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The Torque Game Engine (TGE) is a fully featured AAA game engine with award winning multi-player network code, seamless indoor/outdoor rendering engines, state of the art skeletal animation, drag and drop GUI creation, a built in world editor, and a C-like scripting language. Unlike most commercial game engines, as part of the low cost license, you receive all C++ source code to the engine, so you can make any additions you need for your game.
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Nothing about this engine makes sense to me as a programmer. There are scripts everywhere with no explanation as to what they are for or do. You ask for help anywhere in the forums and someone will chime in with an excuse for why it doesn't work or they'll refer to some old documentation that is horribly written. Never straight answers for anything unless you pay them. if anyone has the demo version and they ask for help, they get told they will need to buy the engine just for a tutorial. the guy in charge of the documentation is always announcing new plans for the docs but always has something else to do instead of his original plan. very annoying and unprofessional. If we had just a COUPLE simple tutorials for creating a new weapon from scratch and making it shoot or something along those lines it'd be a lot easier. instead it's always news about some new feature they are "about" to be adding which will cost $100. FINISH ONE THING AT A TIME
This engine's docs is.... Oh man you can't understand a word in it, the community is just a bunch of mean dorks, and it's just on the top ten because GarageGames owns this website.
Advice: Don't even think of getting this stupid engine.
I will post this review with the least amount of bias and only post what I have found with my experience with a 2 month review (looking at the forums, how the developers handle situations like what they say then what they actually do, the released titles of torque, then downloading and testing the demo). Note that I have had prior experience with the last Torque engine.
I have had no access to their latest source code, but I have seen their prior work (will comment on that later).
Features :: The website is gorgeous. This alone made me want to purchase the engine (not objective at all, I know) since the amount of effort put into the website means that their engine would have to be just as good, right? Not really. It's very true, and let me push this, that I am very impressed at the venue provided by this engine. Being able to ship to the Iphone and other portable devices is a wondrous thing, and GG was smart ot pursue this market.
The reason why I gave features such a terrible score was primarily because the new features expressed in the marketing are "There" but, to be completely honest, are worthless. I have a few pictures to prove that the graphics engine, at maximum settings, is broken and littered with graphic bugs and performance was, well . . .
A selling point of the engine is that is runs on lower spec machines -- yes I know, you shouldn't run a lower spec machine on the highest settings, and I agree that Torque's rendering engine designed around 1999 technology runs fine (we are 10 years from that now, a decade away), but let the pictures do the talking...
I will provide a basic analysis of what we see.
Ok, first. A selling point was soft shadows. Ummm, those are not soft, and they don't even look like shadows. These are not a graphics driver glitch, as you can see this even on your own machine if the GPU supports this. The shadows look terrible, slow down rendering by a large portion, and are completely physically incorrect.
Let's also focus on why the ground outside of the hut I was in looks so bright (infact, completely whited out). That is "HDR" done completely wrong. It appears that it's over emphasized as a selling point for unexperienced people to go "Oooo, shiney!". Do you see the lines on the ground? That are to show proportions and distance -- when have you been outside and the sun completely whites out a similar surface? Never. It's wrong.
The GUI looks nice! :)
This image showcases off Torques "Screen Space Ambient Occlusion". It's also, completely incorrect and slows down rendering by a large portion. What is even going on? It's clear they tried to copy CryEngine 2's tech to bum off sales from the hype that generated. That doesn't even look remotely interesting. Just bad. The HDR bug is also just as present.
Did I mention that for all of this, you have to pay $1,000?
If you turn all of these features off, you're best sticking to the older versions of the engine (which if I understand correctly, have already been discontinued). May these things be patched and improved in the future, and if that happens, I will most definitely increase my rating and make a note of that.
There are a lot of tools in the engine, like building roads, water (which the entire demo is just like Crysis, to bum off sales no doubt), which are cool, but not all games need roads or that particular water tool (though useful!!). I'd rather the developers wisely choose what is a global feature everyone can use (water, sure). The editor seemed nice and intuitive, but the overwhelming graphics didn't help.
