Visual3D Game Engine

C723e79a 1474 48d8 a45a 3620fa9b517f

Website:
http://www.visual3d.net/3...

Developer:
Realmware Corporation

Launched:
Jun 27, 2003

Status:
Active

Supported Platforms:
Windows, Xbox360, Browser-based

Languages Written In:
C#

Languages Supported:
C/C++, C#, VB.NET, Ruby, Python, F#, Lua

Graphics APIs:
DirectX

Rating:
  (38 reviews)

Editor:
00000000000000000000000000000000 xeonx

Visual3D Game Engine’s All-in-One Development Tool enables live world building for C# & XNA-powered 3D games, multi-user training simulations, GIS/CAD visualizations, and online virtual worlds.

Visual3D accelerates development with built-in Terrain, Entity, Mission, Visual Scripting, Particle FX, IronPython, Conversation, Road, Decal, and Cinematic editing and ClickOnce Web Publishing, while providing next-gen realism with Vehicle Physics, Multiplayer Networking, and Avatars with Voice Acting, Facial Expressions, Speech Recognition, and an industry-leading DAZ/Poser Character pipeline.

Supported Features

General

  • Object-Oriented Design
  • Plug-in Architecture
  • Save/Load System
  • All-in-One Toolset
  • AAA Graphics!
  • .NET Edit-n-Continue Scripting and Programming
  • Integrated Physics, Networking, Particles, GUI, Tasking
  • GIS/DTED Real-Earth Terrain Data Importing
  • Advanced Integrated Materials
  • Model/Material Editors
  • Render-to-Texture
  • Fonts
  • GUI
  • Targets Multiple Viewports, Monitors, and Windows.
  • Configurable Component-based pipeline.
  • Environment Mapping
  • Lens Flares
  • Billboarding
  • Particle System
  • Depth of Field
  • Motion Blur
  • Sky
  • Water
  • Fire
  • Explosion
  • Decals
  • Fog
  • Weather
  • Mirror
  • Volumetrics
  • We’ve got it all. Come check it out.

Lighting

  • Realistic HDR lighting
  • Real-time dynamic shadows (with self-shadowing and PSSM)
  • Support for ultra realistic precomputed lighting and ambient occlusion maps

Shadows

  • Shadow Mapping
  • Efficient Blobs
  • Advanced soft-filtering

Texturing

  • Multi-texturing
  • Bumpmapping
  • Mipmapping
  • Volumetric
  • Projected
  • Procedural
  • Anisotropic filtering
  • Advanced Integrated Material System

Shaders

  • Vertex
  • Pixel
  • High Level
  • Dozens of integrated shaders.
  • High End Materials and Effects built-in.
  • Parallax, Steep Normals, Bumps, Transparencies, Reflection Maps, Specular Maps, etc, are all built-in.
  • Plug in your own shaders (HLSL and FX).
  • Create shaders in C# with #SL!!!

Meshes

  • Mesh Loading
  • Skinning
  • Tessellation
  • Deformation
  • Model Editor allows for correctional edits.
  • Advanced Collada imports
  • Native OGRE support
  • Soon: OpenFlight, X, FBX, and others.

Scene Management

  • Portals
  • Octrees
  • Occlusion Culling
  • LOD
  • QuadTrees
  • Advanced/easy Auto-Billboarding for Land cover and foliage.

Animation

  • Keyframe Animation
  • Skeletal Animation
  • Morphing
  • Facial Animation
  • Animation Blending
  • Animation Editing for Models
  • Cinematic Editing.

Terrain

  • Rendering
  • Splatting
  • Full-Earth Terrains using GIS/DTED
  • EarthBuilder Toolset
  • Advanced Procedural LandCover
  • Clipmaps
  • Multi-threaded Streaming

Physics

  • Collision Detection
  • Rigid Body
  • Vehicle Physics
  • Soft Bodies
  • Hinges, Joints, and Constraints
  • Trimesh Collisions
  • Mesh Heightmaps
  • Simple Dynamics

Networking

  • Client-Server
  • Peer-to-Peer
  • Integrated Synchronization
  • Collaborative World Building
  • Advanced NAT Hole-Punching
  • UDP/RUDP
  • Compression and Serialization

Artificial Intelligence

  • Pathfinding
  • Decision Making
  • Scripted
  • Drag/Drop Avatar Behaviors
  • Sample AI Components with source code
  • Scriptable Behaviors
  • Program with any .NET language.

