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- User Reviews
The Virtools 4 Life Platform ushers in a unique solution for pervasively developing and deploying 3D experiences on personal computers, game consoles, Intranets and the web. Developers drag and drop behaviors in an intuitive graphical user interface to create complex applications with the high-quality graphics and interactivity.
- Object-Oriented Design
- Plug-in Architecture
- Save/Load System
- New paradigm based on separation of objects, data and behaviors, and applications created by assembling objects to behaviors
- Intuitive user interface with real time visualization window and graphical programmation
- Web Building Blocks for dynamic media and data download and user-customized content delivery
- Support for programmable Vertex and Pixel Shaders (DX9.c, OpenGL 2.0, HLSL, CgFX, Shader Model 3)
- Sprites with hierarchical system
- Pentium III and IV optimizations
- Environment Mapping
- Lens Flares
- Particle System
- Motion Blur
- Cube Environment Mapping
- Volumetric Fog
- Patches Support for Linear, Bezier and TCB animations
- Gloss maps Dynamic RGB lighting
- Shadow Mapping
- Projected planar
- Shadow Volume Simple Shadows, Shadow casting
- Procedural textures and movie textures
- Dot Prod3 Mapping
- Perspective correction texture mapping and filtering
- Images supported: JPG, PNG, TIFF, TGA, BMP, PCX.
- High Level
- Mesh Loading
- Import models and animation created by third-party applications (3D Studio Max, Maya)
- Bicubic Patch Meshes (uniform tesselation)
- Support for 3D modeling objects and animation from 3ds Max, Maya, XSI, Lightwave and Collada
- Occlusion Culling
- Skeletal Animation
- Animation Blending Hierarchical keyframe animation system with motion blending (mix of several animations) and warping (transitions)
- Collision Detection
- 2D Sound
- 3D Sound
- Sounds: MP3, WMA, Wave, midi.
- Video: AVI, Active Movie supported formats
- Graphically assemble building blocks to create complex behaviors and generate game-quality interactivity
- A complete game can be created by simply using the editor and scripting capabilities.
- Use the Virtools Scripting Language and its intelligent coloring system, context-sensitive completion and function arguments display
- For programmers, VSL is an interface to the SDK from within Dev. With no need to create a C++ project, you can easily and quickly test new ideas and implement custom code, without custom DLLs.
- For scripters, VSL is ideal for replacing complex parameter operations (math calculations, string operations) and creating advanced behavioral scripts.
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Im using virtools for past 2 years.One basic query is if i learn this engine will i be able to work in any other game engine.Second thing there is no tutor or material for this can someone help me out in finding in the materia
This IDE offers a fast interactive development for 3D application. I recommend this program if you want to create a common 3D enviroment, but for a more specific application not.
The VSL is a nice feature I haven't explore at all but surely it is not as flexible as C++ or other powerfull lenguage.
virtools vs. flash
why virtools not like flash in marketing and support manner, flash is easy to download and try and publish, and milions are buying it ... since virtools is very expensive there is no real tutorials and books to start with, there is no real integration with windows application through ActiveX
Good and bad sides: outstanding concept but too slowly progressing
(Review Text V3)
I am using the Virtools technology for several years now. Like many software products it has it's bright and it's dark sides.
Some great aspects are:
- HLSL/Fx shader editor: stop playback, edit you shader code, compile, see the result. fire up the non-modal shader parameter editor and tweak the parameters and see instantly the results. Very powerful! great !
- scripting editor: VSL script syntax is c like (no classes yet, though) - which i think is great. changing frequently the syntax system i always found unproductive. like the shader editor, you can edit and compile/run your scripts at any time. you have JIT compiled 'release' mode (faster) and a for debug compile mode for debugging (of course ;) - slower). You can set breakpoints and step through the scripts and see values in a watch window - very powerful ! great !
- actions: actions are VSL scripts that can be called by context menu entries in the editor. This way you can easily add custom automazations for many tasks for the authoring process inside the editor. no need to restart: code, compile, use within the editor. Unfortunally nearly no file-system access.
- schematic scripting: for high-level scripting you can 'wire' 'building blocks'. Very powerful if you deal with good high-level components. For low level stuff, you better use VSL or write a c++ plug-in. schmatic scripts can be run in trace mode (see the programm flow in real-time !) and they can be stepped through. You can also set break-points there
- attributes: tag your objects and get a list with certain attributes easily
- sdk framework that a allows you to extend the functionality easily via plug-ins (DLLs). it has a couple of wizards that helps you to start-off. the framwork is very open, lots of callbacks
- interface SDK: extend the editor with own setups etc.
- all-around engine
- source-control interface: delivered with NXN alienbrain module, a SDK interface allows you to create custom modules but documentation is not very extensive
- most components come with an example that demonstrates the usage
- searchable documenation in form of CHMs
a library of ready to use components (building blocks)
- drag and drop a few pre-made components on your character and world and then walk through the scene over the terrain, very fast
- source code for most components available
it has more good aspects, but i'll try to make it not too long, so let's move to the negative aspects:
- still not good workflow for teams: if you work in teams with 3 or more people, Virtools Dev doesn't offer a good workflow solution out-of the box yet. you can have textures and sound as external resource but not meshes and other data. i mean it won't be updated in your composition automatically after a new export. so you need to spend some time to figure out a pipeline that allows you to have a high iteration count without much manual involvement
- some components are quite old and do not fit well any more with the overall progress of the product. some have heavy restrictions or bad design. If you are aiming for more complex things you might have to rewrite a couple of components so it fits your expectations. Design and functionality inconsitencies may slowdown your progress in an inportant way.