Ease of use -- This comes from a host of different sources, but mainly from hearsay. When you want to get past the basic indie 2D stuff and venture into complex 3D games, it's nearly impossible. Look at the released games title -- how many are remotely complex? Just the demo, maybe? Where they're are complex ones, I'm sure they have had to re-write many portions of the engine itself. I've witnessed that happening quite a lot from a title I personally worked on in the past using the previous Torque. The engine is code spaghetti.
Stability and performance :: it never crashed on me really, but the performance using advanced features was just downright terrible. Not worth $1,000 at all, seeing that C4 is only $350 and runs great with comparable features. Using decade old technology and you're OK.
Support :: The forums do look very helpful and an active community. Good work there. It's fun to see such an active group of developers try to help one another out. Hopefully this continues!
On my Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.1ghz and 965 intel (4 gigs of ram on Windows 7 64bit), the FPS at 620x480 was 5FPS using the highest settings.
There were about 50 objects (most games have thousands of objects in a level) and nothing was textured (in most games, objects have anywhere from 3-5 textures on them).
After every prompt, they wanted me to buy the engine.
This is a marketing engine, not a game engine.
This engine is a heap of garbage. GarageGames spends all their money on marketing to dupe all kinds of ignorant hobbyists into buying their junk, and they spend next to nothing on engineering. The engineering they actually do is amateur level at best, and the new Torque3D is nothing different. The way they operate could be considered a scam because they keep charging for new updates that promise great new features, but they never deliver. Don't be fooled and don't waste a cent on this abomination.
After investing in the TGEA early adopter in 2006,and although the engine had its downside as it was in development etc,the long awaited finished game development platform is released....as Torque 3D,
They wanted another $600 for something I already paid for in my opinion.
Sooo...I have an account with roughly $600-700 of engines,(TGE 1.42,the TGEA),and heaps of 3rd party addons all sitting there wasted.what a complete and utter waste of time,money and effort.
Everything about Torque is outdated or poorly made. The games it can make would be acceptable in 1995, but no longer.
Many of the elite Torque Guru's have created useful addons, patches, and resources to help keep Torque from falling into the dark ages, and to help cover all the features Torque lacks, but unfortunately its not enough.
These slapped together addons, and patches, are often difficult to implement, buggy, or outdated. Leaving you high and dry when you need any feature Torque does not natively support.
Outdated and Undocumented...
Nearly all the documentation is outdated and useless, serving nothing more then to completely bury any useful documentation out there.
I cant recall the countless hours I've spent trying to follow tutorials and digging through resources only to find I just spent hours on something that no longer works with the current engine build.
The forums are cluttered with thousands of posts dating back to 2002-2005, all useless with current engine build.
The resource archives suffer the same clutter and outdated content...
If you are a very advanced programmer, patient, and willing to highly modify the engine to get what you want out of it, then torque could be useful.
The rest of us are left to sift through massive amounts of mostly outdated documents, patches, addons, in a very painful attempt to get the job done.
Features: Great by 1996 standards.
Ease of Use: The art pipeline sucks.
Stability: You won't have any mental stability after using this POS.
Support: What's that?
Torque does not deserve to be on the top ten list, especially not number one.
GarageGames and its community have done a wonderful job of promoting and hailing the Torque Game Engine as the "go to" engine of choice for the indie developer. At $100 per license, how can you go wrong?
Well, if you take a look at some of the other options out there, in the same price range, featured on this site, you'll see very quickly just how you can go wrong.
For one, that Torque is a repurposed version of the engine that powered Tribes II is super impressive - were I typing this about 4 years ago. The tech was probably quite impressive back then. Now it's sorely out-dated. Not a problem, necessarily until you realize there are other engines available, for the same price, give or take $50 or so, that offer all the most up-to-date DX9 features, better 3D/2D asset compatibility, a smoother pipeline and better documentation and support. Suddenly that $100 on Torque doesn't seem so well invested.
