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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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Not everyone can use TGE. It is a complex, AAA engine with an extensive pallet of features. I can very easily understand how inexperienced developers just learning the basics of game programming, or developers who can't commit to fully immersing themselves in a project could have trouble with the complexities of the engine.
That said, for an individual or a team with a solid understanding of the basic principles of game development and the willingness to immerse themselves in the Garage Games community, Torque is an extremely powerful and fantastically robust engine. Augmenting this engine is the amazing Garage Games community, which provides more support, advice and camaraderie than any other development community I’ve been a part of. Finally, the Torque engine and the Garage Games community are constantly evolving, exponentially increasing the value of an already very affordable product.
I work with Torque on a daily basis at Large Animal Games, I use it to teach 400-level game development classes at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and I am using Torque for a personal side-project as well. I recommend Torque to anyone who is serious about making games and I will continue to do so until I find a better game engine at the same price point, which I don’t see happening very soon.
Long live Torque!
Although I, myself, am not a programmer, nor do I understand much scripting, I am fully aware that the Torque Game Engine is the most solid low cost engine available. The TGE is supported and documented in a much better way than anything else out there. The artistic side is unmatchable by anything with the exception of the Havok, Source, and Unreal game engines. With several upgrades and content packs that can be purchased to better prototype a game, you can't do anything as easily. The makers of the TGE (GarageGames) do everything short of making the game for you. They provide you with friendly forums, easy to comprehend documentation, and the tools you need to start making your own games today.
My company, Large Animal Games, has been using Torque for almost 2 years now and have been consistently blown away by both it's feature set and the community of developers it has. Our first Torque based game, RocketBowl, went on the market late last year, and won the Technical Excellence award at this years IGF. (You can check out the game here: http://www.largeanimal.com/games/deluxe/?id=54 ).
Torque is a big, full featured engine - not just a rendering engine, and it gets better all the time. The folks at GG really put their heart, and their considerable engineering expertise, into improving it all the time, which is great.
In my opinion, there is just no 3D engine at anywhere near the price of Torque that comes close to it's features and power. Definitely one to check out.
I've been using the Torque for over 3 years and almost reaching the fourth one. I've been motivated to write this review because I saw that other "engine" on top, which ain't really an engine but a library with bindings for every language, geez, what kind of quality you expect from something like that?
Torque comes in with full access to the source code, and you don't create a project around it, you work tightly into the engine source, so you can modify it to do whatever you are trying to do without going into ugly hacks that work half the time and make your game explode.
I consider Torque very complete feature wise since it has everything you would want to. Sure other projects might have a better physics engine, or maybe better rendering, but summing up all of Torque's features, there's no engine that can compare to all of them at the same time, and not to mention that the Torque Shader Engine is almost finished and eliminates the 'other engines have better graphics' problem.
As for the ease of use, I wasn't sure how to rate it, for me it's really easy, since I'm confident with my programming and I've already been using it for years, but some people without programming experience expect to use it and consider it difficult. So I give it 4 stars, if you are an experienced programmer, you will have no problem getting the grasp of it, if you are not a programmer you might do some stuff with the easy to use scripting language and the documentation for it. Not to mention the site is full of resources written by community members (including me) to help you out getting some startup features done.
The support! Ahhhh, what could be better? Being an open source programmer myself and being able to see lots of development communities, I have yet to see one as supporting as GG's. Ask something on the forums, get a response within couple of hours or if you are lucky minutes! Get on IRC and get your questions solved asap or email GG and they will helpfully answer your questions (although technical questions better be asked on the forums).
That's all I have to say, lots of people are using the Torque Game Engine, it's just that not many have bothered to come back here and review it, once you enter the Garage you don't have time for visiting more game dev sites ;)
Torque is a great engine, hands down. With a small amount of additional coding, our development team had graphics, shadows, sounds, and game play to rival the cutting edge games of today. Our current project is turning out great, and with the wonderful net code, even with 64+ players in a particle and graphics heavy environment, the game almost never lags, even over a dial-up connection. The extinsive and detailed documentation and an awsome community are just icing on the cake. A++
The two things that stand out most about the Torque Game Engine are the strength of the community (and the support that it offers) and the incredible network code, not to be outdone in pretty much any other commercial engine (even the expensive ones).
You can make a big game or a small one with this engine. I am the sole programmer on my team and we are about to put out our first major release after only 6 months of development with a major distributor. The previous company I worked at had Torque as one of two final engine choices to create the sequel to one of the biggest RPGs of all time.
If you want to create a game, and you don't want to spend the dollars for Unreal or Source, there honestly is no choice but Torque. Everything else is just a rendering engine.