- poor GUI support: the gui and font components aren't really powerful. expect to have a lot of work in this area
- update frequence could be higher. some things that need a fix haven't been addressed for a while. Some aspects are not addressed and one is sometimes expected to check for exceptional cases in coding instead of having the framework hide complexities.
- no shader support on mac platform
- no terrain engine, no ready-to-use shadow caster system for large outdoor scenes
- 3ds max exporter needs improvements ( Virtools works on this, but release date not announced)
- 3d sprites not really considered in the shader system
- 3d sprites not shade-able
other things to note:
- physics (ipion engine), ai (basic), multiplayer, VR as add-ons available
- support available (10 tokens per per year), additional tokens/support available for purchase
- per seat license system
- publishing fees for any commercial or promotional releases
- mandatory annual license charges
- support and community available via forum. participation from the developers in the forum sometimes very good and sometimes more passive - it's not constant. eMail support is good but it can delay when they are really busy - sometimes you also need to explain things very detailed until it gets understood
- nice community
- render engine source code available as additionial license
- no source code for the editor available
There is a lot more that I can say about this, but it might give you a first impression which is: it's good but you will also know it's bad sides. If you are looking for a solution for a specifique project, make sure you make a good in depth evaluation. If you plan do to a couple of projects in smaller time-windows, you should evaluate this product!
So dont rely on the points i give - the text is more important and even more your personal evaluation.
- dev 3.5 added for example: 5.2 sound, point clouds documentation, video support (DX only), VRML import, 3DXML import
- PSP add-on pack announced
- dev 4.0 released with new publishing scheme, new naming scheme, higher prices
Virtools is asking for a lot of money. Make sure you know all the details.
$10.000 + fees for that and that > can only be a joke.
$5000 > $10.000?
for God's sake
you know that with $0 > $100 is possible to do any kind of game.
30 words,30 words,30 words,30 words,30 words,30 words,30 words,30 words,
This is a really good engine. Especially with Physics and AI packs. Yeh, it's expensive. But compare it with Gamebryo($115,000), Unreal 3(~$750,000) and others. And Virtools is not worse. It supports all modern technologies and provides visual scripting. It is really easy to use. Just try it.
I bought a book about creating 3d worlds that came with a Virtools demo. Looked cool at first, but they should remove this book from the shelves because Virtools is NOT targeted at the casual user.
Virtools used to sell a low-end version, but they dropped that because they got tired of dealing with hobbyists. And this year they raised the price from $5,000 to $10,000 for no other reason but to eject the remaining "riff-raff".
After the $10,000 entry fee, they hit you with more thousands for the plug-ins you will need and other tools, more fees for a limited-time peek at their API, and a large cut of your gross, should you ever try to sell anything you make with it.
Basically, if you use Virtools, they become a partner in your company.
To the un-trained eye, McDonald's looks like it's in the business of making hamburgers, but it's really in the real-estate business. Likewise, Virtools is not in the business of making software, they are in the business of acquiring part-ownership in software companies.
Very good engine with drawbacks
Virtools very very easy to use and fast to get used to it. It can even be used resonable well without any programming experience as well if you want to do browser based games. But dont get to overexcited for serious work you will notice you have to do write your own extensions in c++ or the builtin VSL scripting language.
Virtools is great for prototyping and for web based games. But you cant reuse your code easily in another engine, and Virtools is not very suitable for multiple developers working on the same project.
Virtools also has been very helpful in evaluating and responding to serious requests and there are educational versions at very decent prices as well.
3D programing made easy
I'm a programmer and I can tell Virtools is truly the easier programming language to use when making 3D interactive application. No more need to write C++ code, play with pointers and learn OGL or DirectX. Virtools has already both renderers included! And if you need it you can make your own build blocks in c++ or in vsl.
Virtools is a great tool for protoyping because you can produce application with rapidity in mind except of reusability and see the result in realtime without any compilation. You just need a rough idea of what your doing.
When planing a complete engine you build with reusability in mind making script that can be attached to objects easily. You can even optimize critical parts of your engine with c++.
There is also a great users community where you can talk directly with advanced users to get tips and tricks. www.theswapmeet.com
I have just discovered Virtools, and I am amazed at the ease of use it is to create advanced real time 3D. There is no tool like it in the market, I have not written a piece of C++ code, and I have a actual high quality prototype in 3 days work. Amazing add-tools for VR, AI Physics, Xbox and Servers.
Awesome high-end game engine
I have been using Virtools on several gaming projects, and I'm very impressed by the approach that Virtools takes. Right from the beginning, Virtools decided to focus on offering a complete set of tools (IDE) rather than a render engine API (ie. Renderware, Gamebryo).
Virtools Dev (the central tool) comes with a set of what they call "ready to use components" which are in fact C/C++ compiled routines accessible in a GUI (and open source in the SDK); it also comes with exporters from 3ds max, Maya and Lightwave (rumors about an upcoming XSI exporter), the underlying SDK, and a very high-end render engine, supporting the latest DirectX 9 shaders.
- Amazing productivity tool, accessible to technical artists - amazing for VERY rapid prototyping and game development (online, downloadable, budget games and license-based games)
- Widely used outside the gaming market (!!)
- No support for PS2 nor Gamecube, but only PC, Xbox and Mac;
- To some extend, between easy and difficult to use, because of the high-level approach (steep learning curve at first, limited documentation)
=> get a training if possible, highly recommended to master the tool from the very first day.