And, it likely won't end with that $100. There are many "upgrades" that you will likely find necessary to bring your games out of the stone-age and into the present, such as a lighting engine which, with how drab and boring and incomplete the stock lighting model is in Torque, is a necessity. Unless you program it all in yourself, before you know it, you've spent a few hundred dollars and still do not have all the features you could get for that original $100-$150 if you'd chosen one of the other engines available in that price range.
Now, if you want more up-to-date features, GarageGames does have an option for you. However, you're going to have to spend another $150 for the still-in-development Torque Shader Engine to get it. What you're getting is an incomplete engine and all the bugs and instability that go with it - for the same price, again, as other options that are available now and in a more stable and completed state.
In short, Torque isn't the worst investment you could make. However, a fair overview and item-by-item comparison with other options out there will quickly reveal that it's not the wisest investment you could make, either.
So, as a final warning again... Garage Games and its community do a great job of promoting Torque while trying to silence any dissent. Don't buy into the hype. Do your own research and see for yourself.
Caveat Emptor... Buyer Beware.
Our team has tested many engines to decide which one we will use. Our experiences with Torque:
When you first get your hands on Torque, you will be frustrated. There's so much to deal with and so less documentation (in fact: there IS documentation but rather then providing those engine docs as one package to the community, GarageGames seem to prefer to let their users do the search). The C++ is not straight C++, you will often encounter parts of the engine that are a mix between C and C++. But if you don't want to customize Torque, then you will never haveto deal with the code directly. Torques' features are massive but also old. The latest update of Torque was the last and if you want to have new updates, GarageGames wants you to buy TorqueShader engine. While this engine seemsto be pretty nice, for that price you can get a better engine with a less restrictive license. The stability is good as well as the performance but beware of Windows Vista! The future of this engine is not as clear as it seems to be (speaking just of Torque now). The support of GarageGames is good, as long as we're not speaking of documentation.
Not really the way to go, unless TorqueShader engines shows off. And even then you might not want to pay the price.
When I first purchased the Torque game engine, I thought that it was going to be a great purchase. The engine had after all been used to write tribes 2. How wrong I was.
It took me over a year to get precisely nowhere with the engine.
The art pipeline is a nightmare to say the least.
The GG staff play favourites with people who have associate status.
They are too busy working on their own games to make any real improvements to the engine.
The $100 price tag may seem cheap, but it will cost you 1000 times that in learning curve, purchase of add on components. Things that should have come as standard (and do with most free engines out there) don't work properly. I'm talking stuff as basic as decent lighting!.
GG thankfully seem to be moving back into full time game development. I'm only sorry that they will most likely be using my money (as well as every other sucker that purchased TGE) to do it.
After struggling with this engine for a year. I truly feel conned.
Buy it at your peril. If further proof of this engines lack of potential is needed. Just look at the games released using it. The only successful ones are written by the GG team!
I don't understand all the rave reviews.
I found the Torque engine to be a bloated and very difficult to get in. It's documentation could be really improved. When I tried it, I spent far more time trying to understand the engine's conmtrol flow and finding and fixing bugs than with actual game programming. Especially the editor is quirksome and likes to crash often.
It's maybe okay if what you want to write is just another FPS or a racing game - then you might get away with just modifying the examples without having to understand the whole control flow.
From the Torque engine I switched to Irrlicht, where I just found what I need, a simple slim fast C++ renderer with good documentation.
I have been following the Torque Game engine and Garage Games since the very first version. I bought a license for the very first version, which I later upgraded to TGEA.
Every attempt to produce something with this engine, however, ends the same way: Me uninstalling the engine in frustration.
This time, returning to try out the, supposedly, much improved Torque 3D has ended the same way. Me uninstalling the engine in frustration.
I have never, ever used a 3D engine where I feel like I'm fighting with some aspect of it as much as I do Torque.
Parts of their engines are great. I love their terrain editor, for example.
Where they fall short, and where my experience always ends in frustration, is in providing sufficient, useful, current and easily referenced documentation for some of the deeper aspects of the toolset.