Bar none, there is no engine out there that matches the quality and feature set that Torque provides for this price. Sure you could purchase one of those "other" commercial engines and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the end of day, you'll have a few more features and an empty wallet.
This AAA engine is *the* choice for the indie developer who wants to empower their team with the best out there.
Torque features one of the best outdoor rendering engines out there but not only that, it renders bsp interiors and provides a seamless environment between the two. With it's built in editors there's no need for your team to write level editors, map editors, and other goodies from scratch. Torque brings you all the features you expect from a 3D engine and puts it together in a great package that any team can be proud of using without hurting your pocketbook.
Ease of Use:
For a developer just getting into games, the Torque Scripting Language is easy to learn and quick to pick up and for the most part you can practically do everything with. For the seasoned C++ developer you can dig in and add new features or tweak existing ones. Well commented code, a good structured object model and compatibility with standard tools makes it extensible and a pleasure to work in.
Stability & Performance:
With a rock-solid engine, Torque delivers and never stutters in that delivery. Even on older hardware, graphics are zippy and games you build with it are stable and reliable. Torques network performance engine cannot be matched and delivers 64 user games without raising a sweat. With the right infrastructure, 128 player games just plain works.
The Torque community is out there and live. Hundreds of new messages posted each day with responses from engine owners, the creators, and an elite group called Associates will help you, guide you, and get the answers for you. There is no community out there like this that responds to what you need.
I've been using this engine for a good number of years now, since realising that I'd rather be writing games than writing engines.
The fact of the matter is that there are *very few* game engines out there capable of pulling off professional quality games. Most are license based engines that cost in the high hundreds of thousands to license.
Torque is a professional engine, written by professional developers for professional games. The only limit with torque, is your own ability.
With that level of power of course comes a price. This isnt a point-and-click engine, it isnt an engine that wont require commitment. But given the level of support, the amazing amount of information available and the truly supportive community, there simply isnt any comparable competition.
Forget rendering gimmicks, if you want to make really great GAMES, then torque is your answer.
If you really *must* have render tricks, get the TSE, as they are based on the same concepts and you will be familiar in no time.
I teach game development and we use Torque and soon TSE for our classes as an example of a commercial grade game engine and I dont think any other engine offers the same level of comprehensive functionality.
I am new to game programming and development and have and have tried many other engines before i found torque but for just $100 it is the best one i have seen.
It has many features and plenty of documentation to show you how to use them. Anyone brand new to programming may find it difficult to get used to the C++ like scripting, but that is what you would expect.
However, the best part of the engine is the community. The forums are a God send, any problem you have will probably be able to be fixed by somone there, as long as you have taken the effort to try yourself (their not their to make your game!). Also, the creators of the Torque engine and many of its associates (people who have contibuted to the community a lot) are there and they are the best source of information you could need.
To conclude Torque is a high class AAA engine at a very low price, what more can you want? :D
For only $100 you get a lot, and there is a great BOOK available to get you started!
Others say they are easy but you are really on you own, but this one has real docs out there. :)
I have only been using torque since Jan '05. During that time I have learned quite a bit about the engine and its use. Most people have summarized the engine strengths and weaknesses pretty well. I would like to add a bonus that many people overlook. The source code for the engine is impressive. After running dOxygen over it to get a map of the classes and such, I have found that it has really helped develop my c++ skills and understanding. That is a plus for anyone seeking to improve their programming skills. The $100 price tag seems very cheap even if it just involved getting to browse the source. It almost seems too cheap considering all that this engine can do, and the framework they left intact for you to adapt to your needs.
I have also spent time with other engines on the market and will say that there are some nice engine frameworks out there. While some engines are easier to use, and others have more eye candy, the torque engine has one of the most adaptable and effective code bases you will find. The only down side is that this professional strength engine requires a professional strength skill set in order to make it shine. Entry level Indies should be warned that if you develop with Torque your skills will have to improve if you want to make any radical engine mods. Be prepared to learn and grow!
Torque is an extremely good engine in the sense that it has lots of great features etc... But you have to code in C++, so it makes the engine unable for beginners. It does though have a FANTASIC terrain editor. It lets you sculpt the landscape in realtime while you are playing the game. The texture painter is also very good and it even has a world editor for placing objects and such. It stands up very well and is probably the better choice over 3DGS if you have a bit of coding experience. There is also a Shader Engine for it now which updates the gfx rendering. And for only $100, you cant really go wrong.
This is the greatest game engine i have ever come across. It is so easy to use, and it has so many great features. I have found no glitches at all whatsoever, and the terrain is easy to shape and create. I recommend this for all beginning game developers. Whether you beieve it or not, I am only eleven years old and I'm using it without a problem.
