some stubborn french forum users insist on writing in french, but don't worry, everything important will be translated into english by the admins/developers.
people often compare shiva to unity which offers almost an identical feature list, like iphone publishing, web players, cross-platform compatibility and such. well, the facts that ston3d(the engine) runs on linux (even the shiva editor is eventually being ported, the engine already is...), costs much less, and its scripting is far more intuitive, convinced me.