Every attempt I make to find instructions on doing anything beyond the absolute basics in the T3D editor - like getting a custom collada model into the editor properly - requires me to spend a half hour or longer searching the documentation, searching the forums (with a broken forum search function no less...), searching YouTube, or asking on their forums.
Speaking of asking on their forums... That's another exercise in futility. Asking for help on their forums typically ends in dead air. You can give as thorough details of what you're trying to do as you can. You can be as polite, undemanding and understanding as possible.. No one will answer you. I've posted messages that - after a week - have yet to be answered.
Yet, post a response to sorta "bump' your own post after several days, and all you get is a pissy attitude from another member who is apparently angered at you daring to ask for assistance... on a community support/user forum.
Anyway... Is it *that* difficult for someone there at GG to create tutorials that show, step by step, how to do things in their engine/editor, making sure to explain important aspects in detail so new users can understand what's going on, what they're doing and why?
After all the years GG has been around, has it really been that difficult for someone there to properly and thoroughly document their toolset?
Is it really necessary to have to feel like I'm *fighting* with an editor and stumbling through learning it, every step of the way, to do things that should be pretty routine?
I am amazed that anyone produces anything with this engine's toolset.
Torque is a complete solution for creating games and has a vast feature set however due to the age of the engine many things are performed in a less than optimal fashion - in two years of owning the engine I struggle to find a feature that works bug free. Modern features and techniques do not exist in this engine, which may not be a problem for some as it is an indie engine and best suited to simple puzzle/sports type games where advanced features are not required.
The engine will perform well on lower end hardware, as long as you design your game efficiently. Unfortunately, due to inefficient and poorly optimized rendering code, the engine will not take advantage of modern hardware features and will not run anywhere near as well as it should. This engine requires a pretty high end system to run a relatively complex game though only offers mediocre rendering and effects.
Ease of Use:
Torque is derived from the engine which powered Tribes 2, as such a lot of old Tribes 2 specific code still resides within the engine. The .dts format, which is used to import animated meshes into the engine, has not been worked on since the engine’s release and is very troublesome. When I complained about the .dts format an employee informed me that “The engine is the technology that we are selling, not plug-ins. Therefore Garage Games will not be working at all on any of the exporters that come with the engine. This is why we supply you with the source code for the exporters, so that you may fix them yourself.” Many 3rd party exporters have been written for the engine and for the most part they work pretty well however the .dts format is still a nightmare to work with. It does not make sense, no matter what anyone tells you. It does work once you spend many sleepless nights learning it, however it is not logical.
Torque uses another format for interior objects / shapes which require accurate collision detection. This is the .dif format and is in a horrible state at the moment. You must use a bsp based map editor (Quark, Hammer etc) to create a .map file which is then converted to the .dif format through the use of a supplied plug-in. To keep a long story short, creating .dif files is an absolute pain. To help remedy this Garage Games have been working on a new map editor named Constructor. This has been in production for around two years and only seems like a band aid solution to the problem. In my opinion, the .dif format should be rewritten or replaced with a new format.
As Torque uses a different format for each type of geometry you bring into the engine, they all have differing pros and cons and it makes level design confusing. They are all affected differently be lighting and shadows and generally speaking I feel this is a huge design flaw within the engine, at least by today’s standards.
The editors that come with the engine are great. The only thing that lets them down is that they are not stable. Many tasks performed in the world editor will crash the engine, most users resort to scripting their levels as opposed to designing them in real-time. The GUI editor works well and is pretty stable though is only useful for creating simple 2D GUI’s. There are also problems with positioning of GUI elements when changing resolutions.
The scripting language is powerful and exposes an incredible amount of the engine’s functionality. It is relatively easy to learn, my only problem with it is that it runs so slow. I have resorted to creating most of my game-play code in C for this reason.
Stability & Performance:
From a development standpoint, the engine is NOT stable. As mentioned earlier, editors will crash the engine. In older versions alt-tabbing would crash the engine as well as starting a dedicated server. Performance is poor. You can work around this by simplifying your game however be warned, using any of the engine's more advanced features or using a generous amount of particles, precipitation effects, high resolution textures and high poly models will bring this engine to its knees.