Oh yeah. Curik, there is pathfinding. There ar a lot of tutorials that teach how to make bots move around like madmen.
Did you hear about someone by himself or with small team made an fps game and this game made big sales?i did not, but i heard about a mod did (counterstrike).
so making a complete game from scratch Using an engine (or making your own engine but in my opinion that will be impossible to make a decent engine and game by yourself unless you are immortal,because this will take a very very long time) will be very hard.
but if you use torque it will be like modding a game but with some extra features like the full source code which come with the engine so you can modify the core engine(like adding some extra lighting enhancments,adding physics suitable for your game but this for experts only the engine will give you all the tools and support for making your game through the powerfull scripting language without modifing the core engine) also you can publish your game and sell it with garagegames or any publisher.
You will find torque at first is hard -like any big project- but when you learn how to learn it you will find that it is the easiest engine ever which will simplify game making process.
Me and my team of volounteers are using this engine for a game we are developing. It's the best engine for the price, hands down.
There are, though - a few mistakes in the description above. Not all of these features work, and GarageGames should point that out IMO. It's not fair for someone to see a feature they rely heavily upon and then it's not working.
For instance, the flying vehicle code, the sound engine part is REALLY lacking and some functions in it are not functional (max distance check for instance) and the biggest one, AI. This engine does NOT come with pathfinding, I don't know why it says so.
To be honest, its not easy to use, but thats because it has so many features, and you get the full source code to the engine.
For $100 there are very few engines that can compete with Torque, it is consatntly upgraded and has a fantastic world editor, GUI editor and straightforward scripting language.
Better yet there is a huge, supportive community. I used to use a different system (following guidelines and not mentioning it) where people regularly got flamed for asking for help, despite the 'community' being an advertised feature of the engine. With GarageGames there is a community of people genuinly interested in making games and supporting independent developers, this makes it easy to ask for and find help on any project.
I've made and released a game using Torque, no commercial success, but fun and playable nonetheless. I used it to teach myself the Torque engine, and it took about 3 months from not knowing anything at all about it!
Besides Torque is one of the few affordable engines that power commercial successes (Tribes 2 most notably, but look at the other Torque Games for sale at GarageGames and you'll see commercial quality is a reality)
Can't wait to have the free time to get back into game development :)
Im going on my 4th or 5th month of development with Torque. Out of all the low budget and free game engines Ive demoed or tried, Torque surpasses them with ease.
Its not the most user friendly engine in the world. Extensive documentation exists, it is scattered throughout forums and the web, and not particularly well organized. Ive found that the GUI documentation is particularly difficult to ferret out.
The Garage Games website banners an upcoming documentation release for an additional fee. Im of the opinion that if you produce a product, have the good manners to supply the documentation to use it with the initial purchase!
Again... Torque comes with minimal docs that do adequately explain how to set it up and get going, and cover some of the basic features, but SOOOO much is completely undocumented. I suppose that is a roundabout credit to the depth and potential of the engine.
There is an active community. Code snippets galore are available if you want to go hunting for them.
The sock engine comes ready to go with some demo games. If you have no programming knowledge, you could still jump right in and start moding off of these. To do an actual original game, some coder expertise is going to be required.
The world editor is a bit quirky and not the most intuitive world editor Ive used. But it gets the job done, and beats the hell out of coding content in manually.
Graphics importers exist for a good sampling of 3d programs.
All-in-all if you have a clue about what youre doing, its a great engine for the price. If you have $250k or more to blow on something a little more intuitive and organized... go for it!
I wanted to add that the powers that be at Garage Games recently updated the doc’s and are coming out with a new and easier to use installer.
Thanx for listening to the peanut gallery guys!
I would also like to revise my earlier statement that Torque “comes with a minimum of docs”. I think I’ve read on the forum that there are somewhere in the range of 1600 pages of official doc’s and additional forum documentation. The trouble with the documentation is more "finding" what you need to know in a timely manner. For example, To a new Torque Developer, discovering what the 4 little numbers in the Sun object editor mean - becomes a research project.
I still think it’s a great game engine though, and look forward to making some great games with it!
For the price it cannot be beat. A true commercial game engine used in published titles for $100. Awesome community support.
The code is under development from a large group of developers, adding new features and improvements constantly. With the license purchase the source code is all included.
Excellent book on Torque development available. Many online resources.
I've been a Torque user from the very beginning and with the great support from the community and GarageGames anyone can make a game. The tools are pretty easy and straightforward to use, and even if you have no programming ability you can always mod the sample game that comes with the engine. This is definately deserves it's due as many people at GG worked hard to bring this to the world.