Sound

  • 3D Sound
  • Streaming Sound
  • VoIP
  • Streaming Audio/Video

Video

  • Video rendering to screen and 3D object surfaces

Tools & Editors

  • All-in-One Toolset
  • Model, Material, and Animation Editors
  • Terrain Editor (Sculpting, Painting, Generation)
  • Object Editor
  • Physics and GUI Design Modes
  • Particle, Behavior, and Time Line Editors

UI

  • Skinnable/themeable graphical user interface (GUI) system with built-in UI Editor

Scripting

  • Script or program with any .NET CLR language.
  • C#, IronPython (Python), VB, C++/CLI, Lua.NET
  • Edit-and-Continue in Visual Studio (with full C# engine and toolset source code)
  • Behavior Tree Editor for visual sequence and state machine scripting
  • Visual Scripting Diagrams
  • Entity & Area State Wireup and Event and Key Mapping Triggers

Input

  • Key mapping editor with action/state mapping
  • Joystick, gamepad and Xbox controller support

Special Effects

  • Particle FX Editor for visual FX editing
  • Includes explosion, fire, smoke, water, and many other effects - all customizable
  • Volumetric fog
  • Day-night cycle with dynamic sky, stars, sun, and HDR lens fly, godrays (volumetric sunbeams) and more

Licensing

License Name Price in $US Source Code Included?
Proprietary $185.00 Yes
Indie Edition: Includes source code for game and simulation framework and demo games, as well as an asset library full of royalty-free models and media to kick-start your development. Checkout the Visual3D website ( http://www.visual3d.net/game-engine/download ) or contact sales@visual3d.net for details.
Proprietary $495.00 Yes
Professional Edition: Includes source code for core engine plugins/services, as well as game and simulation framework, demo games/simulations, and source for customizing models and media in the included asset library. Checkout the Visual3D website (http://www.visual3d.net/game-engine/download) or contact sales@visual3d.net for details.
Proprietary $1,495.00 Yes
Studio Source Edition: Includes full engine source code, including 3D rendering engine, #SL C# shader language framework, engine plugins/services, as well as game and simulation framework, demo games/simulations, and source for customizing models and media in the included asset library. Checkout the Visual3D website (http://www.visual3d.net/game-engine/download) or contact sales@visual3d.net for details.
Proprietary $9,950.00 Yes
Enterprise Source Edition: Includes full source code to the Visual3D All-in-One Development Tool and source code to the Visual3D Game Engine, including 3D rendering engine, #SL C# shader language framework, engine plugins/services, as well as game and simulation framework, demo games/simulations, and source for customizing models and media in the included asset library. Includes GIS and CAD importing capabilities, as well as as terrain and FBX export support, highest priority support, training and engineering support time, and discounted access to offshore and U.S. development and production services by the developers behind Visual3D. Checkout the Visual3D website (http://www.visual3d.net/game-engine/download) or contact sales@visual3d.net for details.
Proprietary Free No
Isles of War open-source demo game and open-source access to Visual3D for its developers and contributors. Checkout the project page for details: http://game-engine.visual3d.net/project/Isles-of-War-Online
Proprietary Free No
Trial Edition: Get started developing your game or simulation today with free trial. Buy Visual3D to publish or demo your Visual3D-powered games and simulations. Checkout the Visual3D website (http://www.visual3d.net/game-engine/download) or contact sales@visual3d.net for details.
Other Free No
U.S. and Offshore Development, Art Production, Engine/Toolset Customization, Training and Support Services for Game and Simulation Development.

Write a Review

Showing 26-38 of 38

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Powerful, Easy to Use Toolset for Virtual Worlds & Serious Games built on .NET/C#/XNA

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 dlee3d Sep 13, 2008 at 02:43

I have tried out a number of engines, looking for a good solution that allows me to develop in C# with Visual Studio and .NET, and must say that Visual3D.NET is, by far, the best option available.