The engine will run on multiple platforms however Windows is by far the most stable. Mac performance is below average and unfortunately many tools which are needed to create content for the engine are not available on Mac. Linux support is community based, so don’t expect running on Linux to be an easy task.
Support from Garage Games itself is pretty poor, unless you’re a full time company with plenty of funding. The community is quite large and for the most part very helpful though sadly much of the active community is very young and immature. There seems to be a trend on their forums where the intelligent, experienced users leave the community for various reasons.
Torque is certainly capable of creating a game; it’s just not as smooth a process as it is in other engines I use. I would highly recommend investigating other alternatives, of which there are now many within a similar price range. If you are still inclined to buy this engine, may I recommend that you start with Torque Game Builder (TGB). It’s basically a 2D engine, is very easy to use, stable and has great documentation.
If you are testing the game demos on the Garage Games website in order to evaluate the engine, please keep in mind that not all games sold on their website are created with Torque. Garage Games are also a game publisher and will sell games even if they are not created in Torque.
*A lot of people use a game named Tribal Trouble to promote Torque however they do not realize that this game was NOT made with Torque. It was created with a custom in-house Java based engine.*
Pro's - Established engine that has created many games. Multiplayer feature is well tested and working. Lots of documenation and books specific to this engine. C++ coding (may be a bad thing?) but scripting is similar to C++. Forum community is large and usually very helpful.
Con's - Code is a mess. Prices changes are going to cause problems as it can't be considered a hobbyist engine and even for indies there are better priced engines with more features (C4, Neoaxis, Unity, Panda3D, Irrlicht, etc).
Features haven't developed at a great speed over the last few years.
Forum still has threads from years ago which messes up searches. Forum members can be immature (i'll let you decipher that)
This engine is pretty easy to use overall, with all of the features anyone could ever want. However, after upgrading from the previous 1.4.2, I noticed that if I wanted to use the GUI Editor or World Builder then I'd have to re-write the initialization script for those objects.
Pros: User friendly, plenty of documentation, plenty of features, pretty graphics.
Cons: User community is worthless, 100%. Most of the users have quite a bit of experience with the engine, and asking newbie questions in a newbie forum is most unwise. Garage Games will provide support... for a price, if you want a refund, or ask a question in the most polite of manners then you'll just get a message back saying either "Ask in the forums" or "You must pay for professional support."
Stability: ROFL! This is, as of 03-12-2007, one of the most BUGGY engines I've ever experienced. Editing mode is an instant crash with "unknown hardware combinations", and there are 1,232 Individual BUG posts, and, from what I read, less then half have responses in the forums. This new release is nothing more then a typical alpha project with no direction.
Overall: I'd rather spend my $150 on something with more support and stability, I'd say 3DGS was the best IDE if it wasn't for the idiot friendly language "C-Script" (no objects, imagine making a game without structs, classes, and objects... hehe). However, version 1.4.2 wasn't that bad, in fact, I'd say it was excellent, but those days are gone...
That's my two cents.
EDIT: Today, after searching through only (surprisingly) 30-40 lines of C++, I fixed one of the errors I was having, and I posted it in the bug report forum. Perhaps after I fix the 3 or 4 other major errors (and patches are implemented), then I'll write a new review.
I've been trying to get somewhere with Torque for a while, and although there are two books now by Finney (which are OK books) I still lack at least decent documentation.
The engine features are OK but the code framework is huge and really needs good documentation to get into.
Tutorials and helpful staff is good of course, but an in-depth documentation is what really is needed IMHO.
Also, the TorqueScript have serious drawbacks to other scripting languages. I'm experienced with Lingo in Macromedia Director and it has a lot of low-level support (i.e creating models, shaders, textures on the fly, and access to scene graph). Lingo also has a lot of helpful functions for rotatating, translating etc. In Torque you really need to learn your 3D math before using the math lib included.