I am a co-founder of GarageGames and one of the several in house developers who upgrade and maintain the Torque Game Engine.
Over the years the Torque has proven to be a very flexible code base producing a wide variety of both commercial and indie games -- everything from action arcade to first person shooters. The engine was originally developed for Dynamix/Vivendi-Universal to power the award winning multi-player game Tribes2. Dynamix also used the Torque to create the original Tribes, Starsiege, FrontPage Sports: Skiing and Kings Quest 9. Since GarageGames acquired exclusive rights to the Torque code base a number of fun and successful indie titles have shipped including MarbleBlast, Orbz, ThinkTanks, Lore, Tennis Critters, Legends, Produce Panic and many others.
Torque is a complete game solution – not just another rendering engine. Rendering engines are easy, you do one thing and you do it well. It starts getting challenging when you support multiple platforms (mac/pc/linux/others TBA), multi-player (2-256+ players), a master server, physics, scripting, resource management, rendering, particles, GUI, terrain, interiors, meshes, multi-track animation, LOD, skies, water, fog, lens flares, sound, wysiwyg tools (GUI editing, world editing, terrain builder), etc, etc, all running smoothly and efficiently together... whew!
There are over 600 pages of getting started and scripting language documentation and thousands of pages of functional level code documentation. And yes there is still room for more documentation. Premier Press' #1 selling technical book "3D Game Programming All In One", written by Kenneth Finney, is an outstanding, 800+ page, step-by-step guide to developing games using the Torque and a great resource for those not as proficient at cruising source code.
Where the documentation leaves off our community begins. The Torque on-line community is composed of thousands of active professional to novice Torque owners generously sharing knowledge, code and resources. GarageGames also hosts the Independent Games Developers Conference (aka IGC), www.indiegamescon.com, each year. IGC is a great place to meet fellow indie developers, learn more about the Torque, and meet the guys at GarageGames as well as guest speakers/engineers from O'Reilly Publishing, GameHouse, nVidia, ATI, Apple and others.
I have been participating in the Garage Games community for just over a year now and have a couple of "spare time" projects brewing. (who has spare time?)
In that time I've been able to get a very solid feel for the capabilities of the engine and also the Garage Games community which supports it.
The community is excellent. While the learning curve is steep, help is available. Ken Finney also wrote "3D Game Programming All in One" which is a greate resource on using Torque.
The engine itself shows its Tribes 2 heritage while also evolving with the times.
Strengths: the multi-player networking support is absolutely world class, outdoor scene rendering capability is strong (check out the skies in the demo) and vehicle support - both ground and air based - comes built into the engine. And let's not forget multi-platform support which opens markets for independant developers.
Weaknesses: interiors, although rendered well, are not the engine's forte. There are some minor lighting anomolies (which most gamers never notice) and also weird default bounding behaviour when a character who is holding an object bumps against walls. (the player stops but the object protrudes through the wall) If your levels are largely outdoor based and the action moves in and out of buildings you will find the interior support effective.
This is a very powerful platform for most 3D game development purposes.
Torque is evolving at an incredible rate. I have owned a license for a year and a half, and some incredible improvments have been made in that time.
They have the best community I have ever seen for a game engine. Forums and an IRC channel have people with lots of Torque knowledge, and someone will almost always have an answer to your questions. Their documenation is decent, and it is also improving rapidly. There is even a published book about using Torque (highly recommended).
The toolset is growing fast, with lots of "content packs" surfacing. Some of these packs are community-made, and some are made by GarageGames. These packs include code enhacements (like lighting), models (buildings, vehicles, etc), and even genre templates (RTS).
The mentality from the hard-working geniuses at GG seems to be to "support the indies." They walk the extra mile to ensure cross-platform compatibility and to endorse tools that are cross-platform where possible. They want everyone to be able to play. They also look at what is often requested in the forums and direct their efforts toward meeting the requests. Their shader engine and RTS pack are fine examples of this.
The features really are amazing, and you can make a very pretty game, even without the newest shaders. That mostly depends on your artist. If you really want the shaders, GG also offers the Torqe Shader Engine (base on the Torque, but a separate license for $300).
The only downside I can think of is the learning curve. It takes some time to get used to how things work in Torque. The benefit of that drawback is the engine is extremely expansive. The sky is _not_ the limit here... it is closer to saturn or jupiter.
The amount of benefits you get for $100 is astounding. If you are serious about making games, you _must_ take a closer look at Torque. It is awesome.
I've been using Torque for about a month and I've learned alot. There's a great community behind it and there's plenty of potential in the engine to do great things!