It is far ahead of the competition in terms of ease of use, especially in using it with Visual Studio and .NET languages (C#, IronPython, VB, C++/CLI, pick your flavor). I believe "All-in-One" is a good way to sum up the toolset, since it includes a World Builder (or Terrain Editor), Scene Designer, Scenario Editor, Entity/Model Editor.

It also has a built-in UI Editor (which is especially hard to find in a .NET or XNA-based engine), which seems to be undergoing revamp now. And, its supposed to have Visual Scripting (Visual Programming Diagrams) in the next release, as well as improved workflow with Visual Studio (for scripting in the best programming tool out there).
in that it provides all the different tools you would need to build AAA game, serious game (training simulation, etc.), or virtual world (MMO, virtual collaboration environment, etc.).

The networking support is pretty good, which you can tryout with the included Robot Wars demo game. Rendering performance and networking scalability is constantly improving, so I believe we will see production quality MMO support (with zones distributed across multiple servers, for example) by its v1.0 release - which seems to be before the end of the year.

Besides being the best option for those developing with .NET or Visual Studio, I would say that this engine stands out as being one of the few engines out there tailored for Serious Games (visualization, training, simulation, defense, etc.). With features like importing real-world earth data and upcoming CAD support, it makes it one of the few good and affordable options out there.

And these "Serious Games-specific" features don't just apply to sims and training, as I see it. The ability to procedurally build vast environments with terrain, vegetation, and entities, is critical these days, considering the growing size of virtual worlds in MMOs and even single player games (like Oblivion).

To top it all off, I have seen very fast and effective responses on the forums, and, though documentation is a bit sparse at this early stage (with all the new features being added with each release), it seems like it is building up pretty quickly now that Visual3D.NET is approaching a v1.0 release.

Overall, I believe that Visual3D.NET is a good, solid, long-term bet if you looking for a toolset that easy to use for content creators (non-programmers) for building AAA games, serious games, and virtual worlds. And it is the only good solution, when it comes to .NET developers (such as myself) and those looking to target Microsoft XNA.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

Robot War Rocks!!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Avid_Gamer Sep 10, 2008 at 11:48

I am an avid on-line gamer. Graphics and overall effects are key to keeping my attention and my membership. I was surprised to see that many of the effects and graphics for V3D were superior to those in most of my other games.

Robot War is impressive and I look forward to the September release of the next beta version.

On-line gaming efforts continue to gain momentum and I would suggest that companies wanting to offer high end products to those of us willing to pay to play should tap into the resources available through V3D.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

If this is our Golden Nugget, then concider the chicken shot, stuffed, and baked at 375

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 IrishDeviant Sep 10, 2008 at 03:28

Visual 3D.NET, unfortunately, was not the first engine that we tested for our game concept. There were many engines that we looked threw, toyed with, and ultimately gave up on. But, not after months of frustration with each one. However, that was until we found the CryEngine2.

The CE2 engine had most of what our concept needed. The next-gen graphics, top notch physics, simple terrain tools, great vegetation to work with, and the list goes on. Though, our concept calls for a very large playable environment, much larger than what the CE2 could offer. But, CE2's functional terrain sizes were the best we had found so far. At least in combination with all of it's other "eye candy" features. So, we began pre-development.

For those not clear on pre-development, it's that patience driven period where the artist has to endure the painstaking process of learning a new system. Getting comfortable with it's little quirks and temperaments, and finding ways of refining the processes and procedures required to make development run smoothly. This was where the CryEngine2 began to show it's grim shortcomings lurking under it's veneer finish. The engine itself is impressive, but you can impress me all day long. At the end of that day, I'm still going to ask what exactly it was that has been accomplished. Sadly with the CE2, I would never get a strait answer. Maybe a mumbled "well, I tried this, but...". Of course as I walk away I here "if the Editor would quit crashing, maybe I would have made some progress". The process of getting assets into the engine was convoluted and tedious beyond belief. The terrain editor proved to be more work than it had originally suggested. The physics editor would leave me balled up in the corner of my office chewing on pencils and asking the Gamer Gods "WHY!".

The bottom line is that no matter how easy some of it's features are, and no matter how quick some elements can be implemented... All of that was greatly off set by the hours spent getting some of the more "complicated" aspects to function properly.