The whole experience of purchasing a license and trying to use Torque has been painful. I even bought the wonderful 'little' book "3D Game Programming All In One", by Ken Finney which is an outstanding book and breaks down the whole work flow in Torque, but does not cover the engine source code itself. That would require another whole book. Still, the book functions as a very good "mod" reference, and is the best thing the engine has going for it in terms of documentation. Outstanding job, on the part of the author. He really did his homework. But why should he have had to work so hard? And therein lies one of the problems.
There is little formally compiled documentation for the engine (no comprehensive user guide, hard copy or .pdf). The online manual that is available, is simply lacking. It works, but it simply is not enough. Other documentation exist (kind-of), but you have to hunt, and hunt all over the forums for anything useful. If you hunt, and use the forums, you will learn. It will not be easy.
For the most part, I have always felt like I was using someones hastily crafted, poorly documented tools, that you have to gingerly wade through to get any kind of understanding. Wait a minute! That is exactly what Torque is. A game engine in the grandest sense. Not a product or application. It was never designed with the thought that one day it would be released, and people would actually try to use it and take it beyond its humble FPS beginnings. And, that is where the problem lies.
If you have ever tried to reverse engineer some kludged software, or get someone else's code to work that was pretty much slammed together to meet a deadline then you will understand the frustration of using Torque. That's the reality of an old school production game engine. It's not meant to be pretty, it's just meant to work to meet the deadline. It was never meant to be the product.
Perhaps one day GargeGames will release an updated version that is more user friendly better documented. For now Torque is simply too painful to do anything more than carefully "Mod" the examples that came with it. For an experienced developer, it is a painful process. For a complete beginner, it is a nightmare.
BTW if the engine is so good, and easy to use then there would be a whole bunch of little cheesy games and crappy examples out and a whole lot more really average games, and a few cream of the crop games out. As it stands, there are only a few games out by this engine, and those are the extreme minority. This simply means a handful of people have what it takes to make it work and produce something of quality. That is sad.
This engine is great. You get access to the source codes and the scripting languages is close to C++(Torque Script). The price is fair and no royalties after a licensee has been bought. The world editor is really nice. In a few hours I was able to learn how to make a world of my own by using the great tutorial from online(garagegames' website).
The little touch with the console scripting on the fly where one can simply test ones functions and scripts is simply great. The Torsion add on environment for scripting is nice too(not needed however as notepad++ will do it).
Also the engine makes people think it is mostly suited for fps games, but that is really not the case here. By changing the camera view by tweaking a few lines in a few script and voila a great RTS game can be made(or one could use a flexible view like in dragon age).
All in all I most say that I am impressed with the possibilities this engine has given me(opportunities to program something and not just click it in place) and it is not only a click party like in Unity(who by the way is way overpriced).
The engine is perhaps not well suited for people who dislike programming, but for people who love to program this engine is really the thing. The learning curve is rather steep, but this is a well invested time as the opportunities to tweak the engine to your bending later on will come in handy.
Now the bad things:
The engine has a very few books that are up to date(a fair documentation online, which can be downloaded exist). Some of the books are still useful as the scripting language has not change much the last few years. The community seems rather small and barren(still alive however). The AI should have been better(one a buy AI kit as an add on) and included in the price(who cares we program it our-self :o) ).
All in all my conclusion must be the the engine is fine and the price fair. Also many other engines exit that can do the same some cheaper some more expensive. In the end the engine is a helping tool and the rest is up to the programmer. So the question is whether one prefer more clicking or more programming. Also this engines royalties policy is great as we Torque users do not need to pay any 25 percent of our revenue as some other engines ask for(cough, cough Unreal, cough cough).
That was my review of Torque 3D. A free demo version can be found(google it), so try it out and please write what you think.
It is possible to have access to the source code to this engine which is a big plus but the documentation is really, really poor. It feels that you are fighting the engine rather than working with it.
Attention: Even,if you buy the Commercial License, you can't sell simulation & training games, or simple 3D virtual Worlds,Screen Savers... You must buy for this a seperate license!!!! And showing the splash screen of garagegames is even in commercial license a must.
With so a funny EULA, it's not longer possible for me to continue the working with Torque.
