Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Nintendo Wii, iOS, Browser-based, Google Android, WebOS
Languages Written In:
OpenGL, DirectX, Software Renderer
None (be one!)
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.
Using LUA to define autonomous objects behaviors.
|License Name||Price in $US||Source Code Included?|
|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.|
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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.
i have been searching for a good 3d engine for years, tried several opensource engine, even contributed source to them, tried a few commercial, but never was 100% satisfied.
with shiva/ston3d i finally found the 3d engine that has everything. it has a easy editor (unfortunately windows only), a lot of modern features and it is fun to use. it is not like developing games with all the opensource engines, where you have to hack 100 lines of c source just for opening your first window. this is more a 3d construction set, due to lua scripting not limited in any way.
the engine itself is available for a lot of systems, including mac and a yet running but not production stable (as of 2008/10) linux client - and the list is evolving
you'll never have been able to take your ideas to life in such a quick time. documentation is very detailed and support is the best i have ever seen.
it is still a 3d engine, so having not programmed at all before, you might have some trouble getting into it.
i dont understand people complaining about the support. i have a indie license, maybe support for ple users through the company is limited, which i would understand, but there is still the community. if you write something into the support forum, no matter how n00bish or how relying to a special project from you, you usually get (helpful) answers from the compnany within 24 hours, weekends including, if not someone from the community has answered it before
Shiva is a very interesting engine indeed, it appears to have most next gen features including true soft shadows, no cookies from what I can tell though, which is usually in more expensive engine at the moment like Unreal Engine and Unity. The editor is fantastic, it truelly is what you see is what you get, it displays per-pixel lighting, soft shadows, bloom, reflection, refraction, all in the editor, this makes game production very efficient.
It's relatively easy to use, there is certainly a learning curve in it, but this is usually present in all complex authory applications, normal scripting difficulties, but that is normal, it took me a while to figure out that you have to create AImodels seperate from assets to control them, then attach the AImodel to the Asset, so there are features within Skiva which differs from other authoring applications.
Support is a bit slow or none existant, probably due to it being biased to French.
Plus, it's free, and not much for the higher versions, which is truelly amazing for the quality of this engine.
However, your not going to like this at all, there is a price to pay for all you who want to make a modern game, even for no profit! In order to have any kind of decent online play you have to pay a WHOPPING 9,000 Euros for the Pro server which handles 64+ clients, which bends you over a barrel really because an online game which only supports up to 64 clients is about as useful as a chocolate teapot! And the server to handle up to 64 isn't cheap either!
So, if you want to make a single player game, or up to 8 players, fine it's amazing and the server is free, but for anything online, it'll cost you BIG $$$.
Best program for beginners & advanced users
This engine is very powerful, fast, and yet, very easy to use.
Excellent combination of features.
If you don't have it, THEN GET IT NOW !!!
We are a french multimedia studio. We use the StoneTrip Developpement Kit (Shiva) since few years. Our graphic designers and our developers appreciate the flexibility of this tool, as well as the applications portability that results from it.
These last months, many functionalities have been added, we do not exploit all of them yet, but in a general way, quality and optimization are there.
All the team of the Antek studio wish to StoneTrip Lab a long life, and recommends to all last generation digital contents creators, trying this software.
really great render engine, with all the next gen features.
really great user interface.
fantastic workflow !
good community and a perfect developer team reactivity,
engine available for pc, mac and some other handled device; all online, offline or screensaver,
an import from max, maya and xsi with collada,
and so much more...
i don't see any black point in this tool, i'm happy to use it and discover every day the philosophy of it, hope everyone does the same.
this engine and dev kit seems to be the real new way to make game.
i've tried shiva for one hour yet. I usually don't tell my opinion since my english is poor : handsome demos, wonderfull effects. it seems to be very complete and very powerful.
i suggest everyon to have a look to this software!
Use with PCs (with or without GPU), MACs, PDAs (Windows Pocket PCs) and mobile (Windows Mobile).
This engine give the best of the 3D in every case.
In addition with ShiVa, it make real easy to create your own 3D real time application, such as game.
Try the Personnal Learning Edition (FREE!!) on www.stonetrip.com