This is where we found Visual 3D.NET. "And, I'm looking at this little line below the text box that says to remain objective, so I'll try not to go all "fanboy" on you." But, V3D has been a Godsend. Every element, feature, graphical twitch and tweak, every aspect of the engine is exactly what we need to make our concept a reality. And, unlike the CE2, actually shows us some hope of wrapping up development within the next decade or two.

Our concept calls for a very large asset base. (makes Crysis look like an afternoon modeling session) So, we'll need to be able to get assets in and functioning quickly. We'll also need outstanding network code to start from. Huge terrains that are easily managed, maintained, implemented, and modified. Game engine support for the little things we get hung up on. Physics that will make FlightSimX fans put down their $5k PC Cockpit peripherals to take "our" birds for a spin. Projectile calculations that will stop noobs from saying "I !SWEAR! I shot him". ...Ok, so it's a tall order. But, V3D hasn't let us down yet. We've traced their road map right along with their Beta's, and they've never missed a beat. {albeit, a small skip over to Hawaiian time. ;)} The Google Earth style world editor is truly an innovation in game engine technology.(at least a functional one) The graphics are on par with the CE2. Physics are outstanding, and allow support for PhysX. I couldn't ask for better developer support. The assets are as easy to get in-game as clicking export from 3DS Max 09'. The pathing logic is just as capable as the CryEngine's. And, most of all, a 4 figure price tag so our money can go to asset development instead of a Microsoft product that's masquerading as a game engine under the guise of a company called Crytek. ...With a "very nice man" they call Yuri running the show.

In closing, the only thing I have to say to fellow developers is "don't purchase this engine". It's ease of use, breathtaking graphics, massive feature sets, comprehensive tools, stellar support... it's all overrated. What you really should be using is the UT3 engine. Yeah, maybe it doesn't look as nice, maybe it doesn't have all the innovative features, or even backing of hands on support. But, if you're all using UT3, or even CE2 (though I wouldn't wish that on anyone), then we won't have anyone crowding our spot on the cover of Game Informer magazine!

Sincerely,

IrishDeviant

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

This engine rocks!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 j1300 Sep 09, 2008 at 13:40

I am the project lead for http://www.lordsofwaronline.com an online RPG thats been in the planning stages for several years simply because we could not settle on an engine we tried Torque, Torque Advanced, Kaneva and Multiverse but finally we found the holy grail so to speak of game engines and its not even out of beta yet. This engine has it all and a bag of tricks even though most of the network game parts are still in development the tool set and rendering engine are both top notch especially for a guy like myself with very little programing knowledge. In short i highly recommend anyone in the market for an engine to at least give it a download.

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The FIRST, and best hope for C# Games Development!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 WillBellJr Sep 04, 2008 at 18:13

I'm not sure how I discovered this engine - a link from another forum, perhaps even an engine search here, but once I discovered Visual3D.NET, I felt I had found the perfect engine for the games I want to create!

Programming professionally using C#, I fell in love with the C# language after years of using C++ and all of Microsoft's ugly MFC related hacks and other extensions.

C# is so CLEAN and elegant, I try to avoid going back to C++ as much as I can while at work!

While a lot of good engines are based on C++, I wanted a game development environment that would allow me to use the C# language to script and develop my games with and still offer stunning graphics and performance on par with the expensive commercial engines (which are priced way out of reach of the indie developer.)

When I downloaded and tried the very first beta of Visual3D.NET, I saw that my search was over!

The graphics quality was absolutely gorgeous!

Try it for yourself! Download the latest Visual3D.NET beta and just look at the various demo scenes - especially, zoom in to the "Lizard Men" and just look at the quality of the texturing!

My goals and passion are to create games similar to the old Wing Commander space flight / action games and the quality of the environments and the characters in Visual3D.NET, even at Beta 1, FAR exceeded all the standards I had hoped for in my games!

While the engine is mature and has been producing stunning results since I discovered it, the unique development environment "Architect" as it is presently called, is the current focus of development.

Architect is the main component of Visual3d.NET that will make developing games easy not only for programmers but for Artists and newcomers to game programming alike!

What attracted me to Visual3D.NET the most, was the feature set of this development environment - it is very similar to Microsoft's Visual Studio, which I feel is one of the best development tools a programmer can have right now.