Read the EULA before you buy it. It exist very good other Engines with better conditions.
I have a few engines, and this is one of them.
I find a nice part is that it has many features, which is good, and the features can be modified if necessary.
Many say that this is an easy engine, but it is not as easy as many would think. like most commercial engines it comes with the source, which is good if you want to add on to it, but not good if you are looking for absolute ease.
The price is good, and as it is said a lot, this engine is good for the price, but take another look at the price.
It is relatively stable, but i have noticed odd crashes at times, and while it supports Mac systems, it is not at all a Mac engine, and there are much better choices if you are developing a multi platform game.
The community is huge, and the support is good, there is plenty of documentation, even though it is relatively scattered around, can be helpful. This engine has one of the best communities around.
I would not say that the source is an advantage, because most other engines do come with the source. An advantage is the multi platform support, although the stability is questionnable on other platforms than windows, is good.
A disadvantage is the general engine and its tools are relatively outdated. Compared to modern engines of the same price, and even free modern engines, the tools are very low-tech. Also, the particle technology, although good, is relatively old too, and the lack of shaders is a definite minus.
Note that shaders can be added through modernization kits, but i don't know how stable those are.
If you are a intermediate developer or a hobbyist i would recommend this engine, especially if you are low funded. If you are a professional and have very high funding, i would strongly recommend considering a larger more powerful engine, or if you have low funding, i would recommend considering one of the GPL more advanced engines such as Quake 3 and soon id tech 4, although they may be old.
If you insist on using torque for a windows project, i would recommend TGEA over TGE.
Have owned this and the other Torque engines for a few years. Aside from the feature (or non-feature) set that has been mentioned in other reviews, I wanted to note the new EULA and licensing agreements GarageGames has just put in place for all products.
The new EULA is so restrictive, generic, and open-ended that you may want to look closely at it before purchase. Even if you purchase the "Commercial" license, which I have, there are many apparent loopholes in the licensing. I've been told by GG employees that they are flexible with the licensing, but what the EULA says is what it says.
For instance you cannot make (or at least market or give away) educational software, simulations, virtual worlds, and others without permission and additional licensing fees. Even in the Commercial versions you must use their splash screens and provide links to GarageGames within your game. Unless of course you purchase yet more special licensing.
I would call this a huge disadvantage to using this engine, and have said so on the GarageGames forums. I'm not saying this warrants not buying the engine, I'm simply saying you should specifically check the new EULA for your own benefit before purchase.
If you're looking to license TGE for making games, don't. Get Torque Advanced instead. The reason I say this is that while Torque is a great learner's engine, the technology is out of date (hence the low Features rating), and documentation and support is quite lacking, since GG decided to stop shipping documentation with the 1.5 branch (or possibly earlier). The only good source of information remaining is the online community of licensees.
On the other hand, Torque is a highly stable, easy to use engine -- again, great for someone wanting to learn game development. The scripting language, while odd in some ways, quickly becomes second nature to read and write, and with many years of development behind it, Torque is a hard engine to crash or otherwise bring down. It'll take a lot of abuse from a newbie before kicking the can.
The Good: Thriving community, great features and a long list of improvements to the current version 1.5.2
I read books about this engine for about a year till I understood it amidst my Graduate studies. Once you take time with it you will begin to understand how it flows.
The Bad: The community offers support but since they are mostly programmers and not teachers they tend to talk over the heads of those who don't understand and only want a simplified answer. I am a C# and .Net programmer but I have not made changes to the .cc files however there are many tutorials on the site that tell you how. "You will have to read them"
The Ugly: None but I like continuity in my writings :0)
In Closing for the features the engine offers at the price you cannot beat it. I admit the art pipeline sucks a bit, but once you learn it like anything else it becomes second nature. I am making a school project with just scripting and it's working wonderfully.
Learn the Torque tree main files and you will be on your way.
Indecipherable why this engine for months on court 1. Other engines have more features an long continue with their development.
The Prise is to mutch vor this Product. Other products have better price performance ratio.