Visual3D.NET when completed will allow you to simply add in your game assets, select them and easily modify their properties, create / edit their behaviors - all in the same fashion as I do when writing programs using Visual Studio!

This to me is amazing - being able to develop my scenes and tweak them right in Visual3D.NET's visual editor and test things out, usually without delay.

When it comes time to add new components or objects in my game that requires special handling, I can fire up Visual Studio and code those special items and have them available right back in Visual3D.NET when I'm done - I couldn't have hoped for better!

The biggest problem for me is having the PATIENCE and waiting for Architect to mature and reach its first release!

It's tough - I want it completed and in my hands NOW!

Realmware is a growing company and there are but so many hours in a day (even though the passion of the developers have shown that they'll work well over 24 hours straight just to get the Beta releases out to us thirsty users!

Their proven dedication to their product is the ultimate reason why I've decided on using this engine - their presence and response to user questions and suggestions at their forums is a healthy sign of a great set of people working for a great company!

For me, while I'm waiting for Architect to mature, I'm testing each Beta as they're released - this helps me learn the engine while it's being developed so when completed, I'll have a good foundation of knowledge on how to use the product.

In between banging on the Betas, I'm working on my game assets and design document so when the Visual3D.NET Release is finally in my hands, I'll be more than ready to start developing my game to completion using all the tools it offers!

Visual3D.NET gets my THUMBS UP - I recommend you give it a try as well!

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful

AAA features and support!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 PuckerFactor Sep 03, 2008 at 00:42

My team and I have been looking for a AAA game engine that had next-gen capabilities and had a affordable commercial license. A tall order for any game engine to meet, especially since we have been using the CryEngine2 to develop a "Proof of Concept" demo for a game idea based on our highly successful BF2 mod. The CryEngine2 is a tough act to follow.

Enter Visual3D.net Game Engine. After downloading and installing the beta demo (currently it is beta version 2.4) I really didn't know what to expect until I saw the Sea Demo. This demo shows a ship sailing on a turbulent ocean followed by a large sea creature. What's interesting is how good the water looks and with a bit more tweaking and some wash effect from the wake of the ship this could eventually look like some level out of Crysis. Below the water you have schools of fish, particle debris and light shafts giving you a good sense of immersion.

The other demos show off the true potential of this engine with great lighting, instancing, particle, material and dynamic shadow effects. All next-gen quality.

The other interesting feature is the Earth Editor which is not fully implemented yet but will feature a Terrain editor similar to Sandbox2 and a GIS2 Planetoid editor that enable you to create a huge seamless planet shaped world, this is an incredible feature for MMOG style games.

The current usable editors within the Visual3D.net Game Engine beta demonstrate the depth and control it will eventually have. I was able to export models easily from XSI using the Ogre Mesh exporter and 3DS Max using the FBX Collada exporter. Once in the Object Editor it was easy to view animation and skeletal rigging as well as assign materials, textures and normals to the model with a great degree of customization.

Exploring the Visual3D.net forums I noticed how responsive the developers were to their community. All questions get answered in a timely fashion. I noticed that the developers reference CryEngine2 a lot and have enthusiastically stated that it is their benchmark for their game engine development. The enthusiasm and support from the developers is a crucial aspect in deciding to license a particular game engine. A good relationship between developer and client is key in the development of a game title project and in the responses I've had throughout the forums and e-mail I can tell that the staff at Realmware realize this and would fulfill this role perfectly.

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Incredible potential

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Feersum Aug 30, 2008 at 20:12

I stumbled upon Visual3D.Net two years ago before there was a beta. The feature set was still being fleshed-out but it looked very promising. I checked in a year later to see the progress and it was apparent that it had developed significantly.

Last week I visited the Visual3D.net website and downloaded the 2.4 beta. I was blown away by the graphics. I imported a model I had created in 3DS MAX and threw together an ocean scene that looked very similar to something in Crysis. I was intrigued and started to explore the demo scenes that came with the beta. While some of the production assets in the demo scenes are not all game ready, the effects being demonstrated are AAA title quality. The engine demonstrates the ability to eventually get near Crysis-like graphics with great frame rates and stability.

The Terrain editor shows much promise but is still not complete. The ability to create a complete seamless planet is one feature that will set this engine apart from many others.

The Object Editor looks like it will eventually be very robust as does the Material Editor. Lighting , shadows and particle systems all look first class.

I can't wait for the beta 3 version that will appear mid September 2008, this will have a more complete feature set. If beta 2.4 is anything to go by now, I think this game engine has the most potential out of many I have tried.

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Great engine

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Christian24 Aug 30, 2008 at 16:39

I am having the luck to work with this.

Features:
The feature list perfectly fits my needs. I never saw an engine with such a great and complete feature set.

Ease of use:
Four of five stars here. If you know how game programming works you got no problem to find and use the functions you need. Documentation is very little at the moment, but I didn’t have a problem to figure out how things work on my own.

Stability and Performance:
This is the most stable thing I have ever seen. I am working with this for a few months now and didn’t have any crash! This is really rock steady. Performance is good at the moment, but improved a lot with every new release.

Support:
Support is great. You get the information you need very quickly on the forums.

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Powerful and Promising

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Blazon Aug 29, 2008 at 06:32

I was presently surprised when I first downloaded Visual3D.NET. I had been looking for an engine that had advanced features that I did not want to spend time trying to develop in XNA on my own. I also wanted a powerful world editor where I didn't have to program my entire game in code. I tried Torque for XNA but it just didn't have very useful tools. When I installed Visual3D.NET and loaded up the Architect I was presently surprised. I could quickly and easily create a new world and add scenes to it. In these scenes I easily added a terrain, water, a sky, and loaded up a whole bunch of models like my buildings and people. I was able to move them around, resize them and play my game while I was editing it. That part is really great. A few others things I really like are the animation editor for creating and changing skeletal animation. Also, the material editor lets me make changes to how my textures are used and I can also add my own .fx shaders. The terrain editor isn't complete yet, but it does show some of the cool things you can do to create your own terrain. Like raising and lowering and shaping the ground to create hills,mountains, and canyons. Also, there is this great feature that allows you to place trees and grass anywhere you want. There are many, many more features I could talk about like the normal mapping, lighting, and others, but I'll leave it up to the reader to download and try Visual3D.NET for themselves. Go for it, you won't regret it. I'm having a blast with it. I can't wait for Realmware to finish up the other features like scripting, the visual action editor, day/night sky transitions, physics, and advanced networking. One complaint I have is that there is a lack of documentation. Fortunately, there are alot of demos to check out.

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Very impressive progress

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Milow Aug 29, 2008 at 05:34

At the end of 2006 and the first 6 months of 2007 I worked on the UI for the Architect tool set of Visual 3D and helped out with the non-rendering parts of the engine framework.

For the last 12 months I have worked as a Lead Tools developer for a couple of AAA games companies.

While I was very impressed with the work that had been done on the graphics engine at the time, I am blown away by how much both the graphics engine and the tools set have advanced in the last 12 months. The rendering features and capabilities of Visual3D are on a par with all but the very highest end commercial graphics engines.

The only indication that the engine is written is C# rather than C++ is the ease with which you can add your own game specific code and content.

The content creation and management tools are second to none with a slick professional UI and full feature set.

The only piece that seems to still require some work is the in tool scripting experience, and while the final implementation of this will be potentially fantastic, all but the most inexperienced programmers should have little trouble driving the engine directly from their own C#, VB.NET or other .NET language.

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Love this engine

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Luclin Aug 26, 2008 at 21:44

Working in the video game industry for many years, I have had the chance to work with ALOT of different game engines from professional to indie. RealmWare's Visual3D.net Engine is by far one of the best engines I have ever used and its still in Beta!! The best thing about this engine is that it is just going to get better and better as it matures. Visual3D.net has so many great design tools available to the developer, Material Editor lets you preview & create next-Gen textures for all of your game assets quickly, Model editor lets you view all your models in real-time and also lets you edit texture assignments on the fly. Visual3D’s best qualities for me as a designer is the environment and lighting system. All I can say is that it leaves me breathless the lighting system is so well done I can say everything cast a shadow in this engine even the bounding box on the object in edit mode that is awesome. Overall the sheer ease of use of this engine is amazing can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Luclin

/BlackSkullStudios

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Incredible engine with even more potential!

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Syllus Aug 26, 2008 at 21:13

I first found V3D on this site several months ago. I was looking for a game engine that I could code in C#, that was easy for my artists to work with, had a nice clean / no-hassle art pipeline & top notch toolset, had the capability to truly render AAA quality scenes with descent performance (HAD to have a top notch lighting system first and foremost!), that was being supported and improved on a steady basis (the whole, "it will be ready... when it's ready" philosophy can drive you nuts at times!), and that was affordable enough for my small start up studio to use realistically. A lot to ask for, I know... heck we should throw in a lifetime supply of cold hard cash, and a couple of Jessica Alba / Scarlet Johanson look-a-likes and call our wish complete right?

To my complete and very pleasant surprise, most of that wish has come true!

Being a long time vet of game and 3D-simulation development, my team and I have used a lot of different engines, Unreal 2 Engine, CryEngine, Source Engine, many indie engines such as TGE, TGEA, BeyondVirtual, and more... of all of the engines I have worked with the only ones that I feel can compare to it in respect to capability and ease of use are the bigger commercial engines, and even some of them have already been found wanting in comparison.

PRO's:

Programming:
First and foremost V3D is built on the .NET platform and that provides for a very powerful and easy to use engine that is easily integrated into other .NET applications. It can be scripted in any .NET CLR language ie... my C# wish! From a programming standpoint the API is clear and very easy to understand and even without perusing any documentation I was able to jump in and start making adjustments and adding my own flairs to the numerous existing demo projects.

World/Level Building:
The V3D engine comes with many built in editors from level editors, to model editors, to materials editors, and more. Although the toolset is still being constructed and has a long way to go, it is still, even now, one of the most thorough and intuitive toolsets I have worked with. As a programmer I was able to load up the editors and very easily jump in and start throwing together scenes that actually looked pretty good, and did so with very little hassle and struggling due to learning curves and such. My teams world builder / level artist swears by it and has been extremely happy working with the V3D toolset, and even in its current state of incompletion has declared to me that he has not been this happy with an engines toolset since we used the Unreal 2 Engine on one of our projects several years ago.

Rendering Capability:
We have found that the V3D engine has superb rendering capabilities! V3D has a very powerful & easy to use material system, combine that with one of the best lighting systems I have had the pleasure to work with, and an entire slew of built in - ready to go shader effects, and you have the ability to create some truly amazing looking scenes. Just based off of the sample scenes my artists have been putting out lately I can honestly say that this engine definately has AAA rendering capabilities. Put it in the hands of a capable artist and you will be amazed!

Support & Updates:
One aspect of V3D that I absolutely love is the frequency, and quality of the updates being put out. On average I would say that Realmware releases a new beta build of there engine probably every 3 weeks or so, and they really listen to the feedback and desires of the community. Finally, not only do we have an incredibly powerful engine... but the developers really care about what the users want and do their best to provide a tool with an outstanding user experience!

CONS:

* Toolset not yet complete, though this is being worked on and improved daily!
* Documentation not yet complete, though this too is being worked on and improved.
* Still no Jessica Alba, or Scarlet Johanson look-a-likes! :( (although with the material and rendering capabilities of this engine... I bet they wouldn't be too hard to make!)

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Visual3D.net user review

  by 00000000000000000000000000000000 Jedda Aug 11, 2008 at 17:29

I have had the pleasure of working with the Visual3D.net engine on a real world training application over the past 10 months and have seen abundant maturation of both the toolset and engine.

I personally have primarily been a user from a level design perspective. We started using the engine before the toolset was really ready and there were some pains early on. But the toolset has now matured enough to be on par with those seen in other top end game engines such as CryEngine and Gamebryo. Importing models and applying shaders and other material effects is simply a "piece of cake" now.

From a graphics engine perspective, all of the usual effects are available from HDR to normal mapping. Some of the newer updates to the graphics engine for foliage rendering allow for some breathtaking outdoor scene rendering on fairly modest hardware. I am anxious to see how the foliage mapping will be integrated into the toolset and in general how these engine and toolset will mature to version 1.0 in the coming months.

For developing training applications that require a top-nouch graphics engine with a toolset that allows for rapid development at a price point that a training focused application can handle, Visual3D.net has become in my mind the choice in this domain.

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Last edited Dec 28, 2011 